Charismatic Renewal: 10 Suggestions for the Way Forward
In the previous post I looked at 10 strengths and weaknesses of charismatic renewal. If the charismatic renewal is not only to thrive in the days ahead but also expand its influence in the broader evangelical world, several things must occur. Included among these, in no particular order, are:
(1) Charismatics must return to a robust view of the gospel and how it functions to shape all of life and belief.
(2) There is a great need in charismatic circles for a more explicitly Christological center to theology and ministry. In other words, without diminishing their emphasis on the Holy Spirit, charismatics must elevate their focus on Jesus Christ: his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation. In a sense, Pneumatology must be subservient to Christology.
(3) Charismatics are notoriously weak when it comes to ecclesiology. This is seen in: a) the tendency to embrace structures of local church leadership that are alien to the NT pattern; b) a flippant and casual approach to both church membership and discipline; c) a low view of the nature and priority of the sacraments; and d) an overall failure to recognize the centrality of the local church as God’s primary means for expanding the kingdom and exalting his Son (see Eph. 3:10).
(4) Charismatics must turn from a man-centered (anthropocentric) orientation to a more biblically robust God-centered or theocentric perspective on the faith. This should express itself in at least three ways: a) a thorough refutation of open theism which, sadly, has infected much of the charismatic world; b) a comparatively more Reformed understanding of soteriology (although this need not entail full-blown 5-point Calvinism); and c) a recognition of the centrality of God’s glory as the ultimate purpose for both creation and redemption.
(5) There is a great n