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Power Evangelism [Paperback]

Wimber John
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2010
John Wimber's first book, POWER EVANGELISM describes the releasing of God's power today through signs and wonders to refresh, renew, heal and equip his people. Drawing from the teaching of the New Testament, with illustrations from his own experience, Wimber persuades us 'to yield control of our lives to the Holy Spirit, learning to hear and do his will, risking all we have to defeat Satan and to advance the kingdom of God'. Includes a chapter by chapter study guide.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Regal Books / Gospel Light; Reprint edition (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780830747962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830747962
  • ASIN: 0830747966
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,469,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

John Wimber's popular manual on combining the proclamation of the gospel with a demonstration of its power. Re-issued with a contemporary cover. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Wimber: John Wimber, who died in 1997, is best-known as a great evangelist, a huge influence on the evangelical church worldwide and a pioneer of the system of church planting. He was founder of the Association of Vineyard Churches and in the 1980s a lecturer at Fuller Theological Seminary, where his course on miracles and church growth was the most popular ever.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging book 7 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good read. Very challenging, encouraging and informative. If you want to make a difference in our world then take this book on board and go for it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Wimber-"Power Evangelism" 19 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am working my way through this book and I have found it quiet encouraging and stirring. There are a lot of quotes from other people and there is a lot of theology to understand. There are personal accounts of people who have seen God working by the power of His Holy Spirit, and these are the parts of this book that leave the deepest impression. I would recommend this book to anyone as an introduction too the late John Wimber.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought 18 April 2011
I was not sure what to expect from this book, but it was very informative - not just principles or even the authors experience of miracles which I expected and much appreciated, but an excellent summary of recorded miracles throughout history. Had always thought Wesley was of the Calvinistic school when it came to miracles (should have listened more closely in school). Fascinating and a really good read.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading in every seminary 20 Feb 2004
By Robert Wynkoop - Published on Amazon.com
Wow! What a book. Love Wimber or hate him, you got to read this book. It is a life-changing book written with a scholars insight into the philosophical and biblical underpinnings of our faith. There are four premises that Wimber argues: First the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan are in conflict and Christians have been drafted into Christs army to do battle against Satan. The church does not exist to minister to the saints, nor does it exist to provides programs, it exists to set the captives free. Every Christian is a solider. Second, evangelism is meant to go forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. Wimber argues that in the West, we have intellectualize the gospel to such an extent that we tend to rely solely on reason to persuade people to come to Christ. The Bible, however, tells another story. We are to go out into the world with the power of the Holy Spirit. Third, our worldviews affect how we understand Scripture, including passages about signs and wonders- most evangelicals tend relegate to New Testament days anything that cannot be arrived at empirically or proved by reason.
If you are a fan of R.C. Sproul, you will appreciate Wimbers analysis of the Western World view. He argues that most westerners are incapable of attaching cultural significance to spiritual ideas and events. It is not that they are hostile to spiritual things, but it is as if they have a filter that removes religion form the public consciousness. They just cannot see how religion can have an impact on economics or politics. Wimber calls this the excluded middle. Because of the secular western worldview, even most Christians have difficulty believing in the ability of God to intervene in the physical universe. Case in point- Healing. Most evangelical Christians will acknowledge that God can heal disease, but in their heart of hearts they find it difficult if not impossible to accept either spiritual causation or healing of diseases.
Wimber also points out how our Western World view affects Christian discipleship. We have abandoned the apprenticeship model used by Jesus for the classroom model of modern education. Evangelical discipleship concentrates on what one knows.. We are taught church doctrine (the authority of Scripture, the deity of Christ, etc.) and very little time is spent molding a life. The New Testament model of discipleship emphasized who one is, rather than what one knows. It focused on building a life, rather than gaining knowledge.
I would make this required reading in every seminary and Bible College. It is that good. You may not agree with everything Wimber taught, but if you do not read this book, you will be missing truth that will transform your life.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel = Proclamation + Demonstration 22 Sep 2004
By Gerald Khoo - Published on Amazon.com
This book by John Wimber is a must read and a great introduction to the world of power evangelism. John Wimber was the founder and International Director of the Association of Vineyard Churches, and he died peacefully on November 17, 1997 in the presence of his family. He was sixty-three years old. His book, Power Evangelism, has now been a widely accepted primer to power evangelism, and the term "power evangelism" has been used to describe "a presentation of the gospel that is rational but that also transcends the rational (though it is in no way 'irrational' or anti-rational)." The book hosts many testimonies that encourages any believer to see that power encounters can be a part of his life too.

Power vs. Non-Power Evangelism?

The term "power evangelism" has some implications to it. Does it mean that other forms of evangelism do not have power? Does the power of the Holy Spirit only manifest through signs, wonders, and the gifts of the Spirit? Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. The question would then be on how the gospel carries such power, and Wimber writes that the answer lies within what salvation means, i.e. the coming of the kingdom of God. Power is defined as "the ability, the strength, the might to complete a given task" and authority is "the right to use the power of God".

Evangelicals assert that the proclamation of the gospel message has intrinsic spiritual power, which is an assertion that Wimber does not deny. In fact, any system or force that must be overcome for the gospel to be believed is cause for a power encounter, and unbelief is part of that system or force. However, Wimber's point is that power evangelism was one of the normal kinds of evangelism in the early Church and has surfaced throughout the history of the Church with remarkable results. Hence, we should pay more attention to this form of evangelism, especially when it reaps results more efficiently and effectively then other forms of evangelism.

Evangelicals have also historically been concerned with the evangel, i.e. the "good news of salvation," but have not looked closely enough on the medium by which the evangel is communicated. Pentecostals and charismatics have been accused in the past of focusing too much on the gifts of the Spirit, healing, prophecy and intimate worship that evangelism had taken second place and the lives of believers are not grounded theologically. I believe that what we need to come to an understanding is that evangelism and the good news of salvation has to be preached, but the medium of this preaching is not just mere words, but in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Spirit, signs and wonders. Wimber brings this point across through numerous testimonies that the most effective way of evangelizing is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Power evangelism would bring the spiritual-decision process on the Engel Scale from a -10 to a -2 in a matter of minutes, as compared to long discussions, arguments and persuasions. In fact, in most third-world nations, a careful apology of the gospel does not bring a person to Christ as compared to power evangelism. Unless they know the reality and power of God, there is no need for them to convert. Hence, such power evangelism necessary, and is the proclamation of the kingdom of God in the fullness of its blessing and promise (which has also been called 'salvation').

Do you need to be Baptized in the Spirit?

I am encouraged that Wimber did not claim that power evangelism is only for those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. I recognize differing theological viewpoints and Wimber's writing is able to hold the tension between Pentecostal and Evangelical views. The testimonies in this book does not claim that the people who were used of God in power evangelism were baptized in the Holy Spirit, but the opening account of Scott does show that he was baptized in the Spirit, and the closing account of a Methodist pastor showed that he had been empowered with the Holy Spirit.

This would lead to the question as to whether one needs to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to be used of God for power evangelism. Wimber's own testimony seemed to show that one does not need to be first baptized in the Holy Spirit for power evangelism. He described his evangelistic efforts from 1963 to 1974 as "under 'normal' circumstances... but occasionally I led someone to Christ in an unusual way," having remarkable insights into their lives (word of knowledge). It was not clear whether he was baptized in the Spirit or not at that time, but I am left to believe that even one who has not been baptized in the Spirit can be used of God for power evangelism. Even Wimber's definition of power encounter does not specify the baptism in the Holy Spirit as criterion, and likewise we should not.

What does the Bible show us?

When looking at the life and ministry of Jesus through the gospels, we find that He spent a large part of His ministry raising the dead, healing the sick and casting out demons. Wimber asked himself three important questions - (1) How did Jesus evangelize? (2) How did Jesus commission the disciples? (3) How did the disciples respond to the great commission?

The gospel of the kingdom has two aspects to it, (1) proclamation, and (2) demonstration. We begin to see that there is no dichotomy between evangelism with signs and wonders in the Bible. Jesus' job description can be found in Isaiah 61:1-2 or Luke 4:18-19, and He did not just preach, but demonstrated the kingdom. When John asked if Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus' response was not with logical proofs, but by demonstration of power in what that He had done (Matt 11:2-5). When Jesus commissioned His disciples, it was a commission to do exactly what Jesus had done. The disciples responded by doing as Jesus did, and the people around knew that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). We can see this even when Peter raised the dead in Acts 9:36-40 that it was a reflection of Jesus raising the dead in Mark 5:37-42. It is through this that the "greater works" (John 14:12) of Jesus may be fulfilled. I believe that the greater works are not in terms of the quality, but in terms of the quantity.

Christians Today

Why is it that many Christians today still do not move in the power of the Holy Spirit? Wimber suggests that the "proclamation of a faulty gospel will produce faulty or, at best, weak Christian." He goes on to claim that the faultiness lies in the consumer gospel, where the seeker seeks for his needs to be met, rather then the costly gospel of Christ's death on the cross. Does this mean that everyone who comes to Jesus with a need would end up a weak Christian? I believe that for whatever reason a person comes to Jesus, it is a starting point, but the issue is on the church and discipleship, where the emphases on Christianity is focused on being good (behavior) rather than being God's. Wimber testifies that when you become God's, you will become good.

Christianity has to also go back to being a relationship with God where each person learns to hear from God, and not a list of do's and don'ts. We have often taught that God speaks through His Word, the Bible, and that is not wrong, but there needs to be an increasing emphasis to hear from God Himself today. Wimber notes that most Christians miss out on exciting and powerful experiences in their lives either because they are not listening to God, or because of their inattentiveness, God is silent.

Wimber also mentions that Christians are too often searching for methods, formulas and principles that will open the power of God to them. However, the heart of power evangelism is not a method, formula or principle, but it is to obey God when He leads and guides. Wimber says that divine appointments are an integral part of power evangelism. "Divine appointments are occasions on which God chooses to do his works through our obedience, faith, hope and love. They are His works, acts to which we add nothing." His testimony of Kerry, I believe, is similar to what many of us have gone through in the past, i.e. sensing we should speak to a particular person on a word we sense is coming from God but we give all the reasons for not delivering the message. Hence, power evangelism is the conscious co-operating with the Holy Spirit in our evangelistic efforts, even if it seems absurd or may cause embarrassment.

Wimber came to the conclusion that if an experience such as healing was commonly found in Scripture, but yet not part of his own experience, something had to be wrong with his approach. I am greatly encouraged by Wimber's testimony of what he went through, and in similar fashion, it encourages us to keep pressing on to see God move through us.

Our Worldviews Affect Our Actions

Wimber gives a very important and interesting section on worldviews. Worldviews are defined as "an explanation of how and why things are as they are, and how and why they continue or change... the basis for evaluation, for judging and validating experience... provides psychological reinforcement for a society's way of life... [and] provides integrating and adapting functions for new information, values, philosophies and experiences." No worldview is perfect, and every worldview has blind spots. Because the western worldview has an 'excluded middle' of an inability to see how religion and science interact, this same 'excluded middle' includes the influence of angels and demons on everyday life, the Holy Spirit's intervention in divine healing, signs and wonders, and spiritual gifts. We need to change our worldview to having a Christian worldview with an eternal perspective, an awareness of power and evil influences, and a Biblical concept of truth. Because our worldview affects everything we think or do, including our theology, we need to be aware of what our worldviews are, how they affect us, and the need to consciously change them to align ourselves to how God sees things.

I am encouraged by the tenacity of John Wimber, who prayed for 10 months without a single person getting healed, and that is the kind of tenacity that Christians need to press in towards.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep this to loan to non Pentecostals.. 9 Jan 2001
By Graham Burger - Published on Amazon.com
Excellent read from someone who was not schooled in the Pentecostal or the Charismatic scene, but was a conservative evangelical. WHile lecturing at the Fuller Institute he reserched and realised that the mission/church growth was happening around the pentecostal churches - real church growth, not just gospel presentations. And he explains why - pagans, once converted simply expect Christ to be more powerful than their old gods. He also relates how, even missionaries who do not proclaim modern day healing see God's healing hand when new converts turn and even those not converted ask for Christ to heal as it is written in the bible. God called him back to pastor with a message - Preach the word as it says, not out of experience. A very balanced account, explaining how the Evangelicals and Pentecostals are moving closer, each adressing the others objections.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth finding--one of the best 14 Jan 2003
By C. Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
What I was looking for was a book I could use to teach a class on relationship evangelism. Furthermore, my ideal is a book that addresses post-modern people (especially Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers) with their common aversion to embracing any exclusive or absolute truth. How can you show, and not just tell, the good news?
In my view, such a book needs to combine both scriptural foundations and practical models. If the book hits this target, the reader will gain a few memorable approaches and build lifelong habits.
This book, unlike most on the subject, includes:
1. Discussion or review questions at the end of each chapter
2. Application exercise(s) at the end of each chapter
Net: If you want more results, this book remains in my mind one of the best ever written. It is well worth the effort spent trying to find it.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biblical Evangelical Evangelism 3 Oct 2001
By "vineyardgrapesatyahoo" - Published on Amazon.com
Just to clarify: John Wimber nor the Vineyard adopted "Charismatic" or "Pentecostal" theology. You MUST read also Rich Nathan's "Empowered Evangelicals" along with this book (Rich is a leading Vineyard pastor). "Power Evangelism" will really give anyone open to EFFECTIVE evangelism something to chew on and will compliment any other evangelism models you may already pracice - and give you a flavor for who this "John Wimber guy really is". After graduating seminary I concluded that this is the most overall Biblical (doctrinally and in practice/philosophy of ministry) book on evangelsim. For a great learning exercise (personal or maybe in a home group or Sunday class) compare it with "Lifestyle Evangelism" by Joe Aldrich and these with "Tell It Often Tell It Well", by Mark McCloskey. (This book is currently only published in Canada as a reprint of the HarperCollins issue). Email me if you'd like to dialog or like more info!
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