20 Answers Angels and Demons – Fr. Mike Driscoll – 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers
20 Answers Angels and Demons
20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers
Fr. Mike Driscoll
Catholic Answers Press
This is one of two books currently in this series written by Father Mike Driscoll. I found both to be excellent reads. In fact I found his writing so engaging I went and read his fiction book, The Father Capranica Mysteries: Stories of the Strange and Supernatural, as well. Of the 21 books I have read in this series this is likely one of the ones that will cause the most controversy. I recently saw a mem on Facebook that immediately made me think of this book. It stated “talk about angels and nobody bats an eye … talk about demons and spiritual warfare and everybody loses their minds”. And from my own experience both in the Catholic Church and evangelical circles over the past 30 years that is true. It amazes me the number of believers that accept angels who deny or want to bury their heads in the sand regarding demons. This book is a great resource for all Christians who desire to understand the true biblical reality of these beings. And though this is a shorter volume it will give a solid ground to all who read it.
The 20 Questions answered in this volume are:
1. What are angels?
2. What is the angels’ relationship with God?
3. How do angels interact with one another?
4. What is the angels’ relationship with us?
5. Where do we get names for angels and angel choirs?
6. What are demons?
7. What powers do demons have?
8. What are some misconceptions about demons?
9. How do demons attack people?
10. How does a person become possessed?
11. What are the signs of possession?
12. What are the risks of confusing mental disorders and demonic activity?
13. Do demons ever possess places or things?
14. What is the difference between exorcism and deliverance?
15. What does the exorcist do?
16. Does exorcism always work?
17. Is there any connection between demons and witchcraft, Ouija boards, and psychics?
18. What prayers and practices can people adopt for protection against demons?
19. What should a person do if he thinks someone he knows may be possessed?
20. What is the role of guardian angels?
Unlike many books in this series there is no introduction or forward it jumps right it. Fr. Mike states:
“Angels are purely spiritual beings created by God. Strictly speaking, the word angel (from the Greek for “messenger”) refers to their office, not their nature. In other words, the good spirits who interact with human beings are called angels, whereas those who operate strictly in heaven are more precisely called spirits. However, it is traditional and acceptable to call all of them angels. They are not eternal in the way that God is, that is, existing before and outside of time. Rather, they are eternal in the same way human souls are: once created, they exist forever. Because they do not have bodies, they do not experience the separation of body and soul which we call death.”
And that is our introduction. Then in chapter 6 he gives the definition of demons:
“Demons are purely spiritual beings created in the image of God. As such they possess intellect and free will, as do human beings; unlike humans, they have no physical body, never grow old, and never die. God created all angels good, but some made a free and permanent decision to disobey and reject him. The creature known as Satan, or Lucifer, is the leader of these evil spirits. He is also called the devil, and the angels who followed him in rejecting God are called devils or demons. Both these English words come from the Latin diabolus, meaning attacker, slanderer, or accuser. This connotation is seen in the words of Jesus, who called the devil a murderer, a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44), and in the book of Revelation, when the devil is driven from heaven and a celestial voice cries, “The accuser of our brethren has been thrown down” (12:10). At the time of creation, Lucifer may have been the closest to God of all the angels; therefore it may have been a sin of pride that was his definitive act of disobedience. A figurative reading of the prophet Isaiah supports this idea: “How you are fallen from heaven, O day star . . . You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven . . . I will make myself like the Most High'” (14:12-14).”
He also states:
“Because they have no physical bodies, angels are quite different; they essentially have two powers, the intellect and the will. This actually makes them more powerful than humans rather than less so, for they perceive things without the use of the senses, can move from one place to another without the use of limbs, and can move material objects without physical exertion. But they would not be angels if they did not have the use of their intellect and will, which are the powers that constitute the image of God in angels (as well as in human beings). This explains why God does not annihilate the fallen angels, i.e., make them cease to exist. Intellect and will are inherently good, godlike powers, so he does not wipe them out of existence even when they are misused by angels and humans.”
The speaking to types of attacks he says:
“Demonic attacks can be divided into ordinary and extraordinary; the ordinary attacks are commonly called temptations. Temptations can come from the world and the flesh, as well as from the devil (Catechism of the Council of Trent part IV, petition 6). Temptations of the world include wealth, popularity, and power; temptations of the flesh include sex, food, alcohol, and drugs. The temptations of the devil are intertwined with the other two types: they give added enticement to those sins (CCC 2846-54). Temptation by demons is not much different from temptations that come from other people. Just as people can say things to tempt others to sin, so too demons, in a nonverbal way, can give evil thoughts and provoke emotions that can lead to sin.”
I hope that those three extended quotes will help you see the balanced approach that Fr. Mike takes, and inspire you to give this book a read. This is one of the most important books in this series. And though it is written as part of the Catholic Answers 20 Answers series I really believe that every Christian would benefit from reading this book and gaining a deeper understanding of these truths. The only drawback I can find is that there is no bibliography at the end of this book to take the reading further. I believe that many people would read this book and want more. I also feel it could have been split into 2 separate books, or better yet have 2 more books in this series that take us deeper on Angels and Demons, but that is something only time will tell.
This book is one of the best in the series. I have read 21 of the 23 currently available books in this series. Another great book in a great series!
Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!
Note 2: Currently this series of books is being offered at a 50% discount so get it while you can. That is right you can get all 23 physical books or all 23 eBooks for just $39.95! If you want a way to go deeper this year give this series a try!
20 Answers Series:
20 Answers Abortion – Trent Horn
20 Answers Angels & Demons – Fr. Mike Driscoll
20 Answers Atheism – Matt Fradd
20 Answers Death & Judgement – Trent Horn
20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage – Jim Blackburn
20 Answers End of Life – Jason Negri
20 Answers Faith & Science – Trent Horn
20 Answers God – Trent Horn
20 Answers Islam – Andrew Blezad
20 Answers Jehovah’s Witnesses – Trent Horn
20 Answers Mary – Tim Staples
20 Answers Miracles – Karlo Broussard
20 Answers Mormonism – Trent Horn
20 Answers Salvation – Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Scripture and Tradition – Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Bible – Trent Horn
20 Answers The Eucharist – Trent Horn
20 Answers The Papacy – Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Real Jesus – Trent Horn
20 Answers The Church – Trent Horn
20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult – Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Apparitions & Revelations – Michael O’Neill
20 Answers The Sacraments – Fr. Mike Driscoll
Other Books from Catholic Answers:
Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties – Trent Horn
A Daily Defense: Apologetics Lessons for Every Day – Jimmy Akin
The Apostasy That Wasn’t: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church – Rod Bennett
Answering Atheism – How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity – Trent Horn
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk About Our Culture’s Toughest Issue – Trent Horn and Fr Frank Pavone
The Protestant’s Dilemma: How the Reformation’s Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism – Devin Rose
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines – Tim Staples
Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians – James L. Papandrea
Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World – Fr. Mike Driscoll
Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith – Devin Rose
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura – Dave Armstrong
The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Brings You to Eternal Life – Jimmy Akin
The Truth is Out There (Brendan and Erc in Exile Book 1 – Brother Amadeus and Amadeus
Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory – Kevin Vost
Marching Orders: A Tactical Plan for Converting the World to Christ – Dan McGuire
The Fathers Know Best – Jimmy Akin
Why We’re Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love – Trent Horn