Thoughts on Dualism

I heard peices of this concept that I thought was pretty interesting this last Sunday. Our pastor read a passage from the preface of Lewis’s book, “The Screwtape Letters.” The book is about a young demon corresponding with an older demon on ways to weaken the person he is currently working on.

In the preface, Lewis says that someone asked him whether he believes in the Devil. He says that the real question is whether he believes in devils, plural. If you believe in angels then it only makes sense to believe that there is an opposite force (I know, very dualistic) being devils.

The Punch Line: Our God is bigger than anything inside/outside of the world.

The Tie In: Often we think of the classical Satan (not ha satan), or the Devil, or whatever you want to call him as being the polar opposite of God when in fact this is not true. We know from Hebrews that Jesus, and thereby God, is greater then the angels. If we accept that Satan was a fallen Angel, then really the polar opposite of Satan is Michael.

The Conclusion: God has domain over all. Satan may reside in this world, but we should never think that God’s power and the power of angels is equal to Satan’s power and the power of devils or demons.

 

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5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Dualism

  1. I wonder what is the result of Israel’s brush with Persian religion on this issue (though some may just be content to drop obscure ancient religious bombshells and leave).

    That is, did Israel have one concept of the satan before encountering Persian religion (read Job for a view of the relatively minor character, “the accuser” as dwelling in heaven, speaking with God, under his authority), and a different concept of Satan or the Devil after encountering Persian religion (arch-rival of God, fallen angel, etc.).

    It’s hard to say with much confidence because it is terribly difficult to determine who influenced whom. And much of the writings we have about Zoroaster are actually later than the New Testament writings. In short, I would agree with your conclusion — the New Testament doesn’t permit a view of God as fighting for authority with an equal being.

  2. I would agree and say there are several different concepts of Satan represented throughout the Bible, whether they changed at the introduction of Persian religion I don’t know. But yes, the Satan of Job, the Satan in Genesis, the Satan in some New Testament texts, all seem to be different “versions” where some may be conceptualized as an actual being (fallen angel) and others as “an accuser” or something the like.

  3. “Often we think of the classical Satan (not ha satan), or the Devil, or whatever you want to call him as being the polar opposite of God when in fact this is not true.”

    I think this idea that Satan is the polar opposite in morality and power comes alot from Zoroastrianism, which is why I bring it up. You talk to a lot of Christians today (not Christian thinkers… scholars, pastors, theologians) but the garden variety 909 Christian and many of them will show signs that they believe Satan is omnipresent, omniscient and somewhat omnipotent. Clearly the Bible does not demonstrate this and yet the idea has taken root in popular Christianity.

    I thought my tie in was fairly obvious but I guess you have to lay things out for some people (not you Dustin)(yeah you).

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