- Paperback: 604 pages
- Publisher: Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship, Incorporated, The (August 20, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0996044507
- ISBN-13: 978-0996044509
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Strangers to Fire: When Tradition Trumps Scripture Paperback – August 20, 2014
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From the Inside Flap
This is an anthology of 35 essays edited by Robert W. Graves, President of The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship; written by 26 authors of the Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Third Wave movements or non-cessationists of traditional denominations responding to John F. MacArthur's Strange Fire or cessationism and the abuse of the charismata in general. Foreword by J. Lee Grady.
Authors include Wayne Grudem, Jack Deere, Craig Keener, Jon Ruthven, Sam Storms, Doug Oss, Mel Robeck, Paul Elbert, Randy Clark, Robert Menzies, J. P. Moreland, Gary Greig, Mark Rutland, Gary Shogren, William De Arteaga, William K. Kay, and Melvin Hodges.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
This is an anthology of 35 essays edited by Robert W. Graves, President of The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship; written by 26 authors of the Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Third Wave movements or non-cessationists of traditional denominations responding to John F. MacArthur's Strange Fire or cessationism and the abuse of the charismata in general. Foreword by J. Lee Grady. Authors include Wayne Grudem, Jack Deere, Craig Keener, Jon Ruthven, Sam Storms, Doug Oss, Mel Robeck, Paul Elbert, Randy Clark, Robert Menzies, J. P. Moreland, Gary Greig, Mark Rutland, Gary Shogren, William De Arteaga, William K. Kay, and Melvin Hodges.
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Top customer reviews
The preface of this book says that John MacArthur's book Strange Fire was the impetus that caused Strangers to Fire to be published (xxvii). It was published to address and correct some of the issues that were raised in MacArthurs's book. In fact, seven of the book's thirty-five chapters were written in direct response to MacArthur's book (xxxi). The majority of the direct responses were previously published on line by a number of Christian ministries. The remainder of the book consists of material drawn from other books and publications written between 1968 and 2013 (xxxi). All of the chapters touch on issues pertinent to Strange Fire, and the cessationists' position in general (the view that certain gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer in operation).
A quick look at the biographical information about the contributors to this book will demonstrate that they are highly educated people, many with earned doctoral degrees.
This is not just a "tongues" book. Pentecostals and Charismatics are frequently known for speaking in tongues but that is not the only, or even the main, emphasis of this book. Speaking in tongues is covered but other works of the Holy Spirit, such as prophecy, healing, and miracles, are also covered. The writers defend the contemporary manifestation of all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
One of the great strengths of this book is its variety. The subject of spiritual gifts is approached from biblical, theological, and historical points of view. The writers show that spiritual gifts, including tongues, healing, prophecy, and miracles, continued beyond the days of the apostles and are meant to continue until the Lord's return.
Some of the issues that are addressed in this book include: the cessationists belief that some of the gifts of the Spirit will pass away "when that which is perfect is come" (1 Cor. 13:10 KJV), which they believe is a reference to the completed New Testament, that the supernatural works of the Holy Spirit were necessary at the beginning of the church to get it going but that they are not needed now, and that the acceptance of contemporary prophetic words makes allowance for an alternative source of authority that rivals Scripture. Cessationist interpretations are identified and addressed. Facts are marshaled to support the continuationist view of spiritual gifts, which is held by Pentecostals and Charismatics. Scripture is employed in the articulation of the continuationist position as are appeals to the experiences of Christians at various times in church history. This book is not an emotional reaction to MacArthur's book; rather it is a reasoned response to it and the cessationist position in general.
The postscript is very practical; it calls those who have not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit to enter into that experience. The writer offers specific help to those who desire to be filled with the Spirit.
This book demonstrates that Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians have a sound biblical theology to support the contemporary exercise of all of the spiritual gifts that are mentioned in the New Testament. I believe that Pentecostals/Charismatics and cessationists could all benefit from this book.