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Freedom from Tyranny

Neil T. Anderson, best known for his books Victory Over Darkness and The Bondage Breaker, has written a personal account of his life from early unto all the ministries he has been involved with. Early on Neil tells a great story about how and a friend skipped the "religious day instruction" at his school so that he could spend some time in the fresh air. After being called into the office by his principal, he was told that he would be off of school both Thursday and Friday. Feeling the guilt of being suspended he went home to tell his mother. After telling her what had happened she told him that she had called the school to get Neil out of school on those two days for the harvest (20-21). After attending church for a while, one church demanded tha Neil and others share their faith in proclaiming the good news of Jesus. Neil, being fearful to the bone, Neil led three people to Christ. After this time, he writes, "I was sobered by teh realiziation that I had played church all those years. I had been just one of the multitude of religious nonbelievers that dot the landscape in America...I started to feel convicted about my speech and other behavior that I had just seen as "normal" patterns of life... I had a new burden for my fellow engineers" (39). Neil's burden for those around him was just the beginning of a ministry devoted to bringing light to where darkness resided.

One of the beautiful things about this book are the glimpses of grace you seen in the relationship between Neil and God the Father. At one point, Neil writes, "I decided that evening to walk in the light and have fellowship with Him, and to live in conscious agreement about my moral condition. There would be no secrets between the two of us. I began to understand that prayer is more about listening than talking, and to be still and know that He is God" (60). The powerful thing about Neil's words is that they are true of every Christian. We often want to blabber on and on about our needs when God is calling us to be still and listen to Him, for he knows us and made us in His image. This messsage of grace is apparent in that prayer is about a relationship built about one who always intervenes in our life, not matter what our moral condition. The beautiful simplicity of faith is evident here in Neil's description of prayer.

I have not read Neil's books on spiritual warfare but what I thought was significant was the resistance to teaching on this subject in the seminary and at church (109). Yet, as Neil's first elective course on spiritual warfare commenced, there were plenty of students willing to engage such a subject. What really moves Neil's discussion along is seeing how our identity with Christ helps us understand the battle of spiritual warfare. For Neil, a paradigm shift took place in seeing salvation as also a present reality and not only the notion of eternal life yet to come. Readers will be greatly encouraged by looking over pp.124-126 as reminders of our identity in Christ. Although I don't believe everything in Neil's theology about sin, Satan and spiritual warfare, I appreciate his willingness to engage such an important thread of the Bible and in reality.

I think this book will go a long way in helping people understand the amazing life of Neil T. Anderson. Although controversial at times, Neil was a man who continues to bring the liberating message of Jesus Christ to all people. What you find in this book is a bit of his background, marriage, life in ministry and a whole lot of witness to God's work through his life.

Much thanks to Kregel Publications for the review copy of this book in exchange for review.


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