Friday, August 12, 2011

Changing the expression of Christianity: A Charismatic History of the Church

Phil Moore observes that the gospel progresses with signs and wonders in his survey of church history beginning in Acts. Phil Moore on the Demonstration of the Spirit's Power - Training Track at Together on a Mission 2011Moore:
"church history was always meant to be like something out of Acts"
Is preaching the gospel enough? Or, should we expect the preaching of the gospel to be accompanied with power? Moore argues that the successful advance of the gospel comes through confrontation between the Triune God and demons and idols, rather than a softly softly approach. Evil definitively overthrown by the gospel. Where are these confrontations today?

He says, the church flounders when the power of God is abandoned, to political power and human activity - whether in the days of Constantine or the Reformation etc. He documents Augustine's late-in-life conversion to belief in healing (documented in City of God ch22.8). Moore asks, could it be that the reformation lacked traction because it was not accompanied with signs and wonders? even though some like Martin Luther believed in healing, it was not the norm or emphasis of the reformation...
"If the physicians are at a loss to find a remedy, you may be sure that it is not a case of ordinary melancholy. It must, rather, be an affliction that comes from the devil, and must be counteracted by the power of Christ and with the prayer of faith. This is what we do, and what we have been accustomed to do, for a cabinetmaker here was similarly afflicted with madness and we cured him by prayer in Christ’s name."
Moore: "to not believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit today is to be in the minority today" (64mins). Moore calls for us to face our Christoph Blumhart moment - a healing evangelist - who took the gospel forward with the Spirit's power but then retracted as he was asked to stop. Where might we go? Where might God want to move? What kind of prophetic vision might he have for us? Who might he heal? How might he show that idols are powerless and Christ is true.

Phil is a pastor, gifted evangelist and prolifically producing Bible commentaries. You can catch more of him here: Phil Moore: Gospel-Centred Preaching at Together on a Mission 2011. A seminar in which he shows we must always be preaching the gospel, for all people. Full of practical wisdom for how to keep the gospel at the heart of church life.