Pascal and Pentecostalism.

Touching God

The first time I walked into a Pentecostal church as a sixteen-year-old, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Entering First Assembly of God (AG) in Columbia, South Carolina that Sunday morning in 1975, was different than anything I had ever experienced; I could feel a sense of excitement, freedom, and spontaneity. Then, I heard something I had never heard before in a church service … voices projected other than the pastor’s; audible gifts of the Spirit operating amidst seasons of worship, prophecies, prayers for healing and, yes, speaking in tongues. And, on that day it honestly was the speak … [Read more...]

The Circles Jesus Drew

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As churches endeavor to find more effective and fulfilling ways to engage people in ministry, the team approach is one that also fits the renewed clamoring for community within churches today. Such an approach seems more conducive to experiencing church as an organism as opposed to an organization. Gilbert Bilzekian describes it this way: "In our day, there is a clamor for the church to rediscover its identity as community. Many Christian leaders bemoan the fact that the church has lost its basic biblical definition as (a) divinely designed community. Lay people and clergy alike express … [Read more...]

Jesus and His Dependency on the Spirit

Presence

Scot McKnight recommends the volume by Hawthorne as the best work available on Jesus' relationship to the Holy Spirit. This is an important subject for Pentecostals, and Evangelicals in general, to consider. Hawthorne makes an interesting, and highly significant, distinction between "faith in Jesus" and "the faith OF Jesus." Consider this excerpt:(p. 35)"In thinking still more about the faith of Jesus as a mark of his humanness, there are also those difficult phrases - pistis lesou and pistis lesou Christou to be considered. They appear in the letters of Paul and are most frequently … [Read more...]

John Piper on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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John Piper (who is not a Pentecostal but a Reformed Noncessationist) says..."Now the positive thing I want to say about the moderate Pentecostal teaching (represented by the Bennets, i.e., Dennis & Rita) is that it is right to stress the experiential reality of receiving the Spirit. When you read the New Testament honestly, you can't help but get the impression of a big difference from a lot of contemporary Christian experience. For them the Holy Spirit was a fact of experience... I think that being baptized with the Holy Spirit (the way Luke means it) is not the same as being born … [Read more...]

Pentecostal Ecumenism? – Dispatches from Converge21/SPS (Part One)

Converge

Who said “revivals” all have to lead to the creation of new “movements” or even denominations? It just may be that the best revivals are those that bring people back, back home, back to their roots, back to their senses (cf. Lk. 15:17), and in some cases even back to the churches of their youth or even to breaking bread with the same.I recently attended Converge21 (C21), an event that brought together a selected group of leaders, pastors, educators and next-geners to collaborate on “the future direction of the Spirit-empowered (a.k.a. – Pentecostal or Charismatic) movement in the United Sta … [Read more...]


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