Book ReviewTitle: Fire From Heaven
Subtitle: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century
Author: Harvey Cox
There are hardly any books on the subject of the history of the Pentecostal movement at the public library, here in the town of Bogwater. But I checked out one by Harvey Cox, mistakenly thinking that his book was a history.
Nope! How mistaken I was! Cox's book does have a little bit of history in it, but it is hardly what I would call a history written by an historian. What little history there was in his book served mostly as a launching pad for Cox to indulge in lofty theological philosophizing. What I'd really like to call it is a steaming pile of something else, but I'll be nice and just describe it as the kind of liberal twaddle that Ivy League academe is bound to love — jammed packed with all sorts of highfalutin concepts such as "cognitive gridworks" and "perceptional barriers" and whatnot. In fact, the book is so larded with verbal cruff, that by the time I reached chapter four, the induced nausea I was experiencing made it increasingly difficult for me to continue reading the book. That he really had nothing worthwhile to say should not have been surprising, considering that Cox is a professor of religion at Harvard University. But then again Harvard long ago became "a haunt for every unclean spirit and every detestable bird." It's hard to believe that Harvard was once founded by actual xtians.
Therefore, I wouldn't recommend bothering with the book. About the only worthwhile thing were some of the bibliographical notes in the back, which mention the titles of actual histories and which may be worth the trouble trying to find on Amazon.
What was pitiful about the book was watching Cox thrash about trying to understand what's going on, trying to explain things first with this concept and then with that, when all along a simple 10-year old in a Sunday School class, having a heart of faith, could have grasped things with ease. Using the words from an old hymn from long ago:
I serve a risen SaviorYes, a 10-year old can grasp that, but for a Harvard professor it's completely beyond him.
He's in the world today;
I know that He is living
No matter what men may say…