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Strangers To Fire: When Tradition Trumps Scripture, reviewed by John Lathrop

The last section of the book, the postscript, is very practical. It issues a call for action, a call to those who have not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit to enter into that experience. The writer offers specific information to help those who are interested in being filled with the Spirit. He gives Scripture references that show that being filled with the Spirit frequently takes place in the context of prayer. He also gives them the Lord’s assurance that He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13). Additional counsel is given to help people understand how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in order to receive the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues. If one still encounters difficulty in receiving the infilling of the Spirit there may be a hindrance in the way. A few potential hindrances are listed and counsel is given about how to deal with them.

This book demonstrates that Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians do have a sound biblical theology to support the contemporary exercise of all of the spiritual gifts that are mentioned in the New Testament. I believe that this book would serve well as a textbook in a theology course that deals with Pneumatology. Robert Graves is to be commended for assembling this collection of articles in one volume. I believe that Pentecostals/Charismatics and cessationists could all benefit from reading this book. May God use it to accomplish its stated purpose to “… aid in the release of cessationists so they might be able to pray the biblical prayer, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24, KJV) (523) and to facilitate an even greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit among those who have already entered into the experience of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit.

Reviewed by John P. Lathrop


Further Reading:

Interview with the editor: speaks with The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship President, Robert Graves, about their first published book, Strangers to Fire: When Tradition Trumps Scripture.

Read the review of Strangers to Fire from Tony Richie and further reflections by Jon Ruthven.

Are Pentecostals offering Strange Fire?” The panel discussion at about John MacArthur’s Strange Fire.

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Category: Fall 2014, Spirit

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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