John Napier

Recommendation:  5/5

Description of author:  John Napier has a ThD from Dallas Theological Seminary, and is a pastor and lecturer.

Comments:  This book was recommended to me by Dr. Trevor Craigen, theology professor at The Masters Seminary.  Napier critiques the Charismatic movement by tackling four important questions:  (1)  Where doe the Bible teach that tongues, the sign gifts, revelatory gifts, and other manifestations of the Spirit are not for today?  (2)  Why would God allow dedicated Christians to experience the sign and revelatory gifts if they are not from Him?  (3) If the sign and revelatory gifts are not for today, and are not fom God, why do these experiences produce positive effects in believers’ lives? and (4) If the sign and revelatory gifts being experienced today are not from God, why are charismatic churches the fastest growing churches in the world?  The book concludes with four appendices.  On the whole, Napier handles these questions well.  The most helpful aspects from my perspective were: (1) His discussion of 1 Corinthians 13 and the meaning of ‘the perfect’ (p. 51-62); (2) The dangerous emphasis in Charismatic circles on experience and new revelation, especially in view of the New Age Movement and the Ecumenical Movement (p. 83-107, 126-137); and (3) His discussion of Joel 2 and Acts 2 (p. 182-185).  He also has, throughout the book, some helpful discussions regarding the nature of the Spirit-filled life.  I especially appreciated Napier’s book because he takes a clear, definitive stand on the subject.  The tongues and the prophetic revelations of the present-day Charismatic movement are not from the Holy Spirit.