Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective - eBook  -     By: Brian Borgman, Rob Ventura
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Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective - eBook

Reformation Heritage Books / 2013 / ePub

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Product 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.

Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: Reformation Heritage Books
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781601782854
ISBN-13: 9781601782854

Publisher's Description

Spiritual Warfare is thoughtful, biblical, theological, accessible, and impactful. The book is exegetical and expository, without feeling like a commentary or running homily. In it authors Borgman and Ventura make much of Christ and what he has done without negating the reality of our adversary and the real danger he presents, or our own call to faith, righteousness, prayer, and perseverance that flow directly from our Savior's finished work. What a timely, refreshing, encouraging, convicting, and empowering book! I can't wait to get it in front of our people.
- Voddie Baucham Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective is a wake up call to every minister of Christ that our work is not merely academic or intellectual, but also spiritual and supernatural. We have forces arrayed against us that cannot be defeated with any human armament. I fear that this theme has been too often ignored by the biblical scholar and too often exaggerated by those whose conclusions are not grounded in the Scriptures. For this reason, this balanced treatment will be a tremendous benefit to pastor and layperson alike.
-Paul Washer


"Many voices in our day present a version of spiritual warfare where Satan seems to hold the position of prominence, even preeminence. Christians are left to wonder what magic spell or formulaic expressions can be invoked to see their demons excised. Yet, since Christ has triumphed over all the forces of darkness, his people should grow in hope and faith as they look to Christ. Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura present one of the finest and most biblically responsible and insightful studies of spiritual warfare now available. While they account fully for the reality of Satan’s deception, cunning, and power, they give greater stress (as they ought!) to the superior and indefatigable victory and sovereign reign of Christ. Christians need the message of this book. Satan, indeed, is a real and present danger, but Christ is our real, risen, and reigning hope! Spiritual Warfare guides readers into a clear and grace-empowered understanding of these truths." -Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Often people talk about spiritual warfare but don't understand what the Bible actually teaches on the matter. Borgman and Ventura unpack from the scriptures the true nature of spiritual warfare. As result readers will not only understand spiritual warfare but will also be equipped to fight the good fight of faith. Borgman and Ventura are to be thanked for an eminently clear, wonderfully biblical, theologically rich, and practically applicable study." -Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Spiritual Warfare is thoughtful, biblical, theological, accessible, and impactful. The book is exegetical and expository, without feeling like a commentary or running homily. In it authors Borgman and Ventura make much of Christ and what he has done without negating the reality of our adversary and the real danger he presents, or our own call to faith, righteousness, prayer, and perseverance that flow directly from our Savior's finished work. What a timely, refreshing, encouraging, convicting, and empowering book! I can't wait to get it in front of our people." -Voddie Baucham
"Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective is a wake up call to every minister of Christ that our work is not merely academic or intellectual, but also spiritual and supernatural. We have forces arrayed against us that cannot be defeated with any human armament. I fear that this theme has been too often ignored by the biblical scholar and too often exaggerated by those whose conclusions are not grounded in the Scriptures. For this reason, this balanced treatment will be a tremendous benefit to pastor and layperson alike." -Paul Washer
"William Gurnall once said that the battle between Satan and the saints makes the most brutal war on earth look like child’s play. Yet so many Christians act like civilians on vacation instead of soldiers on the front lines. Borgman and Ventura, like experienced master sergeants, give us the Bible's basic training on spiritual warfare. Drawing from the classic text in Ephesians 6, their teaching will both clear away false ideas about the spiritual battle, and equip Christians to stand firm to the end." -Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"I count it a privilege to commend this book characterized by careful exegesis, helpful illustration, and suffused with practical pastoral application. In opening up the meaning of Ephesians 6:10-20 the authors have also given us an extensive and helpful bibliography of other expositions of this passage by means of the many judicious quotations of authors, past and present, who have expounded this crucial portion of the word of God. The structure of the book and the questions given at the end of each chapter should make the book useful for adult Sunday school classes, small-group studies, as well as a helpful tool for personal devotional use and healthy self-examination. Thank you, Brian and Rob, dear friends and fellow laborers in the gospel, for providing the church with this very useful edifying tool." -Al Martin
"Standing in a long line of Puritan-style reflection on the nature of spiritual warfare, Borgman and Ventura have produced a brief but remarkably rich book which offers very helpful insights on this subject. The thoughtful reader will find here sobering meditations on the power of evil and sin but also be pointed to the great encouragement to be found in the word of God and supremely in the Lord Jesus Christ. This volume is both a helpful pastoral tool and a fine devotional book." -Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Pa.
"Too many popular evangelical notions about spiritual warfare have been shaped by superstition, bad teaching, and pulp novels about battles with territorial demons. Multitudes of Christians are mystified, terrified, unsure of their role—ignorant of God’s strategy in the warfare against the powers of darkness. Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura turn to the Word of God and skillfully unravel the mystery. I appreciate how they deal with this vital subject in a meticulously biblical, thoroughly enlightening, and wonderfully edifying way." -Phil Johnson
"This fine book on the vital issue of spiritual warfare is a clear exposition and application of Ephesians 6:10-20. It challenges believers to realize that the Christian life is a serious spiritual battle. Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness, the nature of the conflict we are engaged in, the provision of God’s armour with all its wonderful weapons, and the need for believers to stand firm in the Lord and be committed to his eternal gospel are all carefully explained and applied. We are indebted to the authors for presenting a ‘Biblical and Balanced Perspective’ as the sub-title claims. Highly recommended." -Peter O’Brien, author of Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary Series, Emeritus Faculty Member, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
"The increased hostility of our anti-Christian culture is forcing many Christians on to the back foot and even into the bunkers. This stirring book is a much-needed clarion call to battle, but one that emphasizes the spiritual nature of the battle and of the weapons we must use." -Dr. David Murray
"Authors Borgman and Ventura aimed for biblical accuracy and balance in addressing spiritual warfare. They hit the bull's-eye! 'How we think about this battle is critical to how we fight it.' Here is a brief treatment that is also clear and accurate: Satan may prowl around as a "roaring lion" seeking someone to devour, but Christ is the reigning Lion who has already won the battle and sits on the throne!" -Pastor Bruce Ray, author of Withhold not Correction, and Celebrating the Sabbath
“In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul describes deliverance from bondage of sin through the work of Christ. He brings that deliverance to bear in our personal experience by the enlivening grace of God. He issues a call for us to walk in this newfound freedom, worthy of our calling in Christ, amidst the dangers and challenges of this fallen world. Paul concludes his letter in practical terms for the battle we face as part of the normal course of the Christian life. It is here in Ephesians 6 that Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura meet us to orient us to the strength, weaponry and strategy by which our Lord equips us for the battle. These pastors provide clear, concise, competent and compelling counsel in what can be a neglected or abused topic." -Stanley D. Gale, author of Warfare Witness: Contending with Spiritual Opposition in Everyday Evangelism

Author Info

Brian Borgman is founding pastor of Grace Community Church in Minden, NV (www.gracenevada.com). He has written articles for The Southern Baptist Theological Journal, Reformation and Revival Journal and the Gospel Coalition. He has also written, My Heart For Thy Cause (Mentor, 2002) and Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009). He holds degrees from Biola University, Western Seminary and Westminster Seminary.
Rob Ventura is one of the pastors of Grace Community Baptist Church of North Providence, Rhode Island (www.gcbcri.org). He is a contributing author and blogger for Reformation 21 the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and co-authored A Portrait of Paul on Reformation Heritage Books (2010). He has written articles for The Founders Journal and The Journal of Modern Ministry. He was also the general editor of Greg Nichols’ book on Covenant Theology (Solid Ground Christian Books, 2011). He is a graduate of Reformed Baptist Seminary SC.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
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Displaying items 1-5 of 26
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  1. France
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    So nearly a five star book !
    February 24, 2014
    Le Gallois
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    One of the good things about the "reformed resurgence" (whatever THAT is) is the emergence of books with serious theological content and background but which directly address issues under wide discussion in the "evangelical scene" (whatever THAT is). Issues like "Spiritual Warfare".

    Until recently spiritual warfare would be addressed either by gothic novels with warring angels and demons named with hebrew transliterations from the KJV, or by the whole territorial spirits thing, or by books that relied heavily on anecdotes often coming from the jungles of the 10:40 window or by the more serious-minded volumes that deserved a wide readership and didn't get it. It's a pity, because many Christians are left in confusion and spiritual warfare gets the blame for a lot of our own errors and mistakes, which means we don't grow as Christians.

    Enter Borgman and Ventura with "Spiritual Warfare". When I opened this book I didn't at all expect what I got, but I was pleasantly surprised. What you get is a serious, meticulous, careful exegesis of Ephesians 6 : 10 - 20. They lean for support on a long list of good authors and use good quotes to add savour and nourishment.

    I don't always agree with everything they say. A bit more nuance here and there would no go amiss. For example, is anger really "one such sin", "a consuming, destructive vice"? But hey, if it's a choice between clarity and nuance give me clarity every time. We've all seen situations where there's so much nuance that's all you have left...

    One other thing - the authors point out the corporate nature of Paul's exhortations, but they could have done more with this. For example, surely one of the most famous uses of the Roman shield was when the soldiers crowded together and lifted the shields above their heads enabling all the fiery darts to rain down on them with impunity while they advanced towards besieged city walls. "Testudo!" Soldiers, even armed soldiers, are actually very vulnerable when alone.

    But really this is a very helpful book. I don't know if it's the book to give to the member of your flock who's seeing Ahasuerus perched on the video-projector or who wants to shoot prayer arrows into the block where the church building is built. You might need some other book for them. But for your church member who wants to battle on and to stand firm, it's a good one.

    Oh, and for the final chapter on praying for pastors, "Thanks guys!"
  2. Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Biblically Sound Introduction to Spiritual Warfare
    February 24, 2014
    Timothy Harris
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    "Spiritual Warfare" is a short book (124 pages) that covers the biblical teaching of "The Armor of God" in Ephesians 6. The foreword is written by Steven Lawson, who, in my opinion, is one of the best expositors of our time. He rightly points out: "There are three formidable foes with which we contend--the world, the flesh, and the devil." (p. vii) This is the basic theme of the book, which authors Borgman and Ventura seek to unpack.

    The introduction is a call for balance. The authors contend that the biblical approach to spiritual warfare is to avoid naturalism and over-spiritualizing. We are right to recognize the "supernatural" reality of things unseen, but this is an area of much theological confusion, fantasy, and even false teaching. But, as Christians, "have been delivered from Satan's dominion through the finished work of Christ, yet we still battle." (p. 5) The importance of biblical literacy and discernment cannot be stressed enough.

    Through the next four chapters, Borgman and Ventura lay the foundational context for comprehending the "whole armor of God." We must have explanation prior to application. In order for us to employ this text in our lives, we need to know something of the historical background of the epistle to the Ephesians. The authors give us a guided tour of the "spiritual city" of Ephesus (pp. 7-10) and help us understand the apostle's exhortation in the midst of spiritual warfare. We are called to "be strong in the Lord" (chapter 1), and to "put on the whole armor of God" (chapter 2), so we can "stand against the wiles of the Devil" (chapter 3), because we "wrestle against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (chapter 4).

    Chapter 5 marks the beginning of the exposition on the armor passage (Ephesians 6:14-17) and continues through to chapter 11. We learn what it is to stand and survive in the fight of our lives. Below are some highlights:

    The Belt of Truth:

    "As the soldier's belt was placed at the center of his body, so truth must be central in our lives, encompassing all that we do if we are to be prepared for the fight with Satan, our crafty foe." (p. 44)

    The Breastplate of Righteousness:

    "The breastplate was a chief piece of defensive armor for a soldier because it protected his vital organs during battle, and it serves the same function for us spiritually in our battle with Satan." (p. 50)

    The Gospel of Peace Footwear:

    "Under enemy attack, we can dig firmly into the soil of the good news. The gospel is an indispensable part of our spiritual military equipment. It makes us immovable in the day of trouble." (p. 63)

    The Shield of Faith:

    "As the shield protected a soldier in combat, so also faith spiritually protects us in every situation from whatever the devil might launch at us." (p. 66)

    The Helmet of Salvation:

    "As the soldier's helmet protected his head in battle against enemy fire, so the helmet of salvation spiritually protects our minds against Satan's attacks." (p. 74)

    The Sword of the Spirit:

    "The sword of the Spirit comes from the Spirit. Certainly, the sword belongs to the Spirit, but the emphasis falls on the Spirit as the source of this sword... When the Word is in our heart and mind, when we apply it and use it, it is the sword of the Spirit..." (pp. 80-81)

    In chapter 11, the authors explain the centrality of prayer in spiritual warfare. As the apostle Paul concludes his section with an exhortation for constant prayer and watchfulness, Borgman and Ventura rightly emphasize the importance of prayer. "Prayer is not a seventh piece of armor," they write, "but the means by which each piece is effectively employed... We can only appropriate the armor through prayer. The armor of God does not consist of literal pieces we can put on; rather, it consists of spiritual truths that the Christian appropriates through prayer." (p. 88) The theme of prayer carries over into chapter 12. As the apostle's teaching on prayer moves from combat supplication (Ephesians 6:18) to wartime proclamation (Ephesians 6:19), so does the book in this section. Borgman and Ventura explain the components of warfare proclamation: The Word must be given (pp. 101-102), the mystery of the gospel must be made known boldly (p. 102), and the Spirit must empower the preacher in his holy obligation. (pp. 102-103)

    The book closes out with a "Spiritual Warfare Debriefing," in which the authors help the reader understand the nature of the Christian life. It is a struggle that must be lived in God's strength, so that we may stand and resist in order to advance the gospel. This is done by way of union with Christ--we must utilize the spiritual blessings that we have in Him. (pp. 106-110).

    There are also a few appendices that the reader may find helpful as well. Appendix 1 is a pastoral approach to explaining God's sovereignty over Satan, featuring case studies of Job and Paul. The second appendix considers the question, "Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?" and exposes some false teaching on the issue. The final appendix is a plea for people to pray for their elders. The authors' hope is for the reader to consider the reality of the enemy's strategy--Satan seeks to attack leaders in order to inflict the most possible damage upon Christ's flock. Our pastors and elders desperately need our prayer so that they may lead effectively in the war against sin, the flesh, and the devil.

    This book was a fairly easy read and I would recommend it as a good introduction to the topic of Spiritual warfare. It may also be a useful teaching or preaching resource for this section of the Bible. I found some of the information to be very helpful, but I was expecting a little more from this book. While I was hoping for it to be an in-depth teaching on the subject akin to Thomas Brooks' "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices" or William Gurnall's "The Christian in Complete Armour," it read more like a beginner's guide to "the whole armor of God." Be that as it may, my preconceived notions should not take away from the importance and potency of this small book. With so much sensationalism and false teaching going around on the topic of spiritual warfare, this is a solid presentation of the biblical teaching on the subject and is a valuable resource for the Church militant.

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. I was in no way expected or coerced to write a favorable review.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    An Important book for All
    February 23, 2014
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I really enjoyed learning about how and why it is so important to wear the armor of God in Spiritual Warfare, by Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura. I have read Ephesians 6:10-20 to learn about the armor of God. I have also read other books, such as the fictional book, The Sword, the Garden, and the King, by Michael Phillips, which discussed God's armor. I have not however read a book that covered it in enough detail for me to truly understand why I really need to wear it and how to wear it. This book was exactly what I needed, so I can grow into a strong Christian.

    I enjoyed reading the parts about prayer, because I have seen how important it is to pray. The part that encouraged parishioners to pray for their pastors was extremely important. As I read it I realized that I often forget to pray for the pastors that I know. It is something I need to remember to do.

    I really enjoyed read and learning from Spiritual Warfare. I highly recommend that you read it too.

    Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective, by Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura, for free through Cross Focused Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
  4. Lincolnton, NC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A balanced view on the subject!
    February 21, 2014
    Reformed Reader
    Lincolnton, NC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Hearing the phrase "Spiritual Warfare" brings to mind pictures of exorcisms and demon possession. We think of deliverance ministries or of Frank Peretti novels. For a long time we have needed a balanced view on the subject. I believe Brian Borgman has given us that balance.

    Many times a book on this subject will be too far in one extreme or another. One author believes that there is a demon under every bush, and another believes that the devil does nothing today. Both of these suffer from an unbiblical and unbalanced point of view.

    The book, "Spiritual Warfare", shows us that the devil is real and we are in a war. The war we are fighting is not against other people. It is against the devil himself and his angels. Using the illustration given by Paul in the book of Ephesians, Borgman takes us through each piece of the Christian's armor, describing each part and its use. He shows us in a very practical way how to win this war.

    I especially enjoyed the Appendix sections:

    Appendix 1: The Sovereignty of God and Satan,

    Appendix 2: Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?,

    and Appendix 3: Christian, Pray for Your Pastors!

    Borgman gives us a good understanding of the war we are in and how to win it. Packed full of encouragement and instruction, his book leaves you with more weapons than you started with.

    If you are interested in the subject of warfare, this is a great place to start. Simple and easy to read, it is a great gift for a new believer.

    I recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

    I received this book, free of charge, from Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Simple but solid resource
    February 21, 2014
    Book Nerdy
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    One of the most familiar passages in scripture comes from Ephesians 6, the armor of God. This passage is illustrated and referred to quite often. But how many of us truly understand the implications of the armor of God?

    In Spiritual Warfare, the reader will find a concise discussion on the armor of God. In this discussion, each part of armor is given attention specifically. Therefore, we can understand how each part of the armor is necessary and how you can't do without any single part. Each part is necessary and reenforces the other part(s).

    This text is a simple, but biblical and balanced, perspective on the strength of the Lord in a person's life, the aim of the devil, and our resources for combatting his attacks. This would be a great resource to have on hand because it is specifically addressed to the armor of God. However, if you are a commentary collector, you may find that you already have many resources like this available in any volumes on Ephesians. But, for a go-to resource that is specific, this is a great one to hold on to. You'll find yourself able to digest this resource much easier than a volume on Ephesians as a whole.

    This book would serve well in personal study, pastoral research, and in small group curriculum for any age(s).

    Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.
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