Chapter 2: The Spiritual Warfare Dimension of a Biblical World View
This is quite the title for what turns out to be a relatively short, but still meaty, chapter. The Bible, despite the variety of authors and cultural contexts, holds to a consistent theistic world view. The God revealed in Genesis is the same God in Revelation. He is above all of creation while also holding it all together. He is the God above all other gods, yet also desires a personal relationship with us. As we look at the Bible to construct a world view based on information about Yahweh (which is the personal name God gives His chosen people alone to use), six dimensions come to light.
Spiritual: As we’ve mentioned, the Bible shares the perspective that ultimate reality is based outside the physical, material world. There is more to life than what is seen.
Theistic: God exists, and is personal, transcendent (supreme, above all), present, and perfect. It is important to note that we share this world view with both Jews and Muslims, and makes an important common ground when witnessing to people from these religions.
Revelational: God is not a product of human intuition or common sense, but He reveals Himself through the Bible. We only know about God because He chose to reveal Himself. Jews and Muslims share our faith in the Old Testament, but they do not believe the New Testament.
Trinitarian: Yahweh exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is where we split off from Jews and Muslims in their beliefs. Neither religion believes Jesus was fully divine, as the Christian faith does.
Redemptive: God inserts Himself to redeem His people. The Bible is God’s story of our redemption, from the Fall in Genesis 3 through the redemption of all things in Revelation 21-22. Very few Christian leaders would disagree with these first five dimensions.
Spiritual Warfare: “Our present reality exists in a state of cosmic-earthly conflict (which we call spiritual warfare).” Spiritual warfare exists in heaven, and also occurs on earth (which is why it is called a cosmic-earthly conflict—the battle rages in both places). Evil entered God’s kingdom and divided it until Jesus returns to make things right.
“Spiritual warfare is the most vivid, dynamic, and all-pervading Biblical world view dimension, yet is also the most neglected, least understood, and least applied to our Christian life.” God and His angels confront Satan and his demons, and God’s children (us) contend, or fight with, the children of Satan. This message is consistent throughout the Bible. To properly understand the situation, the enemy, and our battle strategy, we will look to the study of God, the interpretation of the Bible, and the experience of other believers to guide our understanding of this critical dimension.
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
All content is based on the book, The Handbook of Spiritual Warfare by Dr. Ed Murphy. The book can be found here.
Walking the Path
How do you relate to the six dimensions of a biblical world view? Any issues?
How does the description of spiritual warfare ring true? In the story of your life, do you see any situations that might be explained by this concept?