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Charisma’s Bible Handbook on the Holy Spirit, reviewed by James Dettmann

From Pneuma Review Spring 2002.

JRea-CharismaBibleHandbook-9780884195665John Rea, Charisma’s Bible Handbook on the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 1998), 346 pages, ISBN 9780884195665.

For the pastor and Bible student that have been looking for a handbook on the Holy Spirit from a Pentecostal/charismatic perspective here is an all-in-one reference not to be missed.

Dr. Rea introduces this handbook by discussing how to read and study the Bible. He then concisely presents the deity and personhood of the Holy Spirit; a truth we need to be continually reminded of. For the majority of the work he looks at every major reference to the Spirit in Scripture. He does this by examining seven distinct categories from four biblical eras. ‘The Spirit of God in Creation and the Patriarchal Age,’ ‘the Era of Charismatic Leadership in Israel,’ and the ‘Era of Prophetic Announcement’ cover the Hebrew Scriptures. He expands the ‘Age of the Holy Spirit’ from Messiah’s birth to today into the biblical categories of the Gospels (Preparation), Acts (Outpouring), Epistles (Explanation) and Revelation (Consummation).

Nearly 100 pages are spent on the work and person of the Spirit in the Old Testament. This feature sets this book apart from other studies of the Holy Spirit that often neglect the Hebrew Scriptures. 24 pages are spent on the Gospels, 14 on Acts, over 40 on the Epistles, and several pages conclude the study with the book of Revelation. Beyond the easy to refer to passage-by-passage study, the book includes an extensive Scripture index, charts of key words and other valuable reference pages.

Although Dr. Rea’s approach seems to reflect a classical Pentecostal perspective, this book has been published under the name of the most recognized independent charismatic magazine, Charisma. Everyone in the Pentecostal/charismatic movement should be grateful for this Bible handbook which is centered on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Readers will find this reference to have good poise and good scholarship, yet concise enough for even the beginning Bible student.

For these reasons, this handbook should be found in every Pentecostal/charismatic leader’s library. The Pentecostal/charismatic movement needs more reference works of this quality.

Reviewed by James M. Dettmann

Raul Mock and Jim Dettmann at an editor meeting in May, 2005.

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Category: Pneuma Review, Spirit, Spring 2002

About the Author: James M. Dettmann has served as a pastor and evangelist. He is President of the Pneuma Foundation.

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