TMR 101 : Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett : Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare
This week we welcome Rev. Dr. Robert H. Bennett, Executive Director of Luther Academy in Fort Wayne Indiana and specialist in missions, for a fascinating conversation on his research into demon possession and spiritual warfare in the context of Madagascar.
In 2007, while on a trip to Madagascar, Dr. Bennett experienced something that was to have a profound effect on his future research and ministry: in the midst of a Lutheran worship service, right at his feet, a woman began to convulse and receive calm and controlled exorcism ministry from members of the congregation.
Through the field research that followed, Dr. Bennett investigated the indigenous animism of the Malagasy people, and sought to understand the role of exorcism in the mission of the Lutheran Church of Madagascar.
Based on this research, in 2013 he published the book, I Am Not Afraid : Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare : True Accounts from the Lutheran Church of Madagascar, a scholarly work that not only documents his findings and sets them in the context of biblical practice and church history, but issues a challenge to the too-often-spiritually-compromised church in the West: exorcism is, and always has been, part of the ministry of Christ through the Church, and we neglect it at our peril.