How do you Explain Dreams?

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by ww, Mar 13, 2009.

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  1. ww

    ww Puritan Board Senior

    I'm not arguing against Cessationism as I'm currently and always have been a Cessationist however I have been considering the claims of Continuationist within the Reformed Community.

    How do you explain the particular dreams that have come to pass for folks like Mark Driscoll and others?

    Also I have at least one dream of my own which came to pass the night of the dream regarding the murder of my wife's Uncle when she was my fiance' in the Philippines. It was a nightmare regarding her Uncle being stabbed and murdered, it woke me up out of a sound sleep and made me sick. I also dreamed her family was standing around the Coffin and they were having a Funeral. I called and asked if she had heard anything and she said no but an hour later they got the call that her Uncle was stabbed and murdered that evening. How do you explain this?

    I have a couple of others but the point is regardless I've always have and continue to be a Cessationist so was my dream coincidental?

    As Cessationist how do we explain such dreams?
  2. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    I have had many dreams where I got married to a beautiful woman. I hope it happens!

    And truly I don't have any explanations for dreams. I have noticed a pattern of being overwhelmed with an activity during the day and then constantly thinking/dreaming about it through the night. (And no...that's not the case with the beautiful wife dreams lol) But I am interested in the answers as well.
  3. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    I don't know the answer to this but I noticed that Calvin references such dreams Book 1, chapter 5 (section 5, italics mine): 'The swift and versatile movements of the soul in glancing from heaven to earth, connecting the future with the past, retaining the remembrance of former years, no, forming creations of its own -- its skill, moreover, in making astonishing discoveries, and inventing so many wonderful arts, are sure indications of the agency of God in man. What shall we say of its activity when the body is asleep, its many revolving thoughts, its many useful suggestions, its many solid arguments, no, its presentiment of things yet to come? What shall we say but that man bears about with him a stamp of immortality which can never be effaced?'
  4. ww

    ww Puritan Board Senior

    Great Quote Heidi! I'd like to see that statement unpacked by someone. I'm sure it has been and I'll do some Googling to see if I can't come up with a Commentary reference to Calvin's statement there.
  5. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    That is very good. I tend to think similarly. When God made Adam, he was innately gifted with a strong sense of intuition. He was able to understand the world around him immediately, without having to go through a "tabula rasa" phase. He went right away to work classifying the animals and doing the things he was made to do.

    I have no doubt that humans retain some vestage of that intuition. The fact that it is damaged and corrupted by sin does not eliminate it, but that fact does render it to be unreliable. That is why dreams, hunches, premonitions are not to be trusted as a primary source of wisdom or insight.

    BTW, I've had similar experiences often. Most people I talk to have as well. But I wouldn't want people to make a life-changing decision based upon these fallible and vague experiences any more than relying upon tossing a coin. First and foremost comes prayer and searching of scriptures for our rule of life.
  6. Kim G

    Kim G Puritan Board Junior

    What about someone like . . . oh, myself, who has had garish, bloody, frightening dreams since I was a little girl? I hate dreams because mine are almost always terrible. I can't even watch (or listen to) previews for horror movies because I feel like I'm watching some of the dreams I've had. And these started before I ever read a murder mystery or watched CSI or anything like that.

    My dreams can't be premonitions or my family and friends would have been tortured or killed countless times.
  7. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    That's not unusual either, which is why we shouldn't rely on them. Those frightening dreams can be a result of many things, ranging from how sin has pevaded our world in such frightening ways to a matter of having a bad meal.

    We are too feeble and corrupted to be able to reliably discern the difference, and, absent the Holy Spirit telling us, we never will be (in our current state).

    And, as cessationists, we are not waiting for a special revelation like that. ;)
  8. Knoxienne

    Knoxienne Puritan Board Graduate

    We will certainly keep that in prayer for you, Brother. :):pray2:
  9. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    A dream is a wish your heart makes
    When you're fast asleep
    In dreams you lose your heartaches
    Whatever you wish for, you keep
    Have faith in your dreams and someday
    Your rainbow will come smiling through
    No matter how your heart is grieving
    If you keep on believing
    the dream that you wish will come true

    I made sure to credit Cinderella with this because I'm pretty sure Joel Osteen will claim it if I don't.
  10. ww

    ww Puritan Board Senior

    I'm sorry you have those dreams Kim but I'm only referring to those that have come to pass and a Continuationist would just say that you don't have the Gift of Prophecy that's why you have troubling dreams which don't come to pass. I personally have more "deja vu" experiences of insignificant moments than vivid dreams which later come to pass. As a Cessationist I just chalk it up to chance but a Continuationist would say I have a Gift of Prophecy perhaps. I rest in the Truth of Scripture and not the whims of men so I'm not looking for these things to occur nor do I covet them but they do make for interesting conversation. :think:

    -----Added 3/13/2009 at 04:58:08 EST-----

    By the way Andrew that is one dream I had as well and it DID come to pass. There is Hope for you too! :)
  11. gene_mingo

    gene_mingo Puritan Board Junior

    When I was younger I was plagued with nightmares. Mostly about witches, probably from watching the Wizard of Oz. After I got older I began to recognize when I was dreaming, then I started to make conscious choices in my dreams. I used to go look for high places to jump off of because I knew that I could fly in my dreams. After many years I have become very apt at lucid dreaming. Now for the most part when I dream it is more like an interactive movie for me.
  12. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    Whitway, I really believe our subconscious pick up on things and then are played out later and we think we've seen the future somehow. This happens to me a lot just when I'm awake. I'll think such and such will happen and it does. For example, there have been times when I think I will be at the monitors at work instead of taking care of patients. Now that might not seem too big but nurses are only used at the monitors in extreme cases yet I will be right. When I was 11yr old I dreamt that our preacher died and a few days later he died in an airplane crash. Here's the thing our minds are very complicated organs. It is one of the most "unknown" organ in the medical field. I believe that it can take bits of info and piece them together and sometimes give accurate outcomes. But it is just that....your mind piecing info together. I had probably heard that my preacher was going to fly somewhere and my little mind thought he might crash, I had a dream that he did, and by coincidence he did. I think the same with your uncle. There is some info that you knew about in your subconscious that gave you that dream and it looks like your dream came true to you when really it's your mind putting info together and having accurate results this time.
  13. Athaleyah

    Athaleyah Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have had a dream that led me to be a Christian instead of turning to Judaism years ago. I knew nothing about the Bible, yet felt that it was infallible. Coming from the church background I did, reading the Bible just wasn't something you normally did. Yet I had a certainty that the Bible was absolutely true. Anyway... I started wondering if Jesus was really necessary or if the Jews had it right all along. And I began praying to God to show me if Jesus is necessary. One night I had a dream... I was in a room whose edges disappeared into mist. I felt the presence of the Father somewhere beyond, and Jesus behind me. I never saw either one of them. Just the feeling that they were there with me. And on a pedestal in front of me was an open Bible. I looked at it and there saw John 14:6: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That did it for me. I meandered through a bunch of stupid beliefs after this, but I never again doubted the necessity of Christ. I think it may have genuinely have been from God.

    On the other hand, one time I had a dream that there was a late season hurricane in the Gulf that devastated central Florida. To my amazement a hurricane formed in the Gulf. However, it went in the opposite direction and hit Central America. It was hurricane Mitch. I regard this as a strange happening, but not divine in any way.
  14. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I don't. I can't verify them or deny them so what is it to me?

    Joseph and Daniel had very specific dreams with certain explanations of those dreams including a certain outcome (in time). This was a divine gift that attended their 'sleep thought' that is not, as far as we know, granted to others who dream. Outside of the experience of those men there are few who dreamed a dream that meant something (in scripture).

    So if someone has a dream that means something to them let them speak as those who must speak (or keep silent) and let those words be judged according to the sure word of God.

    Jeremiah 23:28-29 "'The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; aand he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the LORD. 'Is not My word like a fire?' says the LORD, 'And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?'"
  15. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor


    According to my daughters neurologist deja vu' is a type of seizure.

    I have those deja vu moments, and I've had dreams that have come to pass, and I've had a sense that someone died or had been in a car accident, only to call to check and find out that it was true..those are always unnerving..
  16. Beth Ellen Nagle

    Beth Ellen Nagle Puritan Board Senior

    I can't explain dreams but I know at a significant time in my life before I went into a severe trial I had a sequence of dreams. I won't go into detail but they seemed like warnings to me. One, I was surrounded by a pack of wolves on a path and I was desperately fighting them off and having difficulty holding them off. Second, I had a dream where I was sitting and conversing with a significant godly teacher in my life and some maniacal person came along and starting striking me with their fists in my face. Third, I was overtaken by a strong person in the persona of a woman.

    One thing about trials, the Father never truly leaves his own but only for a season to discover that hidden seed of corruption.
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