Posts Tagged ‘holiness’

Jazz, Holiness, and a Pentecostal Aesthetic

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

Charles+Mingus+-+Blues+&+Roots+-+LP+RECORD-494063Sometimes I wonder how Noll missed so much, but then I read on the opening page of his Scandal of the Evangelical Mind that evangelicals have largely abandoned “high” culture. Ah, that’s it: it did not produce a J. S. Bach like Lutheranism did. No high culture, you see, that’s part of the problem.

And then, I listen to the Jazz bassist Charles Mingus bang out “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting,” and I think, “that’s my music, that’s my culture.” Read the rest of this entry »

Prayer, Pentecostalism, and the Political: Renewing the Public Square?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 by Amos Yong

 public prayerWhat does Pentecostalism have to do with the public square or the political? One might think, initially, perhaps not much: classical Pentecostals have by and large been apolitical, although more often than not, such postures have been nurtured less by pentecostal spirituality and commitments than by eschatological ideas derived from dispensationalist theologies otherwise inimical, ironically, to the idea that the Holy Spirit’s charismatic and miraculous work has continued unabated after the age of the apostles. But as people of the book, Pentecostals do adhere to the New Testament injunctions to pray for their governments and political leaders. In political environments in which they are a minority, often this takes on the form of urging divine intervention that makes possible ongoing pentecostal mission and especially local evangelism. In liberal democratic societies, however, especially those which at least in theory support the freedom of religion, pentecostal growth has precipitated other political possibilities and aspirations, and hence also nurtured other types of prayer regarding the public domain. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Alleviate an Uneasy Evangelical Conscience

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

right-and-wrong-decisionsIn 1947 the famous defender of Evangelicalism Carl F. H. Henry took on his own movement. Toward the end of the 1940s Henry and others were feeling a little uneasy about what Henry called the “evaporation of fundamentalist humanitarianism.”

What he meant was a genuine reluctance on the part of Fundamentalists like John R. Rice and Bob Jones, Sr. to come to grips with the social evils of the day as the revivalist tradition had done in the nineteenth century.

Henry recounts asking one-hundred pastors, “how many of you, during the past six months, have preached a sermon devoted in large part to a condemnation of such social evils as aggressive warfare, racial hatred and intolerance, the liquor traffic, exploitation of labor or management or the like–a sermon containing not merely an incidental or illustrative reference, but directed mainly against such evils and proposing the framework in which you think the solution is possible?”

The response? None.

Here is what Carl Henry did not know at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Grape Juice, Holiness, and the Creation of a Christian Culture

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

Welch's_logoThere is a constant debate about the impact of Christianity upon the United States.

If the question is whether the United States is a Christian nation, then the answer must be no. There is no established religion in the United States or, at least, there has not been since Congregationalism lost its status in Massachusetts in 1833.

If, however, the question concerns the cultivation of a Christian culture in the United States, then there is little doubt of its existence.

Moreover, as a feature of discipleship, Christians should teach their children how much of what we take for granted stems from the impact of Christianity upon the United States.

As one example, take Welch’s Grape Juice. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Hungry? Holiness and the Desire for God

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Michelle Vondey

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. When I encounter the same message from different people at different times in different contexts, I pay attention. I expect that God is trying to tell me something. In recent weeks I’ve read a couple of articles about holiness and a related Scripture passage that had me thinking, “What is God saying to me?” The first encounter I had with the topic of holiness is an article by Cheryl Bridges Johns in the Church of God Evangel. Johns laments that many Christians today see no need for holiness, and that unfortunately, these “profane Christians . . . hinder the message that Jesus came to save, heal, and deliver all creation from the bondage of sin” (p. 13). While there is hope, it begins with the “death of self” and requires that we purge ourselves of self-seeking behaviors. Another discussion is found in the recent entry by Antipas Harris on Renewal Dynamics. Harris reminds us that although we live in this world we are not supposed to live like the world. In particular, “we must remain in tune with the enduring nature of God’s character — holiness to which all believers are called.” As I contemplated Harris’ blog and, in particular the readers’ comments, which seemed to suggest an uncertainty over what holiness is, I happened to read a passage in Col. 3:1-25, in which Paul refers to unholy versus holy behaviors and characteristics. In reflecting on the potential importance of these encounters, I recalled a song from the early 90s that says, “Lord, I hunger for holiness, and I thirst for the righteousness that’s yours.” The song reflects on the relationship of holiness, the desire for God, and the life and death battles (at least spiritually) we must fight in order to be victorious. I wonder, has anyone else been thinking about holiness lately?

Read the rest of this entry »

God Says, “Be Holy!”

Monday, August 6th, 2012 by Antipas Harris

 

Centuries of social, political, cultural, and religious diversity weigh heavily on expressions of Christianity. Party politics, greed, personality driven ministries, ministry as business, and denominational and non-denominational church struggles over members seem to be the order of the day.  These influences have moved Christians further and further away from divine principles to which Christians are called to live out before a world that is far from God. The Church is called to be holy; so Christians must pursue holiness amidst an unholy world. The world does not know God so the world cannot lead in holiness. The best way to win the world to faith in Christ is by bearing witness to Christ through the Christian’s lifestyle of holiness – a life that is indifferent of the world—and expressed love towards those who are not living that life.  Miller argues that a careful revisit of historical developments that have altered Christianity from its biblical form of indifference might be a meaningful way for the Church to regain its fervor in representing Christ in the world—a world that God expects for Christians to be in but not of. Read the rest of this entry »