We are all familiar with the Ephesians 6 passage on spiritual warfare. Many of us have experienced some form of warfare in our daily lives. What do we do about it and how can we prevent the devil from harassing us?
Frank E. Peretti tackles these questions head-on in a most provoking and readable duo of novels that deal with the works of the devil and his demons in their devious, fierce struggle with the angelic warriors not only for the souls of people but for the control of entire towns, educational systems and the minds of unsuspecting innocents.
In thrilling counterplay Peretti presents the urgent importance of intercessory prayer for “it is the prayer of the everyday saints that gives strength to the hosts of angelic warriors.” The stories take place in small rural towns in the United States among ordinary people who live ordinary lives, just like us. As their lives unfold, the reader sees the action from three points of view – that of the individual person, that of the demons assigned to him, and that of his guardian angels. Both devils and angels are portrayed as realistic (though spiritual) beings, capable of feelings, of acting and reacting, of plotting and counterplotting strategies and war tactics to win the souls of the people assigned to them.
This war involves the use of corruption, temptations, power, New Age mind-control educational methods, parent-children relationships, church intrigues on the part of the devil against a powerful battery of prayers, prayers, search for Truth, standing up for moral and Christian principles, yielding to the Holy Spirit, prayers and more prayers, and most especially, the power of the Cross.
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS and PIERCING THE DARKNESS by Frank E. Peretti [Illinois: Crossway Books, 1986, 1989] are well written and hard to put down once started. They give the earnest reader much insight into the realm of spiritual warfare and the necessity for intercessory prayer, and afford the prayerful Christian reader much ammunition and useful strategy and tactics in his day-to-day skirmishes with demons.
Author Frank Peretti is not a Catholic although it is evident that he is a practicing, believing Christian. Therefore we recommend that Corrado Balducci’s short book THE DEVIL …ALIVE AND ACTIVE IN OUR WORLD [Manila: St. Paul Publications, 1992] be read as a companion to Peretti to give the official Catholic teachings on demonology. Not surprisingly Balducci and Peretti reinforce each other’s position regarding demons and angels.
St. Augustine has this to say about devils: “The devil can bark, but he cannot bite, unless a person lets himself be bitten.” The truth of this statement can be clearly seen in the lives of the characters of Peretti’s novels. It is we ourselves who have the ultimate decision to surrender our lives either to the devil or to the angels and to God. –Reviewed by Nancy R. Catan, Portal Editor, BCBP Manila