I have just finished reading the book “Interview with an Exorcist”, by Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea. It is an excellent book that follows an interview format.
Now, some would ask, “Why did you read a book like that?”
Why, because this is a topic that has been pushed aside in the “modern” church which I believe has been to the church’s detriment.
Does this mean I am going to go around casting out demons? No, but I will be more aware of how the demonic operates in our world.
Last Sunday the lectionary text was Job 1:1; 2:1-10. In this text we are told their exists other entities we cannot see. We are told there are angels. We are informed once again about the activity of Satan. We are told that Satan wants to test the faithful, that Satan challenges God about our faith. With Job Satan loses. Satan is not mentioned again after chapter 2. However, I do not think that this is a sign Satan has given up.
There are many in the church who no longer believe in a literal Satan. There are many who would call those of us who do believe backward, ignorant, superstitious, and several other derogatory terms. I am thankful that there are still theologians and spiritual leaders who are willing to stand against the prevailing prejudice and speak a word of warning and instruction because the do understand the reality of the spiritual realm and the war that wages there.
Satan was defeated on the cross. However, a being so morally deformed and so ego-centered is not likely to accept this defeat. Fr. Fortea does the church a great service in pointing out how the demonic and the satanic work in our age. The information he gives (from a Roman Catholic perspective but valuable to all the church) is founded in good theological thinking, common sense application, and a life time of experience.
I do believe in demonic possession, oppression, influence, and hostility toward all things holy and good. I also believe that there are forces that cause great suffering and that this suffer could be alleviated if the church would focus prayer in a way to counter the influence these forces have. Did not Jesus teach us to pray, “deliver us from evil?”
Interview with an Exorcist is a book I would highly recommend every pastor (and those serious about spiritual warfare) should read.