Operating In The Power Of God’s Grace: Discovering The Secret Of Fruitfulness, by Robert Henderson
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
A book like this is a tricky one to read and review for someone outside of the holiness tradition, as is sometimes the case. The book rather mysteriously says of the author that he is an apostolic leader (according to whom?) who is driven to disciple the nations through writing and speaking, and other vague words to this effect. Having never reviewed any of his other books I cannot express familiarity with his thoughts on the apostolic or the courts of heaven or any of his other subjects in which he discusses, but this book does offer at least enough information about the author from his own pen (or keyboard) that it indicates a desire to avoid taking blame for his failures in saving marriages (he claims that he does not have that particular gift), and the nature of the book indicates a strong desire on the part of the author to avoid the extremes of cheap grace or legalism, with considerable success in pointing out that good works come about as a result of God working through us, which ought to provide at least a reasonable picture of the way of life that Christians should engage in.
This book is bit more than 200 pages and is divided into twelve chapters. The book begins with a foreword by Mark Cironna and then moves on to the author’s thoughts about what it means to be freed to be fruitful, which takes up a substantial part of the book, larger than the other chapters here by a good bit (1). This leads to a discussion on God’s varying looks towards us (2) as well as how we seek mercy from God and find grace (3). There is then a discussion of the familiar false dilemma between grace and works (4) as well as a discussion of the grease of God (5) as an amusing follow-up. The author then spends several chapters looking at various aspects of grace, including the grace attached to God’s purposes for us (6), the relationship between grace and spiritual gifts (7), which the author views in various numbered lists, and then the supernatural ability of grace (8). After this there is a discussion of the grace of people (9), how to enjoy limitless living (10), although the author elsewhere talks about his own lack of certain types of gifts, and then a discussion of how one moves in grace (11), and enjoys the finishing touches of grace (12) in one’s life.
Admittedly, though, this book is full of aspects that are hard to decipher without a larger understanding of the author and his own personal context. Frequently in this book the author makes speculations as to the identity of a Jezebel spirit, and it is very clear to anyone who reads this book that the author has a large degree of personal interpretive schemes that undergird his understanding of such matters as gifts and spiritual warfare. This is not a bad thing, but it does mean that the reader who does not share the author’s own religious context is unable to fully grasp how it is that the author thinks even where there is a large degree of agreement. The question here is one of authority, and the author’s rather coy refusal to address how it was that he viewed himself as having the authority to make pronouncements about certain matters or make obvious interpretive leaps from the scriptures he is talking about makes those questions about the author’s authority all the more pointed. Who made this author a recognized expert in the spirit? Where does his authority come from? How can he be believed? These are not necessarily the kindest of questions to ask, but neither are they the easiest of questions to answer from the course of this book itself.