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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy of Religion

Better to Reign in Hell, Than Serve In Heaven

Satan's Metamorphosis From a Heavenly Council Member to the Ruler of Pandaemonium
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-287-6
October 2017
Availability: In stock

In this monograph, I argue that Satan was not perceived as a universal malevolent deity, the embodiment of evil, or the “ruler of Pandaemonium” within first century Christian literature or even within second and third century Christian discourses as some scholars have insisted. Instead, for early “Christian” authors, Satan represented a pejorative term used to describe terrestrial, tangible, and concrete social realities, perceived of as adversaries. To reach this conclusion, I explore the narrative character of Satan selectively within the Hebrew Bible, intertestamental literature, Mark, Matthew, Luke, Q, the Book of Revelation, the Nag Hammadi texts, and the Ante-Nicene fathers. I argue that certain scholars’ such as Jeffrey Burton Russell, Miguel A. De La Torre, Albert Hernandez, Peter Stanford, Paul Carus, and Gerd Theissen, homogenized reconstructions of the “New Testament Satan” as the universalized incarnation of evil and that God’s absolute cosmic enemy is absent from early Christian orthodox literature, such as Mark, Matthew, Luke, Q, the Book of Revelation, and certain writings from the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Using Jonathan Z. Smith’s essay Here, There, and Anywhere, I suggest that the cosmic dualist approach to Satan as God’s absolute cosmic enemy resulted from the changing social topography of the early fourth century where Christian “insider” and “outsider” adversaries were diminishing. With these threats fading, early Christians universalized a perceived chaotic cosmic enemy, namely Satan, being influenced by the Gnostic demiurge, who disrupts God’s terrestrial and cosmic order. Therefore, Satan transitioned from a “here,” “insider,” and “there,” “outsider,” threat to a universal “anywhere” threat. This study could be employed as a characterization study, New Testament theory and application for classroom references or research purposes.

Atheism and the Christian Faith

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-173-2
June 2017
Availability: In stock

Atheism and the Christian Faith is an anthology of the proceedings from a conference of the same name which convened at Concordia University of Edmonton in May 2016. The book represents a wide diversity of subtopics—primarily from a philosophical perspective—including submissions from atheists, agnostics and theists. This combination of topics and perspectives makes the book totally unique. There are arguments for and against theism. The foreword to the book is by Professor Richard Swinburne, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Oxford University, who contributes two chapters to the book: “Why Believe That There is a God?” and “Why God Allows Suffering”. The book includes a chapter from renowned astrophysicist, and former student of Stephen Hawkins, Professor Dr. Don Page from the University of Alberta “On the Optimal Argument for the Existence of God”. Atheism and the Christian Faith advances arguments around serious philosophical issues of direct relevance to contemporary society. It will be of interest to a broad range of scholars in philosophy, theology and epistemology.