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Archive for April 9th, 2014

19 Gifts of the Spirit

 Available on Amazon

I am sure that I am not the first to notice the irony of how today’s discussion about spiritual gifts provoke much debate and division over the “sign gifts” when the Bible teaches that all spiritual gifts are for the edification and the unity of the Church as a whole.  Not that I’m against these discussions and debates—one must study the issue biblically and come away with some kind of conviction while intelligently disagreeing with the other side.  But for some, the only spiritual gifts they know (or think they know) are tongues, prophecy and healing.  If you want to understand spiritual gifts beyond the debate of whether or not sign gifts are for today, here is a practical book that you might find beneficial.

I don’t much about the author beforehand but he appears not to be a Charismatic/Pentecostal and is more of a Cessasionist.  Nevertheless Charismatics will benefit from this book also.  He covers nineteen spiritual gifts (the title of the book gives that away) in which he explains what the gifts are, examples of such gifts practiced in the Bible or in church history and also some word of what the practical application of the gifts looks like.  The book is geared towards Christians understanding and identifying their spiritual gifts (the author even devoted one whole chapter towards the end of the book of how to identify one’s spiritual gifts).  He breaks down these spiritual gifts into three main categories which the book addresses in the following order:  speaking, serving and sign.  I thought it was wise of the author to present them in that order, with the speaking being foundational for the rest since it involves communicating the Word of God.  Also, it puts the most controversial last, which avoid instantly turning off any hyper-sensitive continuationists.  I think for the most part, most continuationists would agree and find the bulk of the author’s exposition on the speaking and serving gifts non-controversial.

I enjoyed reading the book for my own edification.  Given past experience of hearing people teach on this subject (some can be so quick to jump to the application of spiritual gifts without understanding what it means first) I was pleasantly surprised at how the author handled Bible verses in an informed manner that gave justice to the text.  I also recommended this book to a brother in my church who was working on a lesson outline on spiritual gifts as part of a larger church membership class.  This book was just the right fit, being biblical, non-technical, and practical.

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