A mysterious force prompted me to read a Frank Peretti novel. I found a deal on The Visitation. After reading that, feeling compelled to read another, I bought This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, both of which I had read long enough ago so the details of the story had escaped me.
For those who haven’t read Peretti or have forgotten, the novels’ main characters are demons who work undercover to accomplish Satan’s schemes; angels who stand guard over the humans who play parts in the great drama; and the saints without whose fervent prayers the angels might get massacred.
Aside from the demons, Peretti’s bad guys are mostly occultists, devotees of various religions and practices such as yoga and meditation, psychologists, public servants gone over to the dark side, and of course lawyers (generally enployed by a group based upon the ACLU).
Politics and cultural issues aside, the books make me crave to know what exactly are angels and demons. I mean, here in reality, are they beings or metaphor? Do they exist apart from us, or are they facets of us?
I’ve attended lots of churches but never yet gotten a straight answer, at least from the preachers.
Some friends and acquaintances have claimed to know all about angels and demons. I have witnessed and even participated efforts to exorcise evil spirits. About therapy, meditation, yoga and other such practices, I’ve heard, from Christians, all kinds of advice and arguments, pro and con.
But I can’t remember a church taking a firm stand on any of these issues that Peretti takes on.
No matter whether I believe his themes and characters are soundly based in reality or if I consider him a screwball, I admire him for stepping into an area of inquiry churches appear reluctant to enter.
Which leads me to believe more strongly than ever that the world needs writers who will, like Peretti, cut loose and share their opinions in story form, thereby nourishing the imaginations of us readers.
About Peretti in particular: I only hope he believes what he preaches. The Bible warns of serious consequences in store for liars, right?
I mean, as Dorothy Salisbury Davis wisely wrote, “Don’t sell your soul for peanuts to feed the monkeys.”