Next let us consider three Gospel-images rapidly waning in contemporary usage. The first of these is what has been called the “classic” presentation of the atonement (e.g., Gen. 3:15; Luke 11:21-22; 22:53; Col. 1:12-13). The “classic” approach pictures our salvation primarily in terms of an epic, cosmic, cataclysmic struggle between “two mighty opposites”; the antagonist, Satan, representing the kingdom of darkness, and the protagonist, Jesus, representing the kingdom of light. The plan of salvation is more than a matter between a holy, loving God and a sinful, rebellious people. The devil is involved too. (I suspect it is forgetfulness of the devil that is largely responsible for contemporary disuse of the “classic” approach to the Gospel.) The plan of salvation involves a struggle bigger than any one of us. It began long before we appeared on the scene, and mopping up operations will continue long after our earthly exit. It is a struggle outside our self and outside our planet. John Milton’s Paradise Lost and John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress are literary representations of the Bible’s “classic” depiction of the atonement. J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and C. S. Lewis’ space trilogy and Chronicles of Narnia are recent attempts to revive modern awareness of the epic struggle between God and Satan for the prize of the human soul and have done much to reduce that forgetfulness of the devil so dangerous to contemporary society.
Preaching the Creative Gospel Creatively
Francis C Rossow p. 43