Behind today’s moral controversies are two diametrically opposed visions of life: Are we at peace or are we at war?

There is a profound philosophical division in our world between the moral modernists and moral traditionalists, between the relativists and the absolutists, between those who root moral law in human society and those who root it in God, between those who make moral choices as a yuppie chooses gourmet foods and those who make moral choices as a general chooses how to send his men into battle. Behind this division are two diametrically opposed visions of life: Are we at peace or are we at war?

What difference does it make? The difference between sleeping and waking. When you know you are in a war, your adrenaline flows. You are passionate. You willingly make sacrifices. You don’t expect or demand constant comfort, security, enjoyment, and entertainment.

Each day’s tasks a spy mission, an assignment from our Commander. The one thing life never is in battle is the very thing it is for the modern world: boring and purposeless. When there is “a clear and present danger,” life brings a great purpose and a great choice: “1 call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19).

Scripture is very clear about this. Spiritual warfare is its pervasive theme, from the Fall through the Last Judgment. The idea is sometimes explicit, but always at least implicit, in the background, assumed. The whole reason for the most important event in human history, the Incarnation, was spiritual warfare: God’s invasion of enemy-occupied territory to redeem his children from captivity to the forces of ...

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