Having read Peretti’s Darkness books when I was a teen, I knew that his novels can be both captivating and spiritually informative. Because those books were far less allegory in nature and more “what if” accounts, I was not really sure what to think of The Oath when I first picked it up. The talk of dragons and putrid, gaping heart wounds turned me off at first, because it seemed so unrealistic compared to the beyond-the-eye battles of angels and demons from his other books. But as I came to recognize The Oath as merely an allegory of Genesis 4:7, I truly understood the story. This verse reads: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.”
Today’s entertaining fixation on darkness (vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and magicians) is dangerous, and parents need to be terribly cautious about what fills their children’s minds. If the movie industry and pop-fiction are any indication, our children are being left with very little good upon which to meditate. Lest we forget our duty to “train up our children in the way they should go,” and lest we forget the wisdom of Philippians 4:8 (“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”), we must step between the darkness of this world and our children’s tender, impressionable hearts and guide them in the way they should go.
Left with no other alternative but the world’s ungodly entertainment, I think Frank Peretti‘s books can be helpful to teens in these ungodly times, for he not only entertains with his novels, he teaches. I walked away from this book understanding better my own heart, and understanding better the steely clutch sin has on the unbeliever’s heart. It made me more aware that without Christ I would be most miserable indeed, serving nothing but the putrid blackness of my own heart.