I’ve become convinced that its important for the Church to inoculate our young people with a healthy dose of catechesis before we ship them off to college, just enough so that when they first hear about Nietzsche or really study Darwin they won’t freak out and presume that what the Church taught them in 6th grade confirmation is the only wisdom the Church has to offer.
Knowing most folks won’t read long boring books, I’ve been working on writing a catechism, a distillation of the faith into concise questions and answers with brief supporting scriptures that could be the starting point for a conversation.
You can find the previous posts (questions 1-30) here.
I. The Father
32. Is satan real?
Yes, more real and far scarier than we’d like to admit.
In scripture, satan (שָּׂטָן) is not a personal name or a proper noun; satan is our propensity for blame, accusation and recrimination that so easily leads to violence.
The personification of satan as Satan in scripture reveals the extent to which this spirit of blame and accusation captivate and possess us.
‘Satan’ as a malignant, seraphic rival to God, against whom the Creator struggles for the fate of creation, does not exist, for such a figure reduces God to but another object within the universe.
If ‘God’ by definition is the source of all existence at all moments of their existence, then ‘Satan’ as he’s imagined in popular piety, by definition, does not exist.
“But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.”
– Matthew 27.12