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Worldviews in Conflict: Christian Cosmology and the Recent Doctrine of Spiritual Mapping (Part 2)


If we fail to pay attention to the fundamentals of doctrine and neglect to teach people to walk as Christians, no amount of spiritual warfare will help us. Our churches are filled with hapless teenagers, confused single adults and torn families. A woman who prophesies on Sunday morning may be unable to balance her checkbook on Monday, and have a poor credit history. A man who rebukes the devil in church one day may go home and beat his wife in a fit of rage on another day. As church leaders and pastors we are sometimes dismayed by the polarity we see demonstrated in the lives of our more “spiritual” people. Yet, if our teaching focus remains on sophisticated and esoteric training, while we neglect the basics, we should expect the sheep to stray in their walk with God. Let us, therefore, devote ourselves primarily to the “public reading of Scripture” (I Tim. 4:13) and to instructions on righteousness (II Tim. 3:16). In this way, we may see the day that all Bible-believing Christians long for: transformed lives on a large scale by the power of his Word and the work of the Holy Spirit. For surely, nothing makes a greater or more lasting impact on culture or a community than “real” Christians.





32 References to Lewis’ famous comments in The Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan, 1943), p. 9, are fairly common in books dealing with Satan and demons. For example, see Demon Possession, ed. by John Warwick Montgomery (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1976), p. 21. More recently, see C. Peter Wagner’s book, Warfare Prayer (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1992), p. 85.

33 See M.F. Unger, “Satan,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter Elwell, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1984), pp. 972-3. Also see M.F. Unger, Biblical Demonology (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press, 1952), and L.S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. II (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1947), esp. pp. 83-4.

34 For example, Michael Green’s, I Believe in Satan’s Downfall (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), pp. 39-41, and Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), p. 413, agree with the fundamentalist’s interpretation. On the other side are Old Testament scholar, E.J. Young and his commentary on Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965) and, more recently, Sydney H.T. Page’s, Powers of Evil (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), pp. 38-39.

35 Page, Powers of Evil, p. 11.

36 See, e.g., I Maccabees 1 or II Maccabees 7.

37 See, esp. James Kallas, Jesus and the Power of Satan (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1968), pp. 42-59.

38 Interestingly, John’s Gospel omits the Synoptic accounts of Jesus casting out demons, the Temptation in the wilderness, and Satan’s influence on Peter.

39 Page, Powers of Evil, p. 87. See also George Eldon Ladd’s, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), pp. 30-39.

40 Satan’s tactics have been the same for centuries: lies, deception, murder, greed, etc. (See., e.g., Matt. 4:1-11; John 8:44; Rev. 12:9; II Cor. 4:4; Gal. 4:8).

41 See esp., Page, Powers of Evil, pp. 39-42. Page makes a strong case for rejecting a common interpretation of Ezekiel 28:12-19. He does not think it is reasonable to assume this passage refers to the fall of Satan or his position in heaven.

42 This is the most common and reasonable conclusion, for example, see Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 412-14.

43 C.K. Barrett, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Harper’s New Testament Commentaries (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), p. 130.

44 Ibid., pp. 130-131. See also Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians. New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), pp. 126-130.

45 In the Hebrew text, the definite article is used, rendering it literally “the Accuser” instead of simply calling him “Satan.” See, e.g., Elmer B. Smick, “Job” in Vol. 4, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), p. 880.

46 William S. Lasor, David Allan Hubbard and Frederic Wm. Bush, Old Testament Survey (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), p. 565.

47 Donald G. Bloesch, The Struggle of Prayer (Colorado Springs: Helmers & Howard, 1988), p. 33.

48 Jesus performed several exorcisms in the Synoptics that were related to severe illnesses. Mark 1:23-28 records a man demonized who sat in the synagogue at Capernaum. A boy troubled with epileptic seizures is relieved after Jesus exorcises a demon recorded in three Gospels (Matt. 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43). One of the most amazing accounts of Jesus’ exorcisms is the story of the Gerasene demoniac (Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).

49 Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 422.

50 For example, see Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:1-6:9; Phil. 2:5-13; Col. 3:1-4:6. Note the emphasis upon the reader to take action and make deliberate decisions. Interestingly, even Judas is blamed for his decisions, despite the fact that the Scripture says Satan “entered into him” (John 13:27b.).


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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2002

About the Author: Larry L. Taylor, M.A., D.Min., is Affiliate Faculty at Regis University in the Denver area and formerly professor of humanities at Portland Bible College. Larry Taylor founded a church in Colorado and has 17 years of pastoral experience.

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