Winning the War

Charles Stanley published Winning the War Within in 1988.Stanley wrote a sermon series on the material included in the book, which is available in the world, but it is difficult to locate and expensive. However, he did publish a three-volume hard-bound book that was very popular on this same topic and issue available here.

The material in the book is good, but having read a number of books on this same topic, this book by Stanley felt dated. He used a lot of examples from his personal counseling sessions with people at his church in Atlanta and while I am sure he received their permission to do so, it did not feel right being on the inside of the pastoral study with Stanley and a member and their struggles.

Stanley does an excellent job defining the problem of sin and evil and the two kingdoms. Following this framework, Stanley gives the reader methods of self-defense to protect themselves from danger and fight back against evil and sin, which is of course valuable material for the reader.

Stanley then closes with a three chapter discussion on Christian misunderstandings, how we continue to fail and what is left afterwards to do. This is a good section to strengthen and build up the Christian in their faith, despite struggles. In a way I think this third section might have been better served in the opening of the book, but that is just my opinion.

Do I recommend this book? I do, but if a person has read multiple texts on facing trials, temptations and inner struggles there is not going to be anything revelatory, it will just be told differently in Stanley’s own style.