The Beauty of the Balance: Toward an Evangelical-Pentecostal Theology

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But instead of learning from the lessons of greed and lust, we want to do it again. Addendum: My fire comes from the fact that this sort of recapitulation of Protestant history is not only false, but misleading. Without a single word of comment, the Anabaptists are refuted without a critical thought. It discredits the Christian witness, and makes us appear as deluded power-slaves. Much of what the Reformed condemned and killed the Anabpatists for, now Reformed churches have adopted in the modern era as status quo.


The Reformers could not conceive of Church without the power of the sword to uphold and enforce it. I am not, of course, accusing you of this, but I am reminding us all of the splintery edges of the very difficult real history we share.


You can google it or find it on wikipedia. Saying history is hard is a cop out.

Recommended Resource: The Beauty of the Balance by Dr. Terry Tramel - Discipleship

Yes, his influence obviously percolated out from here, but the pastoral task he undertook was, truly, local. Yes, obviously Luther was a man with corporeal limits, living in physical time and space. But even in his own day he was a legend. Even his personal and private dimensions were turned into propaganda or into sticking points of policy.

Luther lived his life as an actor on a stage, knowing that he was always being watched and that every decision he made had an ocean of performative value.

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Even his marriage and his obesity were publicly oriented and polemical. He was the equivalent of a Hollywood celebrity. Usually it involves hemming and hawing about Human frailty, real politik, and historical context, with a whole lot of question begging and well-poisoning to boot. My constant example is this: all Blaurock, Grebel, and Manz wanted was for the church to be out of the state and no longer an assumed part of the volk. And Zwingli tried as he might to put them all in the ground. Zwingli knew that they agreed on almost everything too, but he feared that the Zurich government would turn back to Rome.

I completely and utterly agree and I now understand much better what your grievance is. As much as you have protested it over the years, your Anabaptist patch is still there on your tattered denim jacket hahaha. I mean brute not in the sense of brutal, but in the sense of rough or unrefined. Christians have thrived under some secular regimes, which restrain any one group imposing upon others.

Whether its modern day Egypt, or early Tang-era China, one does not need to build Christendom to live in relative peace. So if you really want to be consistently Anabaptist, I think you need to go the Bruderhof route and withdraw into a kind of comprehensive community that is an entire society unto itself. So, on the one hand, these leaders want to do everything they can to shepherd their congregations—and shepherding, as that metaphor suggests, will sometimes involve correcting a straying sheep.


This, understandably, can turn very quickly toward conversations about church discipline, a pure church, etc. And when pastors look at this ambiguity and rage against it, as did many Puritans and Baptists and Anabaptists, they end up doing real harm by claiming for themselves an unhealthy degree of power that tends to lead toward abuse. That being said, in the big picture the solution here is mature, humble, Godly leaders. There is not an institutional or ideological fix that can solve for abuse.

But we still have them. When we ran a negative review of his book last summer, he spent probably 10 hours on the phone between conversations with myself and Joe Minich, the reviewer, and most of what he was doing was just asking questions and trying to understand where we were coming from. And then we got the chance to meet at ETS and he was as gracious and friendly in person as he was online and on the phone.

All of which is to say that I understand the concerns about abuse, but I think there are resources within the reformed tradition particularly Presbyterian polity and the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers that should militate against some of those issues. That said, ultimately leaders are human and they are sinful and they will fail.

But whether that is a personal issue in them or a function of their theology is a very complicated question. First, closely parallel is not exact.

Hauerwas does not believe that any particular congregation is in fact the One Church. He is certainly someone who learned from John Howard Yoder, but neither Hauerwas nor Yoder are paradigmatic. To appreciate what they did, you must understand the Radical Reformation in relation to the Magisterial Reformation.

What did the Anabaptists wants and why were they so hated? And it takes intellectual acuity and research to parse the data, seeing between the misunderstandings and the libel that many Reformers continued or created. To understand the historical development? As Cassie said below, most Reformed today have addopted the major concerns of the Anabaptists without giving them credit. I found the article interesting and thought-provoking but also a little confusing. My apologies for how scattered these thoughts are:. Do Pentecostals count?

You say that you define it broadly, but as far as I could tell your examples only include soteriological Calvinists.

The Evangelical Center After Billy Graham

Lutheran vs. Calvinist vs. Arminian have often taken the form of mutual condemnations, or at least a lack of mutual recognition.

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And in some ways this arguably continues. Virtually every neo-calvinist evangelical I meet today considers non-calvinist teachers to be untrustworthy or worse. Many of them treat Arminians as a mission field. What I said about ecclesiology follows from that point about Scripture. I would imagine Holiness movements would fail this test. That said, many soteriological Calvinists do too. The North American Puritans are obsessive about church membership and refuse to grant full membership to anyone who does not have a fairly specific kind of conversion story.

The PCA pastors here in Lincoln are all part of a prayer group of local pastors that includes Baptists, Acts 29, non-denoms, Pentecostals, and a few others. My pastor is actually doing an event next week with a UCC minister that he is friends with on the differences between mainline Christians and evangelicals. We also still do a fair number of things with local Catholics here in town around anti-abortion activism.

Certainly there are groups you can get into that are genuinely divisive—try getting trolled by Anonymous OPC Twitter sometime—but I tend to think the future of reformed evangelicalism looks way more like Keller than it does someone like R.

For Evangelicals

Scott Clark. Promoting organizations and preachers have developed relatively autonomous, idiosyncratic, and often diffuse spheres of influence, appealing in some contexts to urban middle-class constituencies, in others to the aspirant poor, and in yet others to ethnic enclaves situated in migrant diasporas Coleman In the opening chapter, the researcher mentioned three representative groups of PT. These three groups are not exhaustive. Those who advocate PT have some other subdivisions.

However, there are two dominant forms in which PT is packaged by its advocates:. The primary advocates of PT could be said to be dominantly militant. Their basis for such claims is a few verses of the Bible such as:.

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Too many people try to explain away the basic meaning of prosperity in the Bible. While the definition of the Copelands may appear to be neutral at face value, the two last chapters of their book clearly show what they actually mean. The emphasis is more on gaining material wealth. This gaining of wealth is expected to come in various ways: First, God will take the riches of sinners and give it to the church. Secondly, rich sinners will come to saving faith and give their resources to the church.

Thirdly, the principle of hundredfold return. The Namibian based PT preacher Goroh who has been greatly influenced by the teachings of the Copelands and the late Kenneth Hagin writes,. If you are a believer, abundant life is your birthright. The seed of the righteous are not meant to beg bread but to enjoy plenty…You are supposed to enjoy the best.

Life is not supposed to be lived in crises when Christ is living in you. You are supposed to live an abundant life even during the season of famine I…believe that the type of prosperity that Job enjoyed is what God designed for every believer to experience People of God, you must believe that when the gospel is preached to the poor it helps them to grow rich. This is because that is how God intended to deal with the poverty issue.

God…design[ed] the gospel…to teach [poor] people that He desires for them to prosper…the gospel is a prosperity building message Oyedepo takes the claim of Hammond further, basing his argument on II Corinthians Moreover, that the whole incarnation of the Son of God actually proves that God has great concern over his creation — the human race. This is definitely something positive if we look at it from that angle.