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Book Review – What’s the Deal with Wicca?

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Wicca, and witchcraft in general, have seen a great resurgence in interest over the past few years. There are several factors that have contributed to this, not the least of which is the success of the Harry Potter books and movies. Witchcraft is widely-regarded as “just another religion” – one that is not much different from any other. But what sets Wicca apart from the alternative systems of religion is the attraction it has to young people, and young girls in particular. Teens are turning to witchcraft in droves, proudly adopting a system of religion that they feel allows them great freedom.

In What’s the Deal with Wicca, Steve Russo, who cohosts Focus on the Family’s weekly teen raidio show, Life on the Edge, and who speaks to thousands of teens around the country every year, offers an examination of the beliefs and practices of Wicca. He also presents a biblical perspective on this religion, and any other that rejects the truth of Scripture. While primarily targetted at teens, the book is written in such a way that it will appeal to readers of any age.

On the whole Russo does a satisfactory job of explaining the draw and the dangers of Wicca. He devotes great detail to explaining the beliefs and tools of the craft. There is much to learn if we wish to understand what makes this religion such a popular alternative to Christianity, especially among teens who have been previously exposed to the Bible. Russo shows that at its heart Wicca is a selfish religion where a person can worship in whatever way makes him feel best. “When you step back and look at the big picture, you realize that the power Wicca offers is very self-centered, self-reliant and limited” (page 61). He goes on to provide pointers on how to tell if a person is involved in Wicca and suggests ways of respectfully challenging their beliefs.

The downside to the book is that it really could have used some better editing. It is always a temptation for an author to cram as much detail as he can into a book, but in many cases it is best to focus only areas of particular importance. At times I felt that What’s the Deal with Wicca became bogged down in detail and I found myself wondering if I was learning what was most important, or if I was learning minor, unimportant details. There were also times where the book seemed to lack direction and focus.

Those small complaints aside, this is a valuable book and one that is an appropriate title to give to a teenager who may be seeking spiritual fulfillment outside of Scripture.

Quite strong and biblical throughout.
Easy to read, though it sometimes wanders.
It is unique to my collection, at least..
The type of book parents of teens may want to read.
It’s not perfect, but it will equip believers to recognize and deal with Wicca.
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