An anonymous commenter on my post on books for charismatic evangelicals asked me what I though of Simon Ponsonby’s book “More”, which is subtitled “How you can have more of the Spirit when you already have everything in Christ”. It addresses an important question in the debate on the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I actually suspect, given Michael Green’s endorsement of the book, that he doesn’t believe in baptism in the Spirit as secondary to conversion. But he does passionately believe that we are to desire and seek more of the Spirit’s power and presence in our lives.
I had never heard of the man or the book, but a quick web search revealed that Simon Ponsonby, who is from St Aldate’s church in Oxford has a large collection of his sermons online in MP3 format, including some which appear to be based on his book preached at an All Soul’s Peckham church weekend away. They are very helpful sermons, and what’s interesting for me is that in these two sermons, entitled “The Foundation for More” and “More”, feature a reference to my friend J-D, and a reading from (I assume from the American accent) his wife Kellie.
J-D was once at St Aldates Oxford and is now at All Saints Peckham. He has recently written two wonderful worship songs, which have been immensely helpful to me in my own personal times of worship. I mention them here, because they both fit in with the theme of “More”.
They are entitled “Lord, You Desire” and “Father, in Your Eyes” and brief excepts can be heard here. Let me quote some lyrics to give you a flavour:
Give me a heart that burns for you
A passion that will never fade away
Give me a devotion that will never cease to cry
More of you in my life
Today I decide, you are the one I will persue
Leaving it all to follow you
Total devotion, means that there’s nothing I hold back
Total surrender, means I don’t question what you say
As Dan has pointed out, far more important than simply emphasising the use of charismatic gifts is a real hunger and thirst for more of the living God. And I think that he is right too, in suggesting that in this common pursuit, we may find genuine unity, even between cessationists and continuationinsts.