By Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori,
University of California Press,
261 pages, softcover, $24.95.
Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori's new book about global Pentecostalism wasn't conceived with a Pentecostal focus. The two researchers merely set out to write about growing churches that were addressing social problems in the developing world—85 percent of the churches recommended to them for consideration happened to be Pentecostal or charismatic. A "noncharismatic evangelical" and a "liberal Episcopalian," respectively, Yamamori and Miller spent four years gathering more than 300 interviews and 70 hours of videotape in 20 countries about how Pentecostals are addressing social problems such as poverty, drug addiction, AIDS orphans and more. Their study focuses solely on a segment of Pentecostalism they call "progressive Pentecostalism"—churches exhibiting growth, having active social programs and being self-supporting. An accompanying DVD includes footage of some of the interviews and also of collective Pentecostal worship—the root of Pentecostal social engagement, Miller and Yamamori believe. Unlike the social gospel tradition of the mainline churches, the two say, progressive Pentecostalism "seeks a balanced approach to evangelism and social action that is modeled after Jesus' example of not only preaching about the coming kingdom of God but also ministering to the physical needs of the people he encountered."
BOOKS Prayers that Rout Demons
By John Eckhardt, Charisma House,
softcover, 112 pages, $9.99.
Prayers That Rout Demons is a truly unique collection of Scripture for prayer warriors and others who desire to see what God will do with identifiable obstacles that are matched with precise petitions for heavenly action. It is often problematic to rely upon prayers lifted up to God's throne with vague language and inexact requests. Unsure expectations are mostly met with inadequate results. "When you pray, if you believe, you will receive," is author John Eckhardt's hopeful aspiration for those seeking to glean from this excellent compilation. Amassed are actual Scripture references that become powerful prayers under these chapter headings: Plugging into the Power Source; Preparing to Engage the Enemy; Confronting the Enemy's Tactics; and Destroying the Enemy's Forces.
J. James Estrada
Prayers that Rout Demons
Making Your Money Count
By Kenneth C. Ulmer, Ph.D.;
Regal Books; hardcover; 224 pages; $19.99.
Kenneth Ulmer encourages believers to view money as a tool, a test and a testimony, and he challenges religious views that suggest it is good for a Christian to stay poor or to be rich just for the sake of being rich. Wealth, Ulmer suggests, should be used to grow the kingdom of God. The church Ulmer pastors is located in a sports arena that was the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers. With a vision to expand the kingdom, the church also operates the arena as a business by renting it out when the church is not in service. Using the parable of the talents as a springboard, Ulmer writes that doing kingdom business should be your money's job. Money should work for you by generating more returns than if you work for it through a 9-to-5 job. With the flood of resources on money management currently available, Ulmer's message that Christians should become producers and not merely consumers is relevant today.
Tracee N. Mason
Stop Acting Like a Christian, Just Be One
By Christine Caine, Regal Books,
softcover, 208 pages, $12.99.
Christine Caine teaches about a Christian's internal motivation for life's actions. Despite the catchy title, this book is about acting like a Christian—but, it's about letting activities flow from a foundation of a relationship with God rather than modifying external behavior. Designed as a devotional with an extended introduction, the first half deals with loving God—developing that foundational relationship—with heart, mind and soul. The second half contains 31 short devotional messages intended to prompt reflection on various qualities of being a Christian. Caine's humorous personal anecdotes make this a fun as well as inspiring read. The topics are good basics for Christians just starting on the journey and a refresher course for those who are down the road a few miles. Caine makes her home in Sydney, Australia, where she and her husband are part of a leadership team at Hillsong Church.
Deborah L. Delk
By Hillsong, Integrity Music.
Feel alive with Hillsong's latest release, Saviour King. Darlene Zschech and team come together again to invite those who dare to enter into the heart of God through pulsating anthems such as "Break Free" and "I'm Not Ashamed." Adulating ballads such as "One Thing" and "To Know Your Name" sing what the heart of the created cries out to the Creator. Recorded live, Saviour King pulls you into the energy of pure worship. The loud cheers of the crowd and the joyful refrains of the choir have been carefully recorded and make you feel as if you are right there. Although there is not a particularly new sound offered, Saviour King makes Hillsong fans feel right at home with the energizing guitar riffs and unified vocals.
By David Crowder Band, Sparrow Records.
Remedy, the new CD from the David Crowder Band, is certainly the remedy for the regular and mundane. The band has put together great music that incorporates the new way to worship in this age of ever-changing technology and information overload. The hit single "Everything Glorious" is fun yet purposeful, incorporating electronic video-game sounds. "The Glory of It All" and the title track are powerful and evangelistic, speaking of the cross and sacrifice, while "Never Let Go" is entreating and transparent. There's techno worship in "Can You Feel It?" and Celtic praise in "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing." You won't ever feel you get enough of this CD. Each song incorporates an awareness of this new creative culture with driving drumbeats, invigorating acoustic and electric guitar lines, and uniquely synthesized sounds. It even pushes the envelope into future innovation.
By Fee, INO Records.
From the get-go, upstart modern worship band Fee sets the tone with a stateside take on high-energy, electronic-laced Euro-rock. Taking a page from the likes of Hillsong United, Desperation Band and Delirious, this four-piece outfit offers impassioned songs that range from the horizontal challenge (such as the title track) to intimate vertical moments of self-sacrifice (such as the U2-influenced "Burn for You"). For the sake of artistic diversity, Fee makes the occasional foray into a current American-led worship sound on equally powerful songs such as "Glorious One," "Lift High," "Victorious" and "You Are the Light," easily appealing to fans of Chris Tomlin, Building 429 and By the Tree. Not only should Fee win over the young adult and youth audience quickly, but this talented band is also on track to supply progressive worship leaders with plenty of material for years to come.
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