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Paul King: Is It Of God?

Paul L. King, Is It Of God? A Biblical Guidebook For Spiritual Discernment Volume 1 (Newberry, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2019), 384 pages, ISBN 9781610364065.

Dr. Paul King is a man with significant academic credentials. He holds two doctorates, one from Oral Roberts University and one from the University of South Africa. He has served on the faculty of Oral Roberts University, he has also served as a Faculty Mentor at United Theological Seminary for the Randy Clark Scholars in their Doctor of Ministry Program. In addition to teaching, Dr. King has authored a number of books and has served in pastoral ministry. He has been involved in ministry for almost 50 years and is an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination.

Is It Of God? is devoted to the subject of spiritual discernment. More specifically, the author writes to help believers determine if certain teachings, practices, or manifestations are from God. This current volume is the first of two volumes; the second will be released at a later date. The main body of the book consists of 20 chapters and 3 appendixes. In the course of his writing King cites some well-known Christians from the past, the list includes, A. W. Tozer, A. B. Simpson, and Jonathan Edwards. There is a lot of material in this book, some of which is quite detailed. The text contains some Hebrew and Greek but these are not major features of the book, the material in the text is very accessible and the size of the print is comfortable.

These are some of the topics that Dr. King covers in this book: why we need discernment, the biblical foundations of discernment, the biblical principles of discernment, cessationism, and continuationism. He discusses why revival is so messy (a mixture of divine, human, and at times, demonic elements). In the course of discussing revivals he compares some of the characteristics of the revivals in Brownsville, Toronto, and Lakeland against certain discernment criteria. He also addresses the question “If It Is Miraculous, Is It Always From God?” (Chapter 13).

Discernment is not always as simple as determining whether the Bible mentions the subject or not.

Dr. King is very humble in his approach in this book. He does not present himself as an expert on the subject, he admits that he is still learning and still growing in discernment (page xiii). The author also says that most people will probably disagree with some of his conclusions (page xiii). What King does in this book is offer principles which will help the believer to determine if a teaching, practice, or manifestation is from God. That being said King believes that corporate discernment plays an important part in the discernment process (page 21). Some believers might like to say if the Bible mentions something then it is of God and if it doesn’t mention it then it is not of God. While this is the safest test, the author shows us that discernment is not always that simple. He sets forth other principles that we can turn to when the Bible does not give us a clear-cut example of the teaching, practice, or manifestation that we are dealing with. These additional principles include the harmony of the teaching, practice, or manifestation with Scripture (pages 30-31), insight given through the gift of the discerning of spirits (pages 34-35), and the fruit that is borne by the item being examined (page 34).

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2019

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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