I’ve been fascinated by Fred Clark’s deconstruction of the Left Behind series since I first came into contact with it. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been reviewing Alisa Harris’s book chapter by chapter. I have also been considering tackling a more thorough reconstruction of another book. The book that kept coming back to me was Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, which I originally read while I was in late elementary school (approximately fifth or sixth grade).
While This Present Darkness is nearly three decades old, I think it’s still relevant in that it has shaped and still expresses many of the ideas central to those Christians who are members of the spiritual warfare movement. As I spent time involved in that movement, attacking this book made a lot of sense.
Yesterday, however, I discovered that a fellow Slacktivite, a woman who goes by the name of yamikuronue on her blog, began deconstructing Peretti’s book back in September. I read through the entirety of her deconstruction so far (thankfully, she’s only fifty pages into it) and found it to be fascinating and remarkable.
From what I’ve gathered reading yamikuronue’s blog, she was never a member of the spiritual warfare movement herself. In many ways, I think this is proving to be an asset to her deconstruction. I’ve looked at a lot of things that she covers and realized that I probably would have taken them for granted and glossed over them. To give you an example of that, consider the following excerpt from her post dated 22 October:
The man has serious issues with anger management and victim-blaming;
why complacency as his major sin? Complacency goes with despair
certainly – “I can’t fix anything, so why bother” – but that means the
entire bit of irrational anger was all his own doing, with absolutely no
infernal aid. Marshall is an abusive man without the demonic
intervention; all the demon was doing was encouraging him to stop trying
to be less abusive. And this is meant to be our hero?
Understanding how spiritual warfare types often see anger, I would have glossed over this excellent point, whereas yamikuronue focuses on it quite well. As such, I think she is doing a far better job at deconstructing the books than I would have.
So instead of doing my own deconstruction, I’m going to follow along with hers and offer my comments. I still have a lot to offer, such as how the things she is deconstructing ties into the greater spiritual warfare mindset and the community that subscribes to it. I would encourage my readers to follow along as well.
And I’ll find another book to tackle when the time comes.