The Supernatural

My mental health and emotional stability is always put in peril when I visit the website, “Stand Firm in Faith.”  I won’t get into it now, but I’m just not a fan.

One of their pages had a post and several comments blasting an online support community started by Richard Dawkins for Christian ministers who “no longer believe in the supernatural.”  Fair enough, I thought, they probably do need a lot of support if their external life is totally incongruous with their inner life.  And the post made it seem pretty clear that a big part of this online community is supporting these folks as they leave the ministry.

But this got me thinking, “do I believe in the supernatural?  And what exactly do we mean when we say supernatural?”  My hunch is that when most people talk about the supernatural, they are talking about God or some sort of divine entity or force.

The more I think about it though, the more I don’t believe in the “supernatural” either.  Now hold on just a second before you report me to the heresy police.  Allow me to explain.

God parts the Red Sea

“Supernatural” connotes an entity or force that works outside or above nature; almost a spooky sort of power that we, as humans, can never understand or face.  However, I believe in the God who enters into time and indeed works in nature.  I believe in the God who parted the Red Seas and saved Israel from Egypt.  I believe in the God who raised Jesus from the dead.  These weren’t “supernatural” events, I believe they are now part of the fabric of our nature.

Now, back to this online support community.  I am not going to defend or damn it; I am simply trying to flesh out what it means to believe in the supernatural. The problem is that we use “supernatural” as a euphemism for God, as if talking about God would create a scandal or offend our sensibilities.

If you’re going to talk about God, talk about God.  The Very One who created, enters, and will redeem the natural.

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