Ascent from Darkness:
How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior
By Michael Leehan
Thomas Nelson Publishers
04 October 2011
This book has been sitting in my room for months after receiving it, waiting for me to do something with it. I chose it because I’ve been learning about the god Lucifer recently, and was interested to learn if a story with a Christian end could have a non-hateful view of other things non-Christian. Well… not so much, it turns out.
I finally sat down and read it and… well, sorry, Mr. Leehan, but I’m kind of not impressed. Ascent from Darkness is a kind of personal testimony to how far a person can “fall” and still experience the saving power of Christ’s grace. While it’s clear that the author needed saving, I don’t think a lot of the things he considered to be “Satan’s soldiering” actually are. As someone who’s not a Christian, it’s easy for me to have this view because (1) I actually think Lucifer might be a decent guy, and (2) I don’t have any investment in any god saving me from anything, even myself.
The story follows Michael Leehan’s struggle with depression, addiction, and poor behavior (generally speaking). I wouldn’t go so far as to say it involved spiritual warfare, but he certainly thought that after the fact, and I can’t argue with his feelings, so I’ll say this: a lot of shitty things were done to him as a child. He didn’t feel loved. He was abused. I sympathize. Truly, that really sucks.
But then he grew up and instead of asking for help or trying to prove all those horrible adults wrong or even taking revenge on them (all reasonable reactions, I’d say, though they all come from different human needs), he instead made a lot of shitty decisions on his own (who hasn’t? I mean, really)—some because he was depressed, some because he was arrogant, some because he was scared—and now he’s blaming those decisions on Satan? And his subsequent decision to stop making poor decisions on his conversion to Christianity? Wow. Way to take responsibility for your own actions, man. Good job.
I mean, Leehan’s life was in a downward spiral toward complete self-destruction, so anything that saved him from that is a good thing. I just think that he didn’t give himself enough credit for the positive changes he made in his own life. Then again, he didn’t really take credit for all the crappy things either, so I guess that’s par for the course.
DISCLAIMER: I received Ascent from Darkness free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for a review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.