Post by Christian Soldier on Jan 25, 2009 14:36:47 GMT -5
Lately, I've been thinking about Demons. What if Demons, and Angels, too, had to have God's glory in order to thrive. They wouldn't necessarily die, but they would grow slow, lethargic without it. Angels would have no problem getting more, but demons would have to get it somewhere else.
What if demons could get it, or the imperfect, reflected for of it, from us. What if they could cyphon God's reflected glory from us through temptation? What would the benefits and side effects be to receiving His glory in such a fashion, especially tainted as it is?
You can't kill me, I'm already dead!
[br]This is the martyr's cry!
Post by wilsonwriter on Jan 25, 2009 21:07:16 GMT -5
One of the ideas I explore in the Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy is that demons throughout Scripture seem limited physically by the use of a mortal host--humans, pigs, what have you. Whereas the angels, the unfallen, ate food, appeared in human form, took people by the hand, etc.
What if the heavenly rebellion cut off the demons from the physical senses, separating them from those things we enjoy, and this is part of the reason they so badly want to use and abuse those senses through us?
Just an idea. A thought. But I think there's something to it.
Eric Wilson, author of Field of Blood[br][br]~The Nazarene Blood will prevail!
Perhaps, but first it seems to me you have to deal with the question of the nature of grace. Is it an energy...emanation like "spiritual" electricity...a created force of some sort or is grace the active person and presence of God? If you conceive of it as a created "force", then you have to deal with the theological implications of that in order to "parameterize" your theological arena with respect to everything that relates to God..such as soteriology and anthropology. If on the other hand you stick with the orthodox theological standard that grace is not created, but is simply the name we give to God as He is known and experienced by His creatures? That is to say grace is God present. In that case He would not so much be literally reflected in others as revealed.
The other question with regard to demons one must ask is does God love them the way He loves us. The answer to that question has a lot to do with Who we understand God to be and the nature and delimit of love. In answering that question it must not be ignored that He does not deprive them of their being...yet we know from scripture that we...and presumably all else live and move in Christ and in Him have our being. If demons have their very being from Him then that must have meaning and repercusion with regard to your story idea.
I do think demons try to extract something from humans, but I'm not sure it's grace.
In my white paper on UFOs (www.jeffersonscott.com/nonfiction/ufos.htm) I postulate that demons like to extract terror from humans, that it's some kind of sustenance for them, especially as they exert control over their victims.
And then you also have the question of are demons necessarily the fallen angels, but perhaps the disembodied spirits of another race? I've heard good Biblical arguments for this that involves a pre-Adamic race. Combining this with a certain creationist theory known as "The Gap Theory" lets you know when that race existed physically. The best argument I heard using Biblical text postulated that the pre-Adamic race was the dinosaurs. It's been a long time since I heard this, so please don't ask me where in the Bible this can be proven, but I do remember reviewing my notes on it later and finding the argument had enough merit to keep in my head. Of course, there are other creationists that are convinced dinosaurs are alive and well today, so I suppose it depends on which dinosaurs one wants to talk about. I can accept both being possible as long as we consider that perhaps we've combined different animals under the title of "dinosaur" that may not have existed at the same time. Certainly the crocodiles are considered modern takes on dinosaurs, so that could be the case. Imagine being inhabited by a disembodied spirit of a crocodile. Ooooooohhh......~~~~~shudder~~~~~......I sure am glad I have the Holy Spirit inside instead.
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Post by Christian Soldier on Jan 26, 2009 15:43:08 GMT -5
I had meant God's Glory rather than His grace, as in the Glory reflected off of all of His children. Really I'm just expounding on an idea from Tosca Lee in "Demon: A Memoirs", but taking it to a different level; though, not necessarily a higher one.
However, I like the concept of a demon also being adicted to sensation. That actually pans out with another of my short stories, "The Demon, the Church, and the Christ". It would also explain some of their more bizaar behaviours, not to mention of the different stories I've heard from first hand witnesses to such events.
As for the theory that demons are the spirits of dinosaurs... erm... I don't think that would work in the context of the story that I'm thinking of. Actually, I wrote a scene and stuck it up on my site if anyone is interested. Just click here and check out the Short Stories tab.
Still, great stuff!
You can't kill me, I'm already dead!
[br]This is the martyr's cry!
Not to be tedious, but switching from grace to glory leaves the same problem in place. Is His glory a mere immanation, a created thing? If then it is not created then we must understanded it as perception of Him as He is insofar as we have been made capable of perception. It is the question of Mt. Tabor. When His disciples saw Him in glory was it because He had actually changed so as to be radient or was He as He ever was, but the their eyes were opened so as to be able to behold some portion of His glory to which they were previously blind? For what it is worth, the eastern Church considers the Divine glory like Divine grace, to be uncreated and there is much written in its theology concerning the Uncreated Light and what it means about God and our experience of Him. It is further the experience of the eastern Church when dealing with demons that they are not particularly fond of anything or anyone that displays God's grace or His glory which "burns" them. You may also recall from the comments of the demons in the Gadarene that when Christ came to him, the demons initial question was "have you come to torment us before the time". His very presence apparantly caused them not just anxiety, but discomfort, so why should that presence in the life of any other human be less hurtful to them?
At the risk of meddling in your story I might suggest that man as an image of God with his own lesser "light" which compared to "The Light" is as darkness in man's fallen estate disconnected as it is with unbroken manifestly resident grace might be the peg to hang your hat on. It short, it is a weak but temporarily acceptable substitute for them.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2009 17:24:47 GMT -5 by seraphim
I don't mean this to disagree with anything that's been said so far, and I'm not even sure if it does. My understanding of grace and glory are simplistic by comparison, and I don't see this as a problem.
I've thought, for as long as I can remember, that grace was almost more of a verb than a noun, being what God does for people, and by derivation, people could do for each other. It's not created, and it's not who God is, it's what he does. I always thought grace was defined as the giving of something good that was not deserved. Mercy, on the other hand, was the withholding of something bad that was deserved. Of course, other definitions may well apply in any given story or theology.
Glory, I thought, was something that we see or otherwise perceive when in the presence of God. I always figured that it emmanated from him. People in other belief systems speak of auras or vibes. I always figured God's glory was like a divine and cosmic (on scale) aura. He simply is glorious, in the same sense that he is holy, or love, or just, or merciful or whatever. Was it Isaiah or John who said, "I see the Lord, seated on the throne, and the glory of the train of his robe fills the temple." Or am I mixing the two stories?
As for how these two things interact with us? I suspect that as we spend time with God, his character; his propensity to show grace; and his nature; his glory, would both rub off on us. Didn't the angel who spoke to Elizabeth's husband (I forget the name) say in response to his doubt, "I spend time in the presence of God."
Of course, you don't have to stick to any given theological system in your fiction. your PCs could be heretics, and still look like the good guys, as is the case with most of Stephen Lawhead's characters. Is Stephen Lawhead a Christian author, writing Christian Speculative Fiction? I think so.
Some struggle through the desert because He said . . .[br][br]". . .If you would be my disciples, you must take up your cross daily and follow me"