By N. Hansen on May 22, 2014Format: PaperbackChristian culture, particularly in the West, has done something peculiar. While Christianity by its very nature is nothing if not a Supernatural belief system, it seems that there is a concerted effort to dissuade believers from discussing matters of a Supernatural nature; questions that do not have simple answers are particularly frowned upon. On the rare occasions when Christians are willing to discuss modern supernatural phenomena, the answer is often boiled down to a pat response of “That’s demonic.”Not content to accept the largely unsatisfying response by mainstream Christianity to what appears to be an increase in fascination with the paranormal, New Age, Occult, and supernatural phenomena, author Cris Putnam tasked himself with compiling a thorough response of his own. The Supernatural Worldview is Putnam’s bold contribution to the discussion, and he manages to speak to several audiences as once.
1. Misinformed or misguided Christians – The Supernatural Worldview seeks to encourage Christians to consider that perhaps the things they THOUGHT they understood about the supernatural world might not be a complete or accurate scriptural understanding. Putnam challenges notions firmly held by many Christians today. Are all matters related to ghosts, hauntings, psi phenomena etc demonically driven, or does the Bible itself provide us with alternate ways to view such events? Putnam challenges the accepted answers, and uses sound logic as well as ample scripture references to cause one to consider other possibilities.
2. New Christians with paranormal/supernatural/occult background – I fall into this category. I was deeply involved in the occult and New Age prior to becoming Christian. After my conversion, I had a hard time knowing what to do with all of the research and experience I had with the supernatural that I’d gleaned from non-Christian sources. The Christian response was that I should largely put all of it out of my mind, it was all demonic, and I’d be best not to think about it anymore. It was almost as if becoming a Christian had ironically put me in a position to have a LESS Supernatural worldview, and for a time, I bought it. For people like me, Putnam’s book is invaluable. It encourages the reader to feel comfortable asking the tough questions, and provides a soundly Biblical platform for exploring the supernatural world in which we live. Far from being frightening, I found The Supernatural Worldview to be encouraging and inspiring.. renewing my sense of awe at all aspects of Creation.
3. Non-believers and seekers – I would highly recommend this book for those who are not Christian, but who are interested in the supernatural. Having personally read an endless library of books written all manner of paranormal researchers and authors, I can honestly say that none have provided such a well documented, thoroughly researched, footnoted, and compelling argument for the existence of the supernatural as Cris Putnam does with The Supernatural Worldview. Putnam is unapologetic about his Christian faith, and all topics in this book are viewed through a Biblical lens. That said, the importance of keeping an open mind is often lauded as a virtue in New Age/agnostic/spiritualist circles, so I would encourage folks in those areas to be intellectually honest and open enough to read Putnam’s book. I guarantee you will come away with a perspective you’ve never previously considered.
Cris puts forth a persuasive case that the paranormal is on the rise both in Western culture and around the world. Citing what he terms as the “Paranormal Paradigm Shift”, Putnam details both the increase in strange phenomena making headlines, and the decrease in scientific blowback against such events. Putnam points out that neo-atheists who claim to be ushering in an era of godlessness, actually may represent the last gasps of atheism as mainstream science begins to acknowledge evidence which points to a supernatural realm. With the world becoming increasingly aware of and accepting of the supernatural, it is more important than ever that Christians firmly embrace their own Supernatural Worldview, that we might be able to provide a strong response to those who are seeking answers during this unprecedented paradigm shift.
This book is an essential edition to every Christian reference library, and I have no doubt that it will be considered an authoritative work for future researchers into the Supernatural realm.