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Lauren Winner: Flowing into The Mainstream

 

Lauren Winner, “Flowing into The Mainstream” Publisher’s Weekly (Sept. 11, 2000), pages 39-40, 42.

Hungry? More than ever, people are turning pages to learn passion for God. All this is possible now that Christian publishers and booksellers no longer think charismatics are “fringe.” In fact, books by Pentecostal/charismatic authors have become the bread and butter for most Christian bookstores (p. 39, 40).

Lauren Winner

Lauren Winner, book producer for Beliefnet.com, provides many reasons for this movement to the mainstream. First of all, non-charismatic evangelicals are reading books by charismatics more than ever. Tired of dry religiosity, many non-charismatics are looking for the missing joy and God-ward desire they see in their Pentecostal/charismatic friends. Those readers are finding practical answers to where they are at today. Are you looking for healing? How do you pray effectively? Is faith a noun or a verb? How do you live up to what God has called you to? You will find answers from charismatic authors today.

“I believe there is still a great need for biblical excellency to infect the Pentecostal/charismatic movement.”

Another reason why as many as six out of ten Christian books sold are charismatic (p. 40) is that charismatics tend to give away a lot of books (p. 40). These books are also now more readily received because charismatic books are not as controversial as they used to be. Divisive issues such as tongues-speaking and prophecy are not being written of as much, and authors are concentrating on subjects that touch all believers. “If charismatic writers have turned their attention to broader issues, charismatic books still are not so mainstream as to be identical to other evangelical books” (p. 39). If you want to read about spiritual intimacy, get fired up about serving Jesus, or renew your prayer life, go find a charismatic title at a Christian bookstore near you.

I am encouraged that Pentecostal/charismatic books are being widely received. While gaining spiritual credibility is certainly positive, charismatics in general have not gained intellectual credibility. I believe there is still a great need for biblical excellency (instead of biblical expediency) to infect the Pentecostal/charismatic movement. Nevertheless, this new acceptance of charismatic books and authors is a positive development.

Reviewed by Raul Mock

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2001

About the Author: Raul L. Mock is one of the founders and directors of the Pneuma Foundation and editor of The Pneuma Review. Raul has been part of an Evangelical publishing ministry since 1996 and their Information Technology team since 1998. He and his wife, Erin, have a daughter and twin boys and live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Google+ LinkedIn

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