Strange Fire: Can we at least agree on the vital place of Christian experience?

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?

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  • Trezire Reforma

    Yes, indeed we need to make room in our lives to the Holy Spirit works, gifts and miracles. But we must remember that Holy Spirit was not given for experience but rather for an empowered life in Jesus Christ. I see over and over the wrong way so many people approach this issue. They run from city to city to prophets and conferences to seek experiences, but I see less and less people who go with that empowered life of the Holy Spirit to serve. We need to put the right emphasis on this issue, if you receive the power of the Holy Spirit that means it is very much for serving others, it’s going to be costly, it’s going to be sacrifice in your life.

    http://evidentgospel.blogspot.com

  • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

    The very idea being a witness of Jesus Christ necessitates personal experience of Him. No experience, no witnesses. People can teach what they’ve learned of Jesus from any source but they can only testify of what they’ve personally experienced. This is why the Scriptures say, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses.”