Monday, December 20, 2021

Demon Seed

by Marty Machowski
2017 / 179 pages

John Milton might approve. Marty Machowski's Dragon Seed covers much of the same ground as Milton's epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Both authors portray Satan's rebellion, the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, and the triumph of Jesus Christ over Satan's temptations. However, Machowski parallels this story of spiritual warfare with a view of the struggles of a teen struggling with grief and anger over the loss of his father.

Nick Freeman (an appropriate name for how he sees himself) is given a book of what his mother calls family history, which tells how Satan and the angels who followed him went from being glorious servants of God to loathsome dragons who spread the same seed of pride that led to their rebellion. Both Nick and his sister react to their situations with pride in different ways (one in conflict with his mother and the other in self-righteous judgment of her friend).

Nick's reading of the family history (ranging from warfare in heaven through the triumph of Christ in His crucifixion and resurrection to the portrayal of the end of history in Revelation) enables him to see and resist the dragon seed that demons seek to plant in every human heart. As for his sister... you'll need to read the book.

The book that Nick is reading is both the strength of, and the possible problem with, this book. Unlike, say, C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters, Dragon Seed does not deal exclusively with the actions and words of demons, but also, briefly and imaginatively, with the deeds and speeches of God on His throne, His angels, and Jesus Christ on earth. While Machowski portrays the work and words of God with restraint and consistent with how God reveals Himself in Scripture, some may find the portrayal to be too imaginative.

If you get beyond that issue, the illustration of the devastating effects of pride, and the way back, in  both the story Nick is reading, and his own experience, is reinforced by a twelve-day devotional that takes us through how pride is revealed and critiqued in Scripture and challenges us to join the battle against pride by humbling ourselves before God in Christ.

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