Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spirit Burns - Non-Experiential Views, Part One

There are many different views on Spirit baptism. Some are relatively similar while others are diametrically opposed to each other. While there many opinions on this subject, each view can be classified under two broad categories.

The first category deals with those who take Spirit baptism to be non-experiential. While several sub-categories are within this group, the unifying concept is that Spirit baptism is not experienced. Non-experientialists agree that a believer may be relieved from conviction or may have joy because of his sins being washed away, but this is not caused by Spirit baptism. Spirit baptism is therefore a positional truth and not an experiential truth (Walvoord, 146).

All non-experientialists agree that Spirit baptism occurs at salvation. Therefore, Spirit baptism is universal of all saved believers and is never repeated. The technical nature of Spirit baptism, though, is debated among non-experientialists and falls into two groups.

1.) Spirit Baptism is Distinct to Salvation

The first argues that Spirit baptism is different than salvation. It is an event that occurs at the moment of regeneration but is still distinct.

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1Co 12:13)

Thus, Spirit baptism occurs simultaneously with regeneration but is distinguished. In this verse, Spirit baptism is linked with the placing of a believer into the body of Christ. Therefore, it is argued that Spirit baptism is decidedly different.

2.) Spirit Baptism is Synonymous with Salvation

The second non-experiential view holds that the baptism of the Spirit is equivalent to salvation. Cyrus Harvey in his book, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Salvation, defines Spirit baptism as one of many different expressions in the New Testament that represent a change of condition from “nature to grace.” Grudem states this even more clearly. “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,’ therefore, must refer to the activity of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Christian life when he gives us new spiritual life (in regeneration) and cleanses us and gives a clear break with the power and love of sin (the initial stage of sanctification). In this way ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ refers to all that the Holy Spirit does at the beginning of our Christian lives (768).”


Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994

Harvey, Cyrus. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Salvation. Wichita, KS: 1906

Walvoord, John J. The Holy Spirit. 3rd ed. Findlay, OH: Dunham Publishing, 1958.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Free Seminary Classes

Chris in his blog, Cloud of Witnesses, has written a post on how to find free education and free books. These sites will give you free mp3's of class lectures and also class syllabi. Here are some sites that he listed and some that I found:

  • Biblical Training - This site is run by Bill Mounce who has been a pastor and seminary professor. It offers free courses by reputable scholars in theology, church history, practical ministry, and biblical content.
  • Worldwide Classroom - This site is an extension of Covenant Theological Seminary. They offer 26 different courses such as: Youth Ministry, Life and Teachings of Jesus, Christian Ethics, etc. I have already begun listening to "Hebrews to Revelations" and am enjoying it immensely.
  • Dimensions of the Faith - Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has an area of their site dedicated to providing free seminary courses. They offer ten courses such as: God's People through the Ages, Study the Bible for All its Worth (I have the book that is based and the class and highly recommend it), and Prophets and Promise.

We should always be striving to improve our understanding of God's Word and what better way is there to do so than for free. Also, if you know of any other free courses, please comment below.
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Spirit Burns - Introduction

I’ve been baptized with fire! This phrase has been used repeatedly to describe an experience where the Holy Spirit comes upon a believer and endues him with power for some special work. Another name for it is the baptism of the Spirit. The subject is incredibly divisive, yet it is essential that you establish a position on the topic. With this in mind, I have set out to determine what the Bible truly teaches about Spirit baptism.

For centuries, Spirit baptism received insignificant attention from theologians. If you were to look at the systematic theology books of that era, you would be hard pressed to find a section that deals with this doctrine.

Everything changed at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Azusa Street Revival brought this doctrine to the forefront and since then it has been a major issue.

There are a few preliminaries that need to be covered:

  • I understand for some their devotional and spiritual life rests on how they understand this topic. Because of this, I will try to be objective and respectful of other positions. I hope that the reader will be same.  
  • Also, how we title our subject is important. Many terms are often carelessly used to refer to Spirit baptism: baptism in the Spirit, baptism with the Spirit, baptism of the Spirit, and baptism by the Spirit. Each term carries with it a particular nuance. Therefore, we will be using “Spirit baptism” in this study.
  • Lastly, this study is based upon a research paper I wrote for one of my graduate classes. I have cut it down and hopefully made it more digestible.

With that said, let us begin by looking at the various views of Spirit baptism.

Next Post: Non-Experiential Views »»
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mr. Ask a Question in Class to Try to Look Smarter Guy

Mark has a great article on a pet peeve of mine.

  • This is one of the most frustrating things about Christian colleges.  I have never known or heard of students arguing or enlightening their professors at public universities.  For Christians, all it seems to take is a New Testament survey class, and one is ready to show the teacher his errors.  
  • This really bugs me because I am paying about $33 an hour to set in class and be taught the views of my professors. I am not paying to hear what “Mr. Ask a Question in Class to Try to Look Smarter Guy” thinks. The only time I believe that questions should be asked in class is when one does not understand what is being taught or needs more explanation on the topic.  If you want to argue you need to do it after class.  I think that Mark's article should be passed out to every student that applies to seminary.
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How to Rise Early

Leo Babauta has a helpful article on the 10 Benefits of Rising Early, and How to Do It.  

  • A good idea I use is to put my clock across the room and then place a glass of water and my pills beside it.  This puts another one of my senses in play.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Internet Hermeneutics

Ever had problems accessing a webpage. You probably thought that it was some kind of "computer" error. You were wrong.

Go here to find out if you are spiritually mature. By the way, I had no problem opening the page.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blog Roll

There are several blogs that I subscribe to. So in the spirit of favoritism, here are my top nine.
  1. Theological Word of the Day – Pretty evident what this is about.
  2. Cloud of Witnesses – For those interested in philosophy, and its relationship to Christianity.
  3. Tim White – Seminary professor at Piedmont Bible College.
  4. Between Two Worlds – Only the most successful and influential Christian blogs.
  5. Denny Burk – A recent addition to my list. He is a professor at Boyce College.
  6. The Christian Bookshelf – For lovers of books.
  7. DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed – From the author of Why were not Emergent.
  8. NT Resources – An academic resource.
  9. Seminary Survival Guide – What every graduate student needs.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog Categories

You will find here some general groupings of my posts.

  • Book Reviews - Short summaries on the merits of the books I have recently finished.

  • Cultural - How should Christianity affect the world around us?

  • Devotional - Practical truths that have recently been on my mind.

  • Doctrine - Systematic truth that I have been studying.

  • Humor - Enter into my quirky outlook on different events.

  • Philosophy - There won't be too much posted here.

  • Practical - My catchall category.
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My Academic Projects

  1. The Constitutional Nature of Man - A Study of the Biblical Legitimacy of Trichotomy, Dichotomy, and Monism


  1. Heritage Baptist College
  2. Brownsburg Baptist Church
  3. Faith Baptist Theological Seminary


  1. Fingerstyle Guitar
  2. Diplomacy

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About Me

I grew up in a godly home in Indiana. During my teenage years, I was well on my way to abandoning the faith. God in his mercy though had other plans in mind.

For reasons I still don’t understand, I decided to attend Christian college for a year. While there I got involved in local church ministry. Slowly over time, I began to see that God had changed my desires. More than anything, I wanted to serve him full-time as a pastor.

I have graduated Summa Cum Laude from both Heritage Baptist College in Franklin, IN (Bachelor of Arts with a major in Pastoral Studies) and Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in Ankeny, IA (Masters of Arts with an emphasis in Pastoral Theology). I am also currently pursuing my M.Div. degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

I am thankful for God’s blessing in my life, and I am eager to see where he will lead me.

*I have had the opportunity to lead visitation, children, and youth ministries in the local church. Currently, I lead Brownsburg Baptist Church's Sunday School, Preschool, Young Adult Group, and Discipleship Ministries.

About this Blog

I like to call this a “thought blog.” By that I mean, you will be able to see the different issues that are currently on my mind. You will find theology, practical and devotional articles as well as book reviews.


Imago Christi by James Stalker is one of my favorite devotional works. Stalker follows the life of Christ and points out the example that He has left us. In the same way, I hope that this blog will uplift my Lord and encourage all of us to follow in His steps. Read More......