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Monday, February 17, 2014

"Spiritual Warfare" (Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura)

TITLE: Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective
AUTHOR: Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura
PUBLISHER:  Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2014, (128 pages).

For anyone who is in a battlefield but unaware that there is a war, they will be dead in no time. This is the premise of the book on spiritual warfare. Written by two pastors who are passionate about waking up sleepy Christians oblivious to the reality of a spiritual battlefield, it is hope that this book will spur Christians to be more vigilant and to put on the armour of God. The authors begin with a clarion call to remind believers that the Christian life is not about mastering one aspect of truth or to learn a set of principles. It is about learning to let the Bible help us think and live biblically in all we do. They asked us to be vigilant about the three formidable foes: The world, the flesh, and the devil. The world is the systemic evil happening around us. The flesh is the sinful disposition. The devil is the fallen angel.

First, the authors take time to dismantle the two inadequate worldviews. One is naturalism which disregards the supernatural and offers to interpret everything naturally and rationally. The other is to see everything from the lens of spiritual warfare. Both are extremes which do not help us to attain a biblical and balanced perspective of spiritual warfare.  Instead, we ought to learn to discern which is natural and which is supernatural. Thirteen chapters are dedicated to Ephesians 6:10-20 which is the well-known Armour of God passage. Believers are urged to be strong in the Lord and rely on God's power in the face of formidable evil and the occult. Soldiers' key strength is confidence. Lose it and the best weapons will be quite ineffective against the enemy. Putting on the whole armour of God means not allowing any point of weakness that the enemy can exploit. Whether by force or by fraud, the enemy will not hesitate to use any to deceive God's people. Knowing one's enemy is important, and how the enemy's tactics and schemes tend to be, including a reminder that we do not war against flesh and blood but powers and principalities. Wearing the belt of truth provides central support. Putting on the breastplate of righteousness is a powerful defense against the darts of the enemy. Being prepared with the gospel of peace also comes into the picture.

Once the whole armour of God has been put on, prayer is an integral weapon in spiritual warfare. So important is this that two whole chapters are dedicated to this point. The authors make it a point to remind readers that warfare is no child's play. It is serious business. This calls for preparation. It requires discipline to equip oneself. It reminds us again that readiness for war is always necessary. For the moment any of us lets down our guard, the enemy enters in with all kinds of temptations, deceptions, and treacheries.

We all need to be reminded time and again that spiritual warfare is real. Far too many Christians are taking it too lightly and become easy prey during unsuspecting moments. May this book be a wake-up call for all to take the spiritual battleground seriously. For even if we do not want to fight, the enemy is getting ready to fight us. Be aware. Be equipped. Be armed.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Cross-Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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