Book Review of John Algera’s “Signs and Wonders: A Reformed Look at the Spirit’s Ongoing Work”

Posted: February 15, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in Book Reviews, Calvinism, Pentecostal/Charismatic Interests
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Cover Image

A Decent Primer for Reformed Folks

I appreciate Algera’s contribution to the church in that it serves as an introductory primer for folks mainly within a RCA, CRC, or reformed background. It is easily readable and is intended for the common layreader. He intentionally connects themes with the Heidelberg Catechism and Belgic Confession, which makes it nice for folks within such a tradition. It would serve well as a small group study as there are discussion questions and suggested prayers at the end of every chapter.

The chapters are as follows:

1-      Biblical Teachings on Signs and Wonders

2-      What’s Your Worldview?

3-      Purposes and Results of Signs and Wonders

4-      Proclaiming the Word of God

5-      Demonstrating the Presence of the Kingdom of God

6-      Demonstrating the Power of the Holy Spirit

7-      Testifying to the Power of Prayer

8-      Giving Evidence of Our Faith in Jesus

9-      Defeating the Devil

10-  Discerning the Spirits: Dangers and Cautions

11-  Personal and Congregational Application

12-  Societal and Structural Application

The beneficial things I take from this read are Algera’s connections with signs and wonders to missions, its affirming aspect to God’s proclaimed Word, its evidencing the Kingdom of God, its relation to Spiritual warfare, and societal application.

The necessity for signs and wonders in animistic cultures could not be understated. God has made Himself known through demonstrations of His power and He continues to do the same, especially in cultures that validate “truth” claims be demonstrable evidences.

It is also important to be mindful that signs and wonders follow the preached Word and give confirmation to its authority and power. We ought never seek signs and wonders in and of themselves as an end, but it should be inextricably linked with God’s proclaimed Word.

Signs and wonders also evidence God’s imminent presence and power of this earthly realm, thus confirming His reign and rule on this earth. It’s a tangible evidence that God’s kingdom is here and at work.

Signs and wonders also manifest God’s power over earthly powers and principalities. God makes Himself know to be more powerful that the evil principalities that seek to rule and reign.

Connected to spiritual warfare would also be the societal aspects which evidence Satan’s rule and reign. Abortion, sex trafficking, and more are all societal ills which speak of Satan’s workings. We ought to seek signs and wonders to  manifest God’s opposition to such societal sins.

Where I find this book to be lacking is in its congregational application. No mention is made of the “charismata” at work in the church’s life and liturgy, other than the mention of healing. It is here where I think that Algera is wanting to accept “signs and wonders” but does so exclusive from a fully robust charismatic theology which embraces the “charismata” in congregational life. I am grateful for his whole hearted embrace and pursuit of signs and wonders, but wish that the same could be said regarding the gifts that God sovereignly grants His children for their edification .

Overall, I would say that this book is good for those in the RCA or CRC traditions and want to begin their examination of God’s workings in signs and wonders.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s