Journal Week 9: My Old Friend Lucifer Came

Regular readers will note that in my blog header I've also included a quote about the devil from Johnny Cash's song "Redemption":
My old friend Lucifer came
Fought to keep me in chains
But I saw through the tricks
Of six-sixty-six

And the blood gave life
To the branches of the tree
And the blood was the price
That set captives free
And the numbers that came
Through the fire and the flood
Clung to the tree
And were redeemed by the blood
On Fridays I've been reflecting a bit about my transition to being a "stranger Christian," hard to locate in a Protestant world divided between progressives and evangelicals. A part of my journey into stranger things has been my engagement with the devil.

Readers of my books will likely have noted how Reviving Old Scratch marked a turn for me. Progressive readers of my books were caught a little off guard by the book. I've had some interesting conversations with progressive readers who liked my early work but who didn't like bumping into the devil all that much in Reviving Old Scratch. Talk of the devil brings back too many ghosts for post-evangelicals.

But astute readers will have detected my stranger turn happening in an earlier book, The Slavery of Death.

The Slavery of Death is, after all, a whole book devoted to Hebrews 2.14-15:
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Like Johnny Cash and Flannery O'Connor--who described her fiction as being focused on the action of grace in territory controlled by the devil--I've been thinking about the devil for quite some time.

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