Hall of Shame – Always follow your notes!

Well, I just wrapped up giving four talk on the issue of the Charismatic Renewal movement. Things went pretty well (though as a speaker you never really know how things went; my self perception is always highly inaccurate), but I made one error big enough that I feel the need to point it out and offer some correction.

In my second talk on Saturday, I was talking about tongues, healing and prophecy. In my lecture, I got lost in my notes and went berserk for about 40 seconds as I remembered a point but got the supporting content wrong.
Continue reading

Behind the Curtain of Research…

Well, it’s crunch time and I’m half done organizing my 200+ pages of research into outlines for my talks at the upcoming conference.  I’ve got 2 done, and I’ve got 2 to go.  It’s getting down to the wire, but I’m confident I’ll have something great when it’s all done. This afternoon I’m working on my synthesis of 4 centuries of history into a 45 minute talk. Oh boy! ga_sonya_burger Well, I’ll make this quick (and full of spelling and grammar mistakes…)and give a little glimpse into what you won’t see or hear when I’m speaking.

I’m talking about the stuff that doesn’t make it in.

The stuff that gets edited out in the process of research.

Here’s one example that I just slugged through and left me all disappointed: I found a great quote that I couldn’t use after I checked it out and found that it was either unverifiable or made up (and I try hard to not share information that I cannot verify).  The quote is apparently from John Wimber:

“In a church-planting seminar in 1981, Wimber said: ‘Calvaryites [Calvary Chapel attendees] are sometimes a little too heavily oriented to the written Word. I know that sounds a little dangerous, but frankly they’re very Pharisaical in their allegiance to the Bible. They have very little life, and growth and spontaneity in their innards. Sometimes they’re very rigid and can’t receive much of the things of the Lord.’ “

I found this quote here: http://www.pfo.org/last-lgh.htm It sounds like a ringer of a quote and it would be great if I could use it, but I want to make sure it’ s for real. So, here’s a little insight into what happens with information I don’t use: Continue reading

So who do you think of when I say “Apostle of God”?

I’ve been reading and sorting through multiple books, using Jack Hayford’s The Charismatic Century as a jumping off point from which to fill in some historic blanks of the 70’s and 80’s.  Jack was definitely a large part of the Charismatic world at that time and personally knew almost every single mover and shaker (ha!) in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles from that era.

The book is from 2006 and basically covers the Renewal (a broad term for all the Pentecostal, Charismatic and Continuationist streams) up to roughly 2005.  In 2005, the New Apostolic Reformation was just starting to gain steam, and Hayford wrote a bit on the (then) new movement. In explaining it, he commented on the architect of the movement (C. Peter Wagner) and talked about how the main difference was one of ecclesiastical organization.  Essentialy, the N.A.R. is people organizing under free-flowing authority relationship to “apostles” that they choose out of preference, rather than denominations that are picked according to doctrine…yeah I know. That’s a recipe for crazy if I’ve ever seen it.

r-BGT-large570

Once Hayford talks about the movement he gives an example of a guy who embodies the N.A.R.  This is the guy held up by many as a modern “apostle” even though he might not use the name of himself (probably being humble and all, right?).

Who do you think Hayford mentions? Continue reading

Who Really Started The Renewal?

The Renewal? What’s that?

That is the term that none other than Jack Hayford uses to summarize all the various movements and denominations that have arisen over the last 115 (or so) years that have been categorized with names like “Pentecostalism” or “the Charismatic Movement”.  Seeing that some scholars break up Pentecostalism into a series of waves (three waves, sometimes four, sometimes five), or Movements (Apostolic Movement, Latter Rain Movement, Charismatic Movement, Signs & Wonders Movement, etc.), the term “Renewal” serves as a useful catch-all for the various churches and denominations that have one specific activity in common.  Can you guess what it is?

speaking-in-tongues

Yup.  It’s “speaking in tongues”.

So who started the Renewal?

Some say it was the Holiness Methodists (or a stream therein).

Some say that it was Charles Parham and his Bible School in Topeka Kansas in 1901.

Some say that it was William Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival in 1906.

I’ve encountered all those positions from the authors I’ve been reading as of late, but today I encountered a position that nobody I’ve read yet has held.  Continue reading

William Seymour, textual critic?

Throughout the last century or so of church history, there have been continual debates about various issues to textual criticism and whether or not a few passages (namely John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20) have been rightly included in English translations of the Bible.  For all the ink that’s been spilled on the issue, there’s still no resolution in sight.  People disagree about the facts (though most simply don’t know and don’t really care) and therefore also disagree wildly about the right understanding of the facts.  Beyond that, most people lack the skill set to evaluate the arguments so they either have no opinion or arbitrarily choose an expert and trust them (hoping for the best).

The reason this is important is because of the nature and implications of the two passages in question.  For example, some folks take 16:17 as suggesting that all believers should speak in tongues and cast out demons.  If that’s supposed to be a normative part of Christian experience, that seems rather significant.  Some take 16:18 as saying the same thing about drinking poison and handling snakes.  Again, the same thing can be said, though it may seem rather dumb to some folks.  Still, the longer ending of mark is also important to people who aren’t in any danger of handling snakes.  Did you ever notice the verse that is in a rather well-known logo? Continue reading