Monday, April 26, 2010

Bits and Bobs - Drugs and Spiritual Experience, Contraceptives

There's some interesting research here about the ways in which some drugs can give people emotional experiences similar to those experienced in worship.

From the point of view of experience, it seems it's impossible to tell the difference between drug-induced and "natural" mystical experiences. Both are powerful. Both enable people to enjoy a transcendent moment. Both seem capable of transforming people so that they feel a greater sense of empathy for and unity with other people—what most people would call love.

That doesn't surprise me at all, because we're made as single entities - we don't have a separate bit of us labelled "soul", so you'd expect that any feeling that can be experienced as a result of something genuine can also be created by drugs or by other forms of artificial stimulation. And though experiences are important and useful, at the end of the day, the key question is one of truth and reality. Is the God we experience real and true? That's why discernment is important.

Meanwhile, Albert Mohler poses some interesting questions about the effect of the contraceptive pill on society. Personally, I suspect things would have turned out much better if its use had been restricted to married (or just about to be married) women.

John Piper argues that the cross has a benefit for unbelievers as well, in this case because it secures common grace and gives them time to repent.

A Christian psychotherapist discusses the problems caused to society by pornography.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Christians is good for thinking about some of the qualities that help us tell others about Jesus.

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