Jason Clark continues his post-charismatic thoughts, and Len Hjalmarson jumps in with some reflection, also linking an earlier article he’d written on the subject. He then quickly followed up with more thoughts, expanding on his comment on my recent post on this subject. Sivin Kit also weighs in, giving some momentum to the whole thing Alan Hartung’s post on the subject was also quoted in the comments to my earlier post.
As to what it means to be “post-charismatic,” it is first of all important to understand “post-” and to this end, Scot McKnight explains it well. It’s not “new-and-improved” as much as a simple “we were there and now we’re here.” To be post-charismatic is not to abandon the charismata, but it is to apply it in a different way, fitting it into a new or emerging framework. While the charismata remain important, they are not central, nor do they take centre stage to the same extent as was seen in the charismatic movement.
As an aside, in Len’s comments (which are recommended; Len is a deep thinker) he suggests that being post-charismatic is hard because he can’t leave God behind… but he offers his own definition of post-charismatic so that it would fit. I’m not sure if I’m missing this part of what he’s saying or if I’m not phrasing well this whole post-charismatic idea, but any apparent disagreement is perhaps more of a symantic misfortune than anything else. In any event, his appeal is to continue looking for the work of the Spirit in powerful ways. I’m with that.
Probably as with many “post-‘s,” the difference between charismatic and post-charismatic is largely in the area of practice more than in the area of doctrine. Some of this is explained where I said, “I long for a church that is low-key. I’m tired of hype, I’m tired of noise, and I’m tired of intensity. I used to like all those things, but I no longer equate these with ‘signs of life.'” This should resonate with anyone who’s been in a charismatic or renewal church (or what-have-you) that was prone to hype. One morning people in places like just get up and say, “Maybe the next great revival is just around the corner, but if it arrives, call me I’ll be out trying to practice the gospel.” Perhaps this is the essence of post-charismaticism: the biggest defining factor is to be, as Robbymac likes to put it, “post-hype.”