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Charismatic
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Tag: Charismatic Ordering

Book Review: "Keep in Step with the Spirit" by J.I. Packer

Book Review: "Keep in Step with the Spirit" by J.I. Packer

J.I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God, Second Revised Enlarged Edition. Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2005, 256 pp.

reviewed by Karl Dahlfred

There are a number of books that provide a theology of the work of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, there are also a number of books that critique the charismatic movement, pointing out its excesses and disputing its biblical foundation.  However, it is rare to find a book that both affirms that God is at work in the charismatic movement and also rejects the major claims of that very same movement.  But in “Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in our Walk with God”, J.I. Packer has done just that.  In just 200 pages or so, Packer lays out a positive theology of the work of the Holy Spirit and issues challenges to both cessationists and charismatics.  So what will you find inside?  Let me give you an overview.

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Sola Scriptura vs Sola Experientia

Sola Scriptura vs Sola Experientia

Many Christians today use human reason to determine the meaning of their personal experiences more than they use the Bible.  Many who do so would deny that they are doing so, and often times they are aided in that claim by pastors and preachers who have torn some Bible verses out-of-context in order to “prove” that a certain experience should be validly interpreted in a certain way.  In response to this trend towards forming beliefs based on experience rather than Scripture, some other Christians raise the cry of “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone), harkening back to the return to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible which was championed at the time of the Protestant Reformation.

But sadly, this call to “Sola Scriptura” is often misunderstood to mean that experience has no place in the Christian life.  That is blatantly false.  Both today and in the Scripture, experience is an essential and valid part of the Christian life.  But the value and meaning of experience all depends on what we use to interpret our experience. 

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Book Review "Keep in Step with the Spirit" by J.I. Packer

Book Review "Keep in Step with the Spirit" by J.I. Packer

J.I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God, Second Revised Enlarged Edition. Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2005, 256 pp.

reviewed by Karl Dahlfred

There are a number of books that provide a theology of the work of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, there are also a number of books that critique the charismatic movement, pointing out its excesses and disputing its biblical foundation.  However, it is rare to find a book that both affirms that God is at work in the charismatic movement and also rejects the major claims of that very same movement.  But in “Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in our Walk with God”, J.I. Packer has done just that.  In just 200 pages or so, Packer lays out a positive theology of the work of the Holy Spirit and issues challenges to both cessationists and charismatics.  So what will you find inside?  Let me give you an overview.

Read more...

Healing Crusade Goes Tragically Wrong in Cambodia

Healing Crusade Goes Tragically Wrong in Cambodia

The following incident is recorded in "Killing Fields, Living Fields", a book by Don Cormack about the history of the church in Cambodia.  As faith healers and prosperity teachers gain ground in Thailand, I think there is a lesson here for the Thai church:

 

“In November 1994 an American healer launched an ambitious but ill-advised crusade at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh accompanied by days of massive nation-wide advertising. Thousands of desperate rural Khmers poured into the city bringing their sick and dying amputees and handicapped. Some had even sold land and livestock, believing this powerful Christian shaman from America would grant their heart's desire.

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Discernment, Thai Culture, and the Traveling Prophets

Discernment, Thai Culture, and the Traveling Prophets

One of the great strengths of Thai culture is the high value placed on maintaining the peace.  Social harmony is very important to Thai people.  You don’t get upset at bad drivers or pushy salesmen.  You don’t have an argument in public.  You avoid saying things that would embarrass other people or make them feel bad.  In many ways, this value on maintaining social harmony and good relationships makes Thailand a wonderful place to live.  

But there is also a downside.  Feelings get hurt and people never forgive each other.  Injustice, error, and corruption run rampant and are swept under the rug.  Leaders at all levels abuse their power and no one says anything.  Sin is winked at and everyone pretends that everything is okay when they know it isn’t.  The need for holiness and reconciliation is one the great challenges facing the Thai church today.

When the Prophet Comes to Town...

Into the midst of this cultural milieu come the traveling prophets.  Teachers like Joyce Meyer and Cindy Jacobs parachute in to Thailand and receive huge venues to speak to the Thai church.  They are big names in many evangelical and charismatic circles in America but are relatively unknown in Thailand.  But they quickly become known as their big show event is promoted broadly in the small Christian community in Thailand.  It is big.  It is exciting.  And it is “Christian.”

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