Striving against Satan

Joel Beeke

Precious Seed

Paperback, 126pp. Published by Bryntirion Press, Bryntirion, Bridgend, CF31 4DX, Wales, UK. Price £6.95, ISBN 1-85049-219-0.

No believer can doubt the importance of this book. DR. BEEKE, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, states, ‘we must know our enemy . . . we must know how to withstand him, and what spiritual weapons to take up against him. We must defeat him by faith, through lives that bear fruit and spread the truth’.

This book is based on five lectures given to the 2004 Metropolitan Tabernacle School of Theology. Chapters 1 to 6 examine the personality and history of Satan; chapters 7 to 8 cover building an unyielding defence and an attacking offensive, and focus heavily on Ephesians chapter 6 verses 14-18. Chapters 9 to 10 discuss Satan’s strategies and skill. Chapters 11 to 13 cover our response as believers, church members, and as citizens.

Knowing its source, we are not surprised to find that Puritan writings feature large. The author has distilled from the writings of six Puritans much that may be classed as good sound Christian common sense when facing Satan and his wiles.

Having approached this book positively, I found it strangely unsatisfying. Perhaps the author has tried to cover too much ground in too short a space (the subject is huge). Equally, in chapters 1 to 6 particularly, there are several curiosities of exegesis which are forced upon the author by his commitment to Reformed eschatology, even when all too obviously this leads him into contradictions. Another area of concern was the use of quotations from Apocryphal writings when covering the period between the two testaments. Readers of this magazine should not need to be alerted to the difference in authority between the canonical and the apocryphal writings. This is a timely book on a most important subject but one that must be used with discretion.

[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, for this review]