Last year I had a conversation with a good friend of mine, who is not Christian, about what Christians believe regarding ghosts, evil spirits and the occult. She wanted to know if houses could really be haunted, and things like that. It was a topic I had not really thought much about, and so I had to admit to my friend that I couldn't really answer a lot of her questions. She was just appreciative that I bothered to try; apparently another Christian she asked wanted to avoid the subject altogether.
I bought this book to both educate myself and help my friend. Now I've read it, I feel confident to give it to her (I've made the mistake of giving a book to someone without reading it first before....never again!).
This book was both surprising and disappointing. The positives about it are also the negatives. I was disappointed that it skated over the issues and questions likely to intrigue non-Christians. But I was surprised and pleased that it so strongly points readers to the gospel and uses every opportunity to evangelise a potentially non-Christian audience. For that reason, I WOULD give this book to my friend (presuming she is still interested in this topic). I'm just wondering if she will be annoyed. I get Peter Bolt's position - we don't want to focus on the underworld, particularly as the Bible itself is somewhat vague about it; we want to focus on Jesus and how He has defeated the underworld. However, even I came away from this book a bit confused. In Chapter 3: Underworld Beings he writes about the English 'word' demon (which we hear so much in the gospels) coming from the Greek word 'daemon' which really means 'ghost' - so often we think there are four species in the universe (God, humans, angels and demons). So, does that mean the demons which were possessing people in the gospels are actually ghosts of dead people? (pages 52-53). That is still unclear to me.
I'm hoping to catch up with my friend this week and see if she's interested in reading this book. I'm praying that she will be satisfied with not delving too deeply into underworld issues and instead encounter the living Jesus who has defeated the underworld on the cross.
You can order this book from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.
Or the US store here.