They Shall Expel Demons: Expanded Edition, by Derek Prince
[Note: This book was given free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Whether or not it is a good thing, I have a deep interest in books about the subject of demonology, and this book certainly fills that category. The late author expresses a great deal of insights into the spirit world and its relationship with Christian believers and makes the uncomfortable statement that those Christian ministries that do not pay attention to the spirit world and to the problem of demonization of people are missing out on aspects of the early Church of God. The author tries to thread a narrow path between seeking to discuss the common nature of the interaction between the spirit world and humanity and claiming that everything that people struggle with is the result of demonic influence. The author speaks about his own mistakes in being slow to focus on the importance of dealing with demons and make some speculations on demons and the hierarchies of the spirit world that ought to be of interest to those who share an interest in the subject, whether or not the reader disagrees with aspects of the author’s thinking.
This book is a sizable one at more than 300 pages, and it has been expanded from previous additions with a study guide at the end of each chapter and answers to the study guide at the end of the book. The first part of the book looks at fundamentals (I), with chapters on how Jesus cast out demons (1), some terminology (2), and the pattern and mission of Jesus (3). After that the author discusses his own personal experience with the spirit world (II), including his struggle with depression (4), people he failed to help (5), confrontations with demons (6), challenges to his ministry (7), the ubiquity of spirit issues beneath the surface (8), lessons from an expanding ministry (9), and ongoing personal conflicts (10). After that the author asks seven questions (III) about the identity of demons (11), the role of the flesh (12), how demons are able to influence people (13), what is the occult (14), witchcraft in the contemporary world (15), the need Christians have for deliverance (16), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (17). The author then closes the book with a discussion on how to recognize and expel demons (IV), with chapters on the characteristic behavior of demons (18), personality effects (19), demons of sickness and infirmity (20), preparing for deliverance (21), praying for deliverance (22), keeping one’s deliverance (23), why some are not delivered (24), helping others be set free (25), and what one does after deliverance (26). The book then ends with an index after the study guide answers.
There are at least a few aspects that make this book a bit less than perfect. The author’s approach to demons appears rather unsophisticated, in that he talks about demons specifically relating to the sins and intense feelings that allow them influence in the lives of people he works with. The author seems to lack a bit of understanding of why it is that someone who had demons expelled from her would feel rather uncomfortable about going back to the same congregation–I would think that a common sentiment. The author’s speculation that demons were the spirits of pre-human beings is a bit odd, and the author’s view that mankind’s promotion to the God family is itself a false belief that opens one to demons is risible given the biblical statements about the adoption of humanity into God’s family that fill the scriptures. So while this book has some insights based on the author’s experience, there are clearly some aspects of this book that are less worthwhile and less possible to recommend. Still, as a book which deals thoughtfully with the spirit world this is certainly an interesting book for the reader who has an interest in demonology.