"... if blogs could contribute to a reformed resurgence, could not the blogosphere also contribute to a charismatic resurgence, particularly by increasing people's faith for gifts such as prophecy, faith, miracles or healing?".
Another thing that constantly amazes me is the similarity in mind and vision between some of the charismatic blog sites that I read - and again with my own train of thought. Pete Day quoted from Terry Virgo's book, "The Tide is Turning" and presented the challenge that faces those of us who long for more of the demonstration of God's power. Note this in particular (quoting Terry):
"On the whole we too have grown up in a generation that has not seen the mighty acts of God as our forefathers did. We have not seen revivals during which thousands flock into the churches to get right with God. Unlike our fathers we have not known whole towns change, with demonstrations of power and incredible manifestations of the glory of God. The majority of our generation knows nothing of these things so we may closely identify with the Israel of Gideon's day".
So it seems to me from what Jesse has written that the challenge is to raise people's faith and expectation in our blogging. To commit to posts that search the Scriptures and the whole host of church history so that we can point anyone who reads what we write and say "Look! This is that ..". But we have a difficult task ahead if Terry Virgo is right. Most of us (and especially Jesse, Pete and my generation) haven't seen the revivals, the miracles that he spoke of. So we do not have personal experience (yet) to draw on.
What then can we do? Here's a few suggestions that came to my mind.
1. Continue to believe in a God who intervenes in time and space.
2. Continue to believe in a Word of God that is applicable today.
3. Continue to pray and fast for the turning of the tide and the coming of the tidal wave of revival.
4. Continue to search church history through the vaults of libraries to find great men of faith.
5. Continue to write on these things and resist the temptation to write controversy that will attract hits and comments just for the sake of it. Pete Day writes quite rightly; "Are we guilty of spending so long defending reformed doctrine at the expense of living in the good of it?".
6. Continue to report on conferences, churches and news that will build faith and "fan into flame the gift that is in you". For example, the awesome Rob Rufus is going to be at the Newfrontiers Prayer and Fasting Weekend in Derby. I imagine it's going to be a pretty significant time and will set the tone for the coming "Together on a Mission" conference in July! By the way - have you booked in yet? You won't get to go to another conference that fires your faith more!
7. Make use of the internet blogs and go read the blogs of people who long for God to move in our day!! My favourites and my daily reading list includes; Pete Day, Jul Morris (Newfrontiers), Jesse Phillips (SGM), Luke Wood (Newfrontiers), Jon Cressey (Newfrontiers), Gavin White (MwB), Mark Heath (Newfrontiers), Janelle Phillips (SGM) and of course Terry Virgo himself. None of them would claim to be any theological heavyweights but the one factor that I love and appreciate about each and everyone of them is that they are HUNGRY!! No, DESPERATE for God! And that alone is faith inspiring!
Here is my contribution for today! It's an interview I have published before but feel I must draw attention to again with the great Dr Ern Baxter and it is on the subject of William Branham. Controversial he may have been - but no one could deny the signs, wonders and miracles. Go read it! These things happened less than 100 years ago!! And they can happen again today!! Here's a quote from the interview to give you a taster;
"Branham had a tremendous word of knowledge. Before praying for a person, he would give accurate details concerning the person’s ailments, and also details of their lives - their home town, activities, actions - even way back in their childhood. Branham never once made a mistake with the word of knowledge in all the years I was with him. That covers, in my case, thousands of instances ... to try to remember or to pick out a few outstanding supernatural occurrences with Branham is somewhat difficult because it was just a parade of the supernatural".
Let me close by agreeing deeply with Jesse's comment:
" ... if those who sense this expectation and anticipation for God to begin to move in more powerful ways through the reformed-charismatic church could begin to perpetrate the blogosphere with faith-filled perspectives on what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing, and wants to do, then we may have a broader influence throughout our churches. That, in turn, may raise people's expectations, and we may begin to see God responding to our faith in a way that scripture indicates He likes to".
Amen!! Let it be so Lord! And let's be about seeing the resurgence come!