Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review: Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective by Brian S. Borgman & Rob Ventura looks at the spiritual warfare in a Christian's life.  The authors take a Christ-centered approach on the subject and "want to remind the church of this war...and to help Christians to be equipped and to think and fight biblically in a practical way."  The authors tackled a relevant topic for all Christians that is not discussed in many books or churches today.  The flow of the book is very systematic, but the writing is still very engaging.  Even though two authors are listed, I found their writing styles to be very similar; the flow between the chapters is very smooth and natural.

In the Introduction, the two extremes of spiritual warfare are identified:  (1) Those who deny the existence of demonic activity, and (2) those who attribute everything to demonic activity.  The authors encourage Christians to take a balanced approach.  Christians "have been delivered from Satan's dominion through the finished work of Christ, yet we still battle."  The primary focus of the book is not on Satan, but on Christ, because how Christians think about spiritual warfare is critical.

Throughout the book, the authors expound Ephesians 6:10-20.  They start off by looking at the city of Ephesus and defining the Apostle Paul's call to be strong in the Lord.  The rest of the book describes the full armor of God, piece by piece from head to foot, and explains how equipped Christians fight against Satan's wiles.  I appreciated the authors' citation of other scriptural verses to support their arguments, and they highlighted the fact that God's armor is not just a New Testament idea, but it's found in the Old Testament as well.

Spiritual Warfare has questions For Reflection and Discussion at the end of each chapter; therefore, it can be used for personal or small group study.  I particularly liked the thought provoking questions at the end of Chapter 3 on 'The Schemes of the Devil.'  This chapter does a great job of identifying areas in your life where the Satan can attack, and I found it very profitable to identify the tactics Satan has used against me in the past.  Even though I found the questions helpful throughout the book, I did find some of them very personal in nature, and therefore, all questions may not be suitable for small group discussion.

Additionally, this book includes 3 appendices:  (1) The Sovereignty of God and Satan, (2) Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?, and (3) Christian, Pray for Your Pastors!  Like the rest of the book, these three topics are amply covered and include much needed information for the Christian.  Since the book is only 128 pages long, I think it would have prudent to include these chapters within the text because they are very relevant to the topic, and readers don't always read the supplementary information in the back of a book.

Steve Lawson sums up the importance of this book in his Foreword:  "The Christian life is not a playground.  Rather, it is a battlefield of spiritual warfare."  Therefore, I highly recommend reading Spiritual Warfare because the "mind is a major battlefield," and this book teaches you how to think and act biblically in a war that is often over-looked.

Full Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.