For the past two weeks, I’ve been taking a look at an older book by Don McMinn, Spiritual Strongholds. This book had been loaned (it would seem permanently) to my wife and I decided to take the time to read it. In this book, the author defines a spiritual stronghold as “a sin which, through repetition and lack of restraint, has gained a significant amount of control in our lives. It has wrapped itself around our mind, will, and emotions to such an extent that at times it is difficult or impossible for us to control.” (p. 15)
I believe this author has some good insights and good things to say, but really struggled when the book showed it’s roots from the early 90’s and began railing against “all forms of rock-and-roll, rap, heavy-metal, most country, so-called “Christian rock,” avant-garde style where there is no symmetry or melody, and all vocal music in which the text does not qualify according to Philippians 4:8” as the spiritual stronghold of corrupt music. (p. 142) I wonder what happened when he found out that the majority of tunes in the hymnbook were bar-songs.
And while that may have temporarily turned me off to the book, the conversations and contemplations that were prompted by this book helped me work past such small minded-ness. As we seek to battle sin in our lives – as we, as Paul wrote, “seek to discipline my body and keep it under control” (1 Cor. 9:27) – this book is a treasure-trove of ideas and topics to think through. (Even in regards to “corrupt music” I was forced to truly consider if my objection was due to the author’s predetermined notions or my own stronghold!)
For anyone struggling with undesirable character traits (or struggling with someone who may not necessarily be struggling with undesirable character traits), this book would serve as a good launching point for topics of discussions, potential causes, and steps to overcome them.