Alex Konya –
There is a strong fascination with the spirit world today. The fact that some churches and parachurch organizations are involved in demon deliverance ministries shows that the understanding of demons is somewhat deficient. This deficiency lends itself to stylized, sensationalism that is foreign to the biblical accounts of demon possession.
Alex Konya’s book, Demons: A Biblically Based Perspective gives us an accurate biblical perspective of demonology. According to Konya, nearly all the incidences of demon possession recorded in the New Testament are historical sketches which lack an identifiable pattern. This means that there is no pattern by which to engage in demon exorcism today.
In chapter 1, Konya examines and explains exactly what demon possession is. He does a thorough exegesis of the various words used to speak of demon possession and unclean spirits. He also looks at how a demon possessed person acts, how it could happen and being able to recognize it.
Chapters 2 & 3 are a look at Jesus and the Apostles respectively. Jesus’ ministry of casting out demons was a series of special miracles, signs of the Kingdom that showed the authority of our Lord. The apostles continued casting out demons as a sign of the kingdom, God’s “Seals of Approval”.
Chapter 4 is an examination of others who performed this miracle. Those include the Seventy sent out by Jesus, the Jewish Exorcists, the Sons of the Pharisees, the Sons of Sceva, and others.
Chapter 5 is about exorcism and the present. Is there a gift of exorcism? Konya relates the ability to cast out demons with the sign gift of Healing, which is no longer in existence. He also examines the validity of present-day experiences of exorcism and gives a sound, simple explanation. This chapter concludes with a solid treatment of the sufficiency of Scripture.
The last chapter is titled, “Dealing with the Devil”. To this point in the book Konya has concluded that the Bible gives no instructions for casting out demons. However, it does give us a plan for dealing with the devil. God has given us Ephesians 6:10-17 as a guide.
With the thorough exegesis of relevant passages, a clear presentation of the historical data, and the solidly biblical understanding of present day exorcisms and demon possession, this is a book that every Christian will find beneficial. It will help in discerning between what is truly biblical and what is not.