Week 4 - Angels and Demons (p.95-101)

"Of course I did not believe that possession existed. In fifteen years of busy psychiatric practice I had never seen anything faintly resembling a case.... But the fact that I had never seen a case did not mean such cases, past or present, were out of the question. I had discovered a large volume of literature on the subject - none of it 'scientific.' Much of it seemed naive, simplistic, shoddy, or sensational. A few authors, however, seemed thoughtful and sophisticated, and they invariably stated that genuine possession was a very rare phenomenon. I therefore could not assume it to be unreal on the basis of limited experience.

So I decided to go out and look for a case.
I wrote around and let it be known that I was interested in observing cases of purported possession for evaluation. Referrals trickled in. The first two cases turned out to be suffering from standard psychiatric disorders, as I had suspected, and I began making marks on my scientific pistol.

The third case turned out to be the real thing.

Since then I have also been deeply involved with another case of genuine possession. In both cases I was privileged to be present at their successful exorcisms. The vast majority of cases described in the literature are those of possession by minor demons. These two were highly unusual in that both were cases of Satanic possession. I now know Satan is real. I have met it.
(Later on Peck underscores a very important point…) Genuine possession , as far as we know, is very rare. Human evil, on the other hand, is common.”
- M. Scott Peck People of the Lie (p.182-84)

18He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
- Jesus (Luke 10:18-20)

“The importance of biblical satanology lies in the two facts that: (1) the devil is not thought of as having been created evil. Rather his evil arises from his effort to transgress the bounds set for his life, an effort which places him in rebellion against God. (2) The devil fell before man fell, which is to say that man’s rebellion against God is not an act of sheer perversity, nor does it follow inevitably from the situation in which he stands.”
-Reinhold Niebuhr

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
-Genesis 3:4-5

Micheaelangelo's Serpent

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