Christians have debated over the centuries whether the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is active in Christians in this era. Clark wants to put an end to the debate. “We cannot afford to be arguing among ourselves while there is so great and so ripe a harvest set before us in this generation.” (13)
To that end Clark has written this book. He wants to correct false concepts of the Holy Spirit. The main thrust of the book is the question as to whether the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in the believer has ceased (cessationism) or whether it continues (continuism) as affirmed by Scripture. The book is, in general, a response to cessationists, giving a biblical basis for the continuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I appreciate that Clark looks at the problems that have plagued the Charismatic movement. He also reviews the positions of key figures in Christian history, such as Augustine, Calvin and Edwards. He also reviews examples of the use of the Holy Spirit gifts today. Clark applies Jonathan Edwards' method of discerning the spirits to the use of the gifts today, condensing it down to five marks.
I like how Clark has presented this work. While I would not classify this as a scholarly work, it is well suited to Christians who are widely read and familiar with major theologians, both past and present. My only concern about the book is that I thought Clark went too easy on those who claim to be modern day prophets. I am not so sure the requirements for accuracy and the consequences of false prophecy are different today than in Old Testament times, as Clark claims. Other than that, his is a well presented defense of the continued manifestation of the Holy Spirit's power through believers today.
Randy Clark is the President and founder of Global Awakening, an apostolic ministry founded in 1994 aiming to equip the body of Christ through ministry schools, training programs, conferences and international mission trips. He is also an adjunct professor at United Theological Seminary and Regent Divinity School. He received his MDiv from The Southern Baptist theological Seminary and his DMin from United Theological Seminary. He also has a ThD from the Phoenix University of Theology. He and his wife have four grown children and three grandchildren.
Destiny Image, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary galley of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.