Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review: The Dark Sacrament

My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the most exquisite of the Devil's wiles was persuading us that he doesn't exist. 
     -Charles Baudelaire
       The Generous Gambler, 1864

Darkness cannot put out the light.
It can only make God brighter.

Recently, my studies into demonology have intensified, due mainly to the fact of sheer need.  We have recently been called to assist in a number of demonic cases, ranging from poltergeist type of activity that has clear demonic signs, to cases involving Ouija board usage (and other behavior and practices) that opened up a doorway that has led to demonic oppression.  (Yes, poltergeist activity can be demonic.)  One never arrives at some level of being comfortable with one's knowledge or experience in such matters. The good news is, though knowledge and experience are extremely important, the confidence and strength in one's faith in Jesus Christ is what's is vital and is the most important asset.

Currently, I am involved in reading-studying a book that I think is excellent, and I'd like to share it with you.  It is one of the finest books on the subject of demonic possession and oppression I've come across, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.  The book is The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism, by David M. Keily and Christina McKenna; HarperOne, 2007, ISBN: 978-0-06-123817-8. 

This book is very well written, and I love the style and matter-of-fact approach that authors Kiely and McKenna took.  The Dark Sacrament gives an excellent survey of how our current culture arrived at such a fascination now with the subject of demon possession; all while taking place in a sea of skepticism and scientific - rationalistic blindness.  It calls for a balance and clarity that I find very refreshing, and that I share from my own Christian perspective.  As it goes into and through real case histories of oppression and severe demonization, the authors and the clergy involved explain the cases and phenomena from a practical standpoint that is invaluable to a practicing demonologist such as myself.  I have read dozens and dozens of books on demons, angels, ghosts and the after-life.  So much of what I read is just plain wrong and downright reckless - even dangerous.  This book is one of the finest that focuses on demonic cases and what is truly going on.  It clarifies issues that other books touched upon but left "muddy."  I highly recommend it, especially if you are involved in this field.
The book is endorsed by a number of people, two of which caught my attention as I respect them a great deal.  I include their words below:

"This book is a must read for students of demonology, and for anyone interested in demonic possession.  Not only will it frighten you, but more importantly, it will educate you to the dangers of the preternatural realm.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book."
     -Lorraine Warren

"This is perhaps the best account written in my lifetime about this difficult and troubling subject, and I would commend it to one and all.  This is important food for thought and for the soul, reminding us once more that there is more to reality than meets the eye."
     -Dr. Ben Witherington, III, Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary.

I have a personal affinity for Asbury, as many of my own seminary professors I studied under were also professors there.  The book also has a number of useful and interesting entries in the Appendix, including the complete Prayer to the Archangel Michael, as well as Prayers of Exorcism.

No comments:

Post a Comment