Fundamentalists are fascinated by stories of demonic forces. Nothing thrills the heart like listening to stories of missionaries in Africa (which seems particularly rife with demonic activity) doing battle with the evil hoards.
It’s a small wonder that Frank Peretti, author of such works as This Present Darkness should be wildly popular in fundamentalist circles — the fact that he is a member of the Assemblies of God and plays the banjo in a bluegrass band notwithstanding. His children’s books like The Door in the Dragon’s Throat are widely regarded as great way to give young fundamentalists nightmares. [ed. I didn’t sleep for a week.]
The books are horribly thrilling stuff full of sword fights between angels and demons and very insightful information about how public schools are conspiring to make sure that no child graduates from kindergarten without having been demon-possessed at least once. The theology presented in these stories is a little shaky to say the least but did I mention that they have sword-fighting demons!
More than one fundamentalist has remarked that these books have really opened their eyes to the workings of spiritual warfare. One is forced to wonder if they also imagine that Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven is a treatise on ornithology. Or one would if they weren’t caught in such a quandary over whether to laugh or cry.