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The Logic of Christianity: A Syllogistic Chain/Angels and Demons: Personification of Communication



by Stan A. Lindsay

The Logic of Christianity:  A Syllogistic Chain--A generation or two ago, in America, it was commonplace for individuals to argue that a given proposition was true simply because the Bible stated it was true.  In this generation, such an argument is no longer generally acceptable—a chief exception being in evangelical (Bible-believing) contexts.  In evangelical churches and cultures, such arguments are still given credence.  Evangelical preachers and teachers engage in sermonizing and argumentation on the assumption that the audience accepts the premise that the Bible is truth, the inspired Word of God.  ArguMentor argues that there is logic (or, for Aristotle, LOGOS) even in what is termed ETHOS (accepting the truth of a statement simply because one trusts the individual making the statement).  Yet, reliance upon the authority of someone’s statement (in this case, the author of the Biblical text quoted—with the implicit belief that the author was inspired by God) would be closer to an argument from ETHOS than an argument from LOGOS.  And, LOGOS, or logic, is what this book seeks to advance.  

A paradigm shift that took hold at the end of the 19th Century in academia effectively “shifted” the perception of the Bible from “the inspired word of God” to “the verbal creations of various humans.”  Logically, based upon this shift in perception and the resultant presumption of “human error” (with which this book does not agree), a logical progression is followed, as successive chapters are written—so that readers of this book will be prepared to meet the skeptical audience on its own turf.  Aristotle called this logical progression approach a “syllogistic chain” or a “chain of syllogisms.”  The 20th Century rhetorical giant, Kenneth Burke, called such a syllogistic chain: “syllogistic progressive form.”  What both geniuses are suggesting with these terminologies is that one must build arguments one upon another.  This approach has certainly been used by philosophers, throughout the centuries and millennia. Such an approach was even used by the father of Modernism, Rene DesCartes.



Angels and Demons:  The Personification of Communication--Pop culture perpetrates several myths regarding angels and demons that are alien to the literature of the Old or New Testament and early Rabbinic period.  This book, however, pertains only to the angelology in that literature.  Here are corrections some of the myths:

1.      Lucifer is NOT the devil, Satan, or even a Fallen Angel or demon.  Mentioned only in Isaiah, Lucifer (meaning “Shining One”) is a nickname for the King of Babylon, who thinks he is god-like, but will die like any other man.

2.      Satan is not an “evil god” who is at war with the Good God.

3.      The fallen angel stories you have heard do not occur anywhere in the Bible.

4.      Demons, such as the ones in the Exorcist with Linda Blair, or even in the Rite with Anthony Hopkins, are incorrectly portrayed, according the literature of the Old and New Testaments and early Rabbinic period.  There is no levitation, no spinning heads, etc. in demon possession stories in the New Testament.

5.      Demons, according to the Apostle Paul, do not even exist as actual entities; they are nothing: the equivalent of Idols or False Gods.

6.      Angels have no capacity for having sex or for reproduction.

7.      Angels cannot rebel against God.  Even Satan is restricted to following the commands of God.

8.      While angels can “fall,” such a fall is not due to any specific “sin.”  Angels cannot sin.

9.      Angels do not have “free will.”  They do not have “choice.”

10.  Stories about angels do not proliferate until the times of the Persian and Greek Empires, occurring between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, attempting to accommodate the Persian theology about a good god vs. a bad god, and the Greek theology of multiple gods who marry human women.  These Greek and Persian influences were systematically eliminated by Rabbinic Jews and New Testament authors.

Instead of these popular myths, what we find in Biblical and Early Rabbinic literature concerning Angels and Demons pertains to the Personification of Communication—one of Dr. Lindsay's two scholarly disciplines!