Then again, you may be that window shopper who simply wants to make heads or tails of this strange, intriguing yet alluring movement. (You may even be attending an independent charismatic church, and you're trying to get a sense of what's legitimate and what's not.) (I use parentheses because using them is like talking in a whisper ... so no one at church will hear!)

Regardless of your reason for choosing this book, I invite you to join me as we journey on this path together. At the risk of overspiritualizing, I'd like you to see this as a pilgrimage. A journey of spiritual significance. On a roller coaster.

Along the way we'll stop at the highs and lows of various charismatic signposts: tongues, healing, television evangelists, authority, "the Word." Hopefully our time together will give you an opportunity to reflect and to find healing and a redemptive sense of significance from your experience.

If you attend a charismatic church, I hope this book helps you separate the wheat from the chaff so you can live more authentically in the power of the Holy Spirit—and still remain in your church.

If you're a Holy Spirit seeker, I hope this book makes you thirstier for more of his work in your life. Paul encouraged us to "earnestly desire the spiritual gifts" (1 Corinthians 14:1 esv). The spiritual gifts practiced in charismatic churches—including the controversial gifts—are legitimate and important. Unfortunately, they can be abused and confused with hype, flesh, and misunderstanding. May this book help you navigate your way through the ambiguity.


Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Klassen
ISBN 9780764205491
Published by Bethany House Publishing, a division of Baker Publishing Group 
PO Box 6287 Grand Rapids MI 49516-6287

Used by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, except as provided for by USA copyright law.