Date: Wed Aug 28 2002 - 15:31:01 EDT
Iain Strachan wrote the following in his BIO:
"I attend an Evangelical Church of England, that has moderate
charismatic tendencies. I'm very open to the idea that the gifts of
the spirit are real, but also aware that it can get divisive.
Certain people in our church got involved in the Toronto thing, and I
have to say I was a little worried at the sight of people shaking
uncontrollably - it didn't seem to me that this kind of thing was
from God, but I guess one should keep an open mind about these
things. I'd be interested to hear what other people in the group
feel about these issues."
Iain raises a question that I have been thinking about for awhile. First, a
note on why I am interested in this topic: I was raised in a Christian
tradition that did not embrace and practice manifestations of the Spirit
such as speaking in tongues. Although I have no interest in rushing after
such gifts for the sake of the gift and don't think that I hold to a
theology that expects/require these particular expressions to be present in
every believer's life, I do desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit (as
Jesus implies that we should seek to be - see Luke 11:13), and thereby
empowered to do his work. If being filled has the side effect of some
physical/verbal manifestation, then I think that I am open to that as a
That said, I have absolutely no interest in precipitating a heated debate
on the theological points involved with this issue. Obviously, some of our
theologies will constrain (for good or bad - I have no desire to judge) how
we each come down on this issue (theoretically and experientially).
Instead, I would like to initiate discussion by posing the following
What is the coincidence of more charismatic "spiritual gifts" theology
conciliatory/complementary/liberal (I use the word "liberal" in the very
best sense of the word, not as left-winged) views on the relationship of
Christian theology and natural science (esp. with regard to accepting
I would be very interested to know there exists people who are at the same
time practicing charismatics (for lack of a better term) and evolutionists
(also for lack of a better term). For example, does anyone know an
evolutionary biologist who is an active member of an Assembly of God
church? I would like to think that such people do exist, even if they are
rare. (My impression is that a disproportionate number of people associated
with the ASA are from more Reformed traditions, if only because those were
the folks who started and kept the organization going for many years).
If such "charismatic scientists" exist, I would be very interested in
learning about their unique perspectives on the relationship of natural
science and Christian faith.
Again, please allow me to emphasize that I am not interested in theological
rants about such theological points, although you may wish to simply
describe your personal understanding (e.g., "My theology is X, and this
prohibits me from believing in Y and experiencing Z"; Please DO NOT say, "I
hold to theology X, and from my viewpoint here's what's wrong with theology
Y with regard to this issue").
I look forward to the responses
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