This is a book that I have for a little bit and was given to me by a friend. I had not read it partly because I could write it. I know the pneumatology of Global Awakening, Randy Clark’s ministry that well. However I want to go ahead to check out and recommend The Essential Guide to the power of the Holy Spirit by Randy Clark.
As I said, I was given a copy of the book but it was not a “here is a copy so you can do a review” thing. It was a friend that gave to me as a friend just to have if I wanted to read it. I want to make this very clear. This is not a requested review by Randy Clark or Global Awakening.
It is also worth noting that I have been on a mission trip with Global Awakening and I have spend some time listen to their teaching live. They hold a more John Wimber style view of ministry and how the Kingdom of God operates as laid out by George Eldon Ladd.
Essential Guide to the Power of God is a launching pad
As I read it, I saw the scholarly work that Randy Clark did but I find it just incomplete. I guess that is why it is was called the essential guide. There is just another there to make you hungry for more of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Randy is not a Pentecostal. He is a saved baptist, trained Vineyard pastor that got touched through the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne type guy. As a person that does not come out of our tradition or related streams, it is not surprising that he struggles to connect the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the initial physical evidence of praying in tongues. This is not a deal breaker for me because I knew this going into the book.
As I read through the book, I felt it was geared towards people in traditional churches that struggle to believe in miracles today or people in charismatic churches that just talk about them but do seem them too much. I do not think a Pentecostal is going to get anything new out of the book. Sorry, Randy.
The battle of Word vs Spirit
There is a struggle betweeen people who want the move of the Spirit and people who believe in what they call Sola scriptura. This is a debate that at least a century old. It is packaged a dozen different ways but the bottom line is one group that loves the Holy Spirit moving and another group that is more academia in their worship to God.
Randy Clark addresses this at length talking about why experience should not be at odds with doctrine. The following is part of Chapter 11: Does it elevate the truth and promote love?
Time after time, we are implored to be doers of the Word, not just hearers only. This is a summons, not to a purely academic or theological faith, but rather to a experiential faith. This is your biblical invitation to a life of encounter with God.
The book is worth getting. I am not sure how much a Pentecostal believe that is baptized in the Holy Spirit is going to get out of it but I am sure there is something in it for them. In nothing else, it is a good reminder for us to cry out, “Come, Holy Spirit, Come.”