Recognizing Satan’s Reality

I once asked a college philosophy class, “ How many of you believe in God?” Out of thirty students, twenty-seven raised their hands in the affirmative; three abstained.

Then I asked, “How many of you believe in Satan as a personal reality?” This time the vote was reversed.

I pursued my inquiry. I asked, “Why do you believe in a supernatural being who has the capacity to influence us for good (God) and not in a supernatural personal being who has the capacity to influence us for evil (Satan)?” Their answers indicated that the Devil they were rejecting was what they perceived to be a nonexistent mythical caricature.

Many qualified their positions by saying, “I do believe in the reality of an impersonal force of evil in the world.” I found this response fascinating. I asked them, “How can an impersonal force be evil?”

What is this mysterious impersonal force? Cosmic dust? Radioactivity? Impersonal objects, forces, or powers can be many things. One thing they cannot be is morally evil. Here the attempt to be modern and sophisticated becomes an exercise in intellectual regression.

 

Coram Deo

Do you believe Satan is a personal reality? Why do you believe as you do? How has your belief affected your response to him?

Passages for Further Study

Romans 12:21
Matthew 12:43–45

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