Thursday, January 23, 2014
Review of "Miraculous Movements"
JUST FINISHED A NEW BOOK Miraculous Movements, (2012, Thomas Nelson) by Jerry Trousdale. There was much to like about this remarkable book.
Miraculous Movements opens with the striking story of a Moslem leader's conversion. In response to prayer, Christ appeared to him in a dream. His conversion followed shortly, and he was eventually used to plant many churches.
The demonstration of this kind of power is a common pattern in west Africa. This book contains stories (I have no reason to doubt their veracity) of people raised from the dead, of exorcisms, and sudden and miraculous healings, all leading to mass conversions of Moslems. God uses simple, often illiterate people, to perform these mighty works.
This is a faith-amplifying book. It is a reminder that God has the power to convert anyone, at any time, from any religion, in any place. It will also motivate intercession and prayer. Since reading it I myself have spent more time in prayer.
However, the book has one major weakness. The author stresses the importance of training new converts to obey God's word. We couldn't agree more. However, he seems to be convinced that formal group teaching sessions discourage obedience. So, he doesn't encourage teaching in the form of lectures. Instead, this organization encourages inductive teaching sessions. They read a portion of scripture, then ask the participants to interpret and obey it.
Inductive teaching is great, but not when it is the only form of teaching. The teaching of objective theology is crucial. Without it this movement will ultimately degenerate into legalisms, and/or outright heresy.
So, did I like this book? Yes! It was a faith builder. My caveat relates to their rejection of expository and doctrinal teaching, the ministry that God clearly gave to the church in Eph. 4:11. God gives the church teachers, and this movement needs to put them to work.
With this corrective in mind, read this book and enjoy it. It will stretch your faith.