At 1/8/12 01:44 PM, Scarface wrote:
Alright, I've seen some pretty good arguments for why God did/didn't create Satan.
I'm glad you have been satisfied!
So my other question is, does Satan have any effect on Earth?
Satan and his followers are able to utilize things such as disease, emotional/psychological pain, and animals to cause suffering. However, he is unable to harm a follower of Christ unless allowed (God never allows anything that we cannot handle and that won't make us stronger).
Can he tempt people, can he speak to them or convince them to do things?
Yes and no. Satan and his followers are able to make things appear attractive that can be extremely detrimental to your physical, emotional, and mental health. However, he is unable to completely control one's will. One must make a conscious decision whether or not to give into the temptation - which will always result negatively despite positive (temporary) emotions.
Can he deceive them, or make the Earth seem older than it is (referring to Genesis and the Earth actually being 4.6 billion years old). Could Satan make the earth seem 4.6 billion years old if it wasn't?
Well, this is multilayered; but, I will answer it as thoroughly as possible.
Satan is able to distort the truth and (along with temptation) make things appear to be what they are not - he is, after all, called the "Author of Lies". His method usually involves taking a slice of truth and exaggerating it with lies that seem to make sense.
Now, with regard to the age of the Earth, I believe you are hinting that believers are deceived into believing the world is 6,000 years old (or, perhaps that non-believers are deceived). Here is what I know:
The agreed age of the Earth (based on time of creation to present) by Biblical scholars is approximately six thousand to fourteen thousand years old. Because this conclusion is founded on a literal interpretation of Genesis (the only logical method of interpretation based on context of the verses), I strongly support that the Earth is 6-14,000 years old.
However, this age, I believe, is not deductive of the "apparent age" of the Earth. If you will notice, all throughout the creation section of Genesis, all created things are so in "adult form". Birds, trees, land animals, humans, etc are all created in their prime - not as children. Thus, it is logical to assume similar for the inanimate. The Earth was probably created in "adult" form (4.6 Billion y.o) despite having only existed for a second. Does this make sense?
I can defend this argument by stating that a universe created in "baby/youth" form would not have been able to support the Earth as it would have plausibly been extremely hostile to life. The universe, I presume, has an actual age of 6-14,000 years with an apparent age of ~15 Billion. Meaning, it operates as if it has existed for billions of years, but is not actually that old.
So, we can see how Satan is able to use a truth (actual age) and distort it (by confusing it with apparent age).
I hope this makes sense, if not, or if you need clarification on something, do not hesitate to ask!
If so, why doesn't God revoke that power?
God allows some truths to be hidden away so that His glory may be seen by those who find the truth, and spread it to others. Also, Satan is not entirely to blame for the mass confusion via a butterfly effect of secular and Christian scientists.