Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review: Reviving Old Scratch by Richard Beck

Today I'm under a massive weight of fear -- not all or mostly mine, but so many of my friends are afraid, and for real reasons. Traffic stops shouldn't make you fear for your life. Going to an Orlando club shouldn't make you fear for your life. Going to an airport shouldn't make you fear for your life. Going to Wednesday night church shouldn't make you fear for your life. The best review I can give for this book is that it offers what I think may be the only real way forward through this oppressive fear. This book by a Texas psychology professor (and Abilene prison study leader) addresses fear and economics and spirit and idols and capitalism and power and, yes, the devil and demons. I don't even know how to post about this in a short form that will explain things right, but Beck, as a self-described progressive Christian from a denomination not known for its progressiveness, approaches spiritual warfare in a very real way but also a very different way from the tired Frank Peretti way. I'm just beginning to process it. This kind doesn't come out except by prayer and fasting. But, as a Christian, I think that the only way out of this tangled cultural web of fear and escalation is through the gospel, through me as a white guy policing myself and my own sin before turning to others, and through the cross and its proclamation that the powers and principalities are defeated. I don't claim to have realized what that means, but all I know is that I start from there, and I pray our country will go somewhere with it this time. We can't stay here.

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