No. 7 on the list of most-read posts on this blog appeared on November 26, 2005, and endeavored to explain that curious phenomenon—a charismatic Calvinist or “reformed charismatic.” There was a time when we were considered an oddity and people doubted our existence. Now, at least in England, reformed charismatics are on the ascendancy and many Christians are intrigued by us.
With the resurgence of interest in things reformed and charismatic, I thought I’d post a bit on what I feel is a “reformed charismatic.” Simply put, reformed charismatics are those people who are trying to foster a convergence by taking the best that is available from both charismatics and reformed people. If, like me, you are convinced of the following points, you might be a reformed charismatic:
- Mark Dever and Rick Warren both have useful things to say to the Church.
- C. J. Mahaney is an acceptable person to preach from a pulpit normally filled by John MacArthur.
- You like reading blogs by Tim Challies and Phil Johnson, but also by the pneuma bloggers.
- You like the Alpha Course, and enjoy reading Spurgeon and Piper.
- You just don’t see why there is such anger between certain charismatics and some of their reformed brothers. At the same time you still believe that there really is a truth to discover.
- You are in a reformed church, but secretly long for more of an experience of God. You are in a charismatic church, but secretly enjoy listening to preaching and reading books that teach substantial theology.
In a sense reformed charismatics are occupying the center ground. Like “new Labor,” they advocate a third way. It is really possible, they say, to pursue a solid biblical knowledge and sound doctrine while experiencing the presence and the power of God in a real way today. The Word and the Spirit are not in conflict, but rather work together to cause us to know God.
The charismatics believe in a God who is alive and acts today. We believe in a God who wants a personal relationship with his followers, who hears prayers, who reveals himself, who pours out his love into our hearts, and who never changes and is the same God of the Bible today. We believe that receiving the Holy Spirit is a conscious real experience. We believe that this experience of the Spirit is one of the major ways that God gives us assurance that we are saved.
The reformed believe in the solas of the reformation, and in the classical evangelical position on the gospel. We believe that man is so dead in his sin and facing the wrath of God that he requires a work that entirely originates in God to deal with it.
Read more . . . What is a Reformed Charismatic?