Deliver Us From Evil: A Pastor’s Reluctant Encounters With The Powers Of Darkness, by Don Basham
[Note: This book was provided by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.]
I happen to be somewhat interested in the subject of demonology, and it is definitely one of my darker interests , and it just so happens that this is a book that deals with the area of demonology in all its difficulties and complexities. In fact, this particular account resembles nothing more closely as a combination between a memoir about a man who begins as an unbeliever in the existence of Satan and the demons and ends as a powerful and notable figure in deliverance ministries seeking to attack the hold of Satan and demons over believers and a how-to guide in dealing with the spirit realm. In reading this book, I was easily struck by how much this book could have been far more dark than it was, even if it was dark enough to give a reader a serious understanding that the spirit world is not to be trifled with, but neither is it to be feared from a believer, and that appears to be the point.
This book starts a bit slowly, but it appears with a purpose, in showing the author as a Pentecostal sort of pastor with an interest in the gifts of the Holy Spirit whose life experiences lead him to recognize the influence of demons on the life of believers, not necessarily in possession but in oppression (what might be called a stronghold of evil, although the book does not use this terminology), and then leads him to leave a job as an ordained pastor for a mission that is focused on delivering people from bondage to the demonic world, a move that is described as living in greater faith, and whose mistakes are recounted but not dwelt on obsessively. The author is thoroughly human throughout the work, and some of the tales he describes are particularly poignant, showing the damage that results from spiritual bondage, including physical death and grave injury, as people are unable to overcome addictions and emotions as a result of some sort of spirit involvement, which often results from either some sort of dabbling in the spirit realm, some kind of gratification of a fleshly urge, or some kind of trauma (the book is not particularly detailed, or particularly dark, in what this would entail) which gives the opportunity for demonic influence in a life.
There are basically two types of people who will be likely to read this book. On the one hand are those who are already convinced of the reality and the depth of the hold of darkness on human lives, who will look in this book for ways to address this problem in our lives and that of those around us. These people will likely find the second half of the book to be of the greatest interest, especially in the way that the book details the accounts of Jesus Christ’s interaction with demons in the Gospels and that of the apostle Paul. Essentially, there are problems that are the result of the flesh, for which we are responsible, and other problems that are the fault of spiritual oppression. This book wisely adopts a filtering technique to first focus on self-discipline and then after that to spiritual involvement for those problems that are left. Those who are not already convinced about the reality of spiritual involvement should find enough material in here to at least prompt them to concede the possibility of such matters, and then act, as the author did, as if such spiritual involvement was real, by taking the Bible seriously. As such, this is a work of immense value within the field of contemporary demonology, a work that recognizes and appreciates science as well as the reality of the spirit realm, and the superior authority of Jesus Christ relative to the demonic realm. If you’re looking for a book to start your collection on this rather neglected subject, this along with C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters make a fine start.
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