Tony Jones, emergent blogger, has posted two blog posts in response to the Colorado shootings criticizing Evangelicals for blaming these shootings on "Satan" or "Demons" instead of lack of gun control and a crazy man.
So critics can crow about me being insensitive for pointing to Stier’s comments, but he is simply one in a long line of conservative Christians who would rather supernaturalize these tragedies that deal with them in reality, where the rest of us live
It seems to me that Tony is simply tracking down a path to diesm that denies any and all supernatural power. I mean, he just wrote a book that is to be released soon talking about how prayer, well, doesn't do anything. He seems to be caught in a stream of thought that has narrowed his ability to see both the historic Christian teachings about the supernatural and the reality that he is in the minority.
I believe that the Colorado shooting are about lax gun control. Of course. If we had stricter laws on who could and couldn't obtain weapons, perhaps this tragedy wouldn't of happened. But I also affirm that there is a powerful force- some call it satan, others the devil, others evil, who is at work behind this tragedy, and in fact, all incidents like this that are perversions of the will and Kingdom of God in our world. Jesus taught that there was an enemy who seeks to devour, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10, 1 Peter 5:8) There is a force of wickedness that motivates such depravity. And both are the cause. This tragedy is about guns and satan. It is (risking sounding platonic here) about the physical realm- the lack of gun control, and the spiritual- the demonic forces that are at work in our world. Both need to be addressed.
That may sound wacky to some in the secular world, and yet, doesn't much of the Christian faith? Isn't that kind of the point? It is foolishness to those who are in the world, but it is the wisdom of God to the follower of Christ. I am not suggesting Christians have to give up intellect and reason, but I am saying that our faith is, by definition, supernatural. One cannot truly affirm historic Christianity without affirming the reality of a supernatural God and a supernatural force of evil. To deny that is to step outside of Christian tradition.
Anyways, I am sure this response wont really convince Tony or anyone in that camp on this issue. That's not really the point anyways. This dialog is important and I am thankful Tony is willing to engage in it.
Grace and Peace-