Re: [asa] The Big Sleep

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Tue Sep 09 2008 - 02:09:39 EDT

Thanks Murray for an excellent post, which you replied while I as one living
in the antipodes was fast asleep.

I am in total agreement and have nothing to add.

I also object to the continual casting of aspersions on Murray, George and
others apart from myself.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Murray Hogg" <>
To: "ASA" <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:00 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] The Big Sleep

> 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 Tue Sep 9 02:10:22 2008

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