Thanks to Tim Challies and my new iPod touch, I was looking for new RSS feeds and I found some. One of them was Parchment and Pen. Well, they started a new series just as I was tuning in called Why I Am/Am Not a Charismatic. I’ve been interested in that for a while. Well, they also have a podcast that I didn’t know about before called Theology Unplugged and they are covering the series as a conversation in that too. What I like about it that is conversational like Connected Kingdom with Tim Challies and David Murray.

So far in the Podcast they have covered definitions (part 1) and background stories of Sam Storms and Michael Patton (part 2). Tim Kimberley is somewhat of a moderator. He is trying to push more for organization and having topics to be covered.

First they covered a small introduction including that all three men attended Dallas Theological Seminary, which is very cessationist, yet Storms has come to believe in the gifts as a Continuationist. They listed some guys that are Charismatic. The guys I was familiar with were Wayne Grudem, John Piper and Mark Driscoll, though I didn’t know he held Charismatic beliefs.

Then Sam Storms covered the history of the modern Charismatic movement in Evangelicalism in a response to a question of how charismatism has been changing over the Christian landscape.

They clarified what Charismatic or Continuationist and Cessationist mean.
Charismatic or Continuationists believe that the gifts of the Spirit like prophecy or tongues or miraculous healings still exist today though they clarified it that the purpose is to edify the church or spread the gospel. They did go against those people that hold onto it that are prosperity preachers.
They also clarified the difference between Continuationists and practicing Continuationists. There are some Continuationists that don’t pursue them. I forgot the name they used for them.

Cessationists believe that the gifts of the Spirit mentioned above have been stopped and ended at the church age and part of the reason for the belief is the abuse of the “gifts” by people that don’t seem to proclaim Christ and use it for their own gain.

My personal experience with Charismatics is that early in my Christian walk I attended church with a friend that had a prophecy and tongues as a regular part of their service. After that I had little thought until I spent some time on Sam Storms personal site. I’m still open on my theology in this area. I haven’t made a decision one way or another because for me it’s a peripheral theological point. I’ve been sticking to the Gospel primarily and theology directly associated with it like the Doctrines of Grace, theology proper, Christology, etc. I understand that I should take a view because it’s commanded in the scripture to pursue the gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). So I’ve decided after going through this series, I’ll make up my mind for my own personal theology. And if they don’t cover everything I need, I’ll pursue it and find answers on my own.

In the next blog post I’ll discuss more thoroughly the background stories of Patton and Storms as Kimberley is moderating.

Series Posts on the Parchment and Pen Blog
What to Expect