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Why Secular Folks Are Superstitious

Whenever you imagine in issues

That you simply don’t perceive,


Then you definitely endure,

Superstition ain’t the best way. (Stevie Marvel, “Superstition”)

Properly Stevie, it’s possible you’ll sing that, however I need to inform you a couple of thriller I’ve been making an attempt to unravel that leads me to conclude that, for a lot of, superstition actually is the best way. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll start . . .

It began one drab overcast London afternoon, a couple of months again. I used to be in my examine making ready to do some instructing primarily based on the theological anthropology of my hero, the Reformed missiologist J. H. Bavinck. Drawing from a life’s observations on the mission subject along with a profound theological perception, Bavinck developed what he referred to as the “magnetic points.” This refers to “a sort of framework within which the religious thought of humankind must move . . . . There appear to be certain intersections around which all sorts of ideas crystallize . . . [or] magnetic points to which the religious thinking of mankind is irresistibly attracted.”

Briefly, though grounded in creation, these factors are our perennial human idolatrous responses (our suppression of fact and alternative of created issues) to God’s manifestation of his “eternal power” and “divine nature” (Rom. 1:20) which, for Bavinck, pertain to our creaturely dependence and accountability to our Creator. The magnetic factors present a morphology to the messy combine during which sinful picture bearers who know God and don’t know him and who’re working to and working away from him, on the similar time. These factors make up the non secular consciousness of humankind all through historical past. I’ve renamed these factors as “Totality,” “Norm,” “Deliverance,” “Destiny,” and “Higher Power.”

I’m of the opinion that these “points” are an amazing analytical and heuristic instrument for out instances, and my activity was to explain these factors, give modern cultural examples of the place we see them, and to indicate how when it comes to our apologetics and discipleship (shock, shock!) Jesus Christ each subverts and fulfills them. I made a decision to achieve out to some present Oak Hill college students and alumni to supply me examples of the “points” they’d come throughout of their lives and ministry. Examples started to return in, however one particularly piqued my curiosity. The “magnetic point” in query was “Destiny,” which offers with the riddle human beings wrestle with regarding the interaction of destiny and freedom.

All through the historical past of philosophy and the nice world religions this rigidity has been evidenced in essentially the most elegant and complex methods. I might simply reference a Greek tragedy, talk about the ideas of qadar in Islam, or karma in Hinduism. Perhaps I might impress you with a memorized citation from Spinoza or Schiller. Nonetheless, let’s get actual. Let’s discuss your common Brit in 2019.

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Why Secular Folks Are Superstitious

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