Disclaimer: Mike Turrigiano is one of my favorite people in the Vineyard movement! Luke Geraty (his co-author) is a friend and somehow my boss here at Think Theology. What follows is my attempt to still deliver an impartial, unbiased review of Pastor Mike's new book – I am not a superman: Holy Spirit service for the rest of us,
One of the things I love about Mike Turrigiano is that he's one of the most down-to-earth types you'll ever encounter in your life. For a start, this book is easy to read in just over a hundred pages. Mike writes just as he talks, so the work has a very talkative tone (and he's a great storyteller). I could literally hear his voice as I read the text. This is not a typical 1000-page volume that you would read about on a site called Think Theology. This is more the place where rubber from the kingdom's theology meets the street of praxis – "theology from the trenches," if you like.
I was enthusiastic about this dedication from the beginning:
To all the many followers of Jesus who dream of being used by God
Help to advance your kingdom, but disqualify yourself because you think you are too unqualified and ordinary. This book is for you …
I am not a superman (dedication)
This is me. Count me in! I've spent all my life in the Lai service – which far too many of us consider second-rate in our church culture so often worshiped by pastors. Turrigiano believes that there are no "spiritual superstars or celebrities" (or at least not). He believes that the practice of the service led by the Holy Spirit is for all "normal everyday believers" (p.1). Without expressly using the term, Mike calls us back to the priesthood of all believers – something that should be self-evident to us Protestants, but so few of us actually believe in our practice!
He begins with his own Christian journey, which began in the Pentecostal church. While he appreciates his roots, he has:
"It soon became unpleasant with what was striking, strange and sometimes manipulative. I loved Jesus and the people in the church, but I did not like the package. "
I'm not a superman, p. 6
Only then did he begin to adopt a different approach to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which he called "of course supernatural"-" No hype … relaxed, comfortable, real. "(This is explained in more detail in Chapter 9).
"I've learned that I do not have to attract a spiritual personality or change the tone of my voice when I'm praying, or needing to become dramatic or furious
command the mind to move. The most significant and liberating discovery was that I could only be myself. "
I'm not a superman, p. 6-7
In chapter 4, he deals with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, again deviating from the traditional Pentecostal understanding with which it is directly related glossolalia (ie speaking in tongues) as a one-to-one correspondence. I will not say more here. Get the book and read it yourself!
Turrigiano deals with charismatic excesses and how to avoid them, and with spiritual gifts (Note: "Your" gifts are not gifts to the They are for others) in chapters 5 and 6. Another thing I like about Mike's writing is that he is not afraid to say when he's not sure about a topic (p. 27). , This not only shows humility, but it is also just a good hermeneutics. If scripture on a topic or theme is not clear, we should not be dogmatic or pretend it's clear. Pastor Mike also takes a fairly clear position in the book that there should be "no spiritual elitism" in the body of Christ (p. 28)! He is also not afraid to accept the mystery (p.35) – something that I think our typically overintellectualized brand of evangelical Christianity could benefit from if we accept more.
To be against spiritual elitism is to assume that "everyone comes to play." Turrigiano wants people to think in the "marketplace" of their everyday lives and to do the ministry of the Holy Spirit (as much or more than in the congregation) ). Here you will find a lot of information about "See what the Father does and join in" (p. 39f.).
Chapter 8 hit me home. Because it's about it control! Not only have I found that the problem of control is a struggle in my own life, but I have also come to believe that it is at the root of many unhealthy relationships, patterns, and dysfunctions. The transfer of control to the Spirit (as Jesus did) is the answer to so much that is dehumanizing and destructive.
Slowing down and listening are also keys to the ministry of the Holy Spirit (pp. 62f.). But these ideas do not work well in a "McChurch" environment. At the beginning of the book, Turrigiano combines the idea of contemplative life with the charismatic (p.3) – an idea that he (and most of us, I think) had previously regarded as polar opposites. Our time spent with God, resting quietly in His Presence and learning to listen to His voice, enables us to be ready when opportunities arise for a Kingdom service that we least expect!
No Vineyard book on the ministry of the Holy Spirit would be complete without a discussion of the 5-step prayer model. You can find it here in Chapter 12. Mike takes up John Wimber's understanding of Jesus' own "way of observing, listening, asking and obeying" (p. 69).
Vineyard?!? But what about the whole "barking in the spirit"? I'm glad you asked! When the mind comes to power, strange stuff happens. But how can one attribute all the madness to the Holy Ghost? Well, for Turrigiano, he sees these things (trembling, falling, etc.) less as manifestations of the Holy Spirit, but rather as a simple human response to the encounter of power that takes place during the clash of kingdoms, when the kingdom of God collides with the kingdom of darkness , The reactions of the people are different. I can tell you from my personal experience that when I experienced the power of the presence of the Spirit, I was filled with an incredible peace that I can not quite express, as well as an awareness of the "greatness" of God's love, that I feel Again, I just do not have the right words. But yes, I was one of those "who apparently could not recognize" (p. 82) that I had a deep experience with God. But do not take my word for it. Read in chapter 14 of the book Mike's detailed description of the whole question about "Shake Rattle & Roll".
Towards the end of the book, my good friend Luke Geraty gives a theological overview of the work of the Spirit in chapter 15. Perhaps surprisingly for some, Geraty brings in ideas from traditionally "non-charismatic" theologians and movements to broaden our understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit both in the church and beyond. It is worth reading!
Always the pastor, Turrigiano returns to close the book with a real-life illustration, as it really does in practice with "Rachel's Story" (Chapter 16). It's pretty detailed and definitely moving! One last thing about the book that I have not mentioned yet is that there are good questions to discuss at the end of each chapter. So I am not a superman not only stands alone as a great book, but can also be easily used as a syllabus for small groups, literally translating into the principles of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which you have just learned in your own Bible study, your home group practice the practice. House church or missionary community!
In short, I strongly recommend reading Mike Turrigiano I am not a superman, But more importantly, I urge you all to put the principles into practice The ministry of the Holy Spirit for the rest of us! Who knows? They could just change the world.
Read the book and share your own findings in the comments below.
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