Growing up in the lovely Channel Island of Jersey was a great privilege. The beautiful beaches and quiet seascape, proved a peaceful environment for a young boy, although, inevitably, one’s nostalgic reflections can be overinflated!
There was another daily reality, however, which again has only become clearer to me in my later years. As I walked the coastline I saw the German Bunkers. I listened to my father’s boyhood occupation stories, I heard of 1940’s hardships. And I remember my Grandparents recounting the occupation mantra “Don’t you know there’s a war on!?” Within living memory, my parents’ generation knew the reality of World War 2, and the impact it had on life every day in the island.
I became a Christian in my late teens. Those who discipled me as a new Christian encouraged me to read some bracing books: C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters; John White, The Fight; John Owen, On Mortification; William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour; J.C. Ryle, Martyn Lloyd Jones and more. Books quickly shaped my outlook on my life in Christ, and life as Christian in the world.
The unmistakable message to me was: “Knowing God through Jesus Christ is wonderful: you will now have purpose in this life, and hope for the future. But, you do realise, don’t you, that you are enlisted into God’s army, and having sided with him, you can expect to live in enemy occupied territory until Jesus’ return.”
The Perpetual Battle has arisen out of an anxiety that we are not putting our converts through a Christian Boot Camp. Suffering and persecution is part of normal Christian experience, and we can expect the world, the flesh, and the Devil, to do their worse to knock us off course.
My hope is that The Perpetual Battle will reconnect you with a biblical theology of the world, the flesh and the Devil, and with the help of the authors which I have mentioned, make you “fit for the fight”.
Published April 2018, available from Christian Focus and other booksellers.