Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted
The devil has fallen on hard times. Surveys say that even the majority of Christians doubt Satan’s existence. Burdened by doubts, skeptical believers find themselves divorced from Jesus’ dramatic confrontation with Satan in the Gospels and from the struggle that galvanized the early church.
In 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 overspiritualize 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—and strangely safe—versions of evil forces. The beliefs of liberals and conservatives alike will be tested by Beck's groundbreaking ideas, fascinating stories, and clear thinking. Because if Jesus took Satan seriously, says Beck, then so should we.
Also see the Homebrewed Christianity Podcast episode Devilpalooza.
"Richard Beck is one of the most important and fascinating minds in contemporary Christianity, and this exploration on the devil and demons is his best work yet. Lively, engaging, and profoundly relevant, Reviving Old Scratch manages to both tickle and challenge, inform and delight. [...] A must-read for skeptics and thinkers, Reviving Old Scratch surprises in all the right ways." —Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and A Year of Biblical Womanhood
"I'm grateful to Richard Beck for helping us reclaim that which was clearly important to Jesus: casting out demons and contending with evil. While I’m not sure if I believe in spiritual warfare, I’m certain I’ve experienced it, and Reviving Old Scratch allowed me to come several steps closer to reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable statements. Beck manages to take demons, the devil, and spiritual warfare and pull them into the reality we live in today." —Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Pastrix and Accidental Saints and pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints
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