Frank Edward Peretti was born the 13th of January, 1951 in Lethbrigde, Alberta, Canada. Several years later his family moved to a neighborhood in Seattle Washington, where he started inventing stories for his band of friends. Having graduated high school he studied English, Screen Writing, and Film at UCLA. Then unemployed, he partnered with his father in pastoring a small Assembly of God church and began writing This Present Darkness. After 5 years he quit and started a job as a construction worker. In 1986 he published his book, but to his dismay it wasn’t very popular. Then, out of the blue, people started snatching up like crazy. In response to the growing demand for his book Peretti wrote a second novel, which he published three years later: Piercing the Darkness. Although not as popular as his first book, it was also a bestseller. Combined, the two have sold over 3.5 million copies. Since then he has written many other books and movie scripts, the most famous of which are the Cooper Kids Adventure Series, Tilly, Hangman’s Curse, The Visitation, and House. The quality of these works has led to his being dubbed “America’s Hottest Christian Novelist,” and a “Sanctified Steven King.”
*Based solely on a dissertation from his book and website. Frank Peretti had no input or part of any kind in the writing of this document*
In his book Peretti suggests that he is a conspiracy theorist, as corrupt leaders are the sole perps, instead of some form of organized crime. Apparently he also advocates free speech, since Marshall discovered the plot while muckraking for his paper. If there wasn't free speech there’d be no muckraking, and therefore the plot would’ve gone unnoticed. Peretti also appears to be staunchly against liberal colleges since he shows Whitmore College (a liberal college) as being the root of evil. This is distinct as his book shows illegality, New Age fanatics, and demons running the school whereas it is suggested that God’s power would make a Christian university immune to those problems. This viewpoint may have been caused by a traumatic experience while he was at UCLA, a fairly liberal school. Finally, since he described his angels (generally accepted as white males) as having varying nationalities and genders, it appears that he is against racism and gender bias.
Peretti makes it clear in several ways that he prefers small churches to large ones. Ashton’s megachurch was corrupt, possibly because the pastor defected to a form of neo-evangelicalism or prosperity gospel over time, or because he became drunk with power. Additionally, all of the true christians ended up leaving the church because, as they said “we felt like we were starving spiritually.” However, it could be that both churches were going to be corrupt until Hank Busche was serendipitously elected (to the dismay of his congregation). Conversely, Paretti may have been setting up a David and Goliath situation to illustrate God’s infinite power
Clearly Peretti believes in a spiritual realm, his book was almost exclusively written to raise awareness of the impact of spiritual warfare in our lives. He either believes that the warfare is a vivid, everyday struggle like in the book, or he was personifying the less obvious spirits cinematically. Either way, he likely believes that demon possessions are real as he has many in his book and they play a pivotal part in the plot. However, he seems to have the mindset that “the Devil made me do it,” since characters only sin when there are demons influencing them. This could be a vehicle for the story, be to distinguish between good and evil, or really be his opinion. It’s also apparent that he believes in the Trinity, all of them being mentioned in the book. Obviously, Paretti believes in both Heaven and Hell, both angels and demons make reference to them as real places. Finally, he definitely considers Christianity to be the only true religion. He shows this by branding New Age philosophy as demon worship, showing only Christians saving Ashton, mentioning solely Biblical spirits, and by mentioning that Ba’al Rafar was the “god” of Canaan (hence the name Ba’al).