Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Reviews

I've recently completed two really good books, both of which made great deposits in my walk with Jesus. I thought I'd take a moment and give a review of each book. The first was Fasting by Jentezen Franklin. I picked up this book a couple months ago because of the stirring God has put in my heart to make fasting a regular part of my relationship with Him. I've fasted for years but I want to grow in this area. The subtitle of this book was, "Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God," and I can honestly say this book has done just that, for me. I loved this book because it was full of scripture as well as story after modern day story of how God moves when his people "push away from the table" and fast to draw close to Him. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:In reflecting on how Jesus began His ministry with a time of intense fasting, Franklin said, "If Jesus could have all He came to do without fasting, why would He fast?  The Son of God fasted because He knew there was supernatural things that could only be released that way. How much more should fasting be a common practice in our lives?"
  • In talking about Adam and Eve he said, "They ate themselves out of the will of God for their lives. They ate themselves out of God's provision and plan for their lives and out of His magnificent presence."  Wow!
  • "Fasting is not just a physical discipline; it can be a spiritual feast."  Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
  • "There are dimensions of our glorious King that will never be revealed to the casual, disinterested worshiper."  I don't know about you, but I have no desire to be a casual worshiper!  I have no desire to be ordinary!
  • "In the life of a believer, there should always be more private than public ministry to God...Victories are not won in public but in private." Wow!
  • "Fasting with prayer just seems to open a different frequency in God's ear!"
  • "Any time you fast, it is a hunger strike against hell."
The second book I've just completed is Catch The Fire by Guy Chevreau. This book was written in the mid 90's to shed light on what has come to be known as the Toronto Blessing, a mighty move of God that took place in Canada but has left a long-lasting global impact on the kingdom of God. If you know much about this revival you know that quite a bit of talk was made in regards the radical, physical manifestations that took place during this move of God, many of which received criticism even within the Christian community. What I enjoyed about the book was how the author shed scriptural and historical light on what happened in Toronto. Bottom line - nearly every move of God, past and present, has been met with criticism and controversy. It happened at Pentecost and will probably continue to happen in the future. It seems that when God moves beyond our experiences and outside of our preconceived ideas of what "revival" or "renewal" looks like, we have a tendency to move into "this can't be God" mode. I really liked how the author, Chevreau, incorporated excerpts from revivalists of old as they observed what God was doing in their time. This opened my eyes to the fact that the phenomena that was taking place in Toronto in the mid 90's was not really new.  It was neat to hear the writings from men like Jonathan Edwards, a preacher and revivalist from the 1700's. If you didn't know better you would have thought as you read Edwards that he had been to Toronto and was reporting what he had experienced. Amazingly similar!

Here are a few of my favorites quotes:
  • In talking about what he saw at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Chevreau said, "All of this makes apple sauce of a fellow's theological applecarts."  Love it!
  • "That's one of the things we need to have settled. As much fun as all of the manifestations are - and church has never been so much fun, the manifest presence of God is a radical life-changer. There is no record in the Scriptures of the Lord manifesting His presence, and people staying the same as before."
  • "When the Spirit manifests His presence, if often, if not always, requires that WE 'lose control'."
  • He made a funny as he looked back at his Baptist roots. He said, "I figured it was a significant manifestation if we could get people to lean forward, take out their wallets, and put something in the offering plate." Hilarious!  Needless to say he was a little taken back the first time he saw the Spirit of God drop someone to floor.
  • In putting some of the physical manifestations in biblical perspective he quotes the Airport Vineyard's then Senior Pastor John Arnott. In using Saul's conversion experience as an example, Arnott said, "If someone in your church suddenly fell to the ground, heard his name called, and said that he had seen a vision, and was left blind after the whole experience, what would you conclude? And, how would you explain it to his mother?"
  • "A work of God without stumbling blocks is never to be expected."
  • "We should distinguish the good from the bad, and not judge the whole by the part." This quote would applied to the recent Lakeland revival. That's all I have to say about that:)
  • "God's desire to bless us is far greater than Satan's ability to deceive us. It is far healthier to focus attention on the wheat, and not the chaff, nor on the enemy sowing weeds." (Matthew 13:24-30)
  • 18th century preacher, Jonathan Edwards, said, "A man's having much affection (a word he uses synonymously with passion and zeal), does not prove that he has any religion; but if he has no affection, it proves that he has no true religion."
  • "The visitation of the Spirit at the Toronto Airport Vineyard has forced many of us to reshuffle pre-suppositions and expectations; it has knocked out the ends of the box in which we had neatly contained our God."
Over all, I highly recommend both of these books. They have blessed me immensely. I'm now on to Sean Smith's, Prophetic Evangelism:)

1 comment:

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing.