on modern science and demon possession

this is a bit dated but back in mid August, Micheal Patton at Parchment and Pen asked if modern science made belief in demon possession unnecessary.   He talks about the supposed issue of so-called divine accommodation writing that:

The idea here is that what the New Testament writers (and Jesus himself) described as demon possession was really nothing more than medical conditions that could today be described and treated by modern medicine.

Those who believe this and, at the same time, seek to maintain a high view of Scripture would say that the New Testament is not really teaching that these people were demon possessed, but accommodating the the prevailing notion of the day that they were demon possessed. Christ’s miracles, in this instance, were miracles indeed, but not in the way we think.

His writing this suggest or hints that he supports this view in some sense or another, maybe not 100% but I think he leans in that direction.  He also admitted in the comments when asked if it was possible to be demon possessed, “I accept the possibility. I have never experienced it in any way and don’t really know how to “diagnose” it.”

Not to be rude, but Micheal represents a whole host of people who simply validate a certain missiological principle call the flaw of the excluded middle (PDF) coined by the late missiologist Paul G. Hiebert.

In essence the flaw of the excluded middle forms a two tiered view of the universe that in essence creates a kind of “split-level Christianity” where things emperical are relegated to the world of science as a means to explaining various phenomenon and things spiritual and supernatural to animism as though it were some archaic primitive fear based belief system, leaving out the middle area of a world of unseen supernatural powers which most in more traditional settings believe in.  So split-level Christianity then is when people in traditional cultures go to church to learn about ultimate beliefs and on the way home sacrifice a chicken for good fortune or in hopes of appeasing ancestors.

What Michael and others need to do is seek some level of integration between the split levels and pursue a more holistic Christianity that while not taking it too far, recognizes supernatural occurances and even instances of demon possession as realities and not possibilities.

Just a thought about that.