Item description for Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist by Sam Storms...
Overview Sam Storms contends that nothing is more important than the CONVERGENCE of Word and Spirit, mind and affection, principle and passion in the life of the Christian and the Church. In this book he demonstrates from his own life and preeminently from Scripture itself how one can embrace both the centrality of the written Word and the charismatic power of the Holy Spirit.
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Studio: Enjoying God Ministries
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.67 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher Enjoying God Ministries
ISBN 0977173909 ISBN13 9780977173907
Availability 20 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 27, 2017 04:47.
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More About Sam Storms
Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas at Dallas) has spent more than four decades in ministry as a pastor, professor, and author. He is currently the senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was previously a visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and blogs regularly at SamStorms.com.
Sam Storms currently resides in Wheaton, in the state of Illinois.
Sam Storms has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist?
Not his best, but worth reading Jan 16, 2007
Let it be known that I am a HUGE fan of Sam Storms - he is placed on the top of my bookshelf along with my other favorite authors, along-side others like John Piper, Wayne Grudem, C.J. Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, and Jonathan Edwards. Having read his 4 latest books (many of his others are currently out of print, though I hear "Chosen by God" is being updated and re-released later this year), I must say that this is not his best. Yes, the content is good, and much needed, and ANYONE - and I do mean ANYONE - who is struggling to find their place in this spiritual world in the midsts of asking simultaneous questions about both the sovereignty of God and the proper practice of the spiritual gifts will have a lot to benefit from in reading this. However, if you're a skeptic of either, this book will not convince you. Personally, I would like to see Convergence put in the hands of an excellent editor, moving entire sections of the book around (ideally, following chapter 1, the last half of the book which addresses more doctrinal issues, would do well being moved towards the front, or interspersed between segments of Sam's personal story), and helping to clarify some sentances, and simply fixing a few grammatical errors, then reprinted in a second - updated edition. Apart from that, however, Storms is worth listening to, and this is still a worthy addition to your library, especially if you're asking the same questions that Sam is addressing here.
p.s. - and afterward, if you haven't read "A Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Gifts" or "Pleasures Evermore", you absolutely must. There are clearly Sam's best in-print work to date!
An Intolerable Rift Aug 22, 2006
I wrote a commentary about two years ago, posted below, when I believed I was the only Christian in the world thinking along the lines of Charismatic Calvinism. This past summer I learned that not only am I not the only Charismatic Calvinist, but that the movement started over twenty years ago. I have been on my own journey toward the same conclusions explored in Convergence. This journey has often been one of discouragment, and loneliness.
Convergence was very encouraging to me in this journey. It has clarified issues that I had already begun to understand, and given answers I didn't have yet. I strongly encourage you to buy this book. So many Christians need to read it, especially pastors. Hopefully my commentary here will help you understand the importance of Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist.
The Charismatic movement and the Calvinist movement are two distinct halves of Christianity. Both are true in their own respects, but both are dead wrong in their rejection of each others' beliefs. The two need to come together to form a whole and complete Christianity. Only then will we have true New Testament Christianity.
The real crux of this whole issue is twofold: 1) Cessationists acknowledge that the church is built on the foundation laid down by the ministry of apostles and prophets as spelled out in the New Testament. However, they insist that this foundation was laid at a singular point in history (during the NT period) and is in no way continual or constant. Charismatics insist that it is continual through the church age.
2) Charismatics acknowledge that God laid the foundation of the church further through the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. However, the Reformation is little more than a historical fact to them. Charismatics have no more desire for the Reformation to be a living reality in their lives than cessationists desire for the gifts of the Spirit in their lives. Calvinists insist that the proclamation of the gospel, and Christianity proper, requires the continual laying down of the same foundation stones laid by Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, et al, until Christ returns. So, how do you convince a Calvinist that the foundation laid down by apostles and prophets must be laid continually in every generation and in every local church? And how do you convince a Charismatic that the work of the Reformation must continue in the same way? It is clear that the Holy Spirit is leading His church through this convergence. Charismatics must become Calvinists, and Calvinists must become Charismatics. Generations from now, students of church history will read about the current rift in history books.
As much as I hate cessationism, I think that, overall, Charismaticism is beset with many more problems than Calvinism. Yes, Calvinists need more of the power of the Holy Spirit, and more affection towards the Lord. But the errors of trichotomy and the separation of the 'heart' and 'mind', are integral to Charismatic anti-intellectualism. Historically, Calvinists have always understood that heart, mind, spirit, and soul are all synonyms. The anti-intellectualism inherent in trichotomy and the heart/mind separation is the root of the Charismatic movement's worst errors. From this root grows religious empiricism and pragmatism, and a general distaste for knowledge, education, books, analysis, logic, and critical thinking skills, not to mention a sweet tooth for mystical nonsense. Philosopher and theologian Gordon H. Clark is a most fitting antedote for this poison. Read Convergence; and then start reading Gordon Clark's works. Start with God's Hammer: The Bible and its Critics, and What is Saving Faith?.
Now for what I wrote two years ago:
It takes a Christian like me a long time to find the right books and other materials that will support his faith and convictions. I have found answers in the past 8 years that I was searching for when I was a teenager. I'm 38 now. I have had a Charismatic belief background since my childhood, but I found these answers in Calvinism.
Last night I was reading the essay "The Very Pernicious and Detestable Doctrine of Inclusivism," and I was overwhelmed by the clarity and power of the gospel as taught by Dr. Robert Reymond. What grieved me was that these very Calvinists who know and teach the gospel so well do not know the power of what they hold in their hands.
The gospel was birthed, and first began to spread, in the power of God. Read the book of Acts. It is so clear. Having been birthed in God's power, how could the gospel continue through history without that power? Yet, the Calvinists teach that miracles and the Charismata ended sometime around the closing of the canon. The arguments for this have historically been empirical, not biblical. Calvinism is famous for its insistence on dogmatism as a basis for doctrine. Cessationism is contrary to this honorable tradition. Both premises of the cessationist syllogism must be found in Scripture. No empirical premise is acceptable.
Jesus said He was going to leave us (his disciples). He said He had to so that the Comfortor would come. If He did not leave us the Comfortor would not come. He did leave, and then the Holy Spirit came upon His followers with great power, with the sign of unknown tongues. If the Calvinists are right, Jesus should have come back when the canon closed. He did not come back because when He sent the Spirit to us, it was for ALL the church, to the end of time. Would God have left us without Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
So, my judgement is this: Charismatics don't think logically and can't judge biblically (relating to experience and what is of God and what is not), and Calvinists deny the power of God for today (cessationism). Each side knows God and His Word very well in their own ways, but each side is also grossly deficient in their own ways. Each side is so unwilling to consider the beliefs and ideas of the other side. This rift is unacceptable. I believe that God is going to visit each side according to their need in the not-too-distant future. (Update: He had already been doing so when I wrote this, but I hadn't heard of it.)
As for myself, I would have to be as blind as one of them to choose one over the other. Just as God is overall and sees both sides objectively, so I also am removed from them and judge them biblically. Accuse me of pride if you wish, but I know what God has shown me! I will neither accept the irrationalism of the Charismatics (or other Arminians), nor the naturalism (cessationism) of the Calvinists. I affirm the primacy of the intellect in all matters of faith and godliness, and the reality of the power of God through the Holy Spirit with supernatural manifestations for today. "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me, Amen."
Convergence: A great book from a Christ loving Calvinist Mar 8, 2006
This is a great book. Sam Storms has shown that a passion for Truth and a desire for experiential manifestations of the Truth are not at odds with one another, at least they should not be. Storms shares some absolutely amazing in-breaking(s) of the Kingdom of God that he has witnessed that should encourage all believers alike. If you are reformed in your soteriology and think that this means you must be a cessationist, think again. Storms is a gift to the body of Christ. Storms is one of those individuals whom God in His providence is using to help unite the body of Christ. If you have been blessed by Grudem, Piper, and Mahaney than I think that you will be blessed by the writings of this man who has a passion for the supremacy of God in all things.
A Difficult Discussion Jan 29, 2006
I appreciate the difficult task of trying to communicate to different worlds when you have one foot in both. As the author says, you open yourself up to being shot at from both directions. Yet if we are ever going to rise above mere caricatures of those in different groups than our own, we must have a conversation like the one this book attempts to have. The author takes great pains to say he would rather not talk about his own life and does so only because he feels compelled to give testimony to what God has done for him. I actually think the book would have been more effective if he had made it almost exclusively autobiographical. Hearing someone's life story has a way of opening us up beyond the sometimes rigid categories we settle into. I did not agree with all the author's conclusions, his logic or even his attitude at times. He made me mad at a few points. But I appreciate his effort. He is a theologian and so it must be expected that he attempts to by systematic and theological. I do not think the theological aspect of the book will be found to be especially convincing or compelling to either side. On the other hand, it takes a large soul who loves people and loves truth enough to be willing to dive into the middle of a contemporary church division.