“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled…”
Roger Olson reflected a few days ago on the curious absence of any discussion of Satan in modern theology. He even speculated:
I suspect that one reason Greg Boyd, a brilliant theologian, is not taken as seriously as he should be by many evangelicals is his obvious, “up front,” blatant belief in a very personal, very real, very active Satan who has great power in the world. And he believes in “spiritual warfare,” something that scares most evangelicals (to say nothing of mainline, liberal Protestants!).
Roger also suggests a possible role of Calvinism in this downplaying of the reality of Satan:
I think Calvinism tends to downplay the reality and power of Satan by reducing Satan to an instrument of God. Luther said that “The devil is God’s devil.” Calvinism generally agrees with that. The idea is that God alone is sovereign so the devil must somehow be an instrument of God in the “big plan” to glorify himself.
As I read the New Testament, however, Satan is no instrument of God but God’s enemy (and ours). In order to avoid dualism, many intellectual Christians have abandoned Satan altogether or absorbed Satan into God (or at least God’s will and plan). I, too, want to avoid dualism, but I don’t know how or why Satan is real and powerful and “the prince of this world.” All I can say with confidence is that he is a conquered enemy of God who is still causing a great deal of chaos. Why God allows it, I don’t know. That’s God’s business. That he will eventually take away all of Satan’s power and free us from his influence lies at the heart of biblical hope.
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This is the ninth and final of several videos Greg put together to refute Bart Ehrman’s claims published in the article What Do We Really Know About Jesus? Thanks for hanging in there for this last one. I know it was a long wait, but the holidays got inordinately busy for Greg. In this segment, Greg talks…
Question: Why did God create us with far more of a sex drive than we need for reproduction and far more than we can handle to refrain from sex before and outside of marriage? It seems like a cruel joke! Answer: Sex is a wonderful, beautiful, God-glorifying gift. It’s not just for reproduction–it’s also for…
The Warfare Worldview from Roberta Winter Institute on Vimeo. Here’s a video presentation that Greg did at the Roberta Winter Institute regarding the Warfare Worldview. Enjoy!
Concerning the cross, Paul wrote that God’s intent was “that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places … in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:10-11). One…
In this video clip by The Work of the People, Greg shares the story of how he finally converted from atheism to Christianity. Enjoy!
Here’s a video clip on Open Theism from Greg’s sessions with Travis Reed with The Work of the People. What is Open Theism? Open Theists affirm that God knows all of reality perfectly, so Open Theism really is about the nature and content of the future. Does the future contain real possibilities? We have to wrestle with…