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Posted by on in Apologetics
St. Michael
One of the problems I have found with some Christian apologists is the propensity of some of them to be disingenuous, at best, when characterizing Satanists. Many of them fall into the trap of the informal fallacy of composition. In logic and reasoning, a fallacy of composition is when someone makes the assumption that what is true of a small portion of a population is true of the whole population. A composition fallacy is like asking one student in a classroom what their favorite color is and then making the assumption that it is the favorite color of all of the students in the classroom. When someone hears the term Satanist, they cannot help but imagine blood sacrifices, ritualistic murder, demon summoning and all sorts of other wild magical things. This perception of Satanism is actually taken from a very small minority of Satanists that have been popularized by the...

Posted by on in Ethics
Mohave Desert
Osama bin Laden is Dead Now what? He is dead but al Qaeda is still alive and well. The question is, does his death change anything? Will it make him a martyr? Will that increase anger at the US? These are definitely some really tough questions. Should we all be happy that he is dead? I am given pause when I remember Proverbs 24:17. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice” (NIV) A question that always pops into my mind when people judge people is, “How does Jesus view that person?” I am reminded of that question in this situation as well. How does Jesus view Osama bin Laden? Jesus sees him as a man in need of a savior. He sees him as someone He died for. He sees him as someone He loved. The obvious question then is, how...
Investigation Baptismal Regeneration in Mark 16:16 I am going to look at a number of passages in their immediate context and then later in a broader context. I have to make a comment upfront and acknowledge that the authenticity of the longer ending or Mark (Mark 16:9-20) is questioned by many scholars. I do not intend to address this issue, rather, for argument sake, I will make the assumption that this longer ending is authentic. However, if we did find any significant meaning in a disputed section of scripture, we must be extremely cautious in building doctrine on questionable scripture. ὁ πιστεύσας καὶ βαπτισθεὶς σωθήσεται, ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας κατακριθήσεται. (Mark 16:16) [Holmes, M. W. (2010; 2010). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition] “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” - Mark 16:16 HCSB Let’s take a look at this passage logically...

Posted by on in Ethics
Mt. Hermon Retreat
Your Emotions Can't Tell Time The other day I was browsing Facebook when I noticed a suggested friend who was someone I went to school with long ago. The problem was this 'suggested friend' was a schoolmate who was a total jerk to me. I noticed very quickly I remembered what he said and did to me and I found myself upset and angry as if he had just done it or said it to me. This is the problem with emotions. In order to trigger them, you just need to remember or think about something that made you feel that way once before. Then, bam! The emotions are back just like that. Even if, intellectually, you forgave the person or you now realize it was minor or long enough ago to not matter anymore. After a few seconds, I realized that kids are mean and that what he said...

Posted by on in Paranormal
29 Palms Tank
When researching the topic of spiritual warfare, one of the problems you will run into is the vast majority of books on the topic center on what I call the spiritual dimension with things like witchcraft, demonology, possession and Satanism. The problem with this narrow interpretation is that it focuses on only one of the domains of spiritual warfare. What are domains of warfare? In modern combat, the US military has determined that there are five (5) domains of warfare. You may have heard of air, land and sea as the 3 traditional domains of war. Recently, the US military has added space and cyberspace as new domains of war for the 21st century. Having been a Marine and understanding the basics of combat and warfare has led me to the conclusion that spiritual warfare is far larger than a single domain. Have you ever thought about missions as spiritual...

Posted by on in Paranormal
Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Notes of a Baptist Exorcist: New Testament Teachings and Examples for Exorcising Demons Today by Dr. Roderick H. Pyatt Ph.D. I really liked this book and the balanced approach of Dr. Pyatt. The problem of most Protestants is they tend to gravitate to the extremes on the topic of possession and exorcism. Either they ignore the topic politely out of some sort of embarrassment or concern of how they will look to others or they see demons in everything and anything bad that happens to you is a direct action of the devil. Neither of those positions is supported by scripture. Dr. Pyatt addresses the topic in a manner that is biblical and not to the extreme. The book is more or less his notes on the subject. I think it would get better reception if it was more academic. For example, I would like to see it include footnotes...
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio This was a good book, well written and engaging. I really liked the Catholic treatment of exorcism. They seem to have a very balance approach, not falling into the extremes such as seeing every illness as possession and not denying all possessions as frauds or myth. I have seen other Protestants criticism of Catholics for relying too much on the superstitious use of relics like crucifixes as if they were somehow endowed with magical power or having some spiritual energy or force in and of themselves. According to Baglio the focus is on the power of God and the faith of the exorcist and that the Rite and relics are only aids. Baglio quotes Father Candido Amantini, "We can do only our best, and then we must leave the final decision up to God." ...

Posted by on in Christianity
Mt. Hermon Retreat
When we think about our Redeemer do we see Him as our Savior who gets us into heaven or do we see Him as the one who takes what is broken and uses it for ultimate good? Intellectually I have always agreed that it is more than a ticket to heaven but practically I did not know how that worked out in my own life. Recently at a men's retreat I get a fresh and vivid look out how Jesus does more than redeem me, He redeems my past. When Paul's tells us the God causes all things to work out for good for us (Rom 8:28) does he really mean it? I have things in my past, skeletons in the closet, which I thought were better of left buried in the past and forgotten. However, our Savoir wants to redeem those past events, mistakes, pains and our current troubles....

Posted by on in Paranormal
The exorcism account in the book of Tobit is an important story for us to study as it gives us an understanding of second temple period Judaism and early Christian views on the topic of demon possession and exorcism. Background of Tobit Tobit was from Israel and part of the deportation to Assyria. This story should give some insight in how Jews saw demon possession. This would be either from the time of the exile, although others would give the book a later date sometime during second temple period. Situation A girl named Sarah was possessed by a demon named Asmodeus and that demon caused the death of 7 of her husbands. I have to wonder how the 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 husbands felt about their respective engagements. I would be leery if I was husband 2 let alone 7. Sarah's solution to this problem was suicide; however, she...

Posted by on in Paranormal
Book: Secrets from Beyond the Grave, By Perry Stone I actually never finished reading the book; I just could not get myself to finish it. I might add I am fairly open minded about differing points of view and willing to hear someone out. While some assertions where logical many where unsubstantiated. The hermeneutics are poor throughout the book. For example his claim that hell is under the Dead Sea or that it is one of many gateways to hell from here on Earth. The passages (biblical references) he uses are out of context and many require an illogical leap. Other points he makes in the book I have no issue with, however there is nothing new or groundbreaking on those topics. Sorry, I wanted to like it. Secrets from Beyond The Grave...


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