Letter: Talk of the devil

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In stating that the devil serves as something to get us off the hook of taking full responsibility for our actions Paul Vallely betrays a misunderstanding of the biblical perspective both on Satan and on the human mind ("Who the devil are you?", 28 January). If we are inclined not to take responsibility for our actions there is a whole host of things to blame. Satan has no monopoly in the culprit market. We can blame upbringing, hormones, genes, stars, other people - the list is endless.

The simplistic view that God is willing to prevent evil but not able or else able but not willing misses the point. God gave his son. Jesus laid down his life. God made himself vulnerable, the subject of evil, to show its bankruptcy up against him. We too have a share in this victory.

JOHN ATHANASIOU

London N9

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