Old Doxoblogy

Monday, November 07, 2005

Here's Where I Stand

In anticipation of the upcoming debate(s) over cessationism in this coming week, which will be taking place at Pyro, Warny, maybe Chally, and other places in the blogosphere, I have posted my position as of right now.
As this has been an interest of mine I have studied somewhat on the issue and I have come to several different conclusions. These are posted below. But here's what I am hoping will happen this week. I'm hoping that someone will show clear Biblical evidence for cessationism. Because if not, then I cannot rely on history and philosophy to shape my thinking.
While I do accept philosophy and history as important guides, if there is no Biblical evidence in the first place for a position, I will not accept history and philosophy on their own.

I am not a cessationist. Here's why.

I believe that the spiritual gifts were given to the church for the spiritual growth of the church.

I do not believe the spiritual gifts were given for supporting ministry.

I do not believe the Bible states that any of the gifts would cease until the return of Christ.

I believe that 'Pentacostalism' (general term referring to all non-cessationists) has redefined the gifts outside of their scriptural context.

I believe that Wayne Grudem gives a good definition of a spiritual gift: A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church. ( Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.)

I believe that Grudem misapplies this definition when speaking of the miraculous (sign) gifts. (Prophecy, healing, tongues, etc.)

I believe that Scripture teaches that all of these gifts are beneficial to the church.

I believe that prophecy refers to a work of the Holy Spirit and involves the proclamation of truth as revealed in Scripture.

I believe that healing refers to a work of the Spirit and involves the ability to bestow health when all other means have failed.

I believe that tongues refer to known tongues and involve the ability to accurately proclaim the message of the Gospel in a secondary language by the power of the Spirit.

I believe that interpretation of tongues involves the ability to interpret languages by the power of the Spirit.

I believe that the gift of miracles is a gift by which the Holy Spirit works miraculously in an unmistakable fashion through a gifted person.

I believe that Apostolic ministry continues through the biblical teaching ministry of the local church. The Apostles are gone, but their teaching remains for us in Scripture.

At the end of the week I'll let you know if I've changed my mind.


bluecollar said...

I believe tongues is the "Speaking of the mighty deeds of God",for,notice that Peter had to preach the sermon after the tongues incident. See 1Cor.14:2. Tongues seems to be a praising of God such as speaking of His mighty deeds which is certainly a form of praise.

Sorry, I pulled for the Irish on Saturday

Bhedr said...

Good work. I believe that Scripture has ceased and I base that on a text on Mark 16:20. Oops! Sorry gotta throw that one out since many in even in the reformed camp don't believe thats Scripture. Hey I stand on that verse. Its no wonder Satan doesn't wish for that verse to appear and has tried to strike it out with the new critical theory widely accepted today.

Anyway SCripture is written and done but the Holy Spirit is still alive and active. Many of the Holy Spirits miraculous signs were to confirm the word and I site Mark 16:20 yet again.

Having said that I do believe the Spirit of God still moves in like manner, only as He wishes. Much of what goes on today is not as HE WISHES. I don't like to limit His power or turn into a wooden believer either. There are extremes on both ends.

DOGpreacher said...

I am somewhat surprised at your stance, and somewhat encouraged by it!

You wrote: "While I do accept philosophy and history as important guides, if there is no Biblical evidence in the first place for a position, I will not accept history and philosophy on their own."


With the wave of new/young 'calvinists', I see & hear a lot of, "If _____ (insert Piper, MacArthur, Calvin, Luther, etc.) wrote it, it MUST be true." THAT is dangerous!

Don't get me wrong, I love reading the aforementioned authors, but I could not possibly agree with ALL that each have written, because they do not agree with each other in MANY doctrines.

If we would only do as you are doing (Scripture:final authority), and THAT by diligent STUDY, we would be confronted with some of current Church/Christian practice that is simply not Biblical.

What are the "traditions of men"? Things we have 'added to', 'changed', or 'taken away' from scripture by the vain philosophies of man, and the subsequent historical repetition.

I encourage you my Brother to apply the "CLEAR Biblical Evidence" stance to ALL doctrine and traditions within the Church. Go ahead, hold those presuppositions up & out at arms length and expose them to serious study of the word, and see if they stand or fall. If they stand, Hallelujah, & if they fall, Hallelujah!!! Either result is GREAT!!

I am somewhat in agreement with you. However, being raised in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, I would send out HUGE warnings to make sure they are in accordance with the Word of God, concerning these gifts.

If you see vanity involved in these gifts, watch closely!

grateful for grace,
The DOGpreacher

Rob Wilkerson said...


I have watched your posts and comments here and there from afar and have so much enjoyed your candour and fervency for the gospel. Thanks bro! I added your most recent post to my most recent post about the most recent barometer check on the ensuing charismata debate. Keep it up!

marc said...

Very Solid Jeremy.

It will be interesting to see if all the same people hop from blog to blog making all the same points this coming week. Oh wait, that happens anyway

Rose~ said...

Looking forward to reading it.

Bhedr said...

Me 2

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot!