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John Pester: Jesus Christ: Last Adam, Life-giving Spirit

At the same time however, there must be some critical thought on what appears to be, in this and other A&C articles, a blurring of the person of the Holy Spirit. Pester’s statement that Paul’s Christology and Pnuematology are synonymous limits tremendously the person and work of the Holy Spirit. This limitation is particularly apparent as concerns the Spirit’s presence upon and in the midst of God’s people as well as contemporary supernatural manifestations. While the reviewer finds difficulty with these and other points that appear in various articles of A&C, the overall message is solid and trumpets Paul’s heartbeat, “Christ in you the hope of glory.”

Reviewed by Ronald M. Messelink

Read the article online: [available March 17, 2014]


Editor’s Note:

Some of teachings of Living Stream Ministries, publishers of Affirmation and Critique, have been the subject of some on-going controversy (For example, see the March 1999 issue of Charisma, pp. 26-27). Various cult watching groups have leveled accusations of heresy and heavy handedness at Living Stream’s parent ministry, the Local Church Movement. The Local Church Movement was founded by the late Witness Lee, a long time disciple of Watchman Nee.

At the time of press, the editors of  the Pneuma Review were unable to reach any conclusions on these matters.

While it is true that A & C appears to reflect “unconventional” expressions of Trinitarianism and other cardinal doctrines, some cult watchers have the unfortunate habit of reducing profound truths to the place that they lose their Biblical mystery. There is a divine mystery resonating from teachings such as the hypostatic union (the union of divine and human in the Person of Jesus), the Trinity (how can one logically explain how God is tri-une?), to say nothing of theological concepts such as theosis (theosis is an ancient teaching that in Jesus believers become or are becoming like God. This was taught by several respected church fathers including the famous Trinitarian Athanasius) that are foreign to a Western worldview.

Unless further research demonstrates otherwise, A &C should be given the benefit of the doubt. Because of the influence of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, there is an expected departure from Western theological perspective. If there is error, it must be dealt with properly. If, however, this represents a new or fresh perspective of the true teaching of Scripture, we had best be gracious and attentive to such insights.

As in all matters surrounding controversy, caution is necessary. Should you look into these matters, remain prayerfully and lovingly alert.


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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Spring 1999

About the Author: Ron Messelink left the business world in 1992 to pursue a call to ministry. A graduate of Grace School of Ministry, he founded Grace Life Church where he ministered for 17 years. Ron's passion is for people to know and experience the reality for Christ in you, the hope of glory. Ron currently teaches believers and churches through Ron Messelink Ministries. He is working on several books and developing a discipleship tool to help people connect and grow in the gospel of grace. Ron and his wife Joy make their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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