Zach Amick Theology Response

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Post by ZachAmick on Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:02 am

1.What do you think was Bird’s strongest point in his explanation of “baptism in the Spirit”? What was Anderson’s strongest point?

I think the strongest point that Bird had in explaining his doubt about baptism in the Spirit was his first point which questions the common Pentecostal interpretation of John 20. His first few comments about when Jesus was glorified and that John might be telescoping the resurrection-ascension-Spirit outpouring, can be quickly discarded since this calls into question the unity of the biblical story in such a way that we either have to declare the superior the synoptics or John and the other unworthy of creating doctrine. Anyone who would seriously propose these arguments runs a danger of destroying scripture to protect doctrine. It is what follows where Bird makes his best point however. To state that Jesus breathing on his disciples was a symbolic act is a difficult thing to disprove. From my perspective, the strength in Bird’s point is not necessarily in support of his view but in damage to the Pentecostal view. If this is indeed a symbolic act then that means that the disciples had not received Holy Spirit in any form before the day of Pentecost, so now we would have to go elsewhere to find evidence of the initial deposit of the Spirit and the second blessing of the baptism.

Anderson’s article is probably the best thing I have read explaining the doctrine and application of baptism in the Spirit. He makes a ton of great points in his article and when somebody so readily admits the faults and errors of those within the same camp, it shows evidence of serious self-reflection and critical insight. I really love his point that Spirit baptism is not the only spiritual element in a Christian’s life, and that it is not the door through which Christian’s access all power and gifts for ministry but that we do gain more power and gifts for ministry. It is from this that perhaps his strongest point is made, at least in my eyes. The evidence of changed lives and a growing empowered body around the world is impossible to deny. A doctrine that was rediscovered with a handful of people in 1901 has grown to a worldwide movement with well over 40 million people in 100 years is powerful evidence. This fact is heightened by showing non-pentecostal church growth is shockingly slower during the same time period. While many may try to point to other reasons for the success of the Pentecostal church, it is the testimony of Pentecostals that points to increased empowerment through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.


2.Select a question from page 648 and write a response.


Do you think we should worship the Holy Spirit?
Yes! Holy Spirit is God and God must be worshiped. Holy Spirit was active in creation, and He is present throughout all of scripture, equipping, empowering, speaking, leading, and doings all sorts of awesome God things! We see in the Spirit many of the traits of God, He is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and all those other confusing omni-words. He is no less God than the Father or the Son, He is fully God. God alone deserves worship and all praise. Since Holy Spirit is God, we should worship Him!
ZachAmick
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Post by Brenton Malnofski on Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:41 pm

Love your answer to the second question. I think from our Pentecostal point of view, this question is relatively straightforward. The Holy Spirit is indeed God, and we should worship Him! But I loved the added emphasis you put on your answer with the reminders of the Holy Spirit being present throughout scripture, and having the same traits of the Father and Son. It’s important to remember, since oftentimes the Holy Spirit gets lost in the shuffle or forgotten. I think our movement does a good job of not letting that happen.

I also appreciate your takedown of Bird when you talk about declaring certain parts of scripture superior. “Destroying scripture to protect doctrine” is a simple, yet elegant warning against this type of thinking. I think we all need to be mindful of how we argue for certain doctrines, and remember to put scripture first. Perhaps that’s a relatively basic token of wisdom, but it’s vital nonetheless.
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Post by stockmannk on Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:14 pm

ZachAmick wrote:1.What do you think was Bird’s strongest point in his explanation of “baptism in the Spirit”? What was Anderson’s strongest point?

I think the strongest point that Bird had in explaining his doubt about baptism in the Spirit was his first point which questions the common Pentecostal interpretation of John 20. His first few comments about when Jesus was glorified and that John might be telescoping the resurrection-ascension-Spirit outpouring, can be quickly discarded since this calls into question the unity of the biblical story in such a way that we either have to declare the superior the synoptics or John and the other unworthy of creating doctrine. Anyone who would seriously propose these arguments runs a danger of destroying scripture to protect doctrine. It is what follows where Bird makes his best point however. To state that Jesus breathing on his disciples was a symbolic act is a difficult thing to disprove. From my perspective, the strength in Bird’s point is not necessarily in support of his view but in damage to the Pentecostal view. If this is indeed a symbolic act then that means that the disciples had not received Holy Spirit in any form before the day of Pentecost, so now we would have to go elsewhere to find evidence of the initial deposit of the Spirit and the second blessing of the baptism.

Anderson’s article is probably the best thing I have read explaining the doctrine and application of baptism in the Spirit. He makes a ton of great points in his article and when somebody so readily admits the faults and errors of those within the same camp, it shows evidence of serious self-reflection and critical insight. I really love his point that Spirit baptism is not the only spiritual element in a Christian’s life, and that it is not the door through which Christian’s access all power and gifts for ministry but that we do gain more power and gifts for ministry. It is from this that perhaps his strongest point is made, at least in my eyes. The evidence of changed lives and a growing empowered body around the world is impossible to deny. A doctrine that was rediscovered with a handful of people in 1901 has grown to a worldwide movement with well over 40 million people in 100 years is powerful evidence. This fact is heightened by showing non-pentecostal church growth is shockingly slower during the same time period. While many may try to point to other reasons for the success of the Pentecostal church, it is the testimony of Pentecostals that points to increased empowerment through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.


2.Select a question from page 648 and write a response.


Do you think we should worship the Holy Spirit?
Yes! Holy Spirit is God and God must be worshiped. Holy Spirit was active in creation, and He is present throughout all of scripture, equipping, empowering, speaking, leading, and doings all sorts of awesome God things! We see in the Spirit many of the traits of God, He is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and all those other confusing omni-words. He is no less God than the Father or the Son, He is fully God. God alone deserves worship and all praise. Since Holy Spirit is God, we should worship Him!

Zach, the way you answered the second question was fantastic. In fact, it drove me to worship and say my hallelujah! This chapter helped me to understand more fully the depth of the Holy Spirit's interaction within the Old Testament, Israel, and even Jesus' ministry. I grew up in a Methodist church that didn't really talk much at all about the Holy Spirit, and as such didn't have a very robust or rich idea of the Holy Spirit and his deity. Joining chi alpha has been a massive course correction and a filling out of a massive blind spot within my faith. The Holy Spirit should be worshiped just as much as the Father and the Son.
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