The charismatic movement began within the historic churches in the 1950s. On the American scene it started to attract broad attention in 1960, with the national publicity given to the ministry of the Reverend Dennis Bennett, an Episcopalian in Van Nuys, California. Since then there has been a continuing growth of the movement within many of the mainline churches: first, such Protestant churches as Episcopal, Lutheran, and Presbyterian; second, the Roman Catholic (beginning in 1967); and third, the Greek Orthodox (beginning about 1971). By now the charismatic movement has become worldwide and has participants in many countries.
As one involved in the movement for the past decade, I should like to set forth a brief profile of it. A profile of the charismatic movement within the historic churches would include at least the following elements: (1) the recovery of a vital and dynamic sense of the reality of the Christian faith; (2) a striking renewal of the community of believers as a fellowship (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit; (3) the manifestation of a wide range of “spiritual gifts,” with parallels drawn from First Corinthians 12–14; (4) the experience of “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” often accompanied by “tongues,” as a radical spiritual renewal; (5) the re-emergence of a spiritual unity that essentially transcends denominational barriers; (6) the rediscovery of a dynamic for bearing comprehensive witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ; and (7) the revitalization of the eschatological perspective.
Persons in the charismatic movement ordinarily stress first the recovery of a liveliness and freshness in their Christian faith. This may be expressed in a number of ways. For example, the reality of God has broken in with fresh meaning ...1
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