Another Newfrontiers magazine (Jan – Mar 2006) is out, although it is not yet available to read online. The last magazine is up now though, which includes two helpful articles on Israel – All Israel will be saved by John Hosier, and Justice, the Gospel and the Land of Israel by David Devenish.
This months magazine includes an interview with Terry Virgo which included two questions that caught my attention.
Q: Is it more important to be known as an evangelical than a charismatic?
Terry: Labels can be unhelpful. However, I believe the good news as reported in the Bible, and therefore, I’m fundamentally evangelical. But it’s out of my commitment to Biblical truth that I became persuaded about charismatic experience.
I thought this was an excellent answer, and is exactly the way I like to think about the “evangelical” and “charismatic” labels. I am charismatic because of my evangelical commitment to Scripture.
Q: Do you think that one of the keys to Newfrontiers’ success is consistency of message, from the highest level of leadership down to local churches?
Terry: Paul says in Acts 20:32, “I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance.” The Bible is clear that there is a body of doctrine that builds the church up. So we would urge all the pastors that we work with to be very Biblical and to give plenty of time to teaching the Word. We cling to the more traditional perspective of seeing the Word as fundamental and central, as in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching.” When churches begin to lose confidence in the Bible they become vulnerable. If Biblical truth is taught systematically with life and vitality, people are built up, set free and equipped.
Again, a reponse I was very impressed with and although in one sense it doesn’t directly address the question, in another, it is the best possible answer. The “consistency of message” should come from consistency of commitment to Scripture, not from lower “levels” of leadership simply regurgitating what they heard from the “higher” levels. This is not just a commitment to believing the Bible, or even a shared understanding of the Bible, but a belief in the value of systematically teaching it. The commitment to Scripture is what attracted me to Newfrontiers in the first place. I pray that it will remain a core value as the family of churches continues to grow.