I have many books on spiritual warfare, occult, demonology, etc., but just discovered Unger's second book on demonology (after writing Biblical Demonology), in which he changed his position. I have ordered the book and can't wait to read it, but found this review of the book and thought others might find it helpful. CMR
BOOK REVIEW (from Amazon) By D. B. Whitmore on December 25, 2010
I've been studying spiritual warfare in this last year and have to say that there are over 100 good books about it for mainstream Christians, including charismatics and non-charismatics. My favorite authors are by Dickason Demon Possession and the Christian: A New Perspective, Warner; Spiritual Warfare: Victory over the Powers of this Dark World, Bubeck, Ron Phillips Everyone's Guide to Demons & Spiritual Warfare: Simple, Powerful Tools for Outmaneuvering Satan in Your Daily Life, Neil Anderson The Bondage Breaker®: Overcoming *Negative Thoughts *Irrational Feelings *Habitual Sins, John Eckhardt Prayers That Rout Demons and Break Curses , and now the sage Merrill Unger.
If its one thing I learned about the topic of spiritual warfare, its to have a balanced and sound mind perspective. Extremes are what Satan loves to deal in. From the "can't touch this" mindset of uninformed mainstream Christians, to the wacky bizarre teaching of some "out there" teachers, where does one find good solid content on how Satan works today with you and I?
Most non charismatic authors sadly only deal with the theological and theoretical aspects of spiritual warfare. Unger did this very thing in his first book on the topic, Biblical Demonology. Unger, however, like Solomon maturing from Proverbs to Ecclesiastes, moves from the theoretical to practical with "What Demons Can do to Saints". It is like his eyes were opened from the stodgy theologian to the learning newbie as God brought many authentic believers to him for assistance in demonization cases.
Don't let the TONGUES or other "sensationalistic" issues sidetrack you from the truth. Bible believing charismatics will tell you that tongues are not the requirement nor focus of spiritual warfare, but to be used for giving glory to God. Unger doesn't speak against tongues in these anecdotes, only the motives of some people who seek experience over the GOD who is. PPL who know not this difference should not yet be asking for gifts of experience, but only to know Him and Christ crucified. Asking for a gift for self I believe is humanistic , and is an impure motive and gives right for evil spirits to have toeholds in your life. I think that Unger says it well when he says that the Christian worker involved in expelling demons should be right with GOD, and be clean from bitterness and any form of uncleanness. Neil Anderson also teaches this.
BUT I digress...
Unger's book can serve as a launch pad for 80% of American Christians who believe in a real Satan, but believe that he is uninvolved in their personal lives. He produces a good balance of perspective, in that he certain has mastered theology with 100% of pastors having some form of his works (Bible Commentary, Bible Handbook, Bible Dictionary) in their libraries. SO he is VERY respected in conservative christian circles, but.... He chose to differ with some of the deeply conservative thinkers from Dallas Theological Seminary with spiritual warfare as to the extent that Satan can influence Christians. The scriptures do not say that a Christian is immune. Therefore one can use empirical evidence from experience. Unger does this in this book by sharing many amazing stories that seem unreal. I sense that he is the third party to most of the experiences, but God has(is) used/using him to use his reputation to convince the more theoretical theologians that his newly found claims have merit. I respect him for reversing his stance, which shows us that dogmatism should be avoided in light of GOD's word and actual experience, in that order.
I have never seen such many details from a conservative author in such a small tome, namely that demons can have personal names, know languages from geographical regions, be tied in league with other demons, they have specialties such as homosexuality, lust, bitterness, etc.
DO you want to know what they fear? What gives them a right to harass you? How they can use your past to deceive you in believing lies about yourself and GOD? Unger includes these in his observations, albeit briefly.
If there were any glaring weaknesses in the book, it would have to be the lack of proper treatment on how to be free of demonic influence, and strategies to keep the evil one from deceiving you, accusing you, or tempting you. For that I suggest Neil Anderson's Victory over the Darkness, and The Bondage Breaker. But keep in mind that no one book about spiritual warfare can completely address all of the key areas of proper warfare.
I suggest that you study this topic yourself with multiple books from solid authors, both charismatic and non-charismatic, with prayer. I think that you will find that 95% of them are very biblical. If you find a point you disagree with, move on and ask what GOD wants to teach you and how you can achieve personal fullness by resting in the Holy Spirit's leading. If you find yourself reacting strongly, could it be that the truth is stirring something unholy in you, i.e. a foul presence?
God wants us fully informed, alert, equipped, and holy. Although the battle is His, He expects us to put on armor take our minds back and do battle each day because we live in the world ruled by the Prince of the power of the air. There is hope now and at the end of days. Jesus ensures that. For now, we here to "enforce" Jesus' victory, as Ron Phillips puts it. Not that Jesus is dependent on our effort, but rather we should be declaring that Jesus is the VICTOR, now and at the Judgement seat. Satan hates this, but admits it is TRUE. SO he is furious.
Its only gonna get worse as we approach the end times....
Thumbs up on this book, but don't let it be your only reference!
PS-if you need encouragement/support or a serious seeker for Truth, contact me at email@example.com