Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical & Balanced Perspective by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura
There is a spiritual battle going on in the hearts and lives of every Christian. This battlefield is a minefield where one wrong step can lead to ruin. Yet, there is hope. In Spiritual Warfare, Pastors Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura offer us a guide through Ephesians 6 that is compelling and ultimately practical in fighting off the wiles of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The study here is Christ-centered, biblically faithful and chalk full of ways that Christians can learn to engage the battle effectively.
After focusing in on the city of Ephesus and its spiritual influences, the authors look at Ephesians 6:10 and the phrase ‘be strong in the Lord.’ Commenting on this they write, “Paul’s charge to “be strong” is in the passive voice in the original Greek, which means that this empowering is something that is done to us from an outside source….Here is where we find our strength – in the Son of God Himself.” (10-11) Our present strength is not sufficient to ward off the plagues of the evil one and the temptations that entrap us on a continual basis, but resting in the strength of our Savior provides us with the necessary strength to battle victoriously. Down further in the chapter they write, “This omnipotent power conquers all the spiritual forces of every age. There is nothing lacking in it. This power alone will see us through our battles with the devil.” (13) Why is this so important? For one, relying on a special prayer or magical activity to do spiritual battle reinforces the error that our strength is enough for battle. But, going back to the foundation which is Christ leads us to an ever-present comfort in times of great need, casting aside performance based rituals for a triumphant Savior.
The use of penetrating questions was a tool that the authors used very ably in this book. On the section regarding the belt of truth, they write, “Believer, are you persuaded that if you are to stand strong against the schemes of the devil in your life, you must be a person of the Book? Do you understand that your enemy is an evil foe and only the truths of the Bible will keep him in check in your life?” (46) Not just understanding the story of the Bible, but ingesting its contents to memory, being able to recall the truth of God’s Word for ammunition in spiritual battle is a prerequisite for engaging rightly in the conflict. The Bible points us back to the path of holiness when we stray but also gives us encouragement for the times in life that are tough. The authors also point out that individual sin causes us to dishonor God and remain ineffectual for the work of ministry. The truth of God’s Word should permeate not only our minds but our entire self (heart, will, mind, and emotions).
I think this book is a wonderful resource for doing spiritual battle in this world. With sane analysis, theological clarity, and insightful admonitions, Borgman and Ventura get to the heart of the matter in spiritual warfare.
Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.