The subject of spiritual warfare evokes a wide variety of thoughts and discussions in the Christian community. Early on in my Christian walk I was exposed to a facet of spiritual warfare that I knew very little about, and it was the “binding and loosing” of different types of demons. The surprising part of this admission is the fact that this “binding and loosing” was taking place from the pulpit of a Reformed Southern Baptist Church. As someone who was saved out of the American Catholic Church, and under the preaching of an Independent Baptist Church Pastor, my exposure to spiritual warfare was limited to the exorcisms that were portrayed by Hollywood as abnormal occurrences. Therefore, when God led me to visit the Reformed Southern Baptist Church that I previously mentioned in this review, I was completely taken aback when the Senior Pastor began “binding and loosing” demons from the pulpit.
My initial thought as I was sitting in the congregation was “Is this biblical?” I firmly recognized that I was limited in my understanding of true Christian theology, so I tried to give the Pastor the benefit of the doubt but something kept gnawing at the back of my mind. I just could not get comfortable with how the Pastor was practicing spiritual warfare. Therefore, I made a determination to study the Word of God thoroughly, and to get as many books as I could on the subject to see what other Christians had to say about spiritual warfare. I realized pretty quickly that the Bible didn’t approach spiritual warfare the same way that my Pastor did, and I also realized that, outside of charismatic circles, there really wasn’t a ton written on this subject. Outside of John MacArthur’s How to Meet The Enemy and William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armour, there really wasn’t a bunch of other books by non-charismatics (at the time I was doing this study, which was almost 10 years ago). As I was reading Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective by Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura, I found myself wishing that this book would have been written 10 years ago as it would have saved me a ton of time and wasted money on other books less biblical in their approach to spiritual warfare.
Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective is not an exhaustive handling of the subject of spiritual warfare, but it is a good introduction and faithfully explains Ephesians 6:10-20. One of the great features of this book (and there are many) is the fact that Brian and Rob provide readers with the historical background of the church in Ephesus while also showing how the pre-salvation background of the members of the church played a big part in their struggles with spiritual warfare. In addition to this the authors also explain how to understand the truth of God’s Word on spiritual warfare for everyday life. As Brian and Rob state on page 17:
“Since it is common for believers to deeply regret their wicked lives before Christ rescued them, it could be that their occultist pasts were haunting some converted Ephesians. Perhaps they even lived in fear of the spiritual powers with which they had been acquainted. As we come to Ephesians 6:10-20, we see that the apostle does not dismiss the realities of the powers, like a parent reassuring a child that there really is not a monster under his bed. Rather, he validates spiritual realities and equips the believers for the battle at hand.”
In Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective each piece of spiritual armor is faithful unpacked for the reader. The importance of each piece by itself is shown, but also how each piece is integrated with all of the other pieces of armour that God provides for our spiritual protection as “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
While this is not an exhaustive book on the subject of spiritual warfare, Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective is a fantastic starting place for those who want to understand what the Bible teaches in Ephesians 6:10-20, and how we can daily put on Christ. As Brian and Rob say, “Since Christ is all-sufficient, everything that we need to be covered is found in Him. All truth is connected to Him (John 14:6). All righteousness has its source in Him (1 Cor. 1:30). He is the central subject of the gospel of peace, for He is our peace (Eph. 2:14)-and so on through the list (6:14-17).” I highly recommend Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective and pray the Lord uses it powerfully to help people understand spiritual warfare from the Word of God.
I received a free copy of this book from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.