Charismatics and the Cross


Theologically then, the absence of the atonement is one of the most marked features of Charismatic worship ... Classical Pentecostalism did not lose the crucicentric emphasis ... To the contrary, classical Pentecostals seemed to be especially attached to atonement themes. Its pneumatological emphasis was added to but did not supplant the atonement emphasis. ...
There has clearly been a very dramatic shift in emphasis. We are forced to potentially redefine Charismatic Christianity as something other than evangelical if Bebbington's quadrilateral holds. Charismatic Christianity's quadrilateral, if it has one at all, has dropped at least two of evangelicalism's most distinctive identity markers. Most significantly of all, it has dropped crucicentrism. ...
We search in vain for anywhere else in Charismatic faith where crucicentrism has been maintained ... I had been a Charismatic for four years when a spiritual crisis led to me finding some life-changing answers in the atonement - a subject that I had not heard a single sermon on. ... I have concluded, and I am not being at all unkind in saying this, that Charismatics have little use for the atonement, little use, that is, for the conservative evangelical [and Classical Pentecostal] version of it. ... If Charismatic faith ever becomes truly crucicentric it will be in a way which evangelicalism would probably struggle to recognize. (pp.52-55)

For the moment I'm just posting this key insight from Ben Pugh's fascinating new book, Bold Faith: A Closer Look at the Five Key Ideas of Charismatic Christianity (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2017) without comment. I'll post a proper full review soon.

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church

The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

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The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

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Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

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