Satan: Lifting the Veil


Crikey Don – that’s a very interesting article. I loved the nuances of the conclusion -

Actually I think it would be possible to be a panentheist and believe in ECT – and this is certain if Jonathan Edwards can be seen as a panentheist. The good thing about panentheism is that it allows us to think of God as intimately involved in creation. However the danger is that God as transcendent Love becomes obscured and God as immanent– as in some forms of pantheism – is simply seen as an affirmation of everything that is – including tyranny and blood and soil/ nature red in tooth and claw. Perhaps Jonathan Edward’s panentheism – is he was a panentheist – participated in this muddle. Hmmmmmm

Geoff have you ever seen the last series of the UK supernatural detective series ‘Ashes to Ashes’ 9the follow up to ‘Life on Mars’). The character Detective Constable Keats in this is a very compelling and nuanced realisation of the Satan as delineated by Walter Wink. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked at how well this is done.


I have not - that sounds very interesting! Will have to see if it’s available to me through some medium or other.

On the topic of Panentheism - I think the most definitive Biblical statement can be found in Ephesians 4:6, where Paul says that there is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” There you have it - transcendence in the first section, and “through all and in all” gives you immanence. And if that’s not enough, Paul also says in Acts 17:28 that “in Him we live and move and have our being.”


Geoff have you ever seen the last series of the UK supernatural detective series ‘Ashes to Ashes’ 9the follow up to ‘Life on Mars’). The character Detective Constable Keats in this is a very compelling and nuanced realisation of the Satan as delineated by Walter Wink. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked at how well this is done.

I will also have to check that out. Loved “Life on Mars”.


Part 18 is now up - this was a fun one for me to write, and I could have gone on and on for quite a while if I didn’t stop myself.


Part 19 has been published, and examines Satan’s connections to the book of Revelation.


Good one Geoff - and would you interpret the angels poring out their vials of wrath as nations that make war against each other? I remember that this was Raymond Schwager’s interesting interpretation.

I’d agree here Geoff. However, the opposite of repression is expression - and that’s not what you are suggesting (although some of the human potential mob make this disastrous inference). We need to be aware of our won dark side rather than projecting it on others - but this takes a life time to achieve. And we need to transform our own dark side by bringing it to the throne of God. So yes it is about neither repressing expressing our ‘dark side’/shadow but rather about transmuting our ‘shadow’ through Love. :slight_smile:


Well, I guess it depends on what he means by that? I linked to a series by Greg Boyd on Revelation, and in the third section of that series, he talks about how John of Patmos cleverly takes well known Biblical images that seem to sanction violence and turns them around - the idea being that what is being pored out of the bowls of wrath is actually the blood of the saints, spilled by those who make war. And so those who make war are drinking the blood that they have spilled. So this idea has more continuity with the idea that Jesus conquers by allowing himself to be killed, rather than by slaying his enemies.

Oh yeah. It’s so hard to express what I was getting at - no, it’s not healthy to repress our hurts, nor is it healthy to pour them out in the form of violence. So the only choice left is to face them with unconditional love in our hearts - and that may involve realizing how the ones who hurt us are also suffering (actually, it probably almost always does) so that we can empathize with their own pain.


Hi Geoff –
That’s a wonderful series of articles by Greg Boyd that I whole heartedly agree with – and I too found Mark Driscoll’s comments about Jesus absolutely astonishing and very annoying (but what’s new? – I’m no fan of his :smiley:).

Raymond Schwager – who was a major Girardian scholar before his unexpected death – pointed out in ‘Must there be Scapegoats’ that Angles in the apocalyptic genre invariably represent nations rather than messengers of God (and also pointed out that the insight was not an original one). So, in this reading, the Angles here pour out the vials of human wrath that the war of the Lamb comes to bring healing to/from. What he says is totally consonant with your view Geoff.

It is indeed hugely hard - I find it so too. But I think this one is worth thinking about Geoff – if you’ll forgive me being a pain in the butt (because you got me thinking). I made the point about repression and expression because that is a confusion that some humanistic psychologists make. As to whether our shadow is just made up of repressed hurts, well I think it does contain genuine repressed hurt at being wronged - but it is also made up of undifferentiated instinctual energies and, of course, the artery clogging resentments of mimetic desire. ( I know there is also the notion of a golden shadow which is all of those unrealised benign and creative potentialities within us that come out to our surprise in new situations). I think to know that we all have this unpromising stuff to work with and always will be working with it while in this state of existence is something that should make us less prone to violent judgemental fantasies about Jesus as the tattooed prize fighter a la Driscoll.

Nice to have a chat old chum :slight_smile: -



Ha! No forgiveness needed! It is good to have discussion, because no matter how hard I try to be as thorough as possible in my writing, I have found that I never can perfectly express what I am trying to get at. Discussion seems to be the only way to assure that anyone actually sees where I’m going. And sometimes, discussion is the only way for me to truly understand what direction I was going. :wink:


I know just how you feel :laughing:


Part 20 is up. In this section, I take a hard look at our society today and seek to answer the question: if John of Patmos wrote his Revelation today, what would the Beast look like?


Yeah, that was a zorcher! But a much needed one, I think. We definitely need to see the self-destructive path we’re on, and the ways in which we’ve been duped into complicity.


Yeah, sometimes I get nervous about writing posts like that - will it sound too harsh? Will people think I’m condemning them personally? But at some point I have to say: well, I hope they don’t misunderstand me, but if they do I hope they will give me a chance to explain myself.

Glad you saw that as necessary too!

After exploring the ways in which the Domination System worked during Jesus’ day, and during our own, Part 21 begins to explore the question of how Jesus answered that System.


Jesus knew that the way to fight the violence of the Domination System was not through resorting to the same violent methods - this would only result in a violent kingdom that eventually destroyed itself, just as the Maccabean kingdom had done: Part 22 of Satan: Lifting the Veil


The ultimate form of resistance to the Domination System is to die to it. But to do that, your inner Domination System must die as well.

Part 23 of Satan: Lifting the Veil


Only one more section after this!

Jesus presents us with a God who is the antithesis to the Accuser - the Advocate: Part 24 of Satan: Lifting the Veil


The last section is up! Whew!

In Part 25 I present some concluding thoughts.


Going to put some time aside to go through all of these at some point


I know it’s been quite a while - sorry guys. I’ve been busy. I now have four kids, and as Jim Gaffigan says, having four kids can be compared to being handed a baby while you’re drowning. :wink:

But I wanted to come back and post a link to a new post I wrote, because it’s a great follow up to one of the sections of my series on Satan. Here it is:

The Science of Evil, Privatio Boni, and Hell


Great article, Geoff.