Fantasy and a Christian Worldview, Part 18

Upon listening to the second half of Alistair Begg’s sermon from Psalm 5 on Truth for Life, I initially struggled with what I had planned to say on the blog today.

Begg’s emphasis was on the fact that evil is within us, not something outside ourselves. He referenced Jesus’s conversation with a group of people where He claimed the Pharisees were like whitewashed tombs. Outside looked good. Inside, the stench of death.

And here I was planning on looking at Scripture’s view of the evil one, Satan himself.

So, I’m thinking, which is it? Evil from without or from within? Then it dawned on me. This tension is like the external and internal struggles of a protagonist.

No wonder writing that includes both resonates so powerfully. It more clearly mirrors what we deal with in reality. Evil from outside us—a real supernatural enemy, a fallen and corrupted world, people who mean us harm. And evil from inside us—a nature inclined to sin, a prideful self intent on putting ME back in charge.

I guess I thought it would be helpful to look at what the Bible says about the evil one because, as all good researchers know, it is most helpful, if possible, to go to the primary source.

I realized, however, that we know very little about Satan himself, certainly nothing from his point of view about his reasons for rebelling against God or about how he feels regarding the consequences.

God doesn’t do anything unintentionally. So He didn’t tell us a lot about Satan’s rebellion because … It’s none of our business? There’s nothing there for us to learn? We might be enticed to rebellion ourselves? We simply couldn’t understand what actually happened? It isn’t so much a past event as an ongoing existent condition, so there’s not a situation to write up?

I don’t know. But I can’t help wondering if maybe writing too much about Satan—speculating, that is—about him and what he’s all about, isn’t putting the focus on the wrong end of things.

Don’t get me wrong. Satan is part of the equation. Fantasy in particular centers on the conflict of good versus evil, after all. But maybe, as a novelist, I am to make sure the steady light from my work reflects God.

Though we don’t know a lot about Satan, the Bible does tell us he is a liar and that we are to be on the alert against him. Seems to me, if we spend too much time speculating about him, imagining what Scripture does not tell us, we just might fall into some of his lies.

For specific scriptures exploring what God has to say about Satan, check out Nave’s Topical Bible at

Published in: on June 8, 2006 at 11:24 am  Comments (5)  
%d bloggers like this: