Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Full Gospel, Fractured Minds - Review - 1

Full Gospel, Fractured Minds: A Call to use God’s Gift of the Intellect
By Rick M. Nańez
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005) ISBN: 0-310-26308-5, $18.00 HB, 267pp.
A Review, Part I

The claim to the uniqueness or seminality of this title, as attested by the likes of Stanley Horton, J. P. Moreland, and Amos Yong (see Endorsements and Preface), only confirms some of the negative impressions non-Pentecostals have supposedly and stereo-typically held concerning the Pentecostal/Charismatic phenomenon.

Having been a participant in such circles for over five years, having brethren who remain or still partake in the fringes of such, and being an observer of the evangelical Christian sub-culture in general, much of Nańez’s book resonates with what I have either experienced or know. Nańez, himself a Pentecostal, undertakes, in this aptly titled volume, to call his kind to a reformed opinion and use of the intellectual faculties with which we have been created. And, as you might imagine, this is no small task.

Exposing the anti-intellectual bias within his camp, Nańez appears convincing enough to me; but, will it be enough to convince his brethren who hold entrenched positions within that camp? I think so. At least, I hope that it proves adequate to shake the insularity of their world - characterized by “power encounters,” “liberating emotional expression,” and “where robust leadership is encouraged and cultivated” (ie: though Nańez sees these as positives, I would propose that they are the very obstacles to his pursuit of a balanced Christian life.)

Nańez divides his book up into two sections: the first half, Anatomy of the Fractured Mind, deals with the history and origins of the problem; while the second half, Ammunition for the Full-Gospel Mind, attempts a reasonable defence of the uses of the intellect. He also provides an eclectic 15 page Bibliography, as well as handy Scripture, Subject, and Name Indices.

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