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Zeb Bradford Long and Douglas McMurray: Receiving the Power

 

This debate is certainly nothing new, and the divisiveness of initial evidence is not a new subject either. J. Lee Grady, editorial director for Charisma magazine spoke at length of this in his book What Happened to the Fire? (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 1994). He quotes Foursquare pastor Jack Hayford as having said, “I accept the testimony of people in differing traditions who claim they are baptized in the Holy Spirit, whether they’ve spoken in tongues or not. Still, as I minister within my own tradition, I urge people to expect to speak with tongues when they receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit” (p. 77-78)1

Disappointingly, Long and McMurray do not seem to offer any options for healing this division over evidences of Spirit baptism having occurred, a division which some might wonder if they have not further widened. It appears the only option offered is to accept their particular position. The emphasis for these authors, however, is not so much upon whether or not initial evidence is true or how to resolve this difference, but upon their valid assertion that it is the privilege of all believers to be empowered by the Spirit. With this assertion, of course, charismatics and Pentecostals whole-heartedly agree. “In the urgency of this hour, and especially for the sake of the young, is it not time for the Western Church to recognize the truth first revealed to John the Baptist: that Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit? Can we seriously hope to win young people to Christ without the realities promised and power gained in the Person and work of the Spirit of God?” (p. 229).

Aside from distancing themselves from charismatics and particularly Pentecostals, the book is a readable introduction to all aspects of the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit through the life of the believer. The authors discuss all the areas of theology and spiritual manifestations that the Third Wave has become known for: Higher and Lower level Spiritual Warfare2, Kairos moments3, Inner healing and the healing of memories, Holy laughter, and Resting in the Spirit. They share many rich and powerful stories from the history of Presbyterianism, the life of R. A. Torrey, and their own experiences in ministry.

This book is a strong testimony to the power of God available today. All who read it will be rewarded with a glimpse of the passion and spiritual vitality that is present in the Third Wave. For the charismatic and Pentecostal reader it also serves as an overlook of not only the differences or misunderstandings between the “earlier waves” and the Third Wave, but also a taste of what they stand to learn from the Third Wave.

Reviewed by Raul L. Mock

 

Notes

1 As quoted by Steven Lawson in “The Foursquare Church Faces the 21st Century,” Charisma, March 1993, p. 26.

2 Higher level spiritual warfare includes the concept of discerning evil spiritual strongholds in certain regions (often called spiritual mapping) and breaking their control through intercession and intense prayer to God. Lower level spiritual warfare is commonly referred to as Deliverance ministry and involves power encounters with demonic forces working in individual lives.

3 from the Greek referring to a decisive moment, often stressing that which is divinely ordained. For the Greek definition of this word, see Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged in One Volume, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Co., 1985), p. 389.

 

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Category: Spirit, Spring 1999

About the Author: Raul L. Mock is one of the founders and directors of the Pneuma Foundation and editor of The Pneuma Review. Raul has been part of an Evangelical publishing ministry since 1996, working with Information Services and Supply Chain Management for more than two decades. He and his wife, Erin, have a daughter and twin boys and live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. LinkedIn

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