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6.02.2005

The Evil One

I learned in Systematic Theology yesterday that our Presiding Bishop does not have any quelms about referencing The Evil One - and, in fact, did so in an NPR interview shortly after he was made Presiding Bishop (while I was unable to locate the NPR interview, I did find additional confirmation of its broadcast in this sermon). An MSN search for "Griswold" and "The Evil One" provided this interesting article (thereby reminding me of my preference for Google which first provided a sermon preached by Bishop Griswold on February 13, 2005 sermon at St. David's Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas just prior to the meeting of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council in which he uses the phrase "the evil one" (lower case decision made by the website editor or by Bishop Griswold? - my guess is the editor).

On the whole, it seems much more common "these days" (whatever that means - I'll let you set the parameters), to hear folks speak about the "powers and principalities" (though a search on Google tells me my assumption is wrong: 235,000 hits on "powers and principalities" vs. 553,000 hits on "evil one") rather than "The Evil One".

O.k., revised thought: why do I prefer "powers and principalities" rather than "The Evil One"?
Is this more palatable than "the evil one", "satan", or "the devil"? Am I embarrassed by the prospect of letting folks know that I think The Evil One does, in fact, exist? Or is it simply too much for my very rational (so I like to amuse ourselves believing) mind to accept belief not only in an "invisible" God, but in an "invisible" Devil too? Ooh. . . my favorite: or is it that a "what" rather than a "who" seems more controllable?

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