Friday, October 26, 2012

The Necessity of an Enemy by Ron Carpenter Jr.

             Most people view their enemies as, well, enemies. Given the fact that enemies normally come to do us harm and not good, this is an easy evaluation for anyone to make. However, as Pastor Ron Carpenter Jr. writes in his book The Necessity of an Enemy, perhaps we should see our enemies less as obstacles and more as opportunities.
             Pastor Carpenter writes early in his book, an enemy can be defined as "the people, weaknesses and situations in your life that try to destroy the passion you have for God's purpose and plans for you" (pg. 8). He quickly distinguishes that it is not necessarily the person who is your enemy but the spiritual force behind the person who is endeavoring to keep you from what God has created you to be and what He has created you to do. But he firmly establishes the fact that enemies come with many weapons that are designed to thwart us from our destiny.
              The book is divided into eight parts. Though the material builds on the previous segments, each one has valuable insights and scriptural truths which can be used to strengthen a person spiritually and to better equip them for the inevitable conflict they will encounter in life. Each "chapter" (though not marked as a chapter) is only a few pages and can be read even by a person with limited time available.
              One unique feature of the book is the study guide included at the end. The guide is designed for small group use, including instructions on how to structure each meeting. I found this to be a valuable help, and can easily see how such a precious resource could be an invaluable tool for a church, Bible study or even personal devotional time. I would encourage anyone who reads this book to take the time to use the study guide to explore the material thoroughly.
             In the Acknowledgements page at the end of the book, Ron carpenter writes "After over four decades of life with over twenty years in ministry, this first book is long overdue." If what I have read is any indication of the reservoir of spiritual riches inside the author, then I agree with his assessment. I only hope the wait is not as long for his second book. I received this book for free from "WaterBrook/Multnomah Publishing Group" for this review. I am glad I had the privilege of reading it. You may read an excerpt of the first chapter  at Read Chapter One.

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