John Bevere’s Breaking Intimidation

Due to some situations our church has been facing as of late, we were advised to read John Bevere’s book Breaking Intimidation: Say “No” without feeling guilty, be secure without the approval of man (Charisma House, 1995, 2006).   

Breaking IntimidationMany of my blog readers will probably think this sort of stuff is absolute silliness but ah well, let them.  Bevere’s book Breaking Intimidation is a really important book for many pastors and leaders to read.  While most often used in the context of ministry one can easily apply the concept to nearly any and every other situation from intimidation in the workplace, the home, the school or the community. This issue applies to all people as well because the spirit of intimidation is just that, a spirit and not a attitude or a disposition.  It is a spirit, therefore, even those with strong personalties and strong spiritual lives can be faced with or succumb to a spirit of intimidation, and a controlling spirit is not among only those with strong personalities, it can come from more quiet people too.  It is also not limited to men or women.  It does not take much – one can easily unwittingly submit to a spirit of intimidation without realizing it.  In my case, I was both unwittingly and somewhat aware of my giving into it.  The person I am dealing comes across as pretty intimidating and it takes a bit of effort for me to stand up to it.  Really, I need the Holy Spirit to help me deal with it.   What happens is when we do give into a spirit of intimidation is we loose (0r give up) our spiritual authority given to us in Christ (cf. Ephesians 1) and the gifts within us become dormant and we are not able to be free or hear from the Lord in our relationship with him (also that spirit then takes our authority and begins to use it agianst us).   To overcome intimidation we have recognize  what is going on and then repent for giving in, submit to the Lord and then pray against the intimidation, thenit will begin to break.  Reading this book will help you learn what the spirit of intimidation is (not unlike a jezebel spirit – it’s a controlloing spirit that does not want to be the leader but wants to control the leader and manipulate him or her so as to assert it own will and keep the leader from doing what God wants him or her to do), how to identify it, and how to break free of its grip on your heart and life.   Get it and begin your new life of spiritual freedom today!  Seriously. 

Reformed and Charismatic?

While some think so – Sam says no so fast.  Go check out the latest post on his blog.   He addresses: 1) allegorization of miracles for the actual occurrence of miracles, 2) the Isaiah gift list as compared to the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12.

and in more posts to come he’ll address 3) confining spiritual gifts to conversion, and 4) modern expressions of these issues.

Let me know what you think.  The whole idea of the development of reformed folk becoming charismatic is an interesting one given that historically reformed theology has been more or less cessationist.  No?

How to be Pentecostal in a Postmodern Society

I think this is a solid presentation by Earl Creps, now former director of the DMin program at AGTS on the role of the Holy Spirit in a secular society.  Here he is speaking to campus pastors but I think it can apply to just about any setting Let me know what you think.

Here is the linkStill trying to figure out how to embed the video into the blog.  I got it now, what I did wrong is try to cut and paste the embed code into the blog when instead it was better for me to add a video link under the “add media” part of the blog post.

Can one be a Pentecostal Calvinist?

Indeed this is an interesting question.  James K. A. Smith, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Calvin College writes on this topic as he shares his own thinking and experience on the issue in this Christianity Today Article: Teaching a Calvinist to Dance.  

Here is an excerpts to get your curiosity going: 

There, in that Pentecostal church in Stratford, Ontario—once home to Aimee Semple McPherson—God showed up. Encountering him in ways I hadn’t experienced or imagined before, God shook my intellectual framework and rattled my spiritual cage at the same time.

But let me add one more layer to this story: Just as I was being immersed in the Spirit’s activity and presence in Pentecostal spirituality and worship, I started a master’s degree in philosophical theology at the Institute for Christian Studies, a graduate school in the Dutch Reformed tradition at the University of Toronto. So my week looked a bit odd: Monday to Friday I was immersed in the intellectual resources of the Reformed tradition, diving into the works of Calvin, Kuyper, and Dooyeweerd.

Then on Sunday we’d show up at the Pentecostal church where, to be honest, things got pretty crazy sometimes. It was a long way from Toronto to Stratford, if you know what I mean—about the same distance from Geneva to Azusa Street.

For a lot of folks, that must sound like trying to inhabit two different space-time continuums. But I never experienced much tension between these worlds. Of course, my church and academic world didn’t bump into one another. Dooyeweerd and Jack Hayford don’t often cross paths. But in a way, I felt that they met in me—and they seemed to fit. I experienced a deep resonance between the two. In fact, I would suggest that being charismatic actually makes me a better Calvinist; my being Pentecostal is actually a way for me to be more Reformed.

Oooh… Juicy stuff! Looks like has some books I might want to think about reading and some blogs to think about adding to my blogroll (perhaps not a true blog since the comments are turned off).   

Let me know what you think!