The Intelligent Reformed Charismatic Theologian

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

For many years, people from a charismatic background have been labeled as unintelligent, feeling-oriented Christians. Some people from the Reformed circles have argued passionately about the shallowness of any charismatic experience.

This is why it is a bit surprising when a person like J. P. Moreland, a distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology writes a book that talks about restoring the Spirit’s power and recovering the Christian mind in the same sentence.

In fact, there are an increasing number of charismatic theologians that are gaining more credibility on the theological roundtable. People like Wayne Grudem, Gordon Fee, and Jack Deere are trying a good balance between the right and left brain.

In Moreland’s book, Kingdom Triangle, he shares a story that made an impact on his life and reminded him of the power of God’s Spirit to heal people.

He writes,

“The Sunday evening service on February 20, 2005, had just ended and I wanted to get home. I was frustrated. The previous Thursday a virus landed in my chest and throat, and in a period of less than three hours I went from being normal to having the worst case of laryngitis in the 35 years since college. On Friday I went to our walk-in clinic and received the bad news. The doctor warned that this virus was going around, she had seen several cases of it in the last few weeks, and there was nothing that could be done about it. I just had to wait it out. The laryngitis would last 7–10 days.

This couldn’t be, I whispered to her. My main day of teaching at the university was Monday, and I was looking at a full day of lecturing. I couldn’t afford to cancel classes because I had already missed my limit of canceled classes for that semester. To make matters worse, I was scheduled to deliver a three-hour lecture at a nearby church that Tuesday evening, and I didn’t want to let the church down.

It made no difference. The doctor said I wasn’t going to be able to speak either day, so I had to make other plans. My throat felt as if it had broken glass in it, and I was reduced to whispering. On Sunday evening I whispered a few greetings to various church friends; I tried to speak normally, but it hurt too much. After the service I had to get home, try to contact our department secretary that night… and cancel my classes for Monday. I could cancel with the church the next day.

As I was walking out of the sanctuary, two lay elders intercepted me. ‘Hey, J. P.,’ one yelled, ‘you can’t leave yet. Hope (my wife) just told us you have laryngitis, and we can’t let you get outta here without loving on you a bit and praying for your throat!’ So one elder laid hands on my shoulders and the other placed his hand on my lower throat area and started praying.

To be honest, I wasn’t listening to a word they said. I had already left the church emotionally and wanted to get home to make my phone call. But something happened. As the two men prayed gently for me, I began to feel heat pour into my throat and chest from one elder’s hand. After two or three minutes of prayer, I was completely and irreversibly healed! I started talking to the brothers normally with no pain, no effort, no trace that anything had been wrong. I never had to make that call to my secretary. The laryngitis never returned.”

Sometimes when a person experiences God’s power in a mighty way, there is no way to explain it in a logic way. God sometimes goes beyond the natural and enters into the supernatural so that the people will know it is through God’s power rather than human’s intellect that can bring healing.

What would happen if we saw more of this kind of occurrences in our church?!

You can learn more about his book on his Kingdom Triangle website.