26 May 2023

Pentecost ablaze: Spiritual food for thought

Major Malcolm Martin

Image shows the front cover of Holiness Ablaze.

Major Malcolm Martin reviews Holiness Ablaze! by General Shaw Clifton (Retired).

The Twenty Talks book series by General Shaw Clifton (Retired) has consistently offered readers fresh insights and considerable spiritual food for thought. This latest volume blends thoughtful teaching from Scripture with helpful illustrations, drawn from personal ministry and The Song Book of The Salvation Army. The Talks are delivered in the author’s characteristic conversational style, helping to make complex concepts accessible.

Each chapter is rooted in key scriptural texts exploring the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Understandably some texts are used repeatedly – particularly Acts 2 and Galatians 5 – but on each occasion the passages are explored from a particular angle – or in combination with complementary texts – that emphasises a slightly different theme.

They focus particularly on the powerful presence of the Spirit as the foundation of holiness, both for the individual believer and the body of Christ. Indeed, about half offer teaching on how the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is essential for growth in Christlikeness, fostering the development of spiritual fruit and binding believers together in the unity of peace. Readers are repeatedly encouraged to reflect upon how their lives might be better orientated towards the holy love of God, with one Talk quoting Bramwell Booth’s assertion that ‘the great gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of love’.

A minor personal niggle in a few places was the use of an older edition of the New International Version, which lacks the inclusive language approach adopted by recent versions in recognition that the original Greek terms were probably understood more broadly.

As with previous titles in the series, the Talks are adaptable to a variety of situations – preachers will find helpful prompts, study groups can use the suggested questions, while individuals can reflect on their own experience of purity and power as the outcomes of Pentecost.

  • Holiness Ablaze! is available from sps-shop.com priced £5.

Written by

Major Malcolm Martin

Major Malcolm Martin

Publishing Secretary

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Holiness Ablaze! is available now from SP&S.

Holiness Ablaze!

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