5.05.2009

Conference Response 4 - The Holy Spirit

I really have a lot to say about this. But I want to hear more input before I just list all of my thoughts. Here is a statement that has really stuck with me since my participation in the Catalyst West Conference for Christian Leaders.

I'm going to quote Francis Chan and I would like you to comment your responses. What do you think about the statement? How does it affect you and how you think and what you do?

Here it is.

"THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A CREATOR NOT A DUPLICATOR. HE DOES NEW THINGS AND DOESN'T DUPLICATE THE THINGS HE HAS ALREADY DONE." (That's a loose translation. This disclaimer on the off chance that Francis may randomly happen upon this post, or more likely that one of you readers may have been there and remember this differently than I remember it.)

Comment your thoughts!

7 comments:

Peter P May 5, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

I don't think that's measurable by human beings.

To say that the Holy Spirit has never done the same thing twice across the whole history of the human race is a big statement that is rather hard to substantiate.

What does it even mean? Does the Holy Spirit never breath the fire of revival again because he's done that? Does the Holy Spirit never come on people in power again because He's done that?

I think I need a little expansion on the statement.

Scott May 5, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

Maybe I don't fully understand that statement but I don't think I agree with it.

Two things come to my mind and make me nervous about that idea.

First, it seems to deny a bit of God's sovereignty. God can do whatever he wants. I am of the persuasion that there are only two things which guide God's sovereignty. 1. God fulfills his promises and therefore limits his own choices. 2. God's revealed nature limits what God WILL do but not what God CAN do. I do not believe that the Bible gives us any promises that the Holy Spirit will not duplicate previous actions. I also do not believe that this idea can be argued Biblically (other than perhaps anecdotally)as part of the inherent nature of the Holy Spirit.

Second, I feel as though this statement may lead to a "new thing" mentality wherein the church always grasps at the latest fad, innovation, movement, or dynamic speaker in an attempt to be a part of the "new thing" that the Holy Spirit is doing. This has been a historically dangerous position for the church.

jonnyray May 5, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

I thought that there was, as Solomon states in Ecclesiasties,"nothing new under the sun." Maybe, like the others, I need more clairification.

Peter P May 5, 2009 at 6:05 PM  

Ooo, ooo, ooo, I like what Scott said!

Scott May 8, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

I have had a bit more time to think about that statement. I'm still pretty certain that I disagree with what Francis Chan said but I think I might understand where its coming from.

Rick Warren, Francis Chan, Bill Hybels, etc. are all people whom other attempt to mimic. They have produced "successful" ministries and other pastors around the world would like the same things to happen to their churches (for better or worse). However, that NEVER happens.

It's impossible.

What works in one church will never work in another church.

I'm not sure if that is the sentiment of the statement, but it is true.

However, this not because the Holy Spirit will never do the same thing he has already done.

This is because the circumstances are different.

People are different.

The entire context is different.

We must not attempt to recreate a church scenario (even the Biblical examples) with precision because we are not the same people, in the same time, in the same culture, with the same money, as any other group anywhere at any time.

I am still uncomfortable with Francis Chan's statement but if this is where the sentiment is coming from then I agree with the attempt.

Debra D. May 8, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

I don't know exactly what Francis meant by what he said, but I can speak from experience about the HS in my life. When I excepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 20yrs old, his HS came to dwell in me and I felt reborn, changed forever! And even though I turned away from God, he never left me, and when I came back to him.....he did a NEW THING in me! (Isaiah 43:19) and now I am changed again, he didn't duplicate the new thing he had already done in me, but has created an even newer me, a fuller me, a more greatful me, a new me that is revolving every day into a NEW THING!!!
So....I guess I would have to say, that I agree with Francis!! :0)

Brandi May 10, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

I have a feeling something is being lost in translation...I wish I could get the full feel of the context of the teaching...then maybe I could give a clear answer to the question presented...So Bruce...why this question??? It must have ment something to you...positive or negative...what are you hoping this question will get us thinking about?

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