Disarming The Powers Of Darkness: Fearless Conquerors In Spiritual Warfare, by Eric Barger with David Benoit
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Aneko Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Since my early childhood, I have been aware of the larger spiritual context and the larger spiritual conflict in which believers live and operate, and as a result of my experiences I have long had an interest in the material contained in this book, and have found quite a few people willing to write about the subject despite the lack of interest in the general public in the subject . As the authors of this book comment, this lack of interest is due to a variety of reasons, including the desire not to make waves with a corrupt and ungodly mainstream culture that has lost any proper fear of God while being addicted to fear and horror and the occult . Among the main strengths of this book is the way that the authors speak with credibility and experience in dealing with spiritual warfare on a variety of levels and their placement of spiritual warfare within a larger overall context of holiness–rather than focusing on the scariness of Satan or the entertainment value of reading about demon possession, the authors focus on the ways in which living a godly live and maintaining a close connection with God give believers an advantage in dealing with the spiritual warfare that results from genuine faith.
The 150 pages of this book are divided into 15 chapters, most of which are short and direct, and only the last of which is noticeably longer than the rest. The book opens with a salutary reminder to readers that as believers we are in a spiritual war whether we like it or not. Beginning the process of conversion and repentance places us in God’s kingdom and removes our citizenship in Satan’s kingdom, which guarantees our involvement in warfare against powers and principalities and darkness in high places. With that beginning, the authors discuss the ground rules for warfare, tell the reader how to engage fruitfully and successfully in warfare, the power of the blood of Christ and the word of God, make some comments that counteract belief that Satan can read minds, and remind us that silence in this conflict means defeat. After this the authors point out elements of our society’s corruption with our fascination with psychics, discuss our addiction to fear-based entertainment, encourage readers to examine the armor of God, point out the need for believers to be properly clothed for the warfare we are involved in, and urge readers to pay attention to the need for believers to use the two big guns of prayer and the Word in our spiritual warfare. The closing two chapters discuss the importance of music to spiritual warfare on both sides and the discussion of what believers are to do in light of the knowledge that the book provides on how to engage successfully in spiritual warfare.
For the most part, this book is an excellent one that manages to place spiritual warfare in a larger context that demonstrates its connection with our own lives and makes the subject considerably less scary than it is in the minds of many professed Christians. The authors’ advice is generally sound and knowledgeable, coming from people who have spent a long time wrestling with the powers of darkness in their own lives and among others. That said, the book is not perfect. Although the authors correctly point out the wickedness of contemporary New Age thought and the widespread popularity of prohibited dabbling with the world of spiritualism and the occult, their citation of the familiar scripture that God’s people perish for lack of knowledge is repeated almost as a mantra and with a focus on intellectual knowledge rather than the intimate knowledge by experience and godly love that is being spoken of by the prophet . It is likely that the authors, given their focus on godly living, do not intend this citation to be a mantra for mere intellectual knowledge, but their repeated emphasis on the need to know could lead some readers to focus on acquiring intellectual knowledge about the spirit world and our warfare in it against demons and against our own corrupt human nature while neglecting more practical elements of obedience to God’s ways. That caution aside, this book represents an excellent resource for those who wish to be aware of the seriousness of the spiritual warfare believers are engaged with and who are ready to speak and act according to what the Bible says about the importance of waging victorious warfare against wickedness wherever it may be found.
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