Christianity and the Occult

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Milkman | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Mar 14 2017 2:58 PM

Is there a resource that FL or another distributor has that tracks the ancient history of the occult in an in-depth way? What I'm looking for is essentially an apologetic from an evangelical stance. Nothing flimsy or shallow, but substantive. A book loaded with primary sources, Scripture, psychology and reasons why or why not the occult can or can not live along side with Biblical teachings.

I get that there will be some within the FL family that will say, "gee the Bible says it's not good to associate with these kinds of activities and we should just leave it at that" I get that and I already know that. But I want more than that, I want to lead from 'oh the Bible says that, to these are the hard core facts about occultism and back it up with historical sources, Biblical reasons and psychological reasons why.' 

Non-believers need more than; "The Bible says so." I want to intelligently dialogue with my lost friends over a cold beer after a round of golf and carry on a conversation that will make them think that the Word DOES speak today and speak directly to belief systems that so many are thinking about..

Christ once said, "'Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.'" Mk. 5:34. And also, "'O Woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.'" Mt. 15:28. ESV.

mm.

mm.

Posts 5248
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 3:16 PM

Demons by Leonard Thompson 

Touches on it somewhat and defiantly from a evangelical point of view....

THE CONCEPT OF EVIL

FROM THE BEGINNING

To begin a book on demonism without looking at the concept of evil is in some ways putting the cart before the horse. We need to know from whence came evil and the Evil One, for in the most basic of understandings demons are creatures of an evil disposition. There are modern philosophies and related theories that decry any belief in demons, dismissing their existence and activity as nothing more than either delusion or mental inadequacy. Some religions also deny their existence, exemplified by some Hindu schools of thought that state that demons are the product of ignorance in a man (ignorance again being equated with sin). The ignorance of course is not one of value or intellect but is described rather as the spiritual ignorance that prevents a man from knowing his oneness with the Brahman, that monistic concept of a Supreme Being. Other religions dichotomize the belief of demons into good demons and evil demons. Yet, why call a demonic being a good demon when the whole concept of demons is consistent with the idea of evil? Demons are by logic and association with the Evil One, creatures of evil.

But what is evil? Simple philosophic definitions begin with evil being the negative of good. There is the almost childish concept that evil must be if there is good, just as light implies that there is darkness. A rather comprehensive statement with regard to the existence of evil is given by William Wallace in a book entitled The Elements of Philosophy.

Evil is opposed to good, which is the integrity or perfection of being in all orders: material, moral, and spiritual.… Taken in itself evil is a negation of the perfection due to a nature or to a being. As such, however, it is not a simple negation; rather evil consists in a privation, i.e., in the fact that a certain being lacks a good it requires to enjoy the integrity of its natures. While this implies that evil is non-being, it does not imply that evil is non-existent.…

Since evil is a privation it can exist only in a subject or in a being that, as such, is good. Evil presupposes good, both as the subject that it affects and as the perfection that it negates.1

The above philosophical look at evil does not in any way deny or contradict any biblical concepts of evil. Wallace himself later says, “God is not and cannot be in any way the cause of evil, for he is infinite goodness and desires only to communicate good.”2

Among the various and varied religions of the world we cannot find any without some understanding, right or wrong and good or bad, with relationship to evil. Even Hinduism with its strong monistic and pantheistic base, which in turn seems to necessitate the existence of evil as being merely illusory, yet has its sacred literature filled with the activities of numerous evil beings and creatures who need to be both placated and defeated.

Animism also has a concept of evil, seeing it as that which is opposed to what is good, and this is clearly seen in their array of good and evil spirits. True, they are vague in their ideas regarding what is good and bad, and this again is related to nature all around so that what is good for one animistic group could possibly be evil to another. Yet there is that almost instinctive perception that evil exists.

The biblical teaching of the origin of evil is centered around the Creation account and presents evil in a personified way, with an evil being or person opposing Him who is not just Creator but also the Righteous and Holy One. So great is the contrast between Goodness and Evil in the Bible that as one person said, it takes your breath away.

What the Bible tells us of the origin of evil is so astounding, so utterly contrary to the conjectures and philosophies of men, that, but for a divine revelation, such a thing would never have crossed the mind of man. It simply takes your breath. It leaves you trembling with awe. Your first reaction is to deny the possibility of such a thing. But when it is taken in connection with the facts of life as a whole and with the redemptive work of Christ, it becomes the necessary link in the chain of events without which nothing is intelligible.3

1 William A. Wallace, The Elements of Philosophy: A Compendium for Philosophers and Theologians (New York: Alba House, 1977) 143.

2 Ibid., 148.

3 F.J. Huegel, The Mystery of Iniquity (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1968) 19.

 Leonard Thompson, Demons (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 2005), 10–12.

Philosophumena (2 vols.) by Hippolytus of Rome

Has a lot in it but is thousands of years old.....not evangelical and discussion may be less in depth than a modern treatment.

BOOK IV

DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS

(The first pages of this book have been torn away from the MS., and we are therefore deprived of the small Table of Contents which the author has prefixed to the other seven. From the headings of the various chapters it may be reproduced in substance thus:—

1. The “Chaldæans” or Astrologers, and the celestial measurements of the Greek astronomers.

2. The Mathematicians or those who profess to divine by the numerical equivalents of the letters in proper names.

3. The Metoposcopists or those who connect the form of the body and the disposition of the mind with the Zodiacal sign rising at birth.

4. The Magicians and the tricks by which they read sealed letters, perform divinations, produce apparitions of gods and demons, and work other wonders.

5. Recapitulation of the ideas of Greek and Barbarian on the nature of God, and the views of the “Egyptians” or neo-Pythagoreans as to the mysteries of number.

6. The star-diviners or those who find religious meaning in the grouping of the constellations as described by Aratus.

7. The Pythagorean doctrine of number and its relation to the heresies of Simon Magus and Valentinus.)

[1. About Astrologers.1]

[p. 53] … (And they (i.e. the Chaldæans) declare there are “terms”1 of the stars in each zodiacal sign extending from one given part)2 to [another given part in which some particular star has most power. About which there is no mere chance difference] among them [as appears from their tables]. But they say that the stars are guarded1 [when they are midway between two other stars] in zodiacal succession. For instance, if [a certain star should occupy the first part] of a zodiacal sign and another [the last parts, and a third those of the middle, the one in the middle is said to be guarded] by those occupying the parts at the extremities. [And they say that the stars behold one another and are in accord with one another] when they appear triangularly or quadrangularly. [p. 54] Now those form a triangular figure2 and behold one another which have an interval of three zodiacal signs between them and a square those which have one of two signs.…

(3 Such then seems to be the character of the Chaldæan method. And in that which has been handed down it remains easy to understand and follow the contradictions noted. And some indeed try to teach a rougher way as if earthly things have no sympathy4 at all with the heavenly ones. For thus they say, that the ambient5 is not united as is the human body, so that according to the condition) of the head the lower parts [suffer with it and the head with the lower] parts, and earthly things should suffer along with those above the moon. But there is a certain difference and want of sympathy between them as they have not one and [the] same unity.

2. Making use of these statements, Euphrates the Peratic and Akembes the Carystian6 and the rest of the band of these people, miscalling the word of Truth, declare that there is a war of æons and a falling-away of good powers to the bad, calling them Toparchs and Proastii1 and many other names. All which heresy undertaken by them, I shall set forth and refute when we come to the discussion concerning them. But now, lest any one should deem trustworthy and unfailing the rules laid down2 by the Chaldæans for the astrological art, [p. 55] we shall not shrink from briefly setting forth their refutation and pointing out that their art is vain and rather deceives and destroys the soul which may hope for vain things than helps it. In which matters we do not hold out any expertness in the art, but only that drawn from knowledge of the practical words.3 Those who, having been trained in this science, become pupils of the Chaldæans and who having changed the names only, have imparted mysteries as if they were strange and wonderful to men, have constructed a heresy out of this. But since they consider the astrologers’ art a mighty one and making use of the witness of the Chaldæans wish to get their own systems believed because of them, we shall now prove that the astrological art as it appears to-day is unfounded, and then that the Peratic heresy is to be put aside as a branch growing from a root which does not hold.4

3.5 Now the beginning and as it were the basis of the affair is the establishment of the horoscope. From this the rest of the cardinal points, and the cadents and succeedents and the trines and the squares6 and the configuration of the stars in them are known, from all which things the predictions are made. [p. 56] Wherefore if the horoscope be taken away, of necessity neither the midheaven nor the descendant nor the anti-meridian is known. But the whole Chaldaic system vanishes if these are not disclosed. [And how the zodiacal sign ascending is to be discovered is taught in divers ways. For in order that this may be apprehended, it is necessary first of all that the birth of the child falling under consideration be carefully taken, and secondly that the signalling of the time1 be unerring, and thirdly that the rising in the heaven of the ascending sign be observed with the greatest care. For at the birth2 the rising of the sign ascending in the heaven must be closely watched, since the Chaldæans determining that which ascends, on its rising make that disposition of the stars which they call the Theme,3 from which they declare their predictions. But neither is it possible to take the birth of those falling under consideration, as I shall show, nor is the time established unerringly, nor is the ascending sign ascertained with care. [p. 57] How baseless the system of the Chaldæans is, we will now say. It is necessary before determining the birth of those falling under consideration, to inquire whether they take it from the deposition of the seed and its conception or from the bringing forth. And if we should attempt to take it from the conception, the accurate account of this is hard to grasp, the time being short and naturally so. For we cannot say whether conception takes place simultaneously with the transfer of the seed or not. For this may happen as quick as thought, as the tallow put into heated pots sticks fast at once, or it may take place after some time.4 For there being a distance from the mouth of the womb to the other extremity, where conceptions are said by doctors to take place, it is natural that nature depositing the seed should take some time to accomplish this distance. Therefore the Chaldæans being ignorant of the exact length of time will never discover exactly the time of conception, the seed being sometimes shot straight forward and falling in those places of the womb fitted by nature for conception, [p. 58] and sometimes falling broadcast to be only brought into place by the power of the womb itself. And it cannot be known when the first of these things happens and when the second, nor how much time is spent in one sort of conception and how much in the other. But if we are ignorant of these things, the accurate discovery of the nature of the conception vanishes.1 Nor if, as some physiologists say, seed being first seethed and altered in the womb then goes forward to its gaping vessels as the seeds of the earth go to the earth; why then, those who do not know the length of time taken by this change will not know either the moment of conception. And again, as women differ from one another in energy and other causes of action in other parts of the body, so do they differ in the energy of the womb, some conceiving quicker and others slower. And this is not unexpected, since if we compare them, they are seen now to be good conceivers and now not at all so. This being so, it is impossible to say with exactness when the seed deposited is secured, so that from this time the Chaldæans may establish the horoscope2 of the birth.

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

1 This is the beginning of the Mt. Athos MS., the first pages having disappeared. With regard to the first chapter περὶ ἀστρολόγων, Cruice, following therein Miller, points out that nearly the whole of it has been taken from Book V with the same title of Sextus Empiricus’ work, Πρὸς Μαθηματικούς, and also that the copying is so faulty that to make sense it is necessary to restore the text in many places from that of Sextus. Sextus’ book begins, as did doubtless that of Hippolytus, with a description of the divisions of the zodiac, the cardinal points (Ascendant, Mid-heaven, Descendant, and Anti-Meridian), the cadent and succeedent houses, the use of the clepsydra or water-clock, the planets and their “dignities,” “exaltations” and “falls,” and finally, their “terms,” with a description of which our text begins. It is, perhaps, a pity that Miller did not restore the whole of the missing part from Sextus Empiricus; but the last-named author is not very clear, and the reader who wishes to go further into the matter and to acquire some knowledge of astrological jargon is recommended to consult also James Wilson’s Complete Dictionary of Astrology, reprinted at Boston, U.S.A., in 1885, or, if he prefers a more learned work, M. Bouché-Leclercq’s L’Astrologie Grecque, Paris, 1899. But it may be said here that the astrologers of the early centuries made their predictions from a “theme,” or geniture, which was in effect a map of the heavens at the moment of birth, and showed the ecliptic or sun’s path through the zodiacal signs divided into twelve “houses,” to each of which a certain significance was attached. The foundation of this was the horoscope or sign rising above the horizon at the birth, from which they were able to calculate the other three cardinal points given above, the cadent houses being those four which go just before the cardinal points and the four succeedents those which follow after them. The places of the planets, including in that term the sun and moon, in the ecliptic were then calculated and their symbols placed in the houses indicated. From this figure the judgment or prediction was made, but a great mass of absurd and contradictory tradition existed as to the influence of the planets on the life, fortune, and disposition of the native, which was supposed to depend largely on their places in the theme both in relation to the earth and to each other.

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

( my own additions from the same source

( my own additions from the same source

) my own additions from the same source

1 Bouché-Leclercq, op. cit., p. 206, rightly defines these terms as fractions of signs separated by internal boundaries and distributed in each sign among the five planets. Cf. J. Firmicus Maternus, Mathescos, II, 6, and Cicero, De Divinatione, 40. Wilson, op. cit., s.h.v., says they are certain degrees in a sign, supposed to possess the power of altering the nature of a planet to that of the planet in the term of which it is posited. All the authors quoted say that the astrologers could not agree upon the extent or position of the various “terms,” and that in particular the “Chaldæans” and the “Egyptians” were hopelessly at variance upon the point.

) my own additions from the same source

2 In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’ by enclosing them in square brackets, reserving the round brackets for my own additions from the same source, which I have purposely made as few as possible. So with other alterations.

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

1 δορυφορεἶσθαι, lit., “have spear-bearers.” “Stars” in Sextus Empiricus nearly always means planets.

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

2 This is the famous “trine” figure or aspect of modern astrologers. Its influence is supposed to be good; that of the square next described, the reverse.

( my own additions from the same source

3 Hippolytus here omits a long disquisition by Sextus on the position of the planets and the Chaldæan system. Where the text resumes the quotation it is in such a way as to alter the sense completely; wherefore I have restored the sentence preceding from Sextus.

4 σομπάσχει, “suffer with.”

5 τὸ περίεχον. The term used by astrologers to denote the whole æther surrounding the stars or, in other words, the whole disposition of the heavens. “Ambient” is its equivalent in modern astrology.

) my own additions from the same source

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

] In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

6 This is an anticipation of the Peratic heresy to which a chapter in Book V (pp. 146 ff. infra) is devoted. Ἀκεμβὴς is there spelt Κελβὴς, but Ἀκεμβὴς is restored in Book X and is copied by Theodoret. “Peratic” is thought by Salmon (D.C.B., s.h.v.) to mean “Mede.”

1 “Toparch” means simply “ruler of a place.” Proastius (προάστιος) generally the dweller in a suburb. Here it probably means the powers in some part of the heavens which is near to a place or constellation without actually forming part of it.

2 νενομισμένα. Cf. νενομισμένως, “in the established manner,” Callistratus, Ecphr., 897.

3 τῶς πρακτικῶν λόγων, or, perhaps, “of the systems used.”

4 ἀσύστατον, lit., “not holding together,” punningly used as epithet for both the art and the heresy.

5 What follows to the concluding paragraph of Chap. 7 is taken nearly verbatim from Sextus Empiricus.

6 For these terms see n. on p. 67 supra.

[ In the translation I have distinguished Miller’s additions to the text from Sextus Empiricus’

1 ὡροσκόπιον seems here put for ὡροσκοπεῖον = horologium, or clock.

2 ἀπότεξις, “the bringing-forth” is the word used by Sextus throughout. As Sextus was a medical man it is probably the technical term corresponding to our “parturition.” Miller reads ἀποτάξις which does not seem appropriate.

3 διάθεμα. See n. on p. 67 supra.

4 I have here followed Sextus’ division of the sentence. Cruice translates στέαρ, farina aqua sabacta, for which I can see no justification. Macmahon here follows him.

1 Restoring from Sextus οἴχεται for ἦρται.

2 ὡροσκόπον, “the ascending sign.” So Sextus.

 Hippolytus of Rome, Philosophumena or the Refutation of All Heresies, ed. W. J. Sparrow-Simpson and W. K. Lowther Clarke, trans. F. Legge, vol. 1, Translations of Christian Literature, Series I: Greek Texts (London; New York: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; The Macmillan Company, 1921), 67–72.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 3:24 PM

Again not Evangelical but the Orthodox work The Search for Truth on the Path of Reason by Alexei I. Osipov feels closest tot he thing you are looking for in Logs that I know of.

Chapter 5

Paganism

The Russian word for “paganism” is язычество, which comes from the Church Slavonic word, язык, meaning “nation,” or “people.”19 During the Old Testament era, Jews called all non-Jewish peoples pagans, rendering a negative connotation to this word and upon those peoples together with their religious beliefs, customs, morals, culture, etc. The term “paganism” passed from the Jewish into the Christian lexicon. However, in Christianity it no longer includes anything connected with nation or race. It now refers to religious teachings and world views having a number of specific indications (see below). Paganism has two main categories: religious and non-religious. The first describes that which is usually called a natural knowledge of God (see above), and includes all religions and religious beliefs that do not accept the Bible as the source of supernatural Revelation. The second refers to all other non-Christian world views.

Priest Paul Florensky characterized paganism thus: “Paganism … is falsely religious and falsely spiritual. It is the distortion, perversion, and corruption of the true faith which was in mankind from the beginning; a torturous attempt to climb out of spiritual confusion. It is ‘spiritual floundering,’ so to speak. Paganism is prelest.”20

By its most essential characteristics, paganism is the complete opposite of Christianity: Let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican (Mt 18:17). The Lord forbids us to be like the pagans in their use of many words during prayer (Mt 6:7), or in their relationships to people: And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek [Mt 5:47; 6:31–32].)

The Apostle Peter calls upon Christians not to do the will of the Gentiles, not to walk in abominable idolatries (1 Pet 4:3). The Holy Apostle Paul clearly illustrates the depth of man’s fall into paganism (Rom 1:18–32). He states that the pagans do not know God (cf. 1 Thes 4:5), but are carried away unto these dumb idols (1 Cor 12:2).

Although ancient Christian writers say that God will also have mercy upon the pagans and reveal Himself in their minds and reason, they constantly emphasize the essential difference between paganism and the teachings of Christ. Thus, the Christian apologist Aristide, in his Apologies, subjects the religious beliefs of “barbarians and Hellenes” to criticism. “Both one and the other,” he says, “are crudely misled. The first by worshipping the elements, and the second by worshipping anthropomorphized Gods.”21 Another Christian apologist, Tatian, who, as he himself admitted, “had become familiar with the mysteries, and researched various forms of God-seeking,”22 says that he rejects “pagan delusions as children’s fantasies,”23 that pagan myths are “pure nonsense,” and that “it is inappropriate to even compare the Christian knowledge of God with the opinions of pagans, who are sunk in materialism and impurity.”24 Tertullian addresses the pagans quite summarily: “Your gods and the demons are one and the same, and the idols are the demons’ bodies.”25

Paganism is very heterogeneous in form. There are a multitude of its forms: magic, shamanism, all polytheistic religions, satanism, atheism, materialism, and others. But there are signs which are more characteristic of the majority of them: naturalism, idol worship, magic, and mysticism.

19 The word “pagan” in English comes from the Latin word paganus, which means “villager, rustic, civilian.” Such people often clung to their worship of the old gods even after Christianization. The words “heathen” or “gentile” are also used in Church-related meanings. All are linked to the Greek word ta ethne (τἀ ἔθνη), used in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament to render the Hebrew goyim, plural of goy “nation,” especially of non-Israelites, hence “Gentile nation.” Ta ethne is the plural form of the Greek ethnos (ἔθνος) “band of people living together, nation, people.” Since the word “pagan” has from the early twentieth century been applied to modern pantheists and nature-worshippers, we are using it consistently as the basis for translating the related Russian words.—Trans.

20 Pillar and Ground of Truth, 674.

21 Prof. I. V. Popov, Abstract of a Lecture on Patristics (Sergiev Posad, 1916), 34–35.

22 Tatian, Speech against the Hellenes (Moscow, 1863), § 29, 169.

23 Ibid., 30, 170.

24 Ibid., 2, 161–162.

25 Tertullian, Works, Apologies (Saint Petersburg, 1847), § 23, 56.

 Alexei I. Osipov, The Search for Truth on the Path of Reason (Moscow: Sretensky Monastery; Pokrov Press, 2009), 205–207.

-dan

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 3:39 PM

Cults, World Religions, and the Occult by Kenneth Boa

 Is not a book I own but if anyone here owns it they may chime in on how close to MM desires this book might be.

-Dan

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 4:07 PM

Dan Francis:

Keep Smiling Smile

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 4:21 PM

Dan Francis:

Gangs also require blood for advancement. Noet has => European Street Gangs and Troublesome Youth Groups and => The History of Street Gangs in the United States

Keep Smiling Smile

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 4:42 PM

MM, I think you're mixing your metadata. Ancient as a basis for discussing modern?

Examples:

- Luke clearly deals in the 'ancient' occult. And indeed, the early 1900s witnessed pretty mainline denominations chiming in. 

- You're hardpressed to break out Paul's 'powers' (Eph, etc) from the jewish occult. The Saduccees weren't buying it. The Pharisees (Paul) were.

- Christian practice ( complete with 1st century witnesses) were chock-full of NT-worded amulets to ward off evil spirits.

But none of this 'ancient' speaks to your cold-beer discussion. History has been cleaned up for your greek-oriented enlightenment.


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Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 8:14 PM

Hey D:

Fair enough. But what do you suggest to read if your friend comes up to you says, "I've been reading The Secret along with Deepak Chopra and some others who say that if we have enough mindfulness and concentration we can diagram our future for our own personal success."?

Ancient as a basis for discussing modern? What I want is the history or the beginning of where and why the occult began. It's original meaning, i.e., "hidden" and not 'wrong' 'bad' 'evil'. While I was delivery my milk this morning I heard on Coast to Coast a guy talk about this subject and it intrigued.

Simply put. Why are occult practices bad/wrong for a Christian to practice? This is a question I frequently get while having that cold beer after a round of 18.

Again. Is there a book that tracks all the metaphysical teachings from the beginning of time, including the Judeo-Christian belief to current times?

Does that answer your question or am I making it more muddy? :) 

Denise:

MM, I think you're mixing your metadata. Ancient as a basis for discussing modern?

Examples:

- Luke clearly deals in the 'ancient' occult. And indeed, the early 1900s witnessed pretty mainline denominations chiming in. 

- You're hardpressed to break out Paul's 'powers' (Eph, etc) from the jewish occult. The Saduccees weren't buying it. The Pharisees (Paul) were.

- Christian practice ( complete with 1st century witnesses) were chock-full of NT-worded amulets to ward off evil spirits.

But none of this 'ancient' speaks to your cold-beer discussion. History has been cleaned up for your greek-oriented enlightenment.

mm.

Posts 3037
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 8:49 PM

Looks like a good book but there is a newer version on Amazon that looks like it's over 20 years newer. Too bad - would have seriously looked at it. Thanks.

mm.

Dan Francis:

Cults, World Religions, and the Occult by Kenneth Boa

 Is not a book I own but if anyone here owns it they may chime in on how close to MM desires this book might be.

-Dan

mm.

Posts 10120
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 9:03 PM

I don't think you're going to get too far with your 'ancient' ... presuming your cold beer guys are knowlegable. This forum is populated with gents far more Bible-knowlegable than me. But my impression is the Bible's limiter is a single diety to worship, etc. The Bible doesn't deny alternatives existing ( devil, sons of Satan, Paul's powers, and so forth, some bad, some not). Nor the alternatives doing stuff.

A good example of the problem is here in Sedona. Sunday afternoon, a sizable group meets at a local mainline church, to chat about pendulums, water witching, dreams, and on and on. Really have to grit your molars, it's so bizarre. Good? Bad? I'd think the limiter above governs.  I'm not defending the occult ... only emphasizing the key principle. 

Regarding a ' book' goodness. I think MJ would know, but it would be light going. Every culture is full of it. Out here, you can pick each native tribe, and every single one has an embedded occult. Even located inside mission churches. Good? Bad?

Such a simple book as Nancy Drew (detective extraordinaire) was often battling the occult (1930s) ... with plain everyday common sense.


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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 14 2017 9:10 PM

Many years ago I came across a couple of books by Kurt Koch on the occult. Probably the best resources at the time from a Biblical perspective. They aren't historical, but focus on actual cases he researched. You can find his books still in print on other sites. Here is an introduction of sorts from one of those sites:

Theologian Kurt Koch spent much of his life researching the occult and ministering to those affected by it. In Occult ABC he combines those years of work into an informative guide to the practices and ideas that form the foundation of the occult. If you learn its language, its alphabet, you can better combat it. That is the spirit that Occult ABC is written in.

Though some may not agree that all of the practices mentioned in here are occult (charismatic occurences and Pentecostalism come to mind), most will agree that Koch has provided useful information on what is going on in the occult. Each topic includes a brief introductory description, as well as examples from Koch's life and research. Alphabetically arranged, with extensive footnotes, this is a valuable resource for those who have dealt with, are dealing with, or will deal with the occult.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 3160
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 6:01 AM

This book looks interesting... I don't own it though

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions

www.logos.com/product/17255/

Posts 3160
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 6:03 AM

Also if you are thinking about that demons book from earlier, I'd recommend getting it in the Logos 7 Theology Expansion, S.  You'll get the counterpart book on angels as well as a bunch of other neat books

Posts 493
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 9:47 AM

Would research in Gnosticism or ancient mystery cults maybe help your conversation?  If you are looking for origins of these modern ideas you may find some similarities there.

Milkman:

Fair enough. But what do you suggest to read if your friend comes up to you says, "I've been reading The Secret along with Deepak Chopra and some others who say that if we have enough mindfulness and concentration we can diagram our future for our own personal success."?

Ancient as a basis for discussing modern? What I want is the history or the beginning of where and why the occult began. It's original meaning, i.e., "hidden" and not 'wrong' 'bad' 'evil'. While I was delivery my milk this morning I heard on Coast to Coast a guy talk about this subject and it intrigued.

MBPro'12 / i5 / 8GB // 3.0 Scholars (Purple) / L6 & L7 Platinum, M&E Platinum, Anglican Bronze, P&C Silver / L8 Platinum, Academic Pro

Posts 3037
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 10:33 AM

I think that's a great suggestion! Where is the birth place of these and what are the extant sources from them. 

Richard Villanueva:

Would research in Gnosticism or ancient mystery cults maybe help your conversation?  If you are looking for origins of these modern ideas you may find some similarities there.

Milkman:

Fair enough. But what do you suggest to read if your friend comes up to you says, "I've been reading The Secret along with Deepak Chopra and some others who say that if we have enough mindfulness and concentration we can diagram our future for our own personal success."?

Ancient as a basis for discussing modern? What I want is the history or the beginning of where and why the occult began. It's original meaning, i.e., "hidden" and not 'wrong' 'bad' 'evil'. While I was delivery my milk this morning I heard on Coast to Coast a guy talk about this subject and it intrigued.

mm.

Posts 10120
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 9:14 PM

Milkman, this is seriously off topic, though germaine.

I was riding my bicycle today, and stopped at the pottery store to look at any recent Santa Clara (New Mexico) pottery. Well, I couldn't resist. When I pedalled home, and examined my find, the artist had melded two hidden versions of Yaam, swimming in opposing directions. Almost matching the ancient imagery from the OT. Scary (if you were occult-ified). I was surprised the artist would even try it. It would never have been allowed centuries back, with the Catholic priests (at the pueblos).


Posts 3037
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 8:25 AM

Hey Denise Smile 

you got me with the yaam. The only yaam i'm familiar with is the naming of the fourth chakra. 

send a picture of it.

Denise:

Milkman, this is seriously off topic, though germaine.

I was riding my bicycle today, and stopped at the pottery store to look at any recent Santa Clara (New Mexico) pottery. Well, I couldn't resist. When I pedalled home, and examined my find, the artist had melded two hidden versions of Yaam, swimming in opposing directions. Almost matching the ancient imagery from the OT. Scary (if you were occult-ified). I was surprised the artist would even try it. It would never have been allowed centuries back, with the Catholic priests (at the pueblos).

mm.

Posts 10120
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 9:12 AM

Oh Milkman, you need to brush up on your Old Testament. The name is from 'Canaanite' writings (Ugarit, etc), but the personage is found throughout cultures in the same period, including the Bible. I think Dr Heiser includes discussion, though just guessing ... don't have his Unseen Realm.

Yaam was the ocean monster ... of the deep ... of the abyss. I included a picture of the pottery, but you can only see the paired monsters ... you can't see the ocean motiffs, the attacking tongue/arrows, etc. It's really quite good. I still have to research where the artist got the design ... ie earlier petroglyphs, etc. As far as I know, the imagery is quite agressive ... my spouse wouldn't allow it, for sure (mums the word!).


Posts 3037
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 5:45 PM

How cool is that! Thanks. So I guess I do need to brush up on my OT backgrounds. Funny thing; I did a search for yaam in L7 and did not come up with any hits. I even have Dr. Heiser's books and articles. 

surprised your bike didn't get a flat as you were transporting the 'relic' to its new home.

mums the word indeed. Wink

Thanks again.

Denise:

Oh Milkman, you need to brush up on your Old Testament. The name is from 'Canaanite' writings (Ugarit, etc), but the personage is found throughout cultures in the same period, including the Bible. I think Dr Heiser includes discussion, though just guessing ... don't have his Unseen Realm.

Yaam was the ocean monster ... of the deep ... of the abyss. I included a picture of the pottery, but you can only see the paired monsters ... you can't see the ocean motiffs, the attacking tongue/arrows, etc. It's really quite good. I still have to research where the artist got the design ... ie earlier petroglyphs, etc. As far as I know, the imagery is quite agressive ... my spouse wouldn't allow it, for sure (mums the word!).

mm.

Posts 493
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 6:00 PM

Not meaning to eavesdrop Wink, but that is a SERIOUSLY awesome find!!!  Absolutely gorgeous.  

And Milkmanm, in searching for Yaam, try these spelling variants: "Yam" or "Yamm", you'll find much more regarding the sea god with those spellings.  DDD has an entry under "Sea" ("Yam" directs there), discussing the god, Yam, about halfway through the article.

MBPro'12 / i5 / 8GB // 3.0 Scholars (Purple) / L6 & L7 Platinum, M&E Platinum, Anglican Bronze, P&C Silver / L8 Platinum, Academic Pro

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