Signs Of God’S Presence
In your CT Institute discussion of the Holy Spirit, “Wonder-working Power” (March 19), it seemed you did not include someone with a sacramental background. Thus, a whole area and theology of the Holy Spirit’s work has been forgotten.
For those of us who come from sacramental churches, the sacraments offer great hope and comfort. They are signs of God’s presence and love in our midst. Through the gifts of the sacraments and the preaching of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit uses the natural—that which we can see, feel, touch, hear, and taste—to do the supernatural. The wonderful thing is that this work of the Holy Spirit is not occasional but happens as often as the community of faith gathers and prays and worships together, and as often as the Lord’s servants serve his people with the administration of his sacraments.
I wish the distinguished panel had dealt with Paul’s prayer for power in Ephesians 1:17–20. He clearly balances the desire for power with the necessity for enlightenment as to calling and inheritance. It seems the Ephesians were trying to use the Spirit’s power out of context. It is the “ultradispensationalist” who recognizes that coveting the manifestations of power of another’s calling not only leads to confusion but to a thwarting of that very power.
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
I was gratified to see evangelicals finally grappling in meaningful ways with cessationism (that “extraordinary” charismata ceased with the apostles), and particularly with the internally inconsistent and unbiblical notion of “miracle” upon which the doctrine depends.
I only wish the panel had examined some startling gaps between evangelical traditions and biblical emphases, not only ...1
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