Friday, May 11, 2007

book review: Stealth Attack

I just finished reading a great new book on the topic of spiritual warfare. It's called Stealth Attack, and its the latest from author/bible teacher Ray Pritchard of Keep Believing Ministries. The first book of Pritchard's that I read was Credo: Believing in Something to Die For, which is a very easy-to-understand exposition of the Apostle's Creed. I ended up building my Confirmation curriculum around Credo this year.

What I like the most about Pritchard's writing is that it takes tough concepts and makes them understandable. He illustrates with humorous and touching stories from his own extensive experience as a pastor, father, son, and everyday person. He does this very well in Stealth Attack.

I've read a number of helpful books on spiritual warfare in the past. Most of them have been built around helping the reader understand the meaning of Ephesians 6:10-18. I suspected that Stealth Attack might be structured the same way. I was pleasantly surprised by its fresh approach.

In Chapter One, Pritchard lays out a term that is key to the rest of the book - asymmetric warfare. Pritchard borrows the term from modern political/military lingo, and says it describes the tactics that are employed by a smaller, less powerful group against a larger, more powerful opponent. He offers that this is a more accurate way of viewing the warfare that Satan is waging against God and the people of God. That is, its more accurate than thinking that Satan is an evil superpower equal in power to God.

Throughout the book, Pritchard examines different ways that Satan fights as a smaller, less powerful enemy of God/God's people. Pritchard explores different texts and gives biblical counsel on how to fight Satan.
Chapter 2 focuses on Satan's tactics in Genesis 3.
Chapter 3 focuses on what we can learn about spiritual warfare from Daniel 10.
Chapter 4 focuses on dealing with the relational issues that give Satan a foothold as described in Ephesians 4:26-32.
Chapter 5 focuses on Peter's denial of Christ on Good Friday and how Satan attacks our strong points (because they are unguarded) and how to prepare with that in mind.
Chapter 6 focuses on what we need to know about fighting Satan with prayer, looking mainly at Second Thessalonians 3:1-5.
Chapter 7 focuses on dealing with temptation and draws on a number of Scriptures.
Chapter 8 is a really unique chapter that talks about how we can engage in spiritual warfare through singing throughout the day.
Chapter 9 describes the spiritual climate that we are living in during these last days, and offers a strong wake-up call for us to be on our guard against false teachers.

Since Pritchard has a good deal of experience preaching in the US and also in third world countries, he offers a more global picture of the war we're engaged in against Satan. One of my favorite parts of the book details Pritchard's experience preaching in Haiti. He describes the stronghold of fear that Satan had erected through the pseudoministries of the local witchdoctors. Pritchard had to go head to head against the Haitians' mindset of fear and against Satan. He explains how he does so, and how God gets the victory.

Another strong attribute of this book is that it is not overly-sensationalist. Sometimes I have read spiritual warfare literature and had a difficult time believing some of the wild tales reported. This has not been helped by people such as Mike Warnke who have been revealed to be fabricators. Pritchard's illustrations are down-to-earth and believeable.

This would be a great book to read and discuss with a small group. It is very practical and applicable and goes beyond trying to unpack metaphors by giving lots of very usable advice from the Scriptures. It would be a good complementary reading to Chip Ingram's The Invisible War, which is heavy on the exegetical side. Basically, this is a primer on spiritual warfare for everybody. It's not over the head of the new Christian, but its edifying applications are just as important for the seasoned believer. Thanks Ray, for another useful and usable resource that will help many get a firm handle on the basics of successful daily Christian living.


Keith Taylor said...

Thanks Jason for the review.

I'm going to read this book based on what you put up here. I believe that we are under attack 24-7. It is a never ending war that has waged since the creation of the universe. It is far too easy and a huge mistake for modern Christians to scoff at this fact and look at folk who believe this as relics of the middle ages.

BTW, I like the new look of your blog.

Jason Woolever said...

Hey Keith,
Good to hear from you. You'd definitely like this book. Like I said, the most practical approach to spiritual warfare I've read.

Glad you like the new look of the blog. I was really for a little something fresh.

K said...

Thanks, Jason! I read this review to Jay and we're considering using it as our small group bible study next year. (We're going to start a small group like the one you and Jennice started this year.)

Jason Woolever said...

very cool K. i think it would be a great tool to equip you all to fight the good fight in the midst of your particular challenges there.