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This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti Summary, Themes & Characters

Introduction And Themes Of This Present Darkness

"For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness..." (Ephesians 6:12, RSV) This is the theme behind This Present Darkness, a piece of Christian literature by Frank Peretti depicting the classic tale of good versus evil in both the natural and spiritual realms. Since being published in 1986, This Present Darkness has sold 2.5 million copies making it one of the most popular Christian novels.

This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti Summary Themes Characters
The cover of the book
This Present Darkness
by Frank Peretti

Plot Summary And Characters Of This Present Darkness

In This Present Darkness the small town of Ashton is being taken over by a vicious New Age corporation which plans to use the town as a strategic stepping stone from which to unleash its "New World Order" on the world. Thrown into the midst of the story are two men who dare to oppose the powerful corporation. The first is Marshall Hogan, the tough newspaper owner whose inquisitive and stubborn attitude leads him to discover the corporation's plans and boldly oppose them. The other is Henry Busche, the pastor of a small church whose faithful commitment to prayer is the most powerful weapon in the struggle to save Ashton.

However, This Present Darkness not only uses characters from the physical world but also contains a unique and interesting mixture of natural and spiritual characters. Angels and demons alike are portrayed as beings with their own thoughts, emotions, and personalities. Throughout This Present Darkness both angels and demons interact closely with the natural characters; the angels fight alongside the main characters to save the town while the demons give aid to the corporation. As This Present Darkness comes to a climax the fate of Ashton and possibly the world is decided in a great spiritual battle.

Review & Criticism Of This Present Darkness

Throughout This Present Darkness both the plot and characters are enhanced greatly through use of vivid descriptions and imagery that set the scene of the story and build the atmosphere. From the vile depiction of the demons to the desperate and thrilling car chase, Frank Peretti intensely describes every character and event in the story. The combination of these vivid descriptions, carefully developed characters, and fast-moving, thrilling storyline makes This Present Darkness compulsive reading. From the first chaper onwards, I found This Present Darkness hard to put down.

Despite this, This Present Darkness could be criticised for presenting unrealistically dualistic views of the world. The characters are stereotyped and simplistically typecast in roles of good or evil. The plot is also cliched, at times seeming implausible and extreme. Although it serves to create a great story and captivate the imagination, Frank Peretti's view of spiritual warfare is also controversial. The reader should remember that these views are interpretations which are not necessarily authoritative. Hence This Present Darkness should be treated as a story rather than allowing it to redefine a person's views of the spiritual and natural worlds.


In conclusion, This Present Darkness is a captivating book ranking with the best Christian novels. However because of its controversial interpretations, This Present Darkness should not necessarily be considered a manual on spiritual warfare. Instead the book should be taken for what it is: an entertaining and addictive Christian narrative.

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