"For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal."
These lyrics from Martin Luther's powerful hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" speak of the reality of suffering and the work of Satan throughout the history of the world. Our foe is ancient because he has been around since God made the angelic host. He has been working as our foe since the beginning of human history, tempting Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. He has been seeking to work us woe through his craftiness and great power. There is no enemy in all creation who can rival Satan's hatred for humanity and the glory of God.
Our Ancient Foe, edited by Ronald Kohl, features chapters that initially began as messages from the 2017 Quakertown Conference on Reformed Theology. The list of contributors is stacked: R. Kent Hughes, Thomas Nettles, Derek Thomas, Joel Beeke, and Sinclair Ferguson to name a few. These men are renowned for their commitment to sound doctrine, solid exposition of Scripture, and commitment to reformed theology.
While most preaching and teaching on Satan and his activity borders on superstition and conspiracy, Our Ancient Foe offers sound biblical teaching from key passages describing the work of our ancient foe—Satan. Starting with the Garden of Eden and working through to his final demise, Our Ancient Foe teaches believers what to expect from Satan, how to wage war against him, and how to endure his wrath until God crushes him once and for all.
The chapters are deeply theological and biblical, but this a book for the people. It is full of assurance and practical application for believers persevering in the Christian life. This is not dead orthodoxy or mere theologizing about a foe who is a theological category but not a real presence in the world. Rather, Satan is real and powerful. His power is limited and his doom is sure, though he is working tirelessly until the day comes.
Our Ancient Foe is ultimately a book about God because the Bible is a book about God. Satan is an enemy and a foe to the church, but our hope is summed up powerfully by Luther: "One little word shall fell him." God gets the final victory over Satan, and that day is ever-approaching. We can rest assured and find hope in that.
Grab a copy of this book for personal devotion, biblical counseling, small groups, Sunday School, or to help prepare for a sermon series. It is succinct, readable, and helpful for the local church.
I received a free copy of this book. I was not required to leave a positive review.