By Ralph D. Winter
The respected Dutch theologian Berkouer made the rare comment that “You cannot have a proper theology without a sound demonology.” Another theologian dared to suggest that Satan’s greatest achievement is “to cover his tracks.” Note that if Satan has, in fact, skillfully “covered his tracks,” all of us are likely to be extensively unaware of his deeds. Isn’t that logical? Paul suggested that we are not to be ignorant of his devices. We are told that Satan and his angels once worked for God. If so, I ask, when Satan turned against God precisely what kind of destruction and perversion did he set out to achieve? Where would we see evidence of his works? Would he set out to pervert the DNA of originally tame animals? Would he employ powers of deception so that we would get accustomed to pervasive violence in nature and no longer connect an intelligent evil power with evil and suffering? Worse still, would Satan even successfully tempt us to think that God is somehow behind all evil—and that we must therefore not attempt to eradicate things like smallpox lest we “interfere with Divine Providence”?