Küng on miracles
Review of Küng’s Der Anfang aller Dinge, section D, part 7.
Küng, now turns, briefly, to the question of the intellectual credibility of miracles – a matter he has treated at more length elsewhere (Christ Sein II, 2).
He prefaces his argument with the following:
‘I don’t want to hurt the religious feelings of anyone who finds a literal interpretation of the biblical miracles important. Rather, I want to give a helpful answer to those modern people for whom miracles are a hindrance to faith in God’ (171, italics mine).It is necessary, claims Küng, to distinguish between the biblical and the modern understanding of reality. In the scriptures, he argues, no one distinguished between miracles that broke the laws of nature, and those that didn’t. Indeed, the idea that miracles ‘break the laws of nature’, is a modernist conception only.
As I pointed out in my ‘Why I love Küng’ post in Ben’s series, Küng’s sensitivity to the results of biblical criticism is something I appreciate. And to biblical criticism Küng turns in order to demonstrate that one should not take the biblical miracles stories literally.
Based on the different ways biblical writers saw the world, and the results of biblical criticism, Küng argues that biblical miracle stories are best understood as metaphors. What is important is not whether the miracles actually happened but what they mean.
I don’t find myself in disagreement with anything particularly noteworthy in Der Anfang aller Dinge, except, that is, for his arguments above.
An appreciative critique follows tomorrow.