Amazon reader review: In his recently
published book, THE SUPERNATURAL POWER OF A TRANSFORMED MIND: ACCESS TO A
LIFE OF MIRACLES (hereafter, SPTM), Bill Johnson picks up where Oral
Roberts's thirteen-week devotional, A DAILY GUIDE TO MIRACLES AND
SUCCESSFUL LIVING THROUGH SEED-FAITH (Tulsa: Pinoak Publications, 1975)
left off in teaching us how to become God's instruments for manifestations
of the miraculous today. The revered Chinese evangelist, Watchman Nee's
classic work, THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE (Tyndale House, 1977) also comes
to mind because of the frequent use of the phrase 'normal Christian life'
Pastor Johnson tells us why he is writing this his second book: '. . . to
address a very abused subject--the mind of the [Christian] believer'
(Introduction, p. 27). He further expresses his heart's mission for the
spiritual 'reformation' of the Christian churches when he says, 'I have
come to see that the normal Christian life means miracles, spiritual
intervention, and revelation. It means praise, joy, love, a sense of
well-being and purpose--all these traits that elude so many Christians'
(chap. 1, p. 31). The number and diversity of miraculous interventions
(viz., food multiplications; healings; exorcisms; resurrections; et al)
that Johnson relates as an ongoing string of testimony from both his own
personal experience and the experiences of his many satellite ministers
and ministries are dramatic indeed and truly amazing! Again, the earlier
ministries of Kathryn Kuhlman, Smith Wigglesworth, Maria Woodworth Etter,
the apostles, Jesus, and the Hebrew prophets all come to mind. But are
what the apostle Paul describes as 'varieties of gifts' and 'varieties of
ministries' distributed 'individually' but not pervasively (cf. 1 Cor.
12:2-30); to be rightly understood as normative and 'standard operating
procedure' for every believer in every assembly? Johnson believes so, and
he writes: 'It is unnatural for a Christian to not have an appetite for
the impossible' (p. 29), and 'signs, wonders, and miracles are as normal
to the gospel as it is normal for you to get up in the morning and
breathe. Revival is the Christian life; you can't dissect the two' (p.
Another question seems to be: Is the presence or absence of a Christian's
'mental transformation' or 'mind renewal,' THE deciding factor to either
release or restrain the manifestation of God's miraculous power for
revival, deliverance, healing, adequate food supplies, and resurrections
in the lives of his children and those about to become his children? It
would appear that with Jesus being physically absent, and the Holy Spirit
being now present within us--WE MUST play the part, but is an 'appetite
for the impossible' heaven's first and irrevocable prerequisite for God's
manifestation? If we listen to Jesus on the subject, again, it appears to
be true because 'EVERYTHING is possible for him who BELIEVES' (Mark 9:23,
NIV, caps mine).
SPTM represents neither a 'false word of faith theology,' nor is the
author (a fifth generation Christian pastor) caught in a spirtual
aberration as one reviewer charges. Johnson writes with an above average
degree of candor, disclosing a number of his own human frailties and the
ongoing history of his own difficult struggle to grow spiritually and to
keep an 'open heaven' above himself and the Christians who he oversees in
Redding, California and beyond. His insights from the Scriptures are
numerous and important. The absence of a Scripture index in SPTM is
disappointing, however, and diminishes the book's value as a ready
reference tool for searching the various biblical passages treated.
For Johnson's detractors (viz., the doubters, and the Christian 'cessationists,'
who seem to be forever taking a perverse satisfaction in their confessed
unbelief), one wonders with which group they would have been sitting at
one of Jesus' 'revival' meetings--or if they would have attended at all
for fear of a healing, an exorcism, or (God forbid) a resurrection from
taking place. Of them I ask: If God is willing to give you more, why be
content with less? Why continue to cheat him; yourself; and others out of
a FULL Christian experience? If another servant of God dares to step out
of the boat, why not let him walk as far and as long as he is able and
cheer him on? Why content yourself with throwing stones from the railing?
Jesus has commanded us not to try and stop such persons as they pursue
ministry in his behalf (cf. Mark 9:38-40). Try saying: 'I am willing to
learn.' 'I am willing to grow.' 'I am willing to be vulnerable to change
for the sake of his manifest glory.' 'I will not allow my sins of fear,
pride, and unbelief to stand in God's way any longer.' I think we have
more than enough room in the church to permit what is so abundant in our
heads to begin to trickle down to our hearts; our hands; and our
feet--allowing the glory of God to be seen again.