I’ve written a fair bit on or relating to post-charismatic themes, dating back to early 2005 and based even then on conversation that reach back before that. I think it was the fall of 2004 that Rob McAlpine and I were comparing notes on each of our experiences, observations, and reflections… the ones that led us independently into what Rob began to call post-charismatic, or post-hype. Rob was at that time beginning a writing project on the subject, exploring the history of the charismatic movement and identifying some of the places where it had gone off the rails. I was very happy to receive each section of his work in my inbox as he completed them, and we began long dialogues via email as we each pushed back a little and shared additional observations or connections that helped further an understanding of some point or other. The conversation around each section could last for weeks as each of us would receive a set of replies, ponder, compose, and within a few hours or several days, send along a response. Despite having already reached the major conclusions myself, I learned a lot through reading Rob’s research and through the discussion that followed. Little by little, his project grew and took shape. By the time I read the third chapter, it seemed pretty apparent to me that somewhere along the line, it would be time to start thinking about a publisher. The series was originally published online and there was some good conversation around it, but as most people may know, it had to be removed pending publication.
And as it turns out, the big day has finally come as the book has now been released in the UK; a North American release will follow in a few months. I have to say, I think this will be the first “standard” work on the subject within the emerging/missional church, particularly where people have come out of the charismatic movement.
Further thoughts and conversation around the whole idea of “post-charismatic” has continued, including my summary of six types of post-charismatics, which goes a good ways toward explaining some of the nuances and motivations behind the desire for a post-hype Christianity. I would think by now that I wouldn’t be shocked or surprised by any of the abuses I see or hear about in the extremes of the charismatic movement, and for the most part, I am. But every now and then, I’ll hear something that just makes me shake my head, usually from the experience of someone who’s been there and has lived to get out and tell their story as they go through a detox season and seek healing. Such was one of the tidbits in a post on A Life Profound the other day, linking back to one of my posts. There are a lot of people out there, finding one another online — I’d recommend Rob’s book to any of them. I’m looking forward to getting my copy and hopeful that this will spur along a further conversation about the Holy Spirit and missional living… post-hype.