Saturday, 21 February 2009


Recently I bought a copy of Rob McAlpine's book Post-Charismatic at a Christian bookshop.

This book has arisen from the disappointment, disillusionment, and discord experienced by people who have left charismatic fellowships. Rob McAlpine highlights the repellent and controversial aspects of the charismatic movement, which include televangelism, the Prosperity teachings, and the Shepherding and Latter Rain movements. I enjoyed reading his historical analysis and insights.

He attempts to define post-charismatic: "the process of separating what is truly of the Holy Spirit and what is needless - and often harmful - baggage is the whole idea behind developing a post-charismatic understanding of how a supernatural God works supernaturally amongst and through the mystical gathering called the body".

The author clearly struggles with the term "post-charismatic". In his final section he writes that while it is certainly accurate as a description, "it lacks the ability to point to a way forward, which was the whole reason for writing in the first place".

Rob McAlpine is hoping that a post-charismatic understanding of how the Holy Spirit works will serve as a critique of 'charismania' excesses and questionable teachings, and will lead to a more mature and balanced understanding, expectation and functioning in the Spirit of Christ.

For some the way forward is "charismissional" which wishes to take the best of the missional approach to life/ministry and ground it in the vibrancy of the Spirit. For Rob McAlpine, 'missional' simply means that " we stop viewing ecclesiology and missiology as separate, and explore ways of being a missionary presence in our postmodern society".

I believe that Rob offers us his "post-charismatic but not post-Spirit" position but others are still emerging and will be manifest in various forms. His position is, therefore, one of many post-charismatic positions. Christians are talking about post-charismatic journeys and experiences. I expect to see more books and blogs on this subject. Some may arrive at some sort of revised charismatic or modified charismatic position. For others, the pain, the negative experiences and abuses will keep them away from any form of charismatic Christianity.

I pray for a truly biblical trinitarian charismatic Christianity that shows the amazing charisma of God. It has been refined and proved to be genuine; it has no weird or repellent elements as the dross has been burned away. It combines the gifts and fruits of the Spirit of God; it participates in the divine nature and escapes the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Victims of Bishop Michael Reid

I have just read through a blog about the infamous Bishop Michael Reid called Victims of Bishop Michael Reid. Sadly there are victims of this man's ministry and there are lessons to be learned. I expected that this man would try to re-establish a ministry. You can read my previous comments about his decline and fall. He will now find it more difficult to raise funds and fleece the flock.

You can visit the blog concerning this man's victims and his unpleasant ministry by following the link below:

He's not the anointed one; he's been a very naughty boy!

You have been warned!

Monday, 16 February 2009

The reality of women's ministry today

Opponents of women's ministry appeal to the Scriptures in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14: 34-35. On the basis of these passages women have been forbidden to teach, preach and take on leadership positions in the church.

There are problems in prohibiting women preaching, teaching and leading because there are clearly some very gifted women preachers and ministers in the church today. Do we deny that God has called and equipped them? There are certain verses which indicate that women, in the New Testament, prophesied in the church, taught and exercised some sort of leadership positions. I would ask you to consider the following texts:
Acts 2:17-18
Acts 18: 24-26
Acts 21:9
Romans 16: 1-4, 19
Philippians 4: 2-3.

The Bible tells us of women who had various leadership roles: Sarah, Deborah, Esther, Abigail, Mary, Phoebe, Priscilla, Euodia and Syntyche.

Church history has many examples of women in ministry. It is a fact that not all good preachers and evangelists are men!

In defence of theology

There are some preachers and Christians who claim that theology is of no value. They do not understand that theology is the study of God. In preaching, teaching and talking about God they are involved in theology, in theological discussion! Once you start talking about God then you enter the realm of theology. There is no getting away from that. Once you start commenting on Scripture and what is found in the Bible then you are involved in theological matters. All the authors of the books in the Bible were therefore theologians.

Through the help of theologians we have had accurate translations of the Bible, helpful commentaries, sermons and messages. Through theologians we have had creeds and doctrinal statements that have kept us from heresy and false doctrine. Our understanding of the Trinity has been helped considerably by the work of theologians. The Holy Spirit has worked through theologians.

Through theology we can understand our theological heritage, our doctrinal position and historical church perspective. Whatever theological position you hold it comes with a historical and cultural context, though you may not be aware of it through ignorance and lack of understanding. The Christian doctrines and practices that you hold dear have been shaped by certain theological developments and traditions. Theology can help you to discover how these doctrines were formed and how they have developed. Every Christian is therefore a theologian, though not every theologian is a Christian.

There is sound theology and there is bad theology. Not all theology is good and helpful.
But good theology will lead you into the wonderful truths of God.


River Stour