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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Review: Chad Norris - Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher


This book is hard to review. On the one hand it is well written and easy to read and on the other hand the content is a little different to say the least.

In my Christian journey, I have seen a lot of things.

When I was first saved, I wanted to experience God in a powerful way. Because of my immaturity, I followed many who said "God is over here" They claimed seeing angels, hearing and seeing Jesus physically, being transported, and seeing people raise from the dead.

I took them at there word. Many of these same people were engulfed in petty jealousy, hatred and strife. Some had even deeper sins like homosexuality and adultery. At that time, I could not understood why God would show up in miraculous ways to people who were so mean, but not to many who were loving and kind.

After years of studying the bible and living the Christian life, I do believe miracles happen. God is concerned with our lives; He is sovereign and guides our steps. But...and there is always a...”but”. I do not believe God wants us to follow after signs. He rebuked people for following after signs. A miracle by definition is something out of the ordinary. That is why they call it supernatural, because it is not natural. It doesn’t happen on a regular basis.

Most of us spend our life eating the wrong way and not exercising - then we ask God to heal us. We spend all of our money and can't pay our bills, then ask God for a financial miracle. I am not saying God should not perform a miracle in that situation. Salvation itself is God fixing a mess we made. But if we are to have miracles everyday they would no longer be miracles. They would be normal life.

Why did Jesus performed miracles? Why not? He is God! Does He perform them today? Yes, He is God. The problem comes in when we seek these as the norm.

Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who don't see but yet believe”. He rebuked the Jew saying they seek after a sign instead of Him. Paul told the Corinthians they were more obsessed with the gifts of the spirit than love.

Many need healing today, many need a financial miracle today, but an even greater need is new birth. We have worried so much about temporal physical things so much we have jettisoned the eternal. Jesus said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world (health and prosperity) and lose his own soul.

In his book, Chad tells of stories about translation, seeing Jesus physically, hearing God audibly, seeing angels(one holding a sword), daily miracles, visions, wind inside a closed building, Jesus sitting on a bed, a woman covered in gold specks, etc.

He speaks of preaching the Kingdom, but never explains what that means. I assume it means healing and miracles. More than one time he says he would like to show the theologian or professor what it would be like to live a life of miracles. There is a little anti-intellectual bend to the book.

As far as Chad is concerned, he seems like a very nice and sincere guy. He comes off as a loving compassionate person who loves the Lord, But using his own words he may be a little "weird".

It was not a boring read, but I would be a little cautious. It could leave some new believers thinking that the Christian life is full of miracles and if you do not experience them daily, you are not complete in Christ.


I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book, free of charge, from Chosen Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for your honest thoughts. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Two stars is better than one :) One thing I am confused about in your blog is that I am very clear about never seeking signs. Honestly, I get annoyed being around people who do that. I simply explored the idea in the book that it's odd to me that so many disciples don't see what our Lord commanded us to do. He focused on three things: 1. Healed the sick. 2. Delivered people of the enemy. 3. Taught the Kingdom. It seems you can easily have a thriving church in the West and do none of those things. I agree with your thoughts on seeking signs. Makes me angry actually. I'm more concerned on seeking obedience to what he called his disciples to do. Also, I'm not as weird as you think. Normal guy actually. Thanks for reviewing the book. Sincerely, Chad Norris

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  2. I have not read the book, so I can't comment on the review specifically, but I did watch an interview with Chad about his experience that brought him to where he is and led to the writing of the book. I guess you could say that, while I'm not actually a doctor, I play one on TV. :-)

    Having been raised in a Baptist church, I, like Chad, read the Bible and have observed that something is deeply missing from our modern church. Jesus said that WE WOULD perform miracles in His name and experience great signs and wonders. Do we? Why wouldn't we seek them as the norm if Jesus said we would experience them as the norm? I'm not saying that it's a 24/7 kind of thing; but weekly? Maybe. Monthly? Maybe. Annually? Maybe. That's up to God to decide when and how often. The thing is that we, in the modern age, don't experience them at all, because we don't REALLY believe it's true. As a result, the church has become nearly completely ineffective when it comes to displaying the love and power of Christ. We have so over-intellectualized our faith that it's no longer faith, but an equation. Unfortunately, our math doesn't work like God's math and, while we both come to the same answer; Jesus, OUR equation leaves us with only a picture of Jesus. GOD'S equation leaves us with the PERSON of Jesus. It's time that we get a little less intellectual with our theology. There was nothing intellectual about the early church, but the entire world came to hear about Christ. In our day, the exact opposite is happening and even millions of those within the church are leaving each year. It's time we take a serious look at why this is happening. That's just my two cents.

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  3. I did not write this review to denigrate anyone. I am a Charismatic Calvinist myself. I believe in miracles, the gifts, and all that comes with them. I have seen and experienced miracles before and believe God performs them today. I have read Jack Deere's(he wrote the forward to this book)book a number of times and love arguing in favor the gifts of the spirit. My problem comes when people get so far out there that the gifts are seen as weird or goofy. God is not foolish. Look at the earth. He created every atom. We should be showing the world the Majesty of God, not making everyone in a grocery store uncomfortable because we start praying in tongues while buying a loaf of bread.

    The question is why does God do a miracle today? Is it to get someone saved? He rebuked Thomas because he would not believe without seeing. Does God do miracles to prove He exists. Satan tempted Jesus to jump off the cliff to prove he was God.

    Jesus rebuked the people for wanting to see a miracle. He said he would only give them the sign of Jonah. Three days in the grave - the resurrection. God does miracles because He wants to. He does use our prayers, but we do not cause the miracle. It is His choice. Miracles should always take second place to the Gospel. If not, we are going to have a lot of healthy people, but they will all be in hell.

    Jesus never said miracles would be the norm. He did say that signs would follow believers, not believers follow signs. That tells me, I shouldn't follow after them, just pray and let them happen when it is God's will.

    In fact, that scripture about signs is at the end of Mark. None of the earliest Greek manuscripts contain it at all. Read any study Bible and you will see brackets around it with an explanation. Also most people leave our the handling snakes part.

    When you say Jesus wanted miracles to be the norm, Norm means the normal part of life. That is the opposite of what the word miracle means. A miracle, by definition, means something that overrides the normal laws of nature. If I override the law of gravity. I fly. That is a miracle. If flying becomes the norm, then standing on solid ground would be the miracle. If miracles are the norm, then when some one gets sick, that would be the miracle, not being healed (remember healing is the norm).

    Also you mentioned that the problem with the church today is that the faith is over-intellectualized. I am not sure what Christians you hang around, but my whole life that has never been a problem. For the last 30 years the church as a whole has been anti-intellectual. They say - We should be FOOLS for God. The Church prides itself on not using it's intellect. They have sold their birthright for a bowl of porridge.

    The best thing God has accomplished on earth was through the intellect HE gave the Church. If it wasn't for the intellect of the Church in the past, we would have no hospitals, colleges, schools, vaccines, etc. Everything good in our society was invented by those who have used the intellect God gave them for good. I would rather have a doctor with an intellect doing my surgery than a guy who can not spell his own name, but loves the Lord. That is a given. The apostle Paul was one of the smartest men that ever lived. He "reasoned" with the unbeliever. Adam was smart enough to name every animal. Jesus stumped the teachers when he was 12. He had some of the greatest intellectual arguments with the Pharisees. He outSMARTED them. He said, do you not KNOW the scriptures? God gave us brains for a "reason"(pun intended). He expects us to use it to worship Him and spread the Gospel. Worship in spirit and TRUTH. He calls us to love God with our "mind" We can't even drive to church without using our intellect to navigate the road.



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    1. If we lived a faith without all that intellect, we would not even have a Bible. The Bible you hold in your hands was translated by some of the smartest men in the world. They had to know language, history, etymology, etc. God's math is the same as ours. He created MATH. 2+2=4. We only learn the laws he created. He created the world in 6 days. He counts the same way we do. Science has to use the laws God created. God is greater than science, not below it. Our intellect is puny compared to God's, why would he tell us not to strive ofter the knowledge He has. He tells us we are to renew our minds. Not think like the rest of the world. We are to be smarter. Wise as serpents and harmless as doves - as Jesus put it.

      The reason the bible says God's wisdom is foolishness to man is because God has so much more intellect that our puny finite mind can not comprehend his knowledge. The cross is the most genius thing ever thought of. Man could have never thought up such a wonderful plan. It is a legal contract. God takes my punishment and gives me His righteousness. Is that not the smartest idea you have ever heard of?

      The unbelievers I run into will not consider coming to the Lord because someone has gold dust on their hands, barks like a dog, or sees a 30 foot Jesus. They saw that stuff when they were taking drugs. They want something real. Something true. Paul said he would only preach Christ and Him crucified. that is the truth that changes lives. A miracle of healing or wealth is temporal and will end when the body dies, but the Gospel is eternal. It leads to a new body that will live forever in the presence of God.

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