The Great Charismatic Hijack

Some time ago, I mentioned to some old friends that I would love to write a book with this title. They loved the title and felt immediately that they knew what I would write. So far so good: an instant positive response and a sense that the title was self-explanatory. Maybe I had a new ‘Post-Evangelical’ or ‘A Churchless Faith’ on my hands. Unfortunately the story that they instantly felt that the proposed book would tell was not the same one that I was espousing. In their scenario, the Evangelical Church was taken over by mad Fundamentalist Charismatics who ruined it.This surprised me at first. After all “The Great Train Robbery” was not a robbery carried out by a train. “The Great Rock and Roll Swindle” was not a swindle perpetrated by Rock and Roll. I was clearly referring to the hijacking of the Charismatic movement by something or someone else.It seems as if (I actually wrote, ‘just seems as if’, then noticed and edited it out) the word ‘Charismatic’ has become such an evil word amongst post-Restoration refugees that if you put it next to any accusation, it is automatically perceived as the villain.Which is a huge pity, because an exploration of the whole area of charisms with your inerrantist literalist glasses off reveals a whole wealth of understanding that we who experience sychronicity in our lives and call it ‘divine intervention’ and seem to receive extra information from the ether and call it ‘a word from God’, can usefully apply. It also sheds light on the sticky problem of unfolding revelation and dovetails well with post-modern understanding of media. More in a year or two….. 

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