New Newfrontiers Magazine

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.

7 thoughts on “New Newfrontiers Magazine

  1. I think we adopt labels because of a desperation for clarity. And yes indeed they can be unhelpful in polarising views (“I am of Apollos …”) but can also be useful pointers. I remember I once wrote down every label that I felt applied to my theological position.

    It went something like this. I am a …

    Neo-Orthodox Charismatic Conservative Reformed Evangelical Spurgeonic-Baptist Restorationist Cautious Post-millenialist 4.75er-Calvinistic New Covenantal Would-like-to-be-Universalist-but-cant as well as a Sympathetic Emergant.

    Cool. Now I know!

  2. Mark,

    You said, “I am charismatic because of my evangelical commitment to Scripture.”

    Yet most cessationists would say that they are cessationists because of their evangelical commitment to Scripture.

    Coming from a non-charismatic perspective, I’ve tried to outline some reasons that I believe Scripture supports a cessationist position (over at FaithandPractice.net). I’d love to get your feedback, if you have the time.

    – Nathan

  3. Hi Nathan

    I am quite aware that cessationists (and open but cautious) also believe their view to be affirmed by Scripture, and I have no desire to antagonise them.

    My point is, that it is my belief in Scripture that sees me in a charismatic church, not for some other reason (e.g. the meetings are more enjoyable etc).

    I’ll have a look at your cessationist argument, although I can’t promise I’ll find the time to respond. It’s a debate that I try not to get sucked into too often (I’ve already spent a long time in it).

  4. I too appreciate Terry’s words here. I have been doing some studies on Mark, Galatians and Colossians recently and can’t help but see a charismatic life in the Spirit at the heart of the Christian journey.

    I wish he would have answered the second question though..

    Ger

  5. Okay here’s a thought … in regards to the second question, has Newfrontier’s “consistency of message” from the top levels with Terry down to local churches actually dwindled since Stoneleigh Bible Week was closed down?

    I mean … I stand totally convinced that God spoke and they faithfully obeyed, but surely now the majority of the churches don’t get to hear the vision anymore?

    Or does the Brighton Conference fill that gap – in that the apostolic team impart their vision to the pastors who in turn go back and impart to their churches?

  6. Yes, I have been following McLaren’s steps in conjunction with Chalke. Ern Baxter said it was profitable to read more of the opinions you don’t agree with, in order to buttress and strengthen your views.

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