October 11, 2014
It’s all yours today…
September 9, 2015
January 30, 2016
May 31, 2018
In reading about Luther, the Anabaptists and more, it has been stated (and I’ve heard likewise) “the last move of God and the people involved in it, are the persecutors of the NEXT move of God.”
How true do YOU ( the learned readers of PP) to so see that?
In modern times?
Depends on how you define a “move of God”.
Historically, Lutherans didn’t like the Reformed, the Reformed didn’t like Arminians, and both groups loathed the Pentecostals.
I think the last move of God was the Jesus People movement…and those involved in it already are up in arms over the next gen coming out of their revival.
I think God is always moving whether or not it makes it to our history books.
I don’t think the movement of God is affected by the actions of people at all – just as I don’t think there was a “last” move of God or that the is a “next” move of God.
What happens between these moves of God? Is God off on a Mediterranean cruise?
About 2 weeks ago I found The book of Concord at a resale shop for 1$ and I’m enjoying the read.
I find some similarities between the mentality of a dispensationalist and a revivalist. They both seem to be putting God into a time based box. I agree with MLD, what is happening in between these moves of God?
“Move of God…” I like all the posts above… remembering that the Holy Spirit indwells the Church and moves like the wind, I’m thinking that He is always moving – ever hear of a wind not “moving?” bad analogy, I know. But maybe it isn’t a question of ‘is God moving?’ rather it is a question of how intensely…
Right now it is the Muslim world that is all a twitter as they feel a move of the Imam coming… maybe, we need a heads up on that, praying that God will move in the Church – strengthening each of us with focus and wisdom to go through until God really moves.
We fall back on the fables: “the sky is falling,” “the wolf is coming.” and smile and count our money or lack thereof… dunno… praying for wisdom
What is it called with the “next generation” after the Jesus People?
Does ANYONE claim there is a different post-Jesus People “move of God?”
“Neo Calvinism/Neo Reformed”
I ask because y’all know better than me
Martin Luther’s Disciple
“I don’t think the movement of God is affected by the actions of people at all – just as I don’t think there was a “last” move of God or that the is a “next” move of God.
What happens between these moves of God? Is God off on a Mediterranean cruise?”
Historians see distinct beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and character traits at different periods if time. Surely, as a Lutheran, you can grasp that. or does synergism push your buttons?
The Dark Ages were the Dark Ages, not because God was on a cruise, but because the “people of God” ruined everything. Or do you see it differently?
It seems we Christians put other Christians in boxes more than Christians put God in a box….someone tell me I’m wrong
Jtk, do we put other Christians in boxes or do we build those boxes to contain our kind? dunno…
if one applied the sheep analogy it creates a ponder… the sheep were only penned up at night and, if kept in a pen for very long that pen would get very dirty…
let the Christians out to graze! Can’t the shepherds protect the sheep outside of a pen?
sorry, I know most folk hate simple minded analogies… I will leave now and do my chores … or take a nap … or something
I don’t believe that there is a revival currently, at least in the U.S.
The Jesus People movement has moved on to the next generation and that generation isn’t swallowing all the ways of the first, thus the conflict.
I must return to my study of Romans 1, which is kicking the liberal out of me…
Em @7…really great point:
“Right now it is the Muslim world that is all a twitter as they feel a move of the Imam coming… maybe, we need a heads up on that, praying that God will move in the Church – strengthening each of us with focus and wisdom to go through until God really moves.”
We know that God will move….we just need to hear, respond, look for His direction.
Thanks, Em, for sharing your wisdom!
I got into a debate with some Lutheran friends on a topic related to #9, 12, 13 and previous comments. If you’re wearing the right spectacles, you might read what I’m about to say as synergism or works righteousness, but here goes (and it’s not):
We shouldn’t expect God to do for His Church what he established His church to do for Him. God doesn’t need our help; He could do it all if He wanted (and regarding matters of personal salvation and sanctification He does), but Christ established His church before he ascended to the Father and sent his Spirit to indwell His followers to empower the church to continue His ministry of reconciliation to the world.
Therefore, if we see Christian movements ebb and flow in history, it is not God who is ebbing and flowing, it is the faithfulness of His body which is ebbing and flowing.
” but because the “people of God” ruined everything. Or do you see it differently?”
Of course I see it differently – are you saying that the ‘Dark Ages’ were a time that man thwarted God’s ‘move’ – God’s plan. God was placed in God jail where he could not continue his work?
It sounds like you are saying that there are less people in heaven than God expected because you did not do something or because you did not do it right.
I’ve read comments from atheists that the “Dark Ages” were a period in which casting off the limitations of Aristotle’s metaphysics led to scientific breakthroughs and that the history of medieval Europe isn’t as simple as Enlightenment era polemics have made it out to be. The whole university/scholastic tradition in the West owes at least a little to the “dark ages”. It stunk but in some sense the plight of the common peasant in that period was better than it was in Rome’s golden age.
That’s a great question, one of many issues which naturally flow out of what I said. Guys with the intellect of Aquinas are needed to noodle through all the permutations. How did you get stuck with me?
Where does God’s sovereignty intersect with human free will? That may be the crux of your question. Before Cain killed Abel, God warned Cain. God knew the outcome, it was against His will, but He didn’t stop Cain. Did man thwart God’s will?
Jean – I love being stuck with you. I don’t know if you noticed or not but periodically I go in and “like” your comments at the Lutheran site.
As you may know in the Lutheran world pre conversion man has no free will for things above. Oh, he has plenty of will when it comes time to choose the color socks you wear or who to marry etc – but on things above man’s will is bound.
MLD, Commenting on the Lutheran site is a contact sport. People throw me some good stuff. As we speak, I’m reading an article on Sanctification in the Lutheran confessions from the Concordia Theological Quarterly, which someone posted for me.
@#7 FWIW ‘imam’ is incorrect, is it ‘Imhadii?’
and would it be accurate to say that man can thwart God’s will (for him), but not God’s sovereignty?
You didn’t like or agree with the discussion of different “moves of God” (or one could say denominations, groups of believers), because it implied that God may not be moving at the other times. But you cannot deny God used very distinct men and women at very specific times to do things that varied widely from what others in their cultures and other “church folk” did. Or do you deny such?
And yes, I am saying that the church (men) did not act like they were called to act. I do think that limits God TO SOME DEGREE.
Likewise, when the Martin Luther’s, Jean Calvin’s, and men of God beyond them rediscovered “lost” and neglected truths, they deserve SOME credit. Certainly God orchestrates these things, but is it not beyond the warp and wood of scripture (and logic) to completely deny what men do and did on this earth?
I know (and have some appreciation) for your abilities to stir the pot but I’d appreciate your honesty and consideration, even ask for gentleness, in your response.
And if you want to correct my errant ideas, by all means do so.
“Woof” of scripture
I don’t think that Luther was a special work or a new work of God at all. God had and has used people at all times. Oh, some may not have had the impact or the notoriety of a Luther or Calvin, but they were men and women of God being moved by God as he moves all people.
I don’t think God sat back and said “look I have been using Sally and Jill and Tom and Bill, but if you want to see something now, watch what I do with this guy Luther.”
God’s movement goes through you – and even someone like me. It has not stopped since he used the first person.
The movement of God is non stop, and never deterred… not a bit.
In Romans Chapter 12, Paul wrote that “God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith” (4). Later in that chapter he wrote “[i]f the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith” (7). This would be consistent with the OT witness that God at times and for His purposes calls specific individuals (or peoples) to make an extraordinary and in many cases improbable impact on human history.
Luther, Calvin and dare I say the Wesley brothers may have been among those especially gifted individuals.
I don’t know about especially gifted. Luther was one of many who was moved and caught up in God’s work. He did not do this in a vacuum. Some folks had to encourage him, protect him – do some dirty work for him – there may have been a million people God used to move a Luther.
And how about the guy who said “Marty, quit your bitchin’, if you have something to say go post it for the church leaders to see.”
God moves like a mighty river and carries us all along – even if its to clear the debris. Can anyone really say that there have been Christians that God has not used exactly as he wanted to use them?
There is no such thing as revival – how would you explain what some would call a revival through the Jesus Movement was the exact same time that the Church died in Europe?
Funny thing, I didn’t use the word ” revival.”
I appreciate the answers and perspective.
MLD, would I be safe to assume that you don’t see much importance in the unique individuality and personality of each of the Old Testament and New Testament writers?
move of God and revival were linked together by Michael in his response to you at #2.
What I am trying to say, and perhaps not well enough is that God moves 24/7/365 and uses ALL Christians as he goes. Some folks have harder jobs, some more detailed jobs and some – like most of us with the more mundane callings.
So, even though the Apostle Paul was used greatly to write books and letter of the Bible, he wasn’t the only one used to manifest the move of God.
What about the guy who delivered the letters to the churches? What if he had stopped into a 7 /11 store for a Slurpee and decided, ‘what the heck’ and tossed the letters in the trash? Then we would have never heard of the Apostle Paul and would think that God was not moving at that time. 😉
MLD is like old log that has been sitting at the bottom of a pond. A log good enough to be made into a nice piece of furniture, and possibly placed in a museum. But a wet log none the less, soaked in religion, dead works, sarcasm, and debate. Even if the Father ordered , that a move of the Holy Spirit would to occur, it would go undiscerned, choosing rather a place of respectability, instead of receiving the Spirits annointing and fire.
It’s a funny theology where the Holy Spirit sits on the bench. That there are times when The Father does not want the Holy Spirit to move, where he just leaves man to survive on his own as God turns a blind eye.
And then, so people will remember this God, he sends this Holy spirit up to pinch hit and perhaps score a game winner for the Father (called a move of God – or in some circles revival)..
Well, if that’s the case, I am willing to be the wet log who believes that God AND the Holy Spirit are ALWAYS at work. Isn’t it odd that through this I have argued that there is a constant move of God – it’s not a turn on / turn off process, and someone comes along and says that makes me as NOT receiving the Spirits annointing and fire.
I don’t know who this “E” is but I’ll be he believes in The Left Behind mythology also.
As I hit the send button, I realized that some people have this theological need for the NEW. What God has done in the past is not good enough today to feed and protect his people. What God has done in the past is not good enough today to get people saved. Something new must come along.
When in the past it was sufficient to preach Christ and him crucified to get people saved – well in today’s world that is no longer good enough. God has lost his edge – something new is needed – seeker sensitive churches – bands at center stage – new translations of God’s word that takes the edges off. And people sit in these environments for the next 20yrs listening to the seeker message.
Uggh!!! I am going back to the bottom of pond. 😉
Do you think God was moving during the 300+ plus years of the Jewish slavery to the Egyptians prior to His calling of Moses into service to tell Pharaoh, “Let My people go.”
I believe that if we could have interviewed one of the Egyptians Jewish slaves, back then, they would have told us that they may have thought that God was dead.
Wouldn’t that be considered as a move of God, for the Jews, when Moses showed up and obtained their freedom?
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
Christ (God) ‘gave’ gifted men to the Church just as He gave Moses to the Jews.
And these genuine ministry gifts to the church were utilized by God to move through.
Some of them more extraordinary then others.
It would be the extraordinary ministry gifts to the Church that we take note of and think of as being a move of God.
God saw fit to record in the Biblical record these individuals and events for future generations to know about.
Because He had moved through them…
Yes God is always in motion because He is everliving but then again:
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
It is those exaltings that we take note of as being a move of God.
Ya, it is just semantics.
But even the Biblical record takes note of when there are extraordinary men, men above ordinary.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
“Men of renown.”
While these men of renown were the spawn of that which was not good using the daughters of men to bare their children, we are still told about it, even though the men of renown were evil giants like Goliath.
So we men, in like manner, take note of the times where God moves through certain good humans at certain times, and we like to think that it was a move of God.
At times men of God cry out to God to move one more time through his people; in their hearts they are believing that there has got to be more than what is their current experience in God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 states:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The forgiving of sin and the healing of the land would be a genuine unique move of God in most Christians eyes.
So what was God doing prior to “His people” humbling themselves and praying and seeking after God’s face?
God was ‘sitting on the bench.’
He was not forgiving their sin or healing their land apparently or why else admonish them in 2 Chronicles 7:14?
It could be worse; somehow being referred to as a log at the bottom of the pond sounds better than being referred to as a log floating at the top 🙂
But seriously everyone, Jesus did not say that man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of John Calvin. Neither did the author of Hebrews say that the creeds or Lutheran confessions are sharper than any two-edged sword…. Creeds, doctrines and confessions have some value, but they should never by treated as a substitute for the Bible, because the Bible is not a collection of abstract truths; it is for the most part a historical narrative. The danger of reducing everything to abstract truths is not only potential error (which is bad enough), but in my opinion loss of the transformative impact of a life soaked in Scripture.
One might object to the idea of God doing something “new”, referring to the doctrine of immutability (God cannot change) or some other doctrine. But speaking through the prophet Isaiah, God said “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a *new* thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Or one might object to the idea that God is not everywhere all the time referring to God’s omnipresence or Psalm 139 (“Where shall I go from your Spirit?”). But Genesis 4 speaks of Cain going “away from the presence of the Lord….” When Solomon dedicated the Temple, God’s Spirit came and filled it. In the 2nd Chapter of Acts, God’s Spirit filled the house where the disciples were staying with the sound of a mighty rushing wind. On the other hand, we find Paul in 1 Thess warning the Christians there: “Do not quench the Spirit.”
It would be a lot easier if the Bible was a tighty 15 article, 45 part, 90 section, 1015 paragraph creed, but alas it’s not. It’s a multi-authored (yes human authored), yet God inspired book. It is living, because it speaks to all people everywhere at all times throughout history, and it enlightens, confounds, convicts, and bestows God’s grace on the listener/reader. This was the way God wanted to give us our Scriptures. Let’s not box God in. God may have boxed himself in, but the box God constructed for himself is a lot bigger than what many of us believe or wish it is.
The I guess we could say that God’s new move was to give us the creeds and confessions as primary use over the scriptures.
How do you know – if we are going to get new things all the time?
PS – the “new” thing wasn’t the issue as much as God does a work – naps for 500 yr then does another work.
MLD, Did you have a bad piece of pizza last night?
I guess I just don’t know what this “new” thing you are looking for. Yes, God worked a new thing that Isaiah wrote about – his name is Jesus Christ.
What next new thing are you looking for.
Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit lives in each one of us – how are you looking to top that with “the next new move”?
I have found that in the churches that point to new moves of the spirit do not understand the gospel message. The gospel message instead of being a foundation – becomes a moving target.
I guess all I have to say is blessings to any of you who are still on that search.
Hey Jean – send me that sanctification link.
David – I will ask you the same question – after the ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit, what new work are you looking for? New work implies the old work has run it’s course.
No one has given me one clue as to what we would look for or how we would know it.
It does help to know one’s Bible.
MLD is no log!
David – I hope your #39 is an agreement with me – that what Isaiah spoke of is the new work that was done once and for all Jesus Christ.
But i will add – that new work is a continual action. That new work happened yesterday and it is happening today and in the same manner will happen tomorrow.
“what new work are you looking for?” – Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. New does not always mean the replacement of the old or that something is needed because the old is not wholly sufficient. In sending Christ and the Spirit, God has given humanity everything necessary for salvation; nothing was omitted. Yet after those gifts, He appointed the Apostle Paul through an additional appearance.
“what we would look for or how we would know it.” It looks like the growth of a mustard seed or the leavening of a loaf of bread. However, only in hindsight is fully recognized.
Did Luther and those around him during his life fully recognize what God was doing in the Reformation? Looking back, it’s hard not to see God’s hand at work. Even if you are RCC, much reform within the RCC has come about as a result of the critique of the Reformation.
Did John Wesley live to see the Methodist movement in England, which tangibly transformed England during his life, become the first Great Awakening in America?
America and Europe desperately need another “awakening.” If it be God’s will to anoint an individual or movement to bring it about, who would complain?
“Did Luther and those around him during his life fully recognize what God was doing in the Reformation? ”
If you are going to look at the Reformation as ‘new’ and not a taking back to the correct.
“America and Europe desperately need another “awakening.” – so tell your pastor to preach the gospel – tell him to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified every week. That’s what I heard yesterday … what did you hear?
And if that is not good enough, what do you think the pastor should preach?
Is Luther’s work and Wesley’s work any different than the work being done today in the emerging nations?
It is all the same work of the spirit – non stop. No new – no old – only the work of God… continual motion.
“If you are going to look at the Reformation as ‘new’ and not a taking back to the correct.”
It was both “new” and a “taking back to the correct.”
“Is Luther’s work and Wesley’s work any different than the work being done today in the emerging nations?”
I’m not an expert on evangelization of the emerging nations, so I’m going out on a limb here. But, perhaps existing methods of evangelization are effective in the emerging nations, as they once were effective in first world countries. However, today the first world is infected with humanism, post-modernism, the enlightenment, scientism, etc. Existing methodologies of evangelization are not as effective in the first world countries. The church in general in the first world is losing battles over the cultural direction of our societies.
Something both “new” and a “taking back to the correct” is needed.
Are you saying that preaching the gospel is not good enough any longer – we need different bait?
This may be a difference that makes a difference. I believe that the word of God does convert people. People hear the preached word, people get saved by the preached word.
The fact that people find new ways to harden their already hardened hearts through humanism, post-modernism, the enlightenment, scientism, etc. makes no difference.
It’s funny that you would bring up ” Existing methodologies” as that was a big Wesley thing – saving people by methods and not necessarily the word. Charles Finney operated the same way – to draw through emotionalism and cunning.
Yes MLD I agree with you. However, I do think it boils down to semantics.
The changeless gospel message indeed is the power of God unto salvation.
A lot of today’s pulpits have all but abandoned this gospel message and have or will end up on the garbage heap. A prime example in recent times would be Robert Schullers message as opposed to the simplicity of the gospel.
Cheap shots at John Wesley and Robert Schuller duly noted.
Since you two are obscure people nobody has heard of, or ever will hear of, I guess that is OK.
Coming on the Internet and taking cheap shots is the modern tradition of the Pharisees.
Here is the rule: If you take a cheap shot, and use a real name for the target, use your own real name, too. Be a man. Or a woman.
If you take a cheap shot at the air like I do, and never mention any names, have fun.
Thanks for your informative rule “PP vet” and your advice to me.
David Sloane is my name, what’s yours?
I still think that Schullers “Norman Vincent Peale” type message was not the gospel message. If that opinion of mine is a cheap shot as you have suggested; I can only wonder what you think the gospel message is.
Oh no. Was that a cheap shot?
I love my obscurity, don’t you;
I was moved by a “new” work of the Holy Spirit to take my cheap shot. 😉
And when you say it was from the HS – no one can argue with you.
“It’s funny that you would bring up ” Existing methodologies” as that was a big Wesley thing – saving people by methods and not necessarily the word. Charles Finney operated the same way – to draw through emotionalism and cunning.”
MLD, I would say this to you as someone I know and like, and not to insult or attack, but as someone who is Lutheran curious and already respectful much Lutheran theology: The confessional Lutherans have developed what they call Lutheran symbolism (what another movement might call “distinctives”), which evolved out of the Reformation and appear to have solidified 100 or more years ago. That symbolism has become like dogma for many of the confessional Lutherans. At best this is a loss of focus on “keeping the real thing real”, and at worse the dogmatic grip on this symbolism may doom that movement to irrelevancy or perhaps worse.
When Paul preached to the Greeks in Athens, he used a totally different *method* than when he preached the Bereans. Wasn’t it creative of Paul to have associated the Lord God with the Greek alter to the unknown God in his message to the Greeks?
“To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak….I HAVE BECOME ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE, THAT BY ALL MEANS I MIGHT SAVE SOME.” (1 Cor 9 :20-22) [my emphasis]
So I conclude with this question: Would confessional Lutherans welcome a man like Paul into their fellowship?
It seems that you are criticizing me for pointing out what you say is not only done but preferable – that Wesley used Methods to save people – hence Methodism.
I only pointed that out versus using the word alone in preaching the gospel message in evangelism.
Paul didn’t change his method at all – the exact same words came out of his mouth. He preached the same gospel message that had been passed down to him to both the Greeks and the Bereans. He didn’t preach in some venues and do something completley different elsewhere. Paul even said that he only wanted to preach Christ and him crucified.
Your use of the 1 Corinthians passage is totally out of order. Paul did not become a drunkard to save the drunks – Paul did not become a whore-monger to preach to the guys in the brothels. I think he had something else in mind when he uttered that statement. As to methods are we free to do “whatever it takes?”
This also goes to your comment about the symbols and the LCMS has been fighting the idea of being evangelical wannabees – where fill the church becomes the goal.
The methods were not to save people, they were methods of discipleship.
Paul’s gospel to the Jews was that Jesus is the Christ. Paul’s gospel to the Greeks was that the One true God had fixed a day when he would judge the world by a man whom he appointed, having given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Different words, tailored message.
The 1 Cor passage is spot on if you don’t drive it into the ditch.
I don’t think the evangelical mega church or seeker sensitive models are the only alternatives (at least I hope not).
Acts 17:18 – the message Paul preached to the Greeks in Athens – the gospel;
“18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” (note the good news about Jesus.)
Later, he preached the Law to those who were rebellious and challenging. (the talk that centered on the unknown God. (not gospel.)
The verse 18 reference was to his gospel message in the marketplace. Then Paul preached again before the Areopagus in verses 22-31 (an entirely different gospel proclamation). And the message before the Areopagus was gospel because, guess what, “some people joined him and believed” (v. 34).
A message about a designated time of Judgement is not the gospel … it is the Law!
verse30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.”
When just left to himself – Paul walks around preaching the unadulterated gospel to all. A different group, gets the law.
This is why the most important part of scripture reading is to know how to properly distinguish between the Law and the Gospel. You cannot preach “and God will rain down fire on your heads – and thus you have heard the gospel of our lord.”
Gotta run to a church meeting. 🙂
If you’re one of the folks to whom Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (or a Christian in Iraq), the judgment is indeed good news.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
MLD, can I have an Amen?
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