Proof #12: See the Magic

December 17, 2007 at 6:14 am 5 comments

Do not practice divination or sorcery. (Lev 19:26)

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft . . . . (Deut 18:10)

It’s interesting that Marshall Brain accuses the Christian religion of having “magic” in it, when this practice is expressly forbidden. Anyone who practiced it was detestable to God (Deut 18:12).

I’m still stumped as to why the Virgin Birth is referred to as a “magical insemination.” This isn’t the only place I’ve ever seen similar terminology. Yet, we’ve observed virgin births in animals (see here for quick discussion and here for another news item), so why is it so hard to conceive of a human virgin birth? I see no magic here; I see the nature that God created running its prescribed course by His plan.

Same with the “magic” star. There are two astronomical terms, nova (a bright explosion caused by accretion of hydrogen onto a white dwarf star) and supernova (which is a catastrophic explosion observable for up to a few months) with which Mr. Brain should become familiar. Either of these could explain his so-called “magic” star with no need to resort to the supernatural.

God’s identity as King of kings and Lord of lords is not contingent on His supernatural “magical” powers. It instead hinges on His exhaustive definite foreknowledge (EDF).  The impotency of idols and the majesty of God are contrasted in Isaiah 46:

I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country.  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. (Is 46:9b-11)

Both God’s EDF and His action within human history are talked of in this passage.  Again, it is not supernatural power which sets God apart: it is His EDF.  He is different from other deities because He acts within human history.  “History,” as Christians are often fond of saying, is really “His Story.”

The point is that God doesn’t act from outside on us; He acts from within–through us–to bring His predictions to pass.  Marshall will have us believe that He acts on us from the outside to make His purpose happen.  This isn’t true.  God uses wholly natural processes (in most cases) to bring His ends about.

Brain believes the Christians are ignorant enough to think that magic is the explanation behind all of God’s miracles.  But that just isn’t the case.  A proverb comes to mind: “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps” (Prov 14:15).  It is the basis for Paul exhorting the Thessalonians to “test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 The 5:21).  We are not gullible, ignorant people.  Most of us don’t take what we believe on blind faith; rather, we have carefully tested all of our beliefs and know them to be true.

Finally, Brain concludes by saying “God is identical to Leprechauns, mermaids and Santa. God is a magical fairy tale creature.”  This just isn’t the same thing.  Leprechauns, mermaids, and Santa don’t have dozens of people telling everyone who will listen that their lives have been changed by just believing.  Santa is based on a historical person, but his story doesn’t rise and fall on historical events the way that Jesus’ resurrection does.

Ultimately, this proof is ineffective because of its faulty understanding of magic and of a Christian’s understanding of magic.  Followers of God do not accept anything at face value and are encouraged by the Bible to “give thought to our steps” and to “test everything.”

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Entry filed under: God, Magic.

Proof #11: Notice There is No Scientific Evidence Proof #13: Take a Look at Slavery

5 Comments

  • 1. Samuel Skinner  |  February 1, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Uh- human virgin births would be a daughter. Women don’t have Y chromosomes.

  • 2. Luke  |  June 13, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Do not practice divination or sorcery. (Lev 19:26) Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft . . . . (Deut 18:10)
    Heh, what kind of magical divination or sorcerous spells were people casting back in ancient times? Yeah, we all heard of people going around and casting spells and throwing fireballs from thin air and curses on people, lol. It’s only in the Bible where you here people believing in such nonsense. You believe in a book that has men turning sticks into snakes, and you say we’re the ones that need help and our souls need to be saved, lol. That’s ridiculous. The only thing “magic” in religion are the Gods. Let me define magic used in terms for God: “an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.”

    I’m still stumped as to why the Virgin Birth is referred to as a “magical insemination.”
    The only way a woman can become pregnant without intercourse is if she a-sexually reproduces. Find me a documented case of human a-sexual reproduction from a woman who has never had intercourse in her life, and you found yourself a virgin birth. It’s the same with animals.

    Same with the “magic” star. There are two astronomical terms, nova, and supernova. Either of these could explain his so-called “magic” star with no need to resort to the supernatural.
    There are quite a few theories as to what the star would have been. As far as Novas or supernovas, it is very unlikely as there would have been multiple sightings and they would have been documented by many sources because they would have been unique occurrences in the sky. Like the Super Nova of 1054 that created the crab nebula that was recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers and was visible for 653 days. And Not only that, but it’s 6.3k light years away from us. Then you have to take into account that it was an aged, massive star that existed for at least about a billion years or more before it exploded in one of the two ways supernovae do involving either turning off or suddenly turning on the production of energy through nuclear fusion. I suggest YOU make yourself familiar with these things as well as astronomy and light in general. After all, scientist determine the age of the universe with OBSERVABLE evidence we call light.
    Anyway, for God to make a nova or supernova appear as the “magic” star at the time of Jesus’ supposed birth, he would have magically had to make the nova or supernova happen thousands of years in advance in order to time the speed of light to reach earth in the predicted time.

  • 3. White  |  July 1, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Magical Insemination is RUBBISH. yep. As for what God done, i would rather call it ‘God’s power’ ^^ besides, my interpretation of magic is supernatural things that HUMANS do ^^

  • 4. luke  |  July 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    White says:
    besides, my interpretation of magic is supernatural things that HUMANS do
    —So now the dictionary is open to interpretation? heh. The definition of magic is very appropriate use for “God’s creation power.” Either which way, who cares? We all know what is meant. Please have some kind of real argument instead of word semantics.

  • 5. Anti-Devil  |  July 28, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Luke,wat are u getting at?mind repeating ur question?rather then trying to find a ‘prey’ =p


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