Cessationist Bloggers, Or Something Quite Like It

robbymac-404.jpg There’s a growing list of blogging cessationists whose voices are bing missed these days, and a list of notables it is, too:

And hey, Mr. TSK-Jones is kinda back from his blog-fast, too. So now that I’ve debagged the cat and confessed that I’m Not a Monk, But I Play One on the Internet, I feel in a way as though I’ve stopped blogging, when I really haven’t. I’ve not been as active on these pages lately as I once was, and I wrote about my blogging malaise a while back. It hasn’t changed a lot, but perhaps I can shed some more light. And no, it’s not going to be a blogosphere departure, just a… a… pseudo-hiatus.

What Does That Mean?

Just spent an hour on Skype with Robbymac. Looks like he has a bit more gray in his beard than I recall, whatever that means. He says he’s been too busy to blog because he’s doing “important things” — whatever that means. (Just kidding!) It’s warmer where he is. He also said of my new blog design that I’ve gone from college professor to beatnik. Whatever that means. Maybe the new design will give me more blogging energy, but it seems there are others as well who are losing steam, tiring of the “same old” conversation. Whatever that means.

Oi-Oi-Oi-Oi-Oi. And Harrrumph.

jcrowdertour.jpg The buzz of the day is around the old hyper-charismatic mess. Steve Knight opines on John Crowder who’s big on “Tokin’ the Ghost.” Yes, sadly, you read that right. I don’t know if it’s Todd Bentley-ish or what. Uh-huh. Here’s a few words to the wise should you get to watching the YouTube videos at the ends of those links. (1) When someone claims to have been through a “dark night of the soul” that ends with “spiritual power”, there’s a 99% likelihood they’ve never read St. John of the Cross. (2) When anyone starts using the phrase “whole new dimension” or “whole new level”, run away. (3) When you’re being told to ignore all that you know and believe only in the transrational “greater reality”, it’s time to exercise some sharp discernment… and use your brain. Seriously, claims of “bi-location” where one person appears in two places at the same time? What’s up with that? Did a simpler explanation never occur to anyone, or is it supposed to be a sign of faith to run to the most outlandish explanation? So I guess they’ve got this “revival” thing going on in Lakeland, FL. My email is abuzz this morning, and I’m thinking of Robbymac’s Post-Charismatic? book (link to Amazon.ca).

Trips to the Mailbox

mcalpine_pccover.gif I was busy working on a whole different post (a CD review) when my wife showed up in my study with her hands behind her back, saying, “I have two pieces of good news, which do you want first? Pick a hand!” I chose my left, her right. A cheque (yes, that’s the correct spelling here in Canada!) for $106, a rebate on our annual auto insurance premium. Nice! See, we have this big road trip coming up, so we’ve got to set aside as much spare cash as we can to cover it, along with the anticipated activities along the way. Yesterday I paid a $1,260 car repair bill, and last week it was four new tires, over $400 installed despite the really good sale price we got. Oh, and then there’s the $200 fine we got for not licensing our dog this year or last. An animal control officer came right to the door and served us a summons… and if you’re talking to my wife, do not get her started on this one! We also have to get the dog his shots and pay for last year’s license plus this year. Bad timing for all these extra expenses, to be sure. Oh, and the house insurance bill is coming up. We met up with the in-laws after picking up the car at the garage yesterday, and over ice cream they presented each of my daughters with an American $100 bill for their trip… their faces lit up pretty brightly! There were two additional $100 bills for my wife and me as well, so that’s a really nice send-off.

Post-Charismatic… Without Question.

mcalpine_pccover.gif 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.

Laying Blame

robmcalpine.gif The West Wing Blame this man. I was sitting down to compose a post this evening — on what I don’t know, but it would have been something… when my cell phone rang. An hour later, Rob and I were mostly caught up, but now it’s a choice between thinking up something intelligent and watching a rerun of The West Wing — it’s one of the last few episodes in the series (Season 7) and I’ve been following along (again)… so now you know who to blame. I love that show… so much better than the real thing. ;^)

Charismatic Conversation-Starters

Guardian Angel The October 2007 issue of Bill Dahl’s The Porpoise-Diving Life zine is out. Robbymac is the guest editor for this issue, and he selected the theme of Charis-Missional for this issue. He recruited me, Emerging Grace, and one other person to generate content for the issue, originally slated for publication in July. Our fourth had to drop out due to other circumstances, but Phil Wyman submitted a couple of pieces through Bill to tag himself in at the last minute. This one felt a bit awkward, for a few reasons. First, we rushed through June to complete the issue, but a computer crash around that time left Bill scrambling all summer so that he couldn’t update the site until late August, when the August issue went live and stayed up through September. By that time, Rob, Grace, and I were asking ourselves, “Maybe I should read what I wrote back in June to see if I still agree with it?” I didn’t re-read my pieces, but… no matter.