Who Are Satan, Angels?

By Orr, Becky | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), September 12, 2016 | Go to article overview

Who Are Satan, Angels?


Orr, Becky, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


Column for Sept. 10, 2016 By the Rev. Rodger McDaniel If you don't understand metaphor, you'll never get this. Once upon a time, the sculptor Michelangelo met a neighbor. Michelangelo was pushing a boulder up the hill. The neighbor became curious when the sculptor took out his hammer and chisel and began pounding on the boulder.

He inquired, "What are you doing hammering on that boulder?" Michelangelo replied, "There's an angel inside, and I'm trying to let it out." There's an "angel" inside each of us struggling to be freed, and also a "Satan." Sometimes one wins; sometimes the other. Both are metaphors for free will.

This month's topic is "Who are Satan and the angels?" Answers to topics the Rev. Norris and I discuss revolve around differences between conservative and progressive interpretations of the Bible. One cannot prove biblical truth by simply quoting the Bible. That fails to acknowledge both the Bible's rich mythology and metaphors, as well as the movement of the Holy Spirit. Angels are mentioned 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament. A talking donkey is only mentioned once, as is a talking snake. I don't take those images literally. However, I take all of them seriously.

As a liberal Christian, I view biblical angels metaphorically, even though an angel once saved my family. It was 1992. My wife and I were national directors of Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua. We lived in Managua with our young children. One afternoon, we took a drive to Leon. It's customary to pick up hitchhikers there. Few have other forms of transportation. We had a pickup, and most often someone thumbing a ride alongside the road would climb into the bed of the truck.

This day, the pregnant woman had a small child with her. We invited her to sit in the back seat of the double cab. Then we drove down the road. As we entered a heavily wooded area, I realized the woman was anxiously directing me to stop. "Alto," she cried. With windows rolled up and the air conditioner blasting, none of us heard the danger. …

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