The intention on this page is to recommend a number of books by Kenneth Hagin Snr. whose writings are without equal in his area and bespeak great godliness.
Hagin’s three main topics are, perhaps, Faith (and particularly faith as it relates to healing)- see On faith, Prayer -see On prayer, and Gifts of the Holy Spirit; other topics he covers include Love, Money and Women in Ministry.
On this page, some biography and other notes.
Some biographical material can be found in the book
I believe in Visions, but there is rather more in spoken form available from www.rhema.org in a series entitled My Life and Ministry. In fact most of the books are basically transcripts of oral teaching.
Hagin was born in the 1920’s in Texas and was always very sickly as a child. Although many relatives were church goers, Hagin did not know about salvation. He was confined to what was 100% expected to be a death-bed at the age of 15, but it was here that the foundational experiences of his life happened. Firstly, he died and went down, down, down to hell’s gates, three times, but each time a voice called him back and as he came back the third time he cried out to God for salvation and was born again. He subsequently lay on his bed for many many months edging firstly towards the belief that there was healing for him in God’s Word, then to believing that God heard his prayers, then finally to acting on God’s Word. It was Mark 11.23-24 that finally took him off the bed of paralysis and serious heart condition when he ‘believed he received’ and acted on it.
He immediately became active in church and was soon, as a very young man, pastoring. Pentecostal people came to town and he sort of fell into the baptism with the Holy Spirit – he received the Holy Spirit ‘with the evidence’ of speaking in tongues. This was a no-no in his denomination and led to him receiving what he terms ‘the left foot of fellowship’. He had previously been teaching and practising healing by faith, but now he also began to experience the gifts of the Holy Spirit and healing by ‘the anointing’, an important distinction in his ministry.
Marriage, children and years of pastoring followed before he entered itinerant ministry. This was during the Healing Revival in the US which lasted through the 50’s; Hagin was unusual in not being evangelistic but teaching from church to church; God, he says, told him to preach faith, and this he proceeded to do. His books recount many healings and how God led him in different ways with regard, for example, to demons, and faith for material provision. Most of his time was spent within the confines of the Pentecostal churches until the charismatic movement of the 60’s saw him spread his wings further. Eventually he was settled in Tulsa, OK and there commenced Rhema Bible Training Centre, which developed into something of an international outreach.
The range of practical experience demonstrated in his books is wonderful; you will learn a thing or two in 60+ years of ministry. He speaks little in the books about developing fellowship, intimacy with God, though his own close walk with God is very evident. To some degree he seems to take this intimacy for granted, but the main point is that it is not what God told him to teach; he focuses on faith, stating that ‘fellowship is the mother of faith’.
There are four particular volumes that can be most highly recommended, as bringing together much of the material in other books. These are Bible Faith Study Course; Bible Prayer Study Course; Bible Healing Study Course;and The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Each of these and other topics are explored elsewhere on this site. Hagin is closely associated in my mind with Oral Roberts and TL Osborn. More latterly, certain derivative ministries have taken Hagin’s message too far and have corrupted some of what he says, but his is, in my view, the soundest, best teaching on faith. The ministry and outlook are very conservative and perhaps not very questioning in terms of politics and so on; I remember visiting the church in Tulsa some 20 years ago and not being admitted until I had borrowed a tie!
A little further background may be found on the following posts; Prosperity and ‘On the offensive’; these attempt to provide some perspective on the attacks to which Hagin, among others, has been subjected. Like anyone who focuses on a particular area he doesn’t look at other things and might be open to criticism; but what he says about his subject is wonderful; there is nowhere you can read about the crucial scripture of Mark 11 23-24, about faith, that comes near to this. It should be noted that an uncritical adherence to the outlook in his books can result in a very narrow construal of the nature of the Christian life; it is also important to read things in their cultural context; the issues Hagin faced in prosperous Texas 50 years ago are not altogether the same as those of today!