British Pastor Believes Charismatic and Liturgical Christians Should Work With Each Other

Andrew Wilson, teaching pastor of Kings Church-London. | Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Wilson

For far too long, charismatic and liturgical, sacramental Christianity have been divorced, and one British pastor thinks it’s high time for a remarriage.

“I have seen and lived through the separation of a charismatic or Pentecostal, very experiential, emotionally engaged, lively, passionate, what you might call ‘experimental’ Christianity and a very traditional, rooted, rich, historically grounded, catholic with a small c, habit-forming, poetic-artistic tradition,” Andrew Wilson explained in a recent interview with The Christian Post.

“There’s beautiful poetry and prose in one of them and an awful lot of vibrancy and bounce in the other one,” he says.

Wilson is a teaching pastor at Kings Church-London, a charismatic congregation the meets in several locations across the city, and the author of the soon-to-be-released book Spirit and Sacrament: An Invitation to Eucharismatic Worship.

That invitation to “eucharismatic” worship, a phrase he coined blending “Eucharistic,” referring to the celebration of the Eucharist (Communion), and “charismatic,” which is, as he describes in the book, “a bucket term for any contemporary church that emphasizes the reality of supernatural experiences and the availability of the New Testament gifts of the Holy Spirit to ordinary believers today,” aims to bring these seemingly opposite things together.

However different they might appear, these expressions of faith are not and never were mutually exclusive. Eucharismatic is aspirational, not descriptive, Wilson explains, and there is no formulaic prescription for every church aiming for such unity.

“To be Eucharismatic is to have our minds persuaded, and our hearts captivated, by this biblical and historical reality: the Triune God has showered this church with gifts, and every one of them is good. And we will maximize our joy (chara) and our appreciation of His grace (charis) as we receive and treasure all of them.

“It may sound like a tall order. But if the Apostle Paul could envisage the Corinthians, with all their problems, holding fast to the traditions they received, sharing in the Lord’s body and blood when they came together and lacking in no spiritual gifts as they waited for Jesus to return, then it should be possible for anyone,” he writes in the book.

Spirit and Sacrament casts a vision for what these two vital streams of the church might look like were they to form a single river. Wilson argues that they should have never been split in the first place.

The book was in part born out of Wilson’s growing conviction that this significant chasm within the church is neither biblical nor historically defensible. Throughout the book he shares both his heart for what this togetherness might look like in addition to making en exegetical-historical case for their reunification.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter