Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review: Practicing The Power by Sam Storms

There is a great debate in the church today over spiritual gifts. Some have said that gifts such as speaking in tongues, and healing have ceased. Others proclaim they are still active in the church today. There are a few who believe the spiritual gifts, as shown in the early church, are still here but we must approach them with discernment.

A few years ago, I had the change to review John MacArthur's Strange Fire which is his manifesto on why the Apostolic gifts as show in the book of Acts has ceased. Many Christians agreed with MacArthur while others dismissed his claims. Sam Storms, who is a Calvinist pastor in Oklahoma City, OK, believes that the spiritual gifts as shown in the early church are alive and well, which he has taken the time to write about them in his latest book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life.

Storms hopes that when people read this book, they will walk away with a better understanding of the spiritual gifts. When it comes to spiritual gifts, we must proceed in studying them with caution because we can either enter into orthodoxy or heresy regarding them. Storms writes that Christians should seek what spiritual gift God has given them, which is something I agree on. Every believer must seek to see what God has for them in the ministry of the church.

He goes on that we must not neglect prayer and fasting in the search of our spiritual gifts. In addition, prayer and fasting are disciplines that Christ himself commanded for us in the gospels. Storms spends three chapters on prophecy. How the church should identify it, how they should practice it, and how to use it in the context on their local church.

The ideal that the Apostolic gifts has stopped is called Cessationalism, which Storms lists 12 reasons why it is a bad idea on being one, while he listed 12 good reasons to be a continuationist, which are those believe those gifts continue in the church today. I must admit, he gives some compelling arguments.

As I read this book, I was on the fence regarding spiritual gifts and whether or not they are still in the church. I still believe they are, but I am cautious about it considering a lot of false "prophecies" I have heard in my early days as a Christian. Just as Strange Fire gave MacArthur a voice in why the Apostolic gifts has ceased, Practicing The Power has given Storm a voice on why they are still in the church.

Thanks Booklook Bloggers for letting me review this book.

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