Thursday evenings finds me joining a group of other men, in one of their homes, taking part in a Bible study. Currently we are working through 1 Corinthians. We cover a chapter a week, this week being chapter 14. If you are aware of what exactly is there in chapter 14, you know that we have been studying spiritual gifts: their use and abuse. I am not the group leader and so I have been able to sit back and “relax” somewhat and enjoy the back and forth as we work through the text. In the process of going through these three chapters a book was recommended to me, that I now recommend to you.
The Corinthian Catastrophe was written in 1974 by George Gardiner, a former Pentecostal. He brings a unique perspective to the understanding of the letter to the Corinthians, as he describes how God’s Word challenged his very upbringing. It was during a war and “four years of isolation” that he began to honestly face some of the questions about how charismatics function in relation to the spiritual gifts, primarily speaking in tongues.
The author spends time focusing on these three chapters specifically, although he does relate some background and insight from other passages. He concretely and simply moves through the text in a confident way explaining the reason why tongues existed and why they no longer exist. I found his book easy to read, informative and well thought out. I would recommend anyone studying the spiritual gifts, especially tongues, to pick up a copy of this short read. Less than 60 pages long, a diligent reader can read through it in one sitting.