Alicia Ostermeyer: Theology Response

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Alicia Ostermeyer: Theology Response Empty Alicia Ostermeyer: Theology Response

Post by Alicia.O. on Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:34 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?

It really does feel difficult to explain Bird's strongest point because I'm still reflecting about what he said and what I do or don't agree with. It seemed like whenever he'd refer to "filling with the Spirit" it is what has always been described to me as baptism in the Spirit. On page 637 Bird says, " Being filled with the Spirit means to have God's empowering presence fall on you. The purpose of these spiritual fillings is chiefly evangelical; they provide heavily unction for the task of boldly declaring the gospel when human effort alone cannot succeed." It sounds like to me here Bird is describing baptism in the Holy Spirit but Bird sees that as something entirely different. It felt like to me he was hung up on wording a lot.

Anderson has what I feel is a healthy view of baptism in the Holy Spirit. He pointed out the mysteries of baptism in the Spirit and how some things are just unexplained. He recognized how there has been people who haven't been baptized in the Spirit, like Billy Graham, who have gone on to do amazing things that displayed the power of God. Yes, God has moved in non-spirit filled believers but the examples Anderson gives near the end of the article truly highlight just how much of a propeller baptism in the Holy Spirit is to building God's Kingdom. Anderson refers to Synan's article that gives evidence to how, "Pentecostals have been dramatically more successful in planting and growing churches than those who have rejected the Pentecostal understanding of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the necessity of speaking in tongues." The following statistics Anderson gives truly show that statement to be true. We may not have all the answers to baptism in the Spirit but there truly is a supernatural movement in God's people that follows baptism in the Spirit.

Does the Holy Spirit still reveal new truths?

My short answer is 'no'. The Holy Spirit can reveal truths that are new to you but they are not new to Scripture nor to the character of who God is. To think any differently can lead into dangerous territory of expanding the gospel to a point that it is no longer truth and interpreting scripture incorrectly to fit the new truth you think the Spirit revealed. Scripture is a crucial source of knowing what is true about God. If the Holy Spirit were to be still revealing new truths, it would be difficult to find grounds to test what people hear since these new truths wouldn't be found in the Bible. Because the word of God is alive and active there is an infinite amount of truth the Holy Spirit can give to us that is inline with scripture. As long as we continue to crave it, the Holy Spirit will never stop revealing the truth to us.
Alicia.O.
Alicia.O.

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Alicia Ostermeyer: Theology Response Empty Re: Alicia Ostermeyer: Theology Response

Post by Jessica Rodriguez on Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:42 pm

Alicia.O. 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?

It really does feel difficult to explain Bird's strongest point because I'm still reflecting about what he said and what I do or don't agree with. It seemed like whenever he'd refer to "filling with the Spirit" it is what has always been described to me as baptism in the Spirit. On page 637 Bird says, " Being filled with the Spirit means to have God's empowering presence fall on you. The purpose of these spiritual fillings is chiefly evangelical; they provide heavily unction for the task of boldly declaring the gospel when human effort alone cannot succeed." It sounds like to me here Bird is describing baptism in the Holy Spirit but Bird sees that as something entirely different. It felt like to me he was hung up on wording a lot.

Anderson has what I feel is a healthy view of baptism in the Holy Spirit. He pointed out the mysteries of baptism in the Spirit and how some things are just unexplained. He recognized how there has been people who haven't been baptized in the Spirit, like Billy Graham, who have gone on to do amazing things that displayed the power of God. Yes, God has moved in non-spirit filled believers but the examples Anderson gives near the end of the article truly highlight just how much of a propeller baptism in the Holy Spirit is to building God's Kingdom. Anderson refers to Synan's article that gives evidence to how, "Pentecostals have been dramatically more successful in planting and growing churches than those who have rejected the Pentecostal understanding of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the necessity of speaking in tongues." The following statistics Anderson gives truly show that statement to be true. We may not have all the answers to baptism in the Spirit but there truly is a supernatural movement in God's people that follows baptism in the Spirit.

Does the Holy Spirit still reveal new truths?

My short answer is 'no'. The Holy Spirit can reveal truths that are new to you but they are not new to Scripture nor to the character of who God is. To think any differently can lead into dangerous territory of expanding the gospel to a point that it is no longer truth and interpreting scripture incorrectly to fit the new truth you think the Spirit revealed. Scripture is a crucial source of knowing what is true about God. If the Holy Spirit were to be still revealing new truths, it would be difficult to find grounds to test what people hear since these new truths wouldn't be found in the Bible. Because the word of God is alive and active there is an infinite amount of truth the Holy Spirit can give to us that is inline with scripture. As long as we continue to crave it, the Holy Spirit will never stop revealing the truth to us.


I definitely am in the same boat that I'm not sure I agree with Bird on the difference between baptism in the Holy Spirit and filling with the Holy Spirit. When I read Anderson's explanation it made a lot of sense to me, but I do feel like it wasn't focused as much on the timeline of Holy Spirit baptism as Bird was. Although at the same time, I do agree with Bird's definition of filling with the Holy Spirit, in that it is secondary and happens after Holy Spirit baptism. It is like a refilling, a renewing and refreshing of the Spirit and can happen anytime after Holy Spirit baptism. Although, I'm curious as to what Bird would say about the gifts of the Spirit and if they are available to us at conversion. That just doesn't align with my experience or the experience of a lot of others I have been around. Why then would so many people not act in the gifts of the Spirit if all Christians have the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
Jessica Rodriguez
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