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Wrestling With Dark Angels:

Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare

 

The Introduction of this book, which was compiled as a result of the “Academic Symposium on Power Evangelism,” was written by C. Peter Wagner. Twenty-two attendees of the Symposium contributed to the book, from Charismatics to Evangelicals.

 C. Peter Wagner starts by summarizing the move of Christianity over the last century with the resulting union of Charismatics, Evangelicals and Pentecostals.

  

Introduction 

“The transition from the 1980s to the 1990s is an awesome period of time for the Christian community. Skilled analysts and prophets alike are affirming that the decade of the '90s is shaping up as an arena for the greatest outpouring of spiritual power at least in living memory if not in all of Christian history. The fruition of the 90-year old Pentecostal movement, now joined by the charismatic movement and the Third Wave, is one of the chief contributing factors. Combined with that are new and powerful emphases on church growth, compassion for the poor and oppressed, prayer, prophecy and other aspects of the supernatural.

A striking feature of this build-up of what may result in a historical revival near or just after the turn of the century is the new openness to the miraculous works of the Holy Spirit across the lines of historic Christian traditions. For years many evangelicals shunned the reported manifestations of signs and wonders, healings, demonic deliverances and miracles in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements. A few still rather staunchly adhere to their traditional anti-Pentecostal positions, but their ranks are becoming notably thin.”

 Wagner shows the background to the Symposium to have been a continuation of the ecumenical unity found in Lausanne l and ll. He goes on to explain the role of the Fuller Symposium and John Wimber’s Power Evangelism.

Page 6 

  The great Lausanne II Congress on World Evangelization, held in Manila in July 1989, was in itself a highly visible and prophetically symbolic stepping stone into the decade of the '90s. In dramatic contrast to Lausanne I, held in Switzerland in 1974, Lausanne II embraced leaders of the Pentecostal/charismatic movements at all levels from the Lausanne Committee itself through the plenary sessions and workshops to the thousands of participants who regularly worshiped with raised hands. Remarkably, the three most attended workshop tracks (of 48 offered) were on the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare and prayer. Speakers such as Paul Yonggi Cho, Jack Hayford, Omar Cabrera, Dick Eastman, William Kumuyi and many others like them reflected the lowering of the barriers between evangelicals and charismatics over the 15 years between the two congresses.”

The Fuller Symposium

 "A much smaller, but also highly significant, meeting of evangelicals, Pentecostals and Carismatics was convened by the Fuller Seminary School of World Mission seven months previous to Lausanne II. Under the title "Academic Symposium on Power Evangelism" it brought together 40 scholars representing Christian institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada on December 13-15, 1988.

   The consortium was brought together because of a growing awareness on the part of many academicians that curricula in certain Bible schools and seminaries were not adequately dealing with the issues being raised by these new movements. Several institutions, however, had begun to introduce courses, sections of courses and lectures dealing with power ministries--not without varying degrees of opposition from more traditionally inclined faculty colleagues who did not wish their institutions to be identified with what they regarded as Pentecostal excesses. Those who participated in the symposium were chiefly faculty members from the schools which had already begun to experiment with power-oriented teaching.

   Because of the unusual degree of media coverage given to the Fuller School of World Mission's MC510 course, taught from 1982-1985 by John Wimber and me, it was fitting for Fuller to take the initiative in hosting the symposium. John Wimber's term "power evangelism" was selected as the theme, partly because his book, “Power Evangelism” (Harper&Row) had emerged as the most commonly used textbook in these new courses. The book is based on lectures given by Wimber in the MC510 course. Wimber also assumed the role of keynote speaker in the symposium, and his presentation, "Power Evangelism: Definitions and Directions," is the first chapter of this book."

The Participants, most of whom were from academic institutions, included the following:

Of the 40 participants, 7 represented classic Pentecostal/ charismatic institutions, 4 represented Wimber's Vineyard movement, and 29 came from what would be regarded as traditional evangelical institutions. Most, but not all who attended were desirous of seeing substantially expanded offerings related to power ministries in future curriculum designs in their schools. They regarded this symposium as a public legitimizing of academic pursuits in fields related to the supernatural power of God both for local church ministries and for world evangelization."

Participants in the symposium included: (bolding added)

  • John L. Amstutz and John Louwerse, LIFE Bible College, a Foursquare institution in Los Angeles;         

  • Neil T Anderson and Lloyd E. Kwast, Biola University/Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California;

  • Walter R. Bodine and Jack Deere, two professors who had recently left the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary;

  • Betty Sue Brewster, Edgar J. Elliston, Eddie Gibbs, Dean S. Gilliland, Arthur F Glasser, Paul G. Hiebert, Charles H. Kraft, Paul E. Pierson, R. Daniel Shaw, Charles Van Engen, C. Peter Wagner, and J. Dudley Woodberry, the Fuller Seminary School of World Mission in Pasadena, California;                        

  • Peter H. Davids, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia;

  • John D. Ellenberger, Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York;

  • Wayne Grudem and Timothy M. Warner, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois;

  • Donald Hohensee, Western Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon;                   

  • Byron D. Klaus, Southern California College, an Assemblies of God school in Costa Mesa, California;            

  • L. Grant McClung, Jr., Church of God School of Theology in Cleveland, Tennessee;     

  • Jeffrey J. Niehaus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts; F. Douglas Pennoyer, Seattle Pacific University; Peter E. Prosser, CBN University in Virginia Beach, Virginia;

  • Opal L. Reddin, Central Bible College, an Assemblies of God school in Springfield, Missouri;

  • Edward Murphy, San Jose (California) Bible College;

  • James D. Simpson, Lee College, a Church of God school in Cleveland, Tennessee;

  • Paul B. Watney, Oral Roberts University School of Theology and Mission in Tulsa, Oklahoma;                      

  • Philip Thornton and Mark Nysewander, Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. 

"Those not representing academic institutions included Johan Engelbrecht, Donald R. Jacobs, Knud Jorgensen, George Mallone, Elizabeth R. Moberly and John Wimber."

   "Several of the key leaders were invited to speak to the group on topics of their choice related to power evangelism. Immediately following each presentation a respondent discussed the issue further. This book brings together, in edited form, this treasury of information and inspiration. It ends with an up-to-date summary of what is being thought and taught in our academic institutions across the board, by co-editor E Douglas Pennoyer.”

 *C. Peter Wagner & F. Douglas Pennoyer, Editors; p.5-8 Regal Books, A Division of Gospel Light;1990

 

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