Through the course of my study of spiritual warfare, several resources came to the top as helpful. These were the ones that faithfully interpreted the Scriptures well and applied with them pastoral care to the life of the Church. Click on the image to get more information or purchase these resources.[
These are free audio and video resources from David Platt’s ministry at The Church at Brookhills. In about four hours, Platt covers the basics of Spiritual Warfare, also addressing some “hot topics” toward the end. Study guides are also available for download. Excellent resource!
Powlison’s book moves beyond the basic introduction that Platt’s messages provide. Here, the author is writing specifically to address the claims and practices of deliverance, or casting out, ministries. Powlison not only shows the faults of theology of “casting out” ministries, he also forward a biblical picture of spiritual warfare in the life the believer that is very encouraging and helpful. Probably the best modern introduction to spiritual warfare. UPDATE: This book is now out of print and hard to come by. Check out a teaching Powlison did on the topic as well as his more recent book, Safe and Secure: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles.
William Gurnall’s work is, in many way, the standard work on spiritual warfare. His mammoth work is an exposition of Ephesians 6 that takes on a life of it’s own, exploring every related point. That means few topics are left unaddressed! Walking through our enemy, the weapons and protection we have against that enemy, and the means by which we should fight, Gurnall is exhaustive in his writing. But Gurnall is also writing with a pastor’s heart, which makes the teaching come alive with relevance is a special way. There are several editions available. Skip the abridged version as it cuts out some really excellent parts on prayer.
Like Gurnall, Owen’s work is a classic when it come to spiritual warfare. Here, the topic is the warfare between the Spirit and the flesh in the heart of Christians. Owen is a master at knowing the human heart and helping us to know it too. The edition I’ve linked to by Christian Focus has a wonderful introduction by J.I. Packer. If you want something more easily accessible, check out Kris Lungaard’s book The Enemy Within. Lungaard took the best of Owen and re-wrote in a much more accesbile way for 21st century readers.
This little book by Thomas Brooks is, in many ways, a helpful companion to Owen’s work. Here the focus is not so much on the sinfulness human heart as much as it on the devices Satan employs to tempt us to sin. In typical Puritan fashion, Brooks leaves few stones unturned, explaining not only the satanic strategy for temptation, but the biblical and practical means of fighting against it. Brooks is probably the most readable of the Puritan writings, which means this book is easy to get into and pays immediate reward.
This booklet by Stanley Gale shows how spiritual warfare relates to evangelism, which should be the central focus of our engagement with our spiritual enemy. This books begins and ends with a focus on the ministry of Christ as the basis for our understanding spiritual warfare. In every way, Gale attempts to be rooted in the Bible’s teaching, not experience.