Archive for July 8th, 2007

Now you might read this title and think I’m going to write something really deep about being a Christian living in a world in which I’m a foreigner, waiting for a new and better Kingdom to come.

You’d be wrong.

I’m writing instead about living between the worlds of evangelicalism and pentecostalism. Yep, that’s me. I know I’m not alone. While attending grad school, there were a number of students that described themselves as “bapticostal” or some similar title. Many charismatics/pentecostals “live” incognito in evangelical churches. I’m not sure I’ve ever met an evangelical who’s lived incognito in a charismatic/pentecostal church, but there are probably some out there.

Phil & I prefer the title “empowered evangelicals” stolen from the title of Rich Nathan’s book. Great book. He finds a way to bring both sides together, avoiding extremes in all issues, but allowing for the Spirit to move freely and in power. (Well, maybe not as freely as some from a pentecostal background might prefer!) 🙂

We have often felt that God had called us to be “bridge people” – called to influence the opinion of our evangelical brethren toward charismaticism and vice versa. For much of our Christian life, we’ve “lived” as empowered evangelicals in evangelical churches. We often felt like we had to hide the “empowered” side of our walk with the Lord, at least until people knew us and trusted us…because we’re WAY more charismatic than our evangelical friends suspect. We’re currently living as empowered evangelicals in a church with strong pentecostal roots. We sometimes feel like we need to hide our evangelical leanings in the same way…because we’re way more evangelical than our pentecostal friends suspect.

You know, guys…God is way bigger than this. His “personality” is both evangelical and pentecostal. And He desires for His Church to be a reflection of Him. Can’t we all just get along?
I’m sure my tension in this area will come thru in these blogs. Feel free to add your comments.

Comment from dansdesk
You’ve certainly helped move me to a more balanced position. Thanks! I need to read that book!Dan
Thursday July 19, 2007 – 04:17pm (EDT)

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