This Present Darkness

This Present Darkness

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful, hardworking pastor begin to investigate mysterious events, they...

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Title:This Present Darkness
Author:Frank E. Peretti
Rating:
Edition Language:English

This Present Darkness Reviews

  • Brian Hodges

    Christian fiction at its very best.

    Peretti doesn't make the mistake that a lot of other Christian authors make. He doesn't ever stop telling his story to preach some valuable theological lesson. Rather he weaves it seamlessly into the narrative. The overarching theme of this book is "the power of prayer". But the story is straight out of a Stephen King novel. A small town is under attack from dark forces, both in this world and in the spiritual realm. The story is told from the points of view of

    Christian fiction at its very best.

    Peretti doesn't make the mistake that a lot of other Christian authors make. He doesn't ever stop telling his story to preach some valuable theological lesson. Rather he weaves it seamlessly into the narrative. The overarching theme of this book is "the power of prayer". But the story is straight out of a Stephen King novel. A small town is under attack from dark forces, both in this world and in the spiritual realm. The story is told from the points of view of humans and their angel protectors. Truly fascinating. Even if you think Christianity is a farce, this book still stands on its own.

    I will also say that the sequel "Piercing the Darkness" wasn't nearly as good.

  • Eddy Wood

    This book was written in 1986, but I read it for the first time just recently. There are some things about the book that seem a bit dated now, but at the time I'm sure Frank Peretti was breaking new ground in a lot of ways.

    This book was written at a time when the big enemy to the church seemed to be the occult, and it exercising influence in American daily life, and surreptitiously leading Christians astray; hence the main themes of the book.

    What this book did that was unique in its time was giv

    This book was written in 1986, but I read it for the first time just recently. There are some things about the book that seem a bit dated now, but at the time I'm sure Frank Peretti was breaking new ground in a lot of ways.

    This book was written at a time when the big enemy to the church seemed to be the occult, and it exercising influence in American daily life, and surreptitiously leading Christians astray; hence the main themes of the book.

    What this book did that was unique in its time was give a full-on view of the spiritual warfare that happens all around us as we fight the “good fight”.

    I found the human characters engaging with a lot of depth. They seemed, for the most part, totally unaware of the battles raging all around them.

    It was very easy to root for the angelic characters, and I enjoyed seeing how Mr. Peretti described their militaristic tactics to win battles.

    The demonic characters were a despicable bunch, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever; as one would expect. But, they also had tactics of their own, and somehow expected victory against God’s host.

    This book reminded me of how temporal and fleeting this life of the flesh really is.

    We must empower the ministering spirits that have been put in charge over us by praying and speaking words of authority in Christ.

    I would encourage anyone, Christian or not, to read this book.

    If you are looking for excellent Christian Fiction for young people, please try Vicki Silver Mysteries: “The Stolen Gem” and “Cruise Control” by Alissa Wood.

  • Hope

    I asked myself this question many times as I got further and further in, close and closer to the end.

    How can I write a review worthy of this novel?

    Now we must pause, and we must reflect…

    What made it so good?

    How can you even explain what made it so good?

    There are no normal, straightforward words that can convey what this book really

    . So I’ll go into descriptive/comparative mode now…

    This book is dark, it’s frightening, maybe even slightly gritty. Kind of gave

    I asked myself this question many times as I got further and further in, close and closer to the end.

    How can I write a review worthy of this novel?

    Now we must pause, and we must reflect…

    What made it so good?

    How can you even explain what made it so good?

    There are no normal, straightforward words that can convey what this book really

    . So I’ll go into descriptive/comparative mode now…

    This book is dark, it’s frightening, maybe even slightly gritty. Kind of gave me that creepy feeling that

    successfully conveyed, but it wasn’t stifling because it wasn’t told exclusively from a demon’s perspective.

    This novel is sort of, I guess, like walking down a long black tunnel all by yourself, alone and afraid, and then suddenly hearing a friend’s voice. Or, more appropriately, it’s like when you’re driving home in a storm, the sky so dark that it feels like nighttime, and suddenly the sunlight starts seeping through the clouds, and the rain stops.

    You feel safer, and you don’t really know

    .

    I once read a quote in another book that said, “You live through the night, knowing dawn is coming.” And I guess that’s sort of how this book felt.

    And see? I’m banging my head against a wall because I just

    It’s impossible to review this book well. It just is.

    I think the overall message of this book is that we need to pray more. I know I don’t pray enough. I’m a Christian, and this is a very Christian book…and as I read it, I felt like

    We can’t see it, certainly, but we can

    it. And that’s the point of this book. We’re not dealing with flesh and blood, we’re dealing with

    The spiritual goes along with the physical. You can’t really separate the two, they’re inexplicably connected in ways that we’ll never fully know. This book gives you a glimpse of that, and it’s unbelievably creepy.

    Aside from the beautiful Christian themes (yes,

    ), this story is gripping. Remember it’s a mystery/thriller and do yourself the favor of not peeking ahead! As you read, a certain amount of “WHAT THE HECK?!” dread will be building up inside of you. It’s ominous because you’re absolutely certain that there’s going to be a train wreck but you’re not exactly sure how it’s going to come about, or if it will even happen at all in the end. I’m not going to tell you.

    I always feel, after I write a review, that I didn’t write it very well. Or that I did a terrible job of conveying the meaning of the story. But honestly, this is probably the best I can do.

    When I read the last sentence and closed the book, I smiled to myself.

    For once, I had nothing to say right after finishing a story…

    I was speechless.

    This novel is about angels and demons, good and evil. It’s about miracles. It’s about spiritual and physical struggles. It’s about redemption.

    …It’s about finding the light when you’d been lost in the darkness.

    And I can’t recommend it more.

  • Sharae

    Hands down, the most eye opening book I've ever read that actually changed my views and outlook at everyday happenstance in the world. I couldn't wait for the sequel but darn it. It just did not stack up to the first. Sure it's fiction but man..this particular fiction has become my fact by deliberate choice because for me there is no down side in doing so. The book is a sparkler. I passed it on to my husband, who couldn't put it down, then my son who also loved it and finally I convinced my non-

    Hands down, the most eye opening book I've ever read that actually changed my views and outlook at everyday happenstance in the world. I couldn't wait for the sequel but darn it. It just did not stack up to the first. Sure it's fiction but man..this particular fiction has become my fact by deliberate choice because for me there is no down side in doing so. The book is a sparkler. I passed it on to my husband, who couldn't put it down, then my son who also loved it and finally I convinced my non-reader daughter to buckle down and read it. She was not disappointed. If you're a christian, Frank Peretti pulls away the curtains and give a view of what "might" be going on in the day-to-day goings on of angels in the upper and lower realms. So enjoyable, so entertaining, so satisfying in the end. O man. can anyone come up with something to compare. I had high hopes for the "Left Behind" series that crashed and burn when I couldn't get past the first chapter of the first book. SO there it sits, on my shelf for treasured books only. To be re-read every few years until I die.

  • Bibi
  • Annette

    I remember "This Present Darkness" with fondness from my early - mid teen years. While some may disdainfully complain that Peretti is nothing but a fantasy writer for Christians and that his works cause the easily influenced to see demons behind every tree, in my opinion he does the church a service by reminding us of the supernatural forces which actually *are* at work in our world and which many of us have done out best to forget in this "modern" era. Do they function exactly as Peretti descri

    I remember "This Present Darkness" with fondness from my early - mid teen years. While some may disdainfully complain that Peretti is nothing but a fantasy writer for Christians and that his works cause the easily influenced to see demons behind every tree, in my opinion he does the church a service by reminding us of the supernatural forces which actually *are* at work in our world and which many of us have done out best to forget in this "modern" era. Do they function exactly as Peretti describes? No, I am certain they don't. This is clearly fiction, and the author would not claim otherwise. And I don't envy the line he has to walk between theology and story telling, fearmongering and faith. Certainly there are going to be some slip-ups, and equally certainly no single group of Christians is going to agree exactly where they are. :) But there are undeniably some good principles behind the action, and a darned good story to boot. I still recommend "This Present Darkness" and its sequel "Piercing the Darkness" to anyone looking for a good read and perhaps an eye-opening glimpse into the spiritual forces beyond our ordinary perception.

  • Vicki

    I read this book decades ago and it had a really significant impact on me at the time. Though I was definitely a person of faith, the idea of spiritual warfare going on all about us in this modern day was very foreign to my understanding of how God works in world events today. Frank Peretti's fictional story of the community of Ashton was an enjoyable read back then, but it really challenged my thinking.

    I have just re-read it because, surprise, it is our current book club selection. I was foggy

    I read this book decades ago and it had a really significant impact on me at the time. Though I was definitely a person of faith, the idea of spiritual warfare going on all about us in this modern day was very foreign to my understanding of how God works in world events today. Frank Peretti's fictional story of the community of Ashton was an enjoyable read back then, but it really challenged my thinking.

    I have just re-read it because, surprise, it is our current book club selection. I was foggy enough on the details that it was almost like reading a new book, but the story line came back to me quickly and I didn't have to struggle with whether or not I believed it was likely that angels and demons might be interested or involved in how human issues might be resolved.

    The premise of the novel is that a college community has become a place of interest to the Universal Consciousness Society, a New Age/Eastern Mysticism group which actually has built a significant membership among the respectable members of the community. The members keep their relationship a secret from the community, as well as the unsavory and questionable business practices they employ to take control of both the college and the community.

    The story begins as two spiritual warriors appear in the community to observe and assist the humans who will eventually rise up to thwart the powerful group before it is too late. Peretti moves from the perspective of the angelic warriors to the powerful and ruthless community members to the young minister who feels called by God to intercede for this community through prayer and to the newspaper editor and the news reporter who begin to uncover the seedy goings on around them.

    It doesn't take long to realize that the Universal Consciousness Society is a front group for demons who are intent of spreading their earthly kingdom from a power base in this quiet little community. And, though angelic warriors are involved, there is no foregone conclusion that Good will overpower Evil. In fact Evil is so powerful that even the angels know they can't win until a power shift occurs and that will only happen if people who are believers start to pray earnestly for intervention.

    This is an exciting saga that moves quickly and dramatically through several skirmishes between good and evil, climaxing in a great spiritual battle scene before the final outcome for this little community is known. Lots of scripture, lots of great examples of prayer warriors in action as well as spiritual awakenings on the part of several of the key characters. It's a good story. I liked it even more the second time around.

  • Jonathan

    I must honestly admit first and foremost that this is a book I read many years ago and as such I cannot offer properly any views about the quality of writing. That is except to admit while not the worst nor the greatest quality of writing Peretti is in my eyes a powerful story teller (although I must admit in my view his

    is in some aspects more powerful) and for what he (I believe aimed to do his work is fine).

    This Present Darkness is in many ways a thriller but I do not believe that the

    I must honestly admit first and foremost that this is a book I read many years ago and as such I cannot offer properly any views about the quality of writing. That is except to admit while not the worst nor the greatest quality of writing Peretti is in my eyes a powerful story teller (although I must admit in my view his

    is in some aspects more powerful) and for what he (I believe aimed to do his work is fine).

    This Present Darkness is in many ways a thriller but I do not believe that the thriller elements are the main focus of this novel. Instead I believe it is the Christian message that Peretti aims to transmit through his work. After all this is a Christian novel tackling the spiritual world.

    This Present Darkness focuses on showing how demonic influence affects the physical world through branching its story into two narratives. The first addresses the issue of what is happening in the physical world. The second reveals the background influence of angels and demons as they guide human beings in order to continue spiritual warfare.

    It is the spiritual aspect of this book that I love on the whole however. Because the Bible from my point of view is quite clear on the fact that angels and demons do influence our world in many ways. The power of prayer is revealed in various ways in this book and the power of Jesus name is also revealed.

    I disagree with some ideas that this book makes Jesus name into just a magic word because I personally think that too few Christians understand the power in that name and that this book attempts to reveal the power. I also disagree with the complaints I've read about how Peretti aligns New Age mysticism and the demonic realm as it seems pretty clear to me how such things match up. Peretti I believe attempts to show what is stated in Matthew 12:30 which is that “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." (NIV) An idea which applies to spiritual things such as the New Age Mysticism. What Peretti attempts to show I believe is that such things open avenues into which evil demonic forces can work and as such it's best not to have anything to do with them.

    On the whole I believe Frank Peretti does an excellent job of making more real those aspects of the Bible particularly mentioned in Daniel and Revelations. Of course I do disagree with some of his ideas but on the whole I don't believe his book was meant to be fully accurate but rather present a depiction and insight into the ways in which the unknown spiritual real affects the mundane. Take the book as you like that is my opinion and mine alone you don't have to agree or disagree.

  • Lyn

    Written as a "Christian science fiction" or a Christian fantasy, this involved a behind the scenes war between angels and demons, taking place invisibly while Earthly struggles are taking place contiguously.

    Obviously there is going to be a certain audience for this kind of fiction, but it was well written and entertaining.

  • Adam

    Besides the bad writing and the clichéd, predictable storytelling, the message of this book is really ugly. Tall, handsome angels are associated with Protestantism, and foul demons are associated with, well, everything else (e.g., New Age spirituality, Eastern religions, and any philosophy that does not place Christ at its center). Personally I think New Age philosophies, astrology, and crystal power are all pretty silly, but deliberately associating them with Satan is not only ridiculously simp

    Besides the bad writing and the clichéd, predictable storytelling, the message of this book is really ugly. Tall, handsome angels are associated with Protestantism, and foul demons are associated with, well, everything else (e.g., New Age spirituality, Eastern religions, and any philosophy that does not place Christ at its center). Personally I think New Age philosophies, astrology, and crystal power are all pretty silly, but deliberately associating them with Satan is not only ridiculously simplistic, it's really hateful. Furthermore, the idea that taking a college-level class on Eastern religions might imperil one's immortal soul deliberately attacks the very notion of ecumenicism, not to mention the values of love and understanding. It's really depressing that this book is so popular with evangelical Christians, and that so many of them mindlessly accept Peretti's ideas about secular society and non-Christian religions. Also, the very notion of a "Christian horror novel" is almost as idiotic as "Christian porn." Christians should be able to read a novel by Stephen King, recognize that it is a made-up story, and then go back to getting their information about good and evil directly from the Bible, instead of fearfully rejecting anything not labelled "Christian," yet revel in all the B-grade, watered-down versions of mainstream media that

    labelled Christian. Speaking of which, I'm not even sure if

    can technically be called "Christian," since in it, Peretti has created his own bizarre cosmology nearly from whole cloth--one that ignores the very real notion of personal responsibility, since good and evil in this novel are solely the province of unseen angels and demons--which is why I honestly can't recommend this novel to

    , Christian or non-Christian.

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