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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Monday, March 29, 2010
Did Saul See Samuel's Ghost or Not? Part -X- (conclusion)
Review
We have given some consideration to the various aspects of this study, and have been careful (I hope) to consider the matter both from scripture and from a rational sense of reason. We have first considered the possibility that Samuel's ghost, really was there, and concluded that for this to have been the case, we have to step away from both what is biblical, and what is likely. Our examination did not rule out the possibility, but suggested that there was very little support for it.

We showed that the arguments from "reason" that support the notion that Samuel's actual "ghost" being actually present are not compelling. We demonstrated this by showing that the presumptions behind the arguments are entirely speculative, such that one can make equally compelling arguments using entirely different speculations.

My Conclusion
In grade school we played this game I am sure everyone reading is familiar with. We would sit in the proverbial circle, and the teacher would whisper something in the ear of the first child, who would repeat what he or she heard into the ear of the next child in the circle, and so on until two minutes later the last child repeats the message, and we see that the message is far removed from the original that was first whispered by the teacher.

Given my understanding of what a medium was - not someone who has some supernatural power to see into the spirit world, as television portrays such - but rather a demonized person who, in knowing defiance of God, seeks visions from a familiar spirit (or "demon"), I think it fair to record the chain of whispers, if you will, between God and Saul if this was the actual Samuel:

Saul speaks to the medium
The medium inquires of her demon
The demon summons up Samuel
Samuel recites his personal revelation from God
The demon projects this in a vision to the medium
The medium describes the vision to Saul.

In order to believe that what the medium described to Saul was in fact a spiritual reality, we have to believe that Samuel is going behind God's back to supply the demon with information, since God has denied Saul this information through legitimate means. We also have to believe that the demon, though God's enemy, is inclined to faithfully pass along the message in the form of a vision given to the medium, and again that the medium, though an abominable defier of God's commands, nevertheless is faithful to give Saul the straight goods.

Alternately, if I regard the narrative as a literal telling of the events from Saul's perspective; that is, it doesn't describe what is going on spiritually, but rather records (unapologetically) the details of the meeting with the medium, as they happened, and the spiritual components as they were described by the medium. If we take this route, and I am inclined this way after all is said and done, The whisper chain, after God refused to answer Saul, looks like this:

Saul inquires of the medium
the medium inquires of her familiar spirit (demon)
the demon gives a vision to the medium
the medium describes what the demon makes her see to Saul.

In this chain, Samuel doesn't show up; the demon just projects Samuel into the vision he provides to the medium; which is entirely in character (I might add) with a spirit who actively serves the father of lies and his plans and purpose. This demon, and probably every demon, would be well aware of all the things he puts into Samuel's mouth, since God doesn't do such things in a corner.

Conclusion

In the final analysis it comes down to a question of credibility.

Certainly both Saul and the medium are convinced that the apparition seen in the medium's vision is in fact Samuel. This series does not contend otherwise. The question we have set out to answer is whether what was supplied to the medium by the demon was a legitimate portrayal of Samuel, or a demonic lie. The text doesn't explicitly state that this was a demonic vision, but I think early readers of the text would have implicitly understood this to be so.

I conclude therefore that this was not Samuel, but a demonic vision given to the medium.

Having Said That...

I have no emotional investment in this opinion. There are doctrinal hills well worth defending,... but this isn't one of them. The close examination we gave this text was not primarily intended to make a point, but rather to exercise myself and the reader in examining a text in scripture. If you have followed along, and used your brain and scripture to weigh these thoughts, then the exercise was probably fruitful.

If someone wants to argue that I am wrong, or right, they have missed the point.
posted by Daniel @ 11:00 AM  
5 Comments:
  • At 11:03 AM, March 29, 2010, Blogger Daniel said…

    I wanted to give a more verbose concluding post, but frankly, I didn't have the time, and I wanted to close the door on this series.

     
  • At 1:21 PM, March 29, 2010, Blogger David Kjos said…

    What? I had to go through all this to find out I was right all along?

    I think your conclusion is actually quite important, but you're right, the exercise of examining the text as it should be examined is even more important. Thanks for that.

     
  • At 2:12 PM, March 29, 2010, Blogger Daniel said…

    I am practicing my long windedness. Ten posts to state the obvious is perhaps a new record.

     
  • At 5:43 PM, March 29, 2010, Blogger David Kjos said…

    Well, you know, records are made to be broken. I have complete confidence that you will continue to exceed my expectations.

     
  • At 2:18 PM, April 01, 2010, Anonymous Sabeian said…

    I extremely enjoyed this series. You are well versed and have taught me new ways in which to come to a conclusion. You've shown the importance of seeking every avenue in order to come to the proper and accurate result. You were patient and gentle in your explanations, unjudgemental and at times quite witty. Much appreciated for the lesson, the journey rather than the answer. Bravo Daniel, Bravo. I look forward to the next topic of discussion.

     
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