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Todd Hunter’s Giving Church Another Chance, reviewed by James Williams

Importantly, Hunter says, “Spirituality is not immaterial as opposed to material; not interior as opposed to exterior; not invisible as opposed to visible” (p.59). In principle, Pentecostals already affirm this as evidenced by practices such as glossolalia, anointing with oil, and the laying on of hands. Hunter takes this to its logical conclusion by applying it to Communion (Hunter uses “Eucharist” to emphasize thanksgiving). On one level, life is received and the future kingdom is acknowledged with thanksgiving in Communion. On another, Communion is completed when that life is sacrificially passed on. Repracticing Communion leads one away from it being an occasional add-on to worship to it being becoming a place of divine nourishment out of which kingdom ministry may be practiced more effectively. In this sense, the Eucharist links a congregation to the future. Similar treatment is given obedience, lifestyle, and blessing.

Giving Church Another Chance includes a discussion guide and the advice to repractice one thing at a time with no set completion date. Those already engaged in spiritual disciplines can benefit from Hunter; those seeking to begin may find Willard more helpful.

Reviewed by James Williams

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Category: Living the Faith, Pneuma Review, Winter 2013

About the Author: James Williams, the father of five and grandfather of thirteen, has pastored in the Vineyard and in the United Methodist Church. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Regent University writing on the Charismatic Movement in the United Methodist Church and believes that teaching Christian history should be like pulling out the family photo album.

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