In light of the recent “Strange Fire” conference, here are a few Charismatic theology books that have helped to shape my own theology. They are in no particular order.
Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere
In this book, Jack Deere, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary & cessationist gives an account of how he became charismatic. He provides a biblical/exegetical argument in favor of the charismatic gifts and he provides arguments against the typical cessationist. He concludes with some practical steps towards growing in this area. I had all of the leaders in our college ministry read through this book as we began to move towards moving in the gifts in our own ministry.
Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Cor. 12-14 by D. A. Carson.
D.A. Carson, one of the best exegetes of our generation takes us on a journey through the trecherous lands of 1 Corinthians 12-14. He also writes a little bit about how some charismatic/pentecostal churches misunderstand these passages.
The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts by Sam Storms
The Charismatic Calvinist (no its not an oxymoron), provides a fantastic introduction to the Charismatic gifts. Much like Deere’s book, he relates his personal experience, provides exegetical arguments in favor of Charismatic gifts today, debunks some cessationist arguments, and provides some steps towards growing in these gifts; however he does all of this from the perspective reformed theology.
Hearing God by Dallas Willard
Although its not strictly a “charismatic” book, Dallas Willard, former philosophy professor at USC, writes about what it means when we say that we hear God. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? These are the kinds of questions that Dallas addresses in this book.
Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere
Another great Deere book, he begins by describing the ways God revealed his thoughts to first-century Christians. Then he explains why God continues to speak to us using the same methods. Finally Deere tells how accurately God speaks through prophecies, dreams, visions, and other forms of divine communication. So all this to say, he gives a thoroughly academic argument for the notion that God still speaks today. He concludes with some practical advice for helping us grow in our ability to hear from God.
The Spirit Filled Church by Terry Virgo
If you are in ministry I recommend this book. Terry was the director of New Frontiers, a church planting movement that started in the UK but now has spread all over the world. Another Reformed Charismatic, Terry describes the foundation of the church as the Gospel and the spirit. He explains how his movement was founded on both of these things. This book provides great insight into what it looks like to move in the Spirit with an organized church context.
Paul, The Spirit, and the People of God by Gordon Fee
Based off of his exegetical masterpiece, God’s Empowering Presence, Gordon Fee (an assemblies of God theologian and biblical scholar), gives a brief overview of Paul’s theology of the Spirit. Ecclesiology, Soteriology, and Pneumatology collide in this book to form one of my favorite books on the Holy Spirit. It includes helpful chapters on the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and baptism of the Spirit.