21 Things The Devil Cannot Do, by Duane Vander Klok
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest book review.]
One of the more serious and unpleasant interests of mine as a reader and thinker is the study of demonology. Whether it regards my own writing  or my comments about the writings of others , the area of demonology is one that has always been an interest of mine. I suppose being the sort of person who against my will and without any say in the matter was thrust at a very young age into the heart of warfare against darkness, that I would always have some degree of interest in the field for my own well-being and protection. This book is definitely one of the more practical guides to dealing with Satan and the demon world, and will largely be of interest to those who already have a practical need for concern about such matters. The book certainly spares few words in an extreme degree of confidence about wrestling with the spirit realm.
The title of the of the book is a bit of a misnomer. The book does contain 21 things that the devil cannot do, drawn from scripture and painted in very strong senses, looking at the restrictions that are placed on Satan’s conduct and his limitations based on God’s protection for obedient believers. Yet those examples only take up the first half of the book or so, and the rest of the content deals with some of the signs of demonic influence, whether that is self-harm (like cutting), mental and emotional torment, depression, irrational fears and anxieties, and the like. Obviously, these problems are pretty serious ones that are dealt with pretty commonly and frequently by ourselves or by people we know and care about. After this the book closes on an optimistic study of Jesus Christ as our redeemer, no matter how dark or difficult our lives have been, which is a necessary close when a book dwells on such dark subjects as demons.
Nevertheless, I have a few things against the book. For one, the book seems to take a “name it and claim it” attitude that is perilously close to the theology of Job’s friends, who blamed all the bad things of life on personal weakness and lack of faith, a mentality that comes part and parcel with the prosperity gospel that the author appears to believe in. Given that the author is pretty strident about the issue of faith and the spirit world, it would appear as if there would be a distinct lack of compassion to those who were struggling, and Psalm 88 as well as Paul’s thorn in the flesh that God refused to take away would not likely be favorite areas of scripture to examine in light of the author’s worldview and approach. Likewise, the author makes a few misstatements of fact, and has a pretty simplistic formula for belief that can be summed up as “Good God, Bad Devil.” Thankfully, enough of this book is worthy of praise that it remains worthwhile even with its flaws, at least as an encouragement to remain courageous against evil.
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