Book Review: The Necessity of an Enemy
May 8, 2012
When I came across this book on Waterbrook’s Blogging for Books site I was immediately interested. Maybe it was nothing more than the bright yellow cover, but it certainly felt like more than that.
The title of this book intrigued me. Why on earth would an enemy be necessary? Hoping to find out the answer, I opted to receive this book (for free!).
The author, Ron Carpenter Jr. spends the book telling a lot of personal stories. He tells about many difficult times in his life, how it affected him and his family, and how they have all played out overtime. Sometimes Carpenter will begin to tell one story and then begin another chapter with a completely different story. It may be several chapters later before coming back to his original point. It does not help that each chapter is anywhere from 1-4 pages long. Many of the chapters may have served better as headings in one larger chapter.
The points that Carpenter tries to drive home are not solid. He quotes some words in Scripture, saying they mean one thing in the Greek or Hebrew when they really have a completely different meaning. He completely misinterprets Jesus’ approach to both Judas and Peter in the Garden. Carpenter says that Jesus approaches Judas as a friend because Judas is fulfilling God’s purpose while He views Peter as an enemy because he is trying to get in the way of God’s will.
He also says that Mary is an enemy to Jesus while He is hanging on the cross. Carpenter says Jesus tells John to take Mary away from the cross. Where is that in the pages of the Bible?!
The author tries to prove that we all need an enemy. While it is true that we often grow to be stronger after difficult situations arise in our lives, I think that by calling the Enemy “necessary” we give him too much power.
Our focus should be on God and what He is doing in our lives. He does not bring about terrible events just so that we can grow. He uses the events in this fallen world, but it was never His original intent.
I had a difficult time making it through this book because of the terrible references and choppy chapters. I put it down for two weeks because I couldn’t keep reading. When I finally picked it back up I read the rest in two days just because I wanted to finish it and move on. I would not recommend this book to others.