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This morning On The Square Russ Saltzman plans ahead for the sermon he will have to give on January 29, 2012. The text will be Mark 1:21–28, the story of the unclean spirit whom Jesus commands to leave the man it has possessed:

With umpteen years of ordination behind me I should have said something about it on 10.333 occasions by my count. I dipped into my dead sermon file and no, I have never preached on it. When that passage arrived apparently I always opted for the second reading, something in First Corinthians about poor deluded fools worried over eating meat first sacrificed to idols, or the first reading from Deuteronomy promising a prophet like Moses. And I know why. I think these accounts of demons and unclean spirits are just too un-modern for contemporary Christians.

Who could listen with a straight face, or preach with one? I am bothered saying it, but my reaction, I know, is a hangover from my atheist rationalist period. But still even now as a believer, well, possession, really?



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