Renewal Theology, as expounded by Dr. J. Rodman Williams, finds a resonant echo within the framework of Eagle Wings Charismatic Ministries International (EWCMI). EWCMI, with its commitment to exploring and understanding the depths of Christian and Messianic faith, embraces Renewal Theology as a significant doctrinal pillar that aligns with its core beliefs and practices.
Dr. Williams' journey into Renewal Theology began in 1965, a period marked by widespread skepticism about the relevance and vitality of religious belief, famously encapsulated in the phrase "God is dead."
Against this backdrop, Williams experienced a profound personal encounter with the divine, which he describes as a powerful self-revelation of God. This encounter was transformative, not only for his personal faith but also for his approach to theology. It resonated with John Calvin's assertion that the true recognition of God lies more in living experience than in abstract speculation. This shift towards an experiential understanding of God brought about a renewed enthusiasm in Williams for exploring and teaching various theological concepts.
Renewal Theology, as developed by Williams, is not confined to a single doctrinal issue but encompasses the entire spectrum of Christian theology. It seeks to reinvigorate traditional theological categories with a new dynamism, grounded in the experience of the Holy Spirit. This approach aligns with Williams' conviction that theology should be rooted in truth and reality, rather than serving as a vehicle for advancing specific agendas. He emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit, or "the Spirit of truth," in guiding believers into a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of Christian truth, as reflected in John 16:13.
At the heart of Renewal Theology is the emphasis on a living, experiential relationship with God, which is a fundamental aspect of EWCMI's faith practice. This theology underscores the importance of personal encounters with the divine, affirming that true understanding of God transcends mere intellectual comprehension and is deeply rooted in experiential knowledge. This perspective aligns seamlessly with EWCMI's focus on a vibrant, dynamic faith experience, where the presence and power of the Holy Spirit are actively sought and celebrated.
EWCMI's acceptance of Renewal Theology is evident in its approach to teaching and ministry. The ministry emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in believers' lives, advocating for a faith that is not only informed by scripture but also enlivened by the Spirit's ongoing activity. This aligns with Williams' view that the Holy Spirit, or "the Spirit of truth," guides believers into all truth, as stated in John 16:13. In this way, EWCMI sees Renewal Theology not just as a set of doctrines, but as a living reality that shapes and energizes its community's faith journey.
Furthermore, EWCMI's commitment to Renewal Theology is reflected in its educational and spiritual programs. The ministry's teachings often incorporate elements of this theology, offering insights that are both scripturally sound and experientially rich. This approach helps congregants and followers to deepen their understanding of Christian doctrines while also encouraging them to experience God's presence in a tangible, transformative way.
In its broader mission, EWCMI seeks to bridge the gap between traditional Christian beliefs and the charismatic experience, much like Renewal Theology bridges the gap between historical doctrinal understanding and contemporary spiritual experience. This makes Renewal Theology particularly relevant and valuable to EWCMI's mission and vision.
In summary, EWCMI's acceptance and incorporation of Renewal Theology reflect its commitment to a faith that is both deeply rooted in historical Christian doctrine and vibrantly alive with the present work of the Holy Spirit. This theological perspective not only enriches the spiritual life of the EWCMI community but also serves as a guiding principle in its mission to foster a dynamic, Spirit-filled Christian walk.