Amanda Middleton Theology Discussion Questions

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Post by Amanda Middleton on Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:23 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?

Bird argues that baptism in the Spirit occurs at conversion and any secondary event is considered to be filling with the Spirit. I think Bird's strongest point in his argument is that "it seems unlikely that Spirit baptism is normatively a secondary experience for Christians...there are so many conversions in Acts and so many different instances when people receive the Spirit it is impossible to determine...whether it is regeneration, Spirit baptism, indwelling, or empowering." I find this to be his strongest point because I would have a hard time arguing against it. In Acts they use various vocabulary- filled with the HS, received the HS, baptized in the HS. In the AG community, all of these instances are assumed to fall under the same category- baptism in the Spirit. Bird reads it differently; he believes that filling is different from baptism of the Spirit.
Anderson's strongest point was that "[baptism in the Spirit] is not the only important experience in the life of the believer". Often in Pentecostal circles, people forget about all the different ways a believer can grow. Anderson lists nine important elements in a Christian's spiritual life: justification, the Word, prayer and fasting, community/church body, water baptism, sanctification, ministry, baptism of the HS. You need all of these elements in your life to have the most rich spiritual life, but baptism in the Spirit is no more important than the others.


2.What is meant by the "veracity of Scripture"?

The veracity of Scripture means that the Word of God is true. "True" means that it is without error, infallible (will never fail), and inerrant (incapable of being wrong). Scripture is free from falsehood, fraud, or deceit. Many people that try to prove the bible is fallible tend to point to "inconsistencies" in Scripture. However because Scripture is infallible, there will never be inconsistencies or contradictions.
Another way of putting it is to say that the Word of God is trustworthy. We can trust God's Word because He Himself is faithful to His promises. Over and over again God has held true to His promises stated in His Word. Based on the past, we can trust that He will always hold true to His promises (because He is never changing).
Amanda Middleton
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Amanda Middleton Theology Discussion Questions  Empty Re: Amanda Middleton Theology Discussion Questions

Post by ZachAmick on Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:10 pm

Amanda Middleton 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?

Bird argues that baptism in the Spirit occurs at conversion and any secondary event is considered to be filling with the Spirit. I think Bird's strongest point in his argument is that "it seems unlikely that Spirit baptism is normatively a secondary experience for Christians...there are so many conversions in Acts and so many different instances when people receive the Spirit it is impossible to determine...whether it is regeneration, Spirit baptism, indwelling, or empowering." I find this to be his strongest point because I would have a hard time arguing against it. In Acts they use various vocabulary- filled with the HS, received the HS, baptized in the HS. In the AG community, all of these instances are assumed to fall under the same category- baptism in the Spirit. Bird reads it differently; he believes that filling is different from baptism of the Spirit.
Anderson's strongest point was that "[baptism in the Spirit] is not the only important experience in the life of the believer".  Often in Pentecostal circles, people forget about all the different ways a believer can grow. Anderson lists nine important elements in a Christian's spiritual life: justification, the Word, prayer and fasting, community/church body, water baptism, sanctification, ministry, baptism of the HS. You need all of these elements in your life to have the most rich spiritual life, but baptism in the Spirit is no more important than the others.


2.What is meant by the "veracity of Scripture"?

The veracity of Scripture means that the Word of God is true. "True" means that it is without error, infallible (will never fail), and inerrant (incapable of being wrong). Scripture is free from falsehood, fraud, or deceit. Many people that try to prove the bible is fallible tend to point to "inconsistencies" in Scripture. However because Scripture is infallible, there will never be inconsistencies or contradictions.
Another way of putting it is to say that the Word of God is trustworthy. We can trust God's Word because He Himself is faithful to His promises. Over and over again God has held true to His promises stated in His Word. Based on the past, we can trust that He will always hold true to His promises (because He is never changing).

I think one of the biggest reasons that people find inconsistencies in scripture is because they fail to recognize the overall story of scripture and get confused in small details. I also think this happens to be the root for a lot of misconceptions about Spirit baptism and the Pentecostal doctrine. In totality the Bible is a story of how God reveals himself through history. This story takes place through the entirety of history, from the beginning of creation to the eternity of new creation. So this story has a really, really big timeline, but much of it is told in very small increments. I like to think of it like a yardstick with 1/16th inch markers sporadically placed throughout. It is useful for measurement and accurate but it can be easy to get confused and end up with bad results. This is why it is important to keep in mind the whole story. On a yardstick we could say it starts with creation then the fall is one foot, redemption at two feet, and recreation at the end. Somewhere between the first and second foot is a little mark that represents Joel chapter 2. This is a prophecy of an event that marks the way between the second and third foot. That is to say, Spirit baptism as evidenced by speaking in tongues is the consistent testimony of scripture and it serves a purpose in advancing the revelation of God through humanity and history. The church and the gospel message were never intended to be driven by organizational structures, cultural influence, or clever strategies of men but by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul meant in 1 Cor. 2:4 and this is the story presented in Acts. God chose the weak, simple, and foolish things to baffle the world and to bring glory to Himself. I think that when we consider the overall story and what brings the most glory to God, we see the necessity of Spirit baptism and the veracity of scripture.
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