Saturday, May 9, 2015

Where do angels and demons exist?

Angels and demons do not exist in the Bible.  They exist in real life.  We read about them in the Bible.  We encounter them in real life.

Similarly, spiritual warfare happens in real life, not in a text.  (Funny how conservative Christians become Derrideans at this point!)  2 Corinthians 10 isn't just saying we need to think Christianly (which we do). It is a spiritual warfare text.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
weapons of our warfare not of the flesh
but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses

We are destroying speculations
AND every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God
AND we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
AND we are ready to punish all disobedience
Whenever your obedience is complete

Pulling down of fortresses
One commentator writes, “The stronghold (or fortress) is the place where the devil and his forces are entrenched”.  This isn’t too farfetched, I don’t think.  Exactly what are we fighting?  The New Testament is very clear that we are at war against dark forces.  There is no way to demythologize it and still take the New Testament seriously.  

Assuming we are at war, then we need to take the NT’s language seriously.  It says part of our life as disciples is to attack strongholds.  And this raises the question:  “What’s the point of a fortress or stronghold?”  

The Method of our Attack

If we are indeed called to pull down strongholds and fortresses, and we know that Paul doesn’t mean that against literal flesh-and-blood enemies, then we have to ask, “What will this attack look like?”

  • Truth encounter (every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God)
    • The Greek word for lofty thing is “hypsoma.”  It means something like astrological ideas, cosmic powers, and power directed against God.
  • Victory encounter (taking every thought captive)

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