How often do you think about Satan and his allies? Are you quick to see his influence behind unfortunate and wicked events? Or do you prefer to rationalize everything around you as purely natural phenomena? The unfortunate reality is that for “far too long the Western church has given neither sufficient nor serious attention to this topic” (p11) of the Bible’s teaching on Satan and spiritual beings. There is a desperate need for Western Christians to wake up and realize that the powers of darkness are very real, and the Word has much to say about them. Clinton Arnold’s Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters aims to fill this gap, by offering a “biblical perspective on demons, principalities and powers, and the nature of the church’s conflict with the powers of evil” (p15). By limiting himself to the letters of Paul, Arnold recognizes the inherent limitations of Powers of Darkness, but sees it as a “first installment” (p15) towards a biblical worldview on the powers.
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.