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Is Christianity at it's best when it's mystical or rational?

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by Fenwick, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    Well, my immediate thought is that when I think of mystical Christianity, I do NOT think of charismatic stuff or any of the kinds of things you mention. I don't think that is mystical at all.

    I think both the mystical and rational are important, and ultimately not meant to be separated.
     
  2. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    ^This

    Mystical shouldn't be a synonym of emotional, especially the Charismatic/Pentecostal kind.
     
  3. Thekla

    Thekla Guest

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    Mystical + rational = incarnational :)
     
  4. duolos

    duolos ὁ δοῦλος

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    I also think it would be very unfair to look at Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity in light of Bethel, IHOP, etc who represent a different beast altogether being part of Wagner's so called New Apostolic Reformation.
     
  5. Fenwick

    Fenwick I literally don't care

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    Hm, I always felt they were the quintessential charismatics. Though I would differentiate them from Pentecostals since the former is a newer incarnation of the older and thus, I believe, even more chaotic.

    I remember hearing about the New Apostolic Reformation from a guy that's basically a pseudo-elder at my old church, he was one of the instrumental folks in pushing all of that stuff into the life of the congregation. At first I didn't think anything of it, but then I researched it a tad and felt pretty uncomfortable with what I read.
     
  6. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    To be "Charismatic" only means that a denomination is not Cessationist; "Charismatic" merely means that the denomination believes the charisma gifts are still active.

    Thus, even the Roman Catholic Church is, indeed, Charismatic and has always been (yes, there are some Catholics who even practice glossolalia).

    Being Charismatic does not necessarily mean one does backflips down the aisle.

    Both Protestant and Catholics have relatively recent Charismatic movements, which are efforts to increase emphasis on the Charismatic gifts, and, yes, those may frequently over-emphasize the gifts.
     
  7. duolos

    duolos ὁ δοῦλος

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    If you read Nine O'Clock in the Morning by Dennis Bennett, you see that there is a very big distinction between what he would have called Charismaticism and the NAR, his is typified more by increased love of Scripture, and increased fellowship love. I agree that both Charismaticism as a whole and the NAR have tendencies to "evangelise" only within the Church, but I think that was to a lesser extent in Charismaticism than in the NAR, but it's much like Calvinism in that regard, they have something that lets them feel closer to God and so they want to share it both within and without Christendom and can sometimes view themselves as an elite, though while Calvinism has their anthropology to mediate this Charismaticism in general doesn't.

    I think I'll join the chorus of both with a quote from a Charismatic perspective; (I think he was also CofE, they're still very evenkeeled in their Charismaticism)
    If you have the Word but not the Spirit you will dry up.
    If you have the Spirit but not The Word you will blow up!
    If you have The Spirit AND The Word you will grow up.​
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  8. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I agree with those who are making a distinction. I've seen some wild stuff, but that always tends to make me uncomfortable. I have a really hard time believing the Holy Spirit is going to make half a congregation start barking like dogs or twittering like birds. I prefer to distance myself from such "manifestations".

    But at the same time I have claimed conservative charismatic as part of my background. By that yes, we generally meant that there has been no cessation of the "gifts" or working of the Holy Spirit. I'm actually surprised that anyone would go on record AGAINST such a belief (meaning God is now totally hands-off and has left us a book in place of the Holy Spirit), though I've met a few who hold this.

    Really I think there needs to be a distinction from one end of the spectrum to another. I used to attend a Foursquare church that I would actually challenge anyone to differentiate from a Baptist church with contemporary worship as a casual observer. Such a place is where I felt comfortable at that time, but it WAS technically a Pentecostal denomination.
     
  9. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    There is charismatic and Charismatic. The title of Charismatic, requiring a capitalized "C" due to the fact it is a title and therefore a noun, is always in reference to the Charismatic Movement. The other, charismatic, is not a noun but an adjective, or something that describes a noun. Thus a person of any Traditional Christian group is inherently charismatic, but isn't a Charismatic, because they aren't a part of the Charismatic Movement.

    Or at least, that's proper English.
     
  10. duolos

    duolos ὁ δοῦλος

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    Which was Dennis Bennett?
     
  11. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    Charismatic. He departed the church.
     
  12. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Except:
    charismatic - definition and synonyms
    Definition of charismatic in English:
    adjective
    1. Exercising a compelling charm that inspires devotion in others: a charismatic leader
     
  13. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    Again, this ignores the fact that there is a Charismatic Movement group, and the fact that the dictionary doesn't recognize it means that its simple definition doesn't actually work without that knowledge.
     
  14. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    So there are three things to distinguish: The secular definition of "charismatic" and the two Christian concepts, one being classical and the other being nouveau.

    My point is that it's certainly not just "proper English" to assert that lower case "charismatic" specifically denotes Christians who are not Cessationists. That's not the primary meaning of "charismatic" in "proper English."
     
  15. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    Or that the secular and one of the "Christian" concepts are the same and that there is one more that, because a general dictionary doesn't dwell too much on theology, it doesn't really formally provide for, though that doesn't mean it isn't English because other dictionaries provide for it.

    Medical dictionaries aren't what a 6th grader turns to in order to look up words for a short paper, but they are something a medical student turns to in order to remember the English names for various biological parts so she won't misunderstand a sympathetic nerve for a parasympathetic nerve when the terms are used.

    See my above. In short a dictionary isn't meant to be exhaustive, which is increasingly, quite rapidly at that, impossible given the utter explosion of new words in the last few decades.
     
  16. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I'll have to pay closer attention to that, thanks.

    Perhaps a bit like we distinguish between "big T" and "little t" T/traditions in the Orthodox Church.
     
  17. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    Sort of. That's more of a particularity still, although within the Christian religion, it is becoming a part of the theological dictionary of Christianity.
     
  18. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    I have been of the Reformed faith in general for many years. I don't subscribe to all of the things believed by Reformed. For instance I am a 4 point Calvinist when it comes to what I believe about the offer of the atonement being for all men. I am dispensational and believe in a literal millennium. That is different than what is believed by most Reformed.

    I have been of the Charismatic faith in general for many years. I don't subscribe to all of the things believed by Charismatics. For instance I speak and pray in tongues. But I do not believe that just speaking in tongues qualifies one being called "filled with the Spirit". I believe Pentecost was a continued experience to initial salvation. But I do not believe that the way this experience is taught and ministered in most Pentecostal churches is correct.

    I find that believing the tenets usually expressed in Reformed circles with some exceptions is simply believing the Bible. I believe exactly the same thing concerning the continuation of gifts and their practice.

    IMO a truly Bible believing Christian will come down with a foot lightly planted in both of these two camps. :)
     
  19. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Both are not good form.
    The only scripturally supported method is Berean.

    11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,
    for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures
    every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek
    women and many Greek men.
     
  20. Tzaousios

    Tzaousios Αυγουστινιανικός Χριστιανός

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    That would seem to establish a false dilemma. There is nothing in the account of the Bereans that would preclude a balance of rational and mystical elements in one's Christian life.
     
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