"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
Short Thoughts on Satan
(Someone I know sent me an email today asking about the devil/Satan. Here is my reply. I thought some would find it useful)
You're right about the popular notion (even among Christians) of a yin and yang view of Satan and God. In fact, the first sermon I preached on Job (Job 1-3) about 4 weeks ago I mention that. Here's the link to the audio file of that sermon. It might be good to listen when you have a little time: "Job: Woe, Whirlwind, and Wellbeing - Pt 1"
I've never run across anything worthwhile on the demonic and Satan. If we leave aside the fanciful conjectures and just look at Scripture, there's very, very little on Satan....not enough to really write a book on. We know Satan is a real entity that communicates and converses, thinks, is cunning, hates God's people, at times encourages nations to go after God's people and rebel against God, and is a tempter (I just listed everything the Scripture says on the subject from Genesis to Revelation in a nutshell). But we really know almost nothing else. Nothing about his origin, for example (the passages people refer to in Isaiah and Ezekiel about the devil's origins, are actually poetic and prophetic hyperbole about earthly kings who thought themselves divine in some way).
I think God's design in not giving us too much information is; (1) so that we don't obsess on the devil (and if adherents of conspiracy theories are any example of how easily humans obsess on evil, then we get a sense of how prone we would be to obsess and treat Satan with greater fear than we do God); (2) and because he's not really that powerful or important (the same goes with the demonic). As I have said often in the Adult Class at church and in sermons, if the devil didn't exist, we would still go right on sinning and rebelling against God; we should see the devil as more of a cheerleader-to-sin rather than a dominating force that somehow makes us sin.
So, God has revealed just enough to let us know that the evil one exists, is our accuser, a tempter, cunning (though not necessarily original in his cunning), and a dark force behind Governments and institutions that rebel against God. I think C.S. Lewis is correct when he says somewhere that the devil and demons win if we think about them all the time and see one behind every bush; and the devil and demons win if we deny their existence, and are oblivious to their ploys.
When I was 20 years old, I was stationed in a Muslim country for two years. During that time I read the Quran (in an English translation from Oxford), interacted with Muslim acquaintances, and saw Islam lived out in it's communal context. Therefore I was excited when my mother gave me a copy of "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus". With bazillions of reviews already plastered on the various sites and venues, mine will be short and succinct.
Nabeel Qureshi has woven together a very personal and personable volume written to give "an insider's perspective into a Muslim heart," as well as equip readers "with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel contrasted with the case for Islam," while chronicling his own inner struggles, sacrifices and doubts when grappling with the Christian faith. The style of writing is autobi…
"When evil looms and darkness falls And tragedy is breaking When all that's good seems overturned By God I'm not forsaken For though I fall or wander far I'm not too far for saving And when my Shepherd seeks and finds How can I keep from singing" (229)?
So cantillates Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, mother, wife, writer, musician and abuse survivor, in her new 240 page hardback "Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse". This volume is the tale of her terrors and troubles at the hands of an abusive father, and it is far, far more. It is truly a story of life after abuse, abundant life found only in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. An easy to read book, it is ideally suited for those who have been traumatized and those who long to help the trampled! "I am not my abuser. I have a choice. I aspire to heal and grow by God's grace" (82).
It's a memoir, a series of journal entries telling a very human set of stories in a very friendly, personable way. It's not fully polished, but it's real, sometimes raw, and always forthright and frank! Holly Rench, Executive Director and co-founder of The Welcome Mission, has penned a touching series of real-life exploits, escapades, agonies and adversities of the women she has been involved with for over twelve years in this 231 page softback "At Home: The Incredible Story of The Welcome Mission".
Rench unravels the tangled lives of several of her and Marcus's "adopted" adult children describing their destructive pasts and how many of them, through love and hospitality, have moved further up and further on. But the tales are also filled with pitfalls and potholes that will jar the reader's suspension system's and rattle any self-righteous lug-nuts s…