The Classic Mode of Spiritual Warfare
I finished reading David Powlison’s Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare, and I thought his summary of the “classic” mode of spiritual warfare was particularly helpful:
The leading elements of the classic mode of spiritual warfare are best captured by Ephesians 6:10-20: reliance on the power and protection of God, embracing the Word of God, specific obedience, fervent and focused prayer, and the aid of fellow believers. Spiritual warfare with the power of evil is a matter of consistently and repeatedly turning from darkness to light in the midst of assailing darkness. Christians fight spiritual warfare by repentance, faith, and obedience. Recognizing the powerful influence of Satan within the human heart, classic-mode pastoral theologians have not called for ekballistic [casting out] evangelism, ekballistic sanctification, or ekballistic protection from the powers of evil.
I don’t plan on writing a review of the book, but I can say that I found it very helpful in thinking through the questions surrounding spiritual warfare. I still have unanswered questions, but Powlison definitely models a careful and charitable examination of a difficult topic.
Justin Taylor wrote up a summary of Powlison’s book some time ago that gives a good window into what the book discusses: Spiritual Warfare 101