Post charismatic Christianity?

I have just started this book, by Rob McAlpine.

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…

Pg 17.

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.

6 thoughts on “Post charismatic Christianity?

  1. Hi!
    Found your blogg through a search on the book post-charismatic.
    I will get it by snailmail on monday.
    I believe I have similar experiencies as yours – want to embrace and live close to Gods Spirit, but I’ve met so much weirdness in the charismatic movement. It’s comforting just to meet others with the same questions.
    God bless!
    Thomas from Sweden

  2. Hey Thomas

    Thanks for your post on the blog…

    Hope you enjoy the book- it is a bit ‘academic’ in places, but like you, I found it helpful to get into an understanding that I was not alone with these issues…

    The interesting and hopeful bit however, it to still trust in a God who is present by the Holy Spirit, and to seek to know and be known by him. I still have many questions-
    1. How much of what I experienced is right and true, and how much plain nonsense?
    2. Does God intervene in power when we ask him- and if so, how often? Why not all the time?
    3. Does he sometimes intervene more because of an individual’s gifting? If so, how much power should we allow such individuals?
    4. Should we aspire to ecstatic experience, or just get on with the more important stuff of loving and serving- a let the weird stuff happen if it will?

    I am not sure if I expect to ever answer these questions in a final way- and I think that is OK. I think being a Christian is about engaging in a dynamic relationship with the unknown, accepting that we will never understand the whole…

    Love to know what you think about the book

    Blessings

    Chris

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  5. There are almost two people in me when it comes to this subject. There is one guy who is convinced of a dynamic living experience in the Holy Spirit. Even the “weird stuff” like dreams and deep levels of prayer. There is another guy who has been drug behind the machine of Pentecostalism and looks on with disgust at the awful abuse and sideshow like activities of many who wear that label. I have found myself struggling to find the balance at times.

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