abridgements, Ahriman, America, Apap, archangels, Bashar al-Assad, Beelzebub, Bible, Book of Job, Call of Duty, Christianity, Denver Broncos, Dialogues With the Devil, drug cartels, evil, genocide, God, goodness, Heaven, hell, Hezbollah, interactive video wargames, Loki, Luciel, Lucifer, mankind, Manyu, mental illness, Michael the Archangel, New England Patriots, Pluto, redemption, religion, sin, Siva, Syria, Taylor Caldwell, technology, theology, Tiamet, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, tradition
With current entities like the Mexican drug cartels and what they do to innocents (as evidenced by hellish photos such as the one shown above), along with their documented connection to the Hezbollah and their increasingly apparent goal of spreading north into America, decaying our citizens through drug dependence, it’s easy to see that many in our world are animated in a different manner than those who practice goodness. There are other examples, such as the genocide occurring in Syria at the hands of Bashar al-Assad. More than 6,000 have died there so far. There was a father here in America who recently exploded his house into flames with his two sons inside after committing other horrific acts to them which I will not detail. His wife, their mother, disappeared at least two years ago and has yet to be found.
Is it evil? Is it caving to the influence of Lucifer? Is there a difference between those with mental illness, who might be helped or even cured, and those who are purely evil? Technological and medical tools and knowledge are exponentially progressing (technological advancements that seem to be veering largely toward the latest versions of interactive video war-games for teens, such as “Call of Duty”). We must prioritize finding answers to these questions.
I thought I would begin a serialization of a very good book that has related relevance to our world today. The installments will be abridgements, as in “a bridge meant,” to unify minds toward common concerns. I have condensed the book down to expose only the heart of the story. If the novel is fascinating enough, in your own view, then you can easily find a complete copy. It can be found at Amazon.Com, in used paperback editions for a couple dollars or so, or for free through most libraries.
First of all, the book is not satanic as some might fear from its title. It’s a series of fictional dialogues between Michael the Archangel and Lucifer, the fallen angel of light. Michael makes his case for the preservation of mankind. Lucifer makes his case for the destruction of humanity through his exertion of influence on them. Mankind is destroying itself through succumbing to the temptations of evil. Lucifer encourages the process. Humanity can save itself through actions of goodness contrary to the “playbook” whispered in mankind’s ears by the dark one.
Think of the plot as a sport (even though, obviously, it’s much more serious than that) with Tom Brady and his New England Patriots versus Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos. Since I live in Colorado, Brady would be Lucifer and Tebow, of course, would be Michael the Archangel. It’s just a metaphor to understand Caldwell’s two characters and their conflict in this far more serious “matchup.”
I first encountered this book when I was in my teens. Thankfully, we didn’t have the interactive bloodshed of “Call of Duty” in my day. Reading was widely encouraged. My father owned a copy. He always seemed to have a book in his back pocket, as I do now. I read it but didn’t think too much about it. After my father passed away, I kept the book and reread it. As an adult, it made more sense. It’s relevance became clear. –SB
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp ix-xi.]
Foreward (by Taylor Caldwell):
It began in a lighthearted mood — in order to give Lucifer his day in court — and then it stopped being lighthearted and became very somber and grim indeed, as Lucifer presented his case against mankind, and the problem of Good and Evil, and its mystery. . . .
In all traditions he fell from Heaven because of the sin of pride and disobedience and rebellion, and became the slave and master of men, tempting them to eternal death and perdition. He has as many names as God [Luciel…Ahriman…Apap…Loki…Tiamet…Siva…Manyu…Beelzebub…Pluto], in dead and living religions, but, like God, his nature never changes, nor his objectives.
Through all traditions the idea of Lucifer’s ultimate redemption runs steadily, though in Christian theology that tradition was denounced as a heresy in the fifth century A. D. Nevertheless, it persists. The ancient traditions entertain the possibility of the eventual remorse of the spirit of Evil and its reconciliation with God. Who is to say?
In the book of Job Lucifer always presents himself before the Lord as “one of the sons of God,” and implies that he is not God’s enemy but man’s, and that he is the prosecutor of man before God, the witness to his crimes, the denouncer who demands the extreme punishment of eternal death for the blasphemy of man’s existence. Man’s little imagination has presented him in horrific apparitions, some of them absurd and jejune, horned and hoofed, yet he was the greatest, most powerful and most resplendent of the archangels and is still an archangel. To denigrate him as a ridiculous figure, and ugly and paltry, is wrong, and does a disservice to God Who can create nothing ugly — only man can do that — and in the belittling of Lucifer there is a great danger. Evil is nothing to belittle, nor the anguish of Evil. Lucifer, as the Holy Bible states, is Prince of this World, and certainly he cannot be as hideous as the other self-proclaimed “princes” we have seen in this century, and in past centuries. And his power is only a little less than the power of the Almighty, and has its expression only in Man.
I have discovered that men are always fascinated by the thought of Lucifer, perhaps because evil is always more dramatic than good, more spectacular, more bloody, and more frightful, and when men are not comedians — though they never seem aware of the comedy of their being — they are, at heart, dramatists and tragedians. Yet, strangely, the tragedy of the Sacrifice on the Cross does not touch them greatly, and therein is another mystery. . . .