In the Mail? Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, angels and demons by R.C. Sproul

I didn’t ask for it, but somehow, I got on the mailing list of Christian Focus publishers. I appreciate the book, but I suspect that I may not actually be the best person to review this book. For example, on page 143, Sproul (who by the way, is a well respected theologian, and while we may disagree on a few points, I have no doubt that he loves the Church of God) writes,

Luther sometimes experiences what he called the anfechtung, the unbridled, relentless assault and attack that the prince of darkness brought against him. We can understand why Luther would have been in Satan’s crosshairs – if the Devil could get Luther to fall, the Reformation might well fail.

Okay, my first thought is rather to the psychological. I have a problem with ‘supernatural’ talk and while it may be found in Scripture, I often times revert to interpreting through the idea that Satan is a personified evil, myth. Further, Luther who had been raised Catholic, with it so engrained, was no doubt feeling some sort of post-traumatic stress issues which his break from Rome, and thus himself. (Not saying Rome is or was a cult). We understand that when someone so engrained with a belief looses it, it may do mental harm to them. Finally, I disagree that upon Luther hung the shoulders of the Reformation. Zwingli was around. Calvin was coming. Tyndale was in England. Others, of whom we shall only know along Antipas were present.

Anyway, I’ll take a gander at the book.

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19 Replies to “In the Mail? Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, angels and demons by R.C. Sproul”

  1. whilst you may feel uncomfortable about them, demons and angels do appear in the Bible.

    I have, on occasion, reluctantly participated in exorcism.. and I can tell you.. they exist.

    1. Daniel, I, admittedly, waver. There is the intellectual side, which says that Satan is the personification of evil, but there is the theological side which tends to be more Christus Victor which sort of requires such things to exist. I have a difficult time pushing the two together.

  2. Hi Joel.

    I doubt that the reformation truly hung on Luther’s shoulders..though the heaviness of his ministry certainly would have.

    On a personal note – I fully believe in the demonic / supernatural realm. In my pre Christian days I moved into a house which unknown to me, the previous occupants held a séance with some disastrous results. ..my kitchen would be rearranged on a regular basis in the night – one night I heard stuff rattling around and crept up to the kitchen with shotgun at ready and the rattling stopped as soon as I stepped into it.A woke one night with an apparition beside the bed and it went after I swore at it to go in Jesus name.

    On a deeper personal note – in May 1997, my church pastor asked all who would like to prayer to come down the front. I was prayed for and thrown heavily backwards onto the floor. Voices in my head told me to get up and go out the church with them…something I refused to do. 3 shadowy figures rose up from me and walked out of the church. I got up shortly afterwards unharmed… and found that I had been released and healed from a chronic gambling and masturbation addiction as well as finally had peace from a voice that consistently told me I was gay.

    Since that experience in 97, I have walked free from the porn / masturbation and gambling addiction as well as have a healthy identity of who I am…

    Since then, there have been times over the years where I have prayed with others and seen them released from demonic forces…

    I’m not a super spiro who see’s demons under every rock – and am cautious about prescribing exorcisms – at the same time we also have to be cautious about not being aware of their existence and ability to cause havoc – while unseen.

      1. To be honest, its not something you want to see..
        I my experience its been quite horrible and frightening, and something to avoided, unless certain beyond belief that this is what you need to do.

        There is no “demon under every chair” – James says our desires are to blame for our testing and trials. But, there are some things.. you know… that have no explanation other than that.

      2. I can understand that Joel. The night I saw the apparition beside the bed, I told it to @#%^@@ off in the name of Jesus..it changed its appearance to that of a innocent child and I felt sorry for it in my heart and it came back bigger and more menacing than before….again I swore at it in the name of Jesus and it went.. A few days later, I found my dog at the back door, growing with some kind of strangled sound, every hair on it was standing on end and I picked him up and he was stiff as a board…when I put my hand on the door nob, every hair on my body stood on end…. Freaky and Scary….you betcha…

        But God used that experience to call me to himself, a group of Christians I knew came and prayed through the house and it went….

        Like Geoff I also have been involved in exorcism…I remember one night A 14 year old girl threw people about like matchsticks one night at a youth evangelistic meeting…spoke in a mans voice saying that she had sold her soul to the devil and she belonged to him… later we found out she and her friend had been involved in witchcraft and made a blood pact…

        She was set free…praise God.

  3. I do not adhere the radical separation of God from the world, therefore, I do not affirm “supernatural” terminology, which comes from atheist thinkers like David Hume, who used it in his cases against Christianity.

    I prefer supranatural, and i believe in evil, just that it is impersonal.

    1. I think we should think in Supranatural terms also…for in a many ways the created is supranatural and the creator is natural 🙂

      What do you mean by impersonal evil and why?

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