October 28th Bible Study – The Credibility/Reliability of Mystical Experiences

Place: Jen’s apartment (email/call/text me for directions!)

Time: 7:30pm

Theme: Controversial Issues

A long time ago, my best childhood friend (who is a Catholic) told me that her grandmother had seen an image of the Virgin Mary three times in her lifetime; for a Catholic that was a huge spiritual milestone. At the time, I had no real concept of religious differences (other than I went to church on Saturday and didn’t eat pork) and thought it was fascinating. From that moment on, I looked forward to seeing the Virgin Mary too at some point, so I could achieve some type of spiritual accomplishment myself–or simply have a super cool story to share.

Unfortunately, I grew up to be a big skeptic and Mystical Experiences are something that have made me cringe a lot….even though the Bible is full of them.  Recently I have been learning about arguments for the existence of God and taking a look at Naturalism vs Theism in class, and was surprised to find out that Mystical Experience is becoming something that has been giving an edge to Theism over Naturalism (from a philosophical perspective), despite its controversial aspects. We are not going to get into any technical discussion/details about those topics, but it’s an interesting fact. Either way, I have been incredibly intrigued by the topic of Religious/Mystical Experience lately, and think it is something worth exploring.

During Friday’s study, we will be briefly discussing what qualifies as a Mystical Experience,  happenings in the Bible, and how they manifest. We will talk about pros and cons of adding them to arguments of God’s existence, and evaluating how/if they can better/harm our spiritual life. Maybe you have had a Mystical Experience yourself (it doesn’t have to be about seeing images, it can also be a supernatural feeling/sensation, a voice,  a sign, a miracle, etc) and it would be great to hear about it.

Suggested Reading (You can scan through some of these):

*Religious Experience (Wikipedia)

*Mysticism – William James

*Michael Martin’s Critique of Religious Experience

As always, feel free to bring an appetizer or dessert to share.  See you Friday! 🙂

God bless,

~Cecilia (ceanra@gmail.com)












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