Roc Bottomly, The Promised Power: Experiencing The Union Of Word and Spirit (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2005), 205 pages.
This book bears wonderful testimony to what God is doing in the world today. The author, Roc Bottomly, graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in theology. During the course of his pastoral ministry he served in three different churches, the last of which he helped plant. In this book Bottomly says that a great reunion is taking place in the church – the reuniting of the ministries of Word and Spirit. Bottomly was a strong Word person. In The Promised Power he shares his own journey into the charismatic ministry of the Spirit. This was a journey which he admits took him out of his comfort zone; stretching him intellectually, emotionally, relationally and theologically.
The church has been divided over the issues of Word and Spirit, this book urges believers to embrace both. The author does address charismatics and asks them to embrace more of the Word position, which would include serious study of Scripture, but the majority of the book deals with getting Word people to allow more room for the Spirit in their experience.
Bottomly was educated in the Word by both the Navigators and Dallas Theological Seminary. He appreciates his association with both of these ministries but despite his strong grounding in the Word he felt that something was missing. Some of the defining moments that moved him in the direction of the Spirit took place in Mike Bickle’s church in Kansas City. In one service he was moved by the worship, which was very emotional. In another his friends’ ten year old son was undeniably healed of asthma. This incident made Bottomly wonder what God was trying to tell him.
His search for answers led him back to the Bible. He noticed that there was a big difference between what the people in the Bible experienced of God and what was happening around him. This coupled with reports of miraculous events that were taking place overseas on the mission field further piqued his desire to know more. He then began to get involved with charismatics both personally and through books and tapes.
Bottomly identifies some of the obstacles that can keep us from experiencing the Spirit, things such as personal preference, unwillingness and culture. He also lists qualities that one must have in order to receive new things from God, qualities such as humility and faith. The book also includes a number of testimonies of the powerful contemporary working of the Spirit.
One item of particular interest in the book is a list of things that Paul Stanley, an executive vice president of the Navigators, has observed taking place all over the world. In his travels he has noticed that there is “an intense desire for worship, a strong movement toward prayer and fasting, a new zeal for evangelism and an expectant desire to see God manifest His power.”
Bottomly’s entrance into the charismatic realm of the Spirit caused him to seek to bring it into the churches that he pastored. In the book he does offer some counsel about how to approach bringing the charismatic experience into the church. The book also has a study guide at the end.