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- Follow-ups (2001)
The following e-mails are responding to the e-mail exchange Pentecostal Calvinist? The e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
>I recently came upon your site (dtl.com) and have enjoyed it immensely. I was raised Catholic (parochial school trained all the way) and almost entered seminary for the priesthood after high school. I am persuaded that much of my early life (up to my 30's) was influenced by my Grandmother's prayers. (Grandparents were charismatic Baptists who owned and operated a Baptist Bible and Book store in another state.) In my late 20's and early 30's was exposed to conservative reformed theology as a member of a wonderful PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) church. I value my copies of [John Calvin's] The Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Over the years my wife have been exposed to a a wide range of Christian practices and are awed by the consistency and faithfulness of God to bring us into truth by his spirit. We are currently part of a house-church that is part of an affiliation with a Vineyard church.
With my Calvinistic beliefs I stir up no end of controversy. (Normally not intentionally) But fortunately, this is a group of people very interested in finding God's heart and doing his will, so they are receptive to solid Biblical arguments. (for the most part - there is still a large continent that sees nothing wrong with Harry Potter - "...no different than The Chronicles of Narnia' and Lord of the Rings...")
I particularly enjoyed your stuff on Pentecostal Calvinists. Although my theology is reformed, I believe in (and the operation of the spiritual gifts.
Keep up the good effort,
Thanks for relating your story, and I am glad you have enjoyed my site.
Choice Christian Greetings.
Well it has been some time since I visited your site to check out the "Pentecostal Calvinist Corner." I am the AG minister who sent you the original email. Since that time I have been in contact with several others from the "PC" persuasion and have found that God is graciously moving in many new venues. I am about to wrap up doctoral work, Lord Willing, through the AG Seminary. The topic: " Understanding the Order of Salvation in Response to Preaching." Now we shall see how providence shall guide the remainder of this project, as well as, the future of those in an official Pentecostal denomination, who adhere to a Reformed understanding of the ordo salutis.
When I first wrote to you I wished to remain anonymous. However, I have come too far now and would enjoy further dialogue with others. You may post my email address. firstname.lastname@example.org
Your humble servant,
Thank you for contacting me. I will post your email address on my site as soon as I am able. But it might be a while as I'm rather occupied right now with personal/ family issues.
I am just getting in contact with you again. I did not realize that it has been over 2 years since I first came across your site and the questions of Pentecostal Calvinism came to light. Since then I have moved from Oklahoma to Kentucky and have been a part of a reformation society that includes Ken. I have spoken to Mike and Lon. Just wanted to contact you again and let you know that if someone wants to contact me that would be fine. They probably need to send it to my yahoo address. email@example.com
Yes, I am still in the Assemblies of God and have found a few others in the movement with like precious faith. I will at a later time update my statements on this view if that is ok.
By His Grace
Thank you for your email. I will add your email address to the Pentecostal Calvinist discussion when I am able. But it will probably be a while as I'm rather tied up with personal matters right now.
In connection with a previous e-mail, concerning "Calvinistic Charismatics", it does appear from information I've heard from the UK Evangelical Alliance that NFI are the only distinctly 'reformed' charismatic group in the UK, (we even devoted our last magazine to the doctrine of Unconditional Election, and its influence on prayer and evangelism). Perhaps we aren't that common after all. As for the USA, I have heard of the People of Destiny International movement, based in Washington DC, and of Wayne Grudem (who wrote an excellent systematic theology, although he does hold to a pre-millennial, albeit post-tribulational, stance on Revelation 20) as being reformed non-cessationists.
I hope that this e-mail finds you in good health, and that your excellent web-site continues to bear fruit in defending the Christian faith and pointing people to Christ.
Thanks for the info on the NFI.
Just an email to thank you for your excellent site. I have found it extremely useful in my studying of Predestination in Scripture. I used to be confused by the issue (thus neutral) until God gave me a desire to find out exactly what Scripture says. I concluded that Calvinism is a good description of what God tells us about this aspect of His nature.
I found your site by searching for 'Calvinist Pentecostal' on the web (your site was the only one I found - do you know of others?) as I wanted to know if there were others out there like me. My family is Baptist, we moved to Hongkong in 1989 and the best closest church was Anglican, so I went to an Anglican church for 10 years. I moved back to Melbourne for University last year and God put me into a Pentecostal church (before I never would have dreamed being a member of one!) I am definitely different to everyone else in my church - not brought up Pentecostal means that I am not as Pentecostal as many would like (but it has not yet caused a problem). Being part-Baptist, part-Anglican and a Calvinist does cause some people to try and debate with me (I try and avoid it with most of them as they often have an incorrect view of Calvinism which causes them to think I believe stuff I don't - e.g. we have no responsibility for our sins).
I would say that I am more Pentecostal than Baptist or Anglican but I've found it frustrating with people who have a problem with others who don't fit into their denominational mold (and I don't fit into any denomination perfectly - so I've met these people in all denominations I've been to). And this year I have changed course to theology and will study in a Baptist college ("Why not Pentecostal?" they ask etc...)
=Anyway I could go on for ages on this. It is an excellent church, but like every other not perfect. And I grew immensely in it last year.
Thanks a huge amount again for your site - I was pleasantly surprised to see how much more excellent stuff you have on your site after reading the emails on Calvinism and Pentecostalism. I am finding it very helpful in my personal study on Predestination (If you're interested - To help me remember what I study, I type up what I learn, and then to pass time I post them on the web - http://apochrypha.tripod.com Your comments and advice on what you read there would be nice [if you have time]) I put a page up which is a re-writing of your three explanations for Gen3:3 in More Questions on Calvinism. I've put a link to your site (with a recommendation) on mine, but if you object please tell me and I'll remove either or both as you wish.
If you like my site I'd love a link to it so others may know it exists. Feel free to put this email on your site if you think it'll help others. Also I'd like being in contact with the A/G ministers who emailed you and were posted on your site, so could you please send my email address to them if you think it's appropriate.
May God bless your ministry more and more as it is clear He has been.
Yours in Christ,
Thank you for sharing your testimony. It is interesting, and getting somewhat familiar. I will post your e-mail on my site, but it might be a while. When I do I will retain the URL you give and set it as a link to your site.
Using a limited amount of information from my site is fine, provided you provide documentation as to where it came from along with a link back to my site.
Sorry, but it is not my practice to keep track of the e-mail addressed of e-mails I post, especially when they were posted quite some time ago. It would just be too confusing to do so.
I read with great interest the exchange about Pentecostal Calvinism. I would fall in that category even though I am a Baptist. I generally hold to 4 points of Calvinism, but am unclear on what Limited Atonement really means as I have had 2 different explanations and have not read about it deeply enough to know where I stand in relation to Calvin on that.
I am a pre-millennialist, but not pre-trib. My study of the Bible leads me to believe in a rapture sometime before the end of the tribulation. I tend to lean toward trichotomy, but am not totally convinced on that point.
I believe in the gifts as being for today and useful for the church's work in the world, but I also believe that salvation is in and of itself God's work and nothing to do with our work (Ephesians 2:8-10 makes that clear).
I have been able to work with Pentecostal pastors and Baptist pastors without any real problem. My Calvinist beliefs have not interfered, neither has my disbelief in a pre-trib rapture. Of course I cannot be an A/G minister because I believe in eternal security and do not believe in the pre-trib rapture, but I tend to favor the Baptist form of church government anyway.
It was nice to see that I am not alone. Please pass on my email address to any other "Pentecostal Calvinists" you may know of.
ONLY JESUS SAVES!!
It does sound like you are quite eclectic in your theology. As for the different views on limited atonement, see the section on this subject on my Calvinism pages. I discuss the different views in depth.
Since I still have the e-mail I sent to the last Pentecostal-Calvinist in my "Sent" folder, I be able to forward your e-mail to him.
>Thank you. I will not tell you that my beliefs will not change, I am ever-seeking and want only to know what God's truth really is. I look forward to really knowing one day, but for now the mission!! Lord bless you!!
ONLY JESUS SAVES!!
>Dear Mr. Zeolla,
I have recently found your website and found many of the articles very interesting. I was surprised however that much of your criticism of charismatics was essentially a continuation of your opposition to Arminianism, trichotemy and pre-Millennialism which, you assert, to be typical charismatic doctrines.
I have been attending a New Frontiers charismatic-evangelical church for about 12 years (and have been a member for most of that time) and, far as I am aware, all NFI churches (of which there are about 200, mostly in the UK) are strongly reformed in their theological emphasis. Furthermore, in our recent series of preaching through Revelation, a strongly 'amillennial' stance was advocated. I do not know what the official position of NFI is concerning trichotomy (I don't think there is one), but many in NFI (including myself) hold to dichotomy.
Perhaps the association between Arminianism and the charismatic movement is more prevalent in the older Pentecostal denominations (e.g. Assemblies of God) or perhaps Arminian charismatics are more common in the USA.
By the way, thank you for your very helpful articles on the KJV only position and your reviews of other translations. Your responses to questions on the distinction between supralapsarianism and sublapsarianism were also very helpful.
I have never heard of a Reformed, charismatic/ Pentecostal church or denomination here in the states. All are, as far as I know, Arminian, dispensational, and trichotomist. Since I've never been outside of the states (unless you count a quick trip to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls), you can excuse me if I'm not familiar with charismatic churches overseas.
But thanks for the info.
>Subject: Pentecostal-Calvinist denomination
I was reading over your correspondences and noticed you said you'd never heard of a Pentecostal Calvinist denomination in the states. I know that was an old post, but Sovereign Grace Ministries (formerly PDI) is essentially P.C.A. [Presbyterian Church of America] in doctrine, except with a Baptist perspective on infant baptism and openness and practice of charismatic gifts.
For additional follow-ups, see Pentecostal Calvinist? - Follow-ups (1999/ 2000)
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