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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2002
I have read a number of books on the subject but none with the solid logical approach taken here. Dickason is candid in clearly differentiating what can and can't be completely established via scripture. At the same time he does not neglect evidence from many years of counseling experience much of it involving bible college students (very serious Christians.) Far from being a harbinger of conflict with scripture (as suggested by one reviewer), this is a refreshing concern for clearly drawing source boundaries when developing the doctrine. I think perhaps Dr. Dickason's early training as an engineer may explain the character of his approach. It evidences clear logical progression and careful classification and handling of the emprical evidence as is common in the sciences. Dr. Dickason is very careful with his theology as well. This too would be expected, having served many years as the Chair of the Department of Theology at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. If not the oldest it is certainly one of the oldest and most conservative Bible colleges in the nation and the world. I would have to consider Dr. Dickason one of the foremost experts in the world in this subject area. This book is a must read for every serious Christian. For more general theological treatement of angels in general, I recommend his book "Angels Elect and Evil."
Christian marriages and families are falling on all sides today because our materialistic society has all but rejected the truth about the war going on in the spiritual realm. According to the Bible, Christians war on three fronts: the world, the flesh, and the Devil. We are suffering defeat today because that latter front is all but neglected in practical teaching. This book goes a long way towards restoring some balance. I recommend it without reservation.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2006
I am one of those 400 plus people...and I am a disciple of Christ, "well-educated" theologically raised in an evangelical church now serving in full-time missions. I have been set free. I can walk now, my mind is clear, I have a spouse and children. Many who knew me when I was deeply sick and depressed hardly recognize me now. No one could help me all those years, my pastors, my bible college profs....but God's hand was upon me. I am grateful for the simple, bold prayers and teaching of Dr. Dickason and his wife--my spouse was there and can attest to all that happened. We continue to praise God that He indeed is our deliverer.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 1999
This may be the best book on this topic. With all the involvement in occult experiences that resulted from the Pentecostal/charismatic "renewal", there is now so much evidence about Christian demonization that the old a priori idea according to which "Christians cannot be demonized" should be hold by anyone serious and honest. Dickason covers a lot of studies and gives a comprehensive view.
What lacks are philosophical considerations about the functionning of demonization in the soul, as opposed to the epistemological understanding of the mystical experience (Christian philosopher Maritain built a brilliant epistemology that encompassed mystical experience). Also a distinction should be drawn between the initiation of occult experiences (where one seeks the experience by making his mind and body control open to a spirit, at least at the first time) and the mystic experience (where the experience is not sought the first time, or sought without offering one's mind,etc.)
Responsible Christians who are in touch with the charismatic movement may not want themselves or their friends to be exposed to demonization, they will then do well to read this book and other ones such as George Birch's The Deliverance Ministry (Cases of deliverances of spirits of tongues and others caught during charismatic experiences) or the books by Kurt Koch (Occult Bondage, etc.), or Felicitas Goodman's "How about Demons? Possession.." (Goodman is not Christian, but possibly the world's most eminent academic specialist on demon possession and she classifies pentecostal/charismatic experiences in her branch.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2014
This book is a treasure in theology! Dr. Dickason is no off the cuff, fictional writer. He was Chairman of the theology department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (A highly respected Christian Bible school and involved in solid Christian radio Broadcasting).

Now I am almost finished with my second reading in August 2014, my first reading was May 1990. My note in the front of this book is the only note written in front 'all' of my books. I wrote it in May 1990. It speaks for itself. It reads: "To whomever reads this book, In reading this book God will undoubtedly open your eyes to the working of the enemy, but more than that He will surely help you see Our Savior more clearly. (My signature, then the date May 28, 1990). I stand wholeheartllly behind that statement and even more so today!

Dr. Dickason also wrote the highly acclaimed book "Angels Elect and Evil"!
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on September 24, 2014
Dr. Dickason has written a very thought-provoking book that Christians, especially counselors, would do well to read. From a thorough examination of the scripture verses that pertain to the subject to his own counseling experience and that of others, the book gives insight and the solution..
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2006

In ignorance I have heard some say "I just stay away from the devil and not speak about him, I leave him alone and he leaves me alone" In ignorance I have also heard that a Christian can not be influenced or demonized. In Luke 13:10-17 we see a believing woman in Church who had been demonized, having a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years and is delivered by Jesus and immediately praise's God, then Jesus went on to call her "a daughter of Abraham", (NOT a descendent of Abraham) What is a daughter of Abraham? We read in Galatians 3:7 "Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham"

Who is and who is not a child, or children of Abraham? Read :Luke 13:10-17, Luke 9:9-10, John 8:37-39, Acts 13:13-26, Romans 4:12-18, Galatians 3:6-9, Galatians 4:21-31

A Crippled Woman Healed on the Sabbath

Lk 13:10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,

Lk 13:11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.

Lk 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."

Lk 13:13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

Lk 13:14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."

Lk 13:15 The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?

Lk 13:16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"

Lk 13:17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Many seem to forget the scriptures, and let their theology and seminary teachings get in the way of the truth. Why do so many fellow Christians seem so vicious when the topic of a Christian having an evil spirit comes up? Think about this: If Satan wanted mans attention, don't you think he would have revealed himself to the world openly thousands of years ago? He is the great deceiver, who wants to be thought of as someone who does not exist, and contradict Gods word. He hates to be thought about and acknowledged, for as long as he can roam, steal, kill, destroy, and lie he goes unchallenged! For too many years Gods people have let Satan hide and tried to ignore or take the defense.!!!!! Why is it that when someone wants to attack with authority that Christ gave to his Church that they are attacked by the same Church? Think about it!! It is as if those who believe one can not be a Christian and have an evil spirit is on Gods side, and those who do agree are on the other side. Though the Bible does not say a Christian can not be demonized, it does show that a Believer or a Christian can be and was in Luke 13:10-17! Many seem to also forget the verse that Jesus spoke himself "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters"

Luke 11:21-26 states: "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters. When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, `I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

If someone is not a believer and is cleansed of a demon or demons, the condition of the person will be worse than at first, for he has not the Holy Spirit to help him resist the demons. To an unbeliever they must immediately submit to Christ and become a believer and continue as one for Satan's forces do not take kindly to being evicted from the "home" as the the demons call it, which is the body of a person in whom they seek to carry out their intents and actions in rebellion to God.

I agree with the well intentioned Gentleman stating that a Christian can not be demon possessed, yet at the same time know for a fact that a Christian CAN be demonized. I have prayed with many and have heard the voices of beings that neither sounded like the persons voice, nor had the character of the person. Other times I have heard spirits who had foreign accents, though the person had never had one before, and was an American who had never lived out side of the United States). In fact on occasion I have heard the voices of demons cry out to Satan for help from him. This is something that the Christian being prayed for release from Satan would never do. Other times I have prayed for God to send angels to help on the persons deliverance and the spirit who has manifested inside the person being prayed for speak up with disgust and say "they are already here"! The people I have prayed for was IN FACT ALL CHRISTIANS! One was an ex Satanist who was now a Christian was still reaping what was sown in her past through the flesh. On the positive side to give God the honor, Glory , and credit for what only he can do I have seen Christians delivered and healed from MS, and bondages broken as demons would leave crying. A Christian can not fully comprehend the sacrifice and the power of the blood of Christ, the power of the scriptures in destroying the darkness with Gods truth, and the authority we have been given as a Christian according to the words Jesus spoke in John 14:12: " I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." What is the Church of God doing now? Thanks to well intentioned pastors and teachers, etc. the gates of hell need not prevail as much as they should be doing, for the authority and power that Christ has given the Church is not being used. To many brothers and sisters in the body are content with playing church and not really concerned with being a vessel for Christ to work through on the offensive!

It is written no where in the Bible that when a sinner gives his heart to Christ, that they are instantly cleaned from all past problems. I will be the first to state that not all sickness, or problems are of Satan. A lot of sickness and life's problems are from those who refuse to use Gods wisdom, or allow God to help them to overcome them, or are being broken for God to heal and make stronger. I am sure there are other issues I have not mentioned, but the bottom line is not all is demonic, but neither are all of the flesh. When ones sins are forgiven, and forgotten by God, their sinful flesh and actions do not instantly disappear, nor do any demons they allowed or that came in, in their past. As it is written in the scriptures "The spirit is willing, yet the flesh is weak."

Possession means total control, a practicing believer, or Christian can not be totally in Satan's control...that is unless they have cease to abide, continue, tarry, persevere, stand, keep, get the picture. But if a believer turns away from God, then they are at more risk than they were before. In the old testament we saw the inner court, the outer court and the Holy of Holies. Man (in his sinfulness) was permitted in the outer and inner courts. Our flesh (equal to the outer court) can be attacked as well as well as indwelling our flesh (the inner court) by Satan's forces. The Holy of Holies is hands off to Satan and his forces. You may say that God and an evil one can not dwell in the same body or area, but if you read for example in the book of Job we see Satan appearing with the angels before God to ask for permission to inflict Job. Is not a Christian man or woman dwelling in a sinful land among sinfulness, yet the spirit of God dwells also in him? The Holy Spirit in us is sealed away from evil unto the day of redemption, sectioned away from the evil and sin nearby.

If God does use you to set the captives free from the bondages of the evil forces, please do not ever forget to rejoice not that the demons are subjected to you, but that your names are written in the Lambs book of life!
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on September 2, 2015
As described and looking forwards to reading it. Thank you.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
I would recommend this book for anyone who is looking for truth about this subject.the service was good also.thanks very much
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 1998
Dr. Dickason is right on the money. This book is usefull and practical. The enemy does not want you to read this book.
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27 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2005
The New, Unbiblical Teaching

The idea that Christians can be possessed or "demonized" or have a demon indwell them is a relatively new development in Christian theology. I have read books on the subject advocating this view, but none were as seemingly scholarly and well reasoned as Dr. Dickason's book. This fact, however, makes the thesis of this book all the more dangerous.

Dr. Dickason seems to be a well-educated man with a Ph.D. from the evangelical Dallas Seminary. But educated men have been wrong before, and such is the case for Dr. Dickason in this more erudite attempt to argue that genuine Christians can be demonized.

Exchanging Biblical Truth for Clinical Experiences

The central flaw in Dr. Dickason's approach to the topic is how he arrived at his conclusion, and how this conclusion influenced his reading of, and disregard for, the Bible. Did the Bible teach him that Christians can be inhabited by demons, or did the Bible PLUS something else teach him this?

After analyzing 21 passages in the Bible in chapter 7 "Biblical Evidence Supporting Demonization of Christians," Dr. Dickason himself came to the conclusion that every one of them did not prove conclusively and without reasonable doubt that Christians could be demonized. Dr. Dickason said on page 127: "Thus we cannot conclusively say that the Bible clearly presents evidence that believers may be demonized." So if the Bible doesn't say Christians can be demonized, where does he get this idea? Let's have a look.

After rationalizing away a number of passages which clearly show that God indwells the believer and is "greater" than satan and demons outside of believers (in chapter 6 "Biblical Evidence Against Demonization of Christians"), we find that Dr. Dickason easily comes to the conclusion in chapter 7 that, "The Bible does not evidence that believers cannot be demonized. Thus we are left to look for other types of evidence that may contribute to answer our question: Can genuine believers be demonized?" (p. 127).

The flaw in Dr. Dickason's reasoning is evident in that he had to misinterpret certain passages in such a way that they could not destroy his thesis that was ultimately based on "clinical evidence," not the Bible. He assumes that because the Bible is not clear in his mind, then this must mean the Bible is not clear. This kind of reasoning is flawed and is called non sequitur.

For example, are we to assume that because Genesis 2:24 only directly says that a "man" leaves his father and mother and is joined with his wife in marriage, that this must mean that a "woman" does not leave her father and mother to be joined with her husband in marriage? There is such a thing as axiomatic truth or implied truth. If a man must leave his father and mother to be joined to his wife in marriage, it is obvious that the woman must also do the same. We don't need explicit statements to realize this.

The same is true regarding the issue of demonization of Christians. If the Spirit of God indwells believers as Scripture teaches (1 John 4:4; John 14:17; Romans 8:10; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:17), then it stands to reason that the same Spirit would not allow the darkness of demons to invade the Light of God illuminating the spirits of His followers. If this same Spirit IN believers is "greater" than those outside of them who are out in the world (which must include satan and demons), then it stands to reason that their power cannot overpower the Spirit of God.

Can God be Demonized?

What Dr. Dickason and others do not realize is that in teaching that Christians can be demonized, they have unwittingly advocated the ridiculous and theologically bankrupt notion that God Himself can be demonized. How so? Because if the believer is "one spirit" with God's Spirit as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:17, then it means that in order for a demon to enter a believer it must ALSO enter and demonize God's Spirit. Now how crazy does that sound? Obviously, Dr. Dickason and others have not thought through the spiritual implications of what they teach.

Experience No Indicator of Truth

Since the Bible is deemed "inconclusive" to settle the question of whether or not Christians can be demonized, Dr. Dickason thinks that clinical experience with people who seem to have been genuine Christians who were demonized must be the final court of arbitration. But he fails to realize the inherent dangers of using an approach that uses the Bible plus experience. This can be viewed as the sin of adding to God's Word (Proverbs 30:6).

To illustrate Dr. Dickason's fallacy, let's look at some Mormon theology. Mormons believe that Jesus appeared in America sometime after His resurrection. The Bible can be said to be "inconclusive" about this because there are no explicit statements for or against this notion. Therefore, would Dr. Dickason be willing to argue with the Mormons that this validates trusting the experiences of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon about Jesus appearing to native people in America? Is this a Biblical way to arrive at truth? As Thomas Ice and Robert Dean, Jr. remarked in their book on spiritual warfare called "A Holy Rebellion":

"The burden of proof lies with those who believe Christians can be demon possessed, since the Scriptures do not support that point of view. Valid proof must flow from the Scriptures, not from experience." (p. 122, Harvest House Publ., 1990).

The Faulty Cancer Analogy

The fatal flaw in Dr. Dickason's reasoning in his book was when he tried to illustrate how we should answer the question of the demonization of Christians in the same manner as we answer the question of whether or not Christians can have cancer (pp. 154-160). But here Dickason fails to realize that he has committed the fallacy of a faulty analogy, since we cannot reasonably compare a living, sentient, spirit being (a demon) with genetic defects in human somatic cells that cause cancer. Of course Dr. Dickason realizes this flaw but never addresses it in his book. So there is no excuse for him not knowing the inherent weakness in such an analogy. His flawed analogy also disregards the fact that the Bible makes clear that Christians can be afflicted with bodily sickness (1 Timothy 5:23; Acts 9:18), which is what cancer can be called. But as he himself admits, the Bible does not support the idea that Christians can be demonized.


In the final analysis, the greatest weakness in Dr. Dickason's thesis is revealed in this statement he made: "I have least 400 cases of those who were genuine Christians who were also demonized...I would not claim infallible judgment, but I know the marks of a Christian and the marks of a demonized person. I might have been wrong in a case or so, but I cannot conceive that I would be wrong in more than 400 cases." (p. 175).

To this I responded back in 1989 by writing on the title page of my copy of his book: "Anyone who believes that he cannot be greatly deceived, is already greatly deceived."

Has Dr. Dickason ever considered that maybe, just maybe, he was dealing with demonized UNBELIEVERS pretending to be Christians? This is not an unlikely scenario, especially in light of what the Bible says about false believers and pretenders (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:3,4; 2 Corin. 11:13-15). This Biblical alternative was never addressed in the book.

But ultimately in all his clinical studies and the studies of others relying on flawed human discernment and ability, Dr. Dickason forgot to read 2 Timothy 2:19 and Matthew 13:28, 29. Both of these teach that only God knows who among us are "genuine" Christians or not, because only God knows the heart.

Those who teach or believe that Christians can be demonized, based on books like this or "deliverance" experiences, have to realize that this is not a Biblical doctrine. It is a false doctrine based on misreadings of certain Bible passages and overemphasis on flawed clinical studies by people who apparently think they have discernment abilities that Scripture says only God has.

Christian readers of this book are cautioned not to take what Dickason and others say at face value, especially when he himself admits that the Bible does not support his position. If you've read this book or plan to read it, please make sure that you also read "A Holy Rebellion: Strategy for Spiritual Warfare" by Thomas Ice and Robert Dean, Jr.

Thus I end this review with these appropriate words from Ice and Dean on the subject: "Since the Holy Spirit lives in the house of a believer, then every time a demon knocks at the door the Holy Spirit answers."

Edited/added comments: Those who would attempt to justify the thesis of this book from Scripture are hard pressed because not one says that Christians can be "demonized." Nowhere in the Bible do we have Peter casting a demon from Paul, or James casting a demon from Mark. The apostolic Church did not teach this doctrine and nor did they practice it.

Appeals to Luke 13:10-17 as evidence that a Christian can be demonized are weak for several reasons. First, the term "spirit of infirmity" does not necessarily mean a literal "spirit" meaning a demonic spirit inhabiting a person. If I said someone had a "spirit of joy" that would not mean the person had a literal "spirit" being in her called "joy."

Second, the text itself shows that the woman did NOT have a demon "cast out" from her but that she was HEALED from her satanically caused physical sickness (infirmity). No demons cried out and left the woman in that text. She was simply healed.

And lastly, the phrase "daughter of Abraham" could simply be a synonym for a descendant of Abraham, as most scholars and theologians would point out. In fact, Luke 19:9, written by the same author as Luke 13, gives indication that phrases like "son of Abraham" and "daughter of Abraham" refer to ethnic ancestry, not salvation status (notice here the salvation is separate from ethnicity)

Regardless of what this phrase means, it is clear from the context of Luke 13 that this is not an instance of a demonized believer but a possible believer who had a physical problem healed.

One of the main problems with trying to detect demons without Biblical guidelines is that we fall into error too easily. Nowhere does the Bible indicate that voice changes are demonic. Having "super" strength and "super" knowledge are biblical indicators because they can't be faked or easily produced by regular humans who are not demonized. And needless to say, as I've already pointed out above, only GOD knows who truly is a Christian and who is not. People saying they are Christians doesn't prove it. The book I reviewed is well written and argued, but it fails to prove its point because of the many unbiblical assumptions made, and those who would try to support this book also fall into the same errors as Mr. Dickason.
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