Now for the “there is a Satan” side of the debate. There were also two individuals; Mark Driscoll and Annie Lobert. Driscoll is pastor at Mars Hill Church, and Lobert is the founder of “Hookers for Jesus.” Yes, I just typed “Hookers for Jesus.” My old pastor, Doc Scott, would be proud…that just sent any judgmental legalistic types running for cover! ;) But, really, “Hookers” does mean hookers, but it is also a play on words; former hookers, as Lobert is herself, putting the gospel message out there, and hence becoming hookers (as in fish hooks) for Jesus.
Just to make sure we are clear: Mark 1: 16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Oftentimes when I talk about evidence for God, I talk about personal evidence, and objective evidence, in this case, the same holds true for Satan. Driscoll is the more scripture oriented Christian; he provided the scriptural, objective evidences for Satan. Lobert was much more personal; she discussed her personal experiences of things like demons, and direct experiences of evil, as she was on the receiving end of some very horrible things.
Driscoll talks a lot about free will and evil, and mankind’s act of disobedience in the garden as bringing about death and suffering for all of us. This is pretty much in line with the Free will defense to the “Problem of Evil” I’ve already gone over in my blog. In my opinion, Driscoll definitely held his own, and countered several mistaken conceptions that Chopra and Pearson espoused…of course, it didn’t sink in.
Lobert did well too, especially considering the stories she had to relate and the emotional trauma she suffered going through them. IMO, it made it a lot harder for her to relate her stories when Chopra and Pearson pretty much laid all the blame at her own feet…you know, for getting raped repeatedly, beaten, kidnapped, things like that. She actually kept pretty calm in the face of such idiocy, and did a much better job controlling her temper than I would.
So, Lobert recounted several instances of what she considered direct experiences of evil, including getting a glimpse into the eyes of a demon after one particularly harrowing experience. I found it interesting that she was asked to clarify over and over again if she was claiming to have seen a demon, and if she really believed demons were in the room when these bad things were happening to her…for goodness sake, people don’t understand English any more; YES! She is claiming demons were in the room, literally. (“Now, you really mean….” this is only the second time the host was annoying, the first was when he asked another inane question about free will, anywho…)
Lobert makes the point that this type of evil is what drove her to God, so she knows that she was saved because she went through those experiences…hence backing up the idea that God can indeed work in all things to make good come of it. She did good talking about the reality of things like Satan, demons, and Hell. There is only one area where I felt she needed just a bit more balance, and that was her repeating that God is Love, which He is, but His character also includes other things too. He is also absolutely Righteous, Holy, Just, Merciful, etc… and it is always important to discuss these other aspects of God alongside the idea that God is Love.
So, in short, I think these two did pretty good. I particularly liked some of Driscoll’s responses to Chopra and Chopra’s odd, non-historical view of Jesus, and his misinterpretations of scripture. Driscoll was definitely prepared to discuss this issue with the people present; he had done his homework for sure.
Everyone has to listen to Lobert’s recounting of events and see if they think it actually happened or not. There are many Christians who don’t believe we can see into the spiritual realm at all…though I believe that contradicts scripture; Angels can become visible, and logically that would mean it is possible to see fallen ones too. God can also open our eyes to the spiritual realm if He wishes.
The two held their own, and represented Christian views pretty well. I’d have liked to seen everything unedited to really get a feel for more of the context, but overall it was a good debate as an intro. to this issues of Satan.