Friday, October 29, 2010

Paranormal Activity?- Patton

C. Michael Patton gives his take on Demons:

As a Christian, I believe in angels, demons, and Satan. The Bible is pretty clear about this.

However, outside of coming to passages that speak of them in Scripture, I have never attempted to make a concerted effort to systematize my theology in this regard. I have not developed a course on angels and demons. I have never taught a class entitled “Satan: Understanding Your Enemy” or anything like that. Why? Because I don’t know that much about them. When it comes to “demonic activity,” an Evangelical buzzword, I don’t really know what it looks like. However, I am somewhat persuaded that most of pop Evangelical demonology systematizes itself around many things that we think we know, not allowing for the vast sea of mystery that is involved here.

Just this morning I prayed that God would protect me from “the Evil one” because this is an important part of our battle: calling on God to rescue us from the devil (Matt. 6:13).

Below is my thoughts out loud about what I know, am pretty sure of, don’t know, and imagine to be the case with regard to Satan and demons.

What I know:

•I know that demons, including Satan, are not omnipresent.

How could they be? They would have to be transcendent to be omnipresent. They are not God. So they are not transcendent. They find extension in space just like we do. They cannot be in more than one place at one time.

•I know that demons, including Satan, are not omniscient.

Maybe they are intelligent. Certainly they are crafty. But they, I assume, are like us, learning and relearning, changing and adapting according to the times.

•I know that Satan is an adversary and an accuser (that is what his name “Satan” and “Devil” mean).

•I know that Satan seeks to keep people from having correct thinking (Rev. 12:9; John 8:44).

•I know that Satan wants us to call into question, change, and distort God’s word (Gen. 3:1-7)

•I know that Satan and demons can “go into” people and animals distorting their thinking and actions.

Although, I don’t know what this means, it seems as if they desire to find a “home” or an ontological presence in living organisms. That is just bizarre. Maybe someday we will understand why. Could it be that at their “fall” they lost their “bodies” and don’t want to be without a physical dwelling? Just speculating.

•I know that Satan desires to take the place of God (Matt. 4:8-10)

•I know that Satan and demons seeks to disguise their deception in a way that appears to be trustworthy (2 Cor. 2:14-15)

•I know that demons can bring about physical debilitation (Matt. 9:33; Matt. 12:22).

•I know that Satan and demons have a decent Christology (i.e. they know who Christ is; Mark 3:11).

•I know that we need God’s protection from Satan (Matt. 6:13)

Part 1

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