Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Angel and the Force-field

When medieval students got bored with the usual descriptions of their assigned topics ("Is there a difference between existence in space and extension in space?"), they spiced the topic titles up a bit ("How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"). So...

Imagine that you have a spherical force-field around you. The field generator is inside the sphere with you, and you have an improbably good power supply. The Death Star couldn't penetrate your defenses. But there's an angel (or demon or ghost) outside wanting in. Can your force-field fend off a spirit entity?

I would say no: otherwise, it would technically be possible to defeat or at least frustrate a spirit by non-spiritual means. Yet a common theme of the Bible is the superiority of the spiritual over the physical.

Why does it matter? I see a lot of tech vs. spirit in the secular media, but the attitude is seeping into Christian work as well. I'm not surprised that the "Ghostbusters" were able to use technology to shut down spirit beings: it was a secular movie. But what about us? I've seen texts where someone using a regular weapon or a gadget drives off a demon. It won't happen. We do not fight using human weapons but God-given spiritual power. This is an area where I agree with Peretti: when his heroes fight against spiritual darkness, they do it by prayer and sometimes miraculous power.

Some trust in chariots [the high tech of that day] and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Psalm 20: 7-8

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