Tuesday, November 18, 2008

question of evil (8)

While Pentecostal 'Bishop' Michael Reid has drawn some negative attention in recent years, and his book in many ways represents one of those give away Ph.D's from an unknown American seminary.

There are some interesting points that are worth noting when considering evil and spiritual warfare. After giving a historical context through looking how an understanding of evil developed as an apologetic for the catastrophic fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC and the subsequent period of exile (586- 539 BC) and how the exile also exposed the Jewish people to new influences in particular Zoroastrianism he makes several interesting points worth keeping in mind in wrestling with any theology of evil and spiritual warfare that goes beyond glib!
  • We fail to understand where Christianity ends and paganism begins. We do not know where the boundaries are.
  • There is no explicit biblical teaching relating to the demonisation of Christians, by implication the Scripture makes it quite clear that this is an impossibility.
  • There is the ever present danger of exaggeration to the point that biblical teaching on divine sovereignty is compromised.
  • Man has become the fulcrum of redemption, holding the balance of power between God and the devil in the battle for the souls of men.
  • The gospel is rendered impotent without the preliminary work of pulling down demonic strongholds.
  • Many authors pay lip service to the concept if God's sovereignty but in real terms view His ability to intervene as being limited to the extent of man's willingness to cooperate in the process of salvation.
Reid, M. (2002). Strategic Level Warfare: A Modern Mythology. Pasadena, California: Salem Communications


IanH said...

Hi Gordo - I came across "Bishop" Reid some years ago. He is out of the "Absolute Truth" style of living and very critical of anything fuzzy or liberal. Very strong character and a disciplinarian. It therefore came as no surprise that he had to resign in the summer after confessing to an extra marital affair for over 8 years while building up his cult, sorry, church in Essex. Certainly another nail in the coffin of Absolute Truth philosophy but your comments always remind me that the deluded and hypocrites also have something valid to say. Which gives me hope.
Take care mate. Ian

Gordon said...

It's odd - as parts of this book are totally out of character to what you would expect from such a 'bishop'!

IanH said...

When I came across him (long story) he was carving himself out as a prophetic teacher. It was at a time when the call to "Cleanse The Land" was being put round and he wanted to counter it, not necessarily because it was untrue but that he liked to control what his congregation thought. He was once on a tv program with Germain Greer talking about the annihilation of the Caananites and said "it was their own fault for going against God." He also called Muslims "filthy heathen". I could go on....

Off to see Brian McLaren on Dec 10th - apparently he was heavily influenced by the Bishop.