Tearing Down Strongholds
R. C. Sproul, Jr.
Scripture gives us several metaphors for the identity of the church: we are a body, we are sheep, we are a family, and we are also an army. Many of us, bristling at the thought of being thought of as an army, typically tend toward one of the softer images, and that’s okay. But there are reasons we’re told to put on armor like a soldier…mostly because there are battles to fight. This book is some ammo for our fights.
The title for R. C., Jr.’s book comes from 2 Corinthians 10:4 – For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. The theory goes that just as our weapons are spiritual, our battles are primarily spiritual as well. They often end in “ism” and tempt us to look at God’s world through grossly distorted lenses. Thus, we must tear down the strongholds – first in our minds and hearts, second, in the minds of those around us.
“What are those strongholds?” you ask. Thanks for asking: Sproul, Jr. moves through humanism, positivism, naturalism, behaviorism, pragmatism, skepticism, relativism, and more. (If you lack a definition for one of these –isms, don’t fret; read the book and you’ll recognize exactly what each one is.) For each, he deftly gets to the heart of the folly with some amount of wit and fun, thus arming us for similar discussions.
The writing is fun and moves along quickly. The book isn’t too long to sink a reader and it’s understandable enough for valid use in high school on up. So, should you buy this book? Yeah, it’s really good. Especially for you college students – this will really help you understand those around and help you interact with them in a gracious and truthful way.
Caveat: R. C. Sproul, Jr. is a convinced evidentialist (vs. presuppositionalist), for those of you that care about that sort of thing. I myself am a convinced presuppositionalist (believing that defending the faith is best done beginning with the truth of Scripture instead of my own reason), but I found the vast majority of the book extremely helpful.