by  Robert  Brow   (www.brow.on.ca)    Aurora, Ontario       May 2008

The Greek word charisma means a gift, and it is used of the gifts of
the Spirit (Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 1:7, 12:4, 9-11, 28-30,
Ephesians 4:11-12).  For hundreds of years theologians maintained that
the charismata died out in the first century.   One result of this was
that church congregations were controlled by a one male ministry. A
variety of gifts including elders, pastors, teachers, and evangelists
were recovered by the Plymouth Brethren (1830) but they also
maintained that the charismata of apostles, and speaking in tongues
were for the New Testament period only. Pentecostal manifestations
began about 1906 and developed into several large Pentecostal
denominations. The charismatic movement within the mainline
denominations began about 1959, and an early leader in the Episcopal
denomination was Dennis Bennett, followed by Michael Harper among the
Anglicans of England. Eventually the model of the Church as a body
with many gifts was adopted in all the major denominations (see The
Church: An Organic Picture, 1968, chapters 6-15).    In that sense all
Christians should exercise one or more gifts of the Spirit as they
play their part in the Church in their city.

Robert Brow
e-mail : browr@brow.on.ca
web site : www.brow.on.ca


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