Why He’s Not Charismatic

December 29th, 2008

Michael Patton over at Parchment and Pen has been doing a series called, “Why I Am Not Charismatic”. He seems to be roughly in the “open but cautious” area. His thoughts–along with the comment sections–have been well worth the reading time, for anyone trying to think through & understand the subject. (It’s still in-progress, BTW.)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 – Prophecy and Healings
Part 4 – Excursus

If you’ve really got a lot of time, I would also recommend the series that Frank Turk (of the Pyromaniacs) wrote this fall. It began with a discussion of John Piper’s response to the Lakeland Revival, and went on from there. Compared to the P&P series, you’ll find that the tone of the discussion there will be a harder line against charismatics. If you’re charismatic, then you’ll probably end up being annoyed or offended at some of the comments. But there’s definitely some thoughtful material there. (Note: He never finished the last post.)

As a taste, here’s some of what he said in his second post:

I want to start with something I said in the meta a while ago which, I think, people need to keep in mind as we approach the question of how the Holy Spirit works in the church.

My opinion is that a “cautious” continualist and a “cautious” cessationist have way more in common that they have in contention. They agree that prayer is efficacious; they agree that God is the giver of all good things; they agree that the Christian has a privilege to ask God for his needs; they agree that we should rejoice when God supplies those needs.

The problem is when someone claims more than that, or less than that. I would say that those who fall outside of those affirmations put themselves in spiritual danger — a topic about which I am sure I have more I should write down.

Prophecy and Signs and Wonders
Not more, nor less
Signs and Wonders
The Wily Continualist
It never ends

Note: In both of these series, you’ll find the occasional comment from a debonair, clever, insightful individual whom I admire greatly for his humility and grace. :D

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