It’s the so-called “spooky season” again, which naturally turns my mind to things not seen. Lately, I’ve been pondering the pre-modern mind, and how differently pre-moderns saw the world. It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around it. What must it have been like to fear God—naturally (as in, without the scientistic arrogance we moderns seem inculcated into at an early age)? To suspect mercurial forces at play in every tree or lonely bog?
There’s so much we don’t know; so much we can’t see (even if it’s caught on video). Ironically, for all of our assuredness about how the world works, we find ourselves in an age of constant epistemological confusion, one in which we seem incapable of knowing what is True or not.
Heady contemplations, indeed. The possible existence of Bigfoot or any other number of odd creatures, corporeal or otherwise, is not insignificant: if supernatural beings exist, God Exists (or, more probably, because God Exists, there are all manner of spirits and angels and the like at work, just beyond our perception).
Spooky stuff! With that, here is “TBT: Things That Go Bump in the Night“:
Despite my griping about South Carolina weather in yesterday’s post, the first day of September was surprisingly cool and overcast, giving the slightest taste of the crisp autumnality to come. This time of year always gets me thinking about Halloween and spooky stuff, especially as everything feels more magical.
Our modern minds have diminished and dismissed the supernatural as mere superstition, often accompanied with attempts to explain away supernatural phenomena with explanations that themselves require faith to believe. That “faith” is in scientism, a counterfeit “religion” built purely on a material understanding of the world.
We see but through a glass darkly. There is more to our world than meets the eye—more to it than what we can observe. God tells us much of what is there—at least, what we need to know—and Scripture seems to suggest we shouldn’t go looking for things beyond Him and His Son.
Seems prudent to me. With that, here is 2 September 2021’s “Things That Go Bump in the Night“:
Audre Myers over at Nebraska Energy Observer always has some interesting observations about the world around us (indeed, once a week she writes a post called “Random Observations“—check it out). Her latest post—the whimsically titled “ooOOoo – BOO!“—explores the world beyond our observation, the world of ghosts, spirits, demons, and “haints.” It’s also the world of angels, and of God.
Myers makes a point that that really hit me when I was in college taking a senior seminar history course called “Society and the Supernatural”: that as Christians, if we believe in the Holy Trinity, we also have to believe in a broader supernatural world. For Christians, there is ample scriptural evidence of not just the presence of the Holy Spirit, but also of angels—with their own hierarchy and roles—and demons, those fallen angels that joined Lucifer in his prideful rebellion against God. The Bible speaks often of “principalities” and spirits that rule over ungodly nations.
How far beyond Scripture such supernatural creatures extend is a source of speculation and debate, and I suspect we won’t truly know until we’re on the other side. There is a danger in exploring the non-godly supernatural, as it opens spiritual doors within us that could make us susceptible to demonic influence—or, at the extremes, possession. Compulsive sinning can have the same effect, but messing with the occult—even out of an innocent curiosity to understand that world better—seems far likelier to result in catastrophic unintended consequences.
What I did learn in that college course, though, was that at least one member of the Scottish Enlightenment (whose name and work I cannot locate—blast!) expended a great deal of energy trying to discover fairies (apparently, people are still looking for them). He reasoned that if fairies, giants, and other mythical creatures of Scottish folklore existed, that would prove the existence of the supernatural. If the supernatural is real, God is real; if God is real, then fairies can exist.
Our groping, grasping attempts to understand the supernatural are, well, natural—it’s certainly a fascinating subject. But the Bible makes it clear what fate awaits us if we accept Christ—and what awaits us if we reject Him.
Still, I do not discount out-of-hand the possibility of supernatural presences beyond what we know from Scripture. I don’t want to go poking around in their domains for the reasons stated above, but it’s intellectually arrogant and shortsighted to assume we know everything. That’s the folly of our modern age—we applaud ourselves for demystifying the world, yet we’re more lost and in the dark than ever.
And what of those Scottish fairies? Surely their existence is more than the feeble attempts of ancient minds to explain the natural world, as the priests of scientism and materialism would argue. No, there is too much anecdotal evidence—across thousands of years and cultures—to discount the existence of such things.
All I know is that Jesus is alive—and all this talk of ghosts has me excited for Halloween.