In Other Blogs This Week…

The most exciting post of the week comes from Parableman about commentaries. As well as pointing out that Denver had updated their lists, he has updated his own superb recommendations and posted news of forthcoming volumes. He has his ear to the ground on who is writing what, and I was particularly pleased to see that there will be Pillar commentaries on Hebrews by O’Brien and Galatians by Carson. Not only that but BEC will publish on Galatians (by Silva) and Hebrews (by Carson again), so we will have a wealth of commentaries coming on these two books. This throws me into a quandry because I was about to buy NICNT Hebrews by Bruce and something on Galatians (Longenecker or Witherington). Should I wait? … Can I wait?

My brother has started his own blog. It’s quite useful as I don’t get round to phoning him as often as I should so I get to keep up to date on what’s going on. Adrian Warnock will be pleased that this is another New Frontiers blog as he goes to a New Frontiers church in Cambridge where he is a student. He mainly writes about his computer and his course on audio technology.

Finally, I discovered the Challies dot com blog this week (thanks again to Adrian Warnock) He posts a number of good book reviews which is why I have subscribed to his RSS feed. On his “about me” page he describes himself as follows:

I am…
*Christian* – I affirm that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour.
*Protestant* – I affirm the five “solas” of the Reformation.
*Reformed* – I affirm the principles known as Calvinism.
*Evangelical* – I believe the gospel (which is the original and truest meaning of “evangelical”).
*Fundamentalist* – I believe in “a return to fundamental principles and a strong or rigid adherence to these principles.”
*Conservative* – I am generally traditional and restrained in my beliefs and cautious towards change, especially when it seems to be change just for the sake of change.
*Liberal* – I am not limited to traditional views. I find much beauty in traditional Protestantism, but realize that in some areas traditions are not Scriptural. Where that is the case I am open to change and improvement.

So he sounds like a good bloke in my books. I would describe myself in pretty much the same way, apart from adding “Charismatic” to the list, meaning “- I believe in the ongoing availability and relevance of all the gifts mentioned in the New Testament and the importance of seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

3 thoughts on “In Other Blogs This Week…

  1. The description you give and call ‘charismatic’ seems to me to be consistent with D.A. Carson’s description of himself, and he considers himself a non-charismatic, though not anti-charismatic. Charismatics emphasize certain gifts like tongues, healings, miracles, and prophecy. Non-charismatics agree that they all continue but might consider them to be emphasized more only in certain contexts and won’t consider any gift to be expected by any believer. Anti-charismatics are secessationists about certain gifts. Your description of your own views shows that you’re not anti-charismatic, but it doesn’t show which of the other two you are.

    As for being filled with the Holy Spirit, that depends on what you mean. The charismatic view (opposed by a minority of charismatics and Pentecostals, e.g. Wayne Grudem, Gordon Fee) is that there is a one-time filling of the Holy Spirit that every believer should seek to have, and that event brings gifts that Paul says not every believer will have. The non-charismatic and anti-charismatic insist that being filled with the Spirit is an ongoing process of repenting and submission to the will of God. It’s strongly emphasized in the writings of Bill Bright, who was no charismatic. So again your description doesn’t seem to me to draw the line of demarcation around charismatics as distinct from non-charismatics. It draws it around anti-charismatics and then denies that you’re in that group.

  2. Carson’s NIGTC on John’s letters will be first, so the Galatians, Hebrews, and Revelation commentaries might be a while. O’Brien’s Hebrews is in process. Silva is working on whichever of Galatians or Philippians is a revision of his early 90s commentary on the same book, and that one should be out within a few months. The other one may not have been started. I don’t rememeber which is which.

  3. I’m well aware of the three groups you describe – charismatic, noncharismatic and anticharismatic – as the church I grew up in and attended for 20 years managed a spell of all three (and is now somewhere between non and anti). I am currently in a church that is most definitely charismatic but I still consider myself noncharismatic friendly (after all, most of my favourite authors are noncharismatics and some are anti).

    The reason I mentioned the “relevance” as well as “availability” of the gifts was supposed to be slightly polemic against the noncharismatic “open but cautious” people who often turn out to be actually “closed and critical” and who secretly thank God that none of those charismatic weirdos have actually tried prophesying or glossolaliasing (sic) in their meetings.

    And yes, I chickened out on the whole “baptism in the Spirit” issue. I favour a distinct experience from conversion, but am also aware of some strong arguments against this, even from charismatic circles. I also doubt there are any charismatics who would not want to include an “ongoing” aspect to being filled with the Spirit.

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