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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
228 pages
Apr 2004
InterVarsity Press

Enemies with Smiling Faces: Defeating the Subtle Threats That Endanger Christians

by Donald C. Posterski

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Review:

In Enemies with Smiling Faces, Donald C. Posterski presents a vision both challenging and confrontational. In the first section he identifies enemies in commonly held church-related attitudes, such as "Quick-Fix Faith," "Feeling-Only Faith," unbalanced faith, and others. The second section deals with cultural attitudes such as materialism, becoming a self-made man or woman, and forming character without roots. Next he applies the information from the first two sections to diversity, cultural difference, and globalization. In section four Posterski strategizes living with a strong sense of direction.

Dr. Posterski, who holds three doctoral degrees, is a research professor of Christianity and culture at Tyndale University College and Seminary. He also directs church relations for World Vision. He writes philosophically with some anecdotes and frequent quotations. An adaptation of St. Francis's "God, grant me..." prayer unifies the book. Throughout the book he takes positions which challenge readers' beliefs, such as the current trend of experiential faith, the eclectic mix-and-match faith of the secular world, and his own view on global citizenship.

The first two sections encouraged me to evaluate how much I had let non-biblical attitudes affect my own. The third section troubled me, however. Most readers will find statements with which to agree and to disagree, whether on the efficacy of food aid, his view on the ordination of women, or his positions on politics.

Though I appreciate Posterski's focus on the importance of the church's role in justice, I disagreed with some of his reasoning on globalism. Posterski writes on page 151, "I am a global citizen and carry two passports. I have something in common with every other human being." I expected his dual passport statement to refer to citizenship in one's nation and in heaven; instead, he referred to global citizenship. Readers don't have to consider themselves "global citizens" to care about the street children of Sao Paulo, the Dalit of India, or the persecuted of Pakistan or North Korea.

I may disagree with Posterski in several areas, yet I believe he reveals the "enemies with smiling faces" around us and challenges us to serve God and man as His hands and feet. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com

Book Jacket:

The world is a dangerous place.

Enemies lurk everywhere--in the workplace, in schools, in small towns and big cities, and even in the church. Their faces are various, but they are equally tempting and deceptive. Learning to recognize these "enemies with smiling faces" can keep you from falling prey to their mind-bending, heart-rending lies.

Some enemies mask themselves in popular "Christian" concepts that are not truly biblical:

  • Quick fix faith
  • Feeling-only faith
  • One-sided faith
  • Spiritual superiority
Other enemies are disguised as "common-sense" notions prevalent in today's world:
  • Self-construction
  • Affluenza
  • Character without design
  • Privatized faith
God calls those who follow him to be "wise as serpents and innocent as doves." As Don Posterski reveals the true identities of your enemies, he also teaches you how to develop the discernment you need to find your way in a dangerous world.

And because God calls you not simply to resist, but also to love your enemies, Posterski also offers practical, biblical strategies for relating to and living among "enemies with smiling faces."