Book Review: The Strategy of Satan by Warren Wiersbe

Understanding and Overcoming Satan’s Tactics Primer

Review by David P. Craig

 Warren Wiersbe can always be trusted to be biblical, concise, clear, and give ample practical illustrations and applications to modern life. In this short primer on Satan’s tactics and our responses to his tactics the book may be broken down in the following three ways:

First, the writer shows how Satan is the ultimate deceiver, destroyer, ruler, and accuser. In each of the first four chapters Wiersbe gives an Old Testament example in each of these four areas in order to demonstrate Satan’s target, weapon, purpose, and then tactical defenses we can use against his deceptions, evil plans, feeding our pride, and his accusations towards us.

Secondly, the middle of the book is about increasing our faith in God, and how not to give Satan a foothold in our life so as not to paralyze and immobilize us in God’s work on earth. He focuses on the positive ways we can overcome the Evil One’s tactics by trusting and obeying Christ.

Thirdly, Wiersbe gives a masterful exposition of all the armor we have been given in the battle against Satan and demons from Ephesians 6, and how Satan attacks the family, and churches as a key strategy in his arsenal of tactics.

Overall, this book is thorough, biblically sound, and very useful in its many practical applications. I highly recommend this book – especially if you have never read anything on the wiles of the Enemy and how to overcome our greatest Adversary.

*Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Warren Wiersbe is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” Interestingly, Warren’s earliest works had nothing to do with scriptural interpretation. His interest was in magic, and his first published title was Action with Cards (1944).

“It was sort of imbecilic for a fifteen-year-old amateur magician to have the audacity to write a book and send it to one of the nation’s leading magic houses,” Warren says. But having a total of three books published by the L.L. Ireland Magic Company—before the age of 20—gave him a surge of confidence. In later years, he applied his confidence and writing talent to the Youth for Christ (YFC) ministry.

Warren wrote many articles and guidebooks for YFC over a three-year period, but not all his manuscripts were seen by the public eye. One effort in particular, The Life I Now Live, based on Galations 2:20, was never published. The reason, Warren explains with his characteristic humor, is simple: it was “a terrible book…Whenever I want to aggravate my wife, all I have to say is, ‘I think I’ll get out that Galations 2:20 manuscript and work on it.’” Fortunately, Warren’s good manuscripts far outnumbered the “terrible” ones, and he was eventually hired by Moody Press to write three books.

The much-sought-after author then moved on to writing books for Calvary Baptist Church. It was during his ten years at Calvary that Expository Outlines on the New Testament and Expository Outlines on the Old Testament took shape. These two works later became the foundation of Warren’s widely popular Bible studies known as the Be series, featuring such titles as Be Loyal (a study on Matthew) and Be Delivered (a study on Exodus). Several of these books have been translated into Spanish.

His next avenue of ministry was Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church, where he served for seven years. He wrote nearly 20 books at Moody before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he and his wife, Betty, now live. Prior to relocating, he had been the senior pastor of Moody Church, a teacher at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a producer of the Back to the Bible radio program.

During all these years of ministry, Warren held many more posts and took part in other projects too numerous to mention. His accomplishments are extensive, and his catalog of biblical works is indeed impressive and far-reaching (many of his books have been translated into other languages). But Warren has no intention of slowing down any time soon, as he readily explains: “I don’t like it when people ask me how I’m enjoying my ‘retirement,’ because I’m still a very busy person who is not yet living on Social Security or a pension. Since my leaving Back to the Bible, at least a dozen books have been published, and the Lord willing, more are on the way.”

Wiersbe’s recent books include Your Next MiracleThe 20 Essential Qualities of a Child of GodThe Bumps are What You Climb OnClassic Sermons on the Fruit of the SpiritClassic Sermons on Jesus the ShepherdKey Words of the Christian LifeLonely PeopleA Gallery of GraceReal Peace: Freedom and Conscience in the Christian Life, and On Being a Leader for God.

Book Review: God Wins by Mark Galli

The Antidote to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

 Mark Galli is uniquely qualified as a journalist, historian, pastor, and leadership expert to write this cogent reply to “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. In this short book that covers the same territory as “Love Wins,” I couldn’t help but think that God was so pleased with Galli’s treatment of the same material. It was charitable, exegetically sound, and God glorifying. I found myself thinking about how great our God is as I turned each page. As a matter of fact – the song “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin kept popping up in my mind as I was reading this book.

The Way Mark Galli Breaks this Book Down is as Following:

Chapter 1: The Really Important Question – In this chapter he discusses the importance of asking good questions and addresses some of the most important questions and answers that we need to be asking in the 21st century. His key point is that until we comprehend the nature and character of God that all of our questions are a “chasing after the wind.”

Chapter 2: Who Is This God? – A Brief Biblical Theology of the character and nature of God. He includes an excellent discussion of how to have our joy and satisfaction in God.

Chapter 3: Becoming One Again – An exceptional discussion of how the atonement of Christ is the perfect solution to seven deadly realities that all humans face before a Holy and Perfect God.

Chapter 4: The Wonder of Faith – What God has done for us in Christ and what our response should be toward His provision for us.

Chapter 5: The Point of Heaven – A very good summary of a God focused (not activities focused or man-centered) Heaven as detailed in the Scriptures.

Chapter 6: Hell and Judgment – Excellent exegetical discussion of these two topics.

Chapter 7: The Bad News: Universalism – Very good historical and biblical discussion of the issues related to those inside and outside of a relationship with Christ.

Chapter 8: The Victory of a Personal God – Brings the whole book together and concludes: “The God of Scripture is fuller, richer, deeper, and more real than the picture painted in “Love Wins,” and that God invites us to know him as he truly is.”

Appendix 1: Discussion Guide – Well done guide: it includes a key verse for each chapter; some key ideas and questions based on the key ideas from the chapter; and some key Scripture passages to read and discuss to bring clarity to each topic of discussion.

Appendix 2: Further Reading – Galli recommends a few books in the following categories: on the Atonement; Faith; Grace; Heaven; and Life in God.

Appendix 3: Charitable Engagement – Great advice here on how to engage with people that hold different opinions than you do – worth repeating here:

1)    Try to listen carefully, and read and reread their arguments.

2)    Listen in particular for the motive.

3)    Aim to use the Bible as a guide to discern the truth of the person’s argument – and of your own argument.

4)    Disagree with ideas, not with the person.

5)    Be teachable.

6)    Try to apply the truths of Scripture not merely as you understand them but as the historic church has held them.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I will be using it in a small group setting and I hope that this book receives a wide reading to reflect on the incredibly important topics of eternal significance that have been brought to the forefront of thinking biblically in order to impact culture for God’s glory and the supremacy of Christ.