08 February 2011

Rich provisions and two sons: a parable

by Dan Phillips

A father once made a feast for his two sons. He was a wealthy and wise man, and he loved his sons dearly. He introduced the meal with a little speech. In it, he assured them of his love. He also declared with a smile that everything they could possibly need had been laid out, with them in mind, in lavish portions.

One son restlessly looked about at the edges of the table. He went on and on about how the father might still be about to make more food than what was laid before them. Besides, he kept repeating, Father hadn't exactly and precisely said he'd not make more... so he might, right? There might be more? Any moment?

This son distractedly picked at what was on his plate from time to time, but his eyes were on the doors to the kitchen. Soon his eyes were on other doors, as well. This son looked by the table and around the table, and even under the table.

Every time any other guest extolled the sufficiency of what was on the table, the first son impatiently and emphatically insisted on talking about what wasn't on the table. If they persisted in praising the extravagance and sufficiency of the table, he would upbraid them, point to the motionless doors, sigh dramatically, and say "Ohhh for the days when men expected more to come through those doors! What we need are men who look to the doors! For more!"

The other son thanked his father with all his heart, and dug in.

As he ate, this son praised his father's wise and loving provision. He helped himself to every last item on the table, taking the time to savor each piece deeply, and to relish in its unique flavor. Between helpings, he would burst out with his admiration for his father's lavish generosity.

Question: Which son honored his father?

Dan Phillips's signature

59 comments:

mattfinn85 said...

I'd call this stacking the deck to be honest. Yes in your parable it's 'the other son'. But, one of the issues of the parable is that you've had to distinguish between the Father's words and the meal itself. I would argue that people who believe in prophecy today (and believe that the canon is closed) believe the Father's words point them to seek prophecy and this doesn't need to reduce or distract from the meal laid out.

Kay said...

I watched a sermon from someone who is like the first son the other day, and it truly was an exercise in distraction from the actual Word. The whole thing was based on modern day 'prophecy' and the rest was a glorified peptalk. Maybe once in the whole thing an out of context OT text was referred to.

Oh, how frustrating it was to see someone completely miss the feast that was right in front of them - more, how frustrating it was for him to be teacing others to be similarly unsatisified with revealed truth.

Stan McCullars said...

You made it look like the other son was a really nice person. However, you failed to quote him directly or give any hint of the tone he used in praising his father.

How are we to know if his tone was appropriate?

Other than that you have written another excellent parable!

Robert said...

Matt,

I don't see how the Bible tells any of us to seek prophecy. that is, unless you mean to speak forward the Word of God (ie the Bible). If you want to stand up and say "Thus says the Lord" and utter words that are not from the Bible, that is your choice, but I'd say it would not be a wise one. And those are the only words that I think of when I think of a prophet because that is what I see in the Bible. And NONE of those words were fallible or misinterpreted in the translation of the prophet. I hope that you will search Scripture and not look for a proof-text, but see what the biblical model of prophecy is and see that we don't need it because God has already spoken through His Word.

Pierre Saikaley said...

"In it, he assured them of his love. He also declared with a smile that everything they could possibly need had been laid out, with them in mind, in lavish portions."

The Father loving provided their needs in abundance. In the parable, you mentioned the sufficiency of the provision on the table twice.

Clearly, the 2nd son honored his Father by accepting all his Father provided. And he praised his Father, recognizing the goodness, and richness of what had been given at the table.

The 1st son missed the goodness and sufficiency of the table's offerrings. He was in effect saying that His Father's lavish feast was not good enough. And he ignored that it was already said that everything there was enough to meet their needs abundantly. Clearly, he was dishonoring his Father and calling him a liar, because he ignored His Father's Words.

David Regier said...

Son #2 is being disobedient for not practicing strict separation from son #1. And for that matter, the guests. Guests? Where did they come from?

NoLongerBlind said...

Ahhhh, but did either son make any attempt to interpret the hidden meanings displayed by the arrangement of the feast, the order in which it was served, the manner in which the individual entrees were prepared, etc.?

They'd be missing out on all that their father meant to instruct them if they didn't......

%-\

Rhology said...

David Regier,

For that matter, the Father should have separated from son #2 b/c son #2 didn't clearly separate himself from son #1.

David and DJP, you guys are in sin. Repent. Go do something like ministry and stay away from anyone who reads literature that's not either the Bible or Puritans.

Scooter said...

Quite obviously the point of the DPHDSRP is that God will always bless us beyond our widest dreams. The generous helpings are clearly meant to convey that God will never let us go without anything we desire. Never owning a car under $30,000, honor-roll, triple-athlete children, a smile bright enough to serve as earth's 2nd moon, it's all ours!

DPHDSRP = Dan Philips Hemi-Demi-Semi Revealed Parable

Before I get myself banned, I should try to contribute something of value. I may be reading too much into the parable, but it seems that the first son was after a past that existed only in his mind. He seem fixed on the illusion that men were continuously coming through the doors bringing food, not realizing the servants only brought it out when the father said it was time to eat. Since he was a wise man, he would know best when his sons needed to eat and made sure they had plenty of it.

JackW said...

Word.

Well, maybe not quite.

Is there any irony in the fact that sufficiency of the Word is illustrated with a parable not found in the Word?

Yet it has value in that its premise is built on the foundation of Biblical knowledge.

I’m glad that Hebrews 1:1 has a “but” in it. Settles the question for me.

Daryl said...

I've heard (as I'm sure many have) the very argument Son #1 used.

I talked about this with my nephew, about how Scripture is enough for us. He seemed offended that I would be happy with enough. "I don't want enough" he said "I want more than enough, I want my cup to run over."

I'm no great Bible studier, but so far, them 66 books are more than enough.

My cup runneth over...and over.

Great parable. Great point.

Daryl said...

BTW...

How easily we forget, that in "the days when men expected more to come through those doors!" there wasn't nearly the stuff on the table that there has been since John wrote his little book on his island prison...

It's a little like longing for the days when you could see, each day, how much further along the house construction was coming, somehow not remembering that in those days, the ensuite bathroom had no plumbing...

Phil said...

Dan you forgot the part where the first son wants the new food so bad he imagines it, and begins to argue the presence of the new food to the other son.
Then rolls around on the floor laughing in the spirit.

Chris said...

The first son sounds like a prosperity preacher who makes it his aim to breed discontentment.

Chris said...

Oh! And by the way...since the post is obviously a parable it ought to be treated at such. I suspect that Dan has probably one main point in mind and reading too much into it while ignoring the main point is certainly not helpful. Just saying.

donsands said...

I suppose they both honored their Dad.

Reminds me of Martha & Mary, in a sort of different way.

I wish I could be more content with all the Father has given me. In fact, I wish I could get rid of some of the stuff I have. Nothing wrong with stuff, but one day all this stuff will be at the dump.

I guess stuff and food may be a little different as well.

Thanks for making us use our brains.

ANiMaL said...

Is there room for a 3rd son who like the 2nd son enjoys all the bounty his father bestows with no question of its sufficiency and still ponders the wonders that his father may one day bring forth in light of what he has shown already? If I remember correctly, the father left a desert menu to look forward to what was after dinner?

Or, have I lost the point which is, its dinner time, stop worrying about desert?

Robert said...

Joseph Smith would certainly have been in line with the first child (or even with the third child somebody mentioned).

Just sayin'

Steve Berven said...

Part of it comes down to needs vs. wants. {{cue the "felt needs" discussion.}}

There are those who have taken to heart Paul's admonition when he says, "...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." And there are those who can't seem to be content with "enough," and are always wanting something better/different.

The "other" son sounds like the Prodigal before being humbled. Or perhaps a spoiled child who, at Christmas, sits in the middle of a mound of presents and asks rather petulantly, "Is that ALL?!"

Perhaps a bigger problem than being dissatisfied with what is on the table, is continually insisting that we change the menu to appeal to more "guests." We run off an fix a vegan dish, and one without peanuts, and one made with certified organic free-range chickens, and bring them back to set on the table OURSELVES and state with our own smug pride, "THERE! Isn't that MUCH better?!"

Rather than listening to the Father when he says, if you will sit at my table, then these are things of which you must eat, not continually lusting after dishes on other tables.

ANiMaL said...

Ouch Robert!

I wouldn't think to associate Joseph Smith with what I had said. When I think of Joseph Smith I see someone who explicitly said all creeds of the churches at that time were an abomination to God. So while I do see him as more the 1st son, I was thinking more towards John Piper when envisioning a 3rd son. Does that make my question more clear?

thenface2face said...

Dan,

Why did you have to speak in my language of parables, and to a great interest, the issue of cessationism, on a day when I have to shop for a meal that I must cook for 150 people, tommorrow?

Tantalizing...so tantalizing. I wish I could stay for the full meal, instead of just nibbling the antipasti.

All I can say is I agree with mattfinn85 and say you are begging the question, who is saying the table isn't really set with all those delicious things intact? After all, this is how the table first looked. They were not optional courses, but necessary parts of God's Body:

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds [2] and teachers, [3] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, [4] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

And in my thirty years walk with the Lord, I have yet to observe that we have all attained the unity of the faith or mature manhood...we are in the realm of the Not There Yet.

Every argument I have heard that some of these necessary offices in the church have ceased is a silly eisigesis of 1 Cori 3, and thereabouts or an argument from logic, and not the Word of God.

I wish I could do more today than scan the comments, and could actually pay attention to this very interesting discussion.

I commend you on your even tone, Dan. I have a little exhortation for you all at my blog, called "Why I Said, 'Don't Make Fun of the Retards'."

Mangia, mangia(except don't feed the sharks!),
Karen Butler

Rhology said...

And in my thirty years walk with the Lord, I have yet to observe that we have all attained the unity of the faith or mature manhood

FWIW, in my 6 years as a charismatic among charismatics, I never once saw the gifts of prophecy or tongues exercised biblically. To say nothing of the gift of prophecy in tongues.

Frank Turk said...

I was going to say something, but Regier and Rhology beat me to it.

Robert said...

Animal,

Perhaps I was a bit harsh there...let's say that the third son is somebody like Piper as you said. The problem is that when you allow for the interpretation of Scripture that Piper, Mahaney, Chandler, etc. use, you give cover to the likes of Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, Joseph Smith, etc. because who is to judge whether or not the Spirit moved in them? If we allow for errancy in "prophecy", then who are we to say that these guys just aren't a little errant, but still inspired by the Spirit?

I say this as somebody who has gained much through reading the works of and listening to Piper, Mahaney, and Chandler. In fact, I'd say that Chandler comes off a lot like the first child when he says "I wouldn't be reformed if I couldn't be charismatic". Really? That just doesn't sound right to me.

Frank Turk said...

I hate it when the antipasti and the pasti fight, btw.

Robert said...

Frank,

Does that mean you are posting an open letter to a chef tomorrow?

Halcyon said...

Given the context of the parable, the second son obviously honored his father more than the first son by taking his father at his word and being openly grateful for what had been given.

FWIW, I think two important issues have been raised in the comments (so far).

The first was from JackW:

"Is there any irony in the fact that [the] sufficiency of the Word is illustrated with a parable not found in the Word?"

That is a very interesting question. I hope someone comes with a clear answer.

The second was from ANiMal and his Piper-esque "3rd son" who "enjoys all the bounty his father bestows with no question of its sufficiency and still ponders the wonders that his father may one day bring forth in light of what he has shown already" (emphasis mine). He ends by asking "[Doesn't the Father mention] a desert menu to look forward to?"

That is another interesting idea and question, and again I hope someone comes with a clear answer.

ANiMaL said...

Halcyon,

I think the irony of JackW isn't actually irony at all as the parable isn't "a message from the Lord" but instead a tool to express a biblical point, not something more than biblical.

Eric said...

"Is there any irony in the fact that [the] sufficiency of the Word is illustrated with a parable not found in the Word?"

No. The idea that the Word of God is completely sufficient for salvation and life in no way precludes the use of the language that God has given us to convey certain truths of Scripture. Otherwise, we would all only speak exclusively in scriptural quotes, which would of course be ridiculous.

Joey Phillips said...

Answer:

The second son.

I want to expand your parable, but I will refrain :)

Tom Chantry said...

Ye canna mix the pasti with the antipasti, Capt'n, or ye'll blow the whole ship to smithereens!

Dave said...

Define "need".

James S said...

saw this early in the morning before work, and there was only 2 comments.

I'm finally and home from work and havent read any comments yet, as I thought about it during the day and I have my conclusions that I've wanted to put forth but couldn't while at work.

I think it's not about prophecy but it is about being satisfied with the revealed Word of God and the revealed Word of God alone.
Becase the Revealed Word of God (The Bible) is sufficient for our life and needs.

That's my take, anyway, and I agree if that is what is being said.

chiefofleast.com said...

I would not call myself a charismatic apologist by any stretch, but maybe one would say:

Is there anything wrong with enjoying the all sufficiency of the meal AND your Father's voice in the context of the supper table?
Or
Yes, we must be satisfied with the bounty of His feastful provision and prophetic giftings are one of the glorious provisions plainly promised in the meal/Bible.

Very thought provoking parable!

Sonja said...

The second son -- he's grateful and exhibits trust that his father will continue to provide abundantly. The first son, not so much. Like that football player who tweeted "This is how you do me?"

The could possibly be a tarp. Oops, trap. :)

Jugulum said...

This reminds me of Piper's article The Morning I Heard the Voice of God, from 2007.

The first son has at least the same problem this article spoke of.

one busy mom said...

Clever parable!

I thought it was about being satisfied with and thankful for what God has allowed in our lives and the circumstances we find ourselves in - aka Phil's post on Job earlier this week. After spending the entire day silently grumbling about one thing or another, I was duly convicted and repented. Only to come to the comments to find I had missed the entire point of the story!

Very sneeky, Dan. Writing a parable that convicts even when misunderstood! :-)

Mike Riccardi said...

Then the first son's friends showed up with greasy, fast-food burgers and said, "Hey wait! This here is analogous to the wonderful, delectable spread that you've got! Same difference!"

Word verification: dimboy. As in, the first son was a dim boy.

Loser said...

Excellent story Dan and much needed one for me. Clearly the second son honoured the father and i was like the first son, a lot of time.

thenface2face said...

Dear Frank,

The pasti and antipasti would NEVER fight. They know,"whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." They are obedient to the Word of God.

The pasti and the antipasti are like me, and believe everything should be done decently, and in order.

Thus, the pasti wait until the antipasti are finished and cleared, and then they proceed out onto the table. I hope this clears up some confusion.

yours truly,
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

"in my 6 years as a charismatic among charismatics, I never once saw the gifts of prophecy or tongues exercised biblically. To say nothing of the gift of prophecy in tongues."

Do I smell a little red herring just trotted out to the banquet table? My observation had everything to do with the text,Ephesians 4:11-13, as Paul is looking forward to an outcome, which we cannot now observe.

To take out prophets from the list of necessary tools for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, and conflate it all into one enormous office of pastor/teacher. They are different words in the Greek,

προφητας noun - accusative plural masculine
prophetes prof-ay'-tace: a foreteller (prophet); by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet -- prophet.

ποιμενας noun - accusative plural masculine
poimen poy-mane': a shepherd -- shepherd, pastor.

διδασκαλους noun - accusative plural masculine
didaskalos did-as'-kal-os: an instructor (genitive case or specially) -- doctor, master, teacher.

So why do you amputate prophetes from the Body of Christ?

Why pick on prophets? Why not evangelists, who needs them when the Gospel is proclaimed in the completed Canon so clearly? Why do you despise what they do, instead of testing what is told forth, as Scripture commands the ecclesia do?

Rhology said...

Hi thenface2face,

No, no red herring. I was honestly just saying. Anecdotal evidence = take it with a grain of salt.
Anyway, I'm not trying to amputate prophets from the Body of Christ, but there's more to the prophetic office than foretelling the future. Proclaiming the Scripture is prophecy in and of itself.
I'd pick on evangelists if I'd never seen the gift of evangelism exercised biblically.

Hope that helps.

DJP said...

Yes, Rhology, the prophets joined the apostles in laying a rich and more-than-adequate foundation (Eph. 2:20) - which takes us back to the parable.

thenface2face said...

Rhology,

We had a bit of the stomach flu here, so I wasn't able to respond to your comment. And perhaps this thread is dead.

But if I didn't have this annoying gift of tongues, I would probably be done with the whole thing too, and just be quiet. And those niggling passages like the one I cited that make no sense to me from a cessationist view--Paul uses metaphors about parts of the Body, and offices of the church,it's not about laying a foundation, but describing how a healthy church body functions.

But like Paul, I thank God I speak in tongues more than all of you. (But never in the lovely Southern Baptist Church where we have found a secure and satisfying home. My odd little hobby is practiced only at home to edify myself--I do not think an interpreter could be found among those otherwise estimable folk. Because I never asked for this gift, and yet I love it. The Father knew what he was doing when He gave a poet so obsessed with perfect sentences a spontaneous language.

Like you, I detest everything that is going on in the False Prophetic Movement. If you are pretty current with the horrors going on, you might enjoy my series of satires, an update of CS Lewis' Screwtape. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of time looking up stuff with the links.

I thought I'd clarify. I have experienced truth, real edification, true prophetic words, and even miraculous healings, but that was back in my healthier Calvary Chapel days, when I was a baby in the Lord. I recognized Toronto right away as not a blessing. I wished we had fled then, but we were very confused, and hurting, and young.

Sorry to open the kitchen again, Mr. Phillips, when you had got everything so nice and tidy. No one has to answer, because I hate arguing about these sort of entrenched positions, anyway. No one ever has their mind changed, and perhaps just digs in deeper.

Oh here's the link to Shrewshape. If it's allowed? I think they are pretty funny. And sad. http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/category/the-shrewshape-e-mails/

Karen Butler

Rhology said...

it's not about laying a foundation

It is in Eph 2:20. Don't we take ALL of the Scripture into acct when building a theology?


never in the lovely Southern Baptist Church where we have found a secure and satisfying home

Was the Ap Paul a member of an SBC church in the 21st century?


I detest everything that is going on in the False Prophetic Movement

Glad to know we can agree on that!


I have experienced truth, real edification, true prophetic words, and even miraculous healings, but that was back in my healthier Calvary Chapel days

And in the interest of full disclosure, I don't deny those take place. I do deny that the GIFTS are given, b/c the alleged gifts are not exercised in a biblical way these days. At least not that I've ever observed (so I don't say they are definitely not out there; just that I've never seen them and thus they're almost certainly not extant in the modern West).


No one ever has their mind changed, and perhaps just digs in deeper.

I did, some time ago. That's one reason why I participate in these discussions.

thenface2face said...

Whoa...what happened? The lights got very bright all of a sudden.

"Don't we take ALL of the Scripture into acct when building a theology?"

Absolutely! I should have said, "not just about..." My bad.

"Was the Ap Paul a member of an SBC church in the 21st century?"

No, of course not!
I guess I'm stupid here, please explain what your point is. Mine was sloppily said, I admit. I was trying to say I would never make anyone uncomfortable or stumble them by the use of my gift. Love is always the proper motivation in the use of any gift.


And while I am glad as well that we can agree that Bob Jones should be stoned at the soonest, I am troubled by this,

"At least not that I've ever observed (so I don't say they are definitely not out there; just that I've never seen them and thus they're almost certainly not extant in the modern West)",

which is something cessationists are always throwing into the the continuists' camp, the argument from experience, and not from Scripture. And I don't think it can be.

Even John Calvin said it was a stupid argument, the 1 Cori 13 thing.

And yes, I enjoy friendly discussions, too, about issues that I am curious about or troubled by. The operative word is 'friendly'! I guess I was a little discouraged when I wrote that--I have been boning up on King James Onlyism at James White's blog, because I am going to have to deal again with a dear one caught up in that. *sigh*

I have to go, the kids are about back from Awanas.

Karen Butler

Rhology said...

Hi thenface2face,

I should have said, "not just about..." My bad

No problem.
I'll just point out that my view explains all the data, namely how the prophetic ministry would shift in its focus and activity, and more importantly why it would do so. Why? B/c, as I said, proclaiming the Scripture is itself prophecy. When you don't have a NT around, you might need prophets. You don't need them now in the same way, though in some areas of the world one could argue you do b/c they don't have many (or any) Bibles. Not so in the West.

My point about Paul was that he spoke in tongues, yes, but his situation is markedly different than ours today. Among other things, he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus. Aren't any more of those around today.


which is something cessationists are always throwing into the the continuists' camp, the argument from experience,

I think you misunderstand. We are commanded to judge what we see by Scripture. Call it an argument from experience if you want, but I'm doing what I've been told to do. This is not comparable to the typical continuationist argument from experience: "I have spoken in tongues, ergo I know it's real."
(I used to use that argument, so I know it well. I'm a former charismatic.)


Even John Calvin said it was a stupid argument, the 1 Cori 13 thing.

I agree it's not very good. What is a good argument is that the gifts as claimed today are not the same as the NT church's gifts. I'd like to know - do you believe that you have witnessed these gifts in question in operation according to biblical standards?

Grace and peace,
Rhology

thenface2face said...

Well Rhology,

It is you who will be gifted with my insomniac musings tonight,
and you should be warned as well, that all I know of logic is what I cobbled together from my son's Introductory to the same.

"proclaiming the Scripture is itself prophecy."

Absolutely! "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" and preaching can also be prophecy. I rejoice in that, but that is not all that prophecy is.

Please go back up a bit to the part of the thread, where I displayed my logical skills for you, but you were unimpressed, or you did not want to deal with it.

I said DJB was begging the question, stacking the deck, whatever, and what you are doing here too,I think maybe, when you say those delicious and nutritious things have been removed from the table. Paul always talks of prohetes as necessary offices in the church, as I mentioned previously in Ephesians 4:11-13, and alluded to in I Cori 12.

And I am going to break up this post, because blogger won't let me write the novels that are my unfortunate tendency, and also to build suspense for the surprising disclosure that follows....

Breathlessly,
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

Dear Rhology


We don't say the gifts are done for today, just because we do not see them in quantity or kind--like Acts--style forthtelling, healing. Because no, I don't know anyone who is reliably doing them, other than the anecdotal things I can relate...but you have heard before.

But it gets better! I will even acknowledge that DJP

THOUGH I GRIND MY TEETH AS I SAY THIS :)...and look what you made me just do, a smiley! I never do those, that just demonstrates how far communication has broken down over here!

Well, as I was saying, Mr. Phillips does have a point that Wayne Grudem has a lot to answer for, in giving John Crowder and Ben Dunn a license to drive.

And if any poor heathen would have prophecy delivered by an apostle or prophet under C. Peter Wagner's apellation, they are worse off than before the foolish drunkards began dispensing their poison.

So I guess my point is, the gifts have stayed for us, though not in kind and quantity. And God works in mysterious ways His purpose to perform, and while I might want to speculate why, why why why it is so,I will not try to back up my vain imaginations with scripture.

And I will go on, earnestly desiring for myself and for His glorious bride, so that there be no spot or wrinkle, the higher gifts.

"but his situation is markedly different than ours today. Among other things, he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus. Aren't any more of those around today."

Oh, my goodness--but I speak in tongues! Does that mean I am an apostle??? I thought they were those who had seen the Lord...No, logic fail, logic fail.(whew!) I remember now, there was an enormous crowd of folk on that happy day in Acts. Even Mary and Martha, praising the Lord with other tongues...relief!...except sometimes I think apostling would be easier than mothering eight kids!

I'm sorry, I'm getting silly, and my oldest daughter is now frowning at me, saying I need to get back in bed. I will obey.

Grace and Peace to you, sir!
Karen Butler

Rhology said...

Paul always talks of prohetes as necessary offices in the church, as I mentioned previously in Ephesians 4:11-13, and alluded to in I Cori 12.

Right, and what I was saying was that Eph 2:20 also plays in. It means sthg that the apostles and prophets are the FOUNDATION of the building. You're not allowing that to mean anything, it would seem, and that's a problem.


I don't know anyone who is reliably doing them

OK, I appreciate your honesty.


the gifts have stayed for us, though not in kind and quantity.

What I would question is how they're "the gifts" when they're not performed biblically, when they don't match the biblical acct of what the gifts are. Do you see what I'm trying to say?


Oh, my goodness--but I speak in tongues! Does that mean I am an apostle???

1) All apostles spoke in tongues. Not all who speak in tongues are apostles.
2) Unless you have spoken in another language to someone who didn't understand English but understood you as you proclaimed the Gospel in his/her language, which you've never studied, you don't speak in tongues as per the NT teaching on tongues. And I haven't either.


I think apostling would be easier than mothering eight kids!

I only have 2 and I can see how that would be a great temptation. :-D

Grace and peace,
Rhology

thenface2face said...

Dear Rhology,

I am deeply disappointed in your answer. You commend me for my honesty, and I wish I could do the same for you. It seems,I hate to be mean(but it is all that comes to mind) disingenuous, especially coming from a former Charismatic. You really have burned every bridge, haven't you?

"For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; ...4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself,"

So we see here the necessary and wonderful use of tongues to make both God and the speaker glad. My gift of tongues stirs me to greater adoration of Him. What is so distasteful about this to you all? There is something here that I find deeply troubling, and here Kevin DeYoung says it well, and I insert him here because you will hear him better than me. I think it is the essence of the thing, please, please listen:

"Do we possess deep and pervasive piety? I know that pietism is a bad word in some circles. It conjures up notionas of anti-intellectual sentimentality. But we got pietism because Protestant scholasticism had gotten dry (or at least many of the churches of the time had). If we want to be more than intellectual people who happen to be into theology, we need to cultivate deep affections and deeper sanctification. As Reformed Christians (assuming many of you are), let’s lead the way, not only in theolgocial integrity, but also in meditation, Scripture memory, intercession, and earnest worship. What our families, friends, and churches need most from us is our own personal holiness." And I would only add that those outside the church, and those orphaned by the destructive cults that are your unpaid bills, need it too.

I have to break up this post, because Blogger is so inferior to Wordpress, in that it does not let me run on and on.



Trying To Contain My Irritation At Being Interrupted,

Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

What I would question is how they're "the gifts" when they're not performed biblically, when they don't match the biblical acct of what the gifts are. Do you see what I'm trying to say?

But I would argue that the early Calvary Chapel model I experienced and described here is perfectly matched to the biblical account. Gifts given to edify the Body and draw unbelievers in done in a winsome, decent and orderly way. It all went terribly, terribly wrong that Father's or Mother's Day with poor Lonnie Frisbee with John Wimbers auspices. It became a mixture, an occultish idol.

Because someone has kindly brought me a soapbox to stand on, (as I am rather short), and so it seems like a sign from God that I should continue here with a little exhortation, which is one of my spiritual gifts. But this is not a 'THUS SAYS THE LORD' sort of chiding, but a little "It seems good to me" kind of deal. Do you understand the difference here?

But again, Blogger is ruining my effectual demonstration of rhetorical skills, and I must interrupt my speech.

Hum de dum, (that is not a tongue, that is a expression of exasperation!)
Karen Butler

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thenface2face said...

One of the reasons I was stirred in my spirit to come here with my nasty little note that ruined everyone's buzz was that I was truly brokenhhearted not just about the level of discourse here, but the level of deep and resonant affection for Jesus.

You talk about Him with words like "What Jesus didn't say", but I seldom get the sense that someone has just sat down at His feet with words that He has just said to them. And such a person is filled with so much juice and so much joy, and you want to be around someone like that.

And I was kept from being around someone like that by this kind of gulf between our two worlds--I describe him here:
http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/in-memorium-phillip-busbee-june-27-2009/

Please read it, you will be edified, and I think it is the best thing I ever wrote. And not because of the writing, but because of the man. Because of the prejudices Pyros does nothing to dispell,I attended a sick church growing in idolatry, but right down the street there was the loveliest little Baptist church that I was kept from entering, because of attitudes like the ones I have described. And we can convince very few friends disenchanted by the three ring circus of Charismania to join us there. And it is such a shame.

Because when I entered First Baptist, I cried. The spirit was so present there, and the worship was so clean and God exalting, and I had really, really missed that.

And I just have to ask all you Reformed pastors that question. Is your church one that would make a heartsick former Charismatic weep with joy when entering during your worship? Phil was always on the stage, leading the parade, giving his people permission to really exult. It was humbly done, and lovely to see, and I really miss that man.

Grace and peace to you,
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

One of the reasons I was stirred in my spirit to come here with my nasty little note that ruined everyone's buzz was that I was truly brokenhhearted not just about the level of discourse here, but the level of deep and resonant affection for Jesus.

You talk about Him with words like "What Jesus didn't say", but I seldom get the sense that someone has just sat down at His feet with words that He has just said to them. And such a person is filled with so much juice and so much joy, and you want to be around someone like that.

And I was kept from being around someone like that by this kind of gulf between our two worlds--I describe him here:
http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/in-memorium-phillip-busbee-june-27-2009/

Please read it, you will be edified, and I think it is the best thing I ever wrote. And not because of the writing, but because of the man. Because of the prejudices Pyros does nothing to dispell,I attended a sick church growing in idolatry, but right down the street there was the loveliest little Baptist church that I was kept from entering, because of attitudes like the ones I have described. And we can convince very few friends disenchanted by the three ring circus of Charismania to join us there. And it is such a shame.

Because when I entered First Baptist, I cried. The spirit was so present there, and the worship was so clean and God exalting, and I had really, really missed that.

And I just have to ask all you Reformed pastors that question. Is your church one that would make a heartsick former Charismatic weep with joy when entering during your worship? Phil was always on the stage, leading the parade, giving his people permission to really exult. It was humbly done, and lovely to see, and I really miss that man.

Grace and peace to you,
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

Well, that was weird.I don't know why it would post that twice.

Maybe it was the Spirit, underlining everything I said, a "truly, truly" kind of thing.

I still am so rife with Charismaticism. *sigh*
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

Dear Rhology,

I'm sorry to be such an old windbag. I should have posted this on my site,(which in a more polished form I have done) but "zeal for Your house consumed me." Or something.

And lest any think I am constructing a hagiography of Phil Busbee, I am not. We were growing concerned with some theological faults,and preparing ourselves to talk with him. But then he died, and so I have not idea how he would hav responded, and so I have no idea how he would have responded and so I will bury those concerns with him, and thank God that I never had to deal with it at all. Only God does. And I imagine from Heaven Phil is chuckling and fully agreeing with me. For who would want to deal with such a pain as me in their pews? I am such a troublemaker.

Shabat Shalom,
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

Mr. Phillips,

I am indeed very sorry for cluttering up your very nice meta with my ramblings. I really should have contained my enthusiasm to my own site. The spirits of the prophets, after all, are in control of the prophets.

I have a suggestion: why don't we let some gas out of the bag by deleting the comments, just where I step up to the soapbox. I have a much better written speech at my blog, and I am just vain enough to wish that any interested would read it there. And I have added on to it, to include a tested word of prophecy by a good man of God, in the biblical pattern of a man pronouncing a blessing and forthtelling as he is gathered to his people.

The post is 1500 words, sadly, but I think it is worth the effort in a reader's perseverence, and it is God exalting.

Now back to cleaning up this horrendous mess: masses of angel feathers all around the room, gold dust all over the laptop's keyboard, and worst of all, pools of oil goo all around my feet. What am I going to do? I wonder if this kind of olive oil is good on salad.

thenface2face said...

Wow, that was a hideous editing job. All these late nights writing leaves me a little punch drunk in the afternoons. Have to be more watchful.

Rather, "The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets."

You may also be interested in a page I am working on, from a post that I regrettably had to delete. TMI! But in the providence of God, it is much better. Short and to the point. I call it "What Walking in the Spirit Looks Like." You may find it surprising.

Word verification: louse.I wonder if that is a sign that I should get back to the third installment of "Lessons from Head Lice"?

Scrutinizing the entrails now,
Karen Butler

thenface2face said...

Dear Rhology,

I am sorry too for venting my frustration, and going on and on. It was rude, and I thought I was being funny,and I can see now how it was so not. I am somewhat sleep-deprived. It is going on five days now.

Please forgive me. I can understand your being done with me. I did enjoy our discussion, and am thinking still of what you said of the foundations.

Grace and peace,
Karen Butler