Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Scripture vs Experience?

All the "reformed charismatics" I know are card carrying Five Solas evangelicals. Yet a common characature is that we place contemporary prophecy on a par with (or even above) Scripture. This is simply not the case, and to repeat such things is either ignorance or mischief.

Another put-down is that we allow our experience to govern how we read the Bible. Of course this is an important issue, but I don't see it as an exclusively charismatic one. Indeed, my own cessationist theology was largely shaped by experience (e.g. bad experiences of various charismatics, a lack of good experiences of various gifts of the Spirit, only experiencing cessationist preaching, etc).

That said, I was rather surprised to discover that the Apostle Paul wasn't averse to appealing to a church's experience of the Spirit...

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain?

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?

-- Galatians 3:1-5 (ESV)

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