Several articles in the May issue of CT give me hope for the Good News for parts of the evangelical church in the United States. I think you at CT have been a positive influence in the American church and beyond over the decades. From my perspective, CT is a beacon of hope and light.
Kudos to Martyn Wendell Jones for stepping out of his comfort zone to see for himself the goings-on at Bethel Church in Redding, California. The criticisms leveled against the excesses of the church are all too often made by individuals who have never visited it. While Jones does not ultimately give the reader a definitive thumbs up or down, preferring to label Bethel a “parallax phenomenon,” I believe his crossing of the aisle in an effort to see if these things are true must be pleasing in God’s eyes.
Ephesians 4 makes clear that God intends for us to “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13). Yet these things cannot happen without Christians reaching out to brothers and sisters in Christ who have different views and practices. Iron will never sharpen iron if the two pieces never connect.
I read with great interest Martyn Wendell Jones’s cover story, “Kingdom Come in California?” It exposes the need for evangelicals to understand the difference between God-shaped “revival” and man-produced “revivalism.”
Gary D. Nock
I appreciate Jones’s journey to Bethel and his subsequent story—and I’m grateful for Mark Galli’s thoughtful sidebar. But both (I believe) ...1