Demonic Realism: The Eighth Reason To Think That Christianity Is True
This is the eighth video in a series of videos entitled Ten Reasons To Think Christianity is true.
In this series of videos I have been building what I call a cumulative case for the truth of Christianity.
In prior videos we have seen:
- Not only did Jesus claim to be God (and if he’s wrong He’s lying or crazy)
- Not only did He back up that claim by fulfilling prophecy
- Not only did He back up that claim by rising from the dead
- Not only after He died the religion that He taught spread rapidly and peacefully across the world just as He predicted it would.
- Not only did He leave us a miraculous picture of His resurrection from the dead in the Shroud of Turin
- Not only does Jesus still continue to work miracles in our day as seen in scientifically validated miracles...
- Not only does the science of Near Death Experiences suggest that the human after-life experience is like what Jesus said it would be...
But here we look at credible evidence that demons are real, just like Jesus taught.
Christian revelation as it stands cannot make sense without the existence of demons.
That may sound like a surprise to people who go to one of those modern, watered down, smiley faced neutered “Christian” churches where they strip out all of the supernatural elements (what one of my professors called “candy-ass Christianity”).
But traditional, old-school orthodox Christianity has always professed belief in the reality of the devil.
The truth is that demons play a front-and-center role in the story of salvation, so much so that Christianity wouldn’t make any sense if you took the devil out of it.
Satan is present in Genesis causing the fall of Adam and Eve.
In the Gospels, we see Christ as a well-known exorcist. Christ works against Satan throughout the Gospels. (Some scholars estimate that approximately 25% of the NT refers to the devil in some way.)
To sum it up, Christ taught that the devil is real and he is out to harm mankind.
So if demons weren’t real that would be a huge blow to the credibility of Christianity.
Conversely, if demons are real then at least part, a significant supernatural part, of the Christian worldview is also true.
This by itself would completely debunk materialism by showing that one supernatural segment of Christian belief, that evil spirits exist, is true.
But is there any evidence of demonic activity in our world?
Well, first we need to set some reasonable expectations here. We shouldn’t expect full-blown proof of demons. If they are real, they are much smarter and more powerful than we are and they prefer to hide.
So the best we can hope for are glimpses and occasional indications of their activity etc.
The only kind of evidence there could be for this kind of thing is either direct experience or reliable testimony of observed facts that cannot be explained naturally.
Here we are talking about things; a person with superhuman strength, levitation, aversion to holy objects, speaking in languages the person doesn't know in a different voice, having knowledge of other things they could not have known, poltergeist activity along with other dark signs in a home, and things of this sort.
If demons are real, then Christianity is more likely to be true than if demons are not real.
So we can formulate our argument from demonic realism this way:
If we have reliable testimony that demons are real, then Christianity is more likely to be true
We do have reliable testimony that demons are real
Therefore, Christianity is more likely to be true
So what is the reliable testimony for the existence of the devil?
- The Popular Testimony of People All Over The World – Demons are by no means exclusive to Christianity. Belief in demonic spirits is widespread across all cultures of the world. Thousands, if not millions, have claimed to experience evil spirits and most cultures or religions have some sort of rite to stop them. Maybe this is superstition? The people who experience these things don’t believe so! For more on this see Craig Keener’s Miracles.
We have a considerable amount of reliable witness accounts by people with good reputations. For example:
- Modern Exorcist testimony – There are numerous eyewitness accounts given by exorcists who have had firsthand experience with the demonic. You can find many videos by reliable priests on YouTube or check out Msgr. Rosetti’s Diary Of An American Exorcist, Fr. Gabriel Amorth’s An Exorcist Explains The Demonic, or Fr Vincent Lampert’s Exorcism: The Battle Against Satan and His Demons.
- Medical testimony – Stories of psychiatrists who have changed their mind about the devil based on their direct experience and have written books to tell about it. People like New York psychiatrist Richard Gallagher in his book Demonic Foes, or Dr. Scott Peck in his book, Glimpses of the Devil, can give you more.
One might also check out Stafford Betty’s “The Growing Evidence For Demonic Possession: What Should Psychiatry’s Response Be?” In the Journal Of Religion And Health.
If Christianity is true we should expect to see some demonic activity in the world.
We do have such indications of demonic activity.
Hence, given the reliable testimony we have about the reality of the demonic, we have yet another reason to think that Christianity is true.