The Holy Spirit, “The Charistmata”, And Signs And Wonders: Some Evangelical Perspectives From The Eighteenth Century -- By: Michael A. G. Haykin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 16:4 (Winter 2012)
Article: The Holy Spirit, “The Charistmata”, And Signs And Wonders: Some Evangelical Perspectives From The Eighteenth Century
Author: Michael A. G. Haykin


The Holy Spirit, “The Charistmata”, And Signs And Wonders: Some Evangelical Perspectives From The Eighteenth Century1

Michael A. G. Haykin

Michael A.G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He is also Adjunct Professor of Church History and Spirituality at Toronto Baptist Seminary in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Haykin is the author of many books, including “At the Pure Fountain of Thy Word”: Andrew Fuller As an Apologist (Paternoster Press, 2004), Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival (Evangelical Press, 2005), and The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality (Evangelical Press, 2007), and Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Crossway, 2011).

The emergence of Pentecostalism at the turn of the twentieth century, along with the rise of the Charismatic Movement in the 1960s and the more recent development of the Association of Vineyard Churches have ensured that the work of the Holy Spirit has been keenly debated within the ranks of evangelical Christianity in the last century or so. The way in which this discussion has often been conducted, however, has caused many of its participants to be blind to the fact that this is not the first time in the history of the church that the activity of the Spirit has come under such intense and prolonged scrutiny. For instance, eighteenth-century evangelicals on both sides of the Atlantic—heirs to the in-depth analysis of the Spirit’s work by the Puritans and with their interest in things pneumatological quickened by their experience of revival—were involved in an extensive debate over such fundamental questions of pneumatology as the indwelling of the Spirit, the doctrine of assurance, the Spirit’s work in sanctification, and the experience of the Spirit’s power.2 The study of a previous pneumatological debate like that in the eighteenth century is, of course, valuable in its own right. Examination of the eighteenth-century evangelical experience of and reflection on the work of the Holy Spirit, however, can also generate some fresh perspectives on current debates about the Spirit’s activity. For, as William DeArteaga has recently noted, there are definite parallels between the evangelical revivals of the eighteenth century and renewal movements in the present day.3

The Eighteenth-Century Revival

Before launching into a focused discussion of this aspect of eighteenth-century evangelical experience and reflection, a few words about the ...

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