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Interpreting Charismatic Experience

Paperback|Mar 2012
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$34.99

In the search for answers to many paradoxical questions, David Middlemiss travelled through church, history, theology & into philosophy, and almost to despair, before finding a way forward which offers a rational interpretation of Christian experience.


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In the search for answers to many paradoxical questions, David Middlemiss travelled through church, history, theology & into philosophy, and almost to despair, before finding a way forward which offers a rational interpretation of Christian experience.
-Publisher

For eight years David Middlemiss was a minister who had to assess charismatic phenomena, such as the claims of 'prophets' who would tell him with great certainty what 'God was saying to the church'. During church services he had to interpret the varied and sometimes dramatic manifestations which go with charismatic experiences. This period left him with major questions. Is a person on the floor of the church 'slain in the Spirit', hypnotized or hyperventilating? Why does God give such a confused system of 'guidance' to people? Why do people look for 'the demonic' in heavy metal music or obscure corners of the personality when there is much evident evil in the world? Does the charismatic movement have any intellectual or biblical credibility? In the end he left the church to spend three years in study seeking an answer to his questions. Central to them all was the question, 'If a person claims to have encountered God in his or her experience, how can one tell if this is what has really occurred?' This issue led him on a long personal journey through church history, theology and on into philosophy, and he was driven almost to despair before finding a way forward. In the end he could argue that there are rational means of interpreting Christian experience and that these may be used. They may seem over-critical of charismatic experience but that experience contains much nonsense which has to be cut out if what is of value in it is to be preserved. When parts of England are experiencing what is called the 'Toronto Blessing', which is not proving wholly beneficial, here is a voice which needs to be heard.
-Publisher

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