Fact a Day: October 18th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: October 18th

The Facts on The Occult (Harvest House, 1991), pp. 9-10

What is the occult?

 

The Oxford American Dictionary defines the occult as: 1. secret, hidden except from those with more than ordinary knowledge. 2. involving the supernatural, occult powers. The occult [involves] the world of the supernatural, mystical or magical.*

Webster’s Third International Dictionary (unabridged) defines the occult in the following manner: deliberately kept hidden…of, relating to, or dealing in matters regarded as involving the action or influence of supernatural agencies or some secret knowledge of them.*

Dr. Ron Enroth, professor of sociology at Westmont College at Santa Barbara, California, and an authority on new religions and cults, offers the following definition:

The term refers to “hidden” or “secret” wisdom; to that which is beyond the range of ordinary human knowledge; to mysterious or concealed phenomena; to inexplicable events. It is frequently used in reference to certain practices (occult “arts”) which include divination, fortune telling, spiritism (necromancy), and magic.

Those phenomena collectively known as “the occult” may be said to have the following distinct characteristics: (1) the disclosure and communication of information unavailable to humans through normal means (beyond the five senses); (2) the placing of persons in contact with supernatural powers, paranormal energies or demonic forces; (3) the acquisition and mastery of power in order to manipulate or influence other people into certain actions.*

*For full documentation, please see The Facts on The Occult.

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