Professor Benny Shanon, professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, experienced a hallucinatory trip a few years ago when he participated in a tribal ceremony in the Amazon and drank a cocktail made from a plant called “ayahuasca.”
This experience led him to believe that the miracles and visions Moses experienced in the Sinai desert, and presumably when Pharoah in Egypt witnessed miracles, were nothing more than delusions induced by acid trips.
“I have no direct proof of this interpretation,” he says. “It seems logical that something was altered in people’s consciousness. There are other stories in the Bible that mention the use of plants: for example, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.”
Of his own drug use, Shanon says, “I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations. Hypotheses have been around for 20 years connecting the beginning of religions with psychoactive materials.”
The acacia tree also has psychedelic properties, according to Shanon. Acacia is mentioned frequently in the Bible. It was the type of wood from which the Ark of the Covenant was made.
Metaphysical naturalism is a worldview in which nature is all there is, and all things supernatural, such as spirits and souls, supernatural beings, miracles, and transcendent truth as taught by the Bible, do not exist.
This view is distinguished from methodological naturalism, which is a worldview that claims that the scientific method is limited to the study of the natural world, but unlike metaphysical naturalism does not deny the possibility of supernatural or paranormal phenomena.
In other words, a methodological naturalist who believes the Bible is God’s inerrant Word may do so without violating the principles of science, because the scientific method cannot use natural means to study the supernatural. It is simply not the purpose of science to prove or disprove the supernatural. It’s not a proper measuring tool any more than a yard stick can be used to measure barometric pressure. For instance, science can be used to tell us something about the world’s geological history and it’s possible origin, but it cannot ever negate the possibility of a Creation in six days.
Much of the western world has absorbed the philosophy of Enlightenment thinkers such as Hume, Kant and Hegel, who moved from a belief that the proper role of philosophy and science was to study only natural phenomena, to a presupposition that the supernatural simply does not exist.
The metaphysical naturalist rejects the supernatural from the outset and automatically discounts any belief system that includes God or a supernatural world as primitive superstition.
The common method of metaphysical naturalists when interpreting the Bible is to reject the miracles and doubt both the history and authenticity of the literature that would give any credence to eyewitness records of supernatural events. However, much of the Bible is supported by corroborating history and archaeology. It gives historical context and purports eyewitness testimony.
The metaphyscial naturalist, if he is to be consistent with a scientific trust in empirical records, has to accept that at least some of these phenomena have a basis in fact. He is left with the only option of reinterpreting the data in terms of a “scientific explanation.” The Apostle John on Patmos saw visions because he ate wild mushrooms. The Ark of the Covenant shot bolts of lightning because it was a giant primitive battery. Visions and revelations are the result of psychological stress and trauma. And so on.
Hence Shanon’s hypothesis. He guesses that Ten Commandments, with the voice of God heard in the “thunder,” had its origin in a psychedelic experience.
Was Moses tripping when he heard the Law of God?
“But not everyone who uses a plant like this brings the Torah,” Shanon concedes. “For that, you have to be Moses.”
Shanon should know. He reports that since his Amazon trip, he has used the plant hundreds of times.
«- A Crank on Gay Marriage - Murphy Brown Revisted
- Science and Technology
-» How to add your website or blog to Google's search index
Your comments are welcome!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)