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In a footnote when speaking of how the pagan religions are not viewed compatibly by the NT, and that faith in Christ delivers from the power of Satan and the “torments of his false religions,” Kelly insightfully notes:

It is difficult not to see the powerful modern anti-religion of materialistic naturalism (that seeks to elevate its atheistic presuppositions into the accredited ‘findings of science’) as, in the end of the day just a another religion (massively influential and presitigous though it is). Though it would presumably disdain the older, grosser religions of pagan antiquity, could it not actually constitute an illustration of Jesus’ parable in Luke 11:14-26: i.e. when one demon is cast out (but the life is not filled with the Spirit of God), then seven other demons come in to fill the vacuum, so that the latter state is worse than the first? In that sense our apostate modern culture may be in far worse shape than ancient pagan idolatry.


  1. Kelly, Systematic Theology - Volume 1, p. 187