Dear fellow soul-tenders,
Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us . . . (CW 200:3)
Will you be singing that hymn a few extra times in your congregation this year as you celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation?
What will those first two lines of the third verse mean to most of the people in the pews? What do they mean to you? I would have to admit that this is not the way I personally perceive my reality, my everyday life: that it is filled with fallen angels who, if they could have their way, would devour me and all that I hold dear. How often do you take that reality seriously? How often do the members of your congregation face up to this ever-present, world-filling threat?
I am happy to have this chance to write to you a little about Professor E. Allen Sorum’s new book, 2000 Demons: No Match for My Savior. It is written especially for the person who rarely thinks about the reality that there are many evil angels all around us who hate us a lot.
I am very pleased with the work Prof. Sorum did in putting this book together. It is biblical for sure. It is multicultural, as Prof. Sorum shares stories from his travels with the Pastoral Studies Institute and his work with Christian leaders in cultures where demon possession is sadly common. It is serious, as the topic of demons requires it to be. It is personal, as Prof. Sorum talks about his own struggles to face up to the reality of demons. But it is also joyful, as the book drives home the message that Jesus and his gospel are far more powerful than even the largest legion of impure spirits hell could ever muster. Click here for a look inside the book.
Please allow me to close by sharing with you a portion of the reaction to Prof. Sorum’s book from Lusaka Lutheran Seminary’s Dr. Ernst Wendland:
By means of periodic, contemporary personalized case studies, coupled with a perceptive investigation of the tumultuous events on the day of Jesus’ “biggest exorcism” (Mark chapters 4-5), we are swiftly drawn into the serious issues that this study brings to our attention and how we may be equipped to deal with them, with an emphasis on the power of the Gospel and the committed prayerful efforts of fellow believers. Each of the seven, well-constructed chapters are followed by suggested “study questions,” which makes the book ideal for an older youth or adult Bible study group. Contributing to this is its easy, engaging style–as if the author is speaking directly to his readers as he insightfully leads them through many different scenarios and situations. So, how do we deal with the Devil and demons in our daily world? Read this book–better together with others–and you (plural) will discover the answer as well as how to actively respond, in and through the all-conquering Christ (Mk. 5:19-20).
May our matchless Savior, who came “to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8), richly bless your ministry this Reformation anniversary year!
Christopher S. “Topher” Doerr
Broader Reach Editor
Northwestern Publishing House