Reviewer

Jonathan Griffiths is an ordained Foursquare minister and FMI missionary to Great Britain.

  Who it's for

Pastors, leaders, Bible college students

  Details

  • Price: $8.95
  • Format: 210 pages, softcover
  • Publisher: Echo Park Evangelistic Association

Originally published in 1931, The Holy Spirit has been reissued from the Foursquare archives for a new generation of believers to be strengthened and equipped by the resounding words of Aimee Semple McPherson.

The original dust jacket claimed the book’s message “carries a faith-building power that will rouse the indifferent man to this great Christian truth and send every true child of God to his knees.” After a week devouring the text, I find myself in full-hearted affirmation of that claim. Many have depicted the ministry of Foursquare’s founder as being overly emotional, even fanatical, but the clarity, biblical exposition and sound-minded arguments laid out in the 200+ pages easily refute such claims.

Most of the 20 chapters are within the realm of Bible teaching and exhortation, tracing the ministry of Christ and the early church, to lay a doctrinal foundation for the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the evidence of tongues as a sure sign of the baptism. Even with the better part of a century behind us since the publishing of this book, this topic is still fresh and lively today.

Writing against the backdrop of higher-criticism, the rise of modernity, atheism and evolutionary theory, Sister McPherson exhibits a force in her writing, but not in a way that makes the reader feel attacked. Rather, this passionate conviction is married to a poetic flourish that reveals the author’s brilliance as a communicator of the Word. That being said, let the reader be warned: The outcome of engaging this text is liable to be one of deep conviction, hunger and hope.

“The revival of the Day of Pentecost was not ‘worked up.’ It was ‘prayed down,’” writes Aimee. I find myself, even now at the time of writing this review, wanting to steal away and wait for a fresh encounter from which to minister. There is fire in these words, and the fire is contagious.

After laying out the history, theology and practical aspects of the baptism with the Holy Spirit (threaded mostly through the book of Acts), the book offers a section of “Questions and Answers” addressing many of the top arguments made against both the baptism and the gift of tongues. It is useful material for any pastor, leader or disciple to study and understand.

Following this, the book closes with exhortations for us to remain moderate, preach a full gospel and be obedient to go with Jesus all the way to receive power from on high. A powerful exposition is also included about how the relationship of Elijah to Elisha prefigures Christ and the church.

Where we have settled for less in our local churches, or responsively decided that times and ways have changed, this short volume will challenge us and reaffirm what the Scriptures teach, and what Jesus has promised. The promise still stands. Rivers of living water are ours for the asking.

I suggest we all sit to hear the exhortations of our founding pastor and respond with hungry, expectant hearts to receive the same power that marked the birth of the Foursquare movement. Then, maybe, we will be known as women and men who have turned the world upside down.