Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sneaky Naturalism and Rationalism

Here is Dr. Neil Anderson talking about his reasons for writing Bondage Breaker. Part two is available here if you are interested. Anderson talks about many of the things he says in his books and explains them verbally. I much prefer to listen than to read, so I hope these clips might help my classmates conceptualize and clarify by hearing what we read in Bondage Breaker. I went and heard him speak when he was here at Liberty, and I thought it really helped my understanding (though my test grade might suggest otherwise), so I hope this helps you as well. Dr. Anderson covers quite a lot of ground in these two clips, but does emphasize holistic answers that take into consideration the physical, spiritual, and psychological. He also emphasizes the importance of reconciliation to God through repentance and finding identity and authority in that reconciliation. However, what I would like to focus on in this article is the subject that seems to attract the most attention in Bondage Breaker: the demons.

All throughout our COUN 507 class, we have been talking about how there is more to life than simply the material. Currently, we are looking at what the soul is and how that differentiates from our spirit. These are topics that no naturalist would give time to, but, as Christians, we stroll trough these topics as if there is no doubt that these immaterial parts of what make us human are as real as our noses. We have discussed how not everything that is real is true, implying that there is a deceiver or a power that claims to be of God that in fact is not. What we have yet to cover, and may or may not cover, are the forces that plague our immaterial.

As Christians, we do not deny the Devil's existence, but why do I find myself thinking that Dr. Anderson is bringing up an "out there" argument when he says that there are very real demons affecting us today? In these clips, Anderson states how people are more afraid of these demons than they are of God, and I second that. Why am I so terrified to ever confront a demon? I think that I have a Hollywood "Exorcist" view of demons, and I have lived my life believing that I will never need to encounter one. Furthermore, I feel like I would be considered a crazy person if I ever suggested demon possession may be a cause of illness. We never doubt that the spiritual can affect the physical and vice versa. We believe the physical can affect the physical (a blow to the head); the psychological affects the psychological (thinking that about your spouse's anger towards you). Do we believe the spiritual affects the spiritual? How ironic that we want to tell people that their problems are more than just physical and psychological, but we want to tell ourselves that our spiritual is only affected by the physical and psychological. Is naturalism and rationalism slipping in the back door of our thinking? Sure, lack of sleep can cause you to be tempted spiritually. Sleep more. Depression affects your spiritual life. Here are some meds, or let's correct your thinking, but do we believe that there might be a demon attacking the person? We don't even want to consider it.

Do not get me wrong, I have as many questions as you do about the devil. What does Satan do? If there were no Satan would I sin? Would I still sin, just less? I don't think we have been taught about Satan. Anderson is really the first person, that is not a Biblical character, I have heard talk about casting out demons, and I love how he does not make it the focus of his ministry. If the stories in his books are lies, then he is a liar and why believe him. If they are true, then he is onto something that is an integral part to understanding what it means to be healthy. Once again, I do love how Dr. Anderson emphasizes holistic healing. The problems are not just demons, not just chemical, and not just psychological. They are all of them at once. That really changes what it means to be a counselor.

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