World-Changing Ideas


     The book, Spiritual Terrorism:  Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb, was published April 7, 2008.  The manuscript, of course, had been submitted to the publisher well before the publication date.  While waiting for the initial printing, the author, Boyd C. Purcell, Ph.D., happened to read the cover story in Time Magazine, “10 Ideas that are changing the world,” dated March 24, 2008.  The 10 ideas cover the environment, the economy, technology, and religion. It was too late to include this source in his book, but he was delighted to discover that two of the 10 ideas which are changing the world are in Spiritual Terrorism.  Idea # 4, “Reverse Radicalism” and idea # 10, “Re-Judaizing” Jesus.  While these specific words were not used, the concepts are clearly articulated in Spiritual Terrorism:  Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb. 

    Idea # 4:  “Reverse Radicalism”:  according to Time, “Serious study of terrorism has, for the past 20 years, been fixated on one question.  That question, so teasingly close to the right one, is, ‘Why do people join terrorist groups?’…The smarter question, the experts have now begun to ask, is, ‘Why do people leave terrorist groups?'”  “Basically, they become disenchanted with the terrorist’s lifestyle and reality that didn’t live up to the fantasy.  Time reported,“Nearly a dozen countries, including the U.S. in Iraq, have recently started programs to educate radicals about the gap between their religious ideals and the groups they follow…with the help of clerics and ex-terrorists.  ‘We’ve been fighting the wrong battle,’ says Frank Cilluffo, a former White House Homeland Security official who is researching deradicalization at George Washington University.'”  As stated by Purcell in  Spiritual Terrorism, this approach, of using clergy with a very loving view of God, to teach captured terrorists that Islam neither teaches nor condones the killing of innocent men, women, and children is working.  Time said that data are scarce about the success of such programs.  But, according to Purcell, Saudi Arabia has reported an eighty percent success rate in de-radicalizing terrorists and converting them to peaceful, productive citizens.  This approach is much more effective and far less costly than military means.  The power of God’s love to change minds and transform lives is far greater than the power of fear!

     Idea # 10:  “Re-Judaizing” Jesus means to understand not only that Jesus was a Jew but to interpret what he taught within the context of Judaism.  Time insightfully reported that this is a “seismic” shift.  In essence, for centuries, Christians interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures in the context of Gentile culture.  “But today seminaries across the Christian spectrum teach, as Vanderbilt University New Testament scholar Amy Jill Levine says, that ‘if you get the [Jewish] context wrong, you will certainly get Jesus wrong.'”  As explained in Spiritual Terrorism, this concept of understanding what Jesus taught within the context of Judaism is especially important in regard to correctly interpreting “unquenchable fire” of hell which, when taken out of the context of Jewish culture, has,  unfortunately, been used to terrorize literal-minded Christians.  Jesus used fire  symbolically, in the great tradition of Jewish prophets, as did Moses, Isaiah,  Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Malachi,  and John the Baptist, etc. 

     Unquenchable fire is not, as spiritual terrorists contend, fire which will never go out; it is fire which will not be extinguished.    But it will burn out when it has consumed the spiritually combustible material—sin.  When sin has been consumed, purifying sinners, the unquenchable fire will then go out as all fires do.  The Torah (Old Testament) says that the Messiah will use a refining fire to purify the Jews (Mal. 3:1-3).  Christians will be purified by fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ (I Cor. 3:10-15; II Cor. 5:10).  Spiritual rebels will be purified—according to Jesus, “salted with fire”—in Gehenna [the City of Jerusalem’s trash dump], translated “hell” by King James Version (Mk. 9:43-49).  Eventually, ALL will be purified and reconciled to God as evidenced by universal submission to and confession of faith in Christ (Phil. 2:9-11) and universal worship of God and the Lamb eternally (Rev. 5:13).