Review: The Miracles in the Gospels

9781619708327oKeith Warrington is Vice-Principal and Director of Doctoral Studies at Regents Theological College, Malvern, United Kingdom. Warrington did graduate work under R. T. France and James D. G. Dunn, received a PhD from King’s College, London, and has authored numerous articles and books, including Pentecostal Theology: A Theology of Encounter (T&T Clark, 2008) and The Message of the Holy Spirit (IVP Academic, 2009). Most recently, Warrington has published a landmark exploration on Jesus and the recorded miracles of the Gospels.

The Miracles in the Gospels: What Do They Teach Us About Jesus? takes the reader on a comprehensive journey through every miracle performed by Jesus in the Gospels and offers an intentional look into how each demonstrates the divinity of Christ. As Warrington explains, “to miss this portrait of God as he is radiated in Jesus through the writings of the Gospels is to rob oneself of extraordinary opportunities to discover significant truth” (p. 1). Thus, Warrington moves the reader beyond the surface-level meaning of the text and into the realm of authorial intent in the inclusion of the various miracle narratives. This is not to say that the Gospel records are not accurate according to Warrington. But, rather that the authors of the Gospels intend to demonstrate more about Jesus by how they include miracle stories in their overall gospel narrative.

The structure of the book is extremely helpful and Warrington has provided thorough documentation throughout. The book opens (chapter 2) with a brief exploration into the social and religious landscape of Jesus’ miraculous ministry, followed by an investigation into the purpose of the miracles of Jesus (chapter 3). Warrington concludes that Jesus’ miracles provide opportunity for him to establish his authority, status, and relationship with God, as well as demonstrate the initiation of the Kingdom of God. The bulk of the book is comprised of a survey of every miracle recorded in the Gospels (chapters 4-7), beginning with miracles of healing, followed by exorcisms, and ending with miracles of nature. It is here that Warrington’s work shines the brightest. Warrington first explores the Synoptics and provides a table of parallel accounts at the opening of each miracle. This helps the reader remain contextually minded as each miracle is discussed. Lastly, Warrington provides a masterful treatment of the Gospel of John, including similar tables as the Synoptics for context.

The Miracles in the Gospels: What Do They Teach Us About Jesus? by Keith Warrington is an important and timely study. Warrington has brought a new sense of depth to an aspect of Jesus’ ministry that is far too often oversimplified and underemphasized in Christian circles today. Attention is taken off Jesus as a mere miracle worker and focused on the author’s intention in including the miracle in the narrative. The readers of Warrington’s work here will learn much and benefit greatly for years to come. In fact, it is safe to assume that Warrington could alter the way we read the Gospels for the foreseeable future. The combination of biblical exegesis and practical experience offers readers a worthwhile study that deserves the widest readership possible. It comes highly recommended!

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One thought on “Review: The Miracles in the Gospels

  1. Reblogged this on Hendrickson Publishers Blog and commented:
    “The Miracles in the Gospels: What Do They Teach Us About Jesus? by Keith Warrington is an important and timely study. Warrington has brought a new sense of depth to an aspect of Jesus’ ministry that is far too often oversimplified and underemphasized in Christian circles today. ”

    Many thanks to John Kight for an excellent review of The Miracles in the Gospels!

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