Saturday, February 10, 2007

Charismatic and Reformed

No, this isn't a three word summary of my theology (yet); rather I was thinking about the relatively recent connection between these two in the contemporary church. Typically these two have been at odds; charismatics were largely wesleyan/arminian and calvinists were historically cessasionists (with rare exceptions). Nevertheless, recent decades have demonstrated through the minstry of John Piper, the emergence and growth of Sovereign Grace ministries and the publication of Wayne Grudem's systematic, that these two may quite happily coexist.

Yesterday I was thinking out loud and talking to my wife about Longenecker's Apostolic Exegesis and stumbled upon a possible connection. I was informing her that most of my friends who had read the book agreed it was an awesome book with a sucky conclusion - that is, Longenecker makes a great case for christological/pneumatically dependent exegesis in the 1st Century but says we shouldn't do it today. While I haven't finished the book, I was reflecting on the fact that many I've spoken with adopt such a conclusion on the grounds that the NT authors were writing under inspiration and the Spirit was moving in a way different from the way that He does today (classic cessationism). To argue otherwise would hint of charismaticism; and then I thought, "wait a minute..." The reformed tradition has always argued for just such a christological hermeneutic. Yet, the charismatic emphasis on the continuity of the Spirit's working between the 1st and the 21st Century seems to be the best way to legitimize such a pneumatologically dependent exegetical approach. My conclusion: whether or not there is a genetic relationship between my observations and the modern connection between Reformed Theology and Charismaticism, the two may fit together more harmoniously than I had previously considered.

5 comments:

jeileenbaylor said...

Hmmm... I think I may agree with you... I do love charasmatics :o) hee hee!

smlogan said...

nate,
i appreciate those sentiments...
our time at sovereign grace has certainly witnessed to this sort of phenomenon, and we have been greatly blessed by it.

far from a low (or diminished) bibliology that has at times been ascribed to it/them, my experience has been that these men (those you've mentioned) contend for the whole truth of scripture as fiercely - and at times, more cogently - than those in the cessasionist camp.

thanks for your thoughts...
i am encouraged by them.

smlogan said...

apparently this isn't a hot topic, but i thought of you again when i stumbled over an alumni update from our esteemed alma mater...
remember the guy who was still arguing for king jim even after a seminary degree???
here's a clip:
Here in ________, and I suppose on other mission fields too, we talk about the charismatics and pentecostals "stealing sheep."

Pitch said...

It's been about a month since I've been able to access much internet, so I'm getting caught up now (from 12 time zones away, nonetheless).

I have to tell you, I love Reformed Charismatics. I may even consider myself one of them. Here in KZ, I'm planning on going to a Vineyard church in a few minutes, with a fellow-worker who's also a Presbyterian.

Check out Sam Storms' website (www.enjoyinggodministries, I believe). He's another good example.

Anonymous said...

READ "CONVERGENCE: SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS OF A CHARISMATIC CALVINIST" BY SAM STORMS!

Please....

Hayton