Re: [asa] The Big Sleep

From: Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
Date: Mon Sep 08 2008 - 20:00:45 EDT

Yep, you're missing something...

First, you're missing that every Christian ministers the gospel of Christ.

Second, you're missing that I am not a cessasionist.

Third, you're missing that one doesn't have to categorically divide human experience into EITHER "spiritual" OR "natural"

Fourth, you're missing that Theistic Evolutionists don't claim that naturalistic explanations are comprehensive or that they negate/eliminate claims of divine involvement.

Fifth, you're missing that invoking God in a claim about origins doesn't give that claim some sort of intrinsic authority - so, for instance, my objection to your own rather curious mathematical formulations is not that God COULDN'T put a numerological code in Scripture, it's based on the view that you haven't substantiated that claim.

Sixth, you're missing the fact that one should have good reasons for invoking claims of divine (or demonic) activity. Just because one WANTS to find God or Satan lurking behind every corner, or WANTS to invoke the spiritual as the sole explanatory hypothesis for whatever bizarre theory one wishes to conjure up, doesn't mean that the rest of us can be categorized as Dawkin's-like pseudo-atheists who dismiss the spiritual on the basis of an a priori philosophical agenda.

Tell you what, Vernon, rather than play the hypothetical game - why don't you cite a contemporary case of demon possession of the sort encountered in Mark, and your reasons for believing it to be just that sort of case, and then we'll talk some more.

In the meantime, could you please refrain from casting aspersions at myself or others just because we don't swallow hook-line-and-sinker every claim regarding a purported divine action?

The irony here, Vernon, is that in invoking C.S.Lewis to the effect that I and others disbelieve in the existence of devils, you seem to have overlooked that he sounds a warning in respects of the opposite extreme: one ought not to have an unhealthy obsession with their existence either.

At the end of the day, I try to keep passages like 1 John 4:1 and Acts 17:11 in mind as I think a degree of spiritual discernment based on prayerful reading of the scriptures under the influence of the Holy Spirit is a better guide to such questions than a materialistic metaphysic. Which is why, incidentally, I'm not a materialist.

Blessings,
Murray Hogg
Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology

Vernon Jenkins wrote:
> To those of the forum who minister the Gospel of Christ - especially Michael Roberts, George Murphy and Murray Hogg:
>
> As recorded particularly in the Gospel of Mark, a significant part of our Lord's ministry had to do with the unmasking and casting out of demons - those evil manifestations of the supernatural realm which had gained access to the minds and/or bodies of particular individuals; and this, _with God's approval_ (surprising, perhaps, until one remembers the prologue to the Book of Job) for Jesus was empowered to evict them! Yet, today, his leading representatives on earth rarely acknowledge - or even mention - what are, in fact, highly informative matters! The lay person may thus, falsely, be led to believe that such unpleasantries are no longer an integral part of the human experience - having disappeared following the Resurrection, perhaps. However, that is not how the Apostles saw it (see, for example, Ephesians 6) - nor, I believe, if we are true to our calling, should we!
>
> I am therefore left wondering, gentlemen, how it is that (along with Richard dawkins et al) you are able to maintain, with apparent equanimity, a strictly _natural_ approach to ultimate origins . Or am I, as a Christian and scientist, missing something?
>
> Vernon
>
> PS In the preface to his "Screwtape Letters", C.S.Lewis wrote: "There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."
>
> V
>

-- 
Murray Hogg
Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology
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Received on Mon Sep 8 20:01:50 2008

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