Some books are just fun to review. “God’s Ghostbusters” is one of those books, although I need to qualify the word “fun.” The dark themes explored by this expert team assembled by Tom Horn signal us that in fact the implications of the book are not fun, but rather fascinating.
In the extreme.
I’m always thrilled when Christians in ministry explore themes that depart from the “self-help” claptrap being peddled today. We have more than enough Christian leaders who tickle the ears of congregants. Of lasting importance, by contrast, are ministry leaders like Tom and Nita Horn, who are warning us that whole generations in America are being led by spirits of darkness.
The writers who gift us with their expertise in “God’s Ghostbusters” are among the most forward thinkers around today, in my view. From exploring the fascination with vampires, to the reality of “ghosts,” this book will prove to be one of the most popular of 2011 (and beyond), I predict.
Chuck Missler sets the tone in the introduction and makes valuable use of his nimble mind when he addresses our culture’s morbid curiosity with werewolves, aliens, ghosts and more.
Missler hits on the problem of moral drift: “The search for truth was regarded, at one time, the primary goal of mankind; however, having taught our children that they are simply the result of a series of cosmic accidents, we then wonder why they have lost any sense of destiny or accountability!”
In other words, because we have not taught our children a biblical worldview, they are falling prey for all manner of insane worldviews – from alien abductions to those who believe they are actually vampires.
Horn also displays a discernment that is sadly lacking even in our churches today: “Currently, America and much of the world is experiencing what would have seemed impossible just 50 years ago: an explosion of ancient occultism and wicked fascination with all things paranormal by today’s spiritually abandoned public.”
He also makes a point that I think is critical for our thinking, because Horn, a former church executive, doesn’t blink from hard truths. In answer to those who believe the public fascination with the paranormal (expressly forbidden in Scripture) is a fad, Horn believes otherwise. He says that where we once laughed at the silliness of Abbott and Costello movies, in which the comic duo would encounter Dracula or some other bogeyman, today’s film offerings are quite disturbing. The public’s thirst for the paranormal is picking up speed. We would do well to heed the authors in “God’s Ghostbusters.”
In Chapter 15 (“What About Ghosts?”), one of my favorite writers today, Gary Bates, tackles the all-important issue of what people routinely refer to as “ghosts,” or disembodied spirits. I live near a famous “haunted” hotel, and for decades, people have sworn they’ve seen strange nurses or hotel guests dressed in garb from another time.
Gary understands exactly where our culture is today: “Belief in ghosts, and a fascination with the supernatural and the occult in general, is mainstream in popular culture today.”
Indeed, such belief is mainstream, and therein lies the problem.
As I write this, Turner Classic Movies is showing “The Uninvited” (1944), starring Ray Milland. Ruth Hussey’s character is exhorting her brother to hold a séance because after all, “that’s how people are supposed to communicate with the dead.”
In those days, new media began to condition people to believe in ghosts, and so today, as Gary Bates points out, it is almost the power of suggestion that compels filmgoers to believe what they are seeing on the screen (also, don’t dismiss the fact that very often, there is a perfectly natural explanation for such alleged phenomena).
A cleverly titled chapter, “Interview with a Modern Vampire,” by Donna Howell and Nita Horn, is quite amazing. The ladies track the decline of American culture (with the coming of new technologies!), from 1900 until now.
For example, during the ’20s: “As a result of the merry, lighthearted and carefree lifestyle that swept the nation during this ‘showbiz’ era, a certain liberal and lurid behavior began to emerge. Cartoon pornography books called ‘Tijuana bibles’ (drawings by mostly-unknown artists portraying popular cartoon characters, movie stars, and important political figures engaging in sexually explicit encounters) began their ‘under the table’ circulation.”
As morals loosened, and sensuality burst forth across the country, people began to be more open to those influences the Bible warns about.
Terry James is one of my favorite living writers – and I say that with ironic affection – and his chapter on life after death is the crowning piece of this must-have book. Terry describes his own near-death experiences, but wraps it all in a very scriptural view.
Terry understands that the public’s fascination with the paranormal is a stunning opportunity: “Pastors, teachers, who name the name of Jesus, listen up: Providing prophetic truth to the people you shepherd and teach in this closing time of the Church Age (Age of Grace) is all-important to Almighty God. We must tell them that Christ’s coming is very near. To neglect doing this is to neglect what He has put you here to do.”
There are several other terrific contributors to “God’s Ghostbusters,” so let me give you my personal guarantee: this book will be one of the most memorable you’ll ever read. It’s that good.