1. One asks whether a belief in Baptism in the Spirit means we're saying the gospel isn't enough... if people need something more.They both want unity but aren't sure if that's possible. I commend both for their doctrinal carefulness, concern for the gospel and God's people. What can we say?
2. The other has questions about whether the DBF is saying that every Christian, by having the Holy Spirit, automatically has power for change and mission.
Common ground is a good place to start! The gospel is enough for salvation and for the Christian life. Anything other than that amounts to a denial of the gospel. We begin with the cross, go on with the cross; we begin with the Spirit and we go on with the Spirit - to paraphrase Galatians 3. Yet, we all tend to think something is lacking in terms of the application of the gospel. We all want to grow and expect and experience progress. Every Christian cries "More!" Put this in the terms of Colossians 2:6-7 and we can call that being built up and deeper rooted in the gospel. There is a lack if this hasn't happened - it happens by continuing in the gospel once received.
The question is: how?
My answer is that it comes by the work of the Holy Spirit and his work in relation to realising our union with Christ. This is God's gracious gift to us - offered to all if not received fully by all. Where do I get this from Biblically? In the Book of Acts we see a recognisable and reportable experience of the Holy Spirit that doesn't necessarily happen at conversion. One name for this is Baptism in the Spirit.
Some reply that we can't make Acts normative for Christian life today - but that would necessitate not using Acts to argue for persuasive and reasonable evangelism either. Acts is messy and distancing ourselves from it is over simplistic.
Does the DBF conflict with the doctrine of Baptism in the Spirit?
Point i. The Holy Spirit lives in all those he has regenerated. He makes them increasingly Christlike in character and behaviour and gives them power for their witness in the world.The charismatic notes that the DBF says all Christians have the Spirit - full stop - new sentence: the Spirit gives power for change and witness. What's missing is an omission of detail as to how, but not a denial that some detail is needed. Newfrontiers leader Matt Partridge notes:
Now let’s be clear, Romans 8:9 teaches that ‘if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ’. Our salvation is only achieved by the supernatural Spirit of God, convicting and regenerating us. There is no other way to be saved. But is that it? Does our experience of the Spirit, through conversion, fully represent the expectations painted for us in the New Testament? The Bible clearly presents a work of the Spirit at conversion but also a filling or baptising with the Spirit as a distinct event.I'm not all that sure what a non-charismatic will argue for as the explanation. An answer is needed - where's the power, where's the change, where's the transformation...
What's clear is that if you make it a matter of human effort then you step outside the bounds of the DBF, if it depends on the grace of God and the finished work of Christ and the present work of the Spirit then you're standing well within it.
What about teaching this in a CU?
The UCCF doctrinal basis of fellowship is necessarily brief for the sake of inclusivity. It makes some exclusive moves but seeks to avoid any unnecessary divisions, it avoids any unnecessary breaks of fellowship. Some of us like the idea of being the rebel in the room - but if you hold to the DBF you do belong however "edgy" you'd like to think you are. The charismatic and the non-charismatic both equally belong and both will struggle at times and be uncomfortable with some things if real unity is happening.
In a CU you can teach on secondary issues - but you can't insist that being in the CU means you should agree on the secondary subject. The fellowship works in two ways - we agree to agree on what is primary, and we agree to disagree on what is (very important) but secondary.
So long as secondary issues are considered in love and with an open Bible then its entirely fine to talk about them. Worth bearing in mind the danger of getting caught up in endless arguments instead of getting on mission together... but there's room to talk, just as there is plenty of room for diversity of convictions and practice between and within CUs. You want to go out and pray for non-Christians on campus (as a charismatic might) then you can. You want to insist that everyone must? You can't. You want to use Two Ways To Live, you can. You want to insist everyone does, you can't.
The context varies drastically in CUs - some are very charismatic, some are not. Likewise among UCCF staff who you'll find as members of a whole range of different kinds of churches. The terms of unity remain the same. The DBF facilitates such inconsistency and diversity. And it tells me that the last thing I want to do is to promote exclusion of those who belong or provoke self-exclusion (1 Cor 12). The way to that isn't to pretend there are no differences but to embrace them, and so have a robust and open unity which isn't merely formal and paper-thin. The basis is the gospel - the result is friendship, fellowship, relationship, partnership, with the Triune God and his people - and his massive mission of self-giving love to his world to be part of.
Others probably have different ways of working this out in practice, but this is my take... Keep big on the gospel and therefore embracing of diversity and abounding in love and you can do whatever you like.