Continuationists believe God still speaks today, not only through the word of God in Scripture, but even through specific words or what we might term ‘revelations’. These revelations can come in various manners – prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, visions, dreams, etc. – but God is still communicating and speaking today. He actually never desired anything less.
However, what can get easily leveled against continuationists, from the more cessationist camp, is the idea that such revelation would no longer be needed knowing we now have the completed revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which is, of course, summarized in the full canon of Scripture that now includes the New Testament. This revelation is the final word and no other such revelation is needed.
And I understand the concern, especially noting such doctrines coming out of the Reformation such as the sufficiency of Scripture. However, I think there is a very balanced approach that allows for Scripture to maintain its very needed place as the God-breathed and authoritative written revelation of God while maintaining that God still speaks, reveals and communicates today.
Here is what I believe we need to recognize. Continue reading
As many will know, the Strange Fire Conference, headed up by John MacArthur, exploded within the blogosphere world this past week. The main thrust of the conference was to challenge the charismatic-continuationist movement of the past 100 years, with some pretty heavy-handed, sweeping charges against a movement that is well over 500 million strong. I did share some brief thoughts, also linking to some of the more important articles I read from other charismatic-continuationists (with one coming from a non-charismatic).
But, I was interested to find a short video in one of Adrian Warnock’s articles. The video actually consists of a short exposition from Sam Storms (well-known reformed, charismatic-continuationist). In the video, Storms lays out some interesting prophecies (or words of knowledge) given by the famous British preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
John MacArthur is one of the most well-known American evangelical pastors. He heads up the ministry Grace to You and pastors Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Many evangelicals in America will attest to the helpful teaching and influence of MacArthur over the past decades to a wide stream of Christians.
But many will also attest that he can easily cross the lines with an excessive polemical and divisive approach to his teaching. Such seems the case with his upcoming Strange Fire Conference, which is to be hosted over the next few days, October 16-18, 2013.
The video below gives a taster of the theme of the conference. Continue reading
Personally, I don’t like pointing out particular people with whom I disagree. Approaching the actual points of disagreement – what I believe could be flawed arguments – is my usual approach. I think it’s an overall healthier approach.
But I must say that I am continually grieved, frustrated, even angered (in perhaps a healthy way) over a particular group of bloggers that regularly mock charismatics and Pentecostals. Or charismatics and Pentecostals are more known by the name continuationists because we hold that all the gifts of the Spirit are to continue into the present day, including such gifts as prophecy, words of knowledge, healings, miracles, tongues, etc.
The blogging team to which I refer who distastefully offers comments of jest towards charismatics and Pentecostals is that of the Pyromaniacs, particularly identified as 3 persons: Dan Philips, Frank Turk and Phil Johnson. You can get a little taste from their most recent post today from ‘Team Pyro’, as they are also known.
But I also want to take a minute and let you read some tweets that have been going out over the past 24 hours, mainly by Dan Philips. Continue reading
One argument that seems to arise from cessationists (those who would argue either for the ceasing of particular gifts of the Spirit or that they should not be expected in normal Christian life) is that church history records that signs, wonders, miracles and healings ceased soon after the first century, especially with the formation of the New Testament canon.
They didn’t continue then, so why should we expect them to continue now?
But what does history attest to? Continue reading