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Biblical Testing of Teachings and Manifestations
Author: Aeron Morgan
Publisher: Dust & Ashes Publications
Have you ever read a book by C.H. Spurgeon or one of the old divines and marveled at the richness of Biblical insight and the wealth of spiritual maturity? You come away feeling like you have read something that is not far removed from Scripture. Thatís a little of what itís like to read _The Biblical Testing of Teachings and Manifestations_.
This book is thoroughly Biblical and expository in that the ideas are drawn from Scripture. The author is not afraid to include numerous and lengthy Bible passages, and he frequently expounds on verses, highlighting the definition and meaning of the original words. He carefully considers the context; thereís no scripture twisting to force meaning. His aim is to get at what the verse or passage really teaches. Itís an inspiration for every student of the Bible.
He also makes use of quotations from past and present Christians to supplement his contentions. The lengthy appendices include a couple of articles from Puritan writers; quotations from them and others are sprinkled throughout. It all makes for edifying reading.
The author, Aeron Morgan, is a Welshman that has been connected with the Assemblies of God for many years. He believes that the gifts of the Spirit did not cease with the apostles. Even if one does not hold that view, itís a scholarly and fascinating look at how they should function today. There is much here that will benefit any open-minded believer.
Particularly interesting are the guidelines for dealing with the gift of prophecy. He points out that prophecy is to be judged by all present; itís content should not be automatically accepted. Leaders have the special responsibility to indicate whether or not itís deemed valid. He believes that if a prophecy or teaching is judged to be false, it should immediately be corrected. He cites an instance of one pastor interrupting the message of a visiting speaker to correct a wrong teaching. His comments are especially helpful for those who desire to leave room for the Spiritís working but want to follow the Biblical injunction of doing everything in decency and in order.
The book effectively refutes the erroneous ideas of the proponents of the so-called Toronto Blessing. The author is not afraid to mention names in the interest of correcting public teaching that is false. Rodney Howard Browne and the Toronto Airport Church, as it is now know, are mentioned in connection with the movement that produced all manner of strange and bizarre manifestations. This includes holy laughter and other behavior that lacks Biblical support. The author doesnít just draw from second hand accounts. He has been an eyewitness to some of the phenomenon and is clearly grieved by it. What you have is a Pentecostal weighing neo-Pentecostalism (as the new movement might be called) in the balances and finding it wanting.
This is not, however, a book that names a lot of names and spends a lot of time tearing down ministries. The author is careful in his disclosures. Itís clear that his motivation is more a love of the truth. He clearly shows from the Scriptures and historical accounts of revival that there has been an uncritical acceptance of what is wrong.
The book doesnít reflect the current style of writing, where the emphasis in on easy reading and simple concepts. What it may lack in editing and flow from one chapter to the next, it makes up for in content. It would be beneficial for any Christian to read, but especially those in the ministry.
Itís such a strong encouragement for the primacy of Scripture. Itís all the more crucial in this time when questionable teaching and error are on the rise. Itís a challenging exhortation to test the validity of every teaching and experience by the Scriptures.
March 5, 2006