Greensboro, NC—“You are in a battle. I am in a battle. And every person we counsel is—like us—living in a fog of war, stalked by a deadly predator, and facing a master of deception. When our hearts deceive us and our culture misleads us, Satan’s desires and purposes are at work,” writes David Powlison in Safe & Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles (New Growth Press/September 16, 2019), the last book he wrote before his passing on June 7, 2019.
A beloved counselor and best-selling author, Powlison guides readers to see the normality of their struggles with themselves, the world around them, and the powers of darkness. Counselors tend to be interested in what they can easily describe: psychological dynamics, social influences, and physiological givens. But how does the uncanny power of darkness fit in with the more accessible factors in a person’s life?
Safe and Sound leads readers through an exploration of Ephesians in which Paul emphasized Satan’s work in the world through schemes and lies and gave direction on how to stand up against those lies. By carefully unpacking Ephesians 6 with vivid case studies and biblical wisdom, Powlison helps humanize those struggles and bear the relevance of the love of God in Christ for those struggles.
Powlison addresses many questions with gospel answers regarding the reality of spiritual warfare, including “What is spiritual warfare?” and “How does Ephesians disciple us in spiritual warfare?” While spiritual warfare may often conjure up images of demons and scary effects, Scripture treats spiritual warfare as an everyday part of Christian life, and we should do the same. The author explains that it is how we think, feel, live, desire and act in the presence of our enemies. While Christians are often confused about what role Satan actually does play in the world and in our lives, God’s Word gives clarity and direction.
“If you’re like me, it can be hard to tell in the day-to-day that we are in this war. As with any spiritual reality, it’s easy to forget when you can’t see it with your own eyes,” Powlison shared. “I wrote this book because I want us to be awake and alert to the real battles we face. These are dark days, and this is a book about how to stand up to the powers of darkness—for yourself, for your loved ones, for those you counsel.”
Safe and Sound presents Ephesians as a book about our conflict with darkness—within ourselves, with other people, and with the spiritual forces of evil. Powlison demonstrates how the message of Christ’s triumph over all that is evil, dark, and deadly rings true, and how spiritual warfare is our participation in the Lord’s cosmic war with darkness.
“I worked with David for thirty-eight years, so I acknowledge I am biased toward everything he wrote, but this is David at his best: pastoral, connecting dots between Ephesians and Satan’s present strategies, opening his own life to us, and opening our eyes to the light of Jesus Christ,” shares Edward T. Welch, fellow CCEF faculty member and counselor and author of A Small Book for the Anxious Heart. “More than a book, this is a gift.”
This book is full of good content and I enjoyed the focused look at Ephesians 6. The author does a good job of keeping a balanced look at not overly focusing on the enemy’s work but also we can’t ignore that he is a work around us.
This was a book I had trouble staying focused with, my mind often wandered. But it was full of good information. As I have said in the past I am particular about non-fiction books and this was one that my mind couldn’t seem to focus on. However, I think other people will enjoy this.
It is geared toward counseling people, but honestly, shouldn’t all Christians be in the business of helping others who need it, whether we are licensed or not? Anyone can benefit from reading this book.
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A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.