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Book Review : The latent power of the soul

January 5, 2010

After reading, What the bleep do we know!? I felt constrained to reread, The latent power of the soul by Watchman Nee (Christian Fellowship, 1972). I read this book many years ago yet its message has stayed with me. Nee explains the difference between the soul and the spirit which is important when we look at paranormal experiences because it determines what forces are at work in these experiences.

From Scripture Nee shows that before the fall Adam had a lot more power than we have today. For example the mere fact that Adam was able to name (and therefore remember) all the animals suggests an intelligence way beyond our own (Genesis 2:19). The powers we lost at the fall, which Nee calls soul powers, became latent, trapped in our physical bodies. Rather than restore these powers God wants to give us his power by his Holy Spirit. Whereas Satan wants us to tap into these latent powers by overcoming our physical bodies in order that, “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:4).

A lot of the paranormal events we see today are merely the result of people tapping into this latent power which resides in our souls. This is done by many strategies found in the Buddhism, Hinduism, and the New Age movement which seeks to lay aside physical distractions and focus on the power of our minds or souls.

Nee encourages us to “put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Colossians 3:5) and instead rely on God’s Holy Spirit.

Watchman Nee originally spoke this message in 1933 yet it is amazingly appropriate for the times in which we live.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith