Spiritual Gifts - Book
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by Renald E. Showers
(excerpt from a review by Southern View Chapel) In a mere sixty pages, Renald Showers has provided for the people of God one of the finest treatments of spiritual gifts available. The booklet is thoroughly biblical, well reasoned, logically ordered and very readable.Showers begins with a general definition of spiritual gifts, their purpose and function. In the opening pages he lays the groundwork for his later discussion of tongues and prophecy by distinguishing edifying gifts from sign gifts. Every spiritual gift, he explains, was given for the purpose of ministering to others, never ourselves (p. 8).
In the second chapter, Showers indicates that spiritual gifts are sovereignty distributed (although, I could wish he had discussed 1 Cor 12:31 and 14:1 more thoroughly) and outlines the biblical teaching on spiritual gifts. In chapters three and four, he makes the case for the cessation of certain gifts in general and revelational gifts in particular. In light of well-respected evangelicals such as Wayne Grudem, John Piper, C. J. Mahaney and the so-called Calvinist-charismatics taking a stand for the continuation of the gift of prophecy today, these chapters are particularly pertinent. I appreciated his explanation of Joel 2:28 (pp. 34-36) but would also have been most interested in a fuller explanation of Peter’s use of this text in Acts 2.
The last three chapters make the case for the cessation of tongues. Showers gives one of the most concise and helpful studies on this topic I have read, presenting the Old Testament backdrop coupled with the words of Jesus. He then delivers a solid exegesis of 1 Corinthians 14:21-22. Another chapter explaining the surrounding material in 1 Corinthians 14 would have been a welcome addition.
Spiritual Gifts provides excellent insight on a tough issue and would be the ideal booklet to hand to those confused on the subject. I would like to see Dr. Showers expand this work to include a few of the matters I mentioned above but, as is, the booklet is a wonderful tool that I will make use of on many occasions.