In Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey discusses some of the many New Age philosophies that were gaining in popularity in the 70s. Lindsay devotes more space to witchcraft than any of the other New Age philosophies, no doubt because of its popularity among the young people. They always seemed to exist in the bright light of day, or more commonly, the bright light of the supermarket where the current months astrological predictions sat on racks near the checkout lines along with magazines which often featured Jeane Dixon the subject of a whole chapter in Lindseys book. After a few chapters criticizing everything I learned in college (Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Darwin, and Freud) as well as the popular psychology of the day (Skinner, Dewey, Fromm, and Spock), Lindsey discusses another religious belief that was foreign to me: the phenomenon of speaking in tongues. Like the Rapture, which I learned about in The Late Great Planet Earth, speaking in tongues is something of which I only ever heard vague allusions. Instead he tackled the question of whether speaking in tongues is necessary to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Many people are filled with the Holy Spirit who have never had the experience of speaking in tongues. But the subject of this book is Satan, so I would like to close this review by quoting one of Lindseys descriptions of the archfiend.
In the early bloviations of this demon-avoidance manual, Lindsey manages to cast aspersions on the majority of the human race: "Before a person becomes a Christian, he is spiritually dead and ruled by this prince (Satan)." (Lindsey 79) In later chapters, the author goes to great lengths to attempt to discredit some of history's finest intellectuals such as Darwin, Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Freud. The best summary of this book and of evangelical Christianity in general is made by the author himself: "For centuries, Satan has delighted in making biblical Christianity appear non-intellectual in the eyes of the world." (Lindsey 183) Is it Satan that has done this or is it the evangelical Christians themselves that publish works of faith like this one and propose them as facts?
Prophecy is there for a reason, but not to measure our relationship with God. The writer has looked at events (at the time of the book's writing), extrapolated where things are going and attempts to put it all together. I am a Christian and find some of the conjecture about where we are on God's time line interesting, I've read several books on it but don't obsess over it, nor try to build or rest my relationship with God on it.
what does that say about the people who praise this book?
it has a nice storyline and that cannot be denied, but i would never take that as the truth, especially because following the bible, hal lindsey has turned everything i enjoy in my life into a sin, something that is being controlled by satan itself, and he claims that the ones who shake their heads and read this book thinking that it is utter bullshit are also being used as a tool by satan. it sounds to me as if this man believes that satan has even greater power than jesus, because it is able to manifestate through everything human beings have created for their enjoyment: literature, music, art, and cinema, which means pretty much every kind of art available for our eyes and minds to see. human beings can do stuff to protect their interests but god cannot? christians are the only ones who can do that kind of stuff because their god is the only true god, the only bearer of the truth and thats what gives christians the power to say hateful things to all the people who dont agree with them. i think saying that these ilnesses are a work of the devil only puts the mentally ill in a bad spotlight. i mean, people who are mentally ill are already seen with a certain prejudice and putting these things as satan doings only makes it difficult for the ones suffering with that. when it is stated that god never holds grudges on you and he is never mad at you for sinning and stuff like that, i think this is how a god should work. but at the same time, i got confused because hal lindsey says that you only need to acknowledge to god what you did wrong, but he shares that as part of his personal experience he got involved in confession sessions once.
Nothing in this book will change with the times other than the ways satan will try to lure us in.