The primary point in this section of 2 Corinthians is that we are in a spiritual warfare. What leads up to the statement that we take every thought captive is important. In verse 3 Paul states that though we walk in the flesh we do not war after the flesh. That is, we do not rely on human ingenuity or manmade plans to bring the victory. The flesh is powerless against the wiles of the devil. In verse 4 Paul mentions the “strongholds” or the “fortresses” that are destroyed by God’s power. These strongholds are the philosophies, arguments, and “proud opinions” mentioned in verse 5.
False religion and secular philosophy have created thinking that has imprisoned the minds of millions. It is a true spiritual battle: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Any idea, opinion, or worldview that asserts that Christ is unnecessary is reflective of the devil’s pride. Such thoughts must be taken captive and made obedient to Christ. Those who know the truth must confront error with the weapon we’ve been given, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
Our weapons in the spiritual battle are not carnal but mighty through God. As we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), we engage the battle against pretense and arrogant philosophy in the world. Trusting Christ and rightly dividing the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), we take every thought captive, pull down the strongholds, and, by the grace of God, set the captives free.