I’m reading snippets of Daniel Mark Epstein’s Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson before bed every night. Last night I read about the instant healing of a young girl with severe rheumatoid arthritis. After presenting the account, Epstein reflected on Sister Aimee’s miracle ministry:
The healings present a monstrous obstacle to scientific historiography. If events transpired as newspapers, letters, and testimonials say they did, then Aimee Semple McPherson’s healing ministry was miraculous. Since a miracle by definition is a thing which defies reality, there is no place in scholarly or scientific history for recurrent miracles.
It would be convenient if we could find some evidence that Sister Aimee’s miraculous healings were faked for the benefit of publicity; but there is no such evidence. Alas, the documentation is overwhelming: very sick people came to Sister Aimee by the tens of thousands, blind, deaf, paralyzed. Many were healed, some temporarily, some forever. She would point to heaven, to Christ the Great Healer, and would take no credit for the results. (p. 111)
Though, Epstein then attempts to explain the healings as a natural occurrence, I doubt even he really believes tens of thousands of miracles in Sister Aimee’s ministry occurred naturally, simply because people found her compelling.
The interesting thing about living in the modern era is that, while many assume modern biology and physics has rendered Christianity absurd, there is also the fact that there is more documented evidence of miraculous activity than ever in history (and yes I’m talking to you Cessationists as well). It is simply unreasonable in the modern era to not believe in some form of supernatural intervention. While Christians must take the challenges of biology and physics seriously, we also must remember that we have evidence too.