Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.
Scripture References in this Resource
Romans 8:28; Job 38:2–41:34; Jude 1:9; Luke 10:18; Genesis 1:2; Ephesians 6:12; Mark 9: 36–37; John 8:34; Titus 3:3; 1 John 1:8–10; Exodus 20:5–6; Matthew 16:24; Genesis 1:1; Genesis 3:1; Genesis 1:31; Genesis 3:13–19; Colossians 1:21; Genesis 3:15; John 12:31–32; Habakkuk 12:7; Romans 11:36; Matthew 18:1–12; John 14:12
Felten, George, C. “Demonology According to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God: Three Important Aspects and a Lutheran Response.” MA Thesis, Concordia Seminary, 2020. 145pp.
Demonology should not be the center of a church’s theological center or modus operandi, but it should not be denied or avoided either. While the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD), a prominent neo-Pentecostal Brazilian church, makes too much of demonology, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (IELB) seems to make too little of it. Yet this need not be the case. This thesis will analyze three aspects of IURD’s demonology, namely, its dualism, the place of the devil’s testimony and the devil’s humiliation by the pastor in their services of libertação (liberation from demonic oppression and possession), and then provide a Lutheran answer to each one of these characteristics in order to give IELB’s pastors and members a solid basis to contribute to conversations on demonology. Understanding the demonology of the influential IURD will help Lutherans in Brazil engage their teaching more confidently instead of avoiding it altogether. This investigation is of a qualitative, descriptive, and exploratory nature. As our research procedure, we used bibliographical data. We also used YouTube videos of IURD services and rites of exorcism due to the scarcity on academic productions from IURD. The research’s first conclusion is that, pragmatically speaking, IURD does have a dualistic view of reality, in which the devil is almost more powerful than God, although theoretically they will never say that. Lutherans, on the other hand, understand that God is the Creator and sovereign Lord over all creation, including the angels. The research also concludes that the devil’s testimony given during the interviews that precede an exorcism in IURD’s services is considered trustworthy and desirable by its leaders and pastors, even to the point of becoming a source of true doctrine. Lutherans, on the other hand, observe that the demons never want to cooperate with humans, even though the sovereign God uses them as teachers of theology through tentatio (temptation, testing). Even when God does so, the devil is never to be trusted for his testimony; instead, the Christian under attack continues to put his trust in God’s trustworthy promises. The research’s third conclusion is that for IURD the role of the church consists in attacking the evil forces (going on the offensive), and the means used for this attack is challenging and making fun of the demons before effectively expelling them from the person’s body. Lutherans, on the other hand, understand that the fight against the devil is finally God’s, although He calls us to stand firm in Christ’s name in the midst of the devil’s attacks.
Felten, George, "Demonology According to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God Three Important Aspects and a Lutheran Response" (2020). Master of Art Theology Thesis. 109.
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