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3. The Spirit Realm is real and beyond comprehension (this universe is not everything)
My intent with this writing is to bring some doubts to the table as they relate to the Spirit Realm. This is inherently difficult territory to navigate through a medium like writing as the topic is, inherently speaking, beyond description. However, beyond description is quite different from beyond actuality. The Spirit Realm is capable of being recognized by humans in the sensory world, though it doesn’t exist in the same way and is not contingent upon the world as we know it. In addition, this reality will only be convincing to those who make the decision to listen to Christ first, for it is by His grace that humans might be imbued with a change in understanding (Ephesians 1:7-10). Systematic arguments are only successful to a certain point with topics such as this, and so I shall, rather loosely, let my thoughts stream.
In no way whatsoever does the observation of natural phenomena discredit, at base level, the possibility of supernatural reality. Roger Trigg makes this point with clarity in his book Rationality and Religion: “It does not follow from the mere fact of human rationality that there is no transcendent reality… That assumption was the product of the Enlightenment” (1998:27). Fellow philosopher Peter Kreeft is correct in rebranding this historical period as “the Endarkenment.”
Though there are numerous ways in which one can reject the reality of the Spirit Realm, the atheist Hegelian, Ludwig Feuerbach, seems an apt example of someone who pushed this quasi-Enlightenment philosophic notion right to the edge. Despite being alive post-Enlightenment, Feuerbach’s thinking was nonetheless tainted by materialism. He maintained that the human collective was God and that the supposed qualities of God were mere human qualities being projected to a “false zone of reality” (Singer, 2000:23). Whether one takes the ideological route of Feuerbach or a different path, any path that deviates from the narrow road is the wrong way (Matthew 7:14).
However, the Enlightenment should not be our main focus; the focus is the Spirit Realm, particularly, how its reality might be denied. Doubts made in relation to the Spirit Realm come in a variety of forms, and they are not only committed on behalf of unbelievers but also Christians. What form does this disbelief come in for the Christian? It is my suggestion that Christians are at risk of what might be considered one-sided supernaturalism. What I am referring to here is that many Christians sincerely believe that the evil dimension of the Spirit Realm is very accessible and dangerous, and yet regard the good dimension as being quite distant and ineffective. Think about it for a few minutes and be honest with yourself. Is it not easier to tremble at the thought of witchcraft participation and its consequences, for instance, than to imagine oneself being in awe when praying to God or taking scripture into account? Why is that so?
Again, there is nothing I can write here that can prove the reality of the Spirit Realm. This writing is a structured expression and the Spirit Realm is beyond structures, so it’s intrinsically inadequate to make so great an achievement. But there are some points that I hope would resonate with you. First, tread with caution in a world that’s brimming with vain philosophies. Second, be serious about your beliefs – especially in relation to the supernatural. Belief in the Spirit Realm need not be reduced to a type of misguided Gnosticism. The Genesis account informs us that natural reality was intended by God (see chapter one) but it is certainly not an end in itself. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13 verse 12: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Hold fast to Christ while you exist in this world of temporality. But remember, your knowing of Christ is not intended to be a temporal, this-world experience, but rather, an eternal knowing (John 3:16, 36).
Singer, Peter. “From God to Money.” Marx: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. 23. Book.
Trigg, Roger. “A Defense of Religious Realism.” Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings. Ed. Michael Peterson, et al. 4th. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 27. Book.