Re vis.e Re form is hanging in there at number 36.
For September we were at number 23. This is because I spent a solid 10 days reading and blogging from Devon in August, no doubt, and was involved in conversations about Fee and Virgo etc. It just proves you have to be seriously committed to keep up the reader stakes. I was probably posting daily, if not twice a day about what I was learning. It was a great time - beach, deck chair, blanket, kids playing on body boards, cup of tea and a book - ah - heaven on earth!
So I wonder how co-dependent I am on blogging. Do I blog because I read or do I read because I blog. I'm not too sure and I guess theological college has something to do with the reading as well. However, I often buy books because of what you lot out there are reading.
I'm currently reading Rob McAlpine's 'Post-Charismatic', which is totally addictive reading, if not of a slightly voyeuristic kind. I'm wondering if I can be post-charismatic before I have really been fully charismatic. When charismatic renewal really got going I was still in my pram and when the Toronto blessing was occurring, I was pretty traditional in the expression of my faith and outpourings of this kind just didn't sweep across my radar.
I am at college with someone who was at Toronto and I do find it fascinating. At the same time, I want to be discerning about what I am hearing from the front and I think Rob McAlpine is equipping his readership to be so, without scaremongering and also by appreciating that with every outpouring there is a very genuine move of God's Holy Spirit at the beginning, which somehow people mess up - but hey, there's the biblical cycle of blessing and fall again! There are stories of Christians who, having just begun to speak in tongues, jumped on boats to foreign lands only to discover the people there had absolutely no idea what they were saying. I must admit wondering at first whether I was speaking some kind of Rwandan French or something, so this kind of reading helped me to understand that I was in a place of initial euphoria that often attends experiences of the Spiritual gifts until they become a part of normal life. Or in other words, I was quite normal, well by Christian standards!
There are also quite serious inspections of some of the 'Charismaniacs' manipulation of their flocks. However, I am also able to see that we do not need the charismatic for this to be happening. In the most traditional of churches there can be degrees of unhealthy co-dependency which can cripple any hope of a ministry of all-believers.
Rob doubts in the end the currency of his term - post-charismatic for it doesn't do exactly what it says on the can, so to speak. He speaks of Spirit-filled, discerning Christians being charismissional instead. There is nothing in his book to stop those seeking a Spirit-filled life to stop and from the outset, all he writes is underwritten by an early quote (p.15) from J Deere former prof of Dallas Theo Seminary, which I will cling onto:
If you were to lock a brand-new Christian in a room with a Bible and tell him to study what Scripture has to say about healing and miracles, he would never come out of the room a cessationist.Great stuff!
...so post-evangelical, post-charismatic, post-modern - when do the presents become the posts, I wonder and what will be our labels of the future? When the emergent have emerged...well...what next?
Talking of renewal and me being in my pram, here's a bit about a guy I missed out on that is worth a read: David Watson