Heat and Light

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an online resource for Reformed Charismatics, Pentecostal Calvinists, & Empowered Evangelicals

A quick update on life & other things…

I’m so sorry about my slack in publishing here.  I have been focusing much of my literary attention on song-writing, writing reviews for TheWorshipCommunity, and a few ‘paid’ endeavors in local print publications, as getting ‘paid’ is pretty important to me right now.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife & I have stepped off of the cliff to attempt a pretty radical endeavor: we are founding a non-profit ministry.  All I can say is that it is time – yes, in the middle of a financial crisis.  That’s how God usually does things, right?

We’re calling the ministry “THE HOPE FARM” (website still in development) and our vision is to “sow, cultivate, & harvest” worship, worshipers, & worship leaders for the glory of our great God, through live worship events, outreach concerts, in-house worship training workshops, musical training, worship leader mentoring/discipleship, Biblical teaching, song-writing, song-writing workshops, conferences & consulting.

That said, I’ve been spending almost all of my time of late either meeting with lawyers & accountants about starting a non-profit, brainstorming for the website, physically redesigning my office space at home, working on vision statements & by-laws, or – in my free-time – writing new songs.  

We plan on primarily focusing our attention, initially, on Georgia, Florida, & South Carolina, but – no matter where you are – if you think you may be interested in hosting us for an event, please contact me at saintlewis@bellsouth.net, and let’s see what we can work out.  

In other awesome news, one of my living spiritual ‘heros’ (I can use that word, right – he inspires me, encourages me, and challenges me, and is an example of Christ to me – I call that a ‘hero’), Sam Storms, has accepted the pastorate at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City!  He connects the power of the Holy Spirit to good, solid, reformed theology like few others do.  Please be encouraged to check out their podcast HERE:

Filed under: Charismatic, Evangelical, My other blog..., MY OTHER BLOGS, Pastors, Reformed, Sam Storms, , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Assemblies of God statement on Revival…

Though the AOG would reject my reformed theology, and I disagree with them regarding the significance they bestow on the gift of tongues (there my 3rd Wave leaning begin to shine through again), overall I find much to admire among Assemblies of God churches.  Here is the AOG’s excellent official response to the numerous reports of revival around the world presently.  Well worth watching the whole thing.

Filed under: Apostles, Bible, Charismatic, Continualist, Contraversy, Debate, Denominations, Doctrine, Emotionalism, Evangelical, Gospel, Hermeneutics, Holy Laughter, Holy Spirit, Lakeland Revival, Pastors, Pentecostalism, Prayer, prophecy, , , , , , , , ,

HEAT & LIGHT: Greatest Hits…

Whenever traffic picks up around here, I like to direct any newer readers to the more often read, and some of the simply more important (by my standards) posts here at Heat & Light.

As always, I suggest everyone begins with the ‘cornerstone’ of all I’ve written here: HOW TO EAT YOUR CAKE. If you read nothing else, read it, for the rest of what I’ve written here flows from it.

The 2nd tier: WHAT IS A REFORMED CHARISMATIC?; EARNESTLY DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS; GOD IS IN CONTROL, CHRISTIAN HEDONISM & PLEASURES EVERMORE, DISCUSSIONS ON SUFFERING & THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD, and ETERNAL SECURITY: IS IT BIBLICAL?, all of which expand further what I began explaining in “How to eat your cake”.

And the 3rd tier delves even deeper into some questions and critiques: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MIRACLES?; A FEW GOD-STIRRED THOUGHTS; HOW TO BE A CHARISMATIC IN A NON-CHARISMATIC CHURCH; HOLY LAUGHTER: BLESSING OR CURSE?; and the more recent posts; BE THE REVIVAL (DON’T GO TO ONE); BE THE MIRACLE, and SOUND DOCTRINE & CORRECT PRACTICE IN REVIVAL.

Yes, that’s a lot of reading, but I think it’ll be worth your while. Dive in, and comment – join in the discussion. Maybe God will lead you to teach me something – maybe we can sharpen one another. Either way, be blessed!

So be it!

Filed under: Adrian Warnock, Apostles, Bible, Bob Kauflin, Books, C.H. Spurgeon, C.J. Mahaney, Calvinism, Cessasionist, Charismatic, Christian Hedonism, Continualist, Contraversy, D.A. Carson, Debate, Doctrine, Emotionalism, Evangelical, FAVORITE BLOG POSTS, Flesh, Gospel, Grace, Grace Churches International, Grace Network, Greg Haslam, Ground Network, Hermeneutics, Holy Laughter, Holy Spirit, Intellectualism, John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Josh Harris, Jubilee Church, Lakeland Revival, Lloyd-Jones, London, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Michael Fletcher, Miracles, Mystery, Pentecostalism, Pete Greasley, Prayer, prophecy, R.T. Kendall, Reformed, Revival, Sam Storms, Signs of the Spirit, Suffering & the Sovereignty of God, Terry Virgo, Theology, Tongues, Wayne Grudem, Westminster Chapel, Word of Faith, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sound Doctrine & Correct Practice in Revival

In the midst of all the discussion about the Lakeland Revival, the unusual over-emotional expressions of the first great awakening are often brought up. Having read Jonathan Edwards‘ biography, his collected sermons, and his ‘Religious Affections’, as well as being midway through Sam Storm’s “Signs of the Spirit”, and having long research the life and teaching of George Whitefield, I can honestly say that there is a very significant difference between the revivals of old, and the so-called revivals of today, and those differences are what give me pause.

The difference is that Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and most (if not all) of preachers involved in the First Great Awakening, were Orthodox Evangelical Christians – they taught sound doctrine, and modeled correct practice. Yes, the crowds, when some were touched by the Spirit of God, sometimes responded with a mix of Spirit and flesh, and there were – to be sure, by Edward’s own account – many among them who were merely caught up in the emotion of it all, who acted not in response to a move of God’s Spirit on their hearts, but merely to the buzz of emotion in the air. However, all the while they heard the Gospel proclaimed – the Scriptures taught with an attention to detail, and truthfulness. It was not the goal of Edwards or Whitefield to work the churches they stood before into an emotional frenzy, but to teach the truth of God, and see people respond appropriately.

I can look beyond unorthopraxy in those attending the Lakeland Revival, but what grieves my Spirit is that so many of those allowed to take the pulpit aren’t orthodox in what they teach or practice, both of which are important to genuine, full-orbed Christian faith.

A few years ago I taught on this passage from 1st John:

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us–even eternal life. I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.1 John 2:18-27

Here is what I wrote about these important verses…

“Here John gives us couple of ways that we can identify saving faith. He asks, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is antichrist – he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” It appears as though individuals had left the congregation because they no longer believed the truth about Jesus.

Notice that by denying that Jesus is the Christ, we also deny God the Father. Since Jesus revealed the one true God who spoke through the prophets, by denying Jesus we show that we also do not truly believe in the one true God of the Old Testament, since one testified to the truth of the other.

Notice, also, the results of this false belief: they left the church. Remember this; it is SO IMPORTANT that we believe what is ultimately true because what we believe has an effect on what we DO — on how we live! Here the results of their misconceptions were divisions in the church, but every time we accept what Paul called deceptive philosophy over the truth of God it will have some sort of negative results. We were made to live out what we believe, whether it be true saving faith, or falsehood and lies. Either way we will live according to what we believe is ultimately true.

Later John expands on this thought by saying, “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God “(from 1 John 4:1-6). We should strive to know the Biblical truth about God, and to live out the teachings of Scripture, in order that we might present ourselves as a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

There are ways of denying the Father & the Son that are not overt – in fact, as an Angel of Light, those are the means that Satan most often employs. When one is actively acknowledging Jesus – that He is of God, and came ‘in the flesh’ – that individual is by necessity being Cross-Centered, & Gospel-Driven. To focus attention primarily on the Holy Spirit, who’s central goal is the guide eyes to Christ, is to actually go against the Spirit, and to risk submitting to another spirit entirely – one that is not quite so Holy.

Sound doctrine and correct practice should accompany the Spirit-filled, Spirit-guided man of God, as the Holy Spirit not only teaches us the Scriptures, but even more-so, applies them to our hearts and lives. To claim to have come in the name of God, and to claim to be led by His Holy Spirit, yet to not teach Cross-Centered sound doctrine, and to not practice Biblical orthopraxy – well, of that person we should at least set our ‘discernment’ on ‘high’, and be very careful to ‘test the spirits’ in every thing we hear them say or see them do.

Please don’t leave your brain at the door in exchange for an experience. If you do so, there is no promise that the experience you have will be one from God, no matter how good it may make you feel at the time. Be blessed.

Filed under: Bible, Books, Charismatic, Continualist, Contraversy, Debate, Doctrine, Emotionalism, Evangelical, Flesh, Gospel, Holy Laughter, Holy Spirit, Jonathan Edwards, Lakeland Revival, Miracles, Pastors, prophecy, Revival, Sam Storms, Sermon, Signs of the Spirit, Theology, Tongues, Uncategorized, Word of Faith, , , , , , , , , ,

Grace Network is Generous: “Encountering the Glory Together” audio for free!

Well, Encountering the Glory Together is over, but the Grace Network of Churches is a generous bunch and made the audio from this excellent conference entirely for FREE.  Be encouraged to check them out HERE.  Blessings!

Filed under: Charismatic, Conference, Evangelical, Grace Network, Ground Network, Reformed

Women’s roles in the church

I always worry when bringing up such a controversial topic, especially given that I was at one-time (during my neo-orthodox phase about 10 years ago) a theological – and even political – feminist myself.  However, after much study I grew convinced that though many Evangelical churches do not empower women nearly enough in ministry, even more frequently, especially among the more broadly popular charismatic churches, women are given equal authority to that of their husbands (sometimes ABOVE their husbands) from the pulpit.  This I find VERY troubling, not because I haven’t known women with incredible ministry gifts, but because the best reading of the relevant texts seems to lead away from those extremes. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bible, Charismatic, Contraversy, Doctrine, Evangelical, Hermeneutics, Theology, Unity, Women in Ministry

Can we talk?

Some years ago I missed this excellent essay by Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk.  This essay is a significant read, especially for the more pentecostal/charismatic leaning of us.

I think I agree with him.  Do you?

Filed under: Charismatic, Continualist, Doctrine, Evangelical, Pentecostalism

How to read the Word: Evangelical Hermeneutics (or how to read & interpret the Bible)

A few years ago a person on Set on Edge‘s – my old band – mailing list emailed me a rather angry message. This individual was disappointed that we, as Christians, would listen to and support non-Christian artists, and quoted Scripture to support himself. It just so happens that the verses he had quoted, Ephesians 5:19-20, was one of my favorite passages, and at the time I was teaching on it in my Thursday night Bible study. How could we both so love and be so inspired by the same passage of Scripture, yet read and apply the passage so differently? Usually, when it comes down to this, the issue is hermeneutics. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bible, Books, D.A. Carson, Doctrine, Evangelical, Hermeneutics

And the Internet Monk is on FIRE!

I couldn’t help but pass these two along…

DEAD WRONG

DYING WITH UN-CONFESSED  SIN

Filed under: Bloggers, Calvinism, Charismatic, Contraversy, Emotionalism, Evangelical, Gospel, Reformed, Revival, Theology

How did I miss this?

After my review of Living the Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney I noticed two excellent, important, and relevant posts over at GospelCenteredLife – please visit him and read:

Why the Gospel must be everything

Keeping the Gospel as Gospel

Filed under: Evangelical, Gospel, Salvation, Theology

Living the Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney: a short review

Cross Centered Life

Once in a great while a book is written that becomes an immediate classic. Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney is one such book. For a fairly recent release, I know an enormous number of people who have read it, and many have told me of the immense impact it has had on their lives. For me, personally, it was as important a read as John Piper’s Desiring God, which – as I’ve mentioned recently – entirely ‘reformatted’ my belief system. The first time I finished reading Mahaney’s book I turned almost immediately to page one of the foreword and began it again, reading it 5 times in all the first month after I had purchased it. In my list, it is as important a book as J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, Basic Christianity by John Stott, C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and more recently, The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, all of which were listed among the top 50 most influential Evangelical Christian books of the last century – exactly where I hope this book will find itself soon enough. That’s just to say: Living the Cross-Centered Life is a must read. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Books, C.J. Mahaney, Doctrine, Evangelical, Salvation, Theology

A tribute to John Piper…

Having been raised an Atheist, God used many individuals, circumstances, and authors (C.S. Lewis, Norm Geisler, etc.) to draw my aching heart to Himself, but for the first 7 years after God got His grip on me I was – in response to my small-town, conservative upbringing (I truly ‘repented’ of my past) – so attracted to the Social Gospel aspect of the faith that I found myself drinking almost entirely of the neo-orthodox and neo-evangelical streams, studying the theology of Jurgen Moltmann and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, reading the existential philosophy of – as much as I understood it – of Soren Kierkegaard, enfleshing the spiritual and social practices of Ron Sider and Richard Foster, and reveling in the Democratic-Socialism of Cornell West. Now, I still find much good in those authors (though I also find enough to disagree with) and I have little doubt of their sincerity or relationships with Christ – that was just to say, I was a card-carrying ‘Christian Hippie Mystic” (I was ‘Emergent’ before there was ‘Emergent’), and because that was the only stream of the faith I was influenced by, my view of the Bible was weak, and I was still a fairly immature believer. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Books, Charismatic, Christian Hedonism, Emergent, Evangelical, John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Missional, Reformed, Revival

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