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May 2013 28 May 28, 2013
1

When revival swept through New England, and in particular in Northampton, Massachusetts, where Jonathan Edwards lived and ministered, the effect on men and women was profound. Said Edwards: "It was very wonderful to see how person's affections were sometimes moved – when God did as it were suddenly open their eyes, and let into their minds a sense of the greatness of his grace, the fullness of Christ, and his readiness to save . . . Their joyful surprise has cau...Read More

May 2013 27 May 27, 2013
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Although there is less evidence as we enter the period of the Middle Ages (the reasons for which I’ve already noted), at no time did the gifts disappear altogether. Due to limitations of space I will only be able to list the names of those in whose ministries are numerous documented instances of the revelatory gifts of prophecy, healing, discerning of spirits, miracles, together with vivid accounts of dreams and visions. For extensive documentation, see Stanley M....Read More

May 2013 27 May 27, 2013

Edwards noted that often times when visitors came to Northampton to observe the revival there (The First Great Awakening), they took it with them when they left: "There were many instances of persons who came from abroad on visits, or on business, who had not been long here, before, to all appearances, they were savingly wrought upon, and partook of that shower of divine blessing which God rained down here, and went home rejoicing; till at length the same work began e...Read More

May 2013 26 May 26, 2013
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Just as a reminder, we are looking closely at the claim of some cessationists that so-called miraculous spiritual gifts ceased to operate in the church following the close of the apostolic age. In the previous article we saw extensive evidence to the contrary. We now return to other important figures in the life of the early church. The work of Theodotus (late 2nd century) is preserved for us in Clement of Alexandria’s Excerpta ex Theodoto. In 24:1 we read: &ldqu...Read More

May 2013 25 May 25, 2013
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In a recent issue of The Christian Century (May 1, 2013; written by Mary Louise Bringle) it was reported that the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS), operating under the authority of the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A. (PCUSA) evaluated the theological merits of the popular worship song, In Christ Alone (written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend). Evidently they are preparing for the release of the denomination’s new song collection, Glory to God. ...Read More

May 2013 24 May 24, 2013
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We are now ready for a brief survey of church history (from the Apostolic Fathers to Augustine). The representative examples cited will demonstrate that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were, and are, still very much in operation. Indeed, before Chrysostom in the east (347-407 a.d.) and Augustine in the west (354-430 a.d.) no church father ever suggested that any or all of the charismata had ceased in the first century. And even Augustine later retracted his earlier ce...Read More

May 2013 22 May 22, 2013
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The question I want to answer in this and several subsequent articles is this: “If the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 are valid for Christians beyond the death of the apostles, why were they absent from church history until their alleged reappearance in the twentieth century?” My answer follows. 1) They were most decidedly not absent. They were at times less prevalent, but the same could be said about the presence of signs, wonders, and miracles in...Read More

May 2013 22 May 22, 2013
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On April 5, 1986, a terrorist attack was launched on the La Belle discothèque in West Berlin, Germany, an entertainment venue that was popular among United States soldiers. A bomb placed under a table near the disk jockey's booth exploded at 1:45 a.m. killing three people and injuring around 230 people, including 79 American servicemen. It was soon determined, beyond any doubt, that Libya was responsible for the bombing. After several days of diplomatic talks wi...Read More

May 2013 20 May 20, 2013
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I’m inclined to think the best way to respond to the tragedy that struck our community today is simply to say nothing. I have little patience for those who feel the need to theologize about such events, as if anyone possessed sufficient wisdom to discern God’s purpose. On the other hand, people will inevitably ask questions and are looking for encouragement and comfort. So how best do we love and pastor those who have suffered so terribly? I’m not cert...Read More

May 2013 20 May 20, 2013

Many argued that the revival known as the First Great Awakening couldn’t be of God because of the way people responded both physically and emotionally. Jonathan Edwards insisted that as long as we are careful to monitor the state of one's mind and moral conduct, insisting that such be in conformity with Scripture, "our fears and suspicions arising from extraordinary bodily effects seem wholly groundless" (Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in ...Read More