Item description for Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today by Zondervan...
Overview Deere, a former Dallas Seminary professor and skeptic of miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, provides a strong biblical defense for the Spirit's speaking and healing ministries today. He describes several reliable cases of people who were miraculously healed or who heard God speak in an unmistakable way, and he gives sound advice for using spiritual gifts in church.
Publishers Description What caused a former Dallas Seminary professor to believe that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are being given today? What convinced someone skeptical about miracles that God still speaks and heals? A dramatic change took place in Jack Deere's life when he took a fresh look at the Scriptures. He discovered that his arguments against miraculous gifts were based more on prejudice and lack of personal experience than on the Bible. As soon as Deere became a seeker instead of a skeptic, the Holy Spirit revealed himself in new and surprising ways. In Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, Deere provides a strong biblical defense for the Spirit's speaking and healing ministries today. He also describes several reliable cases of people who were miraculously healed or who heard God speak in an unmistakable way. Finally, he gives sound advice for using spiritual gifts in the church. Written in a popular style, with the care of a scholar but the passion of personal experience, this book explores: the real reason Christians do not believe in miraculous gifts, responding to charismatic abuses, whether miracles were meant to be temporary, and why God still heals.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.9" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Aug 16, 2013
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310211271 ISBN13 9780310211273 UPC 025986211271
Availability 0 units.
More About Zondervan
Dennis Jones loves to draw. His artwork can be seen in books, magazines, games, toys and Sunday school curriculum. He's illustrated several print products including the NIrV Super Heroes Bible.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit?
Solid Scholarship & Scripturally Insightful Mar 22, 2007
This former theology professor was a skeptic who doubted the authenticity of the working of the Holy Spirit until he experienced it for himself. These experiences led him to study the subject in a more open-minded way and he discovered that indeed the Bible teaches that these manifestations are for today.
He explains that these gifts can be developed and vary in effectiveness from one person to the next. This can be compared with the gift of teaching, for example. An individual can have that ability, but its effectiveness is dependent upon its use and development. The more one uses a gift, the greater the increase in its result. Peter mentions (1 Peter 4:10) that each Christian has been given a ministry gift or "charisma," which is to be valued as a contribution to be made to the body at large.
On the topic of gifts, he points out that healing fits that category. God does not heal based on merit. People are healed by Jesus by grace, not effort.
Chapter 14 is particularly strong. It discusses prayer as a means to connect with a real Person. It is not just a ritual or an end unto itself. It is a means of linking oneself with God through Jesus Christ His Son. Deere encourages readers to listen in prayer. Overall this is an extremely helpful book full of beneficial insight on the Scriptures.
Logically and Biblically flawed; will not convince anyone who is not already convinced! Nov 2, 2005
I read this book hoping to get a good defense of the charismatic movement. I was extremely disappointed with this book. In spite of all the rave reviews of it, I thought that it is VERY poor work. Many of his arguments are weak, flawed and/or hackneyed, and Deere shows little originality in defending his position.
The book has many flaws. Deere's treatment of his opponents is extremely unfair, and he regularly uses tactics such as ad hominem attacks. He spends an entire chapter arguing that the "only reason" that cessationists disagree with him is their "lack of experience," a classic example of the genetic fallacy, in this case circumstancial ad hominem. One might also wonder about people who have left the charismatic movement after experiencing it (such as myself) - are they cessationists because of "lack of experience" too? I think not. The book also contains many other glaring logical errors, such as straw man arguments and circular reasoning.
An even bigger problem with the work is the fact that Deere consistently ignores the real issues. He ignores the real weaknesses in his position as well as his opponents' real arguments. He does not deal with many of his opponents' arguments, including many of their stronger ones. Even though he claims to be trying to refute B. B. Warfield's book "Counterfeit Miracles," Deere addresses few if any of B. B. Warfield's points. Deere deals with a few of the best arguments for cessationism and few of the books written by the major cessationist authors, and where he does deal with them he deals with them inadequately. Although I cannot comment on his treatment of Norman Geisler's book, which I have not yet read, I can comment that he deals very poorly (if at all) with authors such was Warfield, Gaffin, Hanegraaff, Gardiner, and MacArthur. If you are looking for answers to your questions about the charismatic movement, or a good defense of the movement, do not look to this book - this book will leave you with more questions than answers, and quite possibly more questions than when you started reading it, and was very instrumental in turning me off to the whole movement.
He fails to answer many of the questions that he raises; although many of his answers appear to be answers, if you break them down they often do not answer the question, and when they do they often do not go nearly far enough in answering the question. He tends to rely pretty heavily on anecdotal evidence (which is circular reasoning, considering that he is trying to prove that these experiences are valid); he only deals with Biblical evidence on whether or not the gifts cease in one chapter and the two appendices, and his arguments lack the exegetical depth that I had hoped for in this book and that I have found in the books of his opponents. In the other chapters, he frequently goes off on tangents which weaken his argument and make it a very frusterating book to read.
This book has little if any exegetical depth and many of his his arguments are weak and/or hackneyed. This book is also riddled with logical flaws, and several of his arguments are arrogent or deceptive (such as his rather arrogent, logically flawed chapter saying that the "real reason" that cessationists don't agree with his theology is that they haven't experienced the gifts, or the fact that he quotes the end of Mark 16 a "proof text" for his position and does not mention until the endnotes the significant manuscript problems with the last 8 verses of Mark 16). I think Deere could have done SO much better than he did, especially having a Ph.D., this book could be so much more accurate to the Bible and to the real issues in his position. How anyone can call this a "good" or even halfway decent defense of the charismatic movement is beyond me. Not recommended in the least, unless you are studying logic and looking for some classic examples of informal fallacies. Rated 1 stars only because I could not rate it any lower.
If you will not take my word for it that this book is really, REALLY bad and decide to read it anyway, please at very least read what his opponents actually say. I'd recommend in particular John MacArthur's "Charismatic Chaos." Read them together and compare them and you will quickly see how much Deere distorts his opponents arguments. Deere is frankly irresponsible in his handeling of the Word of God and in his handeling of his opponents' positions and arguments, opting to use many misleading or flawed arguments that were refuted years ago. I highly doubt that this book will persuade anyone of Jack Deere's position who was not already inclined to believe it before reading the book.
Deere makes a strong case for his thesis May 16, 2005
I suppose that on the question of whether the miraculous gifts of the New Testament are for today or not, I would be in the "open but cautious" camp. I see absolutely nothing in the Bible that would support a cessationist viewpoint (i. e. the view that the miraculous gifts: healing, prophecy, etc. passed away with the apostles), and I think Deere is correct in saying that many of those who subscribe to this view do so not on the basis of Scripture but on the basis of their lack of experience of such phenomena. Being raised Southern Baptist but being converted in a Pentecostal revival, I have a healthy respect for both doctrinal fidelity and the power of the Spirit. Deere was a cessationist and Old Testament professor at Dallas Theological Seminary before his "awakening" to things such as prophecy and healing through the ministry of John Wimber. His thesis, that the miraculous gifts have not passed away and that they are to be a vital part of the church's ministry today, is strong, and one that I would find extremely difficult to disagree with, even if I wanted to. Healing is not an issue for me; the problematic issue is the question of exactly how God speaks through modern day prophets. In the charismatic circles Deere travels in, it is widely accepted that New Testament prophets are not the same as Old Testament prophets in regard to their accuracy. In other words, they can get it wrong sometimes, perhaps even often. Well, this is problematic to me. Old Testament prophets were to judged by their accuracy: either they were 100% accurate or they were to be considered false prophets. I suppose I could accept the view that New Testament prophets are not to be tested in the same way (if they were, then everything they said could be considered a perfect word from the Lord, just like Scripture) but the question this raises is this: what makes them any different than the psychics of the world? The John Edwards or the Sylvia Brownes? This is not a question I have answered to my own satisfaction yet, and to be fair to Deere, this is a question he treats more fully in his subsequent book "Surprised by the Voice of God," a book I have not read. So for now I remain open but a little cautious.
Another Paul Cain Apr 8, 2004
Deere is an awesome christian, a powerful prophet, and a wonderful author. He is well read, articulate, bright, and biblically sound. He has been touched by some of the powerful prophetic voices in the country and has affected some of them himself. I recomend with no reservations.
If you are an evangelical, read this book Sep 14, 2003
No one can surpass Jack Deere in his exegesis of biblical text. Written in a highly readable style Surprised by the Power of the Spirit is investigation of how God speaks and heals today. Unlike many charismatic writers, Deere rejects the anecdotal approach to proving the power of God. Although Deere punctuates his book with anecdotal stories, he pursues a relentless investigation of the Scripture and with lawyer like skill, deals with objections with a keen wit. Case in point: When Deere talks about establishment of a healing ministry within the local church, he points out that the most common objection is not theological, but emotional- people worry how they will look if they pray for the sick and those prayers are unanswered. Deere retorts: Worrying about how we look when we pray for the sick is not a very effective way of getting our prayers answered. Then, he follows up with an exposition of Scripture, followed by his personal experience. It is a very effective way of communication.
I would be hard pressed to find fault with this book without resorting to theological nit picking; it is simply that good. If you have serious questions about the efficacious of gifts of healing in the contemporary church, read this book. Deere has a way of dealing with the questions, fears and misunderstandings we may have about the power of the Holy Spirit. His humor and ability to laugh at himself is appealing. If you are a serious Bible student who has not been presented a serious case for discovering how God speaks and heals to day, this is the book for you.