Speaking of the Devil Book Review

Speaking of the Devil Book Review August 24, 2016

ROS CoverToday in my column on Scot McKnight’s blog, I’m starting a fairly lengthy book review of Richard Beck’s new book “Reviving Old Scratch: Spiritual Warfare for the Doubters and Disenchanted”

But this is more than just a simple book review for me, I go to church with the Beck’s and have witnessed up close how these ideas have changed their lives, and how they can change yours.

There’s a good chance that if you are reading this blog, you have a healthy bit of skepticism when it comes to things like Spiritual warfare, and if so, I’d love to encourage you to get this book and read it immediately.

And since I’m not going to be talking about this on my personal blog, I just wanted to give you one snippet of why this is so important to me (and potentially you).

A few months ago, I was at an event where Richard was discussing his book with N.T. Wright, and at one point Wright brought up that his great problem with the way Western Christians talk about the Devil is that they tend to greatly over-emphasize him.

And then he said, ” I don’t want to say that the Devil is a personal being, because I think that the point of Scripture is that the Devil is sub-personal.”

Wright alluded to the Devil character in C.S. Lewis space trilogy, as a great example, because he used to be human, but he colluded with evil forces long enough he became something much more powerful, but something much less than human.

I loved that example so much I went and looked it up. It’s in Lewis 2nd book from that series, Perelandra, which is set on the planet Venus. In this story, sin/the fall has not yet happened to Venus, but the Satan character is trying to do the whole Garden of Eden thing there as well.
In revolt, God has sent a man from Earth named Ransom to confront Satan, and here’s the scene of what happens in that confrontation:
What was before him [Ransom] appeared no longer a person of corrupted will. It was corruption itself to which will was attached only as an instrument. Ages ago it had been a Person; but the ruins of personality now survived in it only as weapons at the disposal of a furious self-exiled negation. It is perhaps difficult to understand why this filled Ransom not with horror but with a kind of joy. The joy came from finding at last what hatred was made for.

I love that! The Joy came from finding at last what hatred was made for.

This is why a theology of Spiritual warfare is so important.

Rage against the powers, Hate the evil in the world.

Those are God given impulses. But never hate a person.

Because they are made in the image of God and to be cherished and rescued from the principalities and powers.

This is exactly what Paul is talking about in Ephesians! “Our battle is not against flesh and blood” So redirect your hate toward that for which it was actually made for. That’s how you learn to love your enemies, and to do good to those who persecute you.

Hate the right things, which are always things and never people. Follow Jesus into a revolt against the powers, fight the good fight.

If this sounds interesting to you at all, than you can head over to Scot’s blog today for the beginning of the conversation. It will run for the four weeks on Wednesday’s.

"That isnt bad i hope for a happy endmx.SHAOYANG.INFO/c6576Xv"

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