Friday, October 9, 2009

History, God's Attack on Satan

I was reading about the Christus Victor model of the atonement and a thought hit me. Actually, it was a series of thoughts.

Maybe God set up all of human history as a strategic counter-attack against Satan.

Here's what I'm thinking. You know how in the Old Testament, God was pretty violent and pretty Jew-partial? I mean, every hundred years or so He would kill someone who provoked Him. And He reserved most of His liberties for the Jews, His chosen people.

Of course, it's OK for God to be justly violent and unconditionally partial (believe me, check out the pagan gods and you'll be pretty glad you serve Yahweh), but I wonder if He had a strategy to it?

The Pharisees got so caught up in their Jew-partial, punish-the-sinner mindset that God rightly did have (to a degree, but not so much as the Pharisees believed) that they could not see that Jesus really was the Messiah. They expected Him to do the same sorts of things God did in the OT. Kill blasphemers, lead a violent expedition against enemies of Israel - that sort of thing. Actually, most of Israel thought this, as indicated by Luke 9:54.

But I wonder what Satan thought? Maybe he got tricked, just like the Pharisees? Maybe he saw so much of God's OT wrath that he didn't understand God's love when it was manifested in Jesus Christ?

It's like Jesus was undercover. The Father set up all kinds of expectations for what the Son would be like, so that the Son could slip in almost unnoticed.

In other words, the Incarnation is God undercover. Like the Father acted in certain ways and thus other beings (demonic especially) thought that He always acted in those ways, so that Satan never really suspected that Jesus could be God, or even the Messiah.

I doubt Satan would have helped put Christ to death if he had any idea about what would result. I wonder if perhaps that was the point - to keep things just obscure enough so that people who allowed themselves to be enlightened by God could find the truth, yet Satan wouldn't get it?

1 Corinthians 1:27 seems perhaps to have hit this point. Paul's sermon in Acts 17:24-27 seems to say something like this as well.

Just some thoughts. They certainly help to explain the whole disconnect between the OT God of wrath and the NT God of love, although you can really find both Gods in both Testaments if you look a little. I will be reading God at War by Greg Boyd (which I have), then Satan and His Kingdom by Dennis McCallum (which I've ordered), then hopefully God's Strategy in Human History by Forster and Marston (which I plan to order). Maybe these books will help

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