July 22, 2008

Book Review

The Power of Kingdom Living by Bill Gothard

I am not sure where I got this book from. It odes not have an ISBN ID but can be ordered from the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

This is a short book, only 78 pages. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of the Kingdom of God. The final chapter pulls all of the material together.

I cannot recommend this book to the new or young Christian. They will find it confusing and leading them down a potentially damaging path. To me, the author appears to twist words of scripture to conform to what his view of the Kingdom of God is like.

Here are some of the statements the author makes, with my brief commentary.

“Key Points”

  1. “All power has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ.” – True
  2. “ Satan was given power to deceive nations.” – A better wording would be, Satan was given power and he uses it to deceive nations.
  3. “Every believer is under Satan’s attack.” – True
  4. “God has provided His Kingdom as our refuge.” – True
  5. “God’s present Kingdom is within us.” – True (in our hearts).
  6. “There is great power available in God’s Kingdom.” – True (God’s power is greater than Satan’s)
  7. “Satan fights desperately to steal this message.” – Absolutely
  8. “With Kingdom authority we can disable Satan.” – This is where the book starts to go wrong.

The author discusses the power of binding and loosing and quote Matthew 18:15-18 to prove his point. However, he is taking the concept of binding and loosing out of context which is regarding church discipline in this case.

The author then says people of the Kingdom of God need to “develop the skill of using the Sword of the Spirit.” The sword of the spirit is the word of God.

This is were the author goes totally bonkers (to use an academic term). According to the author the word “word” is a translation of the Greek word “rehema.” This apparently defines 49 commands of Christ, which are the laws of the Kingdom. We are to use these rhemas to bind Satan and loose his captives.

According to the author, we cannot use just any rhemas, we must us the precise rhema for the situation. We also need to pray in the name of Jesus to use His commands for the basis of our prayers. This is how we bind Satan and loose his captives.

Of course, according to the author, “the most effective place to carry on Kingdom combat is before the throne of grace. Then with the precise rhema, we are able to say to Satan ‘In the might name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through His victorious blood, we say to you, flee from this person, because it is written…’”

After we disable Satan, we can then deal with the person by praying “Would You send your Holy Spirit to convict this person and five him grace and faith to be delivered from this bondage.”

As you can see it gets a little bizarre. Here are four of the 49 names of Jesus, their corresponding commands and qualities.

Name – Command – Quality
I am Jesus, Emmanuel – Repent – Humility
I am thy Creator and Redeemer – Go the second mile – deference
I am the Great High Priest – Love your enemies – creativity
I am the Vine – Practice secret disciplines – faith

There are 45 more, some just as strange.

Again, I cannot recommend this book to really anyone. From reading this book, I also would be cautious of any material from Bill Gothard or the Institute in Basic Life Principles. Maybe I am wrong and completely missed the point. If so, let me know by leaving a comment.

Next book:
Back to the well known John MacArthur, “God’s High Calling For Women.” A study of 1 Timothy 2:9-15.


Pamela said...

I was reading the Wounded Heart by Allender in preparation for ministry with a vistim of abuse. I foound that I could not reccomend the book to her either because of assumptions it made. I think it is wise to always preview books before you pass them on because of misundertanding that can occur. Thanks for your revies. If you look at the Allendar boo, beware of the first section, he makes assumptions that are not based on solid foundational truth but "belief" statemtns and judgements.

Wesley Matthews said...

Thanks for the tip on the book.

One book that I have recommended and actually have given to people in need is "Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven About the Death of a Child" by John MacArthur. This is a powerful and comforting book to those who lose a child.