Sunday, June 6, 2010

The War in Heaven: A Review

I finished The War in Heaven by Theodore Beale yesterday. I was intrigued into reading the novel not only because it was written by one of my favorite authors, but also because it was inspired by the spiritual warfare theology popularized by Gregory Boyd, the pastor of Woodland Hills Church in Minnesota. Boyd's warfare theology is based on the biblical passages that make the implication of Satan's significant influence in this world, and that the fight between Good and Evil occurs both on the natural and the supernatural levels. And that there are many supernatural beings, good and evil, that influence many of our moral decisions.
I was intrigued by this theology, which was why I wanted to get my hands on Theodore Beale's book.
The books starts off with the forces of evil planning on storming the gates of heaven, but they need one more thing: the immortal powers hidden within a teenage boy Christopher. The evil forces gain control of Christopher by appealing to his vanity and he becomes a great power of evil that is critical to Lucifer's plan to take over heaven. Simultaneously, Christopher's two sisters, Holli and Jami, go in the opposite direction, fighting alongside the angels and archons of God.
What follows is all-out spiritual warfare, which made for an extremely entertaining read. Beale also fills the book with illuminating facts about the nature of evil and temptation.
The War in Heaven is an overtly Christian novel with a Christian worldview. Its Christian theme is far more evident to the reader than either Narnia or Lord of the Rings.
But I must warn you, however, that, especially at the beginning, the novel is pretty dark, as it could quite reasonably be categorized as "dark fantasy." But amidst all the despair, there is some light in the story, as God's sovereignty is amply demonstrated by the way that Kherev Elohai, or Jesus Christ, effortlessly destroys even the most powerful of evil beings.
I found it interesting how Beale depicts Lucifer as an extremely handsome and beautiful character instead of an ugly and despicable one. In the author's note, Beale explains how evil can be attractive, even beautiful; and it is because of that that sin is always tempting and seductive.
Overall Beale should be commended for combining an eminently readable story with keen insights into the nature of good and evil. 8.5/10

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