|"This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti|
In 1986, Frank Peretti threw open the doors of Christian fiction with this incredible novel about spiritual warfare between angels, demons and the humans caught in between. The small, sleepy town of Ashton, New York may seem unobtrusive, but the steady stream of newcomers, such as a big-time journalist and his family, the new young pastor and his wife, and a mysterious psychology teacher begin to stir up the normally calm waters. Or maybe the waters were already being stirred up and these strangers have been brought to Ashton for a bigger purpose than any of them realized.
When I read this book, I was completely overwhelmed! Peretti's descriptions of the beauty of spiritual goodness and bravery in stark contrast to vileness of satanic evil and of ordinary human people who are called to do God's work, regardless if they believe in him or not. Peretti also wrote a sequal called, "Piercing The Darkness" which was just as exciting and darker than the first book. If you really want to read a story that is scary and eyeopening as well as get a look at what real faith in action looks like, these books will definitely be worth the read.
For years, people have wanted these books to be made into movies and I would love to see them as movies, but dealing with spiritual warfare is never an easy undertaking. Here's my inspirational (no pun intended) for a possible cast list.
Marshall and Kate Hogan: Former journalists from New York City, Marshall, his wife, Kate, and their college age daughter, Sandy come to Ashton for a slower pace. Marshall takes over the dying paper the Ashton Clarion, after a scandal drove the former editor out of town. Marshall and Kate are a strong couple, but their obstinate daughter forever clashes with her father. After Marshall visits Sandy's school, he senses an evil presence from Sandy's psychology teacher, and that presence haunts him continually. When Sandy becomes involved in a satanic coven, Marshall will do anything to save her, even if it means turning toward a God that he never gave any thought of before.
Hank and Mary Busche: The new, but unwanted, pastor and his wife are hardly welcomed in Ashton, after Hank ex-communicated a long standing member from the church for adultery. The community (or at least the old boy network) want Hank gone and will lie, cheat and steal to make it happen. God has other plans for the faithful pastor, however, and no matter how hard they try, the town of Ashton need Hank and Mary, if they want to survive the upcoming spiritual warfare that has also arrived in Ashton.
The Host of Heaven
God's strongest, bravest and most faithful of heavenly hosts. A small, but lethal arm, led by Tal, have gathered around Ashton to guide and protect its Christian community from the onslaught of demonic forces. All of them spread from all over the world, from the British Isles, to India, Saudi Arabia, Asia, and Africa, which really made the story very unique. Each angel is gifted in their own way and are given different assignments that challenge and strengthen them. Several of them are veteran angels that have fought many wars against many horrific demons throughout the centuries. Others are newcomers brought in by The General (Michael, the archangel) to fight the great Ba-al Rafar (Prince of Babylon) and the Strongman, Lucifer's most sinister of demons.