Extraordinary Gifts

Recently, I have seen some banter around the blogosphere which argues against the idea that the Spirit giftings of 1 Cor 12:8-10 should be considered any more special than other gifts mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, at least those found in places like Rom 12:6-8 or not too far along in the 1 Cor 12 passage, mainly some of those found in vs28-30. This argument normally flows from the cessationist sector, or those who believe these specific gifts are either not normal for today or have ceased all-together.

I actually understand the desire to keep all gifts on a kind of level ground, not making any of them more important than others. Quite like we want to steer clear of any two-tiered Christianity with the have’s on one side and have not’s on the other. This has unfortunately been created by some of our brothers and sisters in Pentecostal and charismatic circles. I know and it saddens my heart.

If anything, we are all one in Christ, as Paul argued adamantly in Gal 3:26-29.

But while I agree with this underlying focus and emphasis of non-continuationists on the importance of all gifts, I do want to clarify some things that come from the Pentecostal and charismatic circles of why we might emphasise the extraordinary nature of those gifts found in 1 Cor 12:8-10. Continue reading

Seven Reasons for Continuationism

If it came down to why I believe all gifts of God, including those in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:11, still exist today, I think I could summarise it in seven specific points. So here they are:

1) God is an actual living, personal being

Almost every Christian would uphold this statement. God is a personal being and He is living. And, so, one would only expect a living, personal being to be a communicator, a speaker. This is not so much a biblical argument in which I want to specifically quote a few passages here and there (though I know we could). But it is simply a theological deduction from reading the entirety of Scripture.

Living, personal beings are communicators in so many ways. And with God Himself being a living, personal being, what else could one expect from Him? Thus, He will continue to communicate, speak, reveal, unveil, illuminate, until all things are completed. Well, and then He will keep speaking to those enjoying the blessing of the new heavens and new earth! Continue reading

Two Levels of Revelation

Continuationists believe God is still speaking today, not only through His overall leading and direction via Scripture and other such means, but even through actual direct and revelatory words. These revelations can come in various manners – prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, visions, dreams, etc. – but God is still communicating and speaking directly today. He never desired anything less.

But what gets easily leveled against continuationists, from a 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, summarised in the full canon of Scripture that now includes the New Testament. This revelation in Christ is the final word and no other such revelation is needed. And we now have the testimony of a full biblical canon to confirm this.

Well, to be honest, I believe partial agreement should exist here for those on both the continuationist and cessationist side. Continue reading

Defining “Charismatic”

By Marv, posting colleague at To Be Continued.

The conversation continues over at Parchment and Pen, between Cessationist C. Michael Patton and Continuationist Sam Storms. The current round aims at definition of terms, particularly asking the question: “What Does it Mean to Be Charismatic?” Each one has proposed a theory and definition, first Patton, then Storms.

Patton proposes a spectrum (graphically a wedge), in which the main players fall into the following range: Continue reading

The White Dove Inn

As I mentioned last week, Michael Patton has started a new series on continuationism and cessationism. Marv, my colleague over at To Be Continued, and I thought we would interact with this new series, similar to what we did with his previous series.

In this newer series of posts, Patton is adding a new aspect to it. He is now interacting with the well-known continuationst, Sam Storms.

So below, Marv gets us started off with interacting with the series. Nothing much theological to engage with at this point. But both have shared their stories of how they came to be where they are today with the work of the Holy Spirit. We know more theologically ‘meaty’ issues will arise in future podcasts and posts.

By Marv

Three theobros, friends, colleagues, agreeing on much, differing on some things, sitting around the studio in relaxed but intelligent banter–joined together with joy, but for a serious purpose. And the podcast is ours to enjoy, to learn, to be edified by. It’s great stuff. I keep thinking though–all it needs is Rod Rosenbladt periodically saying “That’s HUGE!!!” Continue reading