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Fall 2003: Other Significant Articles

“Three Centuries of Objections to Biblical Miracles” Mark J. Larson. Bibliotheca Sacra 160 (Jan-Mar 2003), pages 77-100.

This article describes and critiques the pervasive denial of the supernatural elements of the Bible among Rationalism thinkers and philosophers of the last three centuries. Pastor Larson offers convincing proofs for why these rationalistic objections to the miraculous are unfounded. This article is significant for the Pentecostal/charismatic reader because the same arguments used for defending the miracles of the Bible are applicable to the defense of the contemporary gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Larson has, however, written off the contemporary ministry of the miraculous by quoting an erroneous statement by the famous cessationist B. B. Warfield. “Miracles indeed are remote from most people; but this much be the case! They do not happen indiscriminately throughout history; they ‘belong to revelation periods, and appear only when God is speaking through accredited messengers’” (page 92). For a refutation of this cessationist argument, please see the book by former Dallas Theological Seminary professor Jack Deere, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit (Zondervan, 1993), especially Appendix C “Were There Only Three Periods of Miracles?” pages 253-266.

“When Wal-Mart Moves In” John M. De Marco. Outreach (May-June 2003), pages 46-53.

Pastors of “small” congregations discuss the challenges and opportunities found while ministering in the shadow of the megachurch. Outreach magazine is dedicated to the “Ideas, Insights, & Stories of the Intentional Church” and is in its second year of publication.

Of related interest, although with a near-opposite point, Pastor Daniel A. Brown offers practical insights for the “stuck” church in “Help! My Church Won’t Grow” Ministries Today (July/August 2003), pages 44-48.

“Breaking Chains” Christianity Today (March 2003), pages 46-54.

Two advocates of religious-rights discuss what should be done to help persecuted Christians worldwide. Michael Horowitz, director of the Hudson Institute’s Project for International Liberty, and T. Jeremy Gunn, senior fellow for religion and humans rights at Emory University, present sharply different perspectives. The second half of the debate, “Breaking Chains II” appeared in the April 2003 issue of Christianity Today, pages 88-89.

“The Ruach, the Jews, and the Pentecostal Experience” Ray Gannon. Enrichment (Summer 2003), pages 110-111.

Dr. Gannon succinctly relates that Jews have responded positively to the good news of Messiah when the Spirit is manifested in their midst. He challenges his Assemblies of God readership to be people of the Spirit in order to reveal Jesus as Messiah to the Jewish community.

“Miracle on my street” Tricia Goyer. On Mission (Jan-Feb 2003), pages 35-37.

Using statistics (in Newsweek, May 1, 2000) that 84% of all Americans believe in miracles and a majority of them have themselves experienced one or know someone that has, this article urges using miracle testimonies for evangelistic openers. Predominantly about the miracle power of sharing your testimony, this article is significant in that it appears in the magazine “Helping You Share Christ in the Real World” published by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Category: Fall 2003

About the Author: The editors are Raul Mock, Mike Dies, Joe Joslin, and Jim Dettmann with significant input from other writers including John Lathrop, Amos Yong, Tony Richie, and Kevin Williams.

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