Bringing the Text to Life

Discredited Substances John 6:56-69

Discredited Substances

Far from being discredited by new discoveries and the sophistication of our age, faith remains the substance of things hoped for.

At a Glance

It was once thought (not so long ago) that "orgone" was a form of energy that could be collected for medicinal purposes. Sex in a bottle. Well, today we know better. Orgone is not the only discredited substance we found in the files of history. And some say that "faith" is just such a "substance." Really?

Editors' Pick

For material based on this same gospel text, see "The Artisan BreadChurch," August 24, 2003, at

Have you heard of any of these things: phlogiston, orgone, luminiferous ether, alkahest, miasma?

Chances are, with the possible exception of miasma, you haven't, and there's no reason you should have, because they are nothing -- or, to explain more fully -- they are the names of substances once thought to exist but which have since been discredited.

Phlogiston, for example, was coined in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher, a German alchemist, to describe what he believed was the essence of fire, a substance purportedly present in all combustible...

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