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Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist [Paperback]

By Sam Storms (Author)
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Item description for Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist by Sam Storms...

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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Item Specifications...

Studio: Enjoying God Ministries
Pages   244
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   0.67 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2005
Publisher   Enjoying God Ministries
ISBN  0977173909  
ISBN13  9780977173907  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sam Storms

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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

Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds--hosted by the Gospel Coalition.

Randy Alcorn (MA, Multnomah University) is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and a New York Times best-selling author of over fifty books. His books have sold over nine million copies and been translated into nearly seventy languages. Alcorn resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and five grandsons.

G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. In recent years he has served as president and member of the executive committee of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has written several books and articles on biblical studies.

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.

Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and has published over 20 books.

John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he has served since 1969. He is known around the world for his verse-by-verse expository preaching and his pulpit ministry via his daily radio program, Grace to You. He has also written or edited nearly four hundred books and study guides. MacArthur serves as the president of the Master's College and Seminary. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children.

C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the ninth president of Southern Seminary and as the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology. Considered a leader among American evangelicals by Time and Christianity Today magazines, Dr. Mohler hosts a daily radio program for the Salem Radio Network and also writes a popular daily commentary on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Both can be accessed at

David Powlison (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a teacher, a counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. He is also the senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling and the author of Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement, and Speaking Truth in Love.

Thomas R. Schreiner (MDiv and ThM, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean of the school of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Bruce A. Ware (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and has authored God's Lesser Glory, God's Greater Glory, and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thabiti M. Anyabwile (MS, North Carolina State University) serves as a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC, and is the author of numerous books. He serves as a council member of the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at The Front Porch and Pure Church. He and his wife, Kristie, have three children.

Jon Bloom (BA, Bethel University) is the cofounder and president of, where he contributes regularly. He is also the author of several books. Bloom and his wife, Pam, live in Minneapolis with their five children.

Sinclair B. Ferguson (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of systematic theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and the former senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of several books, the most recent being By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me. Sinclair and his wife, Dorothy, have four grown children.

Scott J. Hafemann is currently the Mary F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also taught for nine years at Wheaton College. He has written numerous books and articles.

James M. Hamilton Jr. (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church. He is the author of God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment and the Revelation volume in the Preaching the Word commentary series.

David Mathis serves as the executive editor at, a pastor at Cities Church, and an adjunct professor at Bethlehem College & Seminary. His articles regularly appear at David and his wife, Megan, have three children.

William D. Mounce (PhD, Aberdeen University) is president of He is a noted Greek scholar, author of the best-selling textbook Basics of Biblical Greek, and served as the New Testament Chair of the ESV translation team.

Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.

Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including the Preaching the Word commentary on Isaiah, as well as a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife, Jani, have four children.

TOM STELLER, Pastor for Leadership Development, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dean, Bethlehem College and Seminary

Mark Talbot (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is associate professor of philosophy at Wheaton College. He specializes in philosophical psychology and philosophical theology and has written numerous articles and reviews.

Sam Storms currently resides in Wheaton, in the state of Illinois.

Sam Storms has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Beginner's Guide To... (Regal Books)
  2. Gospel Coalition Booklets
  3. Re: Lit Books
  4. Theologians on the Christian Life

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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.

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