R.T. Kendall’s ‘Holy Fire’ Ignites Fresh Passion

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Larry Sparks

R.T. Kendall

Holy Fire ignites fresh passion in evangelicals for the Spirit and fresh desire in charismatics for the Scriptures.

Whether you consider yourself a conservative evangelical or a charismatic/Pentecostal of some kind, R.T. Kendall’s opus, Holy Fire, will empower you to go to the next level in your journey as a well-balanced believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

By the way, balance in the kingdom is not living in some lukewarm place between boredom and passion. It is not a little bit of Bible-based theology mingled with a little bit of Holy Spirit. Balance is desiring “all of the Word” and “all of the Spirit,” as the Word of God and the Spirit of God work together, not independently of each other. Kendall reminds us of this powerful truth on every page, concluding with Smith Wigglesworth’s prophetic statement: “When the Word and Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed the world, has ever seen.”

What I appreciate is that Holy Fire is not another immediate response to Pastor John MacArthur’s Strange Fire book and conference (Michael Brown has superbly tackled this with solid and outstanding integrity in his book Authentic Fire). Rather, Kendall gives us something extraordinary and unusual. He offers a user-friendly apologetic for the scriptural basis for the present day movement and power of the Holy Spirit. Every piece of information he delivers is scripturally reinforced.

If you are charismatic, Kendall is both your ally and encourager. He is also inviting charismatics/Pentecostals to seriously consider “their ways” and ensure that everything done in the name of the Holy Spirit represents the truth of Scripture. If you read any of Kendall’s testimony or know anything of his personal history with the Holy Spirit, he is by no means one who plays it safe. So don’t worry about someone trying to throw a wet blanket on your fire. Kendall is not the man for that job. His passion is to see your fire sustained, for only holy fire is sustainable fire. The strange fire and counterfeit may last for a season, but it delivers no lasting fruit. Plus, Kendall provides well-studied criteria for evaluating whether something is born of the Spirit, or is not (in the chapter, “The Ultimate Proof of the Holy Spirit”).

If you are a conservative evangelical, coming from a Baptist, Reformed, Nazarene or any other type of denominational background, Kendall’s history will be oddly appealing. He’s been there. Seriously, he has been “everywhere.”

Kendall is reformed in his theology. He has pastored Baptist churches (and attended a Baptist seminary). He was brought up Nazarene. He also happens to be charismatic, as one who has experienced the dynamic touch of the Holy Spirit in his life—on several occasions (his chapter, “My Personal Testimony,” will surely be a blessing to you). In addition, he provides user-friendly chapters on some of the most controversial Charismatic doctrines, such as the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

One of the most important sections of Kendall’s book boldly confronts the dangers of cessationism. He is right to acknowledge that cessationism is not a dogma, as many tend to uphold it as; cessationism is merely a possible theory.

Whether you have enjoyed decades of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in your life, or, you are curious about the possibility of experiencing “more” from God (but don’t know if this “Holy Spirit stuff” is scripturally legal), Holy Fire was lovingly written with you in mind. Get ready to discover Who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and Why relationship with Him is absolutely vital for every single believer living on the earth.

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