What Do We Mean by "Charismatic"?

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by turmeric, Dec 26, 2004.

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  1. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks everyone. Very kind words and thank you for them, but anything that really meant anything give God the glory and praise, He does the instructing. I'm glad to be a part of our faith in any way.

    A lot of it comes from a combination of personal internal struggles in the faith like assurance and doubts, times when one feels abandoned, that I've gone through (internal wars of the spirit) as I suppose many do, and peering into my own sinful heart. That and great help from people who struggled that I've read who seemed to live their theology like Luther, T. Hooker, others and some in our own times guys like Michael Horton and others. Luther's experiences were tremendously helpful to me at one point. I think God put him through those in order to give him great insight into the heart of fallen man and grace. Other things like pondering on the persecuted Christians, how do they get through, it seems so foreign to us Americans. Though I think American Christians are persecuted in a much differeng way than we tend to think about it. I struggled with that a lot. Never-the-less, the struggles seem to drive doctrine and theology home, though we hate to go through them at the time.

    Blessings Always In Christ Alone,

    Larry
     
  2. ARStager

    ARStager Puritan Board Freshman

    Larry:

    Thanks for taking the time to post these thoughts. It reminds me of how freeing my discovery of Luther's Heidelburg Disputation was. I agree that Horton et al have helped the church tremendously in this respect.

    I recommend those of you not familiar with the Heidelburg Disputation to read through Luther's theses, in whcih he, as William Willamon has said, "slashes and burns the theology of glory."
     
  3. TheSeer

    TheSeer Inactive User

    Hi All! I'm new to the board also. Larry's post raises a question about if / how God communicates. Larry mentions through the Word. 1) Is communication limited to the time where we are reading the Bible, and, since all Scripture is God's word, then by default you have heard from God? 2) are circumstances another type of communication from God to us, or is it that just a case of us making a rational decision based on late arriving information? (I'm thinking about the example given where a job applicant was deciding between two offers when one of the companies came out with an anti-Christian position at the last minute) 3) If one is going about one's business and encounters a situation, for example someone does something irritating at work and just as we are getting ready to lash our we recall James 1:19 "...slow to speak, slow to become angry"....is that God communicating to us or simply our brain comming to our rescue with the remembrance of what read? 4) We are sitting down and studying the Bible. A verse catches our attention. We ponder the verse. The next day we encounter a situation where that verse directly applies. Coincidence or God communicating? 5) We're at Church talking with a brother or a sister about a situation with which we are struggling. The brother reminds us of a chapter or verse that addresses our situation. Is this 'merely' good counsel, or is it God bringing His Word to our remembrance through another believer?

    Well, I think that's enough scenarious! I numbered them for easier reference. I'm sure there are many other examples that could be given. I'm curious to how these different circumstances are regarded in the context of this thread.

    Thanks!
    Lorin
     
  4. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Welcome to Puritan Board, Lorin! Make yourself at home. Also, please click on the "Signature Requirements" link at the bottom of my signature.

    1) No, any time Scripture is on your mind, even subconsciously, the Spirit can illumine your mind to its meaning and application for anything. Since God speaks through His Word, the effectiveness of His Word is dependent upon its inherent wisdom and the Spirit's illumination of that wisdom to our minds, and is not dependent upon whether we happen to be purposefully, directly meditating on a certain passage of it at some time.

    2) I would say yes, circumstances are another means through which God still "speaks" today in a sense. In O. Palmer Robertson's The Final Word, he explains how cessationism does not mean that God has stopped speaking through providence. We should always remember, though, the example of 1 Kings 19:11-12, and not get caught up in mystical "searching" techniques trying to "find God's will" in nature. He can still speak through providence, as the example you gave illustrates, but that is up to Him, and the Word is always what we should directly look to as our guide.

    3), 4) & 5) Because of God's providence, He indeed uses such situations to communicate His will, but care must always be taken to remember the distinction between special revelation, illumination, and general revelation. The former is now fully contained in the Scriptures, since the prophets and God's audible voice have ceased for the remainder of the Church age. Illumination is the Holy Spirit's opening and application of special revelation to our minds. That is the reason we can clearly interpret the Scriptures once regenerate, though God is not revealing anything new in illumination, but merely making clear and applying what He has already revealed to our minds. General revelation is the speaking God does through providence, and the fact that His law is written on every man's heart. It is enough to leave men inexcusable for their sin, but not enough to lead to a saving knowledge of God, which requires the special revelation of Scripture illumined by the Spirit.

    Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on any point, or if you have any other questions about this issue.

    God bless, and again, welcome!
     
  5. TheSeer

    TheSeer Inactive User

    Thanks Chris!
    I fixed the signature. I'm not comfortable using the signature though - my wife moderates a large internet web board, and having names and addresses in a public forum are big no-no's. Its a real safety issue, because of the crazy's that can come googling by. A Christian family was recently murdered and initial speculation is that it was a result of his posting on a muslim forum. This is really a dangerous policy that should be reviewed... Maybe if we put first names only, church type and state?... Anyway....

    I appreciate hearing everyone's perspectives! I have found it difficult to discuss these things with my pastors over the years. Part of it I suppose is that they are very busy and don't have time to really get into topics discussed in this forum in detail. Or, if you pose a sincere but tough question, then you get that "let me help straighten you out" attitude. I just want to discuss and understand the Scripture w/o all the baggage that is often brought to the table because of denominational loyalty.
     
  6. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I'll mention this to this Admins and the rest of the Moderators.

    I can definitely relate to you there, as I was raised in the Assemblies of God myself.
     
  7. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Lorin,

    We really do not believe that this is a dangerous policy, given the amount of information that can be obtained on a person in a non-internet setting, and the fact that this is a heavily moderated Christian site (not just anyone can join).

    Having said that, a first name is sufficient - I've edited your signature back to first name only.

    Your friendly neighborhood Admin,
     
  8. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would second the recommend to read Luther's Heidelburg Disputation regarding the theology of glory. In true Luther style both immensely passionate and powerfull in addressing the subject. A lot of great encouragement there!

    "William Willamon has said, "slashes and burns the theology of glory""

    I hadn't heard that quote but I'd say it is accurate. Sometimes reading Calvin and Luther defending the faith as they are so good and colorful with a word you can't help but cheer them on as you read.

    I recall reading Calvin one time, cannot remember where in the institutes, commenting on a subject and he called the monks coming out spewing their false doctrine, "...these frogs come out from their caves croaking..." (paraphrased from memory). What a picture. I couldn't help it and just laid back and rolled!
     
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