Scott Camp, A Primer on Power: Discovering the Dynamic Ministry of the Holy Spirit (Franklin Publishing, 2016).
It is with thanks to Scott Camp for the chance to review his book, A Primer on Power: Discovering the Dynamic Ministry of the Holy Spirit (Franklin Publishing, 2016). Scott Camp is a full-time traveling evangelist who also teaches Evangelism at the SUM Bible College and Seminary in Oakland, California. Scott is in the midst of finishing up his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. He has extensive pastoral ministry, evangelistic, and leadership experience.
Camp wrote this book, “as a ‘primer’ in the hopes it will create within the hearts of all who read it a hunger for a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit” (25). He also shares from his own personal experience with the Holy Spirit. He writes: “I am unapologetically Charismatic. I believe in an experience of empowerment subsequent to regeneration which has commonly been referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit” (25). This leads into his purpose for writing, “The purpose of this book is to introduce this subject in the hopes that my readers may enter into this fullness of the life of the Spirit and His ministry gifts” (25). Camp believes the church in the West is in desperate need of revival. He unashamedly contends that this revival comes only through a direct encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit and Christians experiencing the fullness of the Spirit in their lives (26).
A Primer on Power is a strong mix of anecdotal accounts and biblical-theological exegesis. Camp begins by showing how the church at large is lacking in its ability to function in the power of the Holy Spirit. 78% of Evangelical churches in the U.S. are plateaued and/or declining (31). The remaining 22% growth occurs through transfer membership. Very few new salvations occur on a regular basis. The church in America needs a revival! The key to that revival, argues Camp, lies in experiencing a dynamic power encounter with the person and work of the Holy Spirit. He challenges readers to actively experience the Spirit’s empowerment to dynamically engage others. He quips, “While Jesus has called us to be ‘fishers of men,’ we are content to be “keepers of the aquarium” (31).
Why does Camp want to see renewal in the church? The centerpiece and unwavering purpose for revival exists in effectively carrying out Christ’s mandate, the Great Commission. Prioritizing preaching the gospel to all creation and making disciples of all nations is imperative. Christians lack an ability to accomplish this mandate effectively apart from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Camp asserts, “Jesus’ Great Commission mandate could not be carried out without the active ministry of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Church Age, the Holy Spirit would take the will of King Jesus and communicate it to His Church, filling believers with faith and supernatural power to extend His reign upon the earth, ‘making disciples of all nations’” (47).
The essence of the book then centers on the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of “speaking and praying in tongues” for the purpose of mission. However, the book refrains from centering on tongues. The thrust of the Spirit’s baptism produces supernatural power to fulfill the Great Commission. Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues serves, for Scott Camp, to “discover the dynamic ministry of the Holy Spirit.” Moreover, this experience allows one to know and experience God on a new level. It enacts strength along with an ability to share the gospel with others in a distinctly new way.