Brief thoughts on Strange Fire

First the name. It's not the first time the name "Strange Fire" has been used for a critique of charismatic tendencies. It's a fairly obvious choice of name. Let's get over the name, folks.

Second, the need for discussion. For some years I have been more and more concerned that there was a huge elephant in the room of "reformed evangelicalism", namely the question of cessationism vs. continuationism. We've been ignoring a big issue. When you ignore big issues eventually they make a big mess.

Third, the tone of John Macarthur's conference. John Macarthur has a strong tone. He always has. Some years ago my wife and I tried a book of devotionals by John Macarthur called, I think, "Drawing Near". We did a few then stopped because we didn't like the tone. Let's get over the tone, folks. It's John Macarthur. What did you expect ?

Fourth, the conference. Well, yes, it made a big mess. I think in many ways it was bound to. When you ignore big issues they eventually make a big mess. (Did I already say that ?) It would have been better, perhaps, to have discussed things calmly as the years went by, but instead we didn't, did we.

Still, on the whole, after the big mess of the conference and the blogosphere catching fire and twitter going into meltdown, maybe we will get to a position where we can acknowledge the elephant, describe, define and discuss it, and do so calmly.

The questions are important, nay, vital, because they relate to the Life of the Life-Giving Spirit !


Martin said…
That big elephant never used to be there. If you recall, when we were both in the same church the Charismatic Movement was regarded as something very much outside the Reformed churches.

It seems that some have introduced the elephant along with dodgy songs from the likes of Stuart Townend & the dumbing down of hymns in the Praise hymnbook. The trojan horses have introduced the elephant. Sorry ;-)

Frankly I question whether those who espouse the continuance of 'the gifts' are truly Reformed.

Oh, and I think 'tone' is a problem Europeans have with many Americans. It's culture.
Alan said…
Do you mean the church where one family used to come late to avoid the contemporary songs and the pastor was continuationist and handed out a spiritual gifts questionnaire and only got one handed back in ? (mine)

Our interpretations of the situation differ !

I'll get onto "truly Reformed" soon.

Thanks for the input, bro ! :-D
Martin said…
I mean the church where a visitor stood up & made an alleged prophecy & was told in no uncertain terms by an elder not to. Where a Charismatic had taken the young people away some years before. Where a couple asked if they had made a statement by coming to a Reformed church.

It never ceases me how Christians can sing the unbelievable rubbish that comes from the likes of Townend.
Alan said…
Yes. Just to make it clear Martin and I are speaking about the same church and I can verify all our recollections, except I don't know about "the couple asked if they had made a statement".

I think it goes to show that the same situation is liable to differing interpretations.

This correspondence is now closed.

Discuss songs elsewhere.

Popular posts from this blog

A bit about music exams in UK and France

The Kitchen