Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions James Emery White: Satan’s Winning Strategy

James Emery White: Satan’s Winning Strategy


In case you haven’t read about it, the devil doesn’t exist. Recent polling by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found that while seven in 10 U.S. adults believe in angels, when it comes to fallen ones – like the devil – it drops to 56%. A recent Gallup report found similar results with only 58% believing, down from 71% just two decades ago. And if you’re the Devil, this is a winning strategy.

To be sure, belief in almost every other “spiritual” category is down as well: belief in God has dropped from 90% in 2001 to 74% in 2023; heaven from 83% to 69%; angels from 79% to 57%; and hell from 71% to 59%.

But dropping to 58% belief, it’s the devil that’s faring the worst.

And he’s quite happy about it.

Satan’s Winning Strategy

In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis’ masterful fictional account of a senior devil, Screwtape, mentoring a younger devil, Wormwood, he notes the following in the preface:

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.