Well, I was reading Adrian Warnock’s last real post on the cessationist/continualist thing, and because I just can’t let Dan have all the fun, let me report that I read this from the meritorious Dr. Warnock:
I would love to challenge the TeamPyro guys . . . and the rest of us (including myself) — When was the last time you experienced such an impact of the Word of God brought to life by the Spirit of God?And let me come clean with something: I’m one of those guys who wishes that God would manifest something in the off-the-chain miraculous way that he did with Paul and Peter.
Have you ever experienced the weight, and at the same time the lightness, of the presence of God when a truth comes to life that you feel you might (or indeed you actually do!) fall down laughing?
This experience of being overwhelmed by the vastness of the grace and love of God is one I believe is right to seek and to cry out to God for. Do you agree with that? Is it unfair of me to make the accusation that far too many of us — including those of us who claim to be charismatics — fail to seek experiences of God with sufficient passion? Could the weakness of our passions explain the weakness of our Christianity?
I admit it: I’d love that. In a way I covet that – because think of how stupid that would make Christianity debunkers look! Man, that’d be cool …
… which is exactly, I think, why God doesn’t do it all the time. That’s not a “turn with me to Scripture” argument – it’s a “confession of a lazy man who loves Christ” argument. I know God doesn’t want me to have a ton of faith in some at-best tertiary event relative to the Gospel because, as a lazy man, I’d point to that miracle instead of Christ to talk about my faith.
What a jerk I’d be if I had a real miracle on video tape!
Now seriously: Dr. Warnock is not that kind of jerk. But his challenge, above, does something almost as bad: it assumes that because the members of TeamPyro haven’t (yet) disclosed any of their most-intimate moments with God, they haven’t had any.
Personally, I think that’s a brash claim to divert away from the issue at hand – which is, what exactly is the charismatic thing good for if it is not specifically a revelation of the Holy Spirit which the believe ought to hang some kind of hope on?
If you’d like me to blog some of my most intimate experiences with God in His word, I’ll be glad to do that – I don’t do it now because it seems sort of exhibitionistic to me. But if that’s going to point the cessationist/continualist discussion back at the use of these gifts and whether we can trust them or not – and whether they are from God or some other source, be it man’s heart or something else – then I will be glad to do it.