Reformed+Charismatics

I got inspired continually in the last 2 weeks one after the other about the power of charismatic power & fire, and also the depth & profundity of Reformed teaching & thinking. If I have to choose one of the two, I would have to choose reformed thinking & teaching. That stimulates my mind & captures my imaginations. However, I don’t have to do that. I can have both.

Why Charismatics and Calvinists Need Each Other

This article brilliantly lays down the reasons why we need to combine both. Example: the fastest growing churches in the world is pentecostals/charismatics!

But let’s not fool ourselves—the Reformed movement pales in size to the Modern Pentecostal/charismatic Movement (hereafter, MPCM). MPCM is the fastest-growing religious movement in the history of the human race. In 1900, there were statistically a meaningless number of such Christians. Presently, the number sits around 700 million (see Allan Anderson’s “Global Pentecostalism,” a paper presented at the Wheaton Theology Conference on April 3, 2015), or 1 out of every 3 believers. Just to put it into perspective, that’s more than the total number of Buddhists (around 500 million), Jews (around 14 million), and all folk religions (around 400 million) in the world. MPCM isn’t going away. Quite the opposite. –Adam Mabry

This explains why we need the pentecost power.

Why reformed teaching? There is just too much to say. The teachings on gospel centered way of teaching & preaching by Tim Keller has impacted me greatly. The notion that gospel is only the ABC of Christianity is completely wrong. Its the A-Z of Christianity. He has written and spoken many with great intellectual conviction, and I will just glean what it impacted me so much. First and foremost, for a guy like me from the charismatic background, this is completely new to me. I absolutely loved the teaching of absolute dependence ion God and we are so depraved that we can’t even lift our finger to rescue ourselves. This has shifted my mindset so much to God, rather than a mix bag of me & God. I have now come to understand much better the meaning of surrender to God. I mean, there is no surrender if you have to push your will power to surrender. There is none. Why? Because there is nothing in us that we have that we own or possess. There is nothing we achieve that count towards us. Its all God. The grace of God. The absolute mercy of God. Its been said unless you see the darkness of your soul, you can never see the glory of the ALmighty God. There has to be a contrast. Thats why Paul can say I consider as rubbish that I have achieved compared to the knowledge of Christ! Wow! And how? I struggled with that verse for a long time. It’s because he sees the depravity of his soul, his doings, his achievement, that he sees such a contrast that he was absolutely and utterly transformed. It was such a radical transformation that he went from a persecutor of the gospel to be the apostle of the gospel and suffered tremendously and endured for the gospel. Now do we need to be in such drastic contrast? Each of us has different pathways and callings from God. But the principle of contrast needs to be evident & strong.

Secondly, the idea of Christ centeredness on the cross. I have never seen the comparison of all the verses and tie them to the cross in preaching until I meet Tim Keller. Jonathan Edwards always describes the beauty of the Lord and how he was radically impacted by it. You see these guys use the sufferings of Christ on the cross as the beauty of redemption and fulfilment of the absolute beauty of where the grace of God meets the wrath of God! It absolutely makes sense. Wow! I have never seen it that way. Its amazing. How can a righteous wrathful vengeful God exist with the side of him as tender, loving, caring, forgiving? It is all made possible when the cross of Jesus absorbed all the wrath of God, for God to forgive us, and love us and even adopt us as his adopted children! That’s amazing. Miracle! Have I heard this kind of teaching in pentecostal circles? No. Do I like it? I love it! It melts my heart. Makes my christianity so much more organic and not mechanical, vision driven leadership kind of thing.

I will expound more next time….:)

Stay & abide in the vine. Jesus is the vine.

p/s I used to chase after the vision. Now I chase after my Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂 Yay!

 

 

 

 

Reformed teaching & charismatic power

Reading Tim Keller’s article, something resonated in my soul:

  1. Pentecostalism/Charismatics  I believe that charismatic combined with reformed theology teaching is going to be the torch-bearer of the revival in America as well going forward just like the worldwide body in Asia, Latin America, Africa with pentecostalism. Its most multi-ethnic group, multiracial, fastest growing block of christianity. (Isn’t that’s what we are all talking about especially in NYC about diversity, and the rest?)  However, it needed a little more than just that as there is a lot of bad theology and prosperity doctrines all wound up in pentecostals or charismatics, unfortunately.  In America, we definitely need a more orthodoxy to anchor in with the power of the Holy Spirit. Some glaring examples: Like In America we talk so much about diversity, in Asia/S America/Africa, they just do it and it happens. Any wonder in the day of the Pentecost, God revealed the multi language, multi ethnic/culture church!! The first church in human history was revealed on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the birth of the first church. That’s not a coincidence, that’s the providence of God. It sends a signal on how the Lord wants the end time church to look like. It must not be void of power & miracles. The problem with great teachings of America shaping the culture, intellectuals, still come short of the vital real renewal/revival that we all long for. Like Keller said correctly, our country is in a crisis, political, family, academics, liberals have swept across the nation. 

There is a sweep of pentecostal revival. In America, a combination of reformed teaching with the power of charismatic demonstration of the gifts of the Spirit is going to resonate across America. Praying we will arise. 

2) Student movement

Tim Keller said “If you’re on a college campus, you’re on the culture’s cutting edge. [The campus] is our best leadership development pipeline. By exposing people to the cutting edge of culture where they have to deal with the modern mindset, where they have to deal with non-Christians — that is the best way to develop pastors and lay leaders”

I have been raising students from campuses and eventually becoming pastors and leaders of the church. I strongly echo that, and that’s why we will reach out to campuses passionately. Starting to meet at W72 st, Upper west side. Welcoming all Columbia students!

Keller and Duncan: A More Relevant PCA?