For those who are unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five, Session Six, Breakout Session 1, Q&A 1, Session Eight, Session 9). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I’ll be able to do other sessions (check out Tim Challies’ blog for his coverage) But I thought a little would be better than nothing. It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.
One of the underlying presuppositions of the Charismatic worldview is that if God is not actively intervening in creation through miracles, signs, and wonders, then you’ve got an absentee God.
Charismatics frequently lob this charge at non-Charismatics. If you believe the miraculous charismatic gifts have ceased, they say, your view is a cousin of Deism—virtually a denial that God is present and at work in this world’s affairs. If you doubt whether today’s Charismatics are truly speaking in tongues and getting direct revelation from God, they will tell you that your skepticism is tantamount to materialistic rationalism—essentially a form of rank unbelief.
That’s because, the only way the typical charismatic can envision God as active and personal is if He is constantly displaying His presence in creation by miraculous means; through constant, direct, extra-biblical revelation; or with supernatural signs and wonders in the heavens.
That way of thinking actually comes dangerously close to the Gnostic notion that God stands outside creation and therefore if he acts at all, it must be from outside the cosmos, by overturning the natural order of things.
If you think I exaggerate, let me quote some fairly typical charismatic sources.