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.
Yes, I continue to have the audacity to claim that apostles exist even today (post 1 and post 2). They always have and always will – at least until the people of God reach the place of unity and maturity described in Eph 4:11-16.
Again, this is all centered in the fact that Jesus is the great apostle sent by the Father to accomplish the mission of God. We must remember that Paul was not the greatest apostle to ever live. It was the divine and eternal Son. I’d probably claim that to deny this is simply folding the text of Scripture within a system, one that does not allow for certain ministries and gifts to continue. This could be practically detrimental to the health of the community of Christ.
But here lies the problem. Or maybe somewhat of a problem. Jesus is no longer here. The great apostle has ascended to the Father’s right hand and is now reigning over all. So how do we come to recognize apostolic ministry post-ascension? What does it look like today? Continue reading
The tongue – Scripture tells us it can be a great blessing and a grave problem (James 3:1-12). And don’t we, especially I, know this truth.
But still, the tongue can be used for blessing. And I believe one way it can be used is not just through kind words of encouragement and comfort, but also through the oft-misunderstood gift of tongues.
We don’t really have much detailed instruction by way of Scripture of how this gift works. We have some directives in 1 Cor 14, as well as examples throughout the book of Acts. But there definitely isn’t a guide that says: this is exactly how you do it!
And, again, I wouldn’t expect Scripture to give exhaustive commands about this gift, since it is not some kind of guidebook listing detailed instructions on the how to’s for everything it touches upon.
But here is where things get a bit sticky with the gift of tongues: In reading 1 Cor 14, it seems Paul tells us this gift is a beneficial gift to be utilised amongst God’s people. But on the other hand, it seems we’re told almost the opposite. It’s going to cause problems for non-Christians, so don’t use it.
Which is it? 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
When we think of the charismata gifts of the Spirit, we normally think of 2 places to look in Scripture – the book of Acts and 1 Corinthians 12-14. And those are 2 good places to start.
However, these 2 passages are not the say all, end all on these gifts of the Spirit. They are a good start, but they don’t stand as detailed instructions like how to change the hard drive on your computer.
And, let us not discount from learning about the gift (singular) of the Spirit and the gifts (plural) of the Spirit in Acts. We learn just as much from reading of God’s acting amongst humanity as we do in specifically instructive words. Not to mention that Luke has shaped Acts in such a way as to teach us.
Nevertheless, we might say that it’s Paul’s instructive words to the Corinthians that give us more particular guidelines as to what these gifts might look like in the gathering of God’s people. And it’s 1 Cor 12:1-11 that provide a little introduction to these gifts.
So I’d like to highlight 5 main points that I see in these introductory words of Paul. Continue reading