Borgman, Brian & Ventura, Rob
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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.
Table of Contents:
Appendix 1: The Sovereignty of God and Satan
Appendix 2: Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?
Appendix 3: Pray for Your Pastors
Brian Borgman is founding pastor of Grace Community Church in Minden, NV. 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. 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 editor of Greg Nichols’ book on Covenant Theology (Solid Ground Christian Books). He is a graduate of Reformed Baptist Seminary SC.
“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, as well as our call to faith, righteousness, prayer, and perseverance that flows 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 Jr. serves as pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, and is author of Family Shepherds.
“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, amid 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
“Many voices in our day present a version of spiritual warfare in which 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
“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 A. Ray, author of Withhold Not Correction, Celebrating the Sabbath, and Help! My Friend Is Suicidal
“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
"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
“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
"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
“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
"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.
"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, Emeritus Faculty Member, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
"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