In my undergrad days, I along with a team of other students made weekly visits to a juvenile detention center in order to talk about the Lord with the incarcerated young men and women. It was there that I met a young man who had openly and eagerly aligned himself with the malevolent being whom Scripture refers to as Satan. Like most people, this young man was a lot bigger than I was (and am). We were sitting across from each other, and he kindly leaned his hulking torso toward me so we could look eye to eye. He was politely disinterested in what I and the other Christian college students had to say about Jesus and the Bible, but I was utterly fascinated with his story.
Recently our fellow blogger, Austin Brown, self-published a book entitled Satan’s Awful Idea with the subtitle A Biblical Theology of Satan’s Fall and Its Implication on the Unfolding Human Drama. Combining his knowledge gleaned from years of listening to reformed podcasts on his mail route, his love of reading theological tomes, and his vivid imagination, in this work Austin addresses the question of how it is that Satan, originally an archangel in heaven, could convince himself and legions of other angels that rebelling against God would be a good idea. Clearly the record shows it was not!
Knowing for a few years that Austin was working on this project, and aware that the Biblical record is scant on this particular subject, I was intrigued with how he could develop this topic. He did so using a speculative theology approach, which takes subjects clouded in mystery (other examples would be the decrees of God or the theodicy question) and addresses them philosophically using inferences from Scripture and insights from other theologians. Though I have told Austin I’d like to see a shorter version (it’s nearly 300 pages long!), some more editing, and I lean a bit more toward an Edwardian approach than he does (you’ll have to listen […]