Warfare Spirituality

malcolm-gladwellAs Son of God from before the beginning of time, Jesus wielded unfathomable power. Yet he was born in a lowly manger and learned the carpentry trade in a backwater town. According to the apostle Paul, "by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him" (Col. 1:16). Yet when confronted by his betrayer, he put up no fight. He told the apostle Peter, "For all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52).

Malcolm GladwellPower, then, is not always as it seems. That's the point Malcolm Gladwell and I recently discussed with regard to his new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. I spoke with the bestselling author and staff writer for The New Yorker about why he decided to dig deeper into the famous story of David and Goliath.

"There are real limits to what evil and misfortune can accomplish," he writes in the book, which I have also reviewed. "You see the giant and the shepherd in the Valley of Elah and your eye is drawn to the man with the sword and shield and the glittering armor. But so much of what is beautiful and valuable in the world comes from the shepherd, who has more strength and purpose than we ever imagine" (274-275).

We discussed several fascinating stories, including the Huguenots in south-central France who harbored Jews during World War II. They defied the French police working for the Nazi occupiers and said, "We make no distinction between Jews and non-Jews. It is contrary to the gospel teaching." He told the back story of how he got to know Wilma Derksen, a Mennonite woman who found the courage to forgive the man who tortured and murdered her daughter. In the process we observed the striking difference between law and grace in responses to suffering.

Finally, I urge you to listen for our conversation about how authorities with power and privilege game the system against the weak. As you'll hear from the 30-minute interview, Christians today can learn a few tricks from the civil-rights marches 50 years ago in Birmingham, Alabama. Indeed, the weapons of the Spirit triumph over the ways of the world.

You can download the mp3, or subscribe to TGC's podcast on iTunes or through your other mobile devices.

Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the co-author of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

WarfareAudio & Video

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Reflections to Consider

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Warfare Publications

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Publications

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Warfare Music

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Music

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Warfare Reflection

  • Warfare Spirituality

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
  • Deliver us from Evil

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Baby, you're a rich man!

    The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is Read More
  • The Mirror of Eternity

    Morning Dedication Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Joy Will Find A Way: Bruce Cockburn +

    Bruce Cockburn’s song Joy Will Find A Way describes the way joy from love can transform one’s life. make me Read More
  • Shepherd's Joy by Luther Jackson Middle School Advanced Chorus +

    Read More
  • Joy to the World! by Surfjan Stevens +

    Joy to the World , the Lord is come!Let earth receive her King;Let every heart prepare Him room,And Heaven and nature Read More
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength by Douglas Miller +

    The joy of the LORD is my strengthThe joy of the LORD is my strengthThe joy of the LORD is Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Idol of Personal Peace and Affluence +

    Francis Schaeffer discusses modern man’s humanistic thought, and its relationship to the only values that were held: personal peace and Read More
  • The Beginning of PCA: Francis Schaeffer +

    "A Step Forward" [The Presbyterian Journal, 6 March 1974, pages 7-8] Shortly after the formation of the Presbyterian Church in Read More
  • A Change in Our Society: Francis Schaeffer +

    A Christian Manifesto by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer This address was delivered by the late Dr. Schaeffer in 1982 at Read More
  • The Universe and Two Chairs: Francis Schaeffer +

    In the course of this book we have focused attention on the way God looks at the culture of our Read More
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