Re: BIBLE/BRAIN:Clairvoyance/Interpretation/Evolution (long)

Bill Frix (
Thu, 29 Aug 1996 10:05:22 GMT-5

On 28 Aug, Michael J. Rankin said:

> Can either of you, or anyone who cares to comment explain or give theory to the
> issue of clairvoyance and being Christian?
> My youngest son has had two incidences whereby he dreamed about an event that
> later happened. Is this coming from God or where? He is born again and
> baptized.
> If you take it a step further, and you believe what has been said
> about Nostradamas, who was feeding him information? What about the
> apparitions throughout history? There are many reported sightings
> of Mother Mary to people with instructions and foretelling of
> events.

First, Deuteronomy 18:22 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5 show us that
prophecies can come from sources other than God; these prophecies
may even come true. The ultimate question is, from what source do
visions, prophecies, etc. come.

From a personal experience, before I became a Christian, I was
sitting in my dorm room in college, feeling sorry for myself. Having
been brought up in a church home (although I don't consider I was a
Christian at that time), I began crying out to God about how I was
feeling. A few days later, I had a strong dream about a city I had
never seen before. At the time, I was waiting to hear about a job
interview - when I awoke from the dream, I felt confident that God
was speaking to me, assuring me about the interview. Sure enough,
about 1 hour later I heard from the company that they wanted me to
come for an interview. What makes this dream uncanny is that, when I
went to the interview city, I looked out the window of the bus I was
on and saw the city in my dream exactly the same, down to sequence
of the traffic lights and the dress and motions of the pedestrians
(the free will / predestination debate has a field day over this!).
I was and still am convince that God sent a vision to show me that
He existed and cared.

Again, the point is not so much whether paranormal events exist but
what is their source. Some "visions" are the result of hyperactive
imaginations (there is the problem of self-fulfilling prophecies);
some visions come from demonic forces (Deu. 13:1-5); some prophecies
are from God. Our task is to separate the sham from the real; the
demonic from the divine. The criteria for separation are given in
Deuteronomy: any prophecy/vision that does not come true is not from
God and any prophet who makes a mistake is not from God (this lets
out Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon, etc., who have all made erroneous
prophecies). Even if prophecies come true, God may not be the
source - only those prophecies that agree with God's revealed Word
in the person of Jesus Christ and in the words of the Bible will
come from God. The big danger is that little prophecies that have
nothing to do with issues related to Christ will draw us away from
Him. In the case of your son, he should be made aware that
prophecies are not to be trusted nor used as guidance for our life -
only God Himself as He has already revealed Himself. If a prophecy
is received and it comes true, then praise God for His assurance
that He knows where we are and what we will be doing before it
happens. This is another test: any prophecy that glorifies God in
the person of Christ is from God (1 Corin 12:23), any prophecy that
glorifies a person, a thing, a concept (like the U.S.) or a spirit
being, is not from God (this is why I personally question if the
many visions of Mary are from God: the visions often command a shrine
or monument to be built dedicated to Mary or another saint).

> Does God, as in the bible, still communicate with such clarity from the world of
> the Spirit to the world of the flesh?

First, God CAN still speak, if He so chooses. Joseph Smith of the
Mormon church claimed to have seen a vision of God and to have
spoken with Him, as did Mohammed of the Islamic faith. Giving them
the benefit of the doubt, the question is who did they see and with
whom did they speak (see my earlier comments). This shows one reason
God does not ordinarily choose to speak or to show visions like He
did in the Old Testament. "God, after He spoke long ago to the
fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these
last days has spoken to us in {His} Son, whom He appointed heir of
all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the
radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature,
..." (NAS, Heb 1:1-3 ). God does not ordinarily choose to speak in
visions or prophecies these days because the original intent of the
visions or prophecies was to show us about God: today we have Jesus
and the Bible. Visions, prophecies and works of power are still
used, I believe, when God needs to reach people who do not know of

> Without confusing the whole issue with too many caveats and ideas,
> can you address the literal translation of the bible.

In my opinion, God chose persons to write the Bible. He used that
person's characteristics and experiences to shape what He (God)
wanted to be revealed. You must realize that not everything about
God's kingdom is revealed, not even everything that Jesus did was
recorded (John 21:25). What is revealed is chosen by God,
administered by God, and confirmed by God. In its original language,
in the context in which it was written, the human authors of the
sacred scripture wrote as they felt moved by God; their experiences
and created nature being used by God to shape the messsage He wanted
revealed. Our challenge is to study what was written, understand why
they wrote it, and take it in the context of the environment in which
it was written. This is my opinion.

> I have been observing the discussion of the 6/24. The world was
> created by God in 6 days and those days were 24 hour days. I
> commented that I don't think we know and that comment was
> rendered heresy.

I have a personal concern with the 144 hour creation theory,
although if you press me to have faith in either creation as revealed
in the Bible or evolution as revealed in science, I will chuck
science and cling to the Bible as my source of knowledge. My concern
is this: on the first day God created light and separated light from
darkness - it was this separation between light and darkness that
defined a day. Unfortunately, the sun, the moon and the stars were
not created until the fourth day. Our modern concept of a day is
defined by a rotation of the earth, resulting in the "rising and
setting" of the sun. If the sun was not created until the fourth
day, in what sense was a "day" defined? Surely, not by a sunrise and
a sunset (note the Bible doesn't use the concept of a sunrise or a
sunset in these passages, but the concept of an evening and a
morning, which are different words in the Hebrew).

> Quite frankly, if the bible were determined to be somewhat in
> error because they discovered something in the dead sea scrolls,
> it wouldn't hurt my faith or belief in God, therefore what role do
> you think the bible plays in this scenario, in our faith, in it's
> translation? My concern is the implication that we are not
> Christian if we don't accept everything in the bible because it is
> a translation or interpretation by a human, who does not know the
> mind of God. When someone says they do that really alarms me.

I have what is called a literalistic view of the Bible, which is
different from a literal view of the Bible. A literal view of the
Bible sees God having wings (e.g., Psalm 36:7); the literalist
believes the Bible should be read as it is plainly written: an
allegory where one is intended (Psalm 36:7), planely elsewhere. I
also listen to other people's interpretations but believe the Bible
stands on its own merit and is its own interpretation; when
understood in its context and original languages. There are concepts
in the ancient languages and cultures that do not come across in
English (the Hebrew word for woman is a play on words, like a little
sparkle of fun in the creation)

Is a person a Christian if they don't believe in the literalistic
interpretation of the Bible? That depends. If you don't believe in
the literal death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, how can you be a
Christian? If you don't believe Jesus was/is the incarnate God, you
are not a Christian (John 8:24). A person is a Christian by their
faith in Christ Jesus, not by their belief in how many hours it took
God to create the world. It ultimately comes down to whether a
person has placed their ultimate faith in Christ and not in their
understanding (Proverbs 3:5-7).

That's enough preaching (at least, for now).

William M. Frix
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Box 3021
John Brown University
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Phone: (501) 524-7466
FAX: (501) 524-9548