The language of the Spirit has been hijacked by the charismatic/pentecostal movement, which is probably why people in Emerging circles have been shy of using it. What some of them appear to have seen from their side of the fence is that this shyness amounts to a rejection of the Spirit, and what they interpret that to mean is a lack of 'power manifestations.' What I have been arguing in these posts is that:
- We need to reclaim the language of the Spirit and not be afraid to use it and
- We need to think much more widely about what spiritual gifts are.
On the second point, using some of Lewis Hyde's work on gift, I've argued that gift-exchange is actually the very fuel that runs the church, the inter-connect that is the fabric of our relationships. We don't relate on a market-exchange plane, where the scales are balanced, but on a gift-exchange plane, where things are left unbalanced, and the relational potential is heightened in every transaction.
Furthermore, true gifts always operate in a circle of 3 or more, meaning that the relational cycle is never bi-polar but involves 'the other'. In such a system I don't necessarily receive from the person I gave to, leading to multiplex relational networks that operate on multiple levels. The circle of 3 of course hints at the trinity, which is the ultimate model of generous exchange and relationship.
So how does this work out in some practical ways?