In light of a recent conference (I share here and here), I’ve been blogging a bit more about various issues on continuationist/charismatic theology – the belief that all gifts of God are still available today, just as they were for the early church we read about in the New Testament.
So I thought I would list 20 books that might be worth reading. They are not in any particular order of what I consider best. Rather, they are in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.
Some of them are commentary-like. Some of them are theologically driven. Some of them are more devotional. Some of them provide testimonies. And some of them are a conglomeration of these categories.
I hope they provide some good food for thought. Continue reading
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.
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