What Does it Mean to Be Charismatic? A new view from Evangelical eyes

Blue Water bridge with lightning(view of the Blue Water Bridge, Port Huron, MI, a Bridge from my home town to Sarnia Ontario)
My own starting point with the Charismatic Renewal began with a local Catholic charismatic prayer group.  They seemed very pleased when the local Lutheran pastor came with several of his parishioners to check things out. 
I have stayed, in one way or another, for 40 years.  Nowadays we are MSJ, MDAS Anglicans and still charismatics, just not so loud. It is just a part of being Christian, no special deal.  It does not measure salvation or spirituality.  For most of us, it is simply a part of being active Christians. It is for us helpful especially in some personal ministering situations.
This view below is an encouraging maturing in understanding of Charismatics among Evangelicals.
hippo cartoonFr. Orthohippo  

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Many within evangelical circles seem to have failed to recognize how influential and growing the charismatic movement is these days among the most theologically astute. By “theologically astute,” I mean that this new breed of charismatics is thoroughly evangelical, orthodox, and Christ-centered. They hold Scripture as the final authority and do not allow the controversial gifts such as tongues, healings, and prophecy to steal their focus. When these gifts are practiced, they are done so with order and intentionality – or not at all.  I call this the “fourth wave” of charismatics and not only are these charismatics biblically and theologically driven, a large portion of them are Reformed Calvinists. Agree with them or not, all one has to do is look at the Acts 29 Network – a transdenominational, church-planting network – and see what an impact they are having.

Though I am not charismatic, I am excited about the popularity of this “fourth wave.” Why? Because they have brought so much balance. They have caused many of us (who formerly wrote off all charismatics as Christianity’s “nut jobs”) to seriously consider, for the first time, the continuationist theology and biblical exegesis that provide the backbone to the movement. Credit pastors like John Piper, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, and Sam Storms, along with scholars such as J.P. Moreland, Craig Keener, Wayne Grudem, and D.A. Carson for so much of this. And, like it or not, most of these men are far more well-known and popular than the fading ”cessationists” (non-charismatics) who went before them (Chuck Swindoll, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Hank Hanegraaff, etc.), especially among the younger generation of evangelicals. It is hard to ignore such a growing movement within evangelicalism. It seems now that just about every scholar I talk to is either a continuationist or a wannabe continuationist. Hardly ever do I connect with those who find the old-line cessationists’ arguments persuasive anymore (just in the last few months I have talked to Gary Habermas, Craig Blomberg, Mike Licona, and Paul Copan, who all shared the same thoughts). And Dan Wallace, while not a continuationist, has not been silent about his beliefs that cessationists’ arguments can and have led to bad places. Things have indeed changed.

Nevertheless, it is still difficult to know who is and who is not a charismatic due to the fact that most of us don’t know what the term means. We use words like cessationism, continuationism, and charismatic. When I associate the term “charismatic” with Christians, six primary things come to mind. Any or all of these could be present in my thinking:

1. Unusual attention given to the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer

2. The tendency to seek and expect miraculous healings

3. The tendency to seek and expect direct prophetic communication from God (dreams, visions, experiences, personal encounters, etc.)

4. Unusual attention given to the presence of demonic activity in the world

5. Very  expressive worship

6. Belief in the continuation of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit

I am going to briefly explain each of these. Please pay special attention to the graphs (yes, my mind works in graphs!) since I am going to attempt to show how, with all of these, the designation “charismatic” works on a sliding scale. Here is the model:


Please notice that the scale is not black and white (well,……………

rest of article – http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/10/what-does-it-mean-to-be-charismatic/

Parchment & Pen Blog

About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
This entry was posted in Anglican, catholic, christian, church, evangelical, history, Lutheran, Pentecostal, spirituality, theology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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