Tuesday, July 08, 2014

New Age Arminianism

On Facebook, Arminian philosopher Jerry Walls plugged this interview:
Yesterday at 8:21am · Edited ·
Part 2 of Tom Morris's fascinating interview with Patricia Pearson, author of "Opening Heaven's Door." 
I don't object to investigating NDEs. I'd add that Pearson has some useful statistics and interesting anecdotes. 
But the study of NDEs also requires us to sift and evaluate the evidence. For instance, consider the following excerpt from the interview that Walls is promoting. Does he agree with his? Given his views on purgatory and postmortem salvation, maybe he does. 
If not, doesn't he have some responsibility to his groupies to winnow the wheat from the chaff?  
Tom: Ha! Good point. In these accounts that you've heard and told us about, there's always a measure of mystery, or uncertainty, which most people think of as a bad thing. And, yet, perhaps it's a good thing. What do you think? 
Patricia: Well, there are a number of ways to answer that question. From a spiritual perspective, as the 19th century Baha'i prophet Bahaullah said, "If I told you what paradise was like, you would slit your throats to get there." Islamist suicide bombers believe they know what paradise is like, and are eager to arrive ASAP and wallow with virgins. They clearly have no idea what's entailed in being a spiritually mature human being. So what advantage is there in a false certainty that strands us with people like that? 
Humans are in their spiritual adolescence right now, in the Baha'i view. They may be smart as hell, but they're dumb as beer-addled teens in speedboats. How would you trust them with the certain contours of another realm when they would view it as a simple opportunity, and not understand the complex obligations of spiritual maturation that should precede it? 
Tom: That's an excellent point. It reminds me of an old expression: "just enough light for the step I'm on." And then, there's a new expression, "What got you here won't get you there." 

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