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   June 2000 Pneuma Informer

In this Issue:

  • Announcing the Pneuma Foundation Website
  • Issues for Pentecostals
  • Looking for Reviewers
  • Update about the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality
  • Pneuma News
  • Excerpts from the Summer 2000 issue of the Pneuma Review:
    • From "That Glorious Day When Tongues are Not Needed: Until Then . . ." Part 2, from the Praying In the Spirit series by Robert Graves
    • From the article "Touched by the Wind: The Charismatic Movement in the Episcopal Church" by D. William Faupel
    • Book Review by Amos Yong: "Word and Spirit Together" by David Pawson.
  • Prayer Requests & Praise Reports


   Thanks to all the efforts of Dave Driggs and Raul Mock, the website has been designed to be able to grow in the future. Presently, you will find past issues of the Pneuma Informer in archive, as well as full-length articles from the Pneuma Review that you may download. We will be adding more and more articles in the coming weeks.

   One area to expand is our list of links. If you would like to have your URL listed under our list of "Members and Friends," please E-mail the URL along with your name, the name of the ministry, a brief purpose statement of your ministry, and a brief comment about your support of the Pneuma Foundation.

   We really do value your input when it comes to making this outreach valuable to you. Please let us know what you would like to see on our on-line resource center. Would you like the downloadable articles viewable on-line? How important would an on-line Pneuma Biblical Resources catalog be to you? Should you be able to purchase a subscription to the Pneuma Review with a credit card over a secured server? Would links to on-line Biblical resources be valuable to you?

   Write us with your comments and suggestions to webservant





Issues for Pentecostals

   One of the friends of the Pneuma Foundation, Chin Do Kham of the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, has asked for input on the subject of contemporary Pentecostal issues. He will be giving an address to the World Assemblies of God Congress on this subject, and recognizes this to be a significant event.

   If you are interested in expressing your opinion, he is looking for 7 to 10 of your "top hits" which are either positive or negative—along with an explanation of why you believe these to be significant issues for Pentecostals today.

   Even if you do not consider yourself a Pentecostal, consider responding to this opportunity by sending your top Pentecostal issues care of Editor who will forward them on to Dr. Kham.

   The World Assemblies of God Congress will be meeting in Indianapolis in early August.

   To get you started, some of the editors at the Pneuma Foundation have been discussing a strength of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement that has also tended to be a great weakness. While Pentecostal/charismatics have been instruments for bringing the supernatural ministry and gifts of the Spirit back to the church, they have tended to ignore other areas of doctrine and teaching at times. We think God desires us to be moving and growing in all aspects of the Christian life, not just "power" ministry. When believers are well-rounded in their knowledge of God's Word, they also do not tend to be carried away by the latest trends or "fads" in the Church at large.

   Another area of discussion for many of us who are former classical Pentecostals (in other words, those of us who are now more "charismatic" than "Pentecostal") has been recognizing the abundance of the grace of God and the finished work of Christ. Do we really need to get right with God at every Church service we attend, or does God want us to rest in what Jesus has already finished? As you can imagine, there are some interesting discussions on this vast subject because it touches on things like the responsibility of man, the sovereignty of God, and the position of the believer before God. As you have probably already gathered, the editors are a diverse group with classical Pentecostals and never-have-been-Pentecostals, so we will not likely be in full agreement on this until we see Jesus face to face. Usually, our discussion has been rewarding on this subject.

   What about you? Your comments and discussion are welcome. We hope to be able to put together an ongoing discussion on these lines in future issues of the Pneuma Informer. Send us your comments and suggestions.






Looking for Reviewers

   Mike Dies, the Book and Periodical Review Editor for the Pneuma Review, is looking for pastors, ministry leaders, and educational professionals to assist with reviewing books and periodical articles for the Pneuma Review. The editor's library is growing regularly as publishers are sending new releases and recent publications for our review. Please consider this opportunity to become involved in the ministry of the Pneuma Foundation—growing in your own journey as you are helping others sift through the countless resources available today.

   For an informal E-mail interview, write to Mike Dies by way of the Pneuma Review editor




Update about the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality

With all of the response received from Pneuma Informer readers about the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, we have enclosed a recent press release from Mastering Life Ministries.

From Mastering Life Ministries–Saturday, July 8, 2000

We now have approximately 400 signatories to our Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality . . . . .

. . . . with the help of the Evangelical Alliance leader (Colin Wilson), our project has just been promoted throughout the United Kingdom in a British newspaper called the English Churchman . . . . .

. . . . it is scheduled to be promoted in the next issue of Ministries Today magazine (in the "Ministry Matters" section) . . . .

. . . . it is currently being promoted in Impact–Dr. D. James Kennedy's monthly newsletter for his Center for Reclaiming America . . . .

. . . . . and as you may already know, the list of signatories to our document includes such leaders as Dr. Bill Bright, Dr. John R.W. Stott, and just yesterday, a ringing endorsement from Dr. J.I. Packer!

You can view the document and list of signatories at:

http://www.gospelcom.net/mlm/declaration/index.htm

Rev. David Kyle Foster





Pneuma News

  • The Summer 2000 issue of the Pneuma Review has been completed. If you have received the last Pneuma Informer, you know that the Executive Committee was encountering a number of delays and technical setbacks in order to print this issue. Domestic subscribers (in the United States) should have received their issues by Saturday, July 15.





Excerpts from the Summer 2000 issue (Vol 3, No 3) of the Pneuma Review

From the article "That Glorious Day When Tongues are Not Needed: Until Then . . ." Part 2 of 2. From the Praying in the Spirit series by Robert Graves.

. . .

The Absence of Tongues in Church History

The absence of tongues in the writings of those following the apostles is another argument that purports to prove that tongues ceased with the Apostolic Age. Cessationist George Dollar chides Pentecostals and charismatics for not referring "to the grand stream of church history from apostolic times until our present day for proof of God's plan to perpetuate" a continuously charismatic Church (p. 316). He concludes that "the voice of church history . . . is against the modern tongues movement . . " (p. 321). More recently, MacArthur asserts dogmatically, "History records that tongues did cease. . . . Clement of Rome [c. AD 96], Justin Martyr [165], Origen [254], Chrysostom [430]—some of the greatest theologians of the ancient church—considered tongues a remote practice, something that happened in the very early days of Christianity" (p.169).

Cessationist Hoekema, who also believes that tongues ceased with the Apostolic Age, addresses the Pentecostal-charismatic response that God has restored the gifts in these the latter days. He asks why these gifts, if they were essential, disappeared and why God would withhold the gifts for 1500 years (Baptism, 65). "Did God deliberately impoverish his people?" (What, p.113).

The cessationist argument here, as in the previous argument, is based on silence: Tongues must have ceased since the post-apostolic writers do not mention them as currently in operation. The Pentecostal pioneers of the turn of the century seemed to have accepted the cessationist assumption that post-apostolic writers indeed do not mention tongues, for they claimed that the prophet Joel's latter rain (Joel 2:23, 28; Acts 2: l6-2l, KJV) had fallen in the twentieth century. Current research, however, supports the view that the prophetic and so-called "sign" gifts did indeed operate in the post-apostolic period.

The cessationist argument here reminds me of the tactic deployed by American tobacco companies: no matter what the evidence indicates, deny, deny, deny that there is any link between cigarette smoking and health problems. Warfield denied it, Rogers denies it, Dollar denies it, MacArthur, Gromacki, Hoekema, and others deny that certain gifts of the Holy Spirit were to be in the Church until Christ comes. The saddest effect of this teaching is its incubation of doubt and disbelief. Not that we should be credulous, mind you, certain fantastic stories of the post-apostolic writers are indeed beyond belief.

. . .

There is now no justification for denying that the gifts of healings, miracles, tongues, interpretation, and prophecy survived the twelve Apostles or their disciples. The post-apostolic church prior to AD 200 was indeed charismatic (Kydd, p.87). And the only two post-apostolic writers who are quoted by the cessationists for their explicit statements that tongues had ceased are John Chrysostom (AD 407) and Augustine (AD 430). Even here the statements of these two may suggest that they were trying to quench current practices that they disagreed with (Carroll, p.84; Burgess, p.126), somewhat like cessationists are doing today. (It should be noted, however, that Augustine does testify to healings and miracles in his time (Burgess, pp. l90-l92)).

Although early church writings are chock-full of references and allusions to the supernatural, including the controversial charismata, by the middle of the third century these gifts (or the recording of them) did begin to wane. Hunter writes that the medieval period, beginning in the fifth century and lasting into the fifteenth, yields the least evidence of tongues-speaking. On the basis of his research, however, he concludes that "there may not be a century without tongues-speech appearing somewhere among Christians" (JETS, p. 135).

Cessationist Hoekema implies that the Pentecostal doctrine of charismatic continuity through the centuries maligns God since God is to be blamed for allowing the gifts to practically die out. I believe the fallacy of this argument is apparent when we extend its logic to salvation by grace-that is, God is to blame for allowing the doctrine of salvation by grace to diminish because of teachings of the medieval church. If God is to blame, it is only in the sense that His instrument in this world-the Body of Christ-did not appropriate the power of the Holy Spirit continuously through the ages. God did not impoverish His people; they impoverished themselves!

Finally, it should be acknowledged that this cessationist argument is not based on Scripture, nor is it based on doctrinal teachings. It seems to be based upon supposed experience, or even worse, the assumed absence of records of the experience in post-apostolic literature. The anti-charismatic writings of Chrysostom and Augustine, which are widely quoted, are based on those men's beliefs or opinions; they offer no scriptural support of the cessation of the gifts of the Spirit. It should be remembered that the writings of the early Church fathers have no more or less authority than any book written today.

A day is coming when prophecies, words of knowledge, and tongues shall cease. When that day arrives, no one will be rejoicing more ecstatically than the charismatics. But until then. . .




From the article "Touched by the Wind: The Charismatic Movement in the Episcopal Church" by D. William Faupel

Part III

Many Anglicans have often compared the charismatic movement to the renewal movement started by John Wesley in the eighteenth century. They note, with some justification, that the failure of the Church of England to embrace this revival cost it dearly, and that this must not happen again. While there is much insight to be gained from such a comparison there were many differences as well. Most notably, the social location of the Wesleyan revival was primarily among the poor and working classes, quite a different phenomenon from that of the current charismatic renewal. A more analogous comparison is the child of the Wesleyan revival, the holiness movement of the nineteenth century.

This renewal movement emerged within American Methodism as an identifiable force following the Second Awakening when the former accused the latter of neglecting to promote Wesley's crowning doctrine of Christian Perfection. The doctrine taught that one's sinful nature was transformed by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, an experience subsequent to conversion. For more than thirty years, from the 1840's to the 1870's American religion was transformed by the penetration of holiness teaching across the whole spectrum of Protestant denominations. The initial impulse began in 1835 when two sisters, Sarah Lankford and Phoebe Palmer, moved the weekly series of Bible studies they had been conducting at two New York City Methodist churches to their home. The "Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness" would continue regularly until 1896.

Adopting the structure of the Wesleyan class meeting, the sessions consisted of Bible study, testimony and prayer. The meeting drew people of all denominations from far and near. Laity and clergy alike came to sit at Phoebe's feet. Within a few years, similar meetings were established along the eastern seaboard. By 1886, at least 238 such groups were meeting throughout North America and Western Europe. Recognizing the need for a journal to promote the doctrine and to tie the scattered groups together, Sarah persuaded Timothy Merritt to begin the publication of The Guide to Christian Perfection in 1839. It would continue as an influential voice for the Movement until 1902.[17]

The 1857-58 revival, coming in the midst of the movement's ascendancy, played a pivotal role. The revival began in Hamilton, Ontario, where Palmer was conducting special meetings. It spread quickly throughout North America, making its primary impact on the urban centers. Wherever it appeared, the revival broke out in seemingly spontaneous prayer meetings, catching many clergy totally by surprise. Arising from below, even the leadership of this "visitation" was drawn primarily from the laity. Like Palmer's Tuesday Meeting, these union sessions of prayer totally transcended denominational sectarianism:

Arminians and Calvinists, Baptists and Pedo-Baptists, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Friends, sat side by side on the same benches, sang the same hymns, and Amen to the same prayers. In this Pentecost as at the first, what became evident to the followers of Jesus, were not the things in which they differed but those upon which they agreed.[18]

Holiness teaching marked the meetings. Even those who could not accept the two-fold Wesleyan scheme, none-the-less adopted the view that true conversion freed the Christian from the power of sin. Multitudes became convinced that justification in the eyes of God must be evidenced by sanctification in their own subsequent experience.

Two books published during the revival assisted in sharpening this doctrinal focus. William Arthur, an Irish Methodist, published The Tongue of Fire[19] in 1856. The book filled with perfectionist themes set the tone for the revival. The second, The Higher Christian Life,[20] written by William Boardman, made its appearance in 1858. Boardman, a Presbyterian, sought to present the holiness doctrine in non-Wesleyan language. The book swept more non-Methodist circles into the Holiness Movement than any other single force that preceded it.[21]

Though this revival had a worldwide impact, it did not result in the establishment of the millennium on earth as many had anticipated. Indeed, in the United States, the Civil War followed on its heels. Ultimately, it would split the movement in half. Many, such as Methodist Bishop Jesse Peck, saw the war as a judgment from God for the national sin of slavery. With that scourge removed, the perfectionist message could be pressed forward, Christian unity achieved and the Kingdom of God established. These leaders joined forces with other renewalist impulses to forge the Social Gospel.[22]

The war and the subsequent effects of rapid urbanization and industrialization caused others to be more pessimistic about the future of the world. These abandoned a postmillennial eschatology-that saw a renewed united church ushering in the kingdom of God on earth-in favor a premillennial eschatology. They saw their task as a faithful remnant warning of further judgment. The appeal for renewal and unity of the church was replaced by a call to leave denominational structures in order to form a true restored New Testament Church.[23]

Thousands heeded this call. Regional, state, and local associations were formed to assure that converts were nurtured in the pure holiness understanding of the faith. The restoration of the true church was proclaimed. In local communities, advocates were organized into "bands"-at first prayer groups that were similar to the Tuesday Meeting but which later became more active, engaging in street evangelism and inner city mission work. A proliferation of regional and statewide periodicals came into existence to tie these groups together. By the end of the century they had taken on the structures which formed the Holiness denominations. Following the Azusa Street revival, the more radical groups became Pentecostal.[24]



David Pawson, Word and Spirit Together: Uniting Charismatics and Evangelicals (London, Sydney, Auckland: Hodder and Stoughton, 1998), 159 pages.

Originally published as The Fourth Wave in 1993, the second edition of this volume features a new title that captures the importance of holding together the mutual emphases of Word and Spirit against the backdrop of what has since also come to be known as the "fourth wave" -- the "mixed blessing" of the Toronto revival. The author, a widely recognized theologian in British evangelical and charismatic circles, argues for the importance of dialogue between these two movements, especially given the charismatic emphases on experiencing the gift of the Spirit as well as moving in the spiritual gifts, and the evangelical commitment to the apostolic gospel and to proclaiming it. Part I of this book develops these as characteristic features of both movements, and explores possible reasons why evangelicals have not, generally speaking, embraced the charismatic renewal -- given the Reformers' rejection of the radical Anabaptist movement, the Puritan emphasis on preaching, and the orientation of dispensational theology toward understanding the charismata within a cessationist framework -- and how evangelical attitudes toward those in the charismatic movement have progressed from suspicion, toleration, and coalition toward the possibility, finally in our time, of meaningful integration.

Pawson does his theological criticism and synthesis in Part II where he attempts to resolve, in successive chapters, differences in views of theology, prophecy, initiation, tongues, worship and holiness. His method is to explore what evangelicals and charismatics can contribute to each other, and how a critical correlation between emphases on both sides yields a richer overall understanding of the subject under consideration. Theologically, for example, Pawson suggests that evangelicals have much to learn about the dynamic and experiential elements of theology from charismatics, even while the latter need the sola scriptura commitments of the former. Prophecy is not to be equated with Scripture (as evangelicals have long insisted against charismatics), even while the prophetic and apostolic offices and functions of the Church are not to be relegated to the early Christian period nor considered to be abnormal today (as charismatics have responded). On the controversial issue of Christian initiation (to which Pawson has elsewhere devoted an entire volume), evangelicals are right to reject the traditional Pentecostal doctrine of Spirit-baptism as subsequent to salvation; on the other hand, Pawson insists that Pentecostals and charismatics are right to distinguish merely believing in the Spirit from receiving the Spirit in that the latter has discernible effects regarding the believer's empowerment for ministry. Tongues, Pawson suggests, is neither everything (as charismatics have at times excessively claimed), nor nothing (as evangelicals have sometimes retorted). Worship needs to be both spontaneous, affective, and charismatic and liturgically ordered and cognitive. Finally, Christian life in the Spirit means that the spiritual gifts should not be confused with the fruits of the Spirit, even while those who exhibit the fruits of the Spirit should aspire to be used by God through the charismatic gifts.

This is an important book for Anglo-American evangelicals, Pentecostals and charismatics. One of the questions that it should lead us to ask is whether or not the peculiar forms of these movements in the Western world exhaust the meanings of "evangelical" or "charismatic." I hazard to guess that they do not. If not, then, this might mean that as evangelicals and charismatics wrestle with what it means to unite Word and Spirit in a global context, we need to be alert to the power of the Word and the surprises of the Spirit to redefine our preconceived ideas both about what God is doing in the world, and about what we should be doing as well.

Reviewed by Amos Yong






Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for the efforts of Raul Mock and the editorial committee as they prepare the Fall 2000 issue of the Pneuma Review. Because of the delays caused by the printing of the Summer 2000 issue, they have much "catch up" to do in order to see the Fall issue done timely. Please pray also that this next issue further helps to meet the need for Biblically balanced teaching and ministry resources among the Pneuma Review's ministry leader readership.

  • Please pray for the Pneuma Foundation to receive the funds it needs to begin regular mailings to its members and those who would be interested in receiving information about Pneuma Foundation ministry efforts.

Praise Reports

  • The Summer 2000 issue of the Pneuma Review is now finished. Thank you for praying with us about this project. Although this printing took longer than expected, in the process many new ministry friendships were formed and publishing tools were acquired.

  • Join with us in celebrating the Lord's provision. One of the software tools required to speed the production of the Pneuma Review and other Pneuma Foundation publications is PageMaker 6.5. This will allow us to use offset printing facilities with less man-hour effort. The retail price for this application is between $450-$600, however someone has sold a full unregistered package to the Pneuma Foundation for only $50.

  • Please send us your prayer requests and praise reports. We have a great God who always meets our needs.
  • If you would like more information about how you may help in meeting these needs, please E-mail Member Services.