Notes on _The Unseen Realm_

Psalm 82:1 God [elohim] stands in the divine assembly; He administers judgment in the midst of the gods [elohim]. – Lexham English Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012)

Most of what…taught about the unseen world in Bible college and seminary had been filtered by English translations or derived from sources like Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Loyalty to text or to Christian tradition?

How the biblical writers really thought about the unseen spiritual realm…They processed life in supernatural terms. Today’s Christian processes it by a mixture of creedal statements and modern rationalism.

Filter and mosaic. Psalm 82…alerted filter was being used.

Throwing away the filter cost the systems for ordering the Scripture and doctrine in the mind…left with fragments…best thing that could have happened. Need to see the mosaic created by the pieces. The Bible is really a theological and literary mosaic – Isn’t clear up close, may appear to be random assemblage of pieces. Need to step back to see the wondrous whole. Individual pieces essential; without them there would be no mosaic. But the meaning of the pieces found in the completed mosaic. Mosaic isn’t imposed on the pieces; it derives from them.

Remove the filter and look at the pieces of Scripture as part of a mosaic so the big picture can begin to take focus. Leads to answers for questions like, “Why is that in the Bible?” and “How can I make sense of all this?”

Obstacles and Protocols

  1. We’ve been trained to think the history of Christianity is the true context of the Bible. – Pervasive tendency to filter through creeds, confessions, and denominational preferences. As understanding of the world view of biblical writers grows, so does understanding of what they intended to say — and the mosaic of their thinking takes shape.
  2. We’ve been desensitized to the vitality and theological importance of the unseen world. Biblical writers and those to whom they wrote were predisposed to supernaturalism. To ignore that outlook or to marginalize it will produce Bible interpretation reflecting our mindset more than that of the biblical writers.
  3. We assume a lot of things in the Bible are too odd or peripheral to matter.