The Fight: A Practical Handbook for Christian Living

By John White

InterVarsity Press, 1976 | ISBN 0-87784-777-0

Reviewed by Merle Harton, Jr.

Even after 23 years in print, this small robust book is still reliable as a guide for any Christian's walk with God. I have returned to it many times for a second opinion on several areas of concern in my own Christian walk, and it rarely disappoints—it is solid in its balance of Christian creed and the believersí need to live an abundant life. And that is the point of the book, really. As Christians, we almost always can benefit from wise counsel on how to keep our faith alive and authentic in a world that wants to fashion us in another way. John Whiteís manual is just such wise counsel.

Christian Friends will find this handbook both refreshing and provocative. Although probably written originally for the new Christian, this book continues to speak to the mature believer on a wealth of practical themes: our new status before God, the Bible and prayer, the practical, daily problems of the Christian way, temptation, the forms of God's guidance, our obligation toward holiness, the need for us to be authentic in our faith, evangelism and the varieties of witnessing, dealing with new relationships, the importance of a faith community, and being a student of Godís will.

There are other themes discussed, of course, but specially enlightening, I think, is White's examination of Satan's powerful, pervasive influence and what it means to be involved in "The Fight." He does this in a chapter that discusses the general nature of the evil one and then again in a concluding chapter on the diversity of "battles" Christians can expect to face in the world. Readers will come away from his discussion with both a wariness and encouragement.

This book is full of counsel on the relevant areas of Christian life and on the importance of balancing the duties of our faith with the practical concerns of human life. As an evangelical Christian and psychiatrist, White has a wealth of experiences—some personal, some professional—upon which to draw for illustration and for intimacy with the reader, and these help make him very human and also add to his credentials as a believer with wisdom to impart.

If there is a thematic element that runs throughout his handbook, it has to be the new Christianís healthy expectations for the process of our faith—that being a Christian is not a single occurrence, but an ongoing walk with the Father. The mature Christians should remember this, too, and will after reading The Fight.

Copyright © 1999 by Merle Harton, Jr.

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