31 March 2007

Intuition and Superstition: An Admonition

by Phil Johnson

veryone has unexplained thoughts that seem to leap from nowhere into the mind. (Note: When I say "everyone," I mean believers and unbelievers alike; I don't necessarily mean "every single individual." I've met a few less-than-completely sentient people who seem incapable of any original thought whatsoever. They prolly never get spontaneous notions of anything. Let's leave those folks out of this discussion.)


Most people likewise have a sense of intuition, where at times you just feel like you know a thing is true and you can't give an account for how you arrived at that knowledge rationally. It may even seem like you have ESP, or ESPN2, or whatever. It's a lot like deja vu, only backwards. I happen to think that sense of intuition is probably more rational than we can explain. In any case, I'm quite sure it's not really a supernatural spiritual gift from God, because it has such a poor track record. Besides, I had the same intuitive abilities before I was converted as I have now.

My sense of intuition is sort of like a stopped clock that was designed to measure time in months instead of hours. Once or twice a year (on average) it's right. And when it's right, it can seem quite impressive. I've had some moments of intuition that I could have parlayed into a fortune, if I were the type of charlatan who is willing to claim he has a prophetic gift even when he knows he really doesn't. I certainly have no such gift. For the most part, my intuition is grossly fallible and ordinarily wrong. I don't trust it at all, even though my experience is probably a lot like yours: there are times when I feel compelled to follow my intuition.

To be clear: I usually "feel compelled to follow" my intuition only when I don't have a better rational or sensible idea of what to do. Maturity has taught me to hold off on trusting intuition and try to understand facts and reasons and the potential results of my actions before I act. In fact, I'd say that's what maturity is all about, to a very large degree.

But, how do we understand that inner sense, especially when God seems to use it to prompt us to pray, or witness, or duck and run at precisely the right moment? Because let's be honest, here: that kind of thing does happen to most of us from time to time.

As I said in a comment-thread a couple of days ago (see below), we need to regard those occasions as remarkable Providences, not inspired prophecy. God might use a spontaneous thought in my head providentially. In fact, as a Calvinist, I don't hesitate to say that He ultimately controls and uses everything providentially. But that's as true of my sins as it is of the thoughts in my head. God can use them all for His own purposes. The fact that He uses an idea in my mind to achieve some good purpose doesn't make the idea itself inspired.

That's the point we are trying to make in all these various threads about prophecy and cessationism. It's an important point. We're not trying to step on the charismatic air-hose just because it's fun.

So please give these things some serious thought before you react this time.

Four lessons:

  1. If intuition is fallible (and everyone except the out-and-out-charlatan seems to agree that it is), it cannot be considered "revelation," even when it happens to be uncannily right in an instance or two.

  2. Since intuition is so fallible—and most would agree that it is actually far more often wrong than right—we shouldn't make much of it.

  3. Those who think those moments of intuition are God speaking with a private message invariably become extremely superstitious; they foolishly order their lives by their feelings; they commit the sin of trusting too much in their own hearts; and they diminish the more sure Word of prophecy. No one who knows church history, and no one who truly understands the concept of spiritual maturity can deny that Christians who follow the voice in their heads fall into those errors all the time, and it can be (and often is) spiritually disastrous.

  4. Since our intuitive sense is so grossly fallible, and since every sane, biblical Christian would acknowledge that it's dangerous to pay much attention to it, we should not try to elevate it to the level of a supernatural "spiritual gift." It most certainly does not resemble any of the spiritual gifts—much less the gift of "prophecy"—as we see those gifts functioning in the New Testament.


Phil's signature

Here's that comment I made in the meta below:

I'm tied up with meetings today and unable to participate in the blog-discussion, but a couple of people have e-mailed me privately with the same question about this thread. One begged me for an answer; the other accused me of dodging the question.

So here's the question and my short answer:

Q: If God doesn't speak to you directly, how does he "lead" you to do anything? How, for example, did you know Darlene was the right person to marry?; how did you know you were called to ministry?; and how do you explain it when a thought pops into your head and prompts you to pray for someone?

Short answer: I trust the providence of God. I can't necessarily interpret the providence of God infallibly, though.

So if (for example) I suddenly think to pray for the safety or holiness of one of my children, I don't need to interpret that as a prophetic message from God that Pecadillo or one of his brothers is in immediate danger. But I pray for them nonetheless, though I can't possibly understand why that thought popped into my head or even discern correctly whether it originated in my own imagination or was immediately infused into my brain by the Holy Spirit.

If it turns out later that I prayed at exactly the right moment when some specific danger befell one of my kids, I praise God for a remarkable providence.

I DON'T, however, twist it into some kind of quasi-revelation and use it as an excuse to trust my own heart. Scripture says those who do that are fools (Proverbs 28:26).

Here's the thing: I trust Providence enough to believe that God ordained that I should pray, and He will answer my prayer for His glory and my good, even if the thought that prompted the prayer was out of my own imagination.

But it would be a sin for me to claim God "told" me to pray about that particular thing at that particular time when He did no such thing.

Providence, people. Go and learn what that means, and we can avoid having this debate every 6 weeks or so.

Here's a book, written by a good friend of mine, that deals with this issue well.

Phil's signature

11:45 AM, March 29, 2007



32 comments:

ajlin said...

Somehow, the habit of many in regarding intuition as God speaking reminds me of John Wesley's mistaken practice of making decisions by casting lots, certain that the answer of the lot was an obligation God had laid upon him. As described in the famous letter from George Whitefield to John Wesley, Whitefield reminds Wesley (basically) that Wesley was wrong in trying to discern the Lord's will through casting lots and that it is quite probable that Wesley was being disciplined by the Lord in the decisions the lot rendered, which were allowing him to be deceived.

Similarly, those trusting in intuition, considering their feelings to be the voice of the Lord by which He lays obligations upon them, are trying to discern God's will in an unbiblical way and are in danger of being led from error into greater error.

DJP said...

Really well-thought and well-said, as usual, Phil.

I wonder whether this is a useful analogy?

Consider the narrative of Esther 6, which begins "On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king" (Esther 6:1).

Now, anyone who reads the following events with anything above the perception of a Russet potato will discern in this story the providential hand of God. Events turn on a dime with the king's sleepless night. Beyond rational question, God caused that sleepless night for the purpose of what follows.

Now, those inclined to canonize the sorts of providential events you discuss could seize on this, and actively seek sleepless nights, so that God can deal with them and bring redemption. Or, every time they happen to have a sleepless nights, they might gasp and tell themselves, "This is a sign from God! He's trying to tell me something wonderful and redemptive!"

Yet that isn't necessarily the case. You might well be losing sleep because you're riddled with guilt and should repent (Psalm 32:4), or because you have a malicious heart (Proverbs 4:16), or because you're being subjected to a lot of abuse (Psalm 102:7), or because you're eager to spend time in the Word (Psalm 119:148) — or because you're sick, or you ate too much, or a hundred other reasons with no spiritual significance whatever.

Might that help?

philness said...

I have heard Christians use these verses to justify acting on their intuitions:

2 Cor 5:7 We live by faith, not be sight
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God.
Gal 3:11 The righteous will live by faith.
Romans 14:23 Everything that does not come from faith is sin.

I personally struggle at reconciling the passage in Romans 12:4 that says some memebers of the same body are used for different functions in determining, "in love" of course, if that person is or is not of the same faith as I. How should we interpret this passage and whom do we associate it to? We all use the phrase "our charismatic friends". Do we believe them to be our brother in the Lord or write them off as unbelievers? Its one or the other isn't it?

philness

centuri0n said...

yeah, but what if it is fun to step on the charismatic air-hose and hear the bell go "ding"?

danny2 said...

i think so much of this is tied to the fact that people see spontaneity as a fruit of the Spirit.

about 6 months ago i sat at a restaurant, hearing a man tell me how short he felt my sermons came. as we kept talking, i wasn't sure we shared the same objectives for preaching.

when i got back to the office, i sent him a link to piper's message from together for the gospel. (he has plenty of money, so i didn't buy it for him, just led him to it.) i suggested he listen to the message to figure something out. i suggested that he may be discouraged because we are aiming at two different things, or he may be discouraged because i'm not hitting the target i'm aiming for. i equated it to basketball. if i'm aiming at the wrong basket, that's one thing. if i'm aiming but missing, we should work together to improve.

his response in email was: a) he did not listen to the message, and b) he shared a story about his basketball days. he did not aim for the basket, but totally shot by feel. he suggested my problem (that he had) with my preaching was that i wasn't just doing it by feel. his words were something to the effect, "sometimes you just gotta throw it up there and see if it goes in."

his email continued expressing the fact that he used to do things my way, and now that he is older and professes to be more mature in his faith, he gone to doing more by "feel." that way he's giving the Spirit room to work.

where does this stuff come from? i'm amazed by the number of people who think the Spirit and the Word work in opposition to one another!

janelle said...

I would find it extremely interesting if anyone actually would go out on a limb to say that charismatics aren't saved, Phil. That's making super huge judgments...and literally eradicates thousands of reformed-charismatic believers. Maybe I misunderstood you. I hope I did.

Phil Johnson said...

danny2: "his words were something to the effect, 'sometimes you just gotta throw it up there and see if it goes in.'"

"Use the Force, Luke!"

You should suggest he try that while driving down a narrow, winding mountain road, and let's see how far he gets with it. Make sure he picks a road with no traffic, though, or else he'll hurt someone else.

...which is precisely the problem with letting superstitious people run amok in the church.

janelle: "I would find it extremely interesting if anyone actually would go out on a limb to say that charismatics aren't saved, Phil."

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything I actually did say. See this post, where I expressly refuted the idea you seem to be insinuating.

Since you brought the subject up here, however, I will say that I certainly don't believe all charismatics are necessarily saved. (I don't believe non-charismatics who profess faith in Christ are all saved, either, for that matter.) I do think there's a tendency in charismatic doctrine that actually breeds more than the usual amount of false professions and false "believers," because practically everything that is distinctive about charismatic doctrine tends to focus attention away from Christ and His Word.

But there are many charismatics whom I am quite sure are soundly and genuinely saved. There are without a doubt many charismatics and semi-charismatics (including Piper, Mahaney, Grudem, and Storms) who are powerful teachers and preachers when they do exposition of the word of God. They have much to say that I need to learn from, and I'm well aware of that. That's why I listen to their preaching.

On the other hand, if you look at the best-known charismatic televangelist celebrities on TBN, there are many on that end of the charismatic spectrum who are a great reproach on the name of Christ. I deplore their influence, and I don't want to be associated with them in any way. I'm talking about grinning positive-thinking types and flamboyant faith-healers who never seem to preach the true gospel, whose "ministries" are all about themselves—and whose salvation I do indeed strongly doubt, on biblical grounds. See Galatians 1:8-9; 2 John 7-11.

Is that "out on a limb" enough for you?

Phil Johnson said...

As far as "Reformed Charismatics" are concerned, let me say this: Anyone who has really tasted "Reformation" ought to understand why non-charismatics are put off by the Tetzels who dominate Tulsa, TBN, and so much of the charismatic community. It's a mystery to me why so many self-styled "Reformed" charismatics seem to spend so much more time and energy trying to correct and qualify non-charismatics' criticism of charismania than they do trying to reign in (or better yet, eradicate) the gross abuses of "gifts" they and their fellow charismatics claim to have received from the Holy Spirit.

Carla Rolfe said...

Phil,

while this is certainly an important topic, and one that I believe you've addressed quite well - I couldn't help but laugh outloud as I had to read parts of it to Kevin.

We're pretty sure he's gifted with ESPN2, since those spontaneous, intuative hockey notions couldn't come from anywhere else, and we all know that actually liking hockey doesn't come from rational thought.

The charismatic air-hose also made me laugh. Ding!

(yes, I did it as a kid all the time at the corner gas station - you have to, it's a rule!)

Thanks for the good post, balanced quite well with truth & humor.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

You know, I just really have a check in my spirit about this whole post; call it a feeling in my gut, but when I get in my prayer closet - I just feel like, well . . . :-)

On a serious note, I was a Charismatic for almost two decades. After I became a Calvinist I really struggled to make "Reformed" fit with a leaky canon (as you guys call it). I don't think it's a fit; I don't think they are compatible. And I also think it's interesting that "Reformed Charismatic" is a newer thing in church history. That doesn't make it wrong necessarily, but it makes it suspicious; at least to me.

It's interesting that after I became a Calvinist, some of my old Charismatic friends confronted me about it. They told me that Calvinism was wrong, and when I asked them why they generally said "because the Spirit told me in my prayer closet that it was wrong" etc. When I asked them to show me from scripture how it's wrong, they would not do so, and denied that they had to, because they felt that the Spirit was leading them to know this. Eventually I was sent me on my way with a Galatians "another Gospel" warning about my beliefs.

Therein lies one of my big problems with the camp that I came out of; very scripturally lazy, trusting intuition over the Word of God.

Kristie said...

These posts from all you have been very helpful. I especially like this one in discerning "impressions" you get in your head.

One thing I like to do is run things I think are incredibly important by someone like my husband or a good trusted friend. Sometimes I will get an "impression" to do such-and-such spiritual thing, and then I run it by a couple other people and they remind me of some other obligation or aspect I had missed to my original and fallible "impression."

Can you recommend any good MP3s on this? (to pass out to my listening oriented friends.)

Donette said...

Thanks, Phil, for the insight. This did a lot to help clear up some of the questions I had.

Phil Johnson said...

donette:

Thanks.

kristie:

Stuart Scott has a tape I would highly recommend. John MacArthur's Found: God's Will is a short, readable-in-one-sitting book dealing with some (but not all) of the subjective questions regarding God's will. (On a historical note, the message on which that book is based was the first sermon I ever heard John MacArthur preach, back in 1977.)

I almost forgot: I once did a message on the subject of prophecy. You can download it for free here under the title "A More Sure Word."

I'm sure there are other messages out there that deal with these topics. But I can't think of any offhand that I can easily steer you toward.

I (for the most part, but not exhaustively) recommend Gary Friesen's controversial book Decision Making and the Will of God. Dave Swavely's book on that topic, recommended in the above post, is much more succinct and clear.

Here's an unexpected source on the subject: Iain Murray's biography of Jonathan Edwards has a very helpful section detailing Edwards's disagreement with George Whitefield on this very issue. Whitefield listened to the voice in his head (with spectacularly embarrassing results on a few notable occasions); Edwards thought the practice was unwise and unnecessary.

Cotton Mather, two generations before Whitefield, struggled with the same issue and after "receiving" a few messages he thought came from God but turned out to be wrong, Mather essentially renounced the practice of listening to one's own feelings and interpreting that as guidance from the Lord. In a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Life and Times of Cotton Mather, Kenneth Silverman devotes a considerable amount of discussion to the issue. (Look in the index under "particular faith.") That's a great book to read if you want to understand something about American Puritanism.

Hope that helps.

Nathan White said...

Wow. Many, many great comments. If you've skipped down this far looking from some controversy, please go back and re-read the comments. Better than the post, actually :)

I've often wondered how others fit in 'reformed' with charismatic. The two clearly don't go together. Is God sovereign in every detail of life or not? Obviously, He is subject to our obedience if He can't give us these spiritual gifts without us being 'open' to them. Funny He doesn't do that with, say, love. Unless you know a Christian who doesn't love??

God will accomplish His purpose. He has not given us commands in scripture to seek impressions, feelings, inclinations, etc., thus He will accomplish His purpose without our 'cooperation' in a spiritual 'decoder ring' type of way (that was just for you, Dan).

SDG

ajlin said...

re: "Whitefield listened to the voice in his head (with spectacularly embarrassing results on a few notable occasions); Edwards thought the practice was unwise and unnecessary."

Wow. That kind of blows my analogy from comment #1 out of the water. It's disappointing to learn that Whitefield criticized Wesley for paying heed to lots only to himself fall pray to unbiblical methods of discerning God's will.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

ajlin:

If I remember correctly Whitefield was corrected in his younger years, and later came around to a more biblical belief.

Here's an interesting excerpt relating Iain Murray's book on Edwards:

When Whitefield's wife was expecting her first child, he prophesied that she would have a son who would become a preacher of the Gospel. The child was indeed a boy, but he died at the age of four months. He was Whitefield's only child. Murray writes,

Whitefield at once recognized his mistake saying: "I misapplied several texts of Scripture. Upon these grounds, I made no scruple of declaring 'that I should have a son, and that his name was to be John.'" When back in New England, in 1745, he could say feelingly of what had happened there, "Many good souls, both among clergy and laity, for a while, mistook fancy for faith, and imagination for revelation."

PS: Has (Phil or) anybody read B. B. Warfield's book "Counterfeit Miracles"? Can anyone recommend it?

Kristie said...

Phil, thank you so much for taking the time to give me all those links. I will use them.

You also reminded me of a great Sunday night sermon my pastor did on decision-making based on the books you mentioned. (Hope it got recorded.)

I realize this topic of hearing God speak has been relating to Charasmatics, but another way I see it manifested in Evangelical circles is in Christian mysticism. Lectio Divina, for example, is about learning to be silent and letting God "speak" a "special" message to you while "meditating" on a Bible passage or staring at a painting(!).

Glenn said...

Hey ... it's in reformed churches too. This from a "worship leader" at a PCA church ...(He had already blathered on about "spiritual rythms".

I x'd out the location

BTW - he talks like this before the congregation too.

"As I rested in this truth (especially in light of my decision struggles over the last few days), I got down on my knees during the Great Silence. I began to beg God for a word, a thought, a framework, an image, a paradigm to help me see my way forward. Something. Anything.

"Sojourner."

Crystal clear that this is what the Spirit gave me. In the meeting with God in His Word, He graciously spoke to me, practically audibly. And it is already a comfort and a help.

So I will explore what it means to be a sojourner, to be in a place that is not my home. What does it mean to invest myself for the sake of the kingdom, sake of the gospel, sake of God's glory, in a place that is not my home and really has never been my home? I don't know as yet. I'm just now more fully realizing what has been true all along.

This world is not my home. This country is not my home. This xxxxx metropolitan area is not my home. This village, town, city is not my home. This church is not my home. This ministry is not my home. These friends are not my home. My home is not my home."

Connie said...

Very insightful as it relates to charismatics and non-charismatics. Greatly appreciate you taking the time and giving this the attention it needs.

janelle said...

Phil, thanks for the clarification. It makes more sense now.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

This discussion about "intuition" and God's guidance is one of great interest to me. It has always been a bit mysterious to me how some can say with such great confidence that "God led me to___(fill in the blank)."

Nonetheless, I can say I believe that there have been at least two times in my life where I believe God led me to take very specific actions on the spur of the moment.

One event was in the mid 1980s. I was sound asleep at something like 3:30am when I awoke suddenly with an unmistakable impression in my mind: Pray for John and Jane. Now, John and Jane are not their real names, but you get the idea. They were two of my best friends. We attended college together, and they had married the previous summer.

I tried to go back to sleep. The "impression" grew louder and louder in my mind (no, I did not hear anything audible). So I got out of bed, knelt by my bedside, and prayed for "John and Jane." I prayed for God's grace to be upon them; I did not know what else to pray, as I did not know why I felt (sorry to use the "feel" word) so strong an impression to pray for them. After praying for them I went back to bed and sleep.

Well, later that day I saw John at school. He looked tired and sad. I asked him how he was doing. "We lost our little one last night,” he said. His wife Jane was pregnant with their first child, and she had had a miscarriage with severe bleeding, he explained.

"When time did this happen"? I asked. "We went to the hospital about 3:00am this morning" he said.

The second event was less severe an occasion. Someday in the early ‘90s I was driving to work one morning here in Southern California, heading westbound on Victory Blvd. At that time I had an old 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis, and that car was a real tank. With me sitting in it, it weighed 5000 lbs. It did not stop on a dime.

So there I was, minding my own business, driving to work, with another car ahead of me in the same lane. Suddenly, a strong (non-audible) impression came upon me for no apparent reason. "Get out from behind that car" was the clear impression. Meaning, to move out from behind the car ahead of me, and get into the other lane. I shrugged off the idea. Again, the impression grew "louder"--"GET OUT FROM BEHIND THAT CAR."

I humored the "impression" by hitting my turn signal and moving into the lane to the right. I began to pass the car that was in front of me only moments before. I had just gotten past that car when suddenly there was a loud BANG and the sound of screeching tires.

Startled, I jerked my head quickly to look in my rearview mirror. The car I had been following, the one that the "impression" told me to get out from behind of, had locked up all four wheels and was swerving to a halt, tires smoking.

The BANG I had heard was the sound of that car's hood flying up and smashing against the windshield of that car. Only seconds before, I was simply driving down the road with that car in front of me. Now, for no apparent reason, the hood flew up on that car and smashed against its windshield. If I had not "obeyed" that "impression," surely I would have crashed into that car from behind when the driver locked up his wheels in a natural reaction to his hood peeling backward and smashing against his windshield.

I am most certainly not charismatic or anything of the sort. Yet I would find it hard to believe that God, in His sovereignty, was not behind these “impressions” or whatever else one might want to call them.

Douglas said...

Phil,

does Bob DeWaay's essay; "The Problems with Personal Words From God" teach sound biblical truths related to the discussions many Christians have been involved in recently? I find what Bob DeWaay says very clear and understandable.

I believe what you have been saying on these issues to be true and very helpful to me as an ex-pentecostal.

Thanks for the great teaching.

ajlin said...

impacted:

From what I understand of the main article, Mr. Johnson wouldn't discount those kind of impressions. The main point seems to be, however, that we are not to seek those impressions or to feel less spiritual if we do not receive them.

donsands said...

That was nice to read before church. Great thoughts. And nice comments.

God bless everyone this "Palm Sunday".

Gretta said...

False prophets are a serious matter. Here is my question. I am not charismatic, and do not believe in prophets for today.

However, there is a question that I have had that has bothered me.

Contemporaries of prophets never saw the fulfillment of the real prophecies spoken in the OT. Even today, we await the fulfillment of many of the words of the OT prophets at the second coming of Christ. Based on the Deuteronomy passages, they would be considered false prophets and probably were, as many of them were rejected.

Even some of them prophecied specific names and places, like Nebachannzer will do this or that Tyre will be destroyed and never again to be rebuilt, Egypt will have a forty year drought, and we don't necessarily hold that they are speaking of those old events, but somehow see them as representing something in our modern day, until the return of Christ.

Jeremiah lays out some additional qualities of false prophets: borrowing words, making profit from it, or speaking peace where there is none.

So my question is: How can we really know if there are not some speaking repentance and warnings to prepare for the second coming of Christ as did many of the OT prophets, since we may not see the fulfillment yet of those words too?

I am not an open canon person, and I understand the reason for a closed canon, and don't need the answer to swing to that tangent.

How can we really know? Maybe we cannot. As believers, repentace and belief are not foreign and we don't need prophets. But maybe they are speaking to the lost today?

Gretta said...

I'm sorry if that posted many times. I don't know if it was a glitch or not, and it is my first time.

I also got a trojan signing up for this website that has tried to open my outlook. I have not been on any other websites this morning.

Gretta

Tom Chantry said...

Contemporaries of prophets never saw the fulfillment of the real prophecies spoken in the OT.

Not quite true. If you read (for instance) the death narrative of Ahab in I Kings 22, the false prophets prophesied that Ahab would emerge from battle victorious, while Micaiah said that he would be killed. Within days Ahab was dead. Every witness to that prophesying (all who survived the battle, anyway) could identify the true prophet and distinguish him from the false. This, after all, is exactly what Deuteronomy 18 lays out as the answer to the question, "How can we know."

As for Isaiah and Jeremiah, their prophesyings involved more than what is in their books. Look for instance at Isaiah's involvement in the seige of Jerusalem. He gives verifiable prophecies which were fulfilled within weeks or at most months. Thus he was identified as a true prophet of God.

northWord said...

The experience that Impacted Wisdom Truth relates here and the way he relates it is a great example of what seems (to me) to be the right way to handle this stuff, you know, no big deal.

Some things have happened to me where all I can do is say "well, God, so what was that about?". There have been situations in my life when I should have been dead or seriously maimed, I believe it is the providence of God, however He works that, that saves. Nothing more or less.

I think the line can get crossed in how we treat or what we do with these 'events', impressions, situations or whatever.
It doesn't look like IWT made a big deal of it, he just got up and prayed and found out the next day what the deal was, he probly shared it some people just like he did here, didn't make a big deal of it.

We all know who the author of confusion is.

Some things are just a mystery, why make them any more than that and just have resulting devisivness among eachother.
Who knows better how to vex at man, especially where pride is concerned? Couldn't Satan be respondsible for an initial impression? -knowing full well that some people will take it and run it amuck? hm? Of course it's possible, even probable because he is insidious, cunning and desperate. I think we sometimes forget about the battle raging just 'neath the surface, right under our noses really.
The rub: We're the ones individually that make the choice of what to do/how to handle these 'situations' as it relates to Christiandom. (is that the word?)

I dunno, something to ponder anyway.

northWord said...

BTW, (where's my manners) As usual, an excellent and well thought out post, Phil, and I also thank you for the links you put in here.

Have a Blessed week all ~

Junction said...

I noticed in Tabletalk magazine this month there was an ad for a R.C. Sproul teaching series on Providence. Anyone had a chance to listen to it?

Gretta said...

Tom,

In all due respect, I believe you sidestepped the point of the question. Some did come true in their generation. Many did not. It was those I am referring to.

Gretta

graydave said...

Phil - Thanks so much for your message, "A More Sure Word". It was a very big help to me.