Book Review: “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil T. Anderson (1990)

In his book The Bondage Breaker, Neil T. Anderson shares in a very practical, well-formatted way the processes of the spiritual struggles of the believer. In a much easier fashion to read than that of Mark Bubeck in The Adversary, but with similar objectives, Anderson delivers numerous powerful blows against the spiritual wickedness which surrounds us believers by revealing some of the demonic ploys of the devil and his minions, but more importantly, by emphasizing the opportunity that we believers have in finding freedom in Christ our Savior. The following reading reflection will focus on three strong aspects of Anderson’s Bondage Breaker and one weak aspect of his book.

Anderson’s book, first published in 1990 but then later updated in 2000, seeks to introduce the reader to the reality of the evil that rules this world, an evil that has not disappeared since the Garden of Eden, but has instead grown more devious and cunning in its attempts to entrap the human race away from God, the Creator of all. This reading reflection will focus on the following three strong aspects of Anderson’s book: Anderson’s emphasis on finding the right perspective, his sharing a plethora of useful surveys and guides, and his focus on the freedom that we believers have in Christ.

The first strong aspect of Bondage Breaker concerns Anderson’s emphasis on finding the right perspective in the spiritual battles of one’s Christian life. By overcoming many of the common misconceptions about spiritual bondage (Anderson, 19-25), a Christian can cling to the cross of the true Bondage Breaker, Jesus Christ, and experience the freedom He offers to all humanity, if they would only accept it. I have often looked at my own points of spiritual bondage and, without considering the reality of this warfare, said aloud to my friends, “___ is the most common sin. Everyone struggles with ___!” Having recently heard similar remarks come from a friend of mine during a Bible study, I realized how mistaken I have been, for the sin my friend named is one with which I have never really struggled, and so must have been the reality of my own remarks in the past. As I mulled over my friend’s words and considered the truths offered by Anderson, I began to recognize that while my spiritual struggles are common to mankind, they are not bondage to all: but they are spiritual bondage to me. Recognizing the seriousness of my sin has given me a much clearer perspective, a view from the cross (37), on my present state and on where I need to be. I need to follow the steps of Matthew 16:24-27 (38-42), and, with this new and better perspective, I need to find my way in the world (29).

The second strong aspect of Bondage Breaker concerns Anderson’s sharing a plethora of useful surveys and guides. By the time the reader reaches Anderson’s “Part Three: Walk Free!”, he will have clarified his position in Christ and learned a little bit more about the “wiles of the devil.” Part 3 then begins for the reader a less scholastic but far more introspective look at the spiritual warfare that has caused this spiritual sort of bondage. With devices such as the “Non-Christian Spiritual Checklist” (202), the “Special Renunciations for Satanic Ritual Involvement” (208), and even an interactive prayer and declaration guide for renouncing binding and ancestral sins (239-242), Anderson guides the reader through the programs of spiritual self-discovery. Besides these devices within the text, Anderson also shares the extremely effective “Confidential Personal Inventory” (277-284) in the Appendix.

The third strong aspect of Bondage Breaker concerns Anderson’s focus on the freedom that we believers have in Christ. Most obvious from his text on this subject of regaining freedom in Christ is the entirety of Chapter 13, “Steps to Freedom in Christ.” In this chapter, the longest of Bondage Breaker, Anderson shares seven steps, seven battles through which each believer must go, which guide the reader towards freedom from spiritual bondage. The first of these steps is “Counterfeit vs. Real” (201-209), in which the believer renounces all his past involvement with the dark side. Next is “Deception vs. Truth” (209-221) through which the believer learns to counter the deceptions of the Father of Lies, but instead live in integrity. Third is the step of “Bitterness vs. Forgiveness” (221-225); fourth is that of “Rebellion vs. Submission” (225-228); fifth is “Pride vs. Humility” (228-232); and seventh is that which was mentioned above, “Curses and Blessings” (p. 239-242). The sixth step is the most meaningful, however, for not only is it the title-battle of the book, but it is also that in which Anderson breaks off all politeness and whitewashing and flatly names those sins—some glaring (i.e. abortion, substance abuse) and others more “white” (i.e. apathy, perfectionism, etc.)—which inform all believers that, though redeemed, many are still in bondage to this sinful world.

Besides these four strong aspects of Anderson’s book, there is also one weak aspect which must be pointed out. Throughout Bondage Breaker, Anderson tends to credit Satan and his demons with more control over the believer than what I find to be the case from Scripture. While Anderson does write that we cannot wholly blame the devil for our own sin (192), it seems he focuses more on spiritual wickedness as the cause for our sinning, and not enough on our own flesh and sin within us. While I wholeheartedly agree that Christians are susceptible to demonic attack, I cannot find in Scripture that we are susceptible to their intrusion (22) or their (inward) control (113). We are all tempted, we are all accused, we are all deceived at times (114), and such actions can be attested to the demons outside of us for sure; but the source of our failure from within is not the devil or his minions, but our own flesh, our own sin, our own lust (Romans 7-8).

Anderson has provided an excellent book for gaining freedom from the bondage that many Christians still face. If taken with a pinch of biblical salt, this book could be an excellent guide for finding true freedom in Christ.

Bibliography

Anderson, Neil T. The Bondage Breaker. Eugene, Or: Harvest House Publishers, 1990.

© 2010 E.T.

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This entry was posted in Book Review, Christian Living, Counseling, Non-Fiction, Prayer, Spiritual Warfare. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Book Review: “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil T. Anderson (1990)

  1. Neftali Lopez says:

    Thank you for your Blog. I appreciate your review that is simple and wholesome.

  2. gail Burg says:

    its life changing

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