Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Experiencing Miracles with Dr. J.P. Moreland

Experiencing Miracles with Dr. J.P. Moreland

January 5, 2023

As Christians we believe in miracles because we affirm the resurrection of Jesus. Yet, often we only offer lip service to this belief. J.P. Moreland offers a few practical, philosophical, and theological words for experiencing miracles.

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Welcome to the more to the story of Podcast. I am so glad you come along and look as we get in today's subject. I think it's going to be incredibly transformative for us as we think about the importance of miracles. A lot of times we shy away from it. But today's ah Guest is somebody who has thought a lot about this, and I think can help us in many practical ways. So you're going to hear from that in just a minute. I want you to know this podcast is brought to us by a couple of sponsors. Wpo Development is a group that works with churches and not

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Academic dean and Professor of theology and preaching. I'm. Really excited to be a part of this school that's

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Andy Miller III: right about now, and it's a program that takes people through kind of like kind of thinking, like an advanced Sunday School level, so to speak, through the sixty six books of the Bible Seminary professors teaching on each book over a nine month period. We would love to get you involved in that, and you can do that by by signing up at Wbs Dot, E. D. You. And finally, my little study on the Book of Jude is available. There's six sessions on a video sessions that are available for folks. This little book of twenty five verses has been incredibly

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Andy Miller III: transformative for me, as I've thought about the nature of where the church is at this moment, and the challenges that we're experiencing. And so this little, this little course is something that you could do with a small group or a Senate school class. You can find out more about that on my website, Andy Miller Iii. Dot com.

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J P Moreland: Well, now, I am pleased to welcome into the Podcast, the distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the school theology at Biola University's, Calvin School of Ministry, Dr. J. P. Morlin, Doctor, Welcome to this podcast. We are so glad to have you. Well, I have to tell you, Andy, it's a delight for me to be here. I'm excited.

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Andy Miller III: Well, great we um, I have to admit like every now and then I have. So beyond who I have read a lot of through the years. And you're one of those people I'm. Just really appreciating your work as a philosopher, which is part of what makes this ah topic today even interesting is that you wouldn't think of a philosopher, only writing on the subject of miracles and experiencing miracles. But I am excited to get into this topic. How did you get come to the place of of ah tackling this subject.

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J P Moreland: Well, I began to to hear stories and to run into people who had actually seen the

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J P Moreland: supernatural miracles happen

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J P Moreland: right? I was a little bit, you know. Skeptical. I guess you'd say

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J P Moreland: right. I started looking into it, and I started interviewing people and man. It. It completely changed my life. And then, you know, I saw some things happen. And so, as a result, I wanted to share. Ah, what I had learned

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J P Moreland: this book, because I have some credibility as a philosopher, and I wanted to show that you don't have to be

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J P Moreland: anti-rational to believe that God is doing miracles all over the world today, and it it's really to encourage people's faith and strengthen them that God is real, and that he's doing things, and and that's really my purpose. It's beautiful. Now, one of the things about that that's interesting is like that. Many Christians will be resistant to the idea of spiritual warfare or miracles. But yet we are a part of a tradition, and, like the

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Andy Miller III: Christian orthodoxy, affirms miracles at its very center, God creating the world out of nothing. Ah! The resurrection of Jesus Christ like if we and I also, i'll admit my own little um. But ah bias! For a period I remember kind of being in this stage where I was questioning the existence of the demonic, I was questioning supernatural. I was certainly questioning miracles, and this was at a yeah evil was in seminary, and I I even like, raised my hand in a systematic theology class, and

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Andy Miller III: very wise, Wonderful pastoral systemic theologian said to me, Well, Andy, you sounds like You're being a selective bolt,

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J P Moreland: A,

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J P Moreland: and I sat back in my seat. That's what. And so I realized that he was right like I was, I was saying, I wanted to believe in the resurrection, but at the same time I was one to be skeptical of all these other areas. So Is that a kind of a common theme that you see. Is it people like me?

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J P Moreland: Though? I think so, And I think I think that we've associated miracles with ignorant people, and they happen elsewhere. And

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J P Moreland: you know. Ah, we've kind of absorbed naturalism, whether we know it or not. Right? We believe in God and resurrection. But you know we're skeptical about everything else, and I think that we don't want to be gullible or skeptical. We want to be wise, and I believe if you do that, you're going to discover. Ah! And in the book I explain how you can increase your faith in this. But if you start talking to people. You're going to see. A lot of things have been happening in your own church, and you didn't know about it.

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J P Moreland: Now you say It's interesting to me. The title is in Jersey, a simple guide to experiencing miracles. Help me understand what what's simple about experiencing miracles. Well, yes,

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J P Moreland: what I did is, I have fifty carefully vetted miracle stories that I made sure really happened. I interviewed the eyewitnesses. I gathered. I I tested them because my reputation was on the line.

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J P Moreland: Hi churn! And in the book I explain how to recognize the difference between a genuine miracle and just a lucky coincidence,

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J P Moreland: right? And there are ways of knowing when a miracle has happened.

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J P Moreland: And so um! What I do for people is I. I have chapters devoted to five different kinds of miracles, specific answers to prayer, miraculous healings having God speak to you outside Scripture, but under its authority and

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J P Moreland: having near-death experiences and experiencing angels and demons, and I list in there, for example, how we know demons are real,

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J P Moreland: and I've got some evidence for that. So the purpose of the book is to give reasons why each of these kinds of miracles are real, how to tell. They've happened. Um Biblical basis for them, and and and then to try to deal with people skeptical

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J P Moreland: problems with that type of miracle. And then give a ton of examples that are just life-changing.

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J P Moreland: So It's interesting. I don't want to spoil the whole book. I want people to go get it, of course. But what is the difference, then? I mean, that's a between a coincidence and a general mirror called the question Andy. Let me start with science.

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J P Moreland: Um in in. In a whole

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J P Moreland: set of branches of science, like archaeology and anthropology and forensic science. They have developed a way of telling the difference

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J P Moreland: between something happening as the result of an act of a rational agent that

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J P Moreland: okay it it intentionally versus it being a coincidence, so let me give it. And there are. There are two

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J P Moreland: criteria that if they're met, you know beyond any reasonable doubt that what the the thing you're looking at was done by an agent, and isn't a coincidence, and the first one is this:

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J P Moreland: The The phenomenon has to be highly improbable,

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J P Moreland: slightly improbable. But that's not enough, and i'll show you why, in just a minute.

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J P Moreland: The second criterion is that there has to be something special about this phenomenon

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J P Moreland: a part of the fact that it happened.

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J P Moreland: It has to be independently special in some way. Besides the fact that it happened to occur. So let me give you an example. Let's suppose i'm playing bridge with somebody, and we got a five hundred dollar, kitty that we're playing,

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J P Moreland: and

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J P Moreland: lo and Behold, I get a perfect bridge hand, and i'm the dealer on the first deal, and when the when the British hit win the whole thing Now, was that a coincidence? Well, no! Why, man, first of all, it is extremely improbable for anybody to get a perfect bridge hand

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J P Moreland: on the first deal.

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J P Moreland: Um! But But but look ah! The person i'm playing with hand is as improbable as mine, because they got the same number of cards. So if somebody to predict it that they would get this random group of cards ahead of time. We would know that the deck was stacked.

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J P Moreland: So improbability is a necessary point. But it's not enough. What What's second is the

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J P Moreland: there's a difference between the other person's hand and mind. His hand was not special, he

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J P Moreland: fact? The only way to describe. It is some hand or other that he randomly got.

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J P Moreland: My hand, however, is a special hand that,

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J P Moreland: quite independently of the fact that I got it. How so? The rules of Brid say that anybody who gets a hand like that one wins. And so it's a combination of those two that showed that I cheated,

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J P Moreland: and that ah! This was done intentionally by me on on purpose. Ah, this was actually ah applied in a court of law years ago, in a local state elections in the State of Ohio, where there were like seven or eight districts for having local state elections.

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J P Moreland: Um! There were like eight parties running the green party, the libertarian you you name it. And when the ballots came out

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J P Moreland: and all eight districts, the Republican candidate was listed first.

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J P Moreland: That is really improbable. But right now

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J P Moreland: improbable things to happen. However, there's another factor that made it special, and that's because a Republican was in charge of printing the ballots, and we know that whoever's listed first gets more votes just because they're first. So,

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J P Moreland: having the ballot maker,

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J P Moreland: have his party listed first on every ballot is a special everybody that that special before they even friend of the balance.

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J P Moreland: Okay, the combination of the unlikeliness of that happening, plus do this was special,

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J P Moreland: yeah, sure that the court Ah, Ah said Told Ah found this guy guilty of cheating, and he was fine, you know. I forget how much money. So now, if i'm praying for something specifically,

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J P Moreland: it happens, and I've got examples of this, or I am praying for a very specific, miraculous healing.

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J P Moreland: Ah, or God speaks to me about something that was that that it was unlikely that I would be having this lot. But yet I find out that there was something special about that

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J P Moreland: answer prayer, namely, it was exactly what I was praying for before it answered, or there was something special about that miraculous healing, namely, a lot of people were

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J P Moreland: beseeching God because there was an incredible need for that very thing to happen. And then for the speaking, if I find out that this person that I give this what I heard to

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J P Moreland: that was exactly what they were needing to hear, because they were making a decision, and they needed that very thing to help them decide. Well, it was a combination of the improbability of all those things happening, plus There was something special about it besides the fact that some event that was unlikely just happened. And, man, when you get those two together, it it is beyond any reasonable doubt that this was done now, not by a

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J P Moreland: finite human agent, but by a really big agent, and that agent the only kind of agent that you pull that off is God.

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Andy Miller III: Oh, I like. So what? What's one of the examples that you give of that like you? You just kind of gave one to basically talk about praying for something. But what's one of the examples that maybe even surprised you As you entered into this?

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J P Moreland: There is a couple in our church that we've known for twenty years, and they're just godly people, and they had parents

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J P Moreland: that were spent.

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J P Moreland: They got married and spent decades on the mission field, working with poor Hispanic people,

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J P Moreland: Brazil and other South American countries, and they they lived in local huts and or little buildings, and never

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J P Moreland: had any money. They They just lived in kind of poor conditions with the people they were working with.

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J P Moreland: Well, eventually they retired, and they came back to the States, and they moved to the San Diego area, and this happened long ago. The

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J P Moreland: and the wife got a job as a public school elementary school teacher, and the dad continued to work with Hispanic churches

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J P Moreland: in the San Diego area for free. So they had very little income. They had no virtually no savings, maybe two grand, and that was it. But after living in this little apartment for a while, the the wife said to her husband, Honey up,

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J P Moreland: I would really like to close out our final decades If that's how long we have in in a home that's our own, and i'd really like to see if we can get a house. Well, they asked all their family to start praying about this, including this couple, we know,

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J P Moreland: and they started looking. They got a real tour, and they didn't do nothing about the market or about what it took to buy house. So they, this realtor, took them out, and they looked at five or six places, and then the last place they went to was empty, and they walked in,

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J P Moreland: and the the wife just fell in love with it, and said, This is the house that God has for us. I believe. I think this is what my heart says. This is what I want.

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J P Moreland: So they said to the the realtor said, Well,

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J P Moreland: it's going to cost you. I think it was at that time ten or fifteen thousand dollars down, and it'll be, and she calculated it about nine hundred and seventy something dollars a month.

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J P Moreland: How much do you have? Well, they had two grand, and they they could afford maybe four hundred a month

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J P Moreland: she would. They were just absolutely downtrodden. And so they said, Well, we just can't do this.

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J P Moreland: Yeah. And they were getting ready to leave and a knock it. There was a knock at the door, and the Realtor answered it, and there were two men there in suits. They weren't more of a missionaries,

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J P Moreland: haha businessmen, and they said, The realtor is the owner of the home here. She said, Yes, yeah. This couple has been thinking about getting this house so they can in this, These gentlemen said, Look, we'd like to ask if you'd be willing to to make a deal with us.

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J P Moreland: You will allow us to put two cell towers in your backyard, and, my goodness,

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J P Moreland: they won't be eyesores. But if you'll do that, we're prepared to sign a contract right now, and we'll give you ten thousand dollars upfront.

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J P Moreland: Wow! And ten thousand a year for thirty years. Wow! Well, that was exactly what they needed, and they lived in that they both have passed away within the last year or two. They lived there their whole life without paying a penny for that house. Wow! Down payment. What they got a yearly was enough to make their monthly payments.

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Now you look at the

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J P Moreland: odds of those guys. Come into that house

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J P Moreland: right? Look at the odds of them coming to the house while they were there, because they were only there about thirty minutes, and they were getting ready to leave. They'd have been five minutes later. No dice. But they happened to be there at the very time that those people were looking at that house right

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J P Moreland: chances of that plus. It was special because they if they didn't want the house, they would have said, Well, no, we're not interested Right? Sure her house they wanted to get, and couldn't get. So it's clear that God was honoring these dear people, and that was not a coincidence, Dude, That was an answer.

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J P Moreland: God intervened. Oh, what a beautiful example I love that not powerful

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Andy Miller III: One of the challenges in thinking about this is just in general to think about how God interacts and with the world. And what's the nature of his engagement with humanity? And in the natural world at this point. And so this this leads us into a place like there are divergent traditions within, you know, probably within Christian orthodoxy, and some would say, some of this isn't worth but like, for instance, like. Um! Ah! Some would put an emphasis on

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J P Moreland: our faith in our articulation of the of a miracle that should come, and it's it's our fault if it doesn't happen because they don't want to put any blame on God, and some would. Then on the other side would be like, Well, um, ah, God! Just doesn't interact that way. He's giving us medicine. He's given us things. He's just not going to be a part. So I think, like these are two polarities. Can you dress those two groups? I sure can. Two things about this, Andy? First, in the first chapter. Second, I I give eight

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J P Moreland: practical ways that people can do something to increase their faith that these things are real. So you can't boots. You can't just choose to believe more than you believe at that time. But these are things that will help. For example, when you go to church,

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J P Moreland: ask your friends. Look, Don't, be embarrassed. But have you in the last year seen anything an answer to prayer, a healing, or something, that it was beyond any doubt in your mind that it was a miracle, and it wasn't just a coincidence.

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J P Moreland: You're going to be shocked when you start hearing people say, Well, if you want to know the truth. Yeah, I mean, I, for people have said I actually saw an angel, and they explained about it, and so on. And so I've got practical steps to how to grow in this. But I also

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J P Moreland: list fourteen reasons that are carefully thought out as to why God doesn't answer prayer interesting, and

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J P Moreland: and one of them is that we might not. It may be that I don't have the faith I need right there. It may be that God knows that it would be too costly to answer this i'll, maybe the timing draw. Give an example. We prayed

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J P Moreland: for a year for my son-in-law to find a new job because his boss was the boss from hell, because they couldn't stand her. But my

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J P Moreland: son-in-law needed a job. Well, after about a year of praying, this his wife, my daughter ran into somebody.

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J P Moreland: Make a long story short, who needed somebody to do what he did, and out of all the people that applied they hired him and his salary jumped,

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J P Moreland: and they said, The reason we hired you instead of other people is that you'd had at least a year experience doing what you did.

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J P Moreland: Hmm, wow!

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J P Moreland: Not an answer. He would have never gotten this better job, so that he was wrong, and we were privileged to see why he didn't not. Everybody gets to see that.

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J P Moreland: Yeah, the timing's wrong there can be. And so I've got fourteen reasons, and my advice is that if you've been praying for something and nothing's happening, it might not hurt to just look those up

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J P Moreland: and say, I wonder if any of these fourteen jump out out of the page to me, and I think they are applicable to my situation. Maybe two or three or four of them will.

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J P Moreland: Yeah, i'll bet, but i'll bet you one of them will, because they pretty much cover the reasons, and it might help people to make a little bit of sense, and of why God might not be responding when there are a couple I don't want to steal like I want people again to buy the book. What are a couple of other reasons why God doesn't answer prayer.

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J P Moreland: Well, for example, like I said, the timing may not be right. Um, it. It may be that there is, and i'm not kidding about this demonic interference with the, and there are cases of that. It may well be that God wants more people praying.

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J P Moreland: Ah! In order to bless more people when it's answered, so that I just answer the prayer. But he also accomplishes blessing. A larger number of people's faith, because they were part of the praying. And so he's waiting for others to gather like we're told in the Corinthians. It's, you know. It may well be

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J P Moreland: that what God wants is for some other person to be the one that provides the healing for the individual. For example, God knows that they are going to run into that person through his foreknowledge,

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J P Moreland: and it's going to accomplish more for his kingdom. If they're the ones that lay hands and pray

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J P Moreland: rather than the individual that they're receiving for around. So those are. So. Yeah, that's great. Thank you for thanks for dropping into that a little bit. And this enters into the interesting piece, too, with thinking about foreknowledge and the way God interacts in in time and space. It's tremendously interesting. So I mean in in our in our tradition I come from at Wesley Biblical Seminary. We would not believe it.

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J P Moreland: I'm with you about free will, by the way.

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J P Moreland: Oh, well pray to the Lord. Yeah, actually, I've been. I've got often. Yeah, you done. I've worked with William Lane Craig as well, and with both of you philosophers, I think, man, I I think you line up pretty well at the Wesleyan tradition in my book I do. I Well, I love my Calvin as friends.

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J P Moreland: I'm not a Calvinist, and I believe that well, I believe we have full-blown free will,

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J P Moreland: and so. But But this enters into this discussion, too, with how we think about miracles. Are good. Well, if if everything is just bound to happen. It's all been pre-planned. Or maybe we have a compatibleist view of freedom that just thinks that God is this: allowing us to think I mean, how, how, What is the connection there?

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J P Moreland: Well, i'm with you. I mean the The The point is that it kind of becomes

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J P Moreland: hard to figure out why I should exert effort to pray.

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J P Moreland: I mean I should be passive. I'm going to pray, then God will make me pray,

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J P Moreland: and if i'm not going to pray. He'll make me not pray, so i'll just wait and see what happens. But I don't believe in that. By the way, having the view of free will. You and I share helps in

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J P Moreland: not getting discouraged by a unanswer prayer. And here's why. Sometimes we pray for things that God

00:24:22.680 --> 00:24:26.889
J P Moreland: has condescended not to be able to answer.

00:24:26.900 --> 00:24:33.939
J P Moreland: So, for example, God is not going to override a person's free will, but

00:24:33.950 --> 00:25:01.780
J P Moreland: to get a job done in live here. So if i'm praying that somebody's gonna get, say, God will not just jump in and save them in spite of their choices. Ah! The Pharisees resisted the will of God, the Boule of God, the strongest word for Will and I, and and and if you pray for somebody, there's no guarantee that God can save them if they resist and won't, choose him. So what I pray for instead

00:25:01.790 --> 00:25:31.539
J P Moreland: is that God will send people to them. God will bring things into their life that will expose their need. He'll speak to them in their dreams. They'll be listening to the radio and something's going to catch them. So I will pray that God will send harvesters into the field to go after that person. But I won't. Pray that they'll get saved, because because that's not god's. God can't answer that prayer because he's set up the world so that it's up to us, not him,

00:25:31.550 --> 00:25:53.330
J P Moreland: whether we get saved. So people who prayed that somebody to get saved, and and they don't they They think bear doesn't work. But if the reality is that they shouldn't have prayed that to begin with. They should have prayed the things I was suggesting another one a God! Would you give me a job at this place? Well, I mean,

00:25:53.440 --> 00:25:55.589
J P Moreland: how's God going to do that

00:25:55.600 --> 00:26:22.609
J P Moreland: If the owner doesn't like the guy, and he resists God's promptings right right? Right? So what I can pray is that God will provide a job, would I? Yeah, I'd like you to get him a job at this place. Would you move on them when he interviews? Would you just put a light and a glow on his on his interview, and and and just make him shine. And would you open this person's heart to be?

00:26:22.620 --> 00:26:28.089
J P Moreland: To how good he is right? Well, so that's where I leave it. There. Does that make any sense?

00:26:28.100 --> 00:26:51.579
J P Moreland: Oh, yes, this is so helpful! I I I heard you present. I don't know if it's on a podcast or um just a video at some point, probably ten years or so ago, and I had just gotten into some of the academic conversations and listening to you, and and wait people like William Lane Craig and you presented on miracles in, and honestly it threw me off. It threw me for a loop. I just wasn't ready for it at the time,

00:26:51.590 --> 00:27:10.890
Andy Miller III: but what it but then I think God's done a work in my life, and I've opened up doors for me to think about this, about even the nature of how ah! Signs and wonders are part of the way that people come to faith like they come like It's amazing like that within a key a key move in my own personal ministry. Well, one of the things I love is like.

00:27:11.430 --> 00:27:26.729
J P Moreland: People might not know this. If this is their first interaction with you. You're an incredibly sophisticated, respected philosopher and logician, and I really admire that. And I love you. Brought in to this conversations on the interest, this this book

00:27:26.740 --> 00:27:39.919
J P Moreland: logical praying for miracles. I I am this: I needed this. I needed this I need. It is forty two years ago, so tell me about like, How is it we pray for miracles?

00:27:40.030 --> 00:27:55.190
J P Moreland: Well, um! First of all, we all need to just make our request known, and be specific, and be willing to quote, unquote, fail. Look, um! Why not pray for something specific, and if nothing happens, see if you can learn from it.

00:27:55.200 --> 00:28:13.409
J P Moreland: Okay, And maybe one of those fourteen reasons is why. But the the key in in in terms of what we can control is is two things, and one is not to pray for things that would require God to violate somebody's free will to answer

00:28:13.420 --> 00:28:25.129
J P Moreland: instead, pray that there would be influence, and so on. Ah, but but but Don't get discouraged by because you're praying for the wrong thing, and then, secondly,

00:28:25.230 --> 00:28:29.830
J P Moreland: find ways for your faith to grow in this area

00:28:29.840 --> 00:28:49.889
J P Moreland: without you having to try to get it out, and just will yourself to have more faith because you can't do that. But what can do is investigate the right things, read the right books, talk to people, and you will find your faith and your expectation, Skyrocket. So let me give you one of the one of the eight things I suggest.

00:28:49.900 --> 00:28:59.560
J P Moreland: Yeah, I say, give one hundred bucks to the Jesus film and get their newsletter That comes out of, you know, once or twice a month.

00:28:59.570 --> 00:29:15.210
J P Moreland: I'm telling you, Andy, if you read the Jesusville Newsletter, it is acts twenty nine. What's have out the world? Ah! You will be your your your heart and mind will be blown by what these dear people out in the

00:29:15.220 --> 00:29:20.339
J P Moreland: Muslim countries, and they don't tell you where they're at, but they're seeing the

00:29:20.470 --> 00:29:32.490
J P Moreland: things that happened in the Book of Acts, and these people that are going to lie about this because they're earnest people sacrificing their lives for the auto, so get that and read it.

00:29:32.500 --> 00:29:51.020
J P Moreland: You. Secondly, like I said, start making this a topic of conversation. So in your Sunday school class, or you have a couple over for dinner that are believers, ask them. Have you ever seen an answer to prayer or a healing,

00:29:51.030 --> 00:29:54.669
J P Moreland: or had God speak or guide you, or

00:29:54.680 --> 00:30:11.089
J P Moreland: ever experienced an angelic presence or a demonic presence? Or do you know someone who had a near death experience, and in these cases where you were really confident that this wasn't a coincidence, if you are, would you mind telling me about

00:30:11.100 --> 00:30:29.209
J P Moreland: and start asking people. And you're going to get stories starting to pour out. I suggested this in the book, and I got there. There was an email that was sent to me by a gal who had a Bible study with about twenty people.

00:30:29.220 --> 00:30:41.790
J P Moreland: So she decided she was going to do this in one of her meetings and and the study, I think, lasted about an hour, and she emailed me and said: I started off by saying what I just told you to ask

00:30:41.800 --> 00:30:50.389
J P Moreland: right, and she said, Dr. Moore, and then you're not going to believe this. But the study went for two and a half hours, and I couldn't give people to shut up.

00:30:50.400 --> 00:31:02.330
J P Moreland: There must have been twenty to twenty-five miracle stories that were darn credible. They could not have been coincidence, and we all got on our knees. People were crying.

00:31:02.340 --> 00:31:19.289
J P Moreland: Ah! They were just crying out to God for His for his re out, because he was real and good, and he said, i'm glad I did that, because if I'd never asked these people I would have never known that sitting in this room where people had seen God do things that were supernatural.

00:31:19.300 --> 00:31:25.379
J P Moreland: Wow! That's another. That's just one of the eight. Those are two of the eight things that I I list there.

00:31:25.390 --> 00:31:36.890
J P Moreland: Yeah. Oh, it's great in just creating a sense of the communal belief that, like we have this. Yeah, absolutely huge fuck. Sorry, I interrupted you.

00:31:36.900 --> 00:31:53.250
Andy Miller III: No, it's good. No, it's up that people together are willing to talk about this, and then anticipate and pray for it like. If you're aware of things that have happened that you brought up several times. And this is a a key part of your book I think we have time to talk about, at least briefly, but the role of angelic and demonic forces.

00:31:53.260 --> 00:32:22.410
J P Moreland: And this is something that we've emphasized actually in the last year and a half as a seminary teaching a class on spiritual warfare, and that um, and some people think Oh, it's kind of dangerous there that you you don't quite know you're doing in Scripture to isn't it, and it's super clear on this subject. So let's just be careful. But you you go after this, and in the helpful way. So it's talking about. It's dangerous not to be in bosses that here at the

00:32:22.420 --> 00:32:30.649
J P Moreland: the level. Yeah, we are naive if we're not aware. So in in in the it is now

00:32:30.660 --> 00:32:59.850
J P Moreland: almost universally agreed among New Testament scholars that believers can be demonized. They Don't make a distinction between demon possession and human oppression that was based on a mistranslation of the King James, the only two words in the new testimeter to be demonized, or to have a demon in one, and Paul writes Christians and Ephesians, and he says, Don't, allow the devil to have a top boss in in you that top boss topography. That means a place in you, Don't. Let a demon

00:32:59.860 --> 00:33:28.980
J P Moreland: have entry and set up a place in your soul, so Christians can be demonized and and have a demon in them just like unbelievers, but perhaps not to the degree of control that an unbeliever can have. But it's still, too. And so I give reasons how we know demons are real Number one. The Bible teaches it, and and the Bible's withstood criticism for centuries, and it's her my respect, and I trust it

00:33:28.990 --> 00:33:40.290
J P Moreland: it says that I just, I trust it not blindly, but I it's borne itself out too many times for me to count. I've been doing this. I've been a believer in fifty four years. I may be dumb, but i'm not stupid.

00:33:40.800 --> 00:33:43.710
J P Moreland: I know that by the Bibles are reliable. Secondly,

00:33:43.740 --> 00:33:47.550
J P Moreland: the person that is supposedly demonized,

00:33:47.790 --> 00:33:57.699
J P Moreland: cannot do the things the Bible says A demonized person can't do like acknowledge in your presence that Jesus is Lord

00:33:57.710 --> 00:34:02.329
J P Moreland: Um love the fellowship of the brethren um

00:34:03.000 --> 00:34:08.320
J P Moreland: drawn to the Word of God. They shriek at the Word of God. They hate Christians.

00:34:08.330 --> 00:34:26.279
J P Moreland: See people with the with the multiple personalities, or that sort of thing. They they they can say Jesus's Lord, He doesn't mean anything to him. Ah! That they sometimes love being around Christians. Ah! And also they. They may read the Bible and enjoy reading it. There's no connection

00:34:26.290 --> 00:34:32.490
J P Moreland: there. But if you find somebody who can't do the things, and I list some of those Yeah, say, Jesus is Lord.

00:34:32.500 --> 00:34:40.590
J P Moreland: No number three, if nothing else works. They've been on medication. They've

00:34:40.600 --> 00:34:56.060
J P Moreland: right. They've been on in therapy, and nothing works, but they go to a session where people like hence on them, and pray in the name of Jesus, and in the bases of His shed blood. If there's any evil spirit they have to leave, and they can't come back,

00:34:56.070 --> 00:35:10.979
J P Moreland: and and if they are delivered and healed, then that's evidence that it was a demon. It wasn't a psychological problem because the therapy and the Meds didn't work. Now, the case of that, the bottom line is

00:35:10.990 --> 00:35:24.619
J P Moreland: that a a a father who is a psychiatrist and a mother who is a therapist. Ah had given beds and therapy to their teenage daughter, who had been acting out weirdly

00:35:24.710 --> 00:35:26.990
J P Moreland: for a couple of years,

00:35:27.000 --> 00:35:46.030
J P Moreland: and finally he found out about about me and our and our my church the church I go to, and that we pray for the sick, and and we believe in the demonic. And so they asked if she could come. So we One Sunday morning she their family, came, and I had about seven people who really have experienced praying

00:35:46.040 --> 00:35:52.999
J P Moreland: against demons, and we went over to the side of the church after the service, and we we laid hands on her. We

00:35:53.010 --> 00:36:19.189
J P Moreland: and prayed over about twenty minutes, and we first of all just spoke love and truth, and you know I won't say her name. But Jesus really does love you. He's not mad at you, and He cares for you. And then we began to speak to any spirits that were in her. We didn't yell. We just commanded them. They were going to leave. Well, what happened is two weeks later I got an email from the mom saying

00:36:19.200 --> 00:36:23.820
J P Moreland: You're not going to believe this. But since that instance

00:36:24.010 --> 00:36:27.089
J P Moreland: she has been normal ever since.

00:36:27.100 --> 00:36:27.919
J P Moreland: Now,

00:36:28.640 --> 00:36:30.340
J P Moreland: four years later,

00:36:31.040 --> 00:36:33.290
J P Moreland: I got an email from this Mall

00:36:33.300 --> 00:36:36.669
J P Moreland: and I, she said. I thought i'd give you an update on my daughter.

00:36:37.880 --> 00:36:50.170
J P Moreland: Ever since that day she has been on fire for Christ. She's in college, and she's leading her Christian group at a Bible study. She has never

00:36:50.240 --> 00:37:01.359
J P Moreland: acted out like that again. That's an example where somebody was delivered. But metad medicine therapy didn't work. Now, here's the why we know demons are real.

00:37:01.370 --> 00:37:05.329
J P Moreland: I knew no two Phds that had this happen to them

00:37:05.680 --> 00:37:17.290
J P Moreland: If you're in a in a say you've got a group of people that have gathered together to pray over somebody, just in case they might be demonized. You don't know. But you're going to pray,

00:37:17.580 --> 00:37:19.240
J P Moreland: and

00:37:19.660 --> 00:37:25.109
J P Moreland: as you start praying, the person stops and says, Wait a minute.

00:37:25.310 --> 00:37:33.089
J P Moreland: I know where you were last Tuesday night, and you were in a bookstore looking at pornographic literature, you

00:37:33.100 --> 00:37:40.780
J P Moreland: How interesting! And you, sir, were doing such and such. And you didn't tell

00:37:41.250 --> 00:38:00.280
J P Moreland: your boss about some things you took from the office when you went home, and here's what you took, and both I know two professors and they. This person went around the room and told everybody something they done when they did it, and what happened? So he went to them.

00:38:00.290 --> 00:38:02.390
J P Moreland: After this per session.

00:38:02.410 --> 00:38:10.269
J P Moreland: Every single one of them were white, and their jaws were on the floor, and they so told these two. They don't know each other the

00:38:10.280 --> 00:38:22.789
J P Moreland: every that they were. They nailed me what they said I was actually this: i'm embarrassed to say that. And he said, The lesson is, Confess your sins before you.

00:38:22.800 --> 00:38:24.890
J P Moreland: There is no explanation for that, Andy.

00:38:24.900 --> 00:38:28.490
J P Moreland: Wow! And And there are too many cases of this that's happened.

00:38:28.500 --> 00:38:43.530
Andy Miller III: How does that enter into thinking about like one of the challenges I struggle with with thinking about? Personalized Satan is the the limitations that can be upon him like we think of God as omnipresent, but, like you,

00:38:43.540 --> 00:39:01.519
J P Moreland: how how can that happen? How could there. But say not be an omni present. And yeah, help me think through that.

00:39:01.530 --> 00:39:11.070
J P Moreland: So So his literal presence at a location doesn't mean anything as to what is also going on in that location.

00:39:11.080 --> 00:39:40.569
J P Moreland: He is at the very same place where a race occurred, or he's a place where someone is giving to a work or so, so his being is present when there's evil and good. So in the argument that how could God's holy presence be in someone when there's a demonic presence there doesn't cut muster, because then you have to say, well, he isn't present whenever a sin occurs, and he isn't present in hell, and that means he's not on your present.

00:39:40.580 --> 00:39:45.109
J P Moreland: What What people really need to understand is that

00:39:45.370 --> 00:40:03.690
J P Moreland: God, God's presence, when we get saved, is relational, because he then becomes intimately connected with within us, whereas before he was still on the present there. But he wasn't attached, and he wasn't in

00:40:03.950 --> 00:40:23.230
J P Moreland: regenerative relationship with us. So the the demon cannot can be in us, and God can be present there too, and God may allow your free will to determine how much you will allow this demon to do. Sometimes he may just show mercy. The best book on this.

00:40:23.380 --> 00:40:46.689
J P Moreland: I've got a tremendous bibliography in the back of the book, where I trust every book in there. I read them, and I trust them. And and the best book on the on on Dealing with Demons is by Charles Kraft, Kr. Afd. Defeating dark angels. If anybody wants to know about this, that's the book to get about how to start ministering this way,

00:40:46.700 --> 00:40:57.560
Andy Miller III: I think It's helpful for us. Interesting enough. Probably about the same time this podcast comes out. I had Brian Fickert on who is the author of when helping Hertz,

00:40:57.570 --> 00:41:25.669
Andy Miller III: and he has a new book out called Becoming Whole, and one of the interesting things that he includes is even thinking of social problems. So he uses the example of somebody coming to your church looking for help, paying for um, electric bill or something. Well, he's like you the kind of the tip. There's one of two responses a lot of times people have. Well, it's um that individual's problem, or it's a societal problem like It's one or two, you know, personal corporate. He says you have to consider both. But then he also said, Or you consider, too,

00:41:25.680 --> 00:41:47.319
J P Moreland: the role of the demonic as somebody who served for fifteen years in the Salvation Army like I've just aware that often this is what's happening, and I look back into my own ministry, and i'm aware that man. I think I probably could have prayed more in a more focused way for folks who could experience this. I've got the same experience I look for.

00:41:47.330 --> 00:41:55.250
J P Moreland: Where was I? You know the the Bible is so genius, but it says, you know we've got three fundamental things against us.

00:41:55.390 --> 00:42:12.650
J P Moreland: The the world, which is that part of non-christian culture contrary to the word. There's some things in non-christian culture that are good and fine. It's not all of it, but it's the world is that part of the and John regenerate world that is contrary to knowledge of God and his words. Secondly,

00:42:12.660 --> 00:42:24.589
J P Moreland: the flesh, that is, the thing that the evil, the dispositions toward doing the wrong thing, and sinning that are still in me. When i'm saying, the devil

00:42:24.600 --> 00:42:34.889
J P Moreland: and yes, all the devil, it's all three, but i'm not going to be. I'm not going to rule out one third of this. I want to know how to deal with all of it, because I want to be a healthy, growing Christian.

00:42:34.900 --> 00:42:42.529
Andy Miller III: Yes, beautiful. The other thing is that you have mentioned here is, and I've learned about this, like the first person to introduce me. This is Gary Habermas,

00:42:42.540 --> 00:42:58.429
J P Moreland: with the idea of near-death experiences, and so this this is another case that you deal with in this book. So talk to me just briefly about that. I know we only have a few more minutes, but I love to. Here. I have a chapter there, and what I deal with is is

00:42:58.440 --> 00:43:10.489
J P Moreland: people rightly? Ah might have a little bit of a Biblical objection to these. But the truth of the matter is that there are about three hundred million of these that have occurred all over the crazy

00:43:10.500 --> 00:43:12.720
J P Moreland: Yeah. And uh

00:43:12.880 --> 00:43:18.290
J P Moreland: tens of one out of twenty five people in America has had in your death experience, but

00:43:18.300 --> 00:43:26.290
J P Moreland: including atheists, including little children that were three years old and didn't know what was going on. But they reported,

00:43:26.300 --> 00:43:46.080
J P Moreland: And so what I do is I I list the Biblical objections people have, and showed that they really are misunderstanding in the Bible. So i'm going to say ninety five percent of the ones that are reported are are consistent with the word five percent that i'm going to rule out. So please read that chapter,

00:43:46.090 --> 00:44:15.850
J P Moreland: and I I reference another important book that has stories that it also focuses on Christian objections to the, to the credibility of these on Biblical grounds. But in the in that chapter I try to show that these are consistent. Ninety-five percent of them are consistent with the word So I, if people don't agree with me they're watching. Would you please just give me a chance to make my case? That's ahead. So then I then I refute the naturalistic explanations of these and show they

00:44:15.860 --> 00:44:41.400
J P Moreland: can't be. Explain naturalistically. And then I've got some cases in there that are. Mind-blowing. I'll tell you one real quickly, right I'm speaking at a huge conference with about one thousand five hundred people, and I was not. I was sick. I was not feeling good, so when I was when I finish a talk I like to hang around and visit with people, but you know, so I just went straight to the parking lot, and and a gentleman, for

00:44:41.530 --> 00:44:49.889
J P Moreland: I just. I just didn't have it in me. And he said, Dr. More than would you stop for just a second? I said, Yes, sir, What? What, what, How can I help you?

00:44:49.980 --> 00:44:57.789
J P Moreland: He said. I am perhaps the most highly regarded cardiologist is the city of Pittsburgh.

00:44:57.800 --> 00:45:00.950
J P Moreland: Okay, an honest statement.

00:45:00.990 --> 00:45:10.230
J P Moreland: I was an ambitious, self-absorbed didn't care about my wife or anybody else.

00:45:10.240 --> 00:45:23.259
J P Moreland: Yeah, and oh, and I was on duty in the er one night, and a woman was brought in, and she had had a severe heart attack, and I examined her

00:45:23.270 --> 00:45:24.750
and she coded.

00:45:24.810 --> 00:45:28.990
J P Moreland: There was another doctor. She was completely unconscious when she came the

00:45:29.000 --> 00:45:35.619
J P Moreland: when you say coated, he died. Yeah, okay, died and no brain. Everything was born Okay,

00:45:35.720 --> 00:45:48.689
J P Moreland: and she was dead for twenty to twenty five minutes, because they did everything to try to bring her back. And there was another doctor there that we had this long beard. He was a tall guy, and the nurses started coming in.

00:45:48.720 --> 00:45:56.889
J P Moreland: Finally they they did the paddles, and after about twenty five minutes he said she She kicked back in,

00:45:56.900 --> 00:45:58.989
J P Moreland: and we stabilized her heart, and

00:45:59.000 --> 00:46:03.339
J P Moreland: I went home. I was so exhausted I went home.

00:46:03.420 --> 00:46:07.859
J P Moreland: The next morning I went back to do rounds in the er, and I

00:46:08.050 --> 00:46:12.410
J P Moreland: just wanted to check in on her, and I went into a room, and she was awake.

00:46:12.630 --> 00:46:20.160
J P Moreland: She said to me, Thank you for saving my life, and I was shocked because she'd never seen me,

00:46:24.610 --> 00:46:28.989
J P Moreland: she said. I said, What are you talking about? I said. Well, last night

00:46:29.540 --> 00:46:48.890
J P Moreland: when you, when I was brought in, I I remember dying on the operating on the table, and I remember lifted lifting up, and I was watching you and this taller doctor with this really big beer, and that guy was not even there in the rounds. This guy's getting freaked out,

00:46:48.900 --> 00:47:06.059
J P Moreland: and you were working on me, and none of the paddles were working, and there were nurses, and this one had a blue outfit on. But the others had white outfits on. They were running around trying to do things, and finally I I. And by the way, she she was a believer, and she

00:47:06.070 --> 00:47:16.379
J P Moreland: uh she! She met the Lord Jesus up on the on the ceiling, and he was next to her. She she could actually be aware of his his presence.

00:47:16.510 --> 00:47:34.080
J P Moreland: And and and this Guy said, and and I want to give you a link to my video, because I have given testimonies about this to secular groups, and I then and that Sunday I went to church,

00:47:34.130 --> 00:47:48.690
J P Moreland: and and I thank God it was a Bible believing Church because they had an altar call, and I went for it, and I got saved. Wow! I have been on fire for Christ ever since that happened, because there is no way that woman could have described it

00:47:48.700 --> 00:47:58.280
J P Moreland: any of that to me, because i'm a cardiologist, and I know what the heck i'm talking about. She was dead, and it changed this guy's life.

00:47:58.290 --> 00:48:15.640
J P Moreland: Wow! And I've heard these interesting stories, too, of people who have been able to describe events that have happened like down the road. I know there are floors, I mean three hundred thousand, and doctors have checked them out

00:48:15.650 --> 00:48:21.850
J P Moreland: by interviewing the people they allegedly saw, and it's in the medical report.

00:48:21.910 --> 00:48:40.389
J P Moreland: This is empirically proven Now it. But let me see, like one of the things that's interesting about this, and why this is, I think, it correct me and wrong. Let me see I can. Ah describe what this means is that we live in a supernatural universe where there's more than just the physical realm that we experience the physical world a naturalistic world.

00:48:40.400 --> 00:48:49.690
J P Moreland: If that's the case that if we live in a world where there's such a thing can happen like in your experience that should clue us into the fact that miracles can happen.

00:48:49.700 --> 00:48:59.230
J P Moreland: We're not we. We have a soul. First of all, we're not just like, but like the scientists supposedly have shown which is nonsense. Yeah, look Atly, There's life after death.

00:48:59.240 --> 00:49:06.830
J P Moreland: Amen. And some people go to hell. Yeah. And they have an experience, and and God is gracious and

00:49:06.910 --> 00:49:22.690
J P Moreland: and and they come to Jesus, or what. But anyway, you you're you're spot on brother, because i'm telling you whether you like it or not. This life isn't all there is, and when you die, Dallas Lord used to say you might not even know you're dead.

00:49:22.700 --> 00:49:27.930
J P Moreland: Wow! Thank you. And I've got a There's a story where a guy died, and he was

00:49:28.040 --> 00:49:42.790
J P Moreland: he's sitting next to his body, and he didn't know he was dead, and he was talking to some of the nurses, and they weren't they weren't talking to him, and he happened to look over, And he said, Galilee, this is the cheap hospital. Why did they put two of us in this tiny bed

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Andy Miller III: and ah

00:49:43.600 --> 00:49:52.690
J P Moreland: up in the face, and it was his body, and he said, Dad, he didn't know he was dead, because all he did was what happened? Was he just left his body

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J P Moreland: in it, or anything like that? We don't get to see that side except some people

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J P Moreland: actually witness. So that's my answer. Wow! Oh, I love it! This is so helpful, and I love the practicality of this book. So again, everybody it's experienced a a simple guy to experiencing miracles, instruction, and inspiration for leaving supernaturally in crisis published by Zanderman, and we're really thankful that we've had opportunity to speak with Dr. J. P. Morland today, Dr. Morland. It's really a blessing to hear from you, and here passion, and we we just start to talk a little bit about anthropology there a little bit.

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Andy Miller III: That's another subject that you've written really well on in the past. So I just encourage people to look you up. Where Can they find out more about you?

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J P Moreland: Oh, Amazon, Dot Com. That's okay.

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J P Moreland: I'm not a website, guy, but but hey, I've enjoyed being with you. And please have me on again. I have to go to an appointment, but it's been Ah, it's been a joy, Brother, God bless you!

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Andy Miller III: God bless you!

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