empowered by the spirit for mission

Should We Observe Lent? »« 5 Missional Projects

A Theology of the Dark Side

A book review

A Theology of the Dark Side by Nigel Goring Wright is written to those who want an assessment of the doctrine of the devil and demons as taught in the Bible as it contains some good principles on in ‘deliverance ministry’ or ‘spiritual warfare’. However you may struggle with this book if you are not used to scholarly study as it quotes a number of theologians and evaluates their perspectives. Some may find some of this a little overwhelming and confusing especially since Wright often explains a viewpoint initially uncritically and later goes back to evaluate it. It certainly isn’t for the casual reader.

A Theology of the Dark Side examines the idea of there being supernatural beings existing in spiritual form from a contemporary view point. It evaluates theologians that have attempted to demythologise the spiritual realm. In doing so A Theology of the Dark Side carefully analysises Walter Wink’s view of the ‘principalities and powers’ as the properties of governmental systems. Wright sees this as a useful way of understanding how demons work but concludes that this cannot be the whole story as the Bible portrays them as having an existence beyond this.

This book warns people away from a paranoid view that sees the devil and demons behind everything that goes wrong. As such it is a much needed antidote to some charismatic practices such as shouting in prayer meetings ‘we bind you’ to supposed named demonic forces. Though Wright criticises such practices he certainly encourages spiritual warfare through prayer as well as through campaigning against injustice – encouraging Christians to be involved in politics. He also believes firmly that there are occasions when it may be necessary to speak to demons resident in individuals to cast them out and gives guidance as to how this should be done.


Further Reading

Down with the Devil quotes & comments by David Matthew on A Theology of the Dark Side

February 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm
Leave a Reply