on 28 January 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It covers everything there is to cover, and goes deeper with every chapter. It almost feels like playing a level based game. You complete one chapter and then the next one takes you to a slightly harder level.
I loved the humility of the guy, which I feel is important with prophecy, because there are times when we will make mistakes. Jack Deere's humility gives you the the freedom to make mistakes, but also tells you how to deal with those mistakes. However, by the end of reading this book you will have more insight and knowledge, which should lead to fewer mistakes. And that's what this book is all about-guidance.
The author also covers the effects of a miss-timed, or even miss-interpreted word. This again is helpful as it sheds light on why certain churches and members are scared of it.
One last thing, and it's an important one. He has sat in the other camp (the camp that says prophecy died along with the Apostles, it's not for today) so is in a great postion to of wrote this book.
You'll enjoy reading this regardless of how much prophetic annointing you have on your life. And if you are sceptical, you may well find yourself having a Jack Deere type revelation!!
on 21 November 1998
Are you going mad if you hear God's voice? In fact, "prophecy", the hearing of God's voice, is an important gift for the church. It is mentioned in many places in the Bible, and its continuance today is made clear by 1 Corinthians 12 - 14.
Jack Deare chronicles his own spiritual journey, originally having difficulty believing in God speaking today. Having been confronted with the evidence, he now teaches about the importance and the practical use of prophecy.
on 13 November 2007
Very often gifted prophets are not so clear at explaining practically how to go about stepping out in the gift yourself. There are some superb chapters in here, fascinating story of a man who theologically didn't believe in the gifts of holy spirit for today (cessationism) but God turned him round.
This book marries solid theology with practical guidance on hearing the spirit speak to you. A book that really speaks faith using the word of God. Changed my life.
on 15 February 2012
Just over 16 years ago, I was a confirmed cessationist. I grew up in an evangelical Anglican church, and things like prophecy, tongues, signs and wonders just weren't a part of my experience of the Christian faith. Then, at a youth holiday run by Crusaders on the Isle of Wight, I was filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. Suddenly, I felt that God was no longer remote and distant, but right there with me, filling me. Tongues were no longer weird, miracles were to be expected from the hand of our almighty loving Father, and I accepted the idea that God now spoke today apart from, though never in contradiction to, the Bible.
However, to start with, it was much more the case that I was comfortable with the idea of other people doing these things. It was a little while before the thought of doing them myself became something I could do myself. I desperately wanted to get going, especially with prophecy, but I just didn't know how to. Then I read Surprised By The Voice Of God by Jack Deere.
As a recovering cessationist, with some lingering questions from the way I used to see things, I found this book incredibly helpful because Jack Deere had made the exact same journey himself. Formerly a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, he found himself questioning his former cessationism and re-evaluating what he believed about prophecy and the voice of God speaking outside the Bible. This book is the result of that study, as well as the fruit of putting into practice what he learned.
A good chunk of the book is spent reviewing the voice of God as talked about in Scripture and throughout church history, coming to the conclusion that the Bible itself indicates that we should expect to hear the voice of God outside of itself. A particularly good chapter is "Confessions of a Bible Deist", exposing the mindset of those who believe that God spoke in the Bible and the rest is up to us. These chapters of the book did a lot to resolve the lingering doubts and concerns I may have had about whether it was biblical to expect to hear God today.
The remainder of the book is chock-full of helpful practical guidance and advice about how to start learning the language of the Holy Spirit and launch out into ministering prophetically to one another. Firmly picking up the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, Deere shows that this ministry isn't the reserve of a select few, but the birthright of all believers to exercise. He tackles various issues of how to avoid abuses of prophetic ministry, as well as reasons why you may not be experiencing God speaking to you.
Throughout the whole book, Deere emphasises the necessity of keeping close to God in prayer, fellowship and the Word. As such, I believe this is the perfect introductory book for anyone looking to learn how to hear God and start moving in the prophetic. Since reading this book, I have taken a lot of the principles I learned herein to lead seminars and home group meetings about getting going with prophecy, and have often found that people have started prophesying for the first time as a result.
Get it, read it, stick close to the Lord, and get activated to share the word of the Lord!
on 17 August 2011
Found this helpful and challenging. It was published around 1999 and reading it after thirteen years has passed gives perspective. At the time of writing Jack Deere was somewhat in thrall to a man named Paul Cain who had a huge influence in the Vineyard churches from the late 1980s onwards. (I was there and I remember it.)
Sadly Paul Cain confessed to struggles with alcohol and immorality a few years after the book was published, and still more sadly (according to my internet trawl at any rate), never really took to heart the pastoral help offered.
Deere's book nevertheless comes out of this quite well because of its careful pastoral sense as well as its challenge to live close to the living God.