The Devil Expert

I'm starting to get into a groove being an expert on the devil.

Life's funny. Four years ago I never would have predicted I would get calls to talk about the devil. I'm not really an expert, but compared to most people I guess I am. After the publication of Reviving Old Scratch I'm increasingly called upon to lecture about the devil, demons and spiritual warfare.

My favorite gig is at my son's high school. The senior English class has a unit on C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. So for the last two years I've been invited at the start of the unit to give a lecture to the class about the devil.

I spend the talk lecturing through four names for Old Scratch: Satan, the Devil, Lucifer and Beelzebub. I use each name to highlight an aspect of the devil that tends to get missed in most conversations these teenagers have had about the devil. The names of Old Scratch allow me to talk about love, oppression, idolatry and grace. Like I do in Reviving Old Scratch, I use the devil as figure/ground illusion to paint a positive picture of what the kingdom of God is supposed to look like.

This summer I've turned that "Four Names of the Devil" lecture into a sermon, preaching it in Dallas once and twice in the UK. I use the War in Heaven text from Revelation 12. Most churches have never heard a whole sermon exclusively about the devil. And while the devil doesn't sound like a very edifying topic for a sermon, I think audiences have been pleasantly surprised by the sermon's challenge and message.

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