Confronting Powerless Christianity (Kraft)

Kraft joins a host of Evangelical scholars (Moreland, Willard, Grudem, Storms) who are admitting the Spirit’s power being manifested in the kingdom today, yet are doing so from non-Pentecostal platforms. In this work Kraft summarizes past arguments, responds to recent criticisms, and offers models and templates on how to engage in deliverance ministry. Kraft makes the provocative argument that there are regularities, rules, and principles in the relationships between the human world and the spirit world exist and can be studied scientifically (61; I wish Kraft would have said “systematically” instead of scientifically).

*Dealing with Demons*

Kraft suggests that demons attach themselves to damaged emotions (at least part of the time) and many exorcisms, if they don’t go wrong, are protracted longer than necessary because the exorcist isn’t dealing with root-level issues. This seems to work more with “sin-issue” demons more than institutional or territorial spirits.

Kraft has come under attack for claiming we can make systematic studies of the spirit world. Perhaps he is sometimes guilty of overreach, but there does seem to be something there. He notes that God’s universe has rules and order. From this premise he infers that the spirit-realm also operates by an order. He gives seven principles that guide his work (108-110).

Kraft has been accused of animism, seeing power in objects and rituals. Kraft responds by noting that animists have relatively correct logical principles; they simply misunderstand how God works (112).

He notes a number of “rules” that he has seen work in deliverance ministries (see pp. 162ff). He does a good job noting the various hierarchies within the spirit realm.


This book does a fine job breaking open new paradigms and the differences between animism and biblical supernaturalism. I do have some criticisms: Kraft is correct in that synergy is a key point in intercession and deliverance, but he lends himself to overstating the case (God can’t work without partners, 151). *Kraft utilizes “Free Will” as an interpretive model but doesn’t actually define it (152).


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