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Was Moses tripping?

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

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.

Your comments are welcome!

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

$9.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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