Playing with Fire

A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts

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Pub Date 08 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2020
Emanate Books, Thomas Nelson

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“Provocative, insightful, and enlightening—a foray into an often-neglected topic that merits more attention than it typically receives.”

--Lee Strobel, New York Times bestselling author of The Case for Christ

What is Our Fascination with the Other Side?

Join investigative reporter Billy Hallowell as he delves into the strange phenomena of supernatural activity. Themes of demonic possession, exorcism, and ghosts have overtaken Hollywood, with countless films and TV shows delving into the age-old struggle against evil. But the question is why?

Even with so much focus on the topic, there seems to be very little public knowledge and discussion about the theology and real-life claims surrounding demons. Quite often, many people remain silent about their experiences or resort to quietly whispering about what they’ve seen, heard, or felt for fear of being labeled as crazy. The truth is, even pastors, priests, and clergy who have observed firsthand accounts of possession and deliverance can succumb to the strange and terrifying effects of intense spiritual warfare.

For people of faith, Playing with Fire addresses these core questions:

Are demons active today?If they do indeed exist, what are they? Fallen angels? Nephilim?Can demons inhabit human beings?According to the Bible, can people die and remain behind as “ghosts”?

Playing with Fire explores the theological underpinnings surrounding the supernatural. Relying on firsthand accounts, newspaper reports, and Christian experts, Hallowell takes readers through the various views and perspectives surrounding supernatural activity.

“Provocative, insightful, and enlightening—a foray into an often-neglected topic that merits more attention than it typically receives.”

--Lee Strobel, New York Times bestselling author of The Case...

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ISBN 9780785234500
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Featured Reviews

This book tackles an age-old question, "do you believe," and, "what do you believe?" These questions has been asked of humanity for centuries. The base question is a simple yes or no, but the context lends nothing to the true complexity. Belief is a strong thing - it is emotional, mental, and (in some circumstances) tied to the physical. Playing with fire is written by an award winning and widely published journalist, Billy Hallowell. Hallowell approaches this topic, its questions and its more inauspicious answers. The primary topic approached is that of ghosts, demons and exorcisms. It references theologians, religious experts, scientists and first hand accounts of various entities. These entities can be ghosts, or the spirits of once living humans; or demons, which, on the other hand have no history of a corporeal body and can present in the same manner as ghosts or even possess a living human. The same question is again posed to determine if we believe in ghosts, demons, both or neither. Do demons exist? Can they establish dominance over a living person and even occupy their body? How does one become possessed and how can it be handled? Are exorcisms real and do they work? How do ghosts happen and what makes them stay? Are ghosts good or bad? I guarantee you that nearly all of these questions crossed your mind when you read the title of this book. And they will not go unanswered. What is so extraordinary about Hallowell's book and his approach to the topic is the candid, conversational tone he takes with his readers. Hallowell writes this book without bias, in a flat almost monotone manner. Which, for some this may present a problem and be reiterations of facts and figures that will bore the reader to sleep. For me though, I appreciated this approach since it heavily involves religion and religious beliefs. Which is a controversial topic on its own. Hallowell delivers his facts, states his figures and supporting evidence, and also recalls quotes from those who experienced events firsthand. I also very much enjoy the almost skeptical approach Hallowell takes to the subject matter by ensuring his readers are appraised of the definitive truths, the questionable truths, and the truths based on belief or assumption. Playing with Fire made me a bit of a researcher myself by looking into some of the information Hallowell presents on certain cases to see for myself or learn more for myself. I feel that was the intention of the book: to supply information and inferences while encouraging the reader to draw their own conclusions and seek out more information. My only complaint is that the very beginning pages are dense and riddled with statistics. As someone who loves research I completely understand the need for them and appreciate them but think they need presented in a different manner. I think a better way to encourage the readers to continue reading would be to create some visual aids like pie charts or bar graphs and use them to connect some intersecting data. For example, 51% of a group believes in Belief A, 45% of them (that 51%) said it happens "rarely," while 15 said it happens "frequently" or "very frequently." This would be easier to digest if it had a visual aid.

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