I am fascinated by a growing trend. On the one hand there seems to be a growing interest amongst more conservative churches in the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Francis Chan's book 'The Forgotten God - our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit' is just one of many attempts to address an embarrassment over the third Person of the trinity and a humble admission that good theology is not sufficient by itself to produce good Christians. They are slowly but surely wading into the waters of the Holy Spirit's presence and leading.
On the other hand there are many pentecostal/charismatic churches who seem to have something of a hangover from their heady days of holy rolling. They are not sure that the ever-pending revival that was prophesied ever really came, or whether the heights of Holy Spirit intoxication ever really produced tangible gospel fruit. They look longingly at the many mega-churches that line the ecclesiological landscape and wonder how they managed to grow to their size and influence without so much as a single tongue and interpretation! They are discovering the delight of preaching from the biblical text and the sanity of sound theology.
So what is God up to?
Is He scizophrenic?
Or could He be working in us a holy discontentment with the limits of our own church strengths and leanings?
Could He be forming in us a humble openness to glean from the richness of what He has taught others?
I suspect that in His wisdom and patience He is drawing us back to what John Wimber called 'the quest for the radical middle;' a church devoted to both the authority of the Scriptures and the leading of the Spirit, for the sake of the Gospel and His glory. We absolutely need both.
That's what Urban Renewal is all about. A re-quest for the radical middle. June 10th -12th. Early bird registration at www.southlands.net