Elizabeth Kendal
Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today
Deror Books, Melbourne, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0980722369

"There’s plenty to chew on and wrestle with in what is a confronting read for any Christian - not just those who are living in the midst of persecution."

Economic distress. Rapid population urbanisation.  Declining religious freedom and ongoing religious persecution. In the introduction to her new book Turn Back the Battle, Elizabeth Kendal - an experienced religious freedom analyst and advocate of prayer for the persecuted church who formerly worked for the World Evangelical Alliance's Religious Liberty Commission - paints a bleak picture of today’s world. A picture which, in many ways, is similar to that faced by the Israelites in the days of the prophet Isaiah.

But, drawing on the lessons of Isaiah, Kendal goes on to look at how today’s world can be changed and how, just as God intervened almost 3,000 years ago when Judah was under threat, He can do so again.

In her detailed and insightful study of the Book of Isaiah, Kendal explains how the message of the Biblical prophet is as relevant today as it was on the day it was written. Key to this message is the question of who the church – and Christians as individuals - will trust: God or the world?

“Today, as hardship escalates, as global volatility and insecurity increase, and as persecution intensifies, the church (generally) does not seem prepared for faith-testing times,” Kendal writes. “This is serious, for when believers or churches are taken by surprise, hit hard while in a state of unpreparedness, they tend to reel like a ship caught in a storm without an anchor and a long way from the harbour.”

With reference to numerous recent examples of persecution and an analysis of what events such as the political power shifts which have taken place in countries like Lebanon during the past decade mean, Kendal shows how Isaiah’s times reveal that  ‘Christian security’ can never be found in the ‘City of Man’, a “covenant with death” or in what she terms “practical atheism” (a term describing the position of those who say they believe in God but live as though they don’t), but must always be found in God. 

This includes not putting our faith in organisations like the United Nations or the European Union (what she terms “Tower of Babel” projects) or superpowers like the United States – no matter how good their intentions in attempting to achieve social transformation, Kendal says, change can only come through people “first coming to the Lord for spiritual transformation”.

The book lends itself to individual or small group study - containing a series of questions for "contemplation and discussion" at the end of each chapter and a prayer. 

There’s plenty to chew on and wrestle with in what is a confronting read for any Christian - not just those who are living in the midst of persecution. But to those she writes: “My appeal to afflicted, persecuted and threatened Christians is this: remember the Lord: stay faithful to your king.”


To buy this book, follow this link,Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today.