Saturday, February 22, 2014

A review of Spiritual Warfare by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura

Spiritual Warfare by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura

Publisher's description:

"Too often, Christians today either sensationalize the subject of spiritual warfare by obsessing over demon possession, exorcisms, binding the devil, and rebuking demons, or they minimize the idea and are unprepared for the real struggle they face against principalities and powers. Pastors Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura provide a balanced approach that exposes the fictions and superstitions surrounding this vital doctrine and at the same time reveal the unseen realities of this struggle. Basing their battle plan on Ephesians 6:10–20, the authors give an overview of the battle, a guide to the armor God gives us, and instruction regarding the vital wartime disciplines of prayer and proclamation of the Word. By learning to think biblically about this subject, Christians are enabled to deflect the blows of their adversary, fight sin, and live God-glorifying lives as followers of Jesus."

The subtitle of this book says it all, this book truly is a biblical and balanced perspective on the subject of spiritual warfare.  This is not in the vein of much of the spiritual warfare teachings that are running rampant all over evangelicalism and for that I am extremely grateful.  I've seen firsthand some of the wacky, unhelpful, and damaging teachings out there, so for me this book really is a breath of fresh air and is probably the best book I have personally ever read on this important topic.

This book is basically an exposition of Ephesians 6:10-20 the famous armor of God passage, a passage that has often been the victim of poor exposition.  No chance of that here, the authors do a top notch job of working through this passage, explaining each piece of spiritual armour, then showing us how to properly use each one. Each chapter thoroughly covers one piece of armour then ends with some questions for reflection and discussion, making this a great book not only for individual study but for group study as well.

The footnotes in this book are very helpful. For example in chapter 5 (the belt of truth), the authors recommended Thomas Brook's work Precious remedies against Satan's devices for a helpful treatment on resisting false teachers. So having that on my kindle, I paused to read that before continuing which really fleshed out what I was reading. I really appreciate books with helpful footnotes, these guys did a great job with that.

To sum up, everything here is rooted and grounded in the gospel, this book isn't about us and what we have to do, but about Christ has done for us through union with Him to stand against all the schemes of the devil.  I was encouraged to take my eyes off myself and put them on my faithful God who has provided us all we need to wage this war.  The authors here stress the foolishness of striving in our own strength and wisdom.

 This book was so incredibly helpful I can't recommend it enough!  I give it 5 stars, but I would give it 10 if I could.  Christian soldier, read this book!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

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