Sight & Sound

by | Jun 30, 2001 | Charisma Archive


100 Years of Pentecost

The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic

By Vinson Synan,

Thomas Nelson Publishers,

448 pages, $29.99, hardcover.

History comes to life in a book that makes for compelling reading and a valuable reference tool. In addition to key data and timelines, Regent University professor Vinson Synan’s The Century of the Holy Spirit refers readers to a wealth of background material.

Though Synan wrote six chapters, the book features nine other contributors. Yet the story flows with the coherence of a single author, enlivened by vignettes on such key figures as Kathryn Kuhlman, Carlos Annacondia, Oral Roberts and Bishop Charles Mason.

The Century of the Holy Spirit builds a strong case for the authenticity of the Spirit-filled life. Examples:

The Bible college students in Topeka, Kan., who received the gift of tongues in 1901 spoke in 21 languages they had never studied.

During the budding of the Azusa Street revival, the future wife of leader William Seymour spoke in Hebrew and played the piano without having had lessons.

Church of God in Christ (COGIC) founder Charles H. Mason parted ways with another leader over the issue of speaking in tongues. Today, COGIC is the nation’s largest Pentecostal denomination. The other church has less than 1 percent as many members.

Further strengthening this profile, Synan delves into Pentecostalism’s historic roots. Among them are John Wesley’s notes on the “second blessing” and important movements of the 19th century that paved the way for the latest outpouring.

He also traces the rise of cessationist theories that maintain a grip nearly two millennia later–including at the Moody Bible Institute. Ironically, the book details Dale Moody receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit and later teaching it at his Chicago-based ministry.

Yet the truth is not glossed over. Conflict rages within these pages, from the disputes at Azusa Street to the tragic excesses of the shepherding/discipleship movement. Still, a crucial question remains: How long will the theological war between evangelicals and Spirit-filled believers continue?

A century after its budding in the United States, 500 million adherents worldwide vouch for the validity of this movement. So does the blood of 8 million martyrs. Perhaps books like this will help both sides recognize that our common enemy is Satan, not brothers and sisters in Christ.

–Ken Walker

Stress Relief

Breaking the Grip of Dangerous Emotions

By Janet Maccaro, Ph.D., C.N.C.,

Charisma House,

203 pages, $19.99, hardcover.

In an age when stress loads are growing heavier with no relief in sight, Breaking the Grip of Dangerous Emotions is an oasis. Author Janet Maccaro, who holds a doctorate in nutrition and a degree in natural medicine, marries her education with the wisdom of Scripture, exploring the link between an individual’s emotional health and his or her physical well-being.

Focusing heavily on the impact of stress, Maccaro offers practical help that includes dietary modifications coupled with herbal and vitamin supple-ments. She then expounds on the spiritual or emotional roots of the anxiety–fear, anger, bitterness–and counsels readers to release those emotions and allow God to heal them.

Drawing from her experiences with chronic illness and bitterness, Maccaro writes as an authoritative guide on the road to wholistic health. Throughout the work she uses the language of secular psychologists, who often encourage people to get in touch with their inner child or do breathing exercises to relax. She encourages similar strategies, yet filters them through Scripture.

Maccaro’s Spirit-led wisdom is like a healing balm. Those who have chronic illness, heavy stress loads or simply want to get healthier will find this book an invaluable resource.
–Adrienne S. Gaines

A Prophecy Primer

The Beginner’s Guide to the Gift of Prophecy

By Jack Deere,

Vine Books,

159 pages, $9.99, paperback

Although Jack Deere’s new book is “a beginner’s guide,” it has too much wisdom to be dismissed by seasoned prophetic ministers. In The Beginner’s Guide to the Gift of Prophecy, Deere puts first things first. Rather than dealing mostly with the basic mechanics of prophecy, he first addresses heart issues.

Deere emphasizes the importance of an intimate friendship with God, which should be a believer’s main pursuit. He also stresses the importance of humility, kindness and respect for pastoral authority. These qualities are essential for anyone who is prophetic, and the lack of them cannot make up for the most accurate prophetic gift in the world. The absence of these attributes has been the biggest obstacle to the church at large being able to receive the prophetic gift, he writes.

The prophetic gift can be thrilling, but it is too scary if not delivered with the love and mercy of God. Deere does an awesome job laying this foundation, but he also deals very practically with basic mechanics. He describes the variety of ways God gives revelation. He discusses the difference between getting a word, interpreting it and giving application.

Another important goal of this book is to encourage those aspiring to minister in the prophetic to risk failure, learn from it and let the Lord bring loving correction. He also encourages them to seek a mentorship with a mature prophet.

Deere distinguishes between false prophets, who teach a false gospel, and carnal prophets, who are not exhibiting godly character. The remedy for the first is conversion; the remedy for the second is discipleship.

This insightful book is a treasury of counsel for the use of God’s precious gift of prophecy. It is ideal for developing the prophetic ministry in the church.
–Deborah L. Delk


Ridin’ the Waves Of SonicPraise
By SonicFlood, Gotee Records.

SonicFlood’s debut praise and worship release paved the way for many other youth-oriented worship bands and recordings. With tracks such as “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” SonicFlood took alternative worship to a new level.

But the best was yet to come. With their sophomore release, SonicPraise, SonicFlood delivers a collection of cuts that capture God’s presence in worship and the raw intensity of the band’s live performances. The release includes favorites from the original album and new recordings such as “Before the Throne of God Above,” “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble” and a new twist on “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.”

More than just an album, SonicPraise also is the name given to the group’s live worship events that convene thousands of God-seekers entering into energetic worship and praise. SonicPraise includes segments of SonicFlood’s concerts and performances, including worship events in Europe and Tennessee. Those who enjoyed SonicFlood’s first release will want to buckle up and ride the waves of SonicPraise.
–Luke Thomas

Raisin’ the Roof
Live in Concert

By Kim Burrell, Tommy Boy Gospel.

Kim Burrell “raises the roof” in her latest recording, Live in Concert. A
collection of old and new cuts, the release–recorded live at Bountiful Blessing Church of God in Christ in Memphis, Tenn.–is much more than a musical release, it’s a listening experience.

Capitalizing on Burrell’s stellar vocals backed up by an exceptional band, Live excites listeners with one musical gem after another. The upbeat opener, “I’ll Keep Holding On,” from her previous release Everlasting Life, is infused with drums and hard electric guitar. “Since Jesus,” which begins slowly but turns out to be another upbeat cut, showcases Burrell’s raspy vocals and jazzy side.

Burrell takes her time on “Holy Ghost,” also from her previous release, filling it with silky jazz runs. “Calvary” seems like an impromptu prayer, as Burrell sings sweetly of Christ’s sacrifice. And the closing “Victory” has an exciting Latin flavor that urges listeners to get out of their seats, dance and praise the Lord.

Burrell’s live release will be a treat for her fans. Though the screams may be distracting to some and the drumming is at times excessive, Live in Concert is anything but a disappointment and well worthy of its place in any gospel collection.

–Alana Rozier


Opening God’s Love Letters

In her debut release with EMI Gospel, Toronto native Londa Larmond opens her heart to share God’s love letters, or His Word, with listeners. But just three years ago, this engaging 25-year-old hid her emotions from the world. A terrifying assault during her high school years left her feeling unattractive, depressed and eventually suicidal.

“My life basically was school, church, home. I liked people not knowing who I was because that protected me. I didn’t want to feel pain.”

After a failed dating relationship bruised her already damaged emotions, her low self-esteem evolved into depression. Her weight dropped, and her hair began to thin. “I started thinking about committing suicide. I knew it was the enemy, but I was willing to give in. I told God, ‘You need to come in because I’m about to get the pills, and I’m about to slit my wrist.'”

Feeling alone in her battle, she suddenly sensed God come near. “I felt God hug me. I couldn’t believe it. I felt so much peace. The weight just lifted.”

Today Larmond hopes her freshman release, Love Letters, will enable her to share her testimony with others who have been raped or violated sexually, as she was. “People are hurting; they need deliverance. We don’t like to admit that people in the church go through the same things people in the world go through. We are overcomers. We can conquer this thing, but [first] we have to admit it’s there.”

–Adrienne S. Gaines


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