Item description for Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience by Michael J. Klassen...
Overview Looking back through my involvement in the charismatic movement, I can see where I was hurt and where I hurt others--in the name of the Holy Spirit," Michael Klassen admits. "This book is written for people like me, who want to separate the wheat from the chaff of their charismatic experiences."
Both a critic and an apologist, Klassen provides an honest assessment of the charismatic movement and its distinctive beliefs and practices: speaking in tongues, spiritual power, authority, healing, personal prophecy, and much more.
Whether you have attended a charismatic church--or you are simply curious about this often misunderstood movement--the author clarifies what is biblical and good and what is human, hype, or even harmful.
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Studio: Bethany House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.34" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.62 lbs.
Release Date Jan 31, 2009
Publisher Bethany House
ISBN 0764205498 ISBN13 9780764205491
Reviews - What do customers think about Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience?
Balanced examination of current charismatic trends Jul 2, 2009
Having a non-charismatic background, but being interested (and not a little astounded) by the things I read from charismatics (e.g. apostolic ministries, word of faith) this book jumped out as a way of understanding these teachings from the point of view of someone who has lived them and turned a critical eye on them.
I read the book in 3 days, and found it an excellent and balanced exploration of all things charismatic. It is very clear, very biblical, and very easy to read. Klassen is clearly well-educated biblically, but has the knack of presenting profound truths in simple ways. He also manages to explore the less positive aspects of the charismatic movement without animosity or bitterness, encouraging his readers at all times to forgive those who may have hurt them, and to embrace the work of God through their pain.
I found the book comforting in its biblical integrity, but also challenging, in that it encouraged me to be more open to the good aspects of the charismatic movement. I recommend this book to all who are currently involved in charismatic churches, those 'recovering' from such involvement, or those (like me) seeking to understand charismatic thinking and move to a greater appreciation of what it means to live by faith in Jesus.
Fair and balanced Mar 21, 2009
Maybe I'm not qualified to write about Klassen's book because I know him. Albeit, maybe that's what qualifies me. Mike is true to his word. As it has been with many of us past and even present charismatics we have been on a roller coaster. Mike is entitled to use that term because he loves roller coaster rides. I know that too! But getting to the point -- Mike is adept at taking the charismatic movement apart, pointing out the excesses with grace and compassion but then sews the movement back together again, with seams remarkably matched. Klassen speaks out of his own experiences, his observations, his disappointments, and his exhilaration to aptly illustrate. Whenever we experience something as invigorating as the fresh wind of the Spirit we not only want others to experience the same, we also tend to see it as a "corner of the market" on which we have our own little inside track, and we develop a certain a presumptuousness. We may even have the audacity to think "our wineskins" will never get old. Mike wants to make sure we don't lose the freshness of this movement, to learn to constantly allow our new wine to flow into new wineskins. Klassen says, "It never ceases to amaze me that God entrusts his infallible Word into the hands of his very fallible people - people who know not." That's so true but it often comes to us too late in life. Mike is not infallible! He has lived long enough to have seen this but has chosen to stay the course. If for no other reason, that is reason enough to recommend reading Strange Fire, Holy Fire. This book answers questions about charismatics so many of us have asked for a long, long time.
a must read! Jan 26, 2009
This is a brilliant must read book and is fair and well-balanced! Some portions of this book had me laughing hard, while other parts almost made me cry in sadness at how we are damaging our reputations and turning away real seekers from our Churches because of various unsanctioned & weird spiritual movements that are not lining up what is in the Bible (there is always a counterfeit to every real thing). Making a whole spiritual movement of one Bible verse taken out of context is not good but highly damaging. This book is designed to help us properly discern what is authentic and what might not be real. For too long some in the Christian community blindly follow anything we see on Christian Television-with no discernment at all. In (NKJ) 1st John 4:1 we are told to "test the spirits to see whether they are of God". Spiritual Gifts are God-given to build up, not show-off and feel superior. The statement that Klassen makes that some people are made to feel guilty (or less than) for not speaking in tongues by some who advocate speaking in tongues as a qualifier that you are Spirit-filled rang true in my earlier Church experiences. The Author researched the Charismatic Pentecostal movement from its roots & in our Modern Church world to our current date. It is among one of the best books I have ever read! If we Christians will admit it, some aspects of our behavior can use a serious make over! Amazingly the Lord still uses us as weird (not in the peculiar way the Lords Apostle was speaking of ) and far out as many of us in the church can be, (but God also used a donkey). Thank God he does use us inspite of ourselves. This book should be a guide to all new Believers. My concern is also with various practices of the Faith movement that teaches a formula of confessing words to make a reality which EXCLUDES dependence on Gods, thereby placing ones dependency on ones own will or carnal desires. Another issue of concern is with those modern day Evangelist who proclaim themselves to be Prophets who exalt their gift of prophecy over Jesus our Lord & Savior. They spend most all of their time preaching from the Old Testament & pleading for money from others as if God charges for His gifts. Emphasis is mostly always on OT Priest or Prophets. My concern is that this develops a cult-like following of spiritual elitist snobs who run after Prophets & Spiritual experiences more than the gift-giver(Jesus)Himself. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way because this book was not out when I came to know the Lord. I thank the Author for writing it. This should be a must read for all new Christians.