So you want to read books about Demons and Demonology?
Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books on demons. To be honest, it’s complicated topic. And I haven’t found one book that truly ticks all the boxes. Unfortunately, a lot of demonology books are based on Catholicism more than Scripture. For example, I enjoyed reading Gabrielle Amorth’s “An Exorcist Tells His story;” but, I simply don’t agree with all the Catholic dogma he sticks into the book – requiring “Catholic priests or nothing” which is neither true nor helpful to people who truly need deliverance.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a few perennial bestsellers, like “Pigs in the Parlor” (that were helpful 50 years ago, when there were very few books on the subject). Yet, a lot of the theology in the book is actually quite terrible. And teaches a lot of mystical things – like demons are attracted to artwork of owls (I kid you not).
And hey, I’m not a super-fan of owls either. But, I literally had a Christian in my last church accuse another Christian of being demonized because they had owl artwork. (Again, I kid you not).
So, allow me to steer you a bit on this.
Keep in mind, in every single book below, there are things I disagree with. So don’t see this list as a holistic endorsement of every idea written in them haha. (I realize that’s kind of obvious; yet, I still think it’s worth stating).
So, here are few of my current recommendations:
“They Shall Expel Demons” by Dereck Prince – this is one of the few classics that balance theology and practicality. Theologians have done better exegesis in recent decades (see Heiser, below). But, it’s one of the few classics from the last 40 years that has “weathered well.”
“The Secrets to Deliverance” by Alexander Pagani – this newer book has a lot of fascinating takes on how to help people explore the “rooms of their soul” to find those hidden demons that afflict them. It’s perfect for people who actually want to get their hands dirty and actually do deliverance sessions. But, it’s 100% practical. If you’re looking for theology on demons, you won’t find it. This book is for “practicing deliverance.”
“Demons” by Micheal Heiser – By far, this is my favorite academic book on demonology. As a Hebrew Scholar, he does a great job breaking down all of the Jewish concept of demons going into the New Testament. It’s important for people to understand that, the New Testament words, “Angels, Demons and Satan” mean completely different things than they did in the Old Testament. Once you understand this, you will never see the Biblical passages on this the same!
The best way to start reading Heiser (who recently passed away) is by reading his book: “Supernatural.” I would also recommend his books “Angels” as well as “The Unseen Realm.” I’ve read these books cover to cover multiple times. And they have forever changed my view of “principalities and powers.” But, remember, they are a bit more academic.
“The Veil” by Blake K.Healy was a fascinating book about the gift of discerning of Spirits – a great reminder of how demons affect us on a day to day basis. It’s more of a narrative autobiography. (My teenaged son even loved it). It has a good spirit to it. And gave me a lot of motivation to pray!
“How to Cast Out Demon” by Doris Wagner – The wife of C. Peter Wagner gives us practical guide to deliverance. This isn’t the book for theology as much as practicality…like questionaires (to have people answer) that can help ministers to “dig out the demons” better.
“Judgement of the Nephililm” by Ryan Pitterson was one of the more interesting books I read last year. Similar to Heiser’s “Unseen Realms,” he gives a systematic theological view of the Old Testament through the lens of the Nephilim (who Jews believed became demons). The book is irritating in that he quotes King James a lot haha. And I don’t agree with his take on “Hades or the Gap Theory.” But, it’s nonetheless brilliant. It’s a great follow up book (after you’ve read a bit of Michael Heiser’s exposition of angels and demons). And it is super helpful in helping Christians understand the supernatural worldview of angels and demons in the Old Testament.