Robbymac is approaching the finish line for his opus on being post-charismatic (link here, scroll down to posts on Sept 29). On what he is trying to accomplish theologically, etc, his outline goes as follows:
- A biblical view of authority and the five-fold ministry that is not hierarchical and controlling
- A view of spiritual formation (oldskewl: discipleship) that goes beyond the typical weekly crisis-event of "ministry time" but without eshewing genuine Spirit-initiated crisis-events
- The role of spiritual gifts — including the more upfront (and often abused) gifts — in the gathered Body
- The role of faith, and what it means to be living by faith; to be people characterized by faith
- Anything else that God brings to mind as I start working on the (final) section of a Reconstructed Praxis!
I like his emphasis on not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I think there is that tendency among some emergent-types – to be so iconoclastic that at the end of the day all we actually have is a bunch of guys (maybe girls) sitting in a pub, drinking really good beer and griping about things. There is a real danger that in our disdain for mega-church models, we’ll just end up with mini-church models that will reflect what humans can do, all by themselves. Complaining about the institutional church is definitely something that can be accomplished without the Spirit of God. Like Dallas Willard has said, criticism is not a gospel.
Not that everyone is doing this, of course. But it is a real danger. It’s easy to feel proud and elite and among the chosen few who get it, and then never get around to offering any kind of alternative, never getting around to living out the gospel in new ways.
That said, I do feel a need to develop some kind of new charismatic theology, an ecclesiology that functions the way robbymac is talking about. I don’t know if I’d call it "post-charismatic" though. "Post"-anything always seems to indicate that the primary aim of the thing is simply to say what we’re not. It seems like robbymac’s opus will actually be a thoughtful piece that will take us forward, so that’s why I would question the use of the term "post-charismatic" – if you’re offering something new, that goes beyond the old definitions, don’t name it according to the old definitions. But maybe that’s just me. Either way, I look forward to reading what he has to say, and it has prompted me to start writing down some of my own thoughts on the matter (we’ve been discussing these kinds of theological issues for awhile). Perhaps more to come on that subject later, then.