Re: "charismatic" theologies and science

From: Jonathan Clarke (
Date: Thu Aug 29 2002 - 03:39:35 EDT

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    Hi Douglas

    My impression is that most charismatics and Pentecostals tend toward the more
    extreme ends of fundamentalism and are therefore not only mostly anti-evolution
    but also YEC. However a friend of mine, Pierre Kruse, who is a geologist with
    the Northern Territory Geological Survey, has an evolutionary perspective and
    is active in the Assemblies of God Church in darwin. At least he was when I
    last spoke to him a few years back. Pierre has published extensively about
    various aspects of Cambrian palaeontology.

    Jon wrote:

    > 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
    > possibility.
    > 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
    > question:
    > 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
    > evolution)?
    > 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
    > Douglas

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