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214. What if a False Christ Started a Cult in Your Town? | The Visitation

Twenty-five years after release, Frank Peretti’s supernatural thriller still boldly shows a struggling ex-pastor fighting foes scarier than demons.
Fantastical Truth on May 28, 2024 · Series: · No comments

What if the spirit of antichrist came to your town? Burned-out pastor Travis Jordan is on break from ministry after the death of his wife. But then his small city of Antioch faces great signs and wonders from a new prophet who claims to be a better christ than the true Jesus Christ. Just in time for our next summer book quest, challenge your faith and seek the true Savior for the 25-year anniversary of Frank Peretti’s supernatural thriller The Visitation!

Episode sponsors

  1. Enclave Publishing: Lady of Basilikas by Ronie Kendig
  2. Realm Makers 2024 writers’ conference
  3. Lorehaven Guild: The Visitation

Mission update

Quotes and notes

1. Frank Peretti vs. demons, untruth, and fun fans

  • Peretti began with kids’ thriller The Door in the Dragon’s Throat (1985)
  • Then his first grown-up novel This Present Darkness arrived in 1986
  • After a slow start, more fans (including Christian celebrities) loved it
  • A direct sequel, Piercing the Darkness, followed in 1989
  • Peretti also wrote a pro-life novella called Tilly (1988)
  • Fans also remember Prophet (1992) and The Oath (1995)
  • That’s eight novels for grown-ups, not all angels-versus-demons thrillers
  • Yet to this day, fans still remember Peretti only for those two books
  • Yet one 1997 WORLD Magazine article explains why Peretti changed.
  • It also predicts the novel he would have published just two years later.

2. The Visitation: a new take on supernatural thriller

  • We summarize the story’s premise, but avoid plot/character spoilers.
  • This time, all demons (there are some) usually stick to the shadows.
  • They don’t operate in the world so much as within many churches.
  • Peretti, however, critiques with affection, not deconstructing.
  • Like the gospel itself, he focuses the message on people.
  • Travis and many others get tragic or redemptive arcs.

3. Today’s fans may need healing from ‘church stuff’

  • Before the book quest, Stephen re-read the novel, audiobook this time.
  • Peretti’s take on “deconstruction” and real church trauma ages well.
  • He sympathizes with the deceived, yet warns of spiritual threats.
  • With compassion and honesty, he explores real church trauma.
  • But the solution remains Jesus, with or without “church stuff.”
  • Right or wrong, “church stuff” is a means to His great end.

Com station

Top question for listeners

  • Has God used stories to help you reject false christs and seek Jesus?

Jason Brown had thoughts about ep. 212 about sensual heroines:

Stephen, you were almost correct about the body scan, but it was based on a Korean model. The director’s wife was the art director. The existence of the game has showcased the hypocrisy of gaming journalism because those who slander SB for being too “sensual” praise games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Last of Us Part 2 for their explicit sensual content and mock gamers who like Eve. While there are gamers who enjoy Eve for the WRONG reasons, there are those like me enjoying the environment and trying not to die every five minutes (or seconds) from tough battles. No one in the game comments on Eve’s physique, but call her “Angel” (for lore-based reasons, yes, the game is full of religious imagery everywhere). There’s plenty of women gamers who also like the game and praise Adam’s masculine appearance.

Next on Fantastical Truth

In the days of the second World War, the Nazi party is taking over Europe and persecuting the Jewish people. But this time, one respected journalist and the descendent of a famous rabbi join forces to create a new mystical being to guard the innocent: the golem. How does that go? Tricia Goyer and Nathan Goyer know, and they’ll join us in the studio to explore alternate-historical fantasy in their upcoming novel Breath of Bones.

Fantastical Truth
Fantastical Truth

Lorehaven explores fantastical stories for God's glory: fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

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