18/07/2007

A publishing landmark!!

My dear friend Dan has just posted his 500th post! He started writing around 2 years ago, and there is so much on this site. It is a tribute to Ern Baxter, containing many transcripts of his awesome sermons, plus much, much more. I am so grateful to my brother for his faithful publishing, which is food to my soul, and also for his regular prodding me to continue with publishing on this site.

Dan is currently reporting back from Together on a Mission. His latest post covers an awesome prophecy from Rob Rufus:

"Suicide bombers will be heading to targets when they themselves are hit by the nuclear blast of the glory of God and they will be felled like Paul on the Damascus Road. They will find themselves lovers instead of haters!"

I really believe we should expect such things in the days that lie ahead. Dan's vision and mine (and indeed Newfrontiers) is summarised by Habakkuk 2v14, quoted by David Devenish in his awesome message The Ephesus Mission – Pattern for World Evangelisation (there are helpful notes of this message done by Andrew Fountain).

Habakkuk 2v14 and other glorious scriptures such as Ps 2v8, Psalm 110v1 and Isaiah 2v1-5 speak of what will happen in the days that lie ahead. This was Ern Baxter's vision, that Dan so faithfully imparts through his site.

For a list of all that Dan has transcribed, see the Ern Baxter Archive. I thank God for Dan's contribution to the blogosphere.

11 comments:

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks so much my dear friend!! Your pastoral care and accountability and watch over my soul has meant so so much and I am so utterly grateful for that landmark day when we lunched together at Word, Spirit and Power at Westminster Chapel! Fitting that our friendship should be birthed in that atmosphere of the power and Presence of the Spirit of God!

I am so expectant of the future - keep me accountable, keep me looking to God, keep me looking to our vision that God has laid heavy on our hearts! There's a new era, a new day ahead!!

Much love in Him!

james b said...

I haven't seen that pix of Ern that Dan uses. Whose are those hands either side of Ern's head?

Dan Bowen said...

That picture was taken when Ern Baxter was visiting us in Dunstable just before he went to glory. Those hands are two of the young (then) ministry training students that Stanley Jebb (my senior pastor) tutored.

Peter Day said...

Ah, Dan, you got there first. I would just add that two of the people in the wider picture (I'm not sure if it is their hands you can see) were actually involved in my church, Lansdowne, for a season.

One became assistant pastor and served alongside me for a while before pastoring a church in Portsmouth. The other was actually my predecessor at Lansdowne and is now a pastor in Worthing. He has his own blog.

It is interesting the way God's purposes are worked out!

james b said...

i am really surprised that pastor was actually with ern!! ive read his blog a bit and he doesnt seem v charismatic or restorationist at all. i guess people change. awesome tho ... what a history to have once had ern baxter sitting in your church!

Dan Bowen said...

Well my home church had quite an interesting history and shortly after Ern died, they changed a lot of things and doctrines so don't let that surprise you. It is an awesome thing though James. I must admit I sometimes feel jealous of people who have grown up in charismaniac churches experiencing the Spirit weekly in power but I am really grateful to God for putting me where He did. Ern wasn't perfect of course - but his measure of faith and optimism in God and His purposes for the Bride of Christ are life-changing!! And that is why I have such a deep love for him. Like Piper with Jonathan Edwards - Ern Baxter totally changed my life and view of God and relationship with God.

James said...

Wow I never knew that. I thought you always were in a charismatic church! What was the history then? I cant understand how a church can be charismatic and then ... not! Fancy telling the history at some point? i'd particularly be interested in Ern Baxter's part because he never stopped being a charismatic did he?

Peter Day said...

No Ern Baxter stayed totally faithful to Word and Spirit right till the end. He even preached about that very subject during his last visit to Dan's old church in Dunstable.

Just to clarify. The picture was taken at Dunstable (Dan's old church). There is a history to tell, but I shall leave that to Dan (sorry, bro) if he feels it is right to share it.

The two brothers you were asking about came to my church, Lansdowne, at different times, during which the church certainly became more open to the ministry of the Spirit and we began to see the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I tell a brief history in one of my earlier posts.

If you would like to know more, please feel free to e-mail through my profile page. Thank you for your interest, James. I, for one, want to keep the fires burning - and see them grow in power.

James said...

But this really puzzles me - and there's a broader issue here (I'm not just picking on Dan's home church) - if a man of Word and Spirit like Ern Baxter is related apostolically to a church with input - and they are truly founded on the Word taking it as their authority, how can they suddenly change and do a 180 degree about turn?

I can understand cessationists who have been taught in the Macarthur tradition and have never known charismatic life and are given horror stories in that book Charismatic Chaos about men like Benny Hinn - BUT if a church has known charismatic life that is balanced and ordered then how can you suddenly stand up and say "Enough! Out with the Holy Spirit!?!".

And wouldn't Ern Baxter have had something to say about that?!

Sorry for questions - I'm just quite intrigued and troubled. I've never really "met" a church that so dynamically did an about turn on something as essential and as Dave Holden said at Brighton - so not optional as the Holy Spirit

Dan Bowen said...

They're excellent questions James and to be quite honest I think quite a few of the folk from Dunstable would also like to know the answers! You asked how two important issues - how can such dramatic change come when under apostolic authority and founded on the Word. Knowing Ern as I do, it wouldn't have been his style to impose his views. He always saw apostolic ministry as "relating". It was a relational thing and I don't think he would have or could have affected really what was happening. I wasn't privy to private leaders meetings of course so I could have been wrong - that's just a guess.

Secondly the issue about the Word is also important. It's my conviction (and this isn't limited to my home church) that much dislike and distaste of charismatic life isn't grounded on the Word of God at all but rather reacting to charismatic excesses. Dr Lloyd-Jones made that point too in "Joy Unspeakable". There was very little solid teaching from the Word during those years as to why functional cessationism was biblical. It was more relaying "horror" stories from Toronto and a distributing of Macarthur's "Charismatic Chaos"!

Now one final point - the change wasn't as abrupt as I perhaps wrongly made out. It was a gradual subtle thing which happened over some years. So much so that some members still thought we were a "charismatic" church even around the time I left! I noted a similar thing even in my brief time in SGM. I heard phrases there such as "We choose Geneva over Toronto".

I think the key to all this is to passionately hold the tension between Word and Spirit. The question is - is it in the Word? If so then it governs and drives our church life. End of. If it isn't - then it is out.

Hope that makes sense. Can't really say much more without a full detailed history!

James B said...

Thanks for sharing that. I would really be interested in a history if you ever felt it appropriate.