Kevin Stockmann: Discussion Questions

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Kevin Stockmann: Discussion Questions Empty Kevin Stockmann: Discussion Questions

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

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 that the idea of being baptized in the Holy Spirit as a two-part process (being born again and then baptized in the spirit) as pretty solid. New birth in Christ is signified through faith, and then speaking in tongues being a sign of being filled. It seems obvious that within Acts, spirit baptism was common as a rush of uncontrollable divine power falling on someone. Especially the words of Luke 3:16 are poignant -- John the Baptist preaches that Jesus is the one coming after him who will baptize with fire and the holy spirit.

I think that Anderson's strongest point was that within Acts and other early church material, tongues does not always seem to be "the" sign. Additionally, his point about the baptism of the holy spirit as Pentecostals see it being a singular event and the unlocking of more evangelical power that Jesus desires us to have and it being only one of many ways that the Spirit moves is powerful. It definitely seems that the Holy Spirit fills many people at different times, and various people like Billy Graham had incredible evangelistic talents and wasn't filled with a Holy Spirit baptism. So people in the church have gifts and can be filled, all without an official filling and baptism. And in my experience, I felt the Holy Spirit come down upon me and fill me during various times in my life before being officially baptized in the Holy Spirit (I believe that I was).

So to close this out, it seems to me that Pentecostals typically put way too much emphasis on speaking in tongues and prayer language. However, I do believe that the baptism of the holy spirit and charismatic activity is incredibly important and genuine, and other churches are missing out on holy power and misleading people to believe that the Holy Spirit isn't active in specific and important ways that the bible describes him as being as.

2. Do people in your churches think of the Holy Spirit as an impersonal power:

I think that within my Methodist home church, this is true to a large extent. I more or less believed that as a kid. Not that they taught that, it was actually more of an absence of teaching that allowed that teaching in. They barely talked about the Holy Spirit at all, and I more or less believed that it was just the presence of God, not an actual person. Going to my home church as an adult, I see that my pastors don't believe that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal power, although the way they communicate about it seems more impersonal. I think that a lot of people in my home congregation probably do not believe very strongly about the Holy Spirit. It definitely isn't our focus, that's for sure. It's difficult to say whether they think that He is impersonal or whether he just doesn't have much power, or even that they don't believe that he is that active within our lives. Obviously they believe the Holy Spirit is within us, sanctifying us; we are his temple. But I think a lot of what Pentecostal churches attribute to the work of the holy spirit, my home church attributes more to "God" in general or the father. And in regards to Holy Spirit baptisms, tongues, and that kind of stuff, I'm not sure what they actually believe although it sounds an awful lot like cessationist thought.

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