Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrestled with the challenge of these forms of Christianity. He identified a central problem for mystics of all stripes (including charismatics) and then pointed toward education as part of the solution. Christians are called to learn because they are called to explain the message they have received.
Posts Tagged ‘Charismatic’
At the same time, a new opportunity emerged through the rise of monasticism at the end of the third century. Monastic orders allowed women to continue to have leadership roles outside of the structure of offices. From the fourth century through the Protestant Reformation, virtually all of the significant female voices come from women who belonged to a monastic order. It is significant that women never ceased to prophesy, have visions, or perform miracles in the name of Christ. There is a vast array of literature from medieval women, in particular, who wrote down their visions as a way of providing charismatic leadership for their fellow Christians.
My contention is that the role of women and the charismatic dimension of Christianity go together. Even though women were excluded from church offices like presbyter (priest/elder) and bishop by the end of the third century, they continued to function in the charismatic and thus remained teachers and leaders. If the history of Christianity guides the interpretation of scripture at all, then it suggests that the Spirit’s continued calling of women through the charismatic gifts may be God’s way of trying to say something about his daughters. They are the “handmaids of the living God,” whom God has gifted to occupy all offices. Read the rest of this entry »
A further question– “What does this mean?”– is the question that observers pose at the first Pentecost account of the earliest church (Acts 2:12). I suggest that we continue to ask this question today! Read the rest of this entry »
In the interest in full disclosure, Dr. Clark [mentioned below] recently had some sharp words for our own Dr. Dale Coulter. While this post was initiated by reading Dr. Clark’s blog as a result of his prior comments about Dr. Coulter’s earlier blog, this post is in no way a response to or attack of Dr. Clark for his previous comments.
Recently I read a blog article written by Westminster Seminary California Church Historian Dr. R. Scott Clark entitled “Rome, Pentecostals, and Credulity” and was very surprised to read that he thinks that the one thing “Romanists and Pentecostals” share is our creepy miracles. On this topic Clark writes “I use the pejorative adjective intentionally because, at bottom, despite the formal differences between them, both are peddling magic and superstition and that’s creepy.”
Are “Pentecostal/Charismatic” miracles really creepy?
I could argue against this sort of simplistic perception using exegetical arguments or by lowering myself to the same sort of rhetoric that Dr. Clark resorts to, but I am sure that this approach would just send us around the merry-go-round again and again, so instead I want to approach this by providing a testimonial. I know, the appeal to personal experience is so anti-intellectual, but let’s leave the enlightenment need to rationalize everything here for a minute and deal with the existential realities of human experience, however subjective this form of argument may be. This does not mean, as many Pentecostals and Charismatics are accused of, that we leave our minds behind, but I am asking that we set aside the old way of using our minds for just a few minutes. I do not intend to address all of Dr. Clark’s statements in this post, but I intend only to offer a story about how the love of Christ has manifested itself in my life with the hopes of opening a dialog whereby ones lack of analogous experience does not serve as justification for immolation.
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