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July 07, 2014

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evan vike

Hi Brad. Lately I have been introduced to a more aggressive model of spiritual warfare that I have some uneasiness about as being maybe too extreme: strong emphasize on Duet 28 and other OT portions, an highly organized multilevel demonic domain, going through very long lists of renouncing and breaking possible ties to the [s]atan and the demonic (eg., yoga classes, possible addition to coffee, not tithing 10%, possible believer possession of the demonic...), ground given to the demonic "spirit of religion" (agent of the [s]atan), spiritual mapping... Seems to be associated to the New Apostolic Reformation circle--all new to me. I share a hybrid theology bred between conservative evangelicalism (childhood to 20's), Anglicanism (subsequent and current 60's)and very recently the Vineyard (want to learn about how the charismata fits into today's faith walk). I like your article and caution about the two ditches and wonder if you can provide some advice?

Brad

Yes, Josh, this is what I want to double-check. I don't see more complex as automatically progressive, but in this case, even regressive and syncretistic during the intertestamental period. Read the simplicity of Isaiah's monotheism (certainly a theological leap forward) versus the tangled and self-contradictory mythology of Enoch. The latter sounds more like what Judaism came out of than what it was ever meant to become.

That said, there is surely a real progressive revelation into the NT: the coming of the Son of man and the reality of the Resurrection are surely advances in authentic religion. But Enoch's demonology sounds more Babylonian than Jewish or Christian.

The questions for me are what the NT does with these trajectories and what we as charismatics have done with them ... the issue I have is when Christians treat demons as little gods to be feared and why that even happens in light of the NT.

josh giesbrecht

Not sure if I can make my collection of thoughts coherent, so semi-random point form:

1. I grew up with a very strong "all things magic are evil" taught to me. I often found later in life that it got in the way of what God was doing, in myself and in others.

2. There is no cut-and-dry rulebook that will tell you when something is Christian white magic vs when it's truly Spirit-led. Like prophecy, it requires active listening to the voice of Jesus, a healthy community, and biblical witness.

3. I wonder if the only necessary difference between a "paganized" faith as described and what Jesus models for us is simply that God's love wins, period.

4. Despite the unique and powerful way in which the ancient Israelite voices dismiss the pagan worldview, it would be strange to see a theological movement towards a more complex angel/demonology be *less* true, vs more. Seems to fly in the face of progressive revelation, for whatever that's worth. Maybe Israel had the revelation they needed to place God first and foremost, but also needed the later reminder via the Babylonians that the world is still more complex than just God and humanity?

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