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“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” (C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)
A 2019 survey of atheists found that 30% believe in “underlying forces of good and evil,” 20% believe in supernatural beings, and 11% believe some objects have mystical powers. It’s a reminder that we might a materialist and a magician in the same person.
So how should we understand our culture’s obsession with magic, superstition and the spiritual realm? And how should the church think about these things, when it so often falls into the errors of disbelief or an unhealthy interest in spiritual warfare? How does the spiritual realm relate to our evangelism, our suffering, and our temptations?
Those are our questions for Issue 10 of Primer. With contributions from Lewis Allen, Kirsten Birkett, Keith Ferdinando, David Shaw, and Helen Thorne.
Stranger Things -An introduction to the issue and articles from David Shaw
Bewitched? - A history of magic and the occult in the Western tradition from Kirsten Birkett
The Battle Belongs to the Lord - A biblical theology of God’s warfare from Keith Ferdinando
Dungeons & Dragons - Spiritual warfare and the witness of the church in Revelation 11-13 from David Shaw
The Devil in the Detail - Thomas Brooks and Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices from Lewis Allen
Life in the Trenches - Thinking about Spiritual Warfare with David Powlison’s Safe & Sound from Helen Thorne
Consulting the Living - The issue’s contributors answer questions sent to us on the topic.
This is another superb edition of Primer jam–packed with biblical insights on (often neglected) topics like spiritual warfare, magic, Satan and demons, possession and exorcism, guardian angels, halloween – all the way shining the light of the gospel into these areas of darkness. (All delivered in what is, hands down, one of the best–designed and best–produced outputs of Christian publishing).
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