Daniel R. Jennings, 2000 Years of Spiritual Warfare: Recorded Accounts of Demonic Activity from the 1st to the 21st Centuries. Sean Multimedia, 2015. ISBN: 978-1505579017. 213 pages
Dr. Vic Reasoner
THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 1. Spring 2016. Volume 34.
Date Posted June, 2016
C. S. Lewis warned that we must avoid the extremes of the magician and the materialist. The magician refers to the pagan worldview in which everything is explained by the supernatural. The materialist refers to the secular or Enlightenment worldview in which everything is explained by science.
Jennings has produced a source book of cases across 2000 years of church history which demonstrates that demons do exist and that Christians have authority over this realm of darkness. Jennings begins with the record of Scripture itself. His footnotes are generally illuminating. Jennings presents cases from the era of the early church, noting that with the establishment of Christianity by Constantine demonic activity declined. This is a very profound observation. It has been generally assumed that Constantine's conversion was not legitimate. However, Peter J. Leithart challenged this assumption in Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom (2010).
If it is true that the acknowledgment and influence of Christianity resulted in the decline of demonic activity by the fourth century, then the rejection of Christianity by our courts and culture in the twenty-first century will result in an increase in demonic activity. I believe that explains the spate of random killings, the attraction of terrorism, the growing anarchy, and the sexual perversion which consumes our news.
Jennings believes that many cases from the Middle Ages were exaggerated, having been passed on orally and probably embellished over time. For me, this healthy scepticism gives credibility to Jennings.
Jennings has previously published The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley (2012) and The Supernatural Occurrences of Charles G. Finney (2012). Thus, he has a working knowledge of the phenomenon in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He also has a balanced view of speaking in tongues, acknowledge it both as a legitimate gift of the Spirit and as a counterfeit demonic manifestation.
Most of his examples from the modern era tend to come from pagan culture, but the book closes with two examples from his own ministry. Jennings portrays a mature position which is neither the categoric rejection of the supernatural by the old-line intellectual modernist or the naive acceptance of the supernatural by the classic charismatic.
In addition to this source book, I would also recommend Appendix A, "Demons and Exorcism in Antiquity" and Appendix B, "Spirit Possession and Exorcism in Societies Today," 87 pages in the massive, two-volume work on Miracles by Craig Keener (2011). However, Jennings gives a representative cross-section of church history in just 213 pages.