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  1. #1
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    An element of reality in the occult revival?

    Obviously there is illusion and deception by those who profit from these things. However, is there also evidence of reality in occult ritual or is it all merely illusionary? I've been reading John Warwick Montgomery's Principalities and Powers. His has credentials as a Christian apologist (of the evidential stripe) and thinks that there is reality at some times, in some cases.

    A scriptural related question is whether the Egyptian magicians actually did what they seemed to do or if it was illusory and deceptive.
    Mary Vanderkooi
    Kale Heywott Church (KHC)
    Soddo, Ethiopia

  2. #2
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    I think that it is wrong to be dogmatic in this area but I see no reason why there is any reality in this occult revival, largely because people seem to get exited enough by charlatens and hoaxers therefore there is no need for any reality.

    I see demonic activity as accompanying (or rather opposing) the coming of Christ and am a bit of a cessationist in this area. It is easy to become gullible whether it be healing miricles, demonic activity or UFO's.
    Mike
    Free Church of Scotland
    England

    "Surely, we wish to be orthodox, but we must first learn what real orthodoxy is. Surely, we wish to be progressive, but we must first have a basis to progress from."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippo View Post
    I think that it is wrong to be dogmatic in this area but I see no reason why there is any reality in this occult revival, largely because people seem to get exited enough by charlatens and hoaxers therefore there is no need for any reality.

    I see demonic activity as accompanying (or rather opposing) the coming of Christ and am a bit of a cessationist in this area. It is easy to become gullible whether it be healing miricles, demonic activity or UFO's.
    It's a little embarrassing in dealing with non-Christians to use the usual historical arguments for the resurrection of Jesus--and then deny analogous arguments for the reality of occult phenomena. The argument in particular that I'm referring to is that of multiple eye-witnesses who tell similar stories and have no possible motivation for falsifying their testimony. Of course, non-Christians involved in the occult do the same in reverse. They want us to believe in the reality of occult phenomena on the basis of eye-witness reports while denying the resurrection as historical fact. It seems that the theological liberal position of denying everything supernatural is more defensible.
    Mary Vanderkooi
    Kale Heywott Church (KHC)
    Soddo, Ethiopia

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hippo View Post
    I think that it is wrong to be dogmatic in this area but I see no reason why there is any reality in this occult revival, largely because people seem to get exited enough by charlatens and hoaxers therefore there is no need for any reality.

    I see demonic activity as accompanying (or rather opposing) the coming of Christ and am a bit of a cessationist in this area. It is easy to become gullible whether it be healing miricles, demonic activity or UFO's.
    It's a little embarrassing in dealing with non-Christians to use the usual historical arguments for the resurrection of Jesus--and then deny analogous arguments for the reality of occult phenomena. The argument in particular that I'm referring to is that of multiple eye-witnesses who tell similar stories and have no possible motivation for falsifying their testimony. Of course, non-Christians involved in the occult do the same in reverse. They want us to believe in the reality of occult phenomena on the basis of eye-witness reports while denying the resurrection as historical fact. It seems that the theological liberal position of denying everything supernatural is more defensible.
    All good comments, it is not easy to answer the points that you have raised and we definately do not want to be theologicaly liberal.

    I would say that you have to ask why these things are happening and does the resulting world view make sense.

    I am ashamed that I have my "Thomas" moments with the Gospel, but in some ways being sceptical (to put it mildly) about the occult shows how powerful the Gospel must be to pursuade people like me.
    Mike
    Free Church of Scotland
    England

    "Surely, we wish to be orthodox, but we must first learn what real orthodoxy is. Surely, we wish to be progressive, but we must first have a basis to progress from."

  5. I've said it before, the demons are real, the activity is real, the power is very heavily exaggerated by illusion and deception. Demonic activity is leveraged by superstition. Resist them and they will flea. Don't play their game.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
    Bob Vigneault
    Seventy And Fourteen (blog)
    The Heartbeat of Heaven (blog)
    Spiritual Warfare (blog)
    Member, Grace Evangelical Free Church (Reforming!), Afton, WI
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    I've said it before, the demons are real, the activity is real, the power is very heavily exaggerated by illusion and deception. Demonic activity is leveraged by superstition. Resist them and they will flea. Don't play their game.
    What do you mean by superstition? My usage of the word implies unreality but maybe that's not the way you use it. Is it like Granny serving applesauce with pork so she won't get tapeworm? That's the sense in which I would use it.

    What do you mean by don't play their game? I would assume, at least, that it means not to dabble in the occult--don't go to a fortune teller or develop a morbid fascination with occult stories and games and the like.

    When confronted with a non-Christian who is into the occult (which I define as manipulating the supernatural for one's own ends), my stance would be to grant that there are times and places where one can use occult powers to achieve short-term goals. Sometimes it works (and sometimes it doesn't work). However, I would then point out that the last chapter of the book is the triumph of Christ and His kingdom over those occult powers. Does this person really want to be on the losing team when all is said and done?
    Mary Vanderkooi
    Kale Heywott Church (KHC)
    Soddo, Ethiopia

  7. #7
    Leslie,

    It appears from Scripture and from subsequent history that angels and demons act in the affairs of the world. The difference in their operation is that Christ came to "destroy the works of the devil", and to make all nations His disciples (see Matthew 28). Christ has bound the strongman, and is spoiling his household. I think this is an ongoing activity until every knee bows and every tongue confesses.

    Cheers,

    Adam



    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie View Post
    Obviously there is illusion and deception by those who profit from these things. However, is there also evidence of reality in occult ritual or is it all merely illusionary? I've been reading John Warwick Montgomery's Principalities and Powers. His has credentials as a Christian apologist (of the evidential stripe) and thinks that there is reality at some times, in some cases.

    A scriptural related question is whether the Egyptian magicians actually did what they seemed to do or if it was illusory and deceptive.
    Adam B., Old Dominion, RPCNA

    Ratio immutabilis facit praeceptum immutabile

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