Have you ever been challenged to read something? Recently, I and a few others were given the challenge to read Frank Peretti’s novel This Present Darkness. I’m quite familiar with some of his writing, so I had somewhat of a sense of what to expect when reading it. Having previously read The Visitation, I knew it would be somewhere in the supernatural genre of religious fiction.
There are certain times when I review fiction stories, I tend to not want to do it in such a way as to provide spoilers so that I don’t give away key moments that might deter someone from picking up the title. It’s my hope that with every book I review, it will gain your attention enough to say that you want to see for yourself what it’s like.
However, I must set the stage for what you will find in this book. It begins with a reporter who stumbles upon a mystery in a small town. She proceeds to investigate it more closely. The investigation leads to a local pastor of a struggling church who recognizes that there is something both sinister and demonic going on in the town.
What is amazing about this story is because you get a two-fold story in which you see how these people and the townspeople face the issues that are before them, as well as see the spiritual warfare that is taking place in the spirit realm, that influence both the good and the bad.
What I love about this book is that it is so vivid with imagery and description that you are immediately drawn into the story. As you learn about each of the characters, you truly feel the intensity of the situation that is before them, as well as the level of danger that befalls them. There can be no doubt, as it is for the people of this story, there is truly a great battle taking place in real life and it is a present-day parable of what we face as Christians.
You begin to see how what is happening in the lives of these characters are either similar to our own lives and the lives of people we know. It causes you to do great introspection to determine whether your faith is where it needs to be in order to face the very present darkness of the world in which we live. Christ called us to be light in the darkness and this book only highlights the importance of what it would look like to be a church that is fully alive and equipped to face a very present darkness.
I’d say this book is for those who have a heart for the suspenseful nature of the genre, as well as a desire to see what spiritual warfare is like. It doesn’t matter if you are a pastor or not. It won’t matter if you consider yourself to be a great spiritual warrior or not. You may find it causes you to come alive in desiring to be greater in faith and prayer. It can be encouraging to know that when we as Christians are engaging in that warfare, we are not alone in the fight, but we have help from God and a heavenly army that is rooting for our victory.
While there is poetic license that you may find, it is not so far off the beaten path that you will be turned off by it. You may find that it will cause you to search the scriptures to learn more, seek more, and understand more about who you are in the Lord’s army.