Suggested books on Angels and Demons

I will add to this list simply because I am doing this quick but I have been asked regarding what books to read.  Feel free to check back soon.

I Am Not Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare, by Robert H. Bennett

Of course I may not be in full agreement with the following books, I have enjoyed them none the less:

99 Answers to Questions about  Angels and Demons and Spiritual Warfare, B.J. Oropeza

Angels, Elect and Evil, by C. Fred Dickason

Wizards that Peep, A Journey Into the Occult, Siegbert W. Becker

Biblical Demonology, A Study of Spiritual Forces At Work Today, by Merrill F. Unger

For you liturgical and patristic types:

The Angels and Their Mission, by Jean Danielou

The Angles and the Liturgy, Erik Peterson

For you that lean towards the Roman denomination:

Roman Ritual and Christian Burial, Exorcisms, Reserved Blessings, Etc (Latin and English) published by Preserving Christian Publications, Inc., Boonville, New York

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately …

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”


Instincts versus logic and analysis


Article I wrote on making the sign of the cross

Enjoy: Making the sign of the cross

Why Make the Sign of the Cross?

 by ME

“Why make the sign of the cross, isn’t that Roman Catholic?” was a common expression I heard when I was in the parish. I responded first by mentioning that Luther’s Catechism teaches us to make the sign of the cross. “The catechism doesn’t teach that,” they say. I respond by “Look up Luther’s morning and evening prayer and the meal prayer. What does it say?” Actually making the sign of the cross is one of the oldest traditions in Christianity and it spans across the world both in the Eastern and Western hemisphere. Why is this practice so important that among other practices, Luther would teach the young to make the sign of the cross and consider it fundamental because of its inclusion in his small and simple teaching of the catechism?

My Grandfather grew up in Altenburg (Perry County), Missouri and became a pastor. In his day, those who made the sign of the cross were considered as “Roman Catholic,” “liberal,” or people who flaunted their religion. There were also practices that differentiated Lutherans and Roman Catholics such as the crucifix compared to the empty cross and certain outward gestures. Today there is a movement back to the fundamentals such as Lutheran doctrine, liturgy and practice. This is done in the face of an American culture where religion itself is becoming a melting pot of practice and belief. In our day those who make the sign of the cross may now be considered conservative or in other words, “confessional” in their beliefs.

What is making the sign of the cross all about? A huge paper could be written on this subject. Here are some considerations however. The Scripture consider the cross as the center hinge of our faith in which our life revolves. It is precisely there that our salvation was won for us, not on Easter but on Good Friday. But yet many of our churches are half-empty on Good Friday but full on Easter. Truly Easter is a joyful day but it cannot been seen outside of Good Friday and vice versa but in a strange way many tend to avoid the crucifix or the “crucified Christ” as the center of our confession and therefore miss the Good Friday experience. St. Paul says that he preaches nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified which is accompanied with many other passages that convey this very important Gospel of the cross (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Christians made the sign of cross for a number of reasons. One because it was the center of our confession and marking us as one redeemed by Christ thus pointing us back to our Baptism. It is at the cross where God revealed Himself to us through His Son so we make the sign of the cross while naming God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Secondly we make the sign of the cross on our body. Christianity is a flesh and blood “religion”, not merely a spiritual one but a very physical one. The main job of the Holy Spirit is to bring Christ to us in His flesh and blood through His Word and Sacrament. The sign of the cross is made upon our body knowing and confessing that God has redeemed not only our soul but also our flesh, that is, our bodies as we confess, “I look for(ward) to the resurrection of the dead (body) and the life of the world to come.” Since our flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of God, Christ gives His flesh and blood as a replacement.

Also the suffering and death of Christ has become our own in Baptism. St. Paul says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (ESV, Roman 6:3) and “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” (ESV, II Corinthians 4:11-12) Again, what was once Christ’s now has become our own in Baptism. So we sign ourselves as one marked as redeemed in death but in death we see life. So in some of the old movies you may see a Christian, in the face of demon possession or something terrible, make the sign of the cross, marking themselves with the mark of salvation in the face of evil. There are also other times in which Christians traditionally make the sign of the cross during the liturgy and daily devotions. Ask your pastor what the practice is at your church.

In conclusion, being a Christian does not mean that you have to make the sign of the cross, on the other hand, we should not treat such practices as if it was merely an old Roman Catholic tradition or something of no real importance. It is a very central confession and substance of our faith in the true God who has come to us through His Son for our life and salvation.

The Rev. John Dreyer is an Admission Counselor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. This article originally appeared in the Fall 2002 issue of Thy Kingdom Come, a quarterly newsletter for young men considering the vocation of the Office of the Holy Ministry.

Top Twelve Books Every Lutheran Seminarian Should Read Before Graduation, by Prof. Pless

  1. The Bible
  2. The Book of Concord
  3. Bayer, Oswald. Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation
  4. Elert, Werner. Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries
  5. Elert, Werner. The Structure of Lutheranism
  6. Giertz, Bo. The Hammer of God
  7. Koeberle, Adolph. The Quest for Holiness
  8. Krauth, Charles Porterfield. The Conservative Reformation and its Theology
  9. Luther, Martin. Commentary on Galatians
  10. Luther, Martin. The Bondage of the Will
  11. Sasse, Hermann. Here We Stand
  12. Walther, C.F. W. Law and Gospel



Bayer, Oswald. Living By Faith: Justification and Sanctification. Eerdmans.

Bayer, Oswald. Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation. Eerdmans

Forde, Gerhard. On Being a Theologian of the Cross. Eerdmans.

Forde, Gerhard. The Captivation of the Will. Eerdmans.

Giertz, Bo.The Hammer of God. Augsburg Fortress

Hagglund, Bengt. History of Theology. Concordia.

Hamann, Henry. On Being a Christian. Northwestern.

Iwand, Hans Joachim. The Righteousness of God According to Luther

Kittelson, James. Luther: The Reformer. Augsburg Fortress

Lull, Timothy. Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings. Fortress

Luther, Martin. Day by Day We Magnify Thee

Nestingen, James. Martin Luther: A Life.

Parton, Craig.The Defense Never Rests: A Lawyer’s Quest for the Gospel. Concordia

Paulson, Steven. Luther for Armchair Theologians. Westminster John Knox Press.

Pless, John T. Handling the Word of Truth: Law and Gospel in the Church. Concordia.

Preus, Robert. Justification and Rome. Concordia

Sasse, Hermann. Here We Stand. Lutheran Publishing House

The Lonely Way (Volumes 1-2). Concordia

We Confess. Concordia

Senkbeil, Harold. Dying to Live: The Power of Forgiveness. Concordia

Veith, Gene. The Spirituality of the Cross. Concordia

Wells, David. Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World. Eerdmans

Wingren, Gustaf. Luther on Vocation. Ballast Press

-Prof. John T.Pless

Residential Education at Concordia Theological Seminary


Chapel services are clearly the center of our community at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. This point is not a matter of pride, but a given, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Our belief in residential Seminary education at CTS is NOT a question of practicality but about a dynamic education grounded precisely of who we are and what we are as baptized Christians in the community of saints.

-FB Post 5/31/13