Satanology

By James M. Rochford

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Satanology is the study of the person and work of Satan. It’s strange that Satan is not understood very well by believers today. Christian teachers fluctuate between various extremes: either denying Satan or obsessing over him. C.S. Lewis profoundly writes, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”[1]

Articles on Satan

Angelology: We see scores of passages on angels throughout the OT and NT. This article explains the nature, features, and function of angels.

Why Believe in Satan? Is there any evidence for belief in Satan?

Did the Concept of Satan Evolve? Critical theologians claim that the concept of Satan evolved in Israel’s history. Is this the case?

The Origin of Satan: Where did Satan originate? How did he become corrupted?

Why Did Satan Crucify Jesus? If the Cross was Satan’s doom, then why did he crucify Jesus?

Satan’s Tactics: Many believers are confused on what spiritual warfare is. This article covers how Satan battles believers.

Occult The occult comes from the Latin occultus, which means “hidden, secret, dark, mysterious, concealed.” Many are not aware of how widespread and pervasive occult practices actually are. This article covers a description of occult practices, how to discern mental illness from demonic oppression, and how to renounce occult bondage.

The Believer’s Response: This article covers how to respond to attack from the Evil One.

The World-System: McCallum calls the “world-system” Satan’s trump card. The world-system is a system of temporal and transitory values that Satan uses to manipulate believers and distract them from placing their faith in Christ.

Further Reading

 

Readings on Satan

McCallum, Dennis. Satan and His Kingdom: What the Bible Says and How It Matters to You. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2009.

McCallum’s book is the best book on the topic of Satanology. It is difficult to find a good text on Satan that isn’t fanatical or fictional. McCallum’s work is balanced, biblical, and insightful.

Unger, Merrill. What Demons Can Do to Saints. Moody Publishers: Chicago. 1991.

On the whole, we recommend Dr. Unger’s book. We disagree with his interpretation of Isaiah 14 as referring to Satan (p.22). We really appreciated his emphasis on our position in Christ, rather than the Law. He clearly espouses eternal security (chapter 3). He does hold that believers can be possessed (chapter 4). Unger holds to a tripartite view of humans (e.g. body, soul, and spirit). He doesn’t believe that the demonic can invade the spirit of a person, but it can invade the body and spirit (p.87). By contrast, the unbeliever can be possessed in all three faculties.

Lewis, C. S. The Screwtape Letters. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.

Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology. (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House. 1999. Chapter 21: “God’s Special Agents: Angels.”

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan Publishing House. 1994. Chapter 19: “Angels.”

Readings on the Occult

Koch, Kurt. Occult Bondage and Deliverance. Kregel: Grand Rapids, MI. 1976.

Dr. Kurt Koch is a PhD. He has travelled to 120 countries in his 40 years of ministry (p.16). Dr. Alfred Lechler (a German psychologist) writes the second half of the book—specifically addressing how to discern the difference between possession and medical problems (e.g. manic depression, neuroses, epilepsy, senility, etc.).

Koch, Kurt. Occult ABC. Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids, MI. 1986.

This book is an encyclopedia on all things related to the occult. Koch gives definitions to explain over 70 different occultist practices. On the whole, Koch’s book is a good treatment on occult practices from an expert in the field. However, his fundamentalist underpinnings are apparent in this text. For instance, he has “Rock Music” as one of his entries (!!). If the reader is able to ignore entries like these, this book is good.

Anderson, Neil. The Bondage Breaker. Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon. 2000.

Anderson’s work has been criticized for being a quick solution to complex and difficult sanctification issues. Most issues of sanctification take time to conquer through God’s power. However, chapter 13 (“Steps to Freedom in Christ”) is a pertinent chapter for learning to renounce occultist activity and announce our new identity and position in Christ (see pp.199-252).

[1] Lewis, C. S. The Screwtape Letters. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Preface ix.