DeCenso, Frank Jr. Amazed By The Power Of God. Destiny Image Pub. Inc. 2009.
The contents of this book represent the position of charismatics and a very strong focus on charismatic gifts. My own response to that position would be ‘seek not, forbid not’, a position that would not impress any serious charismatic. As a type of disclaimer I have to say I have had no experience that would even remotely fit into this record of amazing experiences.
Frank has compiled the writings of thirteen ‘heavy-weight’ (my adjective) charismatic leaders. Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, Carol Wimber, and Bobby Conner, are some these writers. They tell of their experiences that amazed them when the power of God was demonstrated in the lives of people with specific personal needs. Common to the experiences of all the ‘contributors’ is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of charismatic spiritual gifts, i.e. healing, tongues, miracles, signs, and wonders, words of knowledge and prophecy, etc. The gifts are always listed in that order suggesting some type of priority. In the majority of cases the ‘contributors’ have had some kind of global ministry.
The prioritizing of spiritual gifts seems to be one way in which evangelicals demonstrate their distinctiveness. This is certainly true of these writers. I have a problem with this focus on distinctiveness when those who are ‘different’ (deficient of certain gifts and demonstrations) are portrayed in some way as ‘have-nots’.