Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: The Lifestyle of a Prophet by James W. Goll

Review:  The Lifestyle of a Prophet
James W. Goll
Chosen Books
2001, 2013

Lifestyle of a Prophet?  Isn’t that like eating grasshoppers while dressed in a camel hair robe?  Or hiding out in the desert so a king won’t kill you?  Not in this book, and there isn’t anything even close to those examples mentioned.  So what has this author written about?

For those of us from a non-charismatic or Pentecostal tradition the title is at least peculiar.  So let’s stretch a little and see what the other side of the aisle is talking about here.   That’s where I started with this book.  A prophet in Goll’s tradition speaks a word of wisdom or discernment that concerns those around him.  He mentions that dreams may reveal the information or revelation as well.  In either case, the prophet senses that he speaks the truth of God.  So to avoid some of the less useful forms of that have been known to occur Goll has penned this book.  His major emphasis is humility before God.  You could read this as a gentler version of Paul’s admonishment of the Corinthian church.

This book would be very helpful in the conservative believer’s life too.  What Goll has included here is not some wild-eyed version of life.  It is a gently worded guide to anyone wanting to live a good and holy Christian life.   As such, even if your tradition does not allow for a prophet in their midst, it is a valuable book.  I would hope that the publishers and the author would reissue the bulk of the text with that in mind and under a different title to find a wider audience for his writing.  Whether this book will help those from the Pentecostal or Charismatic tradition, I will leave for their decision.  

This book was provided by the publisher in return for a review.

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