I can always count on a Spiritual Growth book from Moody Publishers to be challenging and insightful, and the newly published volume by Daniel Henderson is no exception. “Transforming Presence: How the Holy Spirit Changes Everything - From the Inside Out” is a powerful little book that was written to answer the question, “Why did Jesus say it would be better for Him to go?” If you pick up this book, you will undoubtedly begin to unpack and ponder not only this question, but many others related to the Holy Spirit as well.
“Transforming Presence” is comprised of 10 chapters (along with introduction, conclusion, and appendices) that present Ten Vital Practices for a New Experience of the Holy Spirit. This may seem like a simplistic and systematic approach to understanding the Holy Spirit, but let me assure you, these chapters are anything but! In fact, the primary, negative aspect of this book, for me, is that it did not feel very ‘approachable’ and seemed to be written more for pastors and church leaders than regular people like me. In several chapters I just felt the information was a little too hard to grasp, and I found my mind wandering despite the interesting topic.
I feel a little silly because all the other reviewers for this book seemed to have no problem at all in understanding and internalizing the content that Daniel Henderson presents... I simply had a difficult time with his writing and methods of presenting the information, but that is not to say that I didn’t gain wisdom and knowledge from reading it. One of the biggest eye-opening factors for me was the in-depth and fascinating explanation of the differences between the new and old covenants. Mr. Henderson opens this discussion by teaching that “The word ‘testament’ and ‘covenant’ are fundamentally the same word in the Hebrew and Greek. So in the simplest understanding, the Bible is divided between two covenants: the old covenant and the new covenant. The old covenant was enacted by God through the law and Moses. The new covenant was enacted by God through the person and work of Christ.”
In the end, I think “Transforming Presence” is a wonderful resource that gives much to ponder about the Holy Spirit. For me, it was not the most accessible writing style but I am certain that other readers would have no problem with the in-depth content. If you are seeking to learn more about the Spirit who truly does change everything, I certainly recommend that you give “Transforming Presence” a try.
I received this book courtesy of Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.