A Review of 'Man on Three Dimensions' by Kenneth E. Hagin
Man on Three Dimensions
Summary of the Book
In this book, Kenneth Hagin explains the three components of man: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit is the dimension of man that deals with the spiritual realm, and it is the part of man that has knowledge of God. The soul is the part of man that deals with the mental realm; the soul is the part of man that thinks and reasons. The body is the part of man that deals with the physical realm. It is the house in which our spirit lives.
Our view of the components of man have an effect on how we view salvation and faith in general. Hagin was quite surprised to find out that even many Ph.D theologians are ignorant of the composition of man (most believe the spirit and the soul are the same). Hagin believes that many have come to erroneous views of man by being taught the teachings of other men rather than being taught on the subject directly from the Bible.
The true man is the spirit man. We are spirit. Hagin points out that the Apostle Paul used "I" and "spirit" interchangeably (1 Corinthians 14:14 & 14:18). Hagin encourages readers to think of themselves as a spirit being that possesses a soul and lives in a body.
Hagin also explains the Gospel in the context of man as spirit, soul, and body. When Jesus died on the cross, our spirit, our old self, died with him, and when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, our spirit rose with him as a new creation. Our spirit is the real man, or rather, the "hidden man of the heart (2 Corinthians 4:16)." Hagin goes on to say that the spiritual realm is more real than the natural world.
In the section of the book that is about the soul, Hagin talks about the importance of our minds being renewed. Though our spirit is born again, our soul, or rather, our intellectual component, must be in agreement with the Word of God and the new spirit God has given us. Hagin also discusses real faith in this section. He argues that real faith is more than just mental assent. Not only is real faith mental assent, but real faith involves acting on God's Word. Even though the things we hope for that are promised to us are not ours now, we, by faith, believe that God's promise is just as sure as the result we are hoping for (Hebrews 11:1).
In the section of the book that is about the body, Hagin says our bodies belong to God, and we are to present our bodies as a sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). The body is our house, and we are the caretakers of it. We must bring our body into subjection to the renewed mind and the new spirit that dwells within us. Our body, if left unchecked, will want to do things that were our habits prior to us having our minds renewed (this is because bodies are habitual; this is not something Hagin said directly, but I am adding this for emphasis). We will not get a new body until the coming of Christ. Therefore, the body we have now is the same as what we had prior to our accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior. The only difference concerning our body after being born again is who lives in the body.
The next section of Hagin's book is about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in man. When man is born again, eternal life is given to his spirit. This life of God that comes into us when we accept Jesus as our savior recreates the spirit. By the laying on of hands, we receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:17 shows that the receiving of the Holy Spirit happens after belief in Jesus as our savior. The Holy Spirit bears witness that we are now children of God (Romans 8:16). The Holy Spirit plays a part in our regeneration, but the Holy Spirit also acts as a guide that guides us in truth. We do not have to receive the Holy Spirit in this way to be saved, but it is important to have the Holy Spirit as a guide.
The Holy Spirit imparts God's Word to our spirit man, which imparts it to our soul, which renews our mind, which allows us to use our bodies to do the work God has for us. With the Holy Spirit and our new spirit within us, the work of God starts from the inside of us. When Kenneth Hagin was bed ridden, he had to learn that God had already given him everything he needed to receive healing. What the Holy Spirit tells us with always be in line with what the Bible says. The Holy Spirit can impart life to us and teach us if we are receptive to what He tells us. Learning to do this is a process. Hagin goes on to tell of a couple of times where he benefited from listening to the Holy Spirit.
My Thoughts on the Book
The book is concise and easy to follow. it is a rather short book; it is a little less than 6x9 in size and it is about 31 pages long. Kenneth Hagin argues for his view of the composition of man from scripture and not from tradition. The reader of the book will have a good understanding of the three fold view of man (also known as trichotomy) by the time they finish the book. The book is well arranged and it does not take long to read. In order to get the most out of this book, you will need to study it along with the Bible. We should always test everything we hear against the Bible.
The book does not directly critique dichotomy or Christian physicalism, and though the book is concise and informative, it is not comprehensive. Even so, this book is a good primer and introduction into the topic of trichotomy. Kenneth Hagin is often associated with the Word of Faith movement. Though the Word of Faith movement has been criticized by a lot of academics, I have found that the movement is correct on a lot of items pertaining to the Bible and I have found that many of the accusations of heresy against Hagin are either the result of fabrication or misunderstanding. Therefore, I encourage any potential reader to not let the negative reputation that Kenneth Hagin has among academics to dissuade you from reading his book.
© 2019 Jason L Petersen