The Strange Fire controversy has again highlighted the divisions that exist within the church over the charismatic issue. It concerns me that these arguments may futher eclipse a much more important question. That question is addressed in one of the chapters of my book Raised With Christ. In it, the rich heritage of experiential Christianity through the ages is discussed. Thanks to Crossway, for the first time that chapter is available to download here for free. Here is a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:
Unfortunately, over the last few decades the controversy about whether or not the gifts of the Spirit are for today has largely obscured the more fundamental question—are Christians today able to experience a truly personal relationship with Jesus? In other words, what exactly did Jesus mean when he promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)? As we consider this question, let’s leave aside for the moment our opinions on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and focus instead on whether an experience of God is available to believers today.
Read the rest: Raised With Christ – Ch.15 – A relationship with the risen Jesus?