Kendall is concerned about the “silent divorce” of Word and Spirit in churches today. Some churches, such as the Reformed branch I grew up in, emphasize the Word. They concentrate on mind and knowledge and generally do not know the conscious presence of the Holy Spirit. Other churches, such as the Pentecostals, emphasize the Holy Spirit. They experience the power of the Holy Spirit but lack the firm foundation provided by solid Bible knowledge.
We need both, Kendall says. We need both the instruction of the Word and the power of the Spirit. He has written this book to encourage churches to embrace both Word and Spirit. He helps Word oriented Christians know how to relate to the Spirit and be more aware of Him. He helps Spirit related Christians understand the importance of sound theology and the necessity of weighing prophetic words against Scripture.
My favorite part of the book was an example Kendall gave regarding assurance of salvation. We can have the assurance by reason, understanding what the Bible says about salvation and accepting it. We can also have assurance by experience, the Holy Spirit actually testifying to our heart. Apparently that was the experience of the early Methodists. They actually felt something and knew they were saved by their experience of the Holy Spirit. (105-106)
Another area I really liked was Kendall's teaching on prophetic responsibility. He cautions people who claim they have a word from the Lord. He gives several levels of prophecy and that helped me understand the differences in biblical prophecy and prophecy today.
This is a good book for all Christians to read to get a grasp of where churches are today and what could happen when the Word and Spirit come together. Kendall believes it will happen. I pray he is right. (There was one aspect of the book I found irritating. Kendall mentions his previous books time after time. It felt like shameless promotion and I thought it inappropriate.)
My rating: 4/5 stars.
R T Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, for twenty-five years. Born in Ashland, Kentucky, he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Oxford University (DPhil). He is the author of a number of books.
Charisma House, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.