“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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Greg on God’s role in suffering. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0272.mp3
Is it possible to force people to love? Powerful people may be able to force others to do just about anything. Through psychological or physical torture, they may succeed in forcing them to curse their own children to deny their faith. They may even succeed in forcing others to act and say loving things to…
David D. Flowers is doing a three part interview with Greg over on his blog. He posted the first of those interviews last week. The second interview was posted today. Check it out!
Last week, we posted a piece by Greg that challenges the practice being violent “in the name of Jesus” toward others who err theologically. (Click here to read this post.) Being that this piece got a lot of attention, we thought it worthwhile to provide some further explication to this point, especially in the light…
Question: Since the first time I experienced a sex drive it’s been directed towards little children. I’ve never acted on this, for I know it’s wrong. But it torments me. Why would God created me with pedophile cravings? Answer: I’m so sorry for your condition and greatly respect the fact that you have committed yourself…
Greg and Thomas talk about Open Theism and how Greg’s views differ from Thomas’s. Theology nerds, get your compass and your flashlight and prepare to go DEEEEEP in the weeds! Thomas’s book: God Can’t Episode 487 http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0487.mp3