The Great Campaign of Sabotage: A Film with The Work of the People

Today another film from my 2019 conversation with Travis Reed for The Work of the People

Again, you can preview the first two minutes of the film. The Work of the People is supported by a subscription-based model, so if you'd like to access the whole film, along with every other film at the site, it's only $7 a month for a personal subscription, which you can cancel anytime.

Today's film is entitled "The Great Campaign of Sabotage," and I start it off with this provocative claim: "I think Christianity is inherently involved in ministries of exorcism."

Again, this was in 2019, three years after my publication of Reviving of Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted. Of all my books, Reviving Old Scratch has received the most reviews on Amazon. And is in second place on Goodreads after Unclean.

Regarding the quotations in the preview. The Biblical passage I cite, describing Jesus' ministry as being primarily one of exorcism, is from Acts 10.37-38:

You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

The second quote, which is cut off at the 2:00 minute preview limit, is from C.S. Lewis, and is where the title of the film comes from:

Enemy-occupied territory--that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.
The origin story of Reviving Old Scratch was the start of my prison ministry. As a deconstructing and disenchanted progressive Christian, my vision of Satan and spiritual warfare had been wholly demythologized. I replaced any supernatural vision of evil with a vision of social justice activism. During this season I leaned, and still lean, heavily upon Walter Wink's seminal and influential vision of the principalities and powers. William Stringfellow and Jacques Ellul were also, and remain, good partners.

And yet, the spiritual world of the prison, in the lived experiences of the inmates, was very enchanted. Satan was real and demonic attack an acute predicament, demanding a pastoral response from me. Inside the prison, the warning of 1 Peter 5.8 was no metaphor and no joke:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Facing this enchanted/disenchanted divide in the early days of my prison ministry, I tried to build Biblical and theological bridges between these worlds. Reviving Old Scratch was the result, an "in between" book, a "Devil for Doubters" book. Consequently, it's prospects for pleasing a wide audience were, and remain, dim. Too equivocal on the reality of supernatural evil for some, but also too believing for the skeptical. 

But more than a bridge, Reviving Old Scratch attempts to address the problems found among both progressives and evangelicals regarding spiritual warfare. When it comes to the devil, there is much to criticize within pentecostal and charismatic spaces. And much also to criticize among skeptical progressives who reduce spiritual warfare to social justice. As is always my goal in writing a book, I want every reader--evangelical to progressive and believer to atheist--to be on the hook. I wrote my book about the devil to do just that. 

No matter where you stand, I want to call you to the great campaign of sabotage.

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