One of the first in the modern age of Christian novels and now a classic, This Present Darkness follows the lives of a community and church from the perspective of the physical and spiritual realm exposing angels and demons. It challenges us to see the bigger picture and the spiritual warfare that goes on around us every day. An eye-opening must-read for every follower.
This Present Darkness
APPLICATION WRITTEN BY
Key Topics or Truths
This Book is Good For...
This book is great for people whose experience has not exposed them to the idea of the spiritual side of things. This book can be dangerous for those who are prone to become “demon hunters.” Not everything is done at the behest of Satan or God. Car wrecks happen because people are poor drivers. People succeed without any spiritual influence from God or Satan.
How I Use this Book to make disciples
I use this book to move people from seeing their faith, prayers, and practice from earth-only focused to seeing their faith as spiritual and eternally focused. There is a spiritual realm running alongside our earthly, physical, time-bound realm. Spiritual warfare is a fact even if Peretti’s depiction is fictional. Angels communicate, interact, and work on behalf of believers but few believers think about these realities. This fictional story provides the opportunity for disciples to encounter and discuss critical theological concepts like angelology and demonology. I do not use this as a theological text. I remind disciples that this is a work of fiction extending what we know of spiritual warfare, demons, angels, and the interaction of the spiritual realm in our daily lives.
We simply read and enjoy the text using it as a discussion starter and disruptor of the norm.
I love this book because it is eye-opening for many modern Christians. Most churches, other than the more charismatic ones, have long abandoned a focus on a separate spiritual realm alongside our physical existence. This book provides a good launching point to discuss ideas like “We war not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities,” and “angels being held up by warfare before they could help the Israelites.” This Present Darkness is a disruptor that leads to increased awareness of the spiritual, mystical realm of our faith and God’s creation.
Real Life Story
This was the second Christian novel that I read. It really challenged me to think about things differently. It opened my eyes to the Biblical concept of angels warring on our behalf for the success of the Kingdom of God. It made the truth that I have an enemy real.
Know Issues or Controversies
This book is not meant to be a theological paper. Peretti does not claim to be teaching theology or a Bible class. Though it does not stand in opposition to Biblical truth, its fiction extends many Biblical concepts into a story. For example, though we know angels communicate, we do not know exactly how that happens or if it happens the way Peretti presents it in fiction.
Some scholars have critiqued this book for focusing on angels and demons instead of on God. Others push back on the concepts of spiritual warfare as presented by Peretti. Knowledgable critics recognize that this is fiction but worry that it might lead some believers to assume that what Peretti presents as fiction is God’s reality.
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- Phase: Discipleship 1, Discipleship 2
- Book Type: Fiction
- Flair: Eye Opening
- Tags: easy read, Mystical, spiritual warfare
This book pairs well with its sequel Piercing the Darkness. But, I would not read both of these novels in the same phase of Discipleship.