Monday, December 05, 2005

Who Stands Fast

Michael Duncan

I believe God eventually showed me I had to let go of those years so as not be further embittered by them. It took a long time to do this and still I was left with gnawing question of how to frame my understanding. These were years of tears, grief, death, losses, extreme hardship, bitter disappointments, betrayals, sickness, insomnia, and confusion. How do you make sense of them? What do you do with that? At last, I think I am beginning to see.

Early in 2004, I was fulfilling a speaking engagement in a New Zealand city and true to form, visited a Christian book store. Once inside I am like a child in a toy store. My eyes morph into saucers; I salivate and relish each and every purchase. On this occasion, my eye caught the title: God at War, by an author I had never heard of before, Gregory Boyd. As I was doing some post graduate research in the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor who courageously stood up to Hitler even to the point of joining a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler, I was interested in issues of pacifism and violence. Without even scanning the sub-title, contents page or the price, I impulsively bought this book.

Back home, settling into my bookish cave, I began to realise, to my absolute amazement that I had just bought a 413 page book on spiritual warfare. I set about devouring this tome and so began a journey of discovery and the path to the profound explanation I had been seeking. This book began to theologically frame my story. I found it incredibly refreshing, insightful liberating and theologically challenging. I have since bought just about everything Gregory Boyd has written and sifted through it with a theological toothpick.

From chapter 2 of Who Stands Fast – discipleship in difficult places, published by UNOH Publications, 2005 –
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