In light of modern scientific development, hasn’t the world moved on beyond believing in spiritual beings, such as Satan? Here’s what two New Testament scholars have to say.

Robert Ewusie Moses:

We should also raise an objection to Bultmann’s dubious claim that scientific theories have rendered belief in supernatural forces and demons incredible for the modern person. One merely has to travel around the world to such continents as Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where indigenous religions and practices take for granted the existence and operation of supernatural forces.

And if by “modern man” Bultmann means the modern Westerner, even here his claim cannot be sustained. […]

A 2008 extensive survey of the U.S. religious landscape by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that close to seven in ten Americans (68 percent) believe that angels and demons are active in the world and nearly eight in ten American adults (79 percent) agree that miracles still occur today as in ancient times.

— Robert Ewusie Moses, Practices of Power (p23)


And a summary of Clinton Arnold’s six-point attack on the “myth” view:

 1. On the issue of the actual existence of evil spirits, science is unable to decide the question.

2. Purely naturalistic explanations are not adequate for describing many forms of evil in the world.

3. Those of us in the West need to place our attitude toward the supernatural into the broader sweep of human history. The last 300 years in the West represent the only time in human history that the existence of evil spirits has been treated with widespread skepticism.

4. The west…is the only contemporary society that denies the reality of evil spirits.

5. The naturalistic world view of the West has never convinced the entire populace on the issue of evil spirits.

6. Popular Western culture is changing.

— Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness (drawn from p177-182)