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Charles Kraft: Power Encounter In Spiritual Warfare

That being said, I am not entirely comfortable with this book. There are some theological statements Kraft makes that I not sure that I want to endorse. For example, he says concerning Jesus, “Though he had a divine nature as well as a human nature, he had agreed with the Father never to use it” (page 28). Also on page 28, he writes concerning the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, “Jesus faced this as a human being. He had no divine power except the Holy Spirit.” He restates this position in different words on page 45. The subject of whether Jesus lived His earthly life by His divine power or as a Spirit-filled man is a subject of debate in the church.

Kraft also conjectures that the root of Lucifer’s rebellion against God may have been because God gave the honored place Lucifer once held over to humanity (page 41). This he believes, may be why the enemy wants to destroy humanity (page 41).

In chapter 5 he says, “When God wants to do something in the human realm, it appears that he usually needs the obedience of a human to do it” (page 53). It is true that one of God’s preferred ways of working is through people; however, I am not sure He “needs” anyone. I would have preferred that he did not make this statement. It is good that the word “usually” was included as it softens the statement. I understand the importance of our obedience, but I do not think that we can bind or control omnipotence or Divine Sovereignty. If God wants to act, He can.

Though the author is expressing his views on these matters I have just listed above, which he is certainly free to do, they do give me some reason for pause. I have concerns about other things that he has written in this book as well.

Chapter 6 lists a number of things that people can be involved in that can place them in spiritual danger. The list includes things like: witchcraft, sorcery, divination, dedication, and reincarnation. Chapter 7 is devoted to applying the principles articulated in the book both in what he calls, “ground-level spiritual warfare,” and, “cosmic-level spiritual warfare” (pages 99-107).

I would not recommend this book to just anyone. The author is a practitioner in this field and has given a great attention to this subject over the years. Power Encounter in Spiritual Warfare has some good observations and information that needs to be heard, perhaps especially by Western readers, but the book should be read only by those who have had some degree of theological education and spiritual discernment. The subject of spiritual warfare is a topic about which there are various viewpoints. Some of what the reader will find in this book can be readily accepted while other points, in my opinion, are questionable.

Reviewed by John P. Lathrop


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Category: Fall 2017, Ministry

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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