A friend pointed me to Tim Challies’ recent interview with John MacArthur in which MacArthur doubled down on the claims made in his Strange Fire conference condemning the charismatic movement in Christianity. While I don’t have time to consider MacArthur’s scriptural arguments exhaustively, one of the passages he used to support his cessationist view that the Holy Spirit has stopped revealing things to people in the way that happened in Biblical times is Ephesians 2:20. I find his use of this passage providentially ironic and a good opportunity to illustrate how differently we read the Bible.
Maybe you haven’t heard of John MacArthur. He hosted a conference recently called Strange Fire in which he accused charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,” the only unforgivable sin according to Jesus in Mark 3:29. It’s a pretty tremendous accusation to make against half a billion Christians. This has caused quite a stir in the evangelical blogosphere with responses from Adrian Warnock, Trevin Wax, Tim Challies, Michael Brown, Brandan Robertson, and others. So how does Jesus use the phrase “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” and it is it compatible with MacArthur’s accusations? Continue reading
Along with fellow bloggers Kurt Willems and Carson Clark, I have been contemplating my identity as an evangelical who is at odds with many other Christians that identify themselves as evangelical. I’m sure someone is snickering that this is the sort of thing that a privileged white Jesus nerd with too much time on his hands would pontificate about. Anyway, I’ve decided not to call the Christians I’ve been beefing with all my life evangelicals anymore. Since the word fundamentalist has apparently gone out of circulation, I’ve decided to rename them anathematicals. Let me explain. Continue reading