The devil has fallen on hard times. Surveys say that even the majority of Christians doubt Satan's existence. Burdened by doubts, sceptical believers find themselves divorced from Jesus' dramatic confrontation with Satan in the Gospels and from the struggle that galvanized the early church. ln Reviving Old Scratch, popular blogger and theologian Richard Beck reintroduces the devil to the modern world with a biblical, bold, and urgent vision of spiritual warfare: we must resist the devil by joining the kingdom of God's subversive campaign to interrupt the world with love. Beck shows how conservative Christians too often over spiritualize the devil and demons, and progressive Christians reduce these forces to social justice issues. By understanding evil as a very real force in the world, we are better able to name it for what it is and thus to combat it as Jesus did. Beck's own work in a prison Bible study and at a church for recovering addicts convinced him to take Satan more seriously, and they provide compelling illustrations as he challenges the contemporary versions of evil forces. Because if Jesus took Satan seriously, then so should we.
Richard Beck is professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, and a popular blogger and speaker. He is the author of several books, including Unclean. His published research also covers topics as diverse as the psychology of profanity and why Christian bookstore art is so bad.