Heat and Light


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

Strange things, these Christians…

Isn’t it strange that most Christians, especially churches, forgive fellow ‘believers’ and will often go to almost any end to cover their sin, especially when it involves breaking the law, and at the same time spend great energy condemning non-believers who are behaving exactly as their morality and conscience allow. It’s especially sad that God tells us to do exactly the opposite Read the rest of this entry »


Filed under: Bible, Contraversy, Discipline, Doctrine, Forgiveness, Grace, Theology

Saving Faith (an older sermon) – a study in 1st John

originally delivered at Worldwide Discipleship Association’s University of Georgia campus ministry in 2002

“Most Westerners live in a tragically mindless environment.  Life is too fast, and our contact with other persons too impersonal for any real thought or reflection.  Even in the church we are far more often encouraged to join this committee, back this project, or serve on this board than we are counseled to examine our relationship to God and His Son Jesus Christ.  So long as we are performing for the church, few question whether our profession is genuine or spurious.  But sermons should suggest that members of a church may not actually be saved, although they are members.  Teachers should stress that a personal, self-denying, costly, and persistent following of Christ is necessary if a person is to be acknowledged by Jesus at the final day.  In the absence of this teaching millions drift on, assuming that because they have made verbal acknowledgement of Christ ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago and have done nothing terribly bad since, they are Christians, when actually they may be far from Christ, devoid of grace, and in danger of perishing forever.” – James Montgomery Boice Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Doctrine, Grace, Sermon, Theology

Thoughts on Prayer

I was recently emailed an excellent essay by Duke theology student, and my old friend, Julie Dotterweich. So many aspects of what she had written struck me as so absolutely true – and rarely heard – that I felt it necessary to quote her. Please be encouraged and challenged by her words of wisdom… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Prayer

Love Abounding: an older sermon from Philippians 1:9-11

Preparing for this sermon was monumental in my life and led me down a path that eventually shaped my beliefs as a ‘Reformed Charismatic’. I pray it challenges you as it did me in preparing it…


originally delivered on November 25, 2001@ University Church in Athens, GA

Dan, the teaching elder here at University Church, and I share a favorite book of the Bible. Though I have never translated the book of Philippians from the Greek as Dan has, God has continually drawn me back to it to encourage and challenge me in my faith. Today we’re going to look at a passage that I’ve been using in my personal devotions fairly regularly for at least the past two years. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Doctrine, Knowing God, Sermon, Theology

The Will of God?

John Piper recently preached an incredibly thought-provoking sermon on the will of God from Romans.

What is the Will of God and How do we Know it?

Filed under: Doctrine, John Piper, Sermon, Theology

Holy Laughter: blessing, curse, or something else?

This discussion originally arose very shortly after starting this blog when I posted “What is a Reformed Charismatic?”, which sparked not only a number of responses, but also a friendly email dialogue which I have referred to often since.

In that original post I stated Most Reformed Charismatic churches – but not all – are wary of the excesses of so-called ‘revivals’ like what took place in Toronto and Brownsville, and see true revival not as an event that results in wild shows of spiritual gifts – or laughter and such – but as a move of God, where-in the lost come to Christ, and the Church shows much deeper signs of God’s Holy Spirit: His FRUIT.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charismatic, Contraversy, Emotionalism, Flesh, Holy Laughter, Holy Spirit, Miracles, Mystery, Revival, Theology, Unity

1st Corinthians/Spiritual Gifts at Christchurch Newport

Pete Greasley of Christchurch Newport in the UK has been LAYING IT DOWN for over a month on the Gifts of the Spirit. The whole series on 1 Corinthians is here, but so far my favorites are: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bible, Charismatic, Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Pete Greasley, prophecy, Theology, Tongues

My ‘Theological’ Influences…

Not long ago someone asked me about the ‘details’ of my faith – a doctrinal statement of sorts – and it made me think about those who have inspired and influenced me in my understanding of the Scriptures. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Doctrine, Theology

Jesse engages the Pyromaniacs…

Having debated online (and a few of them, personally – face to face) a number of the Pyromaniacs on various Charismatic issues, I am very encouraged to read Jesse at Resurgence engage them thoroughly on the issue HERE.  Very worth reading!

Filed under: Bloggers, Calvinism, Cessasionist, Charismatic, Continualist, Contraversy, Discussion Groups, Doctrine, Ministers, Miracles

Reforming Alcohol: being Scriptural about Alcohol Consumption

Before this post is misconstrued and twisted out of context let me make a few things very clear:
1.) Underage drinking is against the law, and for good reason. During one’s teenage years we tend to FEEL mature, and responsible, when in-fact we are not. Unless you are given an alcoholic beverage to drink by your parents, and even then in moderation, do not drink alcohol. 21 will come soon enough, and trust me – you really aren’t missing much.
2.) Alcoholism is terrible, sad, and destructive. Please, if you are of drinking age, and choose to do so, don’t do it in front of people you suspect may struggle with alcoholism.
3.) Please don’t suggest that “the weaker brother” (who is, according to the Bible, the one who thinks God ordains abstinence from such things) go against his/her conscience on this issue. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Alcohol, Bible, Contraversy, Denominations, Doctrine, Theology

Essential Posts: where do I begin?

Since the readership of this blog has increased significantly in the past few months, I wanted to direct the newer readers towards some of the most important posts here Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bloggers, Books, Calvinism, Cessasionist, Charismatic, Christian Hedonism, Continualist, Contraversy, Denominations, Discussion Groups, Doctrine, FAVORITE BLOG POSTS, Holy Spirit, John Piper, Pentecostalism, prophecy, Reformed, Sam Storms, Theology, Wayne Grudem, WEBSITES/RESOURCES

It’s not easy being an Elder, nor should it be…

Elders. For some, that word brings to mind a group of grumpy old men gathered together to either advise, or give orders to, a church’s pastor. And Biblically, they may be elders, but they aren’t the only ‘elders’ at your church. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bible, Bishops, Charismatic, Denominations, Doctrine, Elders, Hermeneutics, Ministers, Theology

Greg Haslam by Adrian Warnock

If you haven’t gotten around to reading Adrian Warnock‘s excellent multi-part interview with Westminster Chapel pastor Greg Haslam you are REALLY missing out! Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bloggers, Calvinism, Charismatic, Continualist, Greg Haslam, Lloyd-Jones, R.T. Kendall, Reformed, Westminster Chapel

Joel Osteen response

I hate to enter directly into blatant criticism of an individual and his beliefs, but thankfully in this case I don’t have to because so many I respect and admire have done such a good job of it themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charismatic, Contraversy, Doctrine, Gospel, Salvation, Theology

CONFERENCE: Encountering the Glory Together, Oct 25th-27th

The Grace Network of Churches, a Reformed Charismatic/Empowered Evangelical family of churches on the East coast are hosting what looks to be a powerful conference this month, and get this: IT’S FREE!

Click HERE for more Information.

Filed under: Charismatic, Conference, 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

A few good sermons

A few very solid newer sermons on the Holy Spirit & Spiritual gifts that have challenged and encouraged me as of late. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bob Kauflin, Charismatic, ESSENTIAL SERMON AUDIO, Holy Spirit, Josh Harris, Michael Fletcher, Sermon, Theology

Biblical Scatology

Be sure not to miss Dan Wallace’s excellent blog on Scatology.  Refreshing, indeed.

Shows why I’m a bit miffed that Piper found it necessary to apologize after the semi-harsh language he used at Passion this last year.

Oh well – read away…

Filed under: Bloggers, Doctrine, John Piper, Theology

More on Christian Hedonism…

For those who may not have heard of ‘Christian Hedonism’ prior to my last blog (I’m sure there are at least a couple), here are a few very helpful resources for you to explore:


All contain great content.  Be encouraged to check them out ASAP!

Filed under: Bloggers, Christian Hedonism, Doctrine, John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Sam Storms, Theology

Christian Hedonism & Pleasures Forevermore: a sermon

Originally delivered at Brunswick Christian Renewal Church in December ’05, & soon after at St. Simons Community Church INSIDE OUT youth ministries, & on-air at the Lighthouse 89.3 FM.

As some of you may know, a few years ago I worked in the medical field for a time. During that stint, I met a young crack addict I’ll call “P”. P’s brother had recently been murdered – very shortly before this encounter – in Savannah, and P currently had a ‘hit’ out on his head by the same gang that had taken out his brother. Turning to a friend and I for help, it was clear to us that he was indeed in some sort of trouble with the law: shady characters in suspicious looking vehicles began scope out my workplace and P only dropped by at odd hours – I usually only ran into him when working late, or when on-call. Well, eventually my friend managed to get in touch with a rehab center in Northeast Florida that was wiling to give P his life back: the offered to rehab his from his drug addiction, place him in a new community, arrange for him to get a college education, a job – in essence a future: a LIFE. The last time I saw P we were on the phone with this establishment, trying to make the final arrangements for his move to Florida, when a car honked outside the building. It was apparently one of P’s dealers: he’d left it all behind – a future and a life – for another hit.

What was his PROBLEM?! He was offered a life – a future – and turned it down to satisfy his flesh. Sadly, his problem, is my problem, is your problem, is ours: we think he had “too much desire” – that he was living for pleasure, when, in fact, his desire was too little. Every time we choose to sin, we make the same decision he did: we choose an immediate, temporally satisfying pleasure, over an eternal, entirely satisfying one. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: C.S. Lewis, Christian Hedonism, Doctrine, John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Sam Storms, St. Augustine, Theology

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

Sovereign Grace for FREE!

Sovereign Grace Ministries has just made their entire MP3 conference catalogue available online FOR FREE!  There are some great resources on all areas of the faith from the practical to the deeply theological.  I particularly encourage you to explore their teachings on worship and on the person and work of the Holy Spirit

Here are a few of my personal suggestions for people reading this blog:

Filed under: C.J. Mahaney, Calvinism, Cessasionist, Charismatic, Conference, Continualist, Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Pentecostalism, Reformed, Sermon, Theology

And the Internet Monk is on FIRE!

I couldn’t help but pass these two along…



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

An unexpected update from GLORIFY…

I’ve been promoting the GLORIFY Worship Conference hosted by Metro Life Church in Orlando over at my other blog, but as it turns out one of the sessions was VERY relevant to HEAT & LIGHT. Please check out Jesse’s excellent blog THE RISING OF A PROPHETIC PEOPLE reporting from the conference. It’ll be well worth your time.  I sure do wish I were there. 😦

Filed under: Charismatic, Continualist, Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, My other blog..., Pentecostalism, prophecy, 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

Cynicism, Pessimism, & the Christian Hope – a sermon from ’02


Those of you who know me very well might find it funny that I’m teaching on this subject, but I always find I learn the most when I teach on a subject that I, myself, most need to learn. That way, if I begin to get preachy, I’m preaching at you AND me! Even to this day, I sometimes struggle against irritation when people seem to be just a bit too joyful – those whose lives seem without difficulty, and always have a kind word to give. My cynicism has at times in my life left me embittered and even hardened towards the work of God, quicker to criticize the faults of a fellow believer’s efforts rather than move in beside them to encourage and challenge their growth as a co-laborer. May the Lord forgive the times I could have encouraged someone first, but rather cut them down because I thought them naïve. May God forgive me for the many times I went into a situation expecting the worst, and even after a beautiful outcome, focused only upon the things that didn’t go as I’d hoped. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bible, Doctrine, Sermon, 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

Q & A: How to be a Charismatic in a non-Charismatic Church


Here’s a recent email question that I’ve received here at Heat & Light:

“Noting the last chapter of Grudem’s book on prophecy, how do you go about implementing it in a local church? What if, like me, you are one of the leaders and have been trying to build consensus on different issues – it’s an exercise in trusting Jesus to build and purify His church, and quite difficult to do on a human side. There are a ton of issues that we still need to arrive at unity on besides the charismata. Because I have so much respect for my fellow elders and they really just haven’t really wrestled with these ideas yet I’ve been a bit reluctant to more publicly affirm charismatic stuff. Grudem’s irenic spirit is so helpful in this regard. I’m encouraged by 1 Cor. 14:12 and the injunction to join a desire for the manifestation of the spirit with a desire to build up the church.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Cessasionist, Charismatic, Continualist, Contraversy, Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Miracles, Pentecostalism, prophecy, Unity, Wayne Grudem

Why “Heat and Light”?

The first time I heard the words “Heat & Light” together was from a sermon by John Piper when speaking of Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones’ influence:

“From the beginning to the end, the life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a cry for depth in two areas: depth in Biblical doctrine and depth in vital spiritual experience. Light and heat. Logic and fire. Word and Spirit. Again and again he would be fighting on two fronts: on the one hand against dead, institutional intellectualism, and on the other hand against superficial, glib, entertainment-oriented, man-centered emotionalism. He saw the world in a desperate condition without Christ and without hope: and a church with no power to change it. One wing of the church was straining out intellectual gnats and the other was swallowing the camels of evangelical compromise or careless charismatic teaching. For Lloyd-Jones, the only hope was historic, God-centered revival.”

Those words struck me. Light represents the Truth of God showing forth in the world which exposes darkness, and Heat, the passionate heart set aflame with the love of God by His Holy Spirit. My heart is aflame. Lloyd-Jones’ vision is mine. I long to see, and be a part of, that convergence and I’m convinced that the time has come.

Filed under: Doctrine, Emotionalism, Intellectualism, John Piper, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival, Unity

A few recent God-stirred thoughts…

Is it possible to walk simultaneously in the FRUIT and GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, yet remember that the FRUIT are the sign of a vital relationship with God by His Holy Spirit, and not the Gifts? It seems to me, as one who has experienced and walks in a number of the gifts, that to elevate the gifts (tongues, prophecy, etc) of the Spirit above that of the fruit (peace, kindness, etc) of God’s Spirit is much like a husband bragging about the birthday card he received from his wife, whom everyone knows – including himself – is cheating on him. Yeah – pretty silly. Here’s an idea – next time we throw around the word “Spirit Filled”, let’s be sure the evidence is there – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control. The Bible – Corinthians in particular – is quite clear that the gifts are just that – GIFTS – and are no sign of one’s spiritual state or nearness to God, as the Corinthian church was a spiritual WRECK and yet very active in the practice of spiritual gifts. Thank God for His gifts, and walk in them, but don’t use them as a ruler to measure the depth of another’s faith. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bible, Books, Charismatic, Holy Spirit, Theology

God is in Control: A Case for a Reformed understanding of Salvation

Though I know that it’s quite possible to a “Reformed Christian” and even a solid evangelical without subscribing to the “Calvinist” view, I am personally convinced that the Calvinist/Reformed interpretation of the Scriptures, especially as it relates to Soteriology – or ‘How we are saved’ – is the most internally consistent, and Biblical. Here’s my case… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calvinism, John Piper, Mystery, Reformed, Salvation, Theology

Just quoting…

Here are a few interesting quotes from authors I currently find a deep connection to. I hope they challenge and bless you as they do me. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calvinism, Charismatic, Holy Spirit, Miracles, Reformed, Theology

Whatever Happened to Miracles?

As far as the miraculous goes, I think it’s best I begin with my own personal experience – though you may THINK that God no longer works miracles, I’ve seen plenty in my time, and many are quite hard to explain within any world-view that isn’t theistic. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calvinism, Charismatic, Holy Spirit, Miracles, Pentecostalism, prophecy, Reformed

Earnestly Desire Spiritual Gifts: the gift of prophecy in today’s church?

As an Evangelical Christian, you may hold to a wide array of Evangelical perspectives. Among my fellowship runs the whole gamut from dispensationalists to preterist – Calvinist to Arminian – young-earthers to old-earthers to the few (very few), the proud, the sailhamer-ites – cessationists, and even charismatics. It is because these differing opinions can be found among genuine Evangelical Christians that I believe this topic is of such great importance – especially as it relates to the last two categories: cessationists and charismatics. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calvinism, Charismatic, Holy Spirit, John Piper, prophecy, Reformed, Theology, Wayne Grudem

What is a “Reformed Charismatic”?

This question has been popping up more regularly as of late – as I regularly search the web for the words “Reformed Charismatic”, a couple of years ago I would find only 5 or 6 mentions, where-in now I find pages and pages. It’s a regular subject of bloggers, and even several books. So far, I’ve even found a number of denominations/associations of churches/church planting organizations that try – to one degree or another – to combine the best of both the Reformed/Calvinist/Evangelical (old-school definition of the term: not it’s modern use) traditions and the Charismatic/Third Wave (C. Peter Wagner’s term for ‘charismatics’ that reject a 2nd Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the necessity of tongues-speaking, among other things) movement: Sovereign Grace Ministries; New Frontiers International; Grace Churches International; Grace Network, Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches; Word & Spirit Churches International; and individual churches within both the Vineyard Church movement and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Books, Calvinism, Charismatic, Holy Spirit, Pentecostalism, Reformed, Theology

How to Eat Your Cake: having the best of both worlds

An old adage goes, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Old adages are stupid. I eat my cake. I know it may sound radical to some, but it’s true. I want the best of both worlds – the depth of theology, rich history, and deep love for the Word that I have found in Evangelical and “Reformed” churches, and the passionate worship, and the openness to let God be God and do what He pleases, as I’ve found among my Charismatic brothers and sisters. I am a Charismatic Calvinist – an “Empowered Evangelical” – a “Word and Power” Christian. Call it what you will, but I’m out of the closet for good. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calvinism, Charismatic, Denominations, Holy Spirit, Pentecostalism, Reformed, Theology, Unity



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