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A Theology Of The Dark SideDown with the devil!

Too many Christians are obsessed with the devil, demons and exorcism, and it's time for the church to review its understanding of evil.

A Theology of the Dark Side by Nigel Wright (Paternoster, 2003, ISBN 1-84227-189-X) is an attempt to help that process along. It looks closely at the origin of evil, its expression, its interaction with human situations and its conquest, and is aptly subtitled Putting the power of evil in its place. Thoroughly biblical and commendably balanced, if you want to read just one book on the subject, this is it.

In giving greater focus to the reality of the power of darkness renewal movements run the danger of seeing the devil where he is not or of so exaggerating or heightening incidents or situations that the power of darkness is blown out of all proportion to its actual presence.  (p26)

The devil is only as strong as human beings allow him to be. In referring to James 4:7—'Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you'—[W.Wink] makes the point that, far from being omnipotent, the devil knows his place and can be resisted. The power of darkness grows in strength and energy as human beings invest their lives, their time and their attention in it.  (p46)

It is surely mistaken to conceive of the demonic realm as well organised and highly structured. Its essence is not reason but unreason, not organisation but chaos.  (p112)

It suits the power of darkness very well if the attention of Christians is fully observed in occult and demonic concerns, while the wider stage of devilish activity in the political, cultural, national and international spheres is all but ignored.  (p131)

The fact that evil is very active is not a sign that its power has not been conquered but that having been vanquished it knows that its time is short and therefore is engaged in intense struggle.  (p163)

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