2018 Book ReviewsReviews

Book Review: The Spiritual Gifts Handbook

About The Book
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are God’s answer to the darkness of our time, able to convince even the most broken and hardened of hearts that God is real, present and active in our lives. As the Holy Spirit pours out His gifts among believers, He is uniting Christians of every denomination as one Body.

With wisdom and practical insight, international healing minister Randy Clark teams up with acclaimed Catholic Bible scholar Mary Healy to show the gifts of the Spirit are for all believers. The authors walk you through biblical texts, dispel misconceptions and show the endless variety of gifts. They also reveal how to activate the gifts in your own life and use them to benefit others.

Publication Date: March 2018

Book Review
I have to admit, my first thought when this book arrived in the mail was – “Not another book on spiritual gifts. Do we really need another handbook on spiritual gifts?” My shelves are already lined with many Spiritual Gifts Handbooks. Through the years, such books were usually divided into two categories: 1) Those who believe spiritual gifts are for today; 2) Those who believe spiritual gifts ended with the closed canon of Scripture. However, this Spiritual Gifts Handbook falls into a category of its own. I would say the main genius behind this book revolves around the diversity of the authors. Randy Clark, who is known around the world for his powerful healing ministry, and Mary Healy, a Biblical scholar in the Catholic tradition. This book aims to build a bridge of understanding between the Protestant and Catholic traditions when it comes to the area of spiritual gifts. The purpose of the book is quite clear.

“This book is unique in that it is an ecumenical approach to the gifts, responding to the deep desire for unity that is stirring in many Christians today. We have written this book as a Protestant (Randy Clark) and a Catholic (Mary Healy) together, to show that it is possible for Catholics and Protestants to speak with a united voice about the spiritual gifts.”

Excerpt from Introduction – Page 19

When it comes to gift definitions and how they work in the church, there’s really not a whole lot new here. However, I also realize for some, much of the material might be new, especially if this is a first venture into the spiritual gifts arena of teaching. For me the best part of the book revolves around the information about spiritual gifts through church history. Mary Healy’s historical view and references to many of the early church fathers is well worth the price of this book alone. Through the years many have come to believe the Catholic church knows nothing about spiritual gifts. However, from an historical standpoint, some of the early theological minds in the Catholic tradition wrote groundbreaking information and had profound thoughts on the power of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. Aside from the historical perspective, the most powerful part of the book – for me – is in Chapter Four, Fire on Earth. The section on Different Perspectives on the Baptism starting on page 110 is very enlightening. The only downside of the book involves some of what I will call the headier areas of the book. From time to time Randy Clark seems to get lost in theological jargon, making for a somewhat difficult read at times. However, the positives of this book far outweigh the material making for a harder read.

The authors conclude the Introduction saying;

“Insofar as possible, we have sought to explain the spiritual gifts in a way that will be acceptable to both Protestants and Catholics. We recognize and respect the fact that we have theological differences, some of them significant. We also have differences in vocabulary. We invite readers to extend grace to those of different Christian communions and not let unfamiliar vocabulary be a stumbling block.”

Excerpt from Introduction – Page 21

I believe the authors achieved their goal and purpose in the writing of this book. They set out to build unity when it comes to spiritual gifts in the Protestant and Catholic traditions. If nothing else, this book provides a great jumping off point generating good discussion points among those traditions when it comes to the all important topic of the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. If you are looking for a good spiritual gifts handbook, not only outlining the gifts, but also providing historical background and much bridge building between the Protestant and Catholic traditions, I highly recommend The Spiritual Gifts Handbook by Randy Clark and Mary Healy.

The Spiritual Gifts Handbook – Available on Christian Book Dot Com – Click Here!

Enjoy the read!
Dr. Rus

Special thanks to Graf-Martin Communications for supplying review copy.

GMC-Web-Logo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.