Like many Christians in rural America, I was raised in a religious culture that prized mysticism and disembodiment. People I went to church with never utilized terms like this, but it is what fundamentally shaped their ethos and value system.
They desperately wanted to shed their earthly bodies and be evacuated from the natural order. In their thinking, bodies were the basis of all bondage—a "cage" that would be providentially discarded in the eschaton.
This outlook w...Read More
Someone recently asked me about the authenticity of Spirit-baptism. They wanted to know if it's a practice that's genuinely grounded in the pages of scripture. They asked, "Is there a real biblical foundation to this idea of people uttering mysteries and proclaiming inspired speech?"
I assured them that this practice was affirmed in the biblical narrative. Spirit-baptism is undoubtedly a genuine Christian encounter.
With a desire for clarification, I'd like to take y...Read More
Throughout the late medieval period, the turbulent winds of change blew across Europe. With philosophical reappraisals and the reacquisition of forgotten manuscripts, a “new way of thinking called scholasticism arose.” Established universities set out to bring a corrective to “medieval otherworldliness.”
With an impulse to quell the untethered superstitions of the dark ages, educated clerics questioned not only ideas and practices, but also religious authority. A fierce critique...Read More
Over the centuries, there's been a long-term discussion about the components of humanity. Are we made up of two or three parts? I don’t know about you, but I find this ongoing dialogue fascinating.
While tripartite claims—rooted in the Greek ethos—focus on the distinctions of body, soul, and spirit, the bipartite assertions merely distinguish the physical from the unseen realms of human essence. In this understanding, one’s soul and spirit are mostly indistinguishable.
The Bibl...Read More
It’s really not difficult to see the significance of works of power in the ministry of Jesus and His Apostles. Yet, most people don’t envision the same implications for Christians today.
People have no trouble with the idea that the Kingdom was breaking in during the first century, but struggle with something similar transpiring in the present.
Are modern day believers truly excluded from the inexplicable realms of glory?
In one of His final declarations, Jesus said, &q...Read More
As Christianity expanded throughout the Roman Empire in the early centuries, healing was not only identified with communion but also in the baptismal rite. Many believed that the water enabled “spiritual healing and the restoration of the divine image that had been lost through sin.”
A reference to baptismal healing is embedded in The Odes of Solomon (AD 100). This work suggests that the afflicted will be restored after their emergence from the baptismal waters. It affirms that “...Read More