The History of the Renewal Movement – Part 2

In Part 1 of the look at the History of the Renewal Movement, I posted the first half of my notes from my first talk at the Last Days Bible Conference, covering the pre-Renewal era as well as the first of four historic periods (1901-1947).  Now I’ll provide the rest of the notes, covering  the three remaining historic periods.

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1947-1965 – Faith Healers and Prosperity Preachers

 1. The era started with many significant events: Continue reading

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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.

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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

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

The New Issue and Sweet Potatoes

It seems like everyone and their dog is hearing “the voice of God” these days.  “Hearing the voice of God” used to be the mark of a prophet of God, but over the last century or so, it’s slowly become the mark of a mature believer.   These days, once “conservative” folk like Beth Moore think that God speaks to them…not in audible voices, but propositional statements (and ultimately the audible/inaudible distinction is meaningless).   The issue of “hearing the voice of God” is probably the most significant infiltration of bad Charismatic theology into non-Charismatic circles.  It’s a train-load of insanity and heresy steaming through Evangelicalism, and it seems like there’s no stopping it; part of the danger of this idea is that it’s seemingly immune to both scripture and logic.  As illustration of that, I recently was doing some historical research into the foundation of Assemblies of God.  In 1906-1915, the “God told me” train was running like mad all over North America.  It was quite revealing to see how quickly the “God told me” train derailed when everyone and their dog was getting divine revelations.

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Continue reading