Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Quotables from John Wimber

Part of the fun of researching the Post-Charismatic project has been re-reading some old (meaning, 1980's) books by people like John Wimber.

Although Wimber was not writing with postmodernism or the emerging church in mind, these tidbits jumped out at me as very applicable (and somewhat prophetic?) about where we're at in the early 21st century:
  1. "Scripture values the contemplative life. This is a result of holding a supernatural worldview... An example of this is Psalm 77, where the psalmist 'remembered (his) songs in the night' and '(his) heart mused and (his) spirit enquired of God."
  2. "Scripture is poetic. This value comes from the Christian's understanding of revelation being rooted in the supernatural, testifying to a reality beyond the temporal order. Intrinsic to this trascendent reality is beauty.
  3. "The Bible employs vivid picture language. A first-century semitic person did not argue from a premise to a conclusion -- he was not controlled by rationalism. Instead, he painted a word picture, employing concrete situations, relationships, and places to make his point.
  4. "Scripture accepts paradox easily. For example, Western Christians have always found it difficult to accept the paradoxical truths of God's sovereignty and man's freedom. They are pre-occupied with logical consistency, a concern that first-century Christians did not have. Their worldview allowed for apparent contradiction when touching on the mysteries of God.
  5. "Religion is a way of life... Distilling Christian teaching down to a set of creeds and a code of ethics, (Western Christians) are usually more concerned with personal conduct and assent to doctrine than with Christian lifestyle. They hold more of a Christian ethic or practice, not a way of life. But Christianity is more than a list of beliefs to which we assent."
John Wimber, Power Evangelism

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