Mealand Re: [XTalk] Re: ASC states and the NT
- Ahhh, Bob, just when I was thinking that every response on Crosstalk was hostile, demanding impossible evidences, you come along and write this letter.
[The demands that I produce this or that invariable and impossible bit of evidence remind me of debates among the Republican candidates in the USA.]
I agree with nearly everything you wrote except that I do think that the holyghost was thought to dwell in christians permanently rather than episodically. It was producing ASC states episodically, but I don't think it came and went.
I imagine that many correspondants assume that the holyghost is some sort of invisible person out there who comes into people... that is the standard teaching of the church from then until now. So I guess me pointing out that it's just a native exegesis for an ASC state shocks them.
Of course they will think it's just a native exegesis for an ASC state when we are talking about non-Christian cultures! Unless we are evangelicals and so presume that those cultures are receving visits from invisible persons to be labeled demons.
My question is whether there is a third explanatory paradigm.
1. There is a real holyghost getting into people.
2. There are psychological events happening that are explained (falsely) by #1.
3.? The talk about holyghosts and ASC's is really people pretending to be in odd states but in fact they are just making it up for personal gain.... I don't think this is worthy of being called an explanation.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
> At 06:07 AM 1/18/2012, David Mealand wrote:
> >a) Do you think all NT references to experience of
> >the spirit refer to some kind of dissociative state?
> >b) Do you think all NT references to experience of the spirit
> >refer to states leading to speech which hearers do not understand?
> Speaking only for myself, I eschew words like "all" in any aspect of
> Biblical studies.
> Secondly, I think you are demanding an anachronistic, clinical
> assessment that is not possible with the evidence at hand.
> Furthermore, you are demanding an assessment of the people who were
> allegedly in a dissociative state, when all we have (at best) is a
> second-hand report from people who obviously were not clinical psychologists.
> >If the answer to either or both of these questions is negative,
> >could you cite at least one example of a passage referring to an
> >experience which differs from a or b, and give a brief indication
> >of a category it could reasonably be placed in?
> >I would suggest that we might at least differentiate
> >a state leading to words which must be uttered from one involving
> >words which must not be uttered.
> I don't see why this would be useful or necessary. We don't have
> transcripts of the evidence.
> > I would also suggest differentiating
> >a state which is temporary from one which is described as enduring.
> Speaking only for myself, I would consider these states as temporary
> but transformative (and hence, in effect, enduring).
> Furthermore, I suggest that Baptism in the Holy Spirit was only
> regarded as normative for the first generation or two of followers of
> Jesus, and that by the time of Paul's letter to the Ephesians (4:5),
> normative Christianity had given up trying to differentiate between
> the baptism of John from Baptism in the Spirit, and welcomed all. But
> a minority faction, then as now, continued to view baptism in the HS
> as an especially exalted gift (charism).
> >I do not think an attempt at clarity in classification is an
> >undesirable aim, even if it is a hard one to achieve in some contexts.
> I agree, but as you frame it, it is not only "hard" but impossible to
> achieve with the data we have.
> Nevertheless, I think that framing the experience as a dissociative
> state may be useful in attempting to understand what is being
> reported to us in Acts, as well as the Synoptic accounts of the
> baptism of Jesus.
> Bob Schacht
> Northern Arizona University
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- <<Among the American Pentecostals (dunno about elsewhere) there is a
fairly substantial movement of "Jesus only" Pentecostals who are unitarian in
theology. There is One God and He is Jesus. Accordingly we are baptised only
in the name of Jesus (this is a big deal to them).
Strictly, they're modalistic monarchians who believe there is one God
who is first Father, then Son, and now Spirit. His name is, as you say,
Jesus. I met one of their bishops who believed, in theory, that those baptised
in the name of the Trinity went to hell, but was extremely reluctant to
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]