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Mark Tanner: The Introvert Charismatic

Tanner defines what he means by “charismatic” in chapter 4. He sees a charismatic as a Christian who walks in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, who seeks to do the works that Jesus commanded by the power of the Spirit, and does them for the glory of the Father (page 83). Writing as a member of the British church he feels that this understanding of “charismatic” is more general than the view held in North America (page 72).

Chapters 6 through 8 focus on the challenges and benefits that introverts can experience within the charismatic movement. Challenges for introverts include, the loudness of the meetings and the highly social dynamics of the gatherings (page 123). The fact that an introvert typically does not feel comfortable with these things and does not completely enter into the demonstrative part of the meetings can cause a sense of guilt in them (page 123). On the positive side, the charismatic movement can draw an introvert out of both their comfort zone and themselves, give them a greater faith perspective, and provide a place where they can share the gifts that God has given to them.

Chapter 9 lists a number of contributions that introverts can make to the charismatic movement these include: a familiarity and comfort with the inner world, practicing reflection, offering space to wrestle with questions, offering space to others to engage with God, listening and taking note of things, a desire for the heart of God, and the practice of searching for wisdom.

In chapter 10 the author lists steps, or courses of action, that introverts can take to help themselves grow as Christian introverts. He calls these things “Six Steps Towards Fullness of life.” The growth of the introvert will not only help them as an individual, it will also benefit the other believers that he or she interacts with.

If you are an introvert you may very well see yourself in this book, I know I did. When the author mentioned the uneasiness that introverts feel when the leader of a meeting decides that everyone there should do something very outward and demonstrative I could relate to that uneasiness. The book is very honest and fair. It not only describes what an introvert is, but it mentions both the strengths and weaknesses of introverts. While one may think of introverts as being the fearful ones the author also mentions the fears of extroverts. Introverts are not better than extroverts and extroverts are not better introverts, we compliment one another. I think that this book could be helpful to both introverts and extroverts in understanding “how the other half lives.” One thing that this book makes clear is that one can be an introvert and a charismatic!

Reviewed by John Lathrop

 

Publisher’s page: http://www.lionhudson.com/display.asp?k=9780857215888

Preview The Introvert Charismatic: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Introvert_Charismatic.html?id=rO5CBgAAQBAJ

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2016

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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