Documenting the Charismatics

John Koenig

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 7/1/1981

Issue: Experience and Christian Faith (Vol. 1, No 3, Summer, 1981)

My purpose in this short exercise is to review some of the current literature produced by the movement (particularly the Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic branches of it which I know best) so as to mark out a public body of self-testimony by charismatics. Like any group claiming special insights, the charismatic movement cannot be understood, finally, except from the inside. Nevertheless, as Christians committed to the open proclamation of the Gospel, charismatics feel the need to articulate their claims for all in language intelligible to all. Thus, we can now distinguish a block of literature emerging from the movement which represents something more than in-house community building. It is this boundary writing, in which charismatics want to explain themselves to us all, that I want to explore. In my view, it has become generally less strident, more reflective, and therefore more believable than before.

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