A Charismatic Question

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Sola Gratia, May 9, 2013.

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  1. Sola Gratia

    Sola Gratia Puritan Board Freshman

    Since I am new to the biblical faith, I have been trying to get an understanding for basic doctrine and I have run across something confusing. I was reading Wayne Grudem (who to me seems solid most of the time, but I may be wrong) and he seemed to advocate that the more "miraculous" gifts were for today(i.e. tongues). It may be possible that I am misreading him, but I don't think so. It was my understanding that most reformed people are cessationist (I think that is the word) so the gifts aren't for today. Is this an area of open debate or is Grudem just wrong? The only Scripture I have seen put forth for (cessationism?) tends to be the when the perfect has come argument, which doesn't seem to be what that verse is really about. Are there others? Or is this something where the witness of the church has been that they have ceased so why would they return in the 20th century?

    I hope that makes sense

    Grace and Peace,
  2. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    Wayne Grudem is not 'Reformed'. He is a 'Third Waver' of the Vineyard Movement. He is Calvinistic in his view of salvation but charismatic in his view of the church.
  3. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    The main argument would be that the Apostolic authority was attested to by these supernatural
    signs and wonders, as was true of the authenticating of the promised Messiah.ie, Luke 7:22.
    Also the cannon of scripture had not been assembled and closed, and therefore during this transitional
    period the gifts of the Spirit were operative. But now we have a more sure word of prophecy. Nothing
    needs to be added or taken away.
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Part of the problem is the failure to understand how "tongues" (languages) were functioning in the history of salvation. The commission was to go into all the world and disciple all nations but there was also an obligation to begin with the Jews because of the promises made to that nation. Tongues served the purpose of witnessing to the Jewish nation that the dispensation of the fulness of times had come when the Gentile nations would be received into the kingdom. The early New Testament church reflects a less than ideal situation which is called "the imperfect," where the church has not moved on to embrace the fulness of the times. This is addressed in 1 Cor. 12-14, which teaches that once this state of imperfection passed away tongues would no longer serve a redemptive-historical function and would therefore cease.
  5. Need 4 Creed

    Need 4 Creed Puritan Board Freshman

    Many of the new (neo?) calvinists (Piper, Grudem, Carson, Driscoll, etc) are not outright cessationists (but that does not mean they are outright charismatics).

    Not sure Grudem is really 'third wave' either (Sam Storms would be), the more recent term would be 'continuist' i.e the gifts of the Spirit continue in the church. I know Grudem at one time supported the Vineyard movement, but is he not a baptist?
  6. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    It boils down to special revelation- whether that, in any ordinary sense, occurs outside of Scripture, now that Scripture is completed. Would special revelation occur as speaking in an unknown tongue, then interpreted back to a known tongue now that the Scripture has been established.

    The Scripture is built upon the foundation of the prophets (Old Testament) and apostles (New Testament) Ephesians 2:20, and the faith once delivered to the saints Jude 1:3.

    It's not about miracles, don't let the argument degenerate into that (which is not the premise). It's about the high view of Scripture, sola scriptura. The word of God settled until His return.

    For what is called "pentecostal," or "charismatic" in this generation, it's about whether weather is centered on seeking special revelation outside of Scripture.

    Read Chapter I of the Westminster Confession you confess. It implicitly places the Scripture at center of the special revelation of God, not other things, including I Cor. 12 spiritual gifts, let alone the imaginations, emotions or intentions of men.
  7. Need 4 Creed

    Need 4 Creed Puritan Board Freshman

    It is interesting, when I read Calvin, I often wonder if he was as strict a cessationist as many reformed believers are today:

    "The apostles, therefore, were sent forth to bring back the world from its revolt to the true obedience of God, and everywhere establish his kingdom by the preaching of the Gospel; or, if you choose, they were like the first architects of the Church, to lay its foundations 2319throughout the world. By Prophets, he means not all interpreters of the divine will, but those who excelled by special revelation; none such now exist, or they are less manifest. By Evangelists, I mean those who, while inferior in rank to the apostles, were next them in office, and even acted as their substitutes. Such were Luke, Timothy, Titus, and the like; perhaps, also, the seventy disciples whom our Saviour appointed in the second place to the apostles (Luke 10:1). According to this interpretation, which appears to me consonant both to the words and the meaning of Paul, those three functions were not instituted in the Church to be perpetual, but only to endure so long as churches were to be formed where none previously existed, or at least where churches were to be transferred from Moses to Christ; although I deny not, that afterward God occasionally raised up Apostles, or at least Evangelists, in their stead, as has been done in our time. For such were needed to bring back the Church from the revolt of Antichrist." book 4th, chapter 3 section 4
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    By the way the term "cessationist," let alone "continuationist," are made up terms which are not really helpful in understanding the truth or context. They are almost pejoratives. Kind of like "sabbatarian" as if one of the Ten Commandments was free standing on its own terms (like being a "covetarian" for the 10th commandment??)

    Special revelation was completed until the end of the age by the Spirit though the prophets and apostles. It is not added to, changed or modified, but trustworthy as God's revelation.

    So, it's not really about ceasing, but fulfilling. A scaffold to a house is part of the building for the purpose of getting it through to its final construction. It's not about ceasing or continuing- its about the substance.

    The substance is the special revelation of God about His person and work. It's fulfilled in the person of Christ, who is the Word made flesh.

    Going outside of it, seeking special revelation as an ordinary means of grace, leads to devaluing the Word, and is why there is so much disorder in pentecostal and charismatic communions.
  9. Dieter Schneider

    Dieter Schneider Puritan Board Sophomore

    I recommend S Olyott (scroll to the relevant messages here)
  10. Steve Paynter

    Steve Paynter Puritan Board Freshman

    I would observe that Grudem would agree that revelation is finished and complete with the Scriptures. However, he also argues for an ongoing role for "prophesy" within Christian worship. He has laboured to distinguish the two. One might argue that he hasn't succeeded, and that allowing charismatic prophesy is a denial of the completeness of Scripture. However, it is important to recognise that this is not what Grudem thinks he is doing.

    My observation is that the burden of proof is on the cessationists, for we have on the surface of the text in 1 Corinthians an apostolic command to seek the gift of prophesy. It ought to take very high level of proof to overturn such an apostolic order. I agree with the OP that appeals to "perfection coming" as justifying cessationism "does not seem to be what the verse is about".
  11. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Whatever the burden of proof might be elsewhere the burden of proof on the Puritan Board lies with the person who contradicts the confessional standard of the board, including the proposition that the former ways of God's revealing His will to His people have now ceased.
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