But Do I Believe in Angels?

An angel comforting Jesus, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1865-1879. From WikiCommons

I’ll be honest, my post “I Don’t Believe in Demons” led to the single biggest day of traffic on this blog since I left Beliefnet.  It’s intriguing to me that so many people are so interested in this topic — more even than in issues of sexuality in the church, which is always a traffic generator.  There were a lot of gratifying comments under that post from thoughtful folks who said that they pretty much agree with me, but they’d never really known how to talk about the issue.

There are also a lot of folks who really want to hear me discuss this issue with Greg Boyd, so I’m working on a chat with him about this that we can record and make public.

The obvious follow-up question to my thoughts about demons is, What Do I Think about Angels?

[Read more…]

I Don't Believe in Demons

As I’ve been writing the posts exploring the possibility of Christian universalism, it’s become clear to me once again that I have a pretty different worldview from Jesus.  Had I lived in his time, I’m quite sure that our worldviews would have been more similar, but a lot of water has passed over the dam since Jesus’ day, and it’s sometimes difficult to build a bridge back there.

I also — no surprise here — hold a different worldview than some of this blog’s readers.  Like about demons, for instance.  I mentioned in yesterday’s post that most of us would see schizophrenia where Jesus saw a legion of demons.  That discomfited a couple readers, and caused a couple more to shout, “Heresy!”

At different points in my life, I’ve been surrounded by folks who were real into demons and demonology.  It first happened when I was in Campus Crusade at Dartmouth.  Then, much to my surprise, I arrived at Fuller Seminary when it was the hotbed of demon-talk.  To the chagrin of the faculty in the School of Theology, two professors in the School of World Mission — C. Peter Wagner and Chuck Kraft — were leading the charge.  Their classes would often turn into spontaneous healing services.  They often, it seemed, lengthened people’s legs.  And they told stories of demon possession and resurrections in far off lands.  I distinctly remember one student playing me a tape on his tape recorder of an exorcism.

[Read more…]