Maybe it's been since the Enlightenment and/or maybe it's come through Aquinas with his Aristotelian nature/grace divide, but either way... Today we tend to imagine the interaction of nature and "super-nature" like this:
Nature is the solid and certain thing. And it has its own self-determined course. But every now and again this ethereal, super-natural world shows up and freaky stuff happens. Then it's back to business as usual.
Of course once you grant the certainty and self-sufficiency of "nature" you're already committed to explaining away all "freaky stuff." And, hey presto, naturalism.
Many of us will know how infuriating it is to engage with an atheist who has already defined God out of the equation through assumptions like these. There is, perhaps, only one thing more infuriating. That is the Christian who shares the atheist's assumptions but protests loudly: "No, seriously guys, God is really at work because I could tell you some seriously freaky stories..."
No, no. We need to frame the whole thing more biblically. I suggest, like this:
It's the old creation that is, in some sense, less real than the new. It is subject to futility and plunging down into death. There is an arrow here - there is a direction - but under Adam, that direction is downwards.
Overall however there is progress because the second Adam has come. And He brings new creation. The reality of this in-breaking kingdom holds true in Christ Himself and spiritually we belong to that new reality, even as we wait in this passing age.
See the Leithart article for more on this eschatological view of "supernature".
But let's ask: What does it look like for God to show up?
Well God is at work in the Old Creation and intimately so, it's just that Old Creation goes from life to death. This is God's alien work, but His work nonetheless. Overall though His proper work is the renewal of all things under the feet of Christ (from death to life). Therefore the signs of His coming kingdom are restoration and recreation. Freaky is not really the point. New life is.
I have some friends who appreciate my emphasis on "the word" but wish I would equally emphasize the work of the Spirit. I long more and more to be a man of the Spirit but they mean something different by that phrase. When pushed on how Spirit-filled ministry looks, they point to miracles, tongues and words of knowledge. They are adamant that the word - proclamation, preaching, teaching - is absolutely vital. A necessary foundation. But, they say, we also need God to show up. And, again, when pressed on what they mean they point to experiences in worship, of being slain in the Spirit and miracles. These are the unmistakeable signs that God is alive and well and active in His world.
I just wonder whether a Christianized version of the Enlightenment worldview is going on. "Nature" equals the ordinary operations of church - church structures, preaching, band practice. But when God shows up it's freaky stuff. There is normal life that grinds along according to rules and regulations. Then there is the Spirit who, almost by definition, works outside of structures. Regularity and order is fine. But Spirit equals spontaneous and sporadic.
What would it look like to see the work of the Spirit in the context of the second diagram? Here word and Spirit are not two spheres of activity (one being "natural" and the other "supernatural"). Word-and-Spirit is the way the gospel of Christ is proclaimed. And in that context we see new life. Through the gospel, the Spirit spotlights Christ. He opens hearts to Jesus. He draws believers to their Lord and to each other. He empowers the church to live in love. And yes He heals today, of course He does. But the healing is not the point where God shows up. Both the word of the Kingdom and the signs of the kingdom (which include all kinds of new life) are the work of the Spirit.