Book Of The Month For January 2016: AFRAID: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in America
AFRAID: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in America
by Robert H Bennett
2016/Paperback/215 pages/Young Adult - Mature Adult
A fascinating and unnerving book, Afraid is a must-read that equips all Christians to recognize the devil’s influence in our society and to act on it.
Robert Bennett describes real events and actual confessions people have shared with him of demonic encounters—in America, in our modern age. Summoning demons, interacting with “ghosts,” and holding séances led to what many may call horrifying hallucinations and even schizophrenia. But for many Americans, these things are their spirituality.
How can we break free from the despair and crushing fear that such encounters can bring? How do we come to the aid of our neighbors who are lost in Satan’s deceptions? Bennett points us to the only way out: God’s grace and the medicines He gives to His people.
Praise for Afraid:
“Afraid is wonderfully written, faithfully confessed, and frightfully good. Dr. Bennett carries the reader through the spiritual chaos wreaking fear upon our culture, our neighbors, friends, and family. As you make your way through each chapter, Dr. Bennett skillfully weaves Scripture in and out of real-life stories, teaching doctrine and holding forth Jesus Christ as the only true exorcist. Through His ordinary Means of Grace, Jesus stills every rustling leaf in the wilderness, things that go bump in the night cease, and unclean spirits are cast out. The baptized have nothing to fear."
—Rev. Dr. Tony Sikora, Senior Pastor, Hope Lutheran Church
“Afraid reads like a fast-paced novel. You will learn more about the devil and God’s grace in this book than from watching a lifetime of TV preachers. After you read Afraid, you will never pray the same way again, ‘Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me!’
“Afraid serves as a wakeup call to all Christians about the spiritual realities that surround us and our children. Bennett explains the importance of centering spiritual care on Scripture, the Catechism, and the hymnal so that you never need to be afraid. Afraid will open your eyes to the spiritual universe all around you. It will also give you comfort as you cling to Christ and His Word and His church.”
—Rev. Ross Johnson, Director of Disaster Response, LCMS Office of National Mission
“Afraid? Jesus is Lord. Finally, a much needed approach that points the church to dwell not on the devil and his lies, but rather on Jesus as Lord, who has conquered sin through His Gospel. Bennett calls upon the church to be thorough in her catechesis and so awaken to our Lord Jesus who is present through His divine service to comfort His people and free them from all their fears. As the stronger man, Jesus gives His gifts, namely Absolution, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, whereby the strong man must flee. This book is no theology of glory, but rather one of the cross in which the Christian church is exhorted to renounce syncretistic practices that give ground to Satan and remain faithful to her exclusive claim of Jesus as Lord. Study questions, stories, and cultural beliefs defined make this book a balanced biblical approach to the occult, useful to missionaries, seminarians, pastors, and laypeople alike.”
—Ted Krey, Regional Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, LCMS Office of International Mission
“While church attendance is on the decline in North America, fascination with spirituality is not. Armed with the Holy Scriptures and Lutheran theology, Robert Bennett has provided a book that will help readers understand the reality of the demonic that pervades the re-emergence of paganism in our culture. In a conversational style and with judicious use of case studies, Bennett has provided both pastors and laypeople with a useful resource for better understanding that the battle in which we engage is not against flesh and blood but spiritual forces of darkness. Pastors who are increasingly confronted with circumstances marked by demonic activity will find Bennett’s advice for spiritual care both sober and sound.”
—John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary
"Drawing especially on Luther, Lutheran hymns, and Lutheran pastoral experiences, Bennett addresses the reality of dark spiritual forces. Most importantly, however, he reminds us that we should ‘tremble not’ for the devil. Christ is victor: we need not be afraid."
—Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary
“Dr. Bennett has written an intriguing and much needed work. He addresses quite practically the spiritual warfare in which American Christians in particular find themselves enmeshed. Our enemy is cunning and would happily divert us at any cost from what finally defeats him. Constantly, Dr. Bennett calls us back to the divinely powered Means of Grace, the Word and Sacraments of Jesus, and the unspeakable comfort of the sinner’s free justification. Here is a distinctively Lutheran approach to the spiritual battle and it is much needed.”
—William Weedon, LCMS Director of Worship and Chaplain of the International Center
Rev. Dr. Robert H. Bennett is dedicated to studying the topic of spirituality. His scope of research includes various forms of animism found in the contents of North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
A member of several professional societies, including The American Society of Missiology, the International Association for Mission Studies, African Studies Association, and the Lutheran Society for Missiology, Dr. Bennett holds degrees from the following institutions:
• Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Doctor of Philosophy, Missiology, 2011
• Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Master of Sacred Theology, Exegetical Theology, 2007
• Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Master of Divinity, Exegetical Studies, 2002
• Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, Human Resource Management, 1999
Dr. Bennett serves as the Executive Director of Luther Academy. In addition, he is an International Mission Specialist & guest professor of mission at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a guest lecturer at numerous international universities.
Dr. Bennett and his wife, Angela, have two sons and two daughters.
Dr. Bennett's website can be found here.
You can order the book online at Concordia Publising House, by contacting our Church Office, or as an e-book with Amazon or IBooks.