Demon Possession And The Christian -- By: Robert Dean Jr.

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 14:1 (Spring 2009)
Article: Demon Possession And The Christian
Author: Robert Dean Jr.


Demon Possession And The Christian

Robert Dean Jr.

Robert Dean, Jr., earned a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and studied in their doctorate (Th.D.) program. He earned a D.Min. degree from Faith Evangelical Seminary. Dr. Dean is the pastor of West Houston Bible Church. Besides an international schedule as a conference speaker, and authoring several books and journal articles, he serves on the Governing Board of Chafer Theological Seminary. His e-mail address is rdean@deanbible.org; his biblical studies website is www.deanbible.org .

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors...1

The question “Can a Christian be demon-possessed?” is not one of mere academic or theological interest but one of profound implications. If the Christian can be demon-possessed, then this opens up a source of problems for the believer which entails its own array of solutions including exorcism, deliverance, and supernatural healings, the mechanics of which are not revealed in Scripture. If any of a believer’s problems or failures can be blamed on Satan or a demon as the source of that problem, then this places the believer in the role of unwitting victim and releases him from responsibility for failure. If, on the other hand, the Christian cannot be demon-possessed, then vast numbers of churches, ministries, counseling practices and spiritual life methodologies are inherently flawed, investigating problems that do not exist, and prescribing solutions, in many cases bizarre and extreme, which may promote problems that are even more dangerous. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the biblical arguments for Christian demon possession against the backdrop of studies since the mid-twentieth century.

Historical Developments

Since the mid-1970s, the increased growth of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement brought with it a renewed interest in the demonic, and a new focus on spiritual warfare. Films and books presented lurid and frightening accounts of possession, even of believers. Missionaries wrote chilling accounts of demon encounters on the mission field. This, in turn, promoted a host of conferences and seminars on demon possession, healing, and exorcisms. Though some were much more extreme than others were, they shared the belief that Christians can be demon-possessed and that this explains why countless believers are failures in the spiritual life. We will here refer to proponents of this new concept as the advocates of neo-spiritual ...

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