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Continualist Christians: An Overview

An overview and brief history of the Pentecostal / Charismatic / Third Wave Movements.
Continualist Christians: An Overview HTB Church / flickr

I'm thankful today for my many faithful friends in the continualist movement, represented by Pentecostals, charismatics, and Third Wave Christians around the world. Their impact is widespread—depending on how you count, up to half a billion ...

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Sarah Smith

October 19, 2013  8:34pm

I would classify myself as a Pentecostal who is very wary of spiritual excesses. I have not listened to any of the media out of the strange fire conference but would probably be concerned by most of what concerns them. Still I'm not sure i like the idea of having an entire conference to talk about excesses that you don't like in another group that you arent fond of. I would drop dead out of shame if I heard of a Pentecostal minister leading a publicly advertised conference with the sole expresssed purpose of showing how dangerous all Baptists were evidenced by a few odd duck spiritually dead baptist pastors who did things that would make most baptists cring.

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Erika Freeman

October 17, 2013  9:03pm

Dale, I like you point of differing the 4 and 5 point ministries. I have grown up in the Assembly's of God and Pentecostal Church of God ministries. Which as far as I can tell are now identical in belief systems. My comment or thought to differ with you is to say that the Assemblies of God Church considers itself to be a "five fold ministry". They do not believe that one must be filled with the Holy Spirit for sanctification or salvation. They do believe that it is an extra blessing that all should seek. I like your historical point of view, it is interesting to learn about it starting and splitting so immediately. Thank you so much for your input!

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Mateo Brink

October 17, 2013  5:22pm

Good article brother, but some input. 1st time seeing 'continualist,' but it works. I've heard 'continuationist,' and myself prefer the shorter 'continuist' - it's all good. I'm surprised you dealt w/continuism w/no mention of Piper, Hansen's YRR, Passion, TGC, A29, etc. That's where the main growth is happening. IMHO such should be at the core of treating continuism. But more than that, what really surprised me-did I miss it?-is the 800lb gorilla of soteriology. One of the key marks of continuists is our overwhelming embrace of the biblical truths including that Holy Spirit is free and sovereign to gift. Like 3W, but more doctrinal. The primary difference between pentecostal, charistmatic, and continuist is that the first 2 are largely pelagian, whereas continuism is largely rooted in a reformed gospel understanding. This is also partly why the current SF conf is so disappointing, common ground aside. TGC or A29 should've done it, to give a more balanced view of the relevant texts.

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Jonathan Flores

October 17, 2013  3:58pm

I appreciate Dale's point. The, as he calls them, 5-point pentecostals' added doctrine is often referred to as "instantaneous sanctification" - believing that deliverance from all sin, addiction or bondage of any kind is brought at salvation. The position regarding sanctification held by the 4-point pentecostals has been labeled "progressive sanctification" - inferring a continual purifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives . However, it seems that many ministers I know from the 5-point camp are seeing an evolution in their denominations, adequately listed in Dale's comment, toward a progressive sanctification view.

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Adam Shields

October 17, 2013  3:49pm

I saw something the other day that was suggesting that if what you are saying does not apply to 70% of your audience, then you should probably not say it. That would seem to me to be the problem here. Not that there are not valid concerns, but there are valid concerns about every part of the church. Every part of the church has areas where you can go too far or not far enough and veer off into problematic theology. The problem is that from my reading of Challies' summaries, there has not been an acknowledgement that most in the Charismatic, Pentecostal, Third wave movement are also opposed to the extremes.

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