– by Nicholas T. Batzig –
What impact would it have had on the church in our late-modern, scientific day and age if the author(s) of the Apostles’ Creed had included a statement about the reality of angelic activity and spiritual warfare in the Christian life? I envision such a statement as reading like this: “I believe in principalities and powers, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places with whom we wrestle; I believe that Christ has conquered them by His death on the cross; I believe that I need the armor of God to overcome them in my warfare with them throughout the time of my sojourn here.” I desperately wish that this was a part of our weekly confession of faith, because in many theologically informed congregations where holiness, wrath, righteousness, justice, sin, grace, mercy, and forgiveness are unashamedly proclaimed, there is sometimes a noticeable lack of teaching about the reality of spiritual warfare in the believer’s life.
Though many ministers, in our day, have given inadequate attention to a biblical exposition of spiritual warfare, this was not always the case in the church. Among the Puritan ministers in seventeenth-century England, there was no such shortage of works on spiritual warfare. The more well-known works include Thomas Brooks’ Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices, William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armor, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christopher Love’s The Christian’s Combat, and Richard Gilpin’s Demonologia Sacra.