“Bapticostal” – Word and Spirit

My research in the evangelical-charismatic movement in South India has shown me that this revivalist movement is exponentially gaining converts. What was once linked with mere emotionalism and labelled as a “tongues movement” is now engaging more socially and politically than scholars had once thought. The movement is typically characterized by an experiential faith and the exercise of spiritual gifts, especially those of miracle healing and prophecy. Importantly, the gifts empower believers who therewith are demonstrating the transforming power of the gospel. Simply put, I have found that the gifts as they are used to share the good news of salvation in Christ are causing the growth of Indian Christianity in an unprecedented way.

I think that the presentation of gospel truth both in its objective form (i.e. when people respond to what God has said, or sound doctrine) and as a subjective experience that comes from an openness to what the sovereign SpiFile HSrit is doing (after all, the Holy Spirit, not the Bible, is the third person in the Trinity) produces a reality and dynamism that at once is life-changing and community-forming. I have witnessed how if we have the Word without the Spirit we dry up. If we have the Spirit without the Word we soon blow up. But the Word and the Spirit together cause believers to grow up! What do you think of this needed balance?

I’ll keep you posted as I find out how these truths I’ve discovered are powerfully at work in God’s world…

One comment

  1. Dear Dr.Chris,

    We first met in a World Vision program in SIACS last April 2009. I’ve been reading your posts as part of my reading discipline for more than a week now and I want to tell you that it’s been a great blessing. I was actually looking for your message on Elisha – the man of God which you spoke in that meeting. I’m not able to find it. I would like to have it mailed to me please. Thanks and God bless!!!

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