14 September 2010

Charismatics and Qu'ran-burning/not-burning Terry Jones

by Dan Phillips

Terry Jones, you will recall, is the pastor who had planned to burn Qu'rans/Korans/Qurans/Allah-Driven-Lifes on 9/11.

Why was he going to do it? The reason is under-reported, but reader Jason Woelm brought it to my attention. According to associate pastor Wayne Sapp — yes, evidently a church with around 50 people has an associate pastor; go figure — said that God told them to do it.
"God is leading us right up to the moment. It's no different than Abraham and his son. God didn't tell him, 'Go right up to the point where you might sacrifice him.' He wanted him to be fully committed. We're prepared to do what we're called to do."
Oh boy, here we go. As long as I've been preaching, teaching, writing I have been trying to school anyone who will listen to take such talk seriously, and analyze it right down to the floor. I urged folks to do it with Francis Chan's irresponsible language. Now let's do it with this gent.

So Sapp — I did not make that name up, before you ask — says "God is leading us...no different than Abraham and his son." Does he mean what he said? "No different than Abraham and his son"? Because we read in Genesis 22:1 and following that God spoke to Abraham, in inerrant, morally-binding, direct, verbal revelation. Had Abraham refused, it would have been sin.

Is that what Sapp is claiming? That he and his church are receiving inerrant, morally-binding, direct, verbal revelation from God today? If they didn't obey, it would be sin? Too bad no reporter seems to have asked this question.

But Sapp leaves wiggle room, adding that the church was still in prayer, and could cancel — thus the point of citing Abraham. You see, God told Abraham to kill Isaac, and then told him not to kill Isaac. It could be like that with them, Sapp was saying. God tells them A, then He tells them anti-A.

Wellsir, it turns out those words, at least, were prophetic, because Pastor Jones himself later said "We feel that God is telling us to stop.... Not today, not ever. We're not going to go back and do it. It is totally canceled."

So, that's interesting, isn't it? God told them to do it, then God told them not to do it. But when God told them to do it, they built in the wiggle that God might change His mind. Yet then when God tells them not to do it, there is no wiggle-room: "Not today, not ever. We're not going to go back and do it." Sounds final. Nice that "God" seems to have settled His mind on the issue, finally (I speak as a leaky-Canoneer).

By this time, our single-issue readers are beside themselves. "What does any of that have to do with Charismatics? These guys are nuts!" Not so fast. We've seen it many times. All Charismatics come in right at this point: they come in by giving this man "cover." A Charismatic has to say,
"Well, how do I know whether God told him to do this? He could have. It could have been like Abraham, with God just doing this to expose the Muslims, like Jones says. God never meant Jones to do it, He just meant him to say he was going to do it, so the Muslims who riot and foam  and make threats and throw chairs would be seen by all to be the violent loons that they are. We mustn't quench the Spirit. We can't put God in a box."

SIDE NOTE: just too rich to skip. Get this: Pat Robertson criticized Jones — for Jones' arrogance! I am not making this up. This is Pat Robertson, the Charismatic (Southern Baptist!) leader whose massive, tireless mouth and constant claims of semi-revelation have made Christians wince and squirm the world over. "This is so stupid!", foams this particular unpaid bill of Charismaticism (see also here).

But I digress.

So, all Charismatics "own" Terry Jones.

Let's be more specific: the Wayne Grudem type of Charismatics — and everyone who gives Grudem cover —  "own" Pastor Jones.

How so? They give Jones cover by their desperate re-defining and Clintoning-down of the Biblical gift of prophecy. What is prophecy, to Grudem? He explains it as the errant reporting of inerrant revelation. It is precisely like the old liberal redefinition of Biblical inspiration: the writers of Scripture received inerrant inspiration from God, but they wrote it down errantly. Grudem simply transfers this to NT prophets, instead of the writers of Scripture: they give errant reporting of spontaneous inerrant revelation. The message they receive is right, but it may be garbled in transmission.

So, on the broad ground laid by Grudem and all his fanboys, who can say whether or not Jones and Sapp were just errantly reporting an inerrant guiding? Not you. Not I. Not them.

Ditto the miserable spiritual trainwreck that is Blackaby-ism: on their premises, who can say whether or not this was God's leading, hinting and nudging Jones to make a fool of himself for Christ?

Am I being unfair? I don't think so. The constant refrain of such folks is that God is whispering and mumbling and nudging, and the only "control" we have is whether or not it is contrary to Scripture. Well, friends and neighbors, that leaves a lot of open ground for fools to graze. So: is it contrary to Scripture in so many words to burn some cult's "holy" book? Nope. So there you go: it might have been God's static-riddled leading — on Charismatic/Grudemic/Blackabbean premises.

I know, we're not supposed to say this, or ask these questions. We all love Charismatics, with all their great music and laughing and big name sane leaders and enthusiasm and joy and warmth and all. True; I love them too.

But I still think we have to ask the hard questions, lay down rulers and draw out where all these lines lead.

So where do we stand — we who confirm Scriptures' sufficiency and the Canon's close without crossing our fingers?

We're left with Scripture, and our responsible application of it.

In response to Jones, we come up with something like this, or this, in short. What we do is we study to find what the inerrantly revealed and inscripturated call of the church, and we pursue that call. Faced with choices to do this or do that, one prayerfully and responsibly and rationally weighs them by Scripture, and then one makes a decision. One then takes responsibility for that decision if it does not grow from a direct statement of Scripture, rather than blaming it on God.



So: should Christians be ashamed by association with Terry Jones... or John Crowder?

Don't look at me.

Take it up with a Charismatic.

Dan Phillips's signature

193 comments:

greglong said...

Great post.

Interestingly enough, Pastor Jones decided not to burn the Qurans after the FBI came to visit him. Does God speak through the FBI?

Robert said...

What I have gotten in response when I bring this up is "we're not like them." Really...you don't proof text from that one small verse without looking at the context of what Paul is writing and who he is writing it to? Because it sure seems the same to me.

Trevor said...

But Dan, isn't burning the Quran analogous to the book burning in Acts?

That was my sad attempt at a witty, silly comment.

lee n. field said...

"So, Dan, stop pussyfooting around and tell us what you really think."

I had the guy pegged when somebody at Free Republic found Dove World's academy rulebook. "Fife fold ministry" (when spelled correctly) is a phrase you see in those circles.

Scott said...

Let's see if I can do a simple math equation.

Number of charismatic "prophecies" correct < Dan Phillips creative descriptions of said prophecies.

More seriously, this whole series of events me incredibly frustrated. The world is just going to look at this and Christian belong in padded rooms. If they think we're crazy, we should at least give them a good reason AKA our hope lying in the resurrection and return of our God and king.

Fred Butler said...

Too bad no reporter seems to have asked this question.

Yeah. The average reporter these days seems to always miss those jugular style questions.

Everyday Mommy said...

Why do they always use the, ""Well, how do I know whether God told him to do this? He could have," argument?

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone retort, "God can do whatever He wants," I'd have a new kitchen by now.

witness said...

If charismatics are smart then there will only be crickets chirping from their corner on this one.

Daryl said...

Everyday Mommy,

Conversely, if I had a dollar for every time I've heard/read a Calvinist/cessationist say that God can't do whatever he wants...I'd still have the 99 cents I started with.

Daryl said...

Yo, Dan. Am I seeing that the comment moderation of off?

Daryl said...

Oops, sorry, wrong blog...I read the two so often that I get confused...easily...

Al said...

God told me to leave a comment...

al sends

Fred Butler said...

Probably 3 months from now, Mark Driscoll will get a chance interview with this Jones character, and on video Driscoll will ask him something like,

"Dude, are you claiming God was giving you inerrant, morally-binding, direct, verbal revelation and if you didn't obey, it would be sin, or are you just koo-koo for coco puffs?"

And then all these fancy, big wig evangelical bloggers will post the video and gush, "Wow, you have to see this video of Mark taking it to that Jones guy. Why hasn't anyone else asked Jones a question like this before?"

Strong Tower said...

Faith Based Initiative

ar ar ar...

Al said...

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!

That last comment was not a verbal command from God. It was more a feeling, hence the lack of specificity. I still feel good about it though.

al sends

A & R said...

God certainly does change his mind and leave prophets "out on a limb" seemingly receiving false revelation. Take Jonah for instance! So your example of Terry Jones revelation from God is invalid because scripturally we know that God can act contradictory to the revelation He has given to His prophets.

You are presuming to speak on God's behalf by saying God does not speak today! The use of scripture to make your point is weak at best.

DJP said...

Did you know that you are exactly proving my point, when you wrote that?

DJP said...

Fred Butler, by the way, just achieved Most Favoritest Commenter Ever status for the day. My eyes are actually a bit sting-y.

David said...

Unrelated to post: Why does Jones have the NASCAR-template mustache?

Anyway.

"Grudemic/Blackabbean premises." Yes! That alone was worth the price.

Eric said...

A...,

So, are you saying that Mr. Jones is a prophet like Jonah, and God left him "out on a limb"? It seems that you would accuse God of being fickle.

God did not leave Jonah "out on a limb". Rather, God showed His great mercy, as Jonah knew he would. Look at Jonah 4:2, where Jonah says exactly that: "So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm."

Phil said...

Well, that's ultimately what happens when you have a low view of scriptures and a high view of self.
I mean you would think that COMMANDMENT NUMBER 3 would be big enough to make the point that God doesn't want you speaking for Him, but I suppose not.

Oh an A&P- God showed up and told me you ought never to say anything like that ever again. Wish you were there for it, but just take my word for it and never speak again.
Or show that you don't believe in it either and keep talking.

DJP said...

Eric, yours is a good point, but I don't want to lose the focus of the post.

The point is that Charismatics give cover for guys like Jones.

First Charismatic commenter?

Gives cover for Jones.

QED

DJP said...

Phil - bingo. Who knows? You could be right. Ampersand could be right. You could both be right - with God saying the same thing to both of you, and both of you just doing your erring best to report it.

Steve said...

First, a niggling comment... You almost come out with the impression that God did not tell Abraham one thing and then another. Yes, He did. But He wasn't "changing His mind", He was strengthening Abraham's faith. But it still did happen that way.

Now, to the main point... This is yet another case of the many times in God's Word when someone is foolish enough to claim they speak for God when God has not spoken:

Jer. 23:23-32

DJP said...

Steve, I'm referring to their use of Abraham's situation.

Steve B said...

That whole "insofar as it was correctly translated," sounds suspiciously like the doctrine of another fringe denomination I've heard of.

Just sayin.

A & R said...

Yes I give Jones cover! And yes Jonah did flee to Tarshish because he knew God to be merciful and that what he prophesied would NOT come to fulfillment. Therefore he was reluctant to speak for God because of cynics like you! Who would say, "False prophet, fool!"

Yet I must repeat that. Those that claim we can't speak for God today are in fact speaking for God today, with scarce biblical support.

Jones has cover. Where is yours?

DJP said...

Oh, mine is Scripture, all of it. I accept its testimony that it conveys 100% of everything I need to know, in order to know and serve God (2 Timothy 3:15-17). You don't.

People will think we put you up to this, though. Charismatics try to run as fast as they can from fools like Jones, not wanting to admit that they're joined at the hip.

You can be our Exhibit A.

John said...

This is the Danger of Abandoning Sola Scriptura

Thanks for addressing this and pointing out the fallacies in this "theology". I suppose it's easy for us to snicker at Jones and Robertson when they make claims that "God told them so", but it's a serious issue when it's promoted so heavily in churches through means such as the Experiencing God study. In my own church I was told this would be a mainstay study for small groups. Scary.

Andrew said...

Good thoughts Dan...and extremely challenging. Where does that spectrum of cover begin and end though?

Is it just those who espouse Charismatic doctrine themselves or those who help to promote those figures within broader evangelicalism via conferences/seminaries etc.

In many ways the sane guys whom we love have made it on to many of our radars through well known cessationist pastors and authors.

This is an honest question. I'm writing from the UK, and maybe don't understand the full complexities of the American evangelical scene. It just seems to me that there is a blurring of the lines between continuationists and cessationists that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

Matt Church said...

Just leaving a comment could be suicide, however, in the interest of clarity for me and only me. (this is not a challenge)

I have been reading your blog for a while. I read the entire post and all of the links to the other posts and videos and scripture links.

DJP - you are saying in no uncertain terms that God does not speak to us or anyone now or in the future. Did God stop speaking to people (any people) or are you referring to the examples you have given of Chan and Jones as clearly God was not speaking to them.

Phil - are you stating that if I were to say that God told me to do something. (anything... use what ever example you want with the exception of something that is clearly contradictory to scripture) that I would be breaking the 3rd commandment?

J♥Yce said...

Those that claim we can't speak for God today are in fact speaking for God today, with scarce biblical support.

Jones has cover. Where is yours?


Knowing what God says. Knowing what God means. BEFORE speaking for God today with scarce Biblical support.

Been thinking on Acts 19:19 and wondering if those N.T. book-burnin-wannabe folks used to be Qu'ran/Koran "imbibe"ers starting on a 12-step recovery program.

DJP said...

Matt, Andrew: no fair. Only I get to ask hard questions!

I'll have to ponder.

Jason Woelm said...

@DJP,

Despite the tears of joy welling up in my eyes for the shout-out and the link (and the pressure of now having to update the blog more often), I must move on to comment on more important matters in the meta :).

A &R's attempt to claim that DJP's use of Scripture is weak is a classic Charismatic attempt to attack the man instead of refuting the argument. How do I know? As a former Pentecostal/Charismatic, I used to do it. A cursory view of the biblical theological theme of revelation throughout Scripture reveals that God's revelation to man is always, without fail, 100% accurate (including Agabus), and those who are mistaken are false prophets--period. In order to give cover from the clear meaning of the biblical text (which is the real cover scholarly Charismatics provide), they must perform exegetical gymnastics around these clear passages (see Grudem's book on prophecy).

Exegetically and theologically speaking, a cessationist is never at the mercy of a Charismatic.

DJP said...

I'll have to admit, Jason, I fully expected our first Charismatic commenter to be crying "No fair! I'm not with him!"

But instead, our first Charismatic basically says "Yep! That's right! Go Jones, go Hinn, go Bentley, go Crowder! I've got your back!"

Robert said...

A&R,

You're seriously comparing this guy to a prophet? In light of that can you explain Ephesians 2:20 to me? The foundation is built once, right? Do you think there apostles today, too? If not, how does 2 Corinthians 12:12 make any sense (the signs of a true apostle)?

Just saying.

Daryl said...

Dan,

I love how you handle these things.

You're use of Pat Robertson in the post was helpful.

Consider that the most that a non-Jonesian Charismatic can say to him is "Yes, God still speaks outside of Scripture, but he sure wouldn't say THAT."
Of course, they conveniently leave off the caveat "...unless he said it to me first..."

This is why the bit about not contradicting Scripture is so significantly invalid.

As you pointed out, did what Jones claim God had said contradict Scripture? Then what right does Robertson have to say what he said?

If I tell you God told me to move to Phoenix, does that contradict Scripture? Well, the 'God told me' bit does, but the Phoenix bit? Not so much.

I recall sometime ago, Dr. Piper claiming that God spoke to him, and when he wrote it down it was one of the Psalms.
I believe you responded to that by saying "Yes God did, and I know he did because he said the same thing to me."

Non-contradiction is way too low a standard.

Fred Butler said...

Matt asks,
you are saying in no uncertain terms that God does not speak to us or anyone now or in the future.

Dan, I am sure will add some pithy remarks momentarily, but for me, God DOES speak to us now and in the future in His Word. The Bible. It is the fully authoritative and sufficient voice of God I hear everyday.

The question I would ask is: Why isn't Scripture alone good enough for the Charismatic? What more could God possibly tell you that He hasn't already?

A & R said...

I am not abandoning scripture when I believe that prophesy is a gift for today. In fact I am upholding scripture. If that links me to Jones so be it.

Your proof against prophesy as a gift for today is that it can be used incorrectly. My point is that in scripture prophesies sometimes seem to be false but are in fact true, God just acted contrarily to the revelation He had given. See Exodus 32:10-14. Or perhaps you have misunderstood the purpose of prophecy which is to bring people to repentance. In which case, people might actually repent and God does not actually follow through with what He spoke of doing. For example Ninevah's reaction to Jonah. Or see Jeremiah 26:12-13. Is repentance for today? If so, so must prophesy be for today.

Daryl said...

Fred,

Oh come on. Be serious. The bible doesn't tell me who to marry does it?

Don't I need to know that?

Oh...biblical principles, you say?
I need to think a little, you say? God will guide me, you say?

But that's too HARD!!!

God doesn't want me to have a hard life, so clearly he'll just tell me stuff to save me the hassle...

trogdor said...

"Your proof against prophesy as a gift for today is that it can be used incorrectly."

Where, in any cessationist literature, do you find such a claim? Not only is that not the entirety of the case, I'm not aware of anyone who even makes that part of the case. In fact, that point would actually contradict the cessationist argument, as it would imply that modern-day prophecy can be used correctly, implying that it exists.

prodigalthought.net said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

PT - as a rule, I discourage comments that are no more than "come read my blog."

Would you like to interact here, in this discussion, about this post?

Please feel free.

Fred Butler said...

A&R states,
I am not abandoning scripture when I believe that prophesy is a gift for today.

Okay. And the purpose for that gift of prophesy today would be what exactly? What could a person with the modern day gift of prophesy tell us that the Bible hasn't already recorded for us?

jstricklin said...

In Romans 10 we see multiple occasions where Paul quotes from the OT as if what was said years earlier is what God is saying in Paul’s present argument. For example: 10:5 – “Moses writes”; 10:11 – “For Scripture says”; 10:16 – “Isaiah says”, and so forth. The Bible is living and active (Heb. 4:12). If we want to know what God is saying, then we just need to daily read what he said.

Andrew said...

Looking forward to the end result of your ponderings Dan!

In the meantime it may be helpful to point out (in the interest of avoiding 'cover' or guilt by association) that this is a different Terry Jones than that of Monty Python. One was an irreverent madcap comedian, famed for bringing shame on the name of Jesus through his offhand remarks and media productions. The other belonged to a British sketch show along with John Cleese.

A & R said...

Like I said, prophecy is pointing out peoples sin and calling them to repentance. Scripture tells us what sin is and what the consequences are. Prophecy must be relevant to the idolatry of the day so it cannot be constrained to scripture.

DJP said...

Scripture is inadequate to produce repentance?

When did that happen?

Brad Williams said...

Ampersand,

I hate to make this comment, as it will inevitably make me look like a fawning back-slapper. But I cannot imagine a conversation that would make Dan's point more perfectly clear. If I didn't know this blog better, I'd think you were a sock puppet.

Are you seriously arguing that God told Pastor Jones to burn Korans and then told him not to? By your logic every time someone said, "God told me 'X'.." we'd all have to shrug and say, "Well maybe so! Praise the Lord!"

pennedpebbles said...

"One then takes responsibility for that decision if it does not grow from a direct statement of Scripture, rather than blaming it on God." Ah, but that would take a good dose of humility! Thank God, God is in total control!

Fred Butler said...

A&R writes,
prophecy is pointing out peoples sin and calling them to repentance.

The biblical grammar does not support that definition of prophecy. Throughout scripture, prophecy is considered divine revelation. The one who is a prophet is thus a mouth piece for God speaking His mind to His people.

1 Samuel 3:19-4:1 provides us a working template of a biblical prophet who speaks prophecy:

1) The LORD was with him.
2) None of the Words the LORD gave him "fell to the ground." In other words, what Samuel said as a "thus saith the LORD" came to pass.
3) Everyone knew Samuel spoke for God. There was no doubt.
4) The LORD confirmed Samuel's role as a prophet on His behalf.
5) Samuel proclaimed that Word to all Israel.

Stan McCullars said...

A&R,
Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:15-17 which Dan referenced above. It seems to render prophecy unnecessary... at least by your (inadequate) definition.

Lynda O said...

Why do they always use the, ""Well, how do I know whether God told him to do this? He could have," argument?

Well, they do get that one from the Bible: straight from the Pharisees. Acts 23:9 -- Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”

It goes to show that, truly indeed, there is nothing new under the sun.

witness said...

A&R,

Dude... you should have left it to the crickets... I'm tellin ya.

The first thing to do when you see you are in a hole is stop digging. You just need to see you are in a hole.

Matt Church said...

@ Fred - I appreciate your response, however, to prevent being led off in a wild goose chase I will refrain from responding now.

@ Daryl - Your sarcasm in response to Fred did not go unnoticed.

I truly am trying to get additional understanding here.

Larry Geiger said...

Interact with the post.
Thinking, thinking, thinking.

All that I can think about is the cat. How in the world did you get a cat on that tube? Out in the middle of the lake? Going 15mph with three children on it? Why is the cat flying? Did the cat survive?

I have a boat. I have a tube. I have grandchildren. I have a cat. I just can't stop thinking about it.

Fred Butler said...

I appreciate your response, however, to prevent being led off in a wild goose chase I will refrain from responding now.

Matt. My question wasn't meant to be misleading. I certainly didn't want it to come across that way. But I would hope that you have some thought as to what I am asking. How exactly does the gift of prophesy fulfill a roll in the Church and the life of the Christian that the Bible does not?

Matt Church said...

@ Fred - I do have thoughts, but I am not usually in the habit of responding to others questions prior to mine being answered. I get side tracked easily. Then I miss out on the understanding that I am looking for.
My dad use to tell me, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" (I know he didn't say it first... someone else gets that credit) but I have learned that lesson the hard way so I am hanging loose for now.

I am not demanding an answer from DJP... Just hoping that he might be able to give me one.

Mesa Mike said...

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son." -- Heb. 1:1-2

What more do you need to "hear" from God?

Douglas Kofi Adu-Boahen said...

As a former teenage Pentecostal who used to believe in the perpetuity of the sign-gifts, all the Pentecostals/Charismatics I knew growing up (and still do) believe that their gift is nowhere near as inerrant as that we find in the Bible.

As this shambles with "Pastor" Jones has demonstrated, when you lower the bar a centimetre, then you have to ask, "How much lower can it go?" When I see prophecy in the Bible, it hits the mark smack in the centre every time - but God, not man, is its source. Now tell me, has our God ever spoken with "water in his mouth", as Mum is fond of telling me? I'd think not.

Ultimately, as our brother has competently demonstrated, we are far more safe in simply trusting what Scripture teaches - both explicitly and in principle.

DJP said...

Plus, Doug, lifting up of the (current imitations of) gifts is invariably accompanied by lowering of Scripture's sufficiency.

See Ampersand, above: the Bible is insufficient to provoke repentance.

A & R said...

DJP,

Your statement assumes that everyone reads scripture and that everyone that reads it will be convicted of their sin. We know that is not always the case. Sometimes people need someone to get in their face and expose their sin.

Brad,

I just wouldn't say that a prophecy is not valid because the prophet was revealed one thing and then God acted contrary to that because he achieved the desired reaction. Rather I would evaluate a prophecy by whether or not it has the capability of bringing someone to biblical repentance.

Halcyon said...

A&R:

Are you saying that Scripture is inadequate?

If not, then clarify before you get seriously dog-piled.

If so, then do you understand the gravity of that assumption? The seriousness of its logical implications?

DJP said...

Amber Lamps — I assume no such thing. Otherwise, I'd be a pretty poor Calvinist. Poorer, I should say.

But if you're going "to get in their face and expose their sin," you can't do that with Scripture?

You do realize, don't you, that you are saying in so many words that the modern imitation of prophecy is superior to the Word of God, and more effective to the salvation of souls?

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

I don't normally comment a third time on any post, but I just wonder about the main thrust of the argument you make here Dan as I think it over.

Aside from those who are going to weigh in with an unsustainable defence of Terry Jones, is it fair to allow the waves created by this incident to drown the differences that exist between him and the 'sane' guys you talk about?

If I remove the emotive issue of spiritual gifts and think about other theological positions, then it seems to me that there are those who share labels but not convictions.

Calvinism is one such area. I'm a biblical Calvinist, but I wouldn't want to be associated with some of the dour, dry dustiness that attaches itself to certain people who share that tag - or hyper-vipers in denial for that matter.

Or dispensationalism might be another example. I'm not a dispensationalist, but I can understand why people would be drawn to the clear and careful ministry of men like John MacArthur who occupy that ground. Such individuals would not welcome being associated with some of the more cookie elements under that banner though I imagine - i.e. of the 'its 1999, empty your bank account, head for the hills and wait for the Rapture' stripe.

What I'm trying (and probably failing)to get to grips with here is the fairness of taking one end of a spectrum and saying that anyone whose theology resembles that, or bears a similar name is part of the pack.

To use a Irish phrase: I'm not sure if it's fair to tar them all with the same brush!

The thing is, I'm in agreement with the substance of what you say here -I'm just not sure if the argument is fair.

On a less serious note this whole comment thread adds a new dimension to Bob Dylan's famous words: 'You know something is happening here, but you don't know what it is: do you Mr Jones?'.

Rachael Starke said...

Every time this subject comes up, I remember a dear lady in a Sunday School class asking why she couldn't see the heart-shaped rock she found on a hike when she was feeling depressed as a personal word from the Lord that He loved her. I found myself wanting to plead out loud with her "What part of Psalm 31, or 33, or 36, or 51 or 57 or... isn't true??"

I know there are some who fall prey to this stuff because of the ego rush it offers, but I just wonder if many, many people (and I'm just going to say it out loud) - women in particular - just aren't being taught well enough about what the Bible really is, and what all of it really says, to them personally.

Everyday Mommy said...

Okay...I'll just say it...Terry Jones did not hear God instructing him to burn the Qu'rans/Korans/Qurans on 9/11.

Daryl said...

"@ Daryl - Your sarcasm in response to Fred did not go unnoticed."

Matt Church,
I'm agreeing with Fred...and sometimes sarcasm makes a point more clearly.

Sometimes...

Robert said...

A&R,

In addition to my questions from earlier (8:31 AM), I would also ask how do you handle Romans 10:14-15? This is not talking about prophets, but preachers. Don't you think Paul (especially with the inspiration of God) would have written clearly that we needed prophets to preach the gospel and bring repentance?

I mean, seriously, Fred Butler is correct that you are digging yourself a hole and it is just getting deeper and deeper.

Daryl said...

Andrew,

The trouble with what you say is that if God speaks, and if my claim doesn't contradict Scripture, then on what basis can anyone gainsay my claims?

That is, how can anyone say that I shouldn't move to Phoenix, if I'm claiming that God told me to go?

What it does is eliminate all sense and responsibility on my part, and removes me from legitimate disagreement.

Steven said...

Fred Butler, your 9:08 post made me think of the first stanza of How Firm a Foundation - "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?"

This begs the question of what foundation a charismatic is building on? More and more it seems that the charismatic foundation will denegrade to a status of yoy, yoy, yoy (See Phil's bibchr post from 9/2 if this reference does not make sense).

Peter said...

So, Herr DJP, what would you think of writing or gathering together your blogs on this subject and maybe putting them in a book or article form? What you have said in the various blog entries, makes sense to me of little brain.

B Barnes said...

A & R,

If prophecy can be as you say, and what the prophet prophecies doesn't actually have to come to pass, how would one test the prophets as God commands(Deut. 18:22) when all the prophet has to say is "God changed His mind" when his prophecy doesn't come true?

DJP said...

Well, Andrew, good question, but here's the difference: it's in what I refer to as laying the ruler down and drawing the lines.

If I do that with the distinctive tenets of Biblical Calvinism, should the result be a dour, joyless prune, or a ridiculously happy, generous soul? B.

Ditto Biblical Dispensationalism: take its fundamentals and draw the line, do I get date-setting nutcases, or something else? Again, I pick B.

But what I am showing in the post is that the necessary consequence of the Charismatics' arguments is to enable the Terry Joneses of the world, because it's their own premises that result in the sort of muteness you saw in Adrian Warnock vis a vis Todd Bentley.

Andrew said...

Thanks Daryl, but I'm not sure you're getting what I mean. I AGREE totally with what you say, we occupy the same position. I'm just not sure if there's a *logical* fallacy in the argument which means that Terry Jones has some bearing on Wayne Grudem (although I may be misunderstanding the drive of Dan's argument).

DJP said...

Steven(See Phil's bibchr post from 9/2 if this reference does not make sense).

Ooh, did Phil do a post about that on my blog? I want to find that; I'm sure it's a lot better than what I said!

Andrew said...

Yeah, that squares it for me Dan - thanks a million. I see the difference entirely.

Adrian's slowness to give opinion on Bentley was much in my thoughts as I read your post incidentally.

DJP said...

Barnes also nails it. Excellent point.

DJP said...

"Slowness," Andrew? Did he ever really say anything? If so, I missed it.

(c:

A & R said...

Halcyon,

I am not saying that scripture is inadequate. I am saying that those in sin either don't know what scripture says or are ignoring what it says and therefore need a prophet to speak for God.

Chris H said...

Rachael Starke:
Re: the heart-shaped rock, would there be a problem if someone saw the rock and was reminded of the innumerable verses in scripture that outlines God's immeasurable love for her?

This might seem like splitting hairs, but I'm really curious as to whether this dear lady in your anecdote chose the wrong words, or had bad theology.

My personal example is thunderstorms. I stare at the clouds and am reminded that Jesus calmed a storm with a word. He who can do that will never leave me, nor forsake me. That's a comfort. But the storm itself doesn't speak to me... just points at the Word.

DJP said...

Peter, thanks, that's music to my ear, and I actually do have an unpublished manuscript on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

But let's see if anyone buys my first two books first, once they get published.

(c:

Steven said...

DAN - Sorry about that, but I must say that my foot sure taste good.

Steven said...

DAN - Sorry about that, but I must say that my foot sure tastes good.

Daryl said...

Ampersand,

Ummm...don't we call them evangelists, or missionaries, or ordinary Christians telling the gospel?

DJP said...

AmpersandI am saying that those in sin either don't know what scripture says or are ignoring what it says and therefore need a prophet to speak for God.

So... the best thing to do is go up to them and tell them what's bubbling in your belly, and not the Word of God?

Folks, I'm about to accuse myself of Ampersand being a plant.

Robert said...

So Dan you are saying that A&R is analagous to the tares that were sowed in with the wheat?

DJP said...

You're killing me!



I like it.

Barbara said...

I just wanna know where you got that first picture. All those people are lined up waiting for...something.

David said...

Just when I thought Pat Robertson couldn't surprise me anymore.

Maybe he's saying "Dude, that's my turf!"

Maybe the cat will land in his mouth

Denis said...

I am still struggling with understanding the main premise behind these posts. I understand the examples cited, yet cannot summarize the over-arching principal accurately (last time I tried I was definitely wrong in my understanding and was told so).

I would love to see either a post or comment which neatly summarized this teaching.

For example, would the following types of teaching be considered correct or incorrect?

"The Spirit comforts, guides, and teaches ... [t]hese activities are done in a manner that involves intelligence, will, feeling, and power. He searches, selects, reveals, comforts, convicts, and admonishes."

"[The Spirit] works with the Word and through the Word. His task is never to teach against the word. It is therefore necessary to test what we hear by the teachings of Scripture."

Andrew said...

Yeah, just had a read over Adrian's posts and no verdict of any substance was ever reached - which kind of proves your point made in the body of your article.

This is a design fault right at the core of charismatic theology which cannot be easily dismissed. I'll be interested when (if) you do come back to cessationist endorsements of charismatic speakers etc. For me that's the really big one - because it actually affects things right down to which books pastors recommend to their people. I.e should a pastor say 'Here read Grudem's Systematic Theology, but ignore the charismatic bits'? Or does that place the Pastor somewhere on the spectrum of aligning with an approach to biblical and theological thinking at odds with what they actually believe themselves?

I know that these folks are Reformed Charismatics, but which of those two descriptors is more theologically determinative?

I know I'm probably just repeating my earlier question in different language, but this is fascinating. Bit of light bulb moment for me pastorally actually.

pslively said...

Dan, I wanted to comment on Matt's (I think it was Matt) question regarding whether or not God speaks ever to anyone nowadays. I have been reading this blog for sometime now and have been greatly edified by the truths that you all share. One thing I have had a hard time with, however, is that you do seem to be saying that God does not ever, in any way, speak to anyone in this day and age. Is that a correct understanding of what you are saying?

If so, well, I'm not sure what to think. In your own story you told of hearing something like a voice and came to the conclusion that it was your conscience. I hope I am remembering that correctly as I do not want to misstate what you wrote. I too have had that "like a voice" kind of thing happen a very few times in my Christian life. It was not an audible voice, yet it seemed that someone was saying something to me... and somehow I knew that it was God. My husband asked me how did I know. My only response was that Jesus said His sheep would know His voice. And I don't have a better explanation than that to this day. Somehow I knew. I did not act on what I was told, but rather committed it to prayer and asked the Lord to confirm these things for me (like Gideon with the fleece, I guess) and He graciously did. These were no controversial teaching type things and certainly nothing that contradicted scripture, but these were personal things that had to do with my life. I just wonder what you would say to that? Is this not the Holy Spirit speaking to us?

I do not ask these things in a challenging or combative way. I truly want to know. I respect you because of what I have seen from you. Please help me to understand. This is very important to me because we have six children who we want to raise right - meaning we want them to know the truth about God and His ways. I would not want to lead them into error-filled thinking.

Thank you and sorry for the LONG post.

Phil said...

Well this has devolved into the theater of the absurd.

Anyhow to answer your question Matt Church:
Phil - are you stating that if I were to say that God told me to do something... that I would be breaking the 3rd commandment?

So if I go up to some girl and say "God wants us to be married, He told me so, you must marry me forthwith." Then yes, I have broken the command. If I walk into KFC and tell them God told me to order the #2 meal then yes, still breaking it.
The point is to not speak for God. It's very different than if I say "#2 sounds really good, perhaps God in His providence arranged for my tastes and this place to enjoy to come together."

You don't need to invoke the name of God to get things, or elevate the criticality of the situation. Just say 'yes' when you want something, 'no' when you don't, and when you have a hunch or a feeling, call it a hunch or a feeling.

But I suspect you know all this already.

F Whittenburg said...

I personally cannot condemn Pastor Jones, unless I first got to talk to him and find out if he actually did have a telepathy thought exchanging experience with God followed up by the indegestion type joyous pressure feeling in the chest to reaffirm that the voices in his head were from God.

Since I don't have personal contact with Pastor Jones to confirm these things, I have to find out whether he actually heard from God by looking at Scripture. One way that we can tell if God was really directing it, according to scripture, is what is the outcome of the action?

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to HIS PURPOSE.(Romans 8:28 KJV).

By the actions of Pastor Jones we have been given a glimpse into what maybe a precedent that mainstream press and others is being ingrained in the minds of American which is this (seriously watch how many times you hear this phrase spoken throught the day):

"(If you challenge Islam in any way)... then YOU are putting our troops in harm's way. The blood of innocents will be on YOUR hands".

If you do not let a mosque be built......then you are putting our troops in harm's way.

If you do not let Shariah Law be established in Michigan.....then you are putting our troops in harms way.

If you do not let schools establish special Islamic prayer rooms......then you are putting our troops in harm's way.

You can also see the direction of attacks on the Pastor Jones from his insurance company cancelling his policy, his bank calling in immediate full payment of his church mortgage, and the Gainsville police charging him with the cost of the extra police protection.

After this past weekend I hope I never have to stand against Islam, because I could not stand the thought of putting our troops in harm's way OR the blood of innocents on MY hands.....

Daryl said...

F Whittenburg,

Anything serious in that post? I'm looking and, well, I can't find it.

If it's right, and people are put into harm's way because of it. Well, with tears, do it anyway.

If it leads to a bad result, such as, say, a crucifixion, then must it be bad?

How about this. Does the Bible say what Jones say's God told him, and in those words?
Well, let's see, I don't see any chapter or verse saying "Rev. Jones, burn the Koran on such and such a date."
So there ya go, no further examination required, if it's not there...it's not there.

A much easier, safer and biblically faithful approach.

Sir Aaron said...

I'm still waiting for the Charismatic that has more to offer than the Psychic offering a $25 palm reading.

@Rachael: Don't you love how the heart shaped rock was a positive message? How does she know the message wasn't..."Lady, you need to get your heart right?" Or maybe it was a message that she needs to lower her cholesterol.

DJP said...

Or that she has a heart of stone? Or, that she's unconverted and lost (Ezekiel 36:26)?

Robert said...

What if it was a heart with a missing atrium or ventricle? The possibilities are infinite...

donsands said...

Very good challenging words, and thoughts.
Maybe Adrian Warnock will show up. Those were the good old days.

F Whittenburg said...

Yes, Daryl, some of my post was serious, but only those with "ears to hear" and "eyes to see" will be able to tell which parts are serious and which are not ;)

Steven said...

DAN - I just saw a tweet from Rick Warren that scatches you where you itch with regard to today's post. Brother Rick says "Prayer is dialog, not mere monolog. 50% is quiet listening."

mikeb said...

I was going to post Hebrews 1:1-2, as it speaks clearly to this issue, but Mesa Mike beat me to it (hey, some of us have to work today and miss out on the first 100 comments!)

So as a consolation, I'll ask those who side with modern day prophecy: If God still speaks through men, outside of Scripture, why aren't you following the Pope?

Barbara said...

Steven, that quote - that quote - it's making gray hairs arise in my head!

As one who has been quite literally invaded while in prayer as a baby Christian, bringing me some lyrics from a Beatles' (give me love, give me peace on earth, give me life, give me light...) instead of Scripture, or accusations that I should not be approaching the Throne of grace with the conflicts in my heart, I know all too well that there are other forces at work, opposing forces, who are more than happy to tell us all sorts of things as we pray, and even to twist Scripture as we pray. The only way any of us can know that what we are "hearing" in a quiet time of prayer is that we are in Scripture, under the Holy Spirit, with hearts that are seeking to be humbled and obedient and further conformed to the image of Christ, as we seek to understand the Word that is given to us.

God "spoke" to me once during prayer, through Scripture and yet apart from it. I was reading Ezekiel 1 when it happened. The vision of God's glory. It was then that I got a sort of a "glimpse" of His righteousness, His greatness, and then I got a good hard look at my pride and deserved damnation for deigning to hold my ideas of who God is and of the value of Scripture captive to my own reason and judgment. He kept me there for a bit, as I retched under that light, before reminding me of the Cross upon which my rightful condemnation and judgment was borne. Now the Scripture, and the revealed character of God within it, is my measure for everything.

As to Mr. Terry Jones, he strikes me as a man who is genuinely confused about the whole thing. I would suggest we pray for him.

ryangeer said...

I seem to have a love-hate relationship with this blog... A couple times now I've removed it from my feed reader but somehow it seems to keep making a reappearance.

I understand that there are legitimate enemies of the Gospel that need to be confronted. However, while your comments about Wayne Grudem (and other conservative Charismatics by association) may not rise to the level of libel, they are completely unnecessary. This kind of inflammatory attack on someone who is a friend of the Gospel is unnecessary - not to mention one in what has become a track record on this blog. Unfortunately, I think it also signals the end of my reading here.

I left IFB churches because of garbage like this - I simply can't imbibe any more.

4simpsons said...

I see Christians -- real and fake -- across the spectrum guilty of this. Consider the whole "God is still speaking;" slogan from the UCC. They use that to support all sorts of updates from God, such as how Jesus is pro-legalized abortion, pro-oxymoronic "same-sex marriage" and more.

Attributing the oppose of what the Bible teaches to God sounds more like blaspheming the Holy Spirit to me.

And has anyone else noticed that God is only "speaking" to theological Liberals in the West like those in the UCC? Go figure.

trogdor said...

Maybe the heart-shaped rock was meant to bring to mind Hebrews 3:7ff:

"Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts'"

Hey, wait a second....

Today, if you hear his voice... Hmmmm....

DJP said...

Andrew, I just don't have a terrific answer to your 8:12 AM question. I'm not a Fundie in that I don't at all lean towards the "us four, no more" mentality which marks some of that movement. Yet this is a serious issue. I'd hesitate before elevating the profile of someone known for his Charismatic advocacy. Yet, otoh, Reformed/inerrantist types are such an endangered species, one would hesitate long before making it a point of separation.

A model of friendship, fellowship, and robust brotherly swordplay might be the desideratum here.

Sorry I don't have a better answer.

DJP said...

(continued)

But I wouldn't exactly call that "cover." In the case of (say) Wayne Grudem, it is his very line of argument that gives cover to a Terry Jones. If Good Brother X fellowships with Grudem, he's not endorsing that line of argument, per se.

But then you have to tussle with the "can he legitimatize the man without legitimatizing his arguments" issue, and I don't have that all nailed down.

DJP said...

Matt Church

Fred's 8:40 AM response speaks pretty well for me. Let's see if I can even add anything.

Maybe the BIGGEST thing I am saying is that nobody — NOBODY — should be allowed to get away with "the Lord is telling us to" / "God told me"-type language, and connecting himself to revelatory narratives like Genesis 22, without being challenged, and without someone demanding clarification.

I believe God talks to us all the time, in the way the writer to the Hebrews believes it: through Scripture (Hebrews 3:7).

Ever? Look, I'm a dispensationalist, something I don't "get into" on this blog. Obviously I believe that God will speak again, through real-live, full-bore prophets — because I believe Revelation 11. But I believe that will be after the close of the stewardship of the church, which will have been taken home to her Groom.

Other good folk of course see it very differently, but you asked how I see it.

DJP said...

Larry Geiger: that picture cracks me up. I suspect the cat is Photoshopped.

Jacob said...

Andrew @ 12:21 - I have long been curious about that too (cessationist pastors recommending Charismatic pastors/authors). Never seem to get a straight answer on it though. Lots of wiggle wiggle shift-n-squirm.

Phil (the Doulos) said...

I'm sorry, was there more to this post past the Allah-Driven Life? If so I totally missed it due to (un)holy laughter.

DJP said...

See, now, I thought everyone missed that.

My day is done.

(c:

donsands said...

"(give me love, give me peace on earth, give me life, give me light...)" -Barbara

Isn't that a George Harrison tune?

I appreciate your thoughts, and your testimony of God in your life.

Jesus said, and still says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."

Those who not His sheep, will not be comforted by His words, the Word, the Bible.
We cannot add to it, nor take away from the Scriptures. And we must never twist it, and water it down.

GILLIAN said...

Not quite sure in what way we should speak about the doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture.

For example, does this doctrine mean that we don't need any books besides the bible?

There are some people who toy with this idea, but it should be sufficient to remind them that the Bible they possess did not come to them without the work of translators, who used grammars, written by those who studied languages, not to mention textual critics and monks who copied manuscripts before them, as well as those involved in the work of Bible publishing, distribution, and retailing.

Or if Scripture is sufficient, what about the need for the Holy Spirit to interpret it? Is Scripture sufficient on its own?

And if the Holy spirit has any role, is the Holy spirit restricted to simply interpreting the Bible - no other means or modes of communication? If he interprets it for me, does he do so infallibly, or can I sometimes still come to mistaken conclusions in bible reading? If he speaks infallibly, what do I make of all the other people interpreting the Bible differently?

DJP would probably argue that we need REASON (but maybe not the Holy spirit) to rightly understand and obey God (speaking through Scripture), but is that not again problematic for the idea that Scripture alone is sufficient? And what about experience and tradition? Do these have absolutely no role to play in understanding God's will? Shall we dismiss Athanasius or Wesley's conversion?

Or, if Scripture itself is sufficient, why do we not have church services in which ALL we do is simply read it aloud? Surely, if Scripture is sufficient, we should not be adding our words alongside it in preaching?
Why do we need teachers and preachers to speak (at what the Puritans called 'prophesyings' - See J.I. Packer's book of the Puritans, A Quest for Godliness, p38)?

Or if Scripture is sufficient, and it is the ONLY way that God speaks today, what about creation, conscience, providence (Acts 14:17) and death? Are people charismatics because they have been spoken to through these 'voices', or even 'rocks' (has no one ever read Luke 19:40)?

As to the proof-texting carried on in defence of the view that God has finished speaking (e.g. Hebrews 1:1-2), did the fact that Christ had come and 'spoken' prevent him directing Paul in his missionary endeavours twenty years later? Yes, the faith is 'once for all delivered to the saints', but therefore God can no longer speak - is that not an non-sequitur?

Does not the fact that there are prophets mentioned before (e.g. OT), during (e.g. Acts) and after the church age (Rev. 11) mean that the entire *dispensational defence* is irrelevant (as if God can only use prophets OUTSIDE the church age, as DJP implied)?

Yes, I disagree vehemently with Grudem's definition of 'prophecy'; yes, I find charismatic claims insufferable; yes, I am a (de-facto) cessationist, (hooboy, I am even a dispensationalist); yes, some Christians say the dumbest things (like the Koran-burner).

But the idea that God ONLY speaks through the Bible is so reactionary, ill-thought-out (Biblically), theologically naive and (usually on this blog) inflammatory in tone (anybody disagreeing is pilloried in the most shameful way), that it does nobody any spiritual benefit whatsoever.

eric said...

Dan,

I found the tone of your post very upsetting- linking Grudem to this total wacko Jones. I see the point you are trying to make very clearly. But listen, I've read Grudem's book on prophecy cover to cover and it's a measured, thorough presentation of his position written in a clear manner that deals with every scripture reference as well as questions that result from his position. While you obviously disagree with his conclusions, to throwhim in with Jones is sophomoric at best. I read Pyromaniacs daily and appreciate your ministry, but this, as I said, is upsetting and makes me doubt your wisdom. I haven't yet seen you provide your detailed explanation on the verse "let the prophets speak and the others judge". Nor have I seen your explanation on the role of an OT prophet vs that of a NT apostle that Grudem gives. While I can't agree with all Grudem says, his arguments give me pause- he has some points that require further study. Because the work he has done- it's tone and thoroughness- has resulted in much further study for me in this area. I believe by lumping him in with Jonesian wackos is wrong. Did you actually see Jones on TV- Good Morning America- or whatever morning semi-news show he was on? Foolish, ignorant, shameful and a poor testimony to the name of Jesus. Pretty much any Christian, other than the 50 in his church, will hear this "prophecy" and judge it and totally and utterly reject it. But to dismiss Grudem's scholarship and work in this area as being similar or that it allows such foolishness...a big stretch and an affront to a sincere servant. You owe him an apology.

Respectfully,

eric in vermont

Jugulum said...

Grudem says that everything should be evaluated & sifted, and says "it would not be right to preface what they say with the declaration 'Thus says the Lord.' Rather, they might begin with something like I think the Lord is putting on my mind that...' or, 'It seems that the Lord is showing us...' or something equivalent to that." (pg 223, The Gift of Prophecy, Revised Edition)

So, how do y'all think that leaves Grudem unable to respond to Jones in precisely the same way that you are? (As Dan put it, using "responsible application of it [Scripture]" in order to "come up with something like this, or this"?)

Basically, Grudem can say, "OK, you feel like God gave you that idea. You may be perfectly sincere, but we've evaluated it, and we think you're misguided."

I can't find the supposed cover that Dan thinks leaves Grudem with a simple "who can say?" If he didn't say we're supposed to evaluate claimed prophecy, sure. But he does.

Jugulum said...

P.S. I've been appreciating this post all day. I think it raises exactly the right questions & issues that charismatics need to face.

And as far as I can tell, there are vast numbers of charismatics who don't have a response (or who will respond like "A&R"). I'm just not convinced that on their actual premises, they're all as much at a loss as you think.

College Jay said...

So today I got into a Facebook conversation with a Charismatic friend (I really need to stop arguing through Facebook,) and he asked me, point blank, how I make big decisions without direct revelation from God. He asked how I am certain that my choice to move to Baltimore for graduate school was within God's will, and that I'm not sinning right now by, um, having moved to Baltimore.

(The horror.)

I wish I had had this article (and those linked to it) to send to him at the time. I ended up just wanting to kick him in the shins...

bp said...

Mesa Mike: "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son." -- Heb. 1:1-2

And yet, after the Son had ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostles (using signs and wonders) to the recipients of these letters, to confirm the message from the Son. :-/

Read Heb 2:2-4.

Jugulum said...

College Jay,

For a good thorough treatment of Scripture on the subject of the will of God & the voice of God, it sounds like your friend could use Greg Koukl's mp3, "Decision-Making and the Will of God". Unfortunately, it's $10, but it's best short treatment of all the major passages, that I know of.

Cameron said...

Dan Philipps has posted a lot of garbage on the charasmatic issue over the years. Out of all the garbage, this is the worst.

Jugulum said...

Cameron,

How could any brother or sister be edified by "that's garbage", unless you follow it up with "I say so because..."?

Mike Riccardi said...

Isn't it obvious, Jug? I mean it's plain that God told Cameron it was garbage.

...

Or, at least God told me that He told Cameron that it was garbage. (And don't think of objecting to that guys: nowhere in Scripture does it say God can't tell me that He told someone else something.)

By mentioning the cover that solid, conservative continuationist guys give to the wackos, Dan has struck a cord with the Charitableness and Tone Police™, who never hesitate to break out the heavy artillery in the name of... wait... charity?

F Whittenburg said...

bp: And yet, after the Son had ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostles (using signs and wonders) to the recipients of these letters, to confirm the message from the Son. :-/

Read Heb 2:2-4.

Actually the Holy Ghost spoke directly to the apostles with specific directions. Example:

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the HOLY GHOST said, Seperate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.(Acts 13:2 KJV).

So they, being sent forth by the HOLY GHOST, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus (Acts 13:5 KJV).

One thing I find interesting is after the Great Commission was given by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, the Holy Ghost then forbid some from taking the Gospel into Asia:

Now when they had gone throughout Phyrygia and the region of Galatia, and were FORBIDDEN by the HOLY GHOST to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Myasia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the SPIRIT suffered them not.(Acts 16:6,7 KJV).

What about God communicating to the Christian thru God's actual messangers(angels)?

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, SAYING, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. (Acts 27:24 KJV)

Paul even said that the Gospel didn't come to us in word only. According to Paul, there was something else added to the word:

For our Gospel came NOT unto you in WORD ONLY, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were amoung you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:5 KJV).

Jason Woelm said...

"Conservative" charismatics like Grudem, Mahaney, Chandler, and even Piper, give cover to "extreme" charismatics by saying that texts like 1 Cor. 13:8-13 don't really mean what they seem to mean. And how do they muddy the waters? By saying that such an exegetical conclusion can't be true because--wait for it--of their experience. Grudem did it with John Wimber (an extreme charismatic if there ever was one), Mahaney did it with his conversion, Chandler did it with his missionary experiences, and Piper did it because of his experiences.

Charismatics, please don't be fooled. Scholars can't answer spot-on exegesis like this (http://dbts.edu/journals/2004/Compton.pdf), so they obfuscate by appealing to this (http://vimeo.com/11720167). THIS alone gives other charismatics cover.

Rachael Starke said...

Chris H.,
By now, hopefully, you've gotten multiple flavors of the answer I would have offered. My friend was depressed and questioning God's love for her; the various Psalms to which I alluded are overflowing with irrevocable, glorious truth that, if she is in Christ, she is indeed loved beyond her deserving or comprehension. And yet, it's the "random" spying of a (ostensibly) heart-shaped rock that speaks to her with more authority and assurance than those inerrant words from (one assumes) her LORD....

To which I say, in Jesus' name,

WHAT?!

Look, I confess, I sympathize with the Andrews in this discussion. Truly. I have grown up with and lived amongst the "dry and dusty" Calvinists to which he alludes. I believe that evangelicals have erred far too much on the side of discounting the genuine work of the Holy Spirit so as not to look like those craaaazy Charismatics. We just went through Dr. Grudem's Systematic Theology in Sunday School, and it was nourishing food for my soul; his podcasts on the same redeemed many a Monday laundry day.

But, I don't read anywhere here where Dan is calling the Grudems and Pipers of the worlds heretics or charlatans. He's taking their position on this one issue and extending it to its logical conclusion. And where it extends ain't good.

Rachael Starke said...

And, FWIW, this whole discussion has been very much at the forefront of my mind as my family went about the purchase of a new car just today - the first one in ten years. Yesterday, I was confident that the car we'd chosen was absolutely the right choice for us; twenty-four hours later, I was having sanctified panic attacks thinking we'd made a terrible mistake. Now, as of this particular minute, I'm semi-okay with it.

I'm a Calvinist, doggoneit. God's in charge either way.

Plus, when I get to Heaven, and am called to account for how we spent the Lord's money, I can always fall back on "Well, my husband picked it..."

:)

Matt Church said...

@Phil - Ha ha ha ha you crack me up, nothing like picking the extremes to answer my question. Your in pretty safe territory with those examples. I think most people would agree with you about KFC and the wife thing, sounds like a pick up line to me. I think you use such extremes to avoid the possibility that your point does not encompass all of the situation were one might say God told me, God wants me to......

@DJP - Thank you for your serious response. I have to say based on your statements I agree with you. Not that you really were working for that..... Your post generated a lot of feed back some very interesting.

I have not posted in the past because of the tone that seems to take place on a consistent basis here. I read and recommend the blog to others. However this is the deep end of the pool and it seems as if some would just as soon pull you under then help you tread water.

This situation with Jones is an easy platform to pick off in the sense that the events are glaring bad examples of the subject of God speaking to us today.

However my concern was there are more subtleties that people are referring to when they use the words God spoke to me.

Instead of attempting to hash out the smallest point that might stand as a statement of God does speak to us, I wanted to get clarification.

Final thoughts

Romans 8:26-30 (ESV)
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

For those that love God all things work together for Good.

I would say God uses our sin as well to work together for our good.

Mr. Jones is no exception. As misguided and sinful as this situation might be, he is still offered the same forgiveness as we all are,through Christ. (if that is providing Jones with covering it is merely the covering that all Christians are afforded in Christ)

I am concerned that there is an air of legalism and mockery thrown about here that is contrary to what Christ would have us do to begin with.

That some could be so dogmatic in there responses or interpretation, to the point the pharisees were, that prevented them from seeing the very presence of God in his Son, ultimately leading them to reject the messiah.

He is coming again, he will speak again when and were and through whom I don't know. Some will deny it all the while saying we did these things in your name.

I do believe we should test everything.

Since I am not a word smith and less concerned about speaking everything with the precision that seems to be staple of this blog. You can let me have it about any of the statements that are not clear or may be interpreted as inaccurate.

God Bless

Matt Church said...
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Matt Church said...
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Matt Church said...
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Matt Church said...

@DJP - Thank you for your serious response. I have to say based on your statements I agree with you. Not that you really were working for that..... Your post generated a lot of feed back some very interesting.

I have not posted in the past because of the tone that seems to take place on a consistent basis here. I read and recommend the blog to others. However this is the deep end of the pool and it seems as if some would just as soon pull you under then help you tread water.

This situation with Jones is an easy platform to pick off in the sense that the events are glaring bad examples of the subject of God speaking to us today.

However my concern was there are more subtleties that people are referring to when they use the words God spoke to me.

Instead of attempting to hash out the smallest point that might stand as a statement of God does speak to us, I wanted to get clarification.

Final thoughts

Romans 8:26-30 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

For those that love God all things work together for Good.

I would say God uses our sin as well to work together for our good.

Mr. Jones is no exception. As misguided and sinful as this situation might be, he is still offered the same forgiveness as we all are,through Christ. (if that is providing Jones with covering it is merely the covering that all Christians are afforded in Christ)

I am concerned that there is an air of legalism and mockery thrown about here that is contrary to what Christ would have us do to begin with.

That some could be so dogmatic in there responses or interpretation, to the point the pharisees were, that prevented them from seeing the very presence of God in his Son, ultimately leading them to reject the messiah.

He is coming again, he will speak again when and were and through whom I don't know. Some will deny it all the while saying we did these things in your name.

I do believe we should test everything.

Since I am not a word smith and less concerned about speaking everything with the precision that seems to be staple of this blog. You can let me have it about any of the statements that are not clear or may be interpreted as inaccurate.

God Bless

one busy mom said...

Hmmmm...curious that the gift of prophesy has apparently not ceased, but the punishment associated with getting a prophecy wrong apparently has ceased....


Oh, wait...I forgot - in the ole days God apparently spoke clearly to His prophets so they actually knew what He was saying. Now, according to the charismatic crowd, He's apparently speaking in a "sorta-kinda-ishy" way & the prophets are confused and can't be held accountable......

Methinks if we started monthly stoning services there'd be a lot fewer self proclaimed "prophets" & the phrase "God told me" would very quickly go out of vogue.

just sayin.. ;-)

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Thomas Louw said...

I like Grudem, but he sometimes leaves the backdoor open.

Matt Church said...
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Andrew said...

Thanks for your response Dan, I think that its a fine answer. Perhaps there is mileage in saying that such friendly swordsmanship might be the means of helping our charismatic brothers and sisters to steer clear of some of the loons who rise to the media surface from time to time!

And perhaps the Reformed part of Reformed Charismatic is more determinitive that I allow for: a crash barrier round the edge of the cliff rather than an ambulance at the bottom.

Either way this has been a very stimulating post and comment thread.

CotnerMD said...

one busy mom said...

Methinks if we started monthly stoning services there'd be a lot fewer self proclaimed "prophets" & the phrase "God told me" would very quickly go out of vogue.

just sayin.. ;-)


Yes, let's get serious about all those stonable offenses, shall we?

Rebelling against parents
Cursing a parent
Sabbath-breaking
Bestiality
Blasphemy
Adultery
Idolatry
Enticing others to idolatry
Necromancy
Offering your children to idols
Pederasty

(Are your children well-behaved, busy mom? I hope so.) ;-)

But when you start the monthly stoning services, remember that true prophets also get killed at these events:

Acts 7:58-60

2 Corinthians 11:25

Hebrews 11:37

Still, I guess you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Right? :-D

bp said...

F Whittenburg, I didn't say that the Holy Spirit didn't speak to the apostles directly, He obviously did. What I said was that the Holy Spirit spoke thru the apostles to the readers of their letters (including us) by signs and miracles. If you're going to interpret Heb 1 in the way you are intending to (that in these last days God now only speaks to us through His Son), then you would have to say that after Jesus spoke to us (through His words/actions/miracles) and ascended back into heaven, that was the end of it. And in that case His apostles would have just written down all that Jesus did and said. period. Yet, the Holy Spirit confirmed Jesus' words to the readers of the letters (including us) through the apostles by signs and miracles.

bp said...

OBM-Hmmmm...curious that the gift of prophesy has apparently not ceased, but the punishment associated with getting a prophecy wrong apparently has ceased

Why so? A lot of punishments from the O.T. have ceased. Stoning for adultery, for example.

CotnerMD said...

DJP said...

Reformed/inerrantist types are such an endangered species, one would hesitate long before making it a point of separation.


Amen, brother. But Piper, Mahaney and Grudem are also Reformed and inerrantist. Furthermore, anyone who follows their ministries understands that there is a world of difference between these men (largely unknown outside of Reformed circles) and the charlatans who get all the air time.

If we believe these men are true ministers of the Gospel, then it seems to me that if there is a way of saying,

"Go Piper, go Mahaney, go Grudem! I've got your back!"

without also saying

"Go Jones, go Hinn, go Bentley, go Crowder!"

then that is what we need to be saying.

F Whittenburg said...

bp, I was not disagreeing with your observation, but I was just showing other Biblical examples of how God communicated to people after Jesus resurrection and ascension.

bp said: If you're going to interpret Heb 1 in the way you are intending to (that in these last days God now only speaks to us through His Son), then you would have to say that after Jesus spoke to us (through His words/actions/miracles) and ascended back into heaven, that was the end of it.

I never quoted OR referred to Hebrews 1 in any of my posts. So how did you come to your conclusion that I intended to use it to make my point? You must have confused my post with someone elses.

Robert said...

bp,

I'll pose the same question to you that A&R refuses to answer. Are you saying there are apostles today? If so, then how do you account for Ephesians 2:20? The foundation is laid once...we build on it, not lay it again. And that is without even getting into qualifications for being an apostle.

If you think there are not apostles and prophets, then I'd ask you to consider 2 Corinthians 12:12. This says the wonders and miracles worked through him are the signs of a true apostle. So that means that if we see these signs today they demark a true apostle, right?

I'm not trying to be combative...I just think these deserve serious thought...in fact I'd like to hear how Grudem, Piper, Chandler, Mahaney, etc. handle this Scripture with regards to sign gifts. And I don't mean by saying, "well the manifestation today isn't the same as it was then", because the Bible surely doesn't make allowances for that.

Daryl said...

Whittenburg,

The argument about the Holy Spirit speaking to the apostles doesn't work because Jesus specifically told them that He (the Holy Spirit) would bring to remembrance everything he (Jesus) had taught them.

That has always read to me that what the apostles wrote, was directly from Jesus. All of it.

Paul was taught by Jesus in the wilderness, the Revelation was given by Jesus.

I just don't see the Holy Spirit teaching the apostles anything new.

So Hebrews 1:-2 stands as written, no qualifications required.

F Whittenburg said...

Daryl said: I just don't see the Holy Spirit teaching the apostles anything new.

But as I pointed out in my post, the book of Acts, there ARE plain examples of the Holy Ghost giving specific directions (i.e. go here, but don't go there) to the disciples after Jesus ascension. Do you deny that these verses are actually in the Bible? What translation do you use?

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the HOLY GHOST said, Seperate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.(Acts 13:2 KJV).

So they, being sent forth by the HOLY GHOST, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus (Acts 13:5 KJV).

Now when they had gone throughout Phyrygia and the region of Galatia, and were FORBIDDEN by the HOLY GHOST to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Myasia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the SPIRIT suffered them not.(Acts 16:6,7 KJV).

You and bp need to go back and read my post. I never quoted or referred to Hebrews 1, but I will now! Do you believe Hebrews 1 contradicts and nullifies the verses I presented in Acts 13 and 16? If you do then your argument is with Scripture and not me.....

DJP said...

Many seem to want to miss the point of the post, and of virtually all posts on the topic, completely.

So here's a summary:

1. By its own abundant self-testimony, Scripture is sufficient, provides all the information and guidance anyone needs in order to know and serve God.

2. Scripture provides NO cover for the modern practice of mislabeling hunches and feelings as God "talking" or "saying" or "leading." God didn't mumble and simper, God doesn't mumble and simper.

3. The only category of direct "God said" communication from God to man that Scripture knows is inerrant and morally binding.

4. If moderns want to use that language to describe their experiences, (A) they should admit that they do not really believe the sufficiency of Scripture, (B) they should admit they are doing so without Scriptural warrant, and (C) they should be required to be crystal-clear as to what they are saying — and should be made to answer for ALL of its implications .

Jugulum said...

Robert,

"in fact I'd like to hear how Grudem, Piper, Chandler, Mahaney, etc. handle this Scripture with regards to sign gifts."

Here ya go.
"Signs of an Apostle", Sam Storms

David said...
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Robert said...

Jugulum,

I have gotten a short way through it and find Storm's inclusion of (or better still, accompanied by) to be quite the tell as to the fact that he already had his mind determined before he examined the text...especially in light of the context of Corinthians.

MacArthur does a good job of explaining the context here: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/47-86_The-Signs-of-an-Apostle-Part-2

David said...
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DJP said...

Unteachable troll David: I was disappearing your comments in the hopes of saving you further embarrassment, but since you're not taking the hint:

You're banned. Your comments won't appear anymore, at least not on my metas, barring a revolutionary personal change. Like I told you last time we went around. You have long-since worn out your welcome here by wasting folks' time propagandizing for your personal issues and obsessions, re-asking answered questions and launching pointless bypaths over and over again. I really regret the time othershave taken with you when you were not here to deal with your issues, but to perpetuate them.

If that wasn't clear before, I hope it is now.

Jugulum said...
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Jugulum said...

Robert,

Do you really think it makes sense for you to say that, unless you know that "accompanied by" is not a valid translation? (And don't you think it's just possible that his "better still" comment is rooted in the actual arguments that follow, about what Paul identifies as the signs of an apostle? Which, incidentally, deals with the context of 2 Corinthians?)

As far as having your mind pre-determined goes, I'd examine your own flippant dismissal.

Phil said...

Matt C:
I think you use such extremes to avoid the possibility that your point does not encompass all of the situation were one might say God told me, God wants me to...

Well okay, I'll admit they were whimsical somewhat, but let me turn it around and ask you: When is it okay to say "God wants this" keeping in mind that God is to be obeyed without question at all times.
When is something too small for Him to care about when His glory is at stake?
I proposed to you that not even an order at KFC is too small to be inappropriate or immune from violating command 3, you didn't like it, so you tell me, when do you feel it's permissible to say "God said X" when X is not a Bible verse?

I don't want this to sound like I'm pushing you, or being pedantic, because I'm not, but I really would like your answer

Matt Church said...

@Phil - I would venture to say that your whimsical use of those examples, buy your own statement broke the 3rd commandment.

Do you believe that God still answers prayer?

The very nature of prayer is a direct conversation with God, allowed to all of us by the atonement of Jesus, in which he always answers.

His answers are not verses in the bible. They are answers to prayer.

If that is not God speaking than what would you call it.

Random chance, karma, luck. Maybe you don't believe God answers prayer.

Seems to me that everyone is missing that aspect. Prayer is communication with God in name of Christ and he answers.

Each of our prayers are unique as our needs our unique.

A daily prayer relationship with God might change your opinion of whether God still speaks to us with out it being a bible verse.

Try it I wouldn't go a single day with out talking to my Heavenly Father.

Robert said...

Jugulum,

I've read and studied and am convinced...that is the only reason that it might seem flippant. I certainly didn't mean to come off in that fashion. I apologize if I was being offensive.

DJP said...

OK, Matt, stop. You're getting far afield, and that last comment (while doubtless well-intended) is just silly.

Every Christian believes God answers prayer — and that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Read this. It will help, if you let it.

Everyday Mommy said...

I was just going to post the link to your post on prayer :)

Matt said...

I think it ultimately comes to our acknowledgement of God's sovereignty. What does it mean that God is sovereign? It means that He does whatever He wants. So if God wants to talk to someone, then He can. It seems rather silly to argue why He can't. The Bible is not some rule book that God gave to limit His actions. It was given as a revelation of who He is and how He works. There is no clear statement that God has ceased to speak to His people, so there is no reason to believe that He cannot continue to do so.

The problem as I see it is that we are lumping people who claim to hear from God and yet may not be believers at all with those who walk in faith with God in an intimate relationship. If you are walking in close communion with God, I do not think there will be any doubt when He speaks to you. But it is not something you can quantify.

Consider a relationship between spouses. You can practically read each other's minds after a while, and even when you know what they want you to do, you may not be able to explain to someone else who you know. We are trying to quantify something that is relational, not logical. This isn't a mathematical formula.

So it really comes down to have a close walk with God in which you are fully submitted to His will. It may well be that with the vast majority of Christians, God uses scripture as His only direct communication. But if we are submitted to God, should we reject His voice should He, in His sovereignty, choose to speak?

Everyday Mommy said...

"It means that He does whatever He wants. So if God wants to talk to someone, then He can."

There it is. Just what I said yesterday...

"If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone retort, "God can do whatever He wants," I'd have a new kitchen by now."

DJP said...

That's absolutely ridiculous, Matt. What desperate lengths people have to go to to prop up all this fakery. It has absolutely nothing to do with God's sovereignty. It has to do with His veracity. Might as well argue "If God wants to forgive someone's sins because they own a Mickey Mouse doll, who's to say He can't?'

So, we'll put you down as propping up Terry Jones, Benny Hinn, and John Crowder. I expected as much.

Matt said...

DJP,

That is entirely unfair, and you should know it.

I am talking about a life of faith and obedience to Christ. I am talking about men of God like George Mueller, not impostors who know nothing of God. This man, but his fruit, has been shown to be a complete fraud. But don't you dare put him in the same camp as those who walk with God.

Consider how the people who were contemporaries of John the Baptist or Ezekiel would have considered them. They would have thought them mad unless they looked at the fruit of their life and saw that God was truly with them.

In other words, you cannot simply look at their words to judge them. As the Bible so clearly says, we must look at their fruit. I am not going to just blindly accept someone's word that God spoke to them, but I will test them and their fruit. If a man with a long history of faith and dedication to God, a well managed home, disciples who have gone on to create their own disciples, his life exemplifying all of the fruit of the Spirit -- would you reject him simply because he used the words "God said to me..."? Could you even completely deny the possibility that God had spoken to him?

There are impostors and there are true men of God. You need to learn to discern the difference.

DJP said...

Let's try to make some progress, Matt.

So you admit that the "sovereignty" line was ridiculous, and are renouncing it? You admit it has nothing to do with the topic?

Matt said...

It is not completely off-topic as it is a response to the attitude that dismisses any possibility for God to speak, even to a true child of God.

So I cannot really renounce the statement except to say that it does not justify the actions of Terry Jones, Wayne Sapp or any other person who has been demonstrated to be a false prophet.

DJP said...

Gosh, that's pathetic.

So then you must also believe that "If God wants to forgive someone's sins because they own a Mickey Mouse doll, who's to say He can't?" After all, God is sovereign, right?

Matt said...

I should also add that I meant to type (in the original post): it is not necessarily something you can quantify. One may hear and audible voice; one may just feel a nudge or a pull. But if one is walking in close communion (in obedience, prayer, and faith), they will know when God is directing them.

DJP said...

one may just feel a nudge or a pull

Prove it from Scripture.

Mesa Mike said...

> Prove it from Scripture.

Why?
A "burning in the bosom" is sufficient, right?

Matt said...

DJP,

Please drop the condescending tone, or I will begin to question your salvation. Perhaps God intends for you to learn something this morning.

God has clearly laid out the Gospel in His Word. Your example is clearly not Biblical.

However, to say that God cannot and will not speak when He has said no such thing is to place limits where no limits have been placed. When I read the OT and the NT, I see a God who is interacts with those whose hearts desire Him. He speaks and He directs. Why should we think that the way that God has interacted with those who desire Him from the beginning of history should be any different now?

Even taking the example of 2 Timothy 3:16 as saying we needed nothing more, the books of 1,2, and 3 John as well as Revelation had not yet been written. Do we not need what was expressed in those books? But by your logic, anything after the completion of 2 Timothy was no longer necessary. But it is even worse because in some of Paul's earlier writings, he said we have everything we need.

And we do -- in Christ. We have the revealed Word of God in scripture, and we also have the indwelling Holy Spirit in our lives. We have everything we need because God is with us to graciously provide anything we may lack in any circumstance: the strength to endure, the encouragement to remain joyful in trial, or even a word of encouragement or direction to help us on our way.

I find it sad that people were condemning that woman for seeing the heart shaped rock as an encouragement from God. I may show my wife love by my commitment to her, by my hard work, by my affection, by my provision. Even if I give her everything I need, does it not help if I on occasion give her some flowers. Maybe that last sign of affection is what she needed to lift her spirits that day.

Could that not have simply been God adding grace upon grace? Would that no be in the very nature of our boundlessly gracious God?

Robert said...

So Matt,

You think that the Bible doesn't define God well enough so that we can say there are things he won't do? Like leave sin unpunished?

How about the fact that in Ephesians 2:20, the Word of God says that the apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone? The foundation is laid...we don't have prophets any more.

Denis said...

Hi Dan,

Thank you for providing that summary, it really helps.

Am I correct in understanding that your second point would mean that the following are incorrect understandings of the work of the Spirit?

"The Spirit comforts, guides, and teaches ... [t]hese activities are done in a manner that involves intelligence, will, feeling, and power. He searches, selects, reveals, comforts, convicts, and admonishes."

"[The Spirit] works with the Word and through the Word. His task is never to teach against the word. It is therefore necessary to test what we hear by the teachings of Scripture."

These teachings indicate there is a mode of direct communication that the Spirit uses with us which requires our discernment; something your second point seems to rule out.

Or am I being overly strict in my interpretation of your words and the issue with this point is more that people should not definitively say that "God said", as if it lends authority to their position, and instead should use much more careful language, such as the Grudem quote Jugulum provided earlier teaches.

Thanks again in helping me understand your position more clearly.

mikeb said...

It means that He does whatever He wants.

Or also commonly said as I don't put God in a box."

Straw man! The question is not whether God can do whatever he wants or not. The question is whether God still speaks through prophets. God could destroy the world by fire when he likes. This does not mean we can claim he has already done so.

Why do the previous commenters supporting modern-day prophets not argue from Scripture?

Matt said...

Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."
(Act 19:21 ESV)

It does not say that the Spirit spoke to him, but it does imply that his decision was spirit-filled.

Robert, read what I said about Revelations, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. Would that verse then make any prophesies that occurred after that verse was penned false? Or rather, in the context of that verse, since we are talking about Jesus as the cornerstone, there should not have been any prophesies after Jesus at all.

Can you guys not see that our God is an abundantly gracious God? Yes, all we needed was Jesus Christ. All we needed was to be saved from our sins. But God doesn't stop there.


For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
(Rom 8:14-17 ESV)

Ian said...

DJP,

Define "Charismatic" please.

Thanks, Ian

Matt said...

mikeb,

Because to use scripture to support my view would be to quote it from beginning to end. God has always spoken with His people -- from the OT through the NT. There is no reason to believe that this activity of God has ceased.

There are also the clear commands, which I have posted before, not to despise prophesies or forbid the speaking of tongues. How are those who condemn all such things not in a clear violation of a command in scripture? On the other hand, what command have I violated in believing that God can continue to speak to His people?

DJP said...

MattPlease drop the condescending tone, or I will begin to question your salvation

Nice.

So, you're proposing that you continue to champion inane and pathetic arguments, but I should stop observing that they are such? And I should do so under threat that, if I don't, you will exercise your supernatural Salvation-detector, and find me lacking?

Sorry, that doesn't work for me.

Counter-proposal: renounce your lame arguments, and make some good ones, and I will say "Atta boy."

So: we've established this has nothing to do with the sovereignty of God. it's a pathetic dodge. You just haven't admitted it.

Next: you say that Scripture is insufficient. OK, just be up-front about it. We say it isn't, and have proven it countless times.

Next: well, nothing relevant, just a lot of off-topic words. Nudging and all identified as God mumbling and hinting, still no Biblical evidence whatever.

So: did God speak to Terry Jones? Please prove your answer.

rosemarie said...

I plan on leaving a witty, cogent and superlative response to this post just as soon as God tells me what it is. Until then, I just feel a check in my spirit, like I should wait.So,until I hear from Him, I am going to pray against the spirit of anticharismaticism that has a stronghold on the people in this thread..... Oh... wait... I actually read my bible now. Forget all that stuff up there. It was only a flashback from my days of reading the Bondage Maker...er Breaker..

Matt Church said...

"OK, Matt, stop. You're getting far afield, and that last comment (while doubtless well-intended) is just silly.

Every Christian believes God answers prayer — and that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Read this. It will help, if you let it."

Silly? Because you say so.... the response was to Phil and I think it pertained directly to his question.

I read the post at the link you provided.

It would seem that Calvin, Spurgeon, Henry, and Clarke would all disagree with you as they all have referred in commentary and sermons to the statements "The Power of Prayer" And Conversations with God it is well documented. Your bookshelf is probably full of that information.

Respectfully

DJP said...

Rosemarie - then pray against the spirit of praying against spirits.

(c;

Ian said...

"Charismatic" definition ... anyone?

DJP said...

Oh dear, Matt, I thought we were talking about what the Bible teaches. I respect the past greats... but do we have to stall the discussion while both of us read every book ever written by every Christians, count up the votes, then return to the issue?

Tell you what: you go first on that. Meanwhile I've provided Biblical data, and I'm going to stand on that until I hear otherwise from Scripture. Been a few years now, and no one's even come close.

mikeb said...

Matt said Because to use scripture to support my view would be to quote it from beginning to end. God has always spoken with His people -- from the OT through the NT. There is no reason to believe that this activity of God has ceased.

No reason at all, except that little verse of Hebrews 1:1-2. Come on Matt, revelation unfolds and now we have Scripture. Oh, and that other pesky text that says "if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease"

Jugulum said...

Robert,

I didn't think you were being offensive--"flippant dismissal" wasn't a description of your tone. And I didn't say that simply because you weren't persuaded.

I called your comment a "flippant dismissal" because of the bolded parts:
"I have gotten a short way through it and find Storm's inclusion of (or better still, accompanied by) to be quite the tell"

You took the confident expression of a conclusion as evidence that it wasn't a conclusion, but a preconceived idea.

You were only a short way into the article, but you perceived "(or better still, accompanied by)" as an indication of a preconceived idea, instead of a conclusion that's based on the arguments in the rest of the article (which you hadn't read yet).

By "flippant dismissal", I meant "quick to dismiss before seriously considering the argument."

You may have good reason for going on to disagree with his argument that the signs of an apostle are (1) the fruit of his preaching (i.e. their salvation), (2) his Christ-like life, and (3) his sufferings & persecution. But you started poorly, is my point--with a comment that suggests having your own mind made up beforehand.


As far as the merit of his argument goes, I'd like to listen to the Macarthur link you suggested. For now, I agree with Storms, and I give you a couple points to consider. Paul was distinguishing between himself and the so-called "super-apostles". How does it make sense for him to point to miracles as the signs of a true apostle, given:
1.) The existence of lying signs. (Matt 24:24)
2.) Jesus' identification of what marks us as his disciples. (John 13:35) (Consider also Jonathan Edwards' arguments about the signs of the Spirit.)
3.) Along the lines, Paul's prior comments to the Corinthians about spiritual gifts. His instruction to people who were eager for manifestations of the Spirit was, "strive to excel in building up the church." (1 Cor 14:12) (The impression I get is that some Corinthians were focused on flashy spiritual displays. But Paul puts the focus on edification and love; the higher spiritual gifts are those that edify more.)


Miracles are a part of apostleship, certainly. Pointing to them as the distinguishing mark between true apostles and so-called super-apostles... Doesn't fit well. If "accompanied by" (or the ESV's "with") is a valid translation, then I see no reason to read it the way you do.

DJP said...

Ian - a Charismatic is someone who will go to any lengths to imagine that some form of revelatory and attesting gifts function in the Christian church, in some way, past the close of the Canon.

DJP said...

Denis, no; on the whole there's nothing wrong with those statements. The Bible talks about the Spirit's leading — but moderns insert foreign notions. In context, Romans 8:14 is about holy living, which means obedience to Scripture born of faith and love. Not ookie spooky hunches and feelings and wacky behavior. HOLY behavior, Christlike behavior.

Ian said...

DJP,

A list of these gifts may be helpful, I am assuming you include the 9 listed in I Co. 12. But there are others mentioned in the Nt. Do you make a distinction between a Pentecostal and a Charismatic? So bottom line if someone says "I spoke in tongues" your explanation would be for the experience?

Ian

Denis said...

Thanks again!

DJP said...

Well, as this meta's gone far afield, perhaps now is as good a time as any to sum up, and wrap up.

Wayne Grudem, the Blackabys and others who otherwise may be good men have done the church a grave disservice by extending cover to nutcases like Terry Jones, John Crowder, and others. It isn't intentional, let us say, but it does necessarily follow from their positions.

By moving us away from the Biblical standard of concerning ourselves solely with (A) inerrant, morally-binding words from God, or (B) believing obedience to such words (as found today in Scripture alone), they open the door to anyone with any claim to anything that doesn't violate a direct word.

But there is no control on such Biblically-unwarranted claims, beyond that they can't violate Scripture. So while a Terry Jones can't (by Grudemic/Blackabbean standards) claim that God told him to commit adultery, all the nutty Charismatics can do nutty, irresponsible, manipulative things - all under the cover of an unverifiable, unfalsifiable, ever-moving-target claim of immediate semi-hemi-demi inspiration.

Thus, as much as modern Charismatics would love to say "I'm not with them" — they really are.