Friday, March 27, 2009

Do I Have to Say that Satan is Our AntiLord and UnSavior

It might be worth giving a watch to last night's Nightline, in which Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle argued vigorously for the reality of Satan. Pastor Mark, who I think I've described in past as "a great bellowing meatsock," managed to come across as less than bellowing, although there's not much he can do about His Pervasive Meatsockness. It must be the tendency towards professional wrestler inflections.

It was a pretty impressive PR coup, I must confess. Mark and a "Hooker for Jesus" were strongly in favor of Satan's just-barely-defeatable-power, and a recovering fundamentalist and the inescapable Deepak Chopra were in the other corner. More oddly, I learned about this through Fox News and Bill O'Reilly, who was pitching an ABC News show...a sure sign of the end times if ever there was one. To snag two diametrically opposed media outlets and have them pitch folks towards an event held at your church is quite a victory.

I, of course, completely disagree with Driscoll about the whole Satan thing. I've reposted my "Demonology" series here today, but the long and the short of it is that Driscoll places a great deal of emphasis on the power of this personal Adversary. I don't. I just can't find a place for it in a cohesive monotheism, and it isn't necessary for Christian faith, either. In fact, I think the whole "Satan" narrative defeats the purpose of the Gospel.

The struggle isn't between us and Satan, with Jesus being the one we call in as Divine Close Air Support. Ultimately, the battle is between ourselves and God, with Jesus being the one who brings us into reconciliation with our created purpose.

Satan is...well...irrelevant.