Intensive Faith

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The first book I’ve completed in the ECPC Reading Challenge is “Intensive Faith” by Dan FinFrock.  I first became aware of Dan’s ministry when I took a 3-day seminar in the Inductive Bible Study method at Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes in Farmington, NY.  The course was based on Dan’s course in the Inductive Bible Study method.  I’m a strong proponent of this method of Bible study, not just for pastors but for anyone who loves God’s Word and wants to know Him better.  Most peoples’ first inclination when studying the Bible is to go immediately to study helps like Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, etc.  While there’s nothing wrong with using these tools, Bible study should begin with a prayerful examination of the text of scripture itself.  The inductive method forces us to make observations about the text, extrapolate interpretations from those observations, and finally discern specific applications for our own lives.  DVD and CD based versions of Dan’s course can be ordered at www.icmbible.org.

As for the book, it is a chronicle of Dan’s history in ministry and his learning to consistently walk according to faith (in many cases intensive faith) and not by sight and how God consistently demonstrated His power and faithfulness.  There are wonderful testimonies of physical healings, times when God miraculously provided for his family in times of need, and when he (and others) were supernaturally protected from danger. 

Why are we in the West so skeptical of the miraculous?  Is it because so may hucksters and charlatans who claim to be working for God have deceived us?  Is it because we so rarely see the sort of miracles described in the Bible?  Dan addresses this point on page 119

“Why don’t we see more miracles in America?  I have seen many wonders in the Third World countries, such as India.  But I fear that in the States, miracles are not only hard to come by, but they seem difficult for us to believe.  Why is that?

Could it be unbelief in the church?

Or perhaps its because we have so much in our country that we think we have lost the need to see God move in miraculous ways.  We have our diverse medical plans, capable doctors, good hospitals, lots of ‘miracle’ drugs, and plenty of credit cards.  The temptation, I fear, is to put our trust in those things rather than in God.”

I think that Dan is spot on here.  We have placed too much “faith” in our own self-sufficiency.  Regarding the miraculous, we need to exercise discnerment, but not to the point of cynicism.  We need to follow Paul’s admonition to the church at Thessolonica.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. “

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NKJV)

How do we “test all things”?  We test all things (teaching, preaching, miracles, prophecies, etc.) by the unchanging and inerrant Word of God.

I related to so many things in Dan’s book. I’ve shared his desire to travel to the Sudan to train pastors engaged in fierce conflict with a genocidal regime. I share his amazement that believers in the Third World will gladly travel great distances and sit for long hours just to study God’s Word while many in our own churchers rarely read the word, let alone study it.

“Intensive Faith” was a blessing and an encouragement to me.  I highly recommend it.  You can purchase your own copy at www.icmbible.org.

 

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4 Responses to Intensive Faith

  1. Riley Phillips says:

    Wow, that was a quick read! I give you props for taking on this reading challenge, and I was hit by one of your final sentences: “believers in the Third World will gladly travel great distances and sit for long hours just to study God’s Word while many in our own churchers rarely read the word, let alone study it.” I have had similar discussions with my mentor who has traveled to Africa and witnessed believers there walking for miles in the rain in hand-me-down flip flops to attend a service to worship together. Now that’s dedicated faith!

    • Pastor Jim says:

      My daughter and I had similar experiences in Peru. People living in abject poverty would work all day at hard physical labor, come home, and then walk long distances to spend 2-3 hours in the evening worshipping with their brothers and sisters in Christ. A few years ago a Pastor visiting from the underground church in China said that young people would gladly spend 8 hours a day for a year (or more) learning and practicing the inductive method of Bible study. It’s amazing what God is doing in the “Third World”.

  2. Riley Phillips says:

    Also, Finfrock is a funny name and it makes me think of the Muppets.

  3. Pastor Jim says:

    Sounds like a great book! I’m glad I have you to read these books and give me the condensed version!