It's been a while since I specifically encouraged and urged readers to get over to Jesse's blog at "Prophetically Speaking". Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will know that I try not to wax lyrical about anything unworthy - but I love this blog! Jesse has managed to find phrases that sum up beautifully for concepts I have been thinking about for a while such as; "Functional Cessationist" or "Charismatic Resurgence"!
For any new readers, this awesome guy is a graduate of the SGM Pastor's College and quite an up and coming theologian. He maintains an impressive output of writing on his blog (which is quite a feat as well as being a full time intern at his church) and writes some really quality material. For those who haven't encountered this guy before - here is a brief summary (in his own words) of where he stands;
"Nothing is hidden here. All my theological cards are on the table. Soteriology: 5 pt. Calvinist Atonement: penal-substitutionary Scripture: inerrant & infallible Pneumatology: Pentecostal Eschatology: amillennial Men/Women: complementarian".
Jesse's latest post is extremely helpful in not simply remaining in the thirty year old debate of whether tongues and prophecy do exist or not - but how to grow in them. It is here; "Growing in the gifts of tongues and interpretation". A clear warning must be heard - "if we only choose to experience what we can figure out, we will experience less than the Spirit offers". This particularly applies to us Westerners I think. I loved this quote of Brent Detweiler's (Jesse's hero);
"Tongues has a unique place in redemptive history. It is the sign that the Spirit has been given in fullness."
It is time that we stopped despising this gift of God's and began asking for it and using it! Jesse also includes a useful biography of books that are helpful for developing in these gifts - books that I have read and would also highly endorse. I also received an email update from him reminding me of this very thought provoking post written back in April called; "Cessationists can be driven by experience". Again he very rightly warns;
"I think that many cessationists and 'functional cessationists' are somewhat experiential, perhaps a bit more influenced by bad experiences, or the potential of, or the report of, than they they might be aware".
I have seen this happen in real time church life more than I care to remember. One of the benefits to this post in particular is that Jesse's incredible mum - Sheree (She said; "So I say, yes, "We need to experience more of God's power and have some amazing encounters with the Holy Ghost.")and my good friend Don both left extensive comments from their experience of the 1970's. This is an opportunity to learn from experienced and wise Christians who have seen the abuses but remain passionately committed to the Holy Spirit and His on-going work today!
Finally Jesse has a "Podcast" page which he updates every now and then with some excellent 6 minute or so "sermon-ettes"! I do urge each and every one who reads this to go see what he has to say. It is still sadly quite rare to find someone who passionately holds to both Word and Spirit and the desire to see them in tension. He used a new label slant on the common "Reformed charismatic" and I quite like it; "Pentecostal evangelical". I'm going to see how that rolls off my tongue and maybe adopt it too!