Posts Tagged ‘Augustine’

The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life: A Review of the Inaugural Volume of CHARIS

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 by L. William Oliverio Jr.

ShowJacketThe Holy Spirit and the Christian Life: Historical, Interdisciplinary, and Renewal Perspectives. CHARIS: Christianity and Renewal – Interdisciplinary Studies 1. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), edited by Wolfgang Vondey. ISBN 978-1-137-37812-5. 

A compilation of eleven essays, The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life is the inaugural volume of a new series titled CHARIS: Christianity and Renewal-Interdiscplinary Studies. This series, with its interdisciplinary focus, joins several other existing series on pentecostal and charismatic, or renewal, studies, that have been published by a high quality academic press, in this case Palgrave Macmillan. CHARIS is edited by Wolfgang Vondey (Regent University) and Amos Yong (Fuller Seminary), two leading theologians from the charismatic-pentecostal guild who have utilized interdisciplinary approaches in their own writings. Vondey edits, introduces and provides a conclusion to this volume, while Yong offers an afterword. Although some might have the impression that interdisciplinary projects necessitate breaking with traditions, the historical emphasis of this collection demonstrates otherwise! Read the rest of this entry »

Potty Training with St. Augustine

Monday, August 16th, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by the title, this blog post is tongue in cheek. My 2 1/2 year old son is experiencing the delights and disappointments of potty training. He really wants to have a clean diapie and use the potty…but it just does not work out many times. Here is where St. Augustine comes in.

Augustine distinguishes between memory, understanding, and will. These three are not only significant components of his view of the Trinity, they emerge from his own personal struggles, so vividly portrayed in the Confessions. Memory, of course, is what we remember, what we keep stored, of the events of the past. That can include the memory of who we are and how we have lived our lives or just the memory of looking out the window a minute ago. Memory is important for understanding, since all understanding and judgment is based on the collective storage (or memory) of events and facts and previous knowledge. We cannot understand what we do not remember, and consequently we cannot make informed judgments. Those judgments of the understanding (based on our memory) informs the will to do (or not to do) things. So how does this apply to my 2 1/2 year old? Read the rest of this entry »

“Discerning” the Spirit of the Charismatic Movement

Friday, May 21st, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

David Neff’s recent article on the 50th anniversary of the charismatic movement offers a two-fold assessment. Neff claims that the movement did not fade so much as become integrated with the rest of Christianity and that its lasting legacy may be in reminding the churches of the need to balance order and ardor. For a short, popular piece, I think Neff largely gets it right. While a lot happens in the pentecostal-charismatic world that is difficult to defend (and what form of Christianity is without its “embarrassments”), it has prompted the many streams of Christian tradition to “drink from their own wells” afresh, to borrow a phrase from Bernard of Clairvaux.

At the same time, some Christians remain a little hostile to it. Since ”discernment of spirits” (diakriseis pneumaton) is a gift in 1 Cor. 12:10, maybe we should attempt to exercise such discerning judgment (diakrisis) to see how we might evaluate the movement. Part of the challenge is that when persons talk about “discernment,” they assume it is a private affair rather than a communal one. As Heb. 5:14 makes clear, “discerning judgment (diakrisis) between good and evil” results from a training process in which the believer matures in the context of the church and her life. Neff’s article invites readers to discern the mind of the Spirit on the charismatic movement by thinking with the church through the ages. When one “thinks with the church,” the pentecostal-charismatic movement comes across as another form of genuine renewal that returns Christians to the sources (ad fontes). Read the rest of this entry »