I’m excited today to tell you about a new book that I can happily recommend to everyone. The title is, Simply Spirit-Filled: Experiencing God in the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit (Nashville: Emanate Books, 2019, 186 pp.). The author is Andrew Gabriel with whom I became acquainted last year and got to know better when we met up at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in November, 2018.
When Andrew sent me a pdf copy of his manuscript, I have to confess I wasn’t very excited. People send me their book manuscripts almost on a weekly basis, hoping that I might read them, provide some input, and especially that I would write an endorsement. But something about Andrew’s book caught my eye. I read it, and loved it. And you will too.
Simply Spirit-Filled isn’t your average book on the Holy Spirit or spiritual gifts. It is an attempt to provide a solid biblical basis for a variety of manifestations of the Spirit. People who stand outside the charismatic movement often see things that keep them at a distance. The behavior of some during seasons of genuine revival can be off-putting and offensive. People ask me on a regular basis if this activity is of God or of the flesh, or is that expression or physical manifestation the Spirit at work or merely human brokenness and a desperate effort to gain attention. I don’t always have an answer that satisfies them. But Andrew does.
This book will prove to be extremely helpful to people who are new and unexperienced when it comes to things of the Spirit. It wasn’t written for scholars but for the average believer who wants to understand more of what the Spirit may do. The topics Andrew covers include:
being slain in the Spirit (or simply falling down under the power of God);
hearing God’s voice (does God actually still speak today?);
speaking in tongues (is it for real? is it for everyone?);
what about the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel?
what about faith and healing?
spiritual gifts: what are they and for whom are they intended?
and what does it mean to be Spirit-filled?
Andrew’s answers are clear, biblical, and in my opinion, convincing. Here is what I wrote in my endorsement of the book:
“Charismatic renewal has often generated more questions (or are they veiled criticisms?) than it has answers. This is certainly the case when it comes to people who claim to have fallen under the power of the Spirit or to have spoken in tongues or to have heard the voice of God. We have long needed a biblically rooted, pastorally sensitive, and theologically well-informed evaluation of these ‘experiences of the Holy Spirit’ and Andrew Gabriel has provided precisely that. This book is clearly and concisely written and should prove immensely helpful to all believers, even those who remain unpersuaded by his arguments. I highly recommend it.”
Trust me. You’ll truly enjoy this book. I’m sure you’ll hear about it from me again when I write about the best books of 2019. It’s definitely on the list.