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Communicating and Ministering the Power of the Gospel Cross-culturally: The Power of God for Christians Who Ride Two Horses

 

Conclusion

Pentecostals and charismatics have a golden opportunity to teach and influence non-charismatics if they will learn to tone down some practices and ministry styles that may be perceived as unnecessarily extreme.

Jesus gave all Christians the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; I Cor. 12:13) and with him power and authority over all demons and all diseases (Mat. 10:1; Lk. 9:1; 10:17-19). He promised, furthermore, that we would do all that he did and more (Jn. 14:12). The greatest spiritual power in the universe is available to Christians through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, large numbers of Christians worldwide have not entered into this aspect of Christianity—an aspect that speaks strongly to socially inculcated felt needs. Most of the world’s peoples are keenly aware of the spiritual world. And for most of the peoples of the world, the quest for enough spiritual power to live their lives with a minimum of disruption is one of their top priorities.

Failing to find Christianity providing the answers they seek in the area of spiritual power, many Christians have either retained their previous allegiance to powers other than the Holy Spirit or sought new power outside of Christianity to meet their felt needs in this area. This ought not to be. And it need continue no further if we develop biblical strategies to deal with it. May God enable us to do so.

 

PR 

 

Notes

1The truth is to be done not just intellectually known according to Jn. 3:21, “The one who practices [poieō “do, practice”] the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen that what he has done has been done through God.”

2Charles H. Kraft, Christianity With Power, Ann Arbor: Vine (Servant Publications), 1989; cf. Marguerite G. Kraft, Worldview and the Communication of the Gospel, Pasadena, CA: Wm Carey, 1978.

3Marguerite G. Kraft, Reaching Out for Spiritual Power (Ph.D. dissertation), Pasadena, CA: Fuller Seminary, 1990; id., Worldview and the Communication of the Gospel, Pasadena, CA: Wm Carey, 1978.

4David Barrett, Schism and Renewal, London: Oxford University Press, 1968.

5 See Kraft, Christianity With Power.

6 See Ibid.

 

Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NIV®.

This chapter is from Gary S. Greig and Kevin N. Springer, eds., The Kingdom and the Power: Are Healing and the Spiritual Gifts Used by Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? A Biblical Look at How to Bring the Gospel to the World with Power (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993). Used with permission.

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2009

About the Author: Charles H. Kraft, Ph.D. (Hartford Seminary Foundation), is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California). He has served as a missionary in Nigeria, and professor of African languages at Michigan State University and UCLA. He has published widely both in missiology and in African linguistics, and his books include Christianity in Culture (1979 and revised 2005), Worldview for Christian Witness (2008), and The Evangelical's Guide to Spiritual Warfare: Scriptural Insights and Practical Instruction on Facing the Enemy (Chosen, Feb 2015). His ministry website is www.heartssetfree.org.

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