Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Author: Caspar McCloud
Publisher: Praxis Press
Thinking about how to review this book has been difficult. I like Caspar McCloud, and through his journey to faith I learned more about the challenges and difficulties of the music business. His life has taken twists and turns, and he has had several near misses when it comes to making it big. Along the way he has met and been helped by a number of well known artists, including Phil Keaggy, who had a hand in his salvation and who writes a brief foreword.
His story touches on healingCaspar was brought back to life after having no pulseand the Christianís relationship to demonic spirits. This is where I started to feel uneasy. These issues can be controversial, and I sure donít want to be taking a position that is not correct. Itís not always easy to rightly divide the Word of Truth and apply it to our lives.
I donít doubt Casparís story, which is told sincerely and which held my interest. I appreciate his child-like faith, which is challenging.
I donít want to take anything away from his healing or his ministry. I believe that God heals and gives spiritual gifts. Iím all for genuine experience, and there should be no conflict with that and the truth as revealed in Godís Word. But God obviously wants us to discern between truth and error whether it is in doctrine or practice. None of us want to be found living out a lie or promoting something that isnít true.
From my point of view, the author and apparently his pastor, fail to adequately distinguish between the struggles we have within and the outside influence of demons. I can believe that a Christian can be influenced, oppressed and to some extent bound-up by the enemy, but I think a person is on shaky ground when they attribute personal behavior to a spirit of this or a spirit of that. Often it may just be our sinful nature asserting itself. When someone says that a person has a particular type of demonic spirit attached to him or her, they are speaking in a way that is not the norm in Scripture, especially in relation to Christians.
I recognize that sometimes discussion in this area might seem like a matter of semantics. At times we may be thinking along similar lines but just describing it differently. But I think itís important that we be as accurate as possible so that we donít unnecessarily frighten, confuse or burden someone into thinking that they have a problem with the demonic when they donít.
Though a demonic spirit may have the ability to incite fear in someone, I think itís wrong to interpret ďa spirit of fearĒ in 2 Timothy 1:7 as referring to a demonic spirit of fear. I quickly consulted a few commentaries on the verse and none of them support this idea. The context indicates that God has not given us an attitude of fear.
Itís also unfortunate that Caspar believes ďthat all the modern translations contain many mistakes and errorsĒ, and therefore implies that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is the only legitimate translation. I donít believe the evidence supports this view. The King James Version Only Controversy by James R. White answers many of the arguments raised by KJV-only advocates. There are also a number of good academic books available on the translation of the Bible. I have yet to read a scholarly book on the subject that supports the position of KJV-only advocates.
No translation, including the KJV, is perfect. Most scholars would agree that at least the majority of modern translations are legitimate and people who use them have no need for concern.
Doctrinal issues detract from an interesting story.
November 5, 2006