Breaking spiritual Strongholds in Your City by C. Peter Wagner – A Book Review


Breaking Spiritual Strongholds in Your City

By: C. Peter Wagner

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768407693, $ 15.99, 2015, 222 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Principles, Practice, and Application of Spiritual Mapping

C.Peter Wagner in “Breaking Spiritual Strongholds in Your City” alerts the reader to a new trend toward a movement of the Holy Spirit in preparation of the body of Christ for an unparalleled advance of the Kingdom of God. Wagner maintains that we are in a “new season” for reestablishing the Gospel of the Kingdom and that we are seeing a paradigm shift with an emphasis on the dominion mandate and apostolic church government.

The book is divided into three parts, the principles, practice, and application of breaking the strongholds in your city. George Otis, Jr. presents an overview of spiritual mapping. Cindy Jacobs examines nine strongholds that need to be broken down if we are to experience a fresh awakening in our cities and throughout the nation. Kjell Sjoberg explores the concept and principle of spiritual mapping for prophetic prayer actions.

Harold Caballeros, Bob Beckett, and Victor Lorenzo discuss the practice of defeating the enemy, community deliverance, and evangelizing a city dedicated to darkness. Mark McGregor and Bev Klopp specifically report on the results and application of mapping and discerning in the city of Seattle.

Reflection questions are included with each chapter. These questions help the individual reader assimilate the material and are an important resource for group discussion and classroom applications.

C. Peter Wagner is highly recognized for his leadership in the fields of church growth and spiritual warfare. The other contributors are known nationally and international for their impact on world evangelism and revival ministries. Their writing is clear, informative, authoritative, and the principles proposed have been proven effective.

This new edition of “Breaking Spiritual Strongholds in Your City” is an important resource for pastors, lay church leaders, and adult Bible class teachers in churches throughout the cities of our country.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.


Families on the GallowsFamilies on the Gallows of Criminal Justice – A Local Church Response to Families in the Crisis of Incarceration

By: Roger W. Hollar

Mercy Heart, P. O. Box 163783, Fort Worth, TX 76161

978-0984429509, $ 19.95, 2010, 154 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Mercy Heart Chapel Program – A Model for Ministry to Offenders/Ex-Offenders and Their Family Members

“Families on the Gallows of Criminal Justice” is the story of the birth of Mercy Heart, a ministry to at risk families and children of inmates. Testimonies from former inmates, their spouses, and family members tell of how they have been ministered to in areas of redemption, recovery, and restoration.

The book is divided into two sections:

Part One establishes the crisis families of the incarcerated are facing: including: The loss of income, family and friends, and the emotional and psychological issues they experience. Chapter two describes the birth of the Mercy Heart program and challenges the reader to become involved in a similar outreach ministry in their own church.

Part Two provides a model for starting a Mercy Heart Chapel Program; with action steps for establishing the ministry, enlisting and equipping volunteers, evangelism, and church planting.

On a lighter note Hollar includes some “Texas Wisdom” notes to re-enforce the important principles presented in the text. The photos provided throughout the book add a visual impact imparting an added dimension of vision and challenge.

The helpful forms included on an accompanying CD provide tools which add to the value of this manual as a continuing resource for a successful ministry.

“Families on the Gallows of Criminal Justice” is an important manual for every church and faith based ministry reaching out to families in crisis as the result having an incarcerating loved one. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Copies of the book are available through the Restorative Justice Ministries Network Store at:  http://rjmntexas.net/store.html

 

Overwhelmed By the Spirit – Empowered to Manifest the Glory of God by James Maloney – A Book Review


Overwhelmed By the Spirit – Empowered to Manifest the Glory of God

Throughout the Earth

By James MaloneyOverwhelmed By The Spirit

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768403572, $ 15.99, 2013, 160 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Practical Principles and Applications for Experiencing the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit

James Maloney is a gifted communicator, an expressive story teller, and an articulate writer.  I was emotionally touched and moved with compassion as I read his vivid descriptions of physical suffering and the plight of the diseased and infirmed in hopeless circumstances. Humanly speaking, doomed to more horrific suffering and death.

Overwhelmed by the Spirit offers hope to the suffering and a challenge to the reader; to take action and join him in unlocking the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit available within and to do His work. This is strong theological teaching on the Holy Spirit, well documented, from a Charismatic tradition, with practical principles and application that cross over any denominational lines. I appreciated the scholarly presentation at an academic level that will be appreciated by theologians, yet written with clarity easily understandable at a layman’s level.

The book details the progression of the Maloney’s ministry and takes him to a new understanding of what it means to manifest the sonship of God and to allow Christ full reign in his life. Consistent with his testimony and with Biblical teaching James helps the reader discover their gift and calling, experience supernatural experiences in their lives, to walk in the miraculous, and to lead others to Christ.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Urban Assault – The Word on the Street by JD Morgan – A Book Review


Urban Assault – The Word on the Street
By: JD Morgan
eheapress, 106 San Pablo Towne Center
San Pablo, California 94806
978-0857703, $ 15.99, 2013, 306 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Rebuilding Relevance into the Ministry and Life of the Urban Church

Urban Assault – The Word on the Street introduces a new standard for defending the faith described by JD Morgan as the “Urban Apologetic.” In a bold proclamation, Morgan challenges the Church, its leaders, and individual members to recognize the crisis-call to evangelize the inner city.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I presents a strong case for urban evangelism, a brief history of the ‘hood, and explains how post Christian and anti-Christian influences have taken root within the “household of faith.” Morgan contends that to function as the church was intended it must “refocus, and redirect its ministries both inside and outside its walls as a conduit to salvation and to recommit ourselves as a church and as individuals to the ministry of reconciliation.”

Urban Assault – The Word on the Street is written with conviction, is credible in analysis, and provides plausible, workable solutions for making an impact on the opportunities, theological relevance, and civil responsibility. Morgan informs readers of complex root causes that have created the urban ghettos which are resulting in crisis in the inner city across America.

Morgan is a visionary, a leader, and an evangelist who has rallied around him a team of men and women dedicated to join in a movement of those who are willing to leave the safety of the sanctuary to go out into the streets and meet the people at the point of their needs. The testimonies, passions, and solutions of some of these called-out ones are included in Part II – The Calling, and in Part III – The Called.

In the late 90’s I operated a Christian bookstore in San Leandro, California. An invisible demarcation line delineated San Leandro as a suburb of urban Oakland. Geographically I was considered suburban. My passion and purpose for ministry was urban. I envisioned extending my ministry by reaching into the urban community with the Gospel message, while providing a service to individuals and the churches in both communities.
At our first meeting JD Morgan and I shared our dreams and visions across a counter in my bookstore. In the years since, I have admired James for his perseverance, for his constancy in the faith in times of adversity, and for his integrity as a minister of the Gospel.

I was humbled when asked to contribute a chapter in this book about my experiences while working behind the scenes for a faith-based organization ministering to men and women behind prison walls. I count it a privilege to have had a small part in bringing this book to fruition.

Urban Assault – The Word on the Street has an important message for every American.

Book Review: Are You Ready? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus by T. D. Jakes


Are You ReadyAre You Ready? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus by T. D. Jakes

Destiny Imaged Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 0310

978-0768410082, $ 9.99, 2013, 174 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

Facing the Facts, Meeting the Challenge, and Claiming the Message of Hope

Bestselling author and founder/pastor of Potter’s House Church in highly respected internationally, interracially, and interdenominationally. He is known for his integrity as a person, sound in his message, and effective in his ministry.

“Are You Ready? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” is filled with foundational truth, motivational in its challenge, and inspirationally in its promise. This message comes as a clarion call at a time when our nation is spiritually destitute, the church has lost its power, and the harvest is ripe for harvest.

Jakes writing is rich in scriptural teaching, filled with deep meaningful illustrations, abundant in promise, and articulate in presentation. He alerts the reader to principles of God’s harvest: Those who hear the truth are without excuse; to experience life’s best you need God; there is no one like God; His existence demands worship; once the seed of God is planted, nothing can alter it; and a great harvest of souls waits to be won to Christ.

The Christian is made aware of the cost and challenge of following Christ: If the master must suffer so likewise must the servant; the hand of affliction molds character; and we must stop going through the motions of religions experience.

The message of “Are You Ready?” is a reminder to the redeemed and a call to the perishing – Nothing but the blood of Jesus can bring mankind together.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels


Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels

By: C. Peter Wagner

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768402988, $ 16.99, 2012, 334 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An In Depth Study of Power Evangelism and Spiritual Warfare

C. Peter Wagner has compiled the works and observations of highly respected participants in a symposium representing Pentecostal, Charismatic, and traditional Evangelical institutions of higher learning who convened to consider significant issues on teachings regarding the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, and prayer.  John Wimber of the Vineyard Ministries presented the keynote address titled “Power Evangelism: Definition and Direction.”  John Wimber’s address set the theme for the symposium.

The twelve chapters in this book “Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels” are gleaned from Wimber’s address, those of many other recognized participants, and responses to the presentations. Wimber opens by describing his own “spiritual pilgrimage;” he goes on to consider how Jesus evangelized, and His commission to the disciples, and then introduces the concepts of Kingdom conflict, power encounters, and supernatural insights.

I particularly found Ed Murphy’s contribution on Spiritual Warfare, Neil T. Anderson’s “Finding Freedom in Christ,” and the chapters dealing with the Wesleyan understand practical and helpful. I also looked forward to the summaries and conclusions to the teachings on exorcism, and demonic influences.

Participants of the consortium went back to their institutions feeling that the general consensus and response to the symposium opened the door to academic pursuit to further study, and provided an equipping tool for equipping students, in subjects related to the supernatural power of God in Church ministry and world evangelism.

“Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels” is destined to become the principal work on the reading list of every academic class on the subjects of the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, prayer, evangelism, and missionology.

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: Hollywood Mission Possible – Piercing the Darkness of a Decadent Insudstry By: Steve Cha


Hollywood Mission: Possible – Piercing the Darkness of a Decadent Industry

By: Steve Cha

 

WinePress Publishing, P. O. Box 428, Enumclaw, WA 98022, 978-1414119984, $ 19.99, 2011, 300 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Life Changing Witnessing Tool

“Hollywood – Mission Possible” is the story of Steve Cha’s spiritual journey.  Cha candidly relates incidents from the experiences of his three-years as an extra in over one hundred movie, television, and commercial productions.  During this time he shared his faith with peers, crew members, and such celebrated stars as Brad Pitt, Tori Spelling, James Wood, and others.

Steve also relates incidents of evangelistic opportunities taken by his mentor, Jonathan Khan, who witnessed to luminaries like Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Dan Aykroyd, and many others.

The book is more than a memoir. Steve is articulate, insightful, and intentional in his writing.  He writes to challenge, inspire, and equip the reader to Christian discipleship through the recurring themes of:

  • Spiritual growth
  • The Good news of the gospel – Using the 10 commandments, divine judgment, the doctrines of grace, holiness, righteousness, and justice as springboards to effective witnessing
  • A plan of intentional evangelism

A thought provoking discussion guide is provided for individual or group use. Questions stimulate reflection and discussion of topics covered within the chapters of the book dealing with our relationship to God, doctrinal subjects of:  Christian responsibility, prayer concerns, and approaches to sharing Christ with others.

Currently Steve is using social networking and his website to enlist prayer warriors to pray for Christian actors and actresses in Hollywood. His prayer is that they might be an influence in “Piercing the Darkness of a Decadent Industry.”

“Hollywood Mission Possible:” is entertaining, informational and life changing, providing a working tool for intentional evangelism and witnessing.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: Urban Assault – The Word on the Street


Urban Assault: The Word on the Street
By: J. D. Morgan
Eleventh Hour Evangelistic Association
106 San Pablo Towne Center, Suite 117
San Pablo, CA 94806
9780615582860l, 2010, 70 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Reaching the City for Jesus – Urban Outreach Initiatives
J. D. Morgan is no stranger to the challenge of ministry in urban American centers. Morgan recognizes the marked difference between the urban and suburban cultures. The demographics stand in dramatic contrast.

The urban community is assaulted daily by the evils and injustices of racism, poverty, corrupt leaders, dysfunctional families, and underfunded schools. Moved by compassion for the physical needs and a concern for the spiritual lives of individuals trapped in lifestyle of drugs, prostitution, violent crime, and AIDS related disease James calls on the Christians across urban to step up to the plate and join in the battle of evangelizing urban America through a program of evangelization.

The “Reaching the City for Jesus” manual is designed as a tool to equip and motivate individual Christians within the church to move from the “comfort of the sanctuary” to “the encounter zones of the streets and lanes of the city.”

The challenge for this outreach training comes from the passage in the Gospel of Luke that challenges the disciples to “…Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” (KJV Bible).

The study is true to the scriptures providing students to gain knowledge and communication skills to impart and empower these same truths to individuals within the urban community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Urban Assault: The Word on the Street” is a balance of foundational truths, basic principles, and practical in application. A powerful tool of evangelism and discipleship.

An advance reading copy  of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.