Science, Spirit, and Asbury

There is much going on in the quantum realm that we cannot see, yet we can’t deny its happenings because we see its fruit manifest in the physical world around us. That is to say that all of the non-comprehensible magic that happens on the most minuscule level of the universe looks to humanity as usual, everyday science; for science is the manifestation of things that humans can sense. Indeed, if we cannot sense something in this world or within our faculties in some capacity, then that thing remains hidden from us because it has not touched the realm of science in some conceivable way.

God intentionally made humans with flesh and bone and put them in the realm of science for a reason. This is our domain, and we have been created to process everything around us via the means of molecules. And while humans are made of spirit as well, we are spirits with physical bodies, and so even the spiritual things we pick up on can be seen and sensed in scientific ways. And so, just as what is happening in the quantum realm is made manifest among us as science, so the spiritual realm is also made manifest among us as science. Therefore:

  • Yes, fasting can effect the brain and generate scientific hallucinations, but people like Daniel and Jesus were capable of seeing actual spiritual entities while in that state. For them, it was science and spiritual.
  • Yes, to a neuroscientist, dreams are always going to look like brain waves on a chart, but that doesn’t mean that a chart here and there wasn’t inspired by God.
  • Yes, to a psychologist, an impression or feeling someone had may be explained by an emotional impulse, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the Holy Spirit warming their heart.
  • Yes, to a doctor, physical sickness may be diagnosable, but that doesn’t mean that the sickness can’t also be a symptom of a demon, as Jesus constantly showed us. In such moments the doctor is actually diagnosing the spiritual realm made manifest in a person’s body and not cutting the sickness out at its source. Indeed, there have been several times when I’ve cast out demons and their scientific symptoms and manifestations have gone along with them. In such moments, I am using scientific senses to discern the presence of the spiritual to remove the spiritual and restore the scientific aspects of a person.

Right now, the world has its eyes on Asbury University, where a one-hour chapel service has continued for over a week, causing thousands of Christians to take the pilgrimage to Kentucky. While we must always discern what we see, some haven’t found this event unexplainable enough to call it a revival. Many are apt to slap a label of “social science” onto it, claiming that Asbury is just the natural energy of a mass gathering mixed together with a legendary amount of curiosity. But the history of revivals has shown that no matter how unexplainable a revival is, there will always be skeptics. Every revival is accused by some of emotionalism or mass hysteria. There will always be a scientific way out of believing in something because, for the human, science is what everything manifests as.

The church has been reporting supernatural events since its very foundation and not one of those events (including the resurrection of Jesus himself) has been received by everyone. Such skepticism is expected because science usually has an orderly way of working. Therefore, even the most miraculous things are hard for people to accept because they break the rules. We are skeptical of the spiritual, both on small scales and big scales.

For me, part of the beauty of Asbury’s revival thus far has been how lackluster it has been. I’m happy if it escalates into more, but for now, it acts as a parable that might only be understood by those interested. It is not concerned with proving itself but is instead an invitation to seek and find.

So is Asbury social science? Yes. To the human, all things are science. But is it also spiritual? Many who have visited, including me, would say yes—there is a discernible spiritual gravitas to this particular science.

But even if, in the end, you were to say that God did not cause the event, he is certainly there now, for God is enthroned on his praises—and a few thousand praises are coming out of Kentucky these days.

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