Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas pt II

My Family sort of had Christmas late this year (by a couple days) because my brother Keith and his wife Carol went to Mexico to visit Carol's side of the family a few days before coming to Seattle. So this morning was Christmastime part deux! When asked what I wanted for Christmas my reply was, "Well, I still don't have the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings..." Viola, what shows up under the tree? Why bless me! The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition)!!!

Okay, I know this isa bit dated, but still I have wanted this since it came out and still have not seen the extendd edition of ROTK, though I have seen the extended editions of FOTR and TT. I enjoy reading the story and watching the movies they are just really amazing stuff!!

ps, did anyone see the trailer for Prince Caspian and think ROTK? I could hardly believe it..

bless you all!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Well, we left the canyon to come visit my parents in Seattle (my home town) so I couldn't blog about one of my gifts: Richard Bauckham's The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John (Baker Academic, 2007). It's a paper back. One of the reasons I wanted to get this book is because I was influenced by another blog that mentioned zeroing in on one (or more) books of the Bible where you know the issues of authorship, provenance, themes and the like - know the book inside and out. So, I'd like to do that with at least the Fourth Gospel. I read the introduction while waiting for the plane and while on the plane - some of the intro is verbatium from his Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.

Of course Bauckham does not hold to John Son of Zebedee but he does believe the Beloved Disciple was a disciple of Jesus but not one of the Twelve - nor was the Beloved Disciple itinerant but one who stayed in and around Jerusalem. Bauckham sees the Beloved Disciple not as an ideal disciple but rather as the ideal person to tell the story of Jesus from outside point of view (out side of the Twelve).

He also insists that understanding the genre of the Gospel is important to understanding its message - he noted that nearly every commentary in the early part of the 20th Century (including R. Brown) do not even touch on the issue of genre. For Bauckham, genre is important for the Fourth Gospel because misunderstanding the gnere leads to misreadings of it. With the Fourth Gospel for too long it has been seen as primarily a theological Gospel with its historicity seen as suspect. Bauckham argues that in fact its theology is dependent on its historical reliability - not that the history is hidden in the theology but rather the theology is highlighted by its history.

Desired future Acquisitions:

Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of John: A Commentary. BTW - Bauckham describes this an excellent commentary that now rivals Raymond Brown's commentary on John in the Anchor Bible.

Bauckham, Richard, and Carl Mosser (eds). The Gospel of John and Christian Theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007 (available in Feb 2008).

This is all I can share for now. I'll share more later.

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


Okay this is random but I was watching the Matrix (the first one) (it's been a while so I thought I'd pop it in) and am having trouble resisting the desire to post and let y'all know what some may or may not already know - The Matrix is not expounding Christian Theology - Neo is not a messianic figure who comes and saves everyone from the matrix - well, if they left things with the first movie (which I think they should have done) it might have been harder to discern - but they went off and made the trilogy and so gave away the fact that it is actually very New Age and is closer to the teachings of Hinduism (and Buddhism as Ghatma Buddha is also an avatar of the Vishnu) than Christianity. Instead of being a messianic figure - Neo is actually one of nine (past) incarnations (or Avatars) of the Vishnu who is responsible for the maintenance or 'preservation' of the Universe (in Neo's case, the Matrix) - thus the reason he had to "die" at the end of the third movie. At least this is what I gathered when I took a class in seminary called "Communicating Christ in a Pluralistic Society" and we had been going over some points of Hinduism. Even so, the Matrix has you...


Pentecostalism explained...

The Future AG blog put up a link of an NBC Nightly News interview with Pastor Eugene Rivers of the Azuza Christian Community (Church) in Boston. It is a really well done presentation and while there may be some points of disagreement I think he hits on the core issue of what the Pentecostal movement is really about (and has been about since the Azuza Street Revival in 1906) - reaching the poor. Please understand too when he uses the terms poverty and prosperity he is most likely not referring to the "prosperity gospel" of WOF wing of the charismatic movement. More likely it was an alliteration and he is referring to what Donald McGavran coined, "redemption and lift." When people are filled with the Holy Spirit - the Holy Spirit empowers and enables them to overcome seeming destitute situations and rise up out of it in the power of the Spirit. A simple fact of the matter is, is that a kind of "redemption lift" does accompany salvation and the filling of the Spirit. This may be why too Pentecostalism is exploding in the Southern Hemisphere (it is dying in Northern Hemisphere).

Let me know what y'all think.


Friday, December 21, 2007

tagged again

What is in/on my

CD Player - a CD by a group called Pocket Full of Rocks

DVD Player - what's a DVD Player? ;) Who needs a DVD player when I have an 11 month old baby girl who loves her daddy?!

To Read List - (when I have time to read...) Glasser's Announcing the Kingdom: The Story of God's Mission in the Bible; Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses; Oden's Pastoral Theology; Chapell's Christ Centered Preaching; Keener's The Spirit in the Gospels and Acts (among others)

To See List - my family over Christmas; there aren't really any movies of late that have compelled me to see them though I'd like to see The Bourne Ultimatum- though typically we are too busy with our daughter

Mind - I miss seminary and the friends there - how can we move Grand Canyon Assembly of God to the next level?: What does God want to do here (or what is he doing here) in the Canyon Village so we don't miss out?; It would be fun if our daughter starte walking at my perents house over Christmas; I miss my brother David (Nov 11, 1965-July 8, 2007).

May you all experience Advent Blessings!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

logos for macs!

Yeah Baby! Check it out here!

Now, please understand, I have Bible Works 7.0 and I LOVE it! PC was given to me and was old at the time (about 3 years ago) and now is next to useless taking something that should be a 10-15 minute jaunt more like 30+ minutes. So. I am sorely missing my BW. But... my FIL gave us his somewhat old (again) MAC G4 so it is all I have to use. If I could get LOGOS for Mac that could make me happy...

but then again I hear nothing compares to Accordance...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

tagged..sort of

This is a late response to a sort of tag from Bryan L on 7 little known things about me (at least on the blogsphere): (no particular order)

1) I am hearing impaired (a result of the birthing process) and right now am only able to wear one hearing aid (right ear) and I don't sign.

2) I recently completed a Master of Divinity from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO.

3) When I was in high school and through college I was involved in competitive waterskiing (more or less). I also did a lot of snowskiing in the Cascade Mtns.

4) I have been married three years (8/14/04) to the love of my life and we have an 11 month old daughter named Mercy Neveah (1/10/07).

5) I am originally from the Seattle area and lived there all mu life up until college in Bellingham, WA (on the border of WA and Canada.

6) I am a YWAMer (once a YWAMer, always a YWAMer) - I attended the Fall DTS at the YWAM Base in Lakeside, MT in 1994 - which plunged me into the world of missions and is where I grew great heart for missions.

7) I drive a little green beater Mazda B2300 pickup (its a 4cyl so there is not much truck).

So there you have it! Sorry for the delayed response.


joy in advent

Here is the sermon I did this weekend that I wanted to share with you all. Let me know what you think.

"The Joy of Transformation: Isaiah 35:1-10

Do you watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? In my opinion it is one of the better shows on TV because of the good things they do for people who are often in such destitute situations that without help they will not get out of it – in desperation they send in a video application to the show and hope and dream that maybe Ty and the gang will one day show up at their home – to build them a new one! What is the response? Spontaneous shouts of Joy! What is the response when folks see the new house? Shouts of Joy and gladness that bring tears of happiness! Sometimes people will stand in awe and then joy will rise out of them and they cannot contain their emotions and they shout and rejoice at the blessing they have received from Ty and the gang – many often attribute the blessing to God and rightfully so.

Well, in the passage we are going to look at today we will see future descriptions of the People of Israel and also the creation shouting for joy and rejoicing as the people return to the land after having been in exile for 70 years in Babylon – they got back to Israel to find their land destroyed and overgrown – yet in this passage in Isaiah following on the heels of a judgment passage there is a prophecy that in the midst of suffering and morning the Glory of the Lord will return to Zion and the people will see the deliverance of the Lord – the blind will see – the deaf will hear – the lame man shall leap – and the mute shall sing for joy! In addition, not only will the people shout for joy at the presence of the Lord – so too the creation will express joy at the redemption of Israel.

ISAIAH 35:1-10

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus,

2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

4 say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you."

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

9 No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,

10 and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Exegetical Notes:

There are several Hebrew words in this passage for joy – they are synonyms yet they have slightly different nuances (though of course some overlap).

Joy is characteristic of the life of faith. It marks both the life of the community of faith and the life of the individual believer. Joy is a quality and not simply an emotion. Above all God is both the object and giver of our joy!

This first word gil, refers especially to joy before God and is associated with rejoicing. It has to do with a person's expression of jubilation and joy because of what God has done on behalf of his people.

The next word is raan. Its basic meaning is to yell. On most occasions it describes an emotional and physical response to the presence and provision of God. So it often indicates a loud, enthusiastic, and joyful shout; So how this word is used (because it can mean yell) is determined by the context – in this case it is the joyful, enthusiastic shout in praise to God for his redemptive provision. Despite the root being related to yelling, there are over fifty occurrences, in the OT where it expresses happiness, joy, or relief, occurring in association with other vbs. that express a similar joyful emotion.

While there may be many reasons for joyful expression, by far the predominant object of the shout of joy in all its OT occurrences is God!

God evokes shouts of joy from his people because of his acts of redemption. In our passage we see that God will rescue his people from their dispersion among the nations, and they will respond with shouts of joy especially as they see the tremendous bounty of grain, wine, and oil that God will provide for them.

In the Bible, a multitude of voices shout for joy to God. Most often the ones who shout are God's people. Prov 29:6 tells is it is only the righteous who can shout for joy; the wicked are unable because of their sin. In Isa 26:19, we see it described that the dead rise out of their dusty graves to "shout for joy" before the Lord. Job 38:7 describes the angels as shouting for joy at the sight of God creating the world.

In our passage in throughout the Psalms and Prophets, different parts of God's inanimate creation also take part in the symphony of praise. In our passage it is the wilderness and dry land; In Isa 44:23; 49:13, the heavens give praise to God; the mountains do the same in Ps 98:8; as well as the trees in Ps 96:12; Tabor and Hermon [89:12 (13)]; and Lady Wisdom [Prov 1:20; 8:3]).

Finally, there is samach (also simcah). It signifies a spontaneous and vocal expression of joy rather than a restrained frame of mind. In verse 10 we see the redeemed of the Lord are overtaken by joy in being able to return to Zion and worship God! Sometimes we need to realize it is okay to shout to God in joyful exaltation to him for his miraculous provision in our lives! And that its is okay to be happy.

When samach occurs we often see the expressive nature of the word: for example in 1 Chron 15:16 and Ezra 3:12 it means to lift up one's voice. In Gen 31:27, 2 Chron 23:18, and Ps 137:3 thee is singing. Ps 9 and 68 tell us to sing praise.

In such texts as Genesis 31, Deut 12; 1 Chron 29; in Esther and the Psalms 104:15 samach often serves as part of a festive celebration that entails eating and drinking and the playing of various instruments. Other expressive activities that occur along with samach are dancing which we see in 2 Sam 6:14-16, clapping the hands as in Isa 55:12 and Ezek 25:6, and stamping the feet (Ezek 25:6).

samach serves as the polar opposite for mourning (Ps 30:11 [12]) and gloom (Isa 24:11).

These words for joy also indicate a sense of future rejoicing. Both Jeremiah and Isaiah (as in our passage) affirm that the day when Yahweh restores Israel to her land inheritance will be a day of joyful shouting and gladness. Zech 8:19 draws attention to the abundant blessings awaiting Israel by making a contrast between the present days of fasting and future feast days. In this passage, the Lord will transform the fasts that commemorate dark days in Israel's history into joyful days of feasting. Instead of mourning (as was the case with Israel during and following the exile), these days will be characterizes by joyfulness and festive celebration because of the redemption Yahweh will accomplish on Israel's behalf. In fact, in Zeph 3:17 God himself will rejoice over his covenant people.

There is one other word I want us to look at in this passage. In our passage, in verse 10 we see that the ransomed of Yahweh who will return to Zion with singing will be overtaken, or overwhelmed by joy and gladness and, with the departure of sorrow and sighing, will experience uninterrupted happiness (Isa 35:10). In this case, the salvation of the Lord will be so great that the people of Israel will simply be overtaken by the joy of their newfound freedom and redemption. At the same time, this idea of overtaking could equally well be translated "they overtake gladness and joy," in which case the meaning would be that the joy that had been previously eluding their grasp will now at last be caught and possessed. They have longed to walk in the joy of the Lord and in his redemption they have finally obtained it!

In this season of Advent there are plenty of reasons for allowing ourselves to be overtaken by joy and gladness.

The first is that Jesus Christ came into the world to usher in a new messianic age: At his birth there was joy because the people knew Jesus was the long promised messiah – when the angel announced to Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth would have a son – he noted there would be joy and gladness (Lk 1:14). In the magnificant Mary rejoices at the notion that she is to give birth to the Messiah (Lk 1:46) and then when Jesus is born there is much rejoicing (Lk 2:14). There was much Joy is in the hearts of the people because they knew God had finally come to live with and among his people.

The second is because Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14). Through his coming into the world we are now able to experience the future coming messianic age through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives. Jesus is Emmanuel “God with us”. Because God is with us – the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk; there is evidence of the Kingdom among us! When John was in prison and beginning to wonder if Jesus was really the Messiah – he sent his disciples to ask Jesus about this – he pointed to this text in Isaiah. In Matthew 11:4 and following Jesus does not point to political or militaristic evidence of the kingdom but rather spiritual and physical evidence through the various healings and miracles that had been performed. Joy is in our hearts because God has finally come to live with and among his people.

The third reason for joy in this season of advent is because we know Jesus will come again – and when he does even the creation will be full of gladness and joy and will rejoice at the restoration of creation and the coming messianic age (cf. Rom 8:18ff.). We call this an eschatological hope – a hope based on the future promises that God will finally bring all suffering, oppression and injustice to an end. Lets look again at Isaiah 35:2. It says one day we will they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Here is a reference to shekinah glory of the Lord that will come down and rest upon Zion and the creation and as a result there will be no more blindness – deafness – lameness – the mute will sing with joy to the Lord for his saving power. It will be an awesome day!

Why is it hard for some to have joy in this season? Some have bad memories of Christmas’ past, some remember loved ones who have passed away – some get caught up in their own situations and have difficulty being joyful – how can we overcome this?

Focus on God and his love for you – when you dwell on your own circumstances we often lose joy – look outward to what God is doing and you will find new joy.

Let your heart be full of anticipation for the coming of Jesus. As out text notes in verse 4: "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come… he will come to save you." Remember that despite the struggles we face, God has and is coming to save us! That should bring you plenty of joy in this Christmas Season.

Don’t celebrate the material aspects of Christmas but the spiritual aspects in the coming of Jesus into the world. His joy in us will be inner transformation and change in or hearts that will reflect his presence in us.

God’s presence in our hearts and lives and in the world brings transformation and a day is coming when that transformation will be completed in the permanent coming of God into the world!

In this season of Advent let your heart be filled with the joy that comes form knowing that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us – because a day is coming when God will throw down injustice and oppression and will fully and permanently (and physically) live among his people. Let your heart be full of hope and expectation that God will bring deliverance and healing to all.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Quote of the Day

Here's my quote of the Day!

Let's speak positively of the trustworthiness of scripture, not negatively of inerrancy. After all, the author 2 Timothy didn't write: 'no scripture is rather lamely uninspired', nor did the author of Hebrews write: 'the word of God is not dead and not passive, not as blunt as any two-edged blunt sword', and the Psalmist didn't confess: 'the words of the LORD are not flawed'! -Chris Tilling


2008 SPS Conference

I know my friend Sheryl (Dec 12th post) may not seem too keen on the upcoming SPS conference - but it looks to be a very interesting one this year especially since they have a speaker they have not had in the past - Professor Jürgen Moltmann of Tübingen University. Professor Moltmann is arguably the leading German Systematic Theologian in the world today and recently a Pentecostal! (I read his book The Way of Jesus Christ for a class in seminary on the Doctrine of Christ - you can see a review of it here). It's nice to know we have a scholar of his caliber on our side! (yes: the "us vs. them" is deliberate! - ah, come on guys!). I am happy to know as well, two of my friends with the initials R.B. will be there. One on a panel and one presenting! (I am quite envious to say the least!)

Ah well, what is a poor pastor (scholar wannabe) like me supposed to do??!!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas dilemma...

A relative asked what I want for Christmas and mentioned he thought of just getting me something off my amazon wish list - now my mind is reeling. which one book would I most want when there are several I would like to have right now. Know what I mean? Oh, what to do??!!

I'd really like to have Bruce Waltke's new Old Testament Theology or his commentary on Proverbs
I'd really like to have Gordon Fee's Pauline Christology
I'd really like to have John Stott's Living Church or his The Incomparable Christ
I'd really like to have Richard Bauckham's The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple
I'd really like to have Gary Burge's NIVAC commentary on John or The Letters of John
I'd really like to have J.A. Moyter's The Prophecy of Isaiah
I'd really like to have G.E. Ladd's Gospel of the Kingdom
I'd really like to have Grant Oborne's commentary on Revelation (BECNT)
I'd love check out Jaco J. Hamman's new work Becoming a Pastor

I mean the list goes on and on...

ah well, such is life for a poor pastor (/scholar wannabe) ;)


Monday, December 10, 2007

What's the difference? part 2

In my last post I discussed the technical difference between Pentecostals and Charismatics in terms of history with the dividing line being 1960.

Now I want to attempt to address the theological difference. I need to clarify here that things can get kind of messy at this point and there can be a lot of detail - but for the sake of keeping things simple, I am going to stick to the basic difference - if you want to discuss things in a little more detail perhaps we can go into all that in the comments. Also, I want to say as well that there may be different understandings of the difference I am going to discuss - so how I lay it out, is as I understand it. I do not claim to be an expert in pentecostal or charismatic theology (even though I went to a pentecostal seminary) so I am willing to learn from others and am willing to make adjustments to my understanding of this topic.

What is the basic theological difference?

The basic theological difference lies in the interpretation and understanding of what is meant by the term "Baptism with the Holy Spirit" and the supposed "evidences" that such has happened in the life of a believer.

For both the Pentecostal and Charismatic believer - The Baptism with the Holy Spirit refers to the receiving of power Jesus mentioned to the disciples in Acts 1:8 which reads in the ESV: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

It is the belief of the Charismatic and Pentecostal believer that this power is something all believers can and should receive. We see this happen in Acts 2:4 and following. Also, Pentecostal and Charismatic believers understand Peter's statement in Acts 2:39, which reads, "For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." With the promise referring back to the promise of the Father Jesus told the disciples to wait for back in Acts 1:4. C & P folk believe this promise is for every believer irrespective of race, class, or gender, or theological background. It is a promise for all who are disciples of Jesus.

Now where Pentecostal and Charismatic theology part ways is with regard to the "evidence" one has received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

For the Pentecostal, it is asserted that evidence of Spirit Baptism is speaking in tongues. Acts 2:4; 8:14-17 (tongues here assumed); 10:44-48; 19:4-7 being versed used to support the argument. What is important to mention here is theological method. Pentecostals believe the book of Acts is not just history but also theological discourse (Luke being the most prolific author of the NT with more verses in Luke-Acts than all of Paul combined, desrves the label "theologian" as much as "historian," and that folks would easily argue Luke is not just a history of Jesus but theology is at play - Pentecostals argue the same for Acts). So it is argued by Pentecostals that a major theme for the book of Acts is the Work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and the individual believer.

It is the position of Pentecostal believers that (in the words of the Assemblies of God) "the initial physical evidence" of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues - such that to an extent many would say "no tongues - no baptism." There are some, who may differ on the definition of "initial." Most take it to mean "immediately." Yet, others prefer to see it as meaning "primary" worrying that "immediately" is too pushy and hurtful to many. Many Pentecostals would say Spirit Baptism is not tongues speaking - Spirit Baptism is charismatic empowerment to be effective witness to Jesus both in word and deed.

EDIT: Pentecostals see Luke and Paul in tandem and not at odds - whereas Paul emphasizes the salvific aspect of Spirit Baptism as initiation in to the Body of Christ sealing the believer for salvation, Luke argues for the charismatic empowerment aspect of Spirit Baptism that empowers the believer for effective witness to Jesus both in word and deed.

It is extremely important to know that for Pentecostals and Charismatics the issue of Spirit Baptism as charismatic empowerment is not an issue of salvation or evidence for salvation. Salvation comes by faith alone in Christ alone. There is a brand of Pentecostalism that does believe this but they are a cult! This group is the UPC or United Pentecostal Church, aka: Oneness Pentecostals or Jesus only - they also deny the Trinity and insist on water baptism (in Jesus' name only) and speaking in tongues for savlation
. Thus, they are appropriately identified as a cult.

In Charismatic theology - they will not go that far. Instead Charismatic theology argues tongues is "an" evidence but not necessarily "the" evidence. they allow more flexibility on the matter. In this case Charismatic look to Paul and his comments in 1 Corinthians 12:29-31, which reads in the ESV, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts." With the logical answer being "no" Charismatics here refrain from insisting that believers speak in tongues as evidence of having received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Charismatic theology would suggest that there are other evidences of Spirit baptism such as prophetic speech, effective witnessing, faith, healings, service, helps and the like.

This is the basic difference. Let me remind you I could get a lot more specific and detailed but I wanted to keep it simple and not take all day to type this out explaining the differences. Please know that within the Assemblies of God there is much debate about this issue and not all are in agreement - however the heart of Pentecostal theology is not tongues but rather empowerment by the Holy Spirit for witness to Jesus, both in word and deed. This is the heart of Pentecostal theology. While Pentecostals may argue that "physical evidence" is tongues speaking, true evidence of Spirit Baptism is one's ability to witness to the reality and power of Jesus in the life of the believer, both in word and deed (e.g. righteous living).

For further reading on these issues consider the following:
Gordon Fee's massive tome God's Empowering Presence, Hendrickson Publishers, 1994
Roger Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke, Hendrickson Publishers, 1984.
William W. and Robert P. Menzies, Spirit and Power: Foundations of Pentecostal Experience, Zondervan, 2000.
Frank Macchia, Baptized in the Holy Spirit: A Global Pentecostal Theology, Zondervan, 2006.
Craig Keener, 3 Crucial Questions about the Holy Spirit, Baker Books, 1996. (I would probably advise that folks start with Keener.

I hope this helps some. I recognize this post may need editing in terms of content.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

what's the difference? part 1

Since I am now a lister, listed as a pentecostal or charismatic blogger, I thought I'd take some time to share just what the differences are between the labels pentecostal and charismatic. Often these terms are used interchangeably and in most cases it is fine to do so. But if one wants to get technical.. there are some differences.

What are they?

Well there are two basic differences. In essence they are really two movements. Of the differences one is in reference to time (or history) and one is in reference to theology. Now, before you get your pants all in a wad, please realize one can really get into the history and background of things but for now I am going to keep things pretty simple and not get too into the specific historical/theological backgrounds of the two movements. If it does interest you to learn more then you might want to consider checking out Vinson Synan's book The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Eerdmans, 1997). At least, this would be a good place to start.

On the first difference between the two movements, Pentecostalism is rooted in the Weslyan-Holiness movement of the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century - and more specifically comes out of the 1906 Azuza Street Mission & Revival in Los Angeles, CA. Most of the churches that came out of this time can and should be considered Pentecostal. Well, there was also a movement going on in the east as well so the Church of God, Cleveland TN and the Church of God in Christ (mostly in the South) is a part of the movement as well. So, there is the Pentecostal Church of God (fairly small and mostly in the mid-west, e.g. Joplin, MO); Holiness-Pentecostal; The Assemblies of God (which came out of the Church of God in Christ - strongest in the mid-west but fairly widespread) The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (stronger in the mid-west to west), The Open Bible Churches (which come out of the Foursquare - and stronger East of the Mississippi).

The Charismatic movement more or less began in 1960 when an Episcopalian Priest by the name of Dennis Bennett was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. He decided to inform his congregation of the experience. This caused a massive uproar and his staff subsequently asked him to leave. He then joined an Episcopalian Church in Burien, WA and began to spread the message of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to mostly mainline Protestant Churches and thus began the Charismatic movement. As a result the Charismatic movement has affected every major denomination around the world. There are Charismatic Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalian (Anglicans), Catholics, the list goes on.

So in reference to time, 1960 is basically the dividing line. If one's church was formed prior to 1960, most likely it is Pentecostal. If one's church was affected by the Charismatic movement past 1960, then it is a part of the Charismatic movement.

More to come...

a lister!

Cool! I made a list! Does that make me a lister now? ;) I guess I better get to work then!! Thanks Nick!


Friday, December 07, 2007


If you were a new pastor of a small church - what might be your expectations as to what the people to know about the Bible? Some of the Basics? None of the basics? Would it depend?

In last night's Bible study we discovered that "only the blood of Jesus" makes us adequate before God and that by the blood of Jesus:

* we have been justified (Romans 5:9)
* we have redemption (Eph 1:7)
* we have been brought near to God (Eph 2:13)
* we have peace (Col 1:20)
* we are cleansed from sin (1 John 1:9)
* we have been freed from our sins (Rev 1:5)

I think this was new for some in the church, and they have been coming for quite a long time, maybe 10yrs or more. Perhaps it's normal?

What say you?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

spirit-led preaching?

Matthew Perry has an interesting review of a book on preaching called Spirit Led Preaching - it seems more Pentecostal and or Charismatic preachers need to check out this book.

Here is one section of the review that peaked(sp?) my interest:

"Heisler rightly reinforces the complementary relationship between the Scriptures and the Spirit in Chapter Five. Given the problematic theology of the charismatic movement who puts the Spirit and the Word against one another, Heisler gives a strong argument demonstrating the harmony between the two.

Together Word and Spirit form the powerful catalyst that serves as the theological foundation for Spirit-led preaching. The Word activates the Spirit, and the Spirit authenticates the Word. The Word is the instrument of the Spirit, and the Spirit is the implement of the Word. The Word is the written witness, and the Spirit is the inward witness. In terms of preaching, the Word is the source and substance of our preaching, and the Spirit is the supernatural power of our preaching (62).

He rightly notes how the three testimonies of preaching (Scripture, the Spirit, and the Preacher) come together toward a Christological witness. “The Spirit’s ministry is a continuation of Jesus’ ministry, as the Spirit stands in place of Jesus until Christ’s triumphant return” (57). Heisler is correct when he says that preaching which claims to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led but fails to preach Christ-centered sermons are not Spirit-led sermons

I readily admit that what often constitutes as so-called "charismatic preaching" is in most cases actually far from it. Too often charismatic preachers leave their Bibles on the Pulpit (closed) and go off on some pretty far out tangents that hardly reflect the biblical text, especially those of the "WOF" sector of the charismatic movement.

Give it a look see and let me know what y'all think.