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Showing posts from October, 2012

Why Pentecostals and Charismatics have all the more reason to rejoice on Reformation Day

Today is Reformation Day. Admittedly, it’s not the biggest of non-official holidays (there even happens to be another unofficial holiday taking place today that’s getting all the attention, which explains why there were ghosts in the shop this evening instead of hammer wielding monks), but it is the unofficial holiday of which I am most fond.

You see reformation day isn’t about cards or presents or activities (and hopefully never will be!), but rather it’s simply a reminder in the year of one of the greatest events in the history of Europe, the Protestant Reformation, and what it stood for (helpfully summed up in 5 Solas). It’s an annual reminder of the power of God’s Word and of the glory of the gospel that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

For some reason though, Reformation Day doesn't seem to be all that big a deal in Pentecostal and charismatic circles. Now, I’m sure that part of that is that we just tend not to be v…

Bad News in Belfast: Of Rhetoric, Culture, Gospel and Appropriate Responses

A few weeks ago Great Victoria Street was in the news. Now, within the Apostolic Church Great Victoria Street is the location of a well known assembly; outside the Apostolic Church Great Victoria Street is best known as a major street in the centre of Belfast. Alas, it was not a revival at Great Victoria Street Apostolic (nor Gt Victoria St Baptist, nor Gt Victoria St Presbyterian) that was making the news. Rather than the beginning of new life, it was the ending of life that was in the news.

The story was that a family planning clinic had been set up on Gt Victoria Street. Now, elsewhere in the UK, as in many other countries in the world, such an occurrence would probably never make it into the news. But Northern Ireland is different, both culturally and legally.

Legally, until this news story came along and highlighted some of the nuances of Northern Ireland law, it was commonly said that abortion wasn't legal in Northern Ireland. As the developments on Gt Victoria Street demons…

The Spirit's Mission & The Spirit's Gifts

What's the point of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Now, before anyone get’s too worked up that I would ask such a question, let me just clarify a bit what I mean. I’m not questioning the importance of the gifts. Gifts find their value in their giver (just imagine the difference in value a doctor might place on a gift from a pharmaceutical company and a gift from his beloved wife). And so if the Giver of these gifts is the Triune God, then they must be of great value to us.

My question isn't about the value of the gifts, but about their purpose. You see, sometimes as Pentecostals and charismatics we can be so concerned with valuing the gifts that we don’t take time to consider their purpose.

And that can cause problems. And one of those problems can be missing out on the full value of the gifts.

So what a out the purpose of the gifts then? Well, first lets start with something more fundamental. The gifts are the work of the Holy Spirit, so if we want to understand the gifts, we …