I have blogged before about my own Charismatic background- here for example… So the title of this book grabbed me.
I have found myself wanting to re-examine much of my own Charismatic experience again- something I have avoided doing in any detail until recently. I suppose these experiences are full of all sorts of mixed feelings and emotions. They left me with such mixed baggage.
For me, the it began with a yearning for God in my formative years, that met the electric possibility of a God who was present and active and empowering through the Holy Spirit.
But there was always the hope for more, amid the hype and exaggeration, and the plain madness of some people and situations I found myself in. I was often an outsider- not able to experience fully what others were blown away by. And feeling attracted and repelled in equal measure.
As a worship leader, I could always hide behind a guitar… it was possible to be there, and to be seen to participate, but to only have the shape of participation, not the fullness of it.
As a young man- I thought I was alone in my doubts. I thought I lacked faith, and my sin was insulating me from God like a rubber blanket on a live cable.
There were also many times though when I caught glimpses of God. When I was as sure as I can be that he was there amongst us. There are many things that happened that I can not easily explain in any other way.
Here’s a quote from the book that captured some of my own experience;
They are tired of hearing the stories of the good old days, jaded from hearing too many prophecies about the great move of God that seems to be just around the corner, fed up with exaggerated or even fabricated stories of healings and miracles, and disillusioned with a view of spiritual formation that is lived through a weekly crisis moment at the front of the church…
That is not to say that I want to reject or deny the work of the Spirit. May the Spirit have free reign to do with me as he will.
But I hope that it is possible to find my way to him, and his to me without all the baggage that has become so unhelpful to me.
And from my reading of this book so far- it seems that I am not alone.