In our day and age, images of the demonic and Satan are commonplace. They find their way into our entertainment, onto our yards as Halloween decorations and into various facets of our lives. Growing up, I had little concept of demons. Satan was the bad guy that tempted Eve to eat a piece of fruit in the garden and I knew he was red with black horns because Halloween costumes don’t lie. Seriously though, I had a mixed bag of impressions of what these dark forces looked like and how they affect our lives. As a teen, I remember reading some of Frank Peretti’s books and having my interest piqued. But, I didn’t have any kind of framework for understanding these bad guys. Several years ago, our family had a series of life changing events that brought spiritual warfare to the forefront of our lives. It became a daily conversation as we worked to understand this little known concept.
I believe that demons are real. With the Bible as my handbook, there are simply too many references to ignore. In Ephesians 6:12, we read “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”(NIV) As I started to learn about this subject, initially it was very confusing. It was hard to know where to start putting the puzzle together. When I meet people who are encountering the subject for the first time the way I did, they often get overwhelmed the way I did. However, I was recently given a book that I feel is a great one for jumping into the topic. Recently I read, 50 Things You Need to Know About Satan and Demons, by Mark Muska. It takes 50 different questions we encounter in our culture and in our churches and takes a logical approach to answering them.
Questions covered in this book run the gamut. They include things like:
Who is Satan?
What is demon possession?
Why should I believe what the Bible says about Satan?
Can Satan read my thoughts?
Is it possible to actually see demons?
If I ignore Satan, will he go away or just leave me alone?
What is spiritual warfare?
…and many many more questions.
As I read through the questions, I appreciated a few things about this author’s approach. First, he states clearly upfront that he is using the Bible as the source of authority on this topic. If you don’t accept that as a source of authority, you will struggle with this book, but at least he is up front about that. Secondly, he incorporates culture all through it. Most of the way we “see” the demonic is in our culture but it is often done with artistic license with no regard to its accuracy. He does an excellent job of addressing those various areas and then comparing them to what the Bible has to say. Sometimes there is a clear answer and sometimes there is not. Either way, the information is presented in a factual way. I would highly recommend this book especially for those who are new to the subject of spiritual warfare. For those who are very familiar with the topic, it provide a good summary and helpful talking points for interacting with others.
(I was given a copy of this book by Bethany House publishers for review purposes in exchange for an honest opinion. No monetary compensation was received.)