06 November 2013

A word about J. I. Packer on Charismatics

by Dan Phillips

A brief aside from the series on the Strange Fire conference:

J. I. Packer provides a perfect example of exactly what John MacArthur, everyone else, and I have pointed out for years.

Packer is a man who earned a good name for himself by some excellent works such as his introduction to Owen's Death of Death in the Death of Christ, such as Knowing God, such as Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, and such as Fundamentalism and the Word of God.

Then Packer took that good name and lent it to providing a lot of covering fire for the Charismatic movement in his book Keep in Step with the Spirit.

It is that book that is being triumphalistically quoted all over the blogosphere just now — by writers who, I would wager, to a man have no idea that they are perfectly illustrating the whole point of the Strange Fire conference.

I wonder how many of those quoting the book have read it, as I have. If they read it... do they really feel that this is a clear-minded, clear-eyed, rigorously Biblical treatment of the issues? I can't imagine how, unless their desire for a certain conclusion rules out their ability to discern — which, oops, was another major reason for the conference.

Let me just adduce one passage as an illustration of the sort of thinking one finds often in the book. It is one of many sallies Packer attempts at the issue of tongues. He does note (224) that
present-day tongues speaking, in which the mood is maintained but the mind is on vacation, cannot be confidently equated from any point of view with New Testament tongues.
Wow. That's quite a damning statement, is it not? Earlier (177), Packer had said:
The gift is regarded as mainly, though not entirely, for private devotional use. Subjectively, it is a matter of letting one's vocal chords run free as one lifts one's heart to God, and as with learning to swim, confidence in entrusting oneself to the medium (the water in the one case, babbling utterance in the other) has much to do with one's measure of success and enjoyment.
Now: Does that sound like a good thing to anyone whose thinking is formed by Biblical revelation? So isn't that a basis for sounding a sharp note of alarm, calling for Christians to disown the practice, and warning the faithful to keep far from it?

Not to Packer. Listen to this, again from page 224, and ask yourselves the ever-vital question: "What verse is he on?" —
...it does not seem inconceivable that the Spirit might prompt this relaxation of rational control at surface level in order to strengthen control at a deeper level. Wordless singing, loud perhaps, as we lie in the bath can help restore a sense of rational well-being to the frantic, and glossolalia might be the spiritual equivalent of that; it would be a Godsend if it were.
There y'go. Tongues: it's like loudly singing babble. In a bathtub. Ahhh, now there's a bumper-sticker for you.

In another place, Packer says "Even if (as I suspect, though cannot prove) today’s glossolalists do not speak such tongues as were spoken at Corinth, none should forbid them their practice..."

Now, roll that around in your mind for a bit. What is Packer saying, all told? It is this: What passes for speaking in tongues today is giving control of your mind over to a force you don't know or understand, and letting that force control your body. Now, mind: this isn't what the Bible describes. But hey — if it makes you feel good, you kids call it what you like, do what you feel like doing, and have a good time!


Could having written a hundred books like Knowing God make that a Biblically, pastorally responsible statement?

And this book is the big-name cover for Charismaticism?

There are many other problems with the Packer quotation that's being passed around. But just keep this post in mind every time you see the Packer quotation about how Charismaticism is surely of God brought out as heavy-duty big-name discussion-ending trump-card cover. It's not the conclusion of a very reassuringly-conducted study.

Dan Phillips's signature

54 comments:

Tom Chantry said...

"Even if (as I suspect, though cannot prove) today’s glossolalists do not speak such tongues as were spoken at Corinth, none should forbid them their practice..."

I know this is getting redundant, but...if it's impossible to "confidently equate [modern tongues] from any point of view with New Testament tongues," then "none should forbid them their practice" can apply to anything.

If I call it "tongues," I can...

...read passages from Fifty Shades of Grey in church, or...

...sing arias from 'Pagliaci' in church, or...

...respond loudly to every phrase in a sermon with "I know you are but what am I?" in church, or...

...walk around the room and play that banana-fana-fo-fana game with everybody's name in church, or...

...and so on. Because you know what? We don't know that this isn't tongues were, and the Bible says not to forbid anything that I call tongues.

I'm sorry, Dan, but you're being way too gentle with Packer. This is first-degree pastoral malfeasance, and it's top-notch stupidity as well.

betterwine said...

Dan: "I wonder how many of those quoting the book have read it, as I have. If they read it... do they really feel that this is a clear-minded, clear-eyed, rigorously Biblical treatment of the issues? I can't imagine how, unless their desire for a certain conclusion rules out their ability to discern — which, oops, was another major reason for the conference."

So are you saying that your superior ability to discern is predicated on the fact that you've managed to rule out all YOUR desires for a certain conclusion?

allen said...

Bubble Babble?? Wait......did I just do it? Naah, my words were from an actual language and I already know this language.

allen said...

Bubble babble?? Wait....did I just do it? Nah, my syllables form words from an actual language and I already knew it.

Mark Hanson said...

Packer's comment raises one very interesting question: if this is tongues, what is interpretation? How does one "interpret" babbling? And how, exactly, would any interpretation of it "edify" the church?

Paul Reed said...

Great article, I never knew Packer said those things. I'm going to use this the next time someone brings him up as a defense of Charismatic teaching. Besides the false teaching you so often find in the Charismatic movement, another problem is the stumbling block they present by their gullibility. When presented with Charismatics, many Christians and non-believers immediately ask the question, "If large amounts of people today, with widespread education, can be fooled into believing in magical healing, speaking in tongues, and raising from the dead, couldn't people in the non-educated culture of 30 A.D. be fooled just as easily? In other words, were the New Testament miracles just delusions too, like you see today? After all, we can easily put together a couple thousand people who claim to be a witness to a person be raised from the dead by water from a well in modern-day India." I suspect that the Charismatic movement has done more damage that even Godly men like John MacArthur have already pointed out.

Daryl said...

What I find so frustratingly fascinating with Packer and just about any response that relates to him or any other response to the Strange Fire conference is this:

I can almost guarantee that any article that you or Phil or Frank link to which highlights the fact that the charismatic side of things just doesn't get it, will also be linked by my brother on his facebook page as an "argument" that is supposed to somehow prove that charismania is legitimate...

Drives me crazy.

He linked to that old article by Packer about how to respond to charismatics to make his case. I admit I rolled my eyes a little. Unfortunately, as you point out in this article, for all the good Mr. Packer has done, when it comes to confronting problems in the church, he seems only to confront the "tone" kinds of problems and not the real, doctrinal, problems.

I don't get it.

Mark Hanson said...

Packer's characterization of tongues raises the interesting question: what, then, is interpretation? How does one interpret "babble", except by saying whatever comes to mind? If you make the equivalence of "interpreted tongues = prophecy", Packer is no modern prophet's friend here.

Andy Chance said...

I read Packer's book (Is it Keep in Step with the Spirit?) a while back, and I can see how you would say it "gives cover."

But I always I thought of it more like a backhanded compliment, and the book led me away from the charismatic movement more than toward it.

Maybe it's overly subtle, but he really points out how ridiculous modern charismatic "tongue" speaking is. I can hardly think how one could read Packer and think, "I really want to speak in tongues now."

Andy Chance said...
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jbboren said...

The funniest part about Tom's comment is, betterwhine used the, 'I know you are what am I' response instead of engaging the topic.

I almost spit my coffee out my nose!

DJP said...

BTW: I received and approved a comment from BW under his real name. Now it seems to have disappeared, not by my doing. I assume he's not needing anonymity; but if that's a problem, I'll delete, let me know.

Frank Turk said...

Betterwine:

If you say anything like your first comment here to me on Thursday when we have lunch, lunch will be over.

What Dan is actually saying, since you asked, is that it is utterly undoubtable that people using Packer's "endorsement" of tongues especially are overlooking his actual words to leap to a conclusion they brought with them to the fight.

He is also saying that Packer's endorsement is so weak and ill-conceived that even if you take it as "one for your side," the argumentation is flimsy enough to get taken apart without any effort.

Do you see what he means now? Or is there something ambiguous here?

DJP said...

Frank, how much would it cost to get you to do all my responses for me? Seriously. You answer for me better than I answer for me.

Which is great for you... kinda sad for me...

DJP said...

Honestly: I can't imagine a good reason for someone wanting to engage in bold dialogue but hide behind a screen name. But since I don't do the Charismatic gift of clairvoyance, to err on the side of thoughtfulness, I've deleted my previous comment and here republish it w/out BW's apparent real name:

As "better"wine keeps showing, being a Charismatic today requires being a master at changing the subject.

R.C. said...

Most excellent. I'm so excited by this piece Dan that I am in singing uncontrollably, but as a Presbyterian, in the shower, rather than the bathtub.

DJP said...

R.C. FTW!

Larry Geiger said...

RC is in hot water. Again!!

Terry Rayburn said...

Good article, Dan. "Tongues" is the hinge on which the Movement turns and which it uses to recruit.

I've long had a theory, and here it is:

Virtually every single supposed tongue-talker, KNOWS IN THEIR HEART that the supposed "tongues" they practice is phony non-biblical gibberish.

They know it. Which has some bad implications in three areas:

1. Of course, there are some sociopathic "leaders" who, having no conscience themselves*, are encouraging others to lie to themselves and others about their "tongues", thereby hardening their consciences.

[*sociopaths are recognized as having no conscience, being extremely narcissistic, and being extremely manipulative]

2. The gullible who put their brain on a shelf and "learn" phony tongues, and pretend they're real tongues, fight with their conscience because they know the tongues are phony.

[Full disclosure: I did exactly that in 1982, fought my conscience for almost a year while being a teaching Elder at New Wine Fellowship near Grand Rapids, and after leading several others astray, thank God the truth won over my conscience, and I've become like a reformed cigarette smoker with the Trojan Horse of the Charismatic Movement.

By God's grace, every person that I personally led into it, He allowed me to lead back out of it, or they got out apart from my direct influence, including another of the Elders, whom I ran into years later in the pew of an Orthodox Presbyterian Church.]

3. If one is suppressing the truth of their "tongues" (and thereby "searing" their conscience to some extent), they can't even confess the sin of suppressing the truth!

It's this "suppressing the truth" which I believe explains why it's usually difficult to convince a Charismatic using exegesis, without appealing heavily to their conscience also.

It's no longer a "doctrinal/scriptural" thing for most of them, even when they pretend otherwise. It's a [phony] "faith" thing, much like the "faith" of an evolutionist who suppresses the evidence of a Creator.

Having said that, I've found the most effective verses in converting Charismatics are the following (I have them marked in my Bible in a small Romans-Road-type link system):

1. I have written on the Title Page of my Bible Acts 14:3.

2. Next to Acts 14:3 --> 1 Cor 14:22

3. Next to 1 Cor 14:22 --> 2 Cor 12:12

4. Next to 2 Cor 12:12 --> Eph 2:20

5. Next to Eph 2:20 --> Heb 2:3,4

6. Next to Heb 2:3,4 --> Acts 14:3, circle complete (each verse is underlined for easy reading).

Once some Charismatics see the PURPOSE of the sign gifts, they are more open to their conscience screaming at them, "What you're doing ain't that!"

Cathy said...

"Even if (as I suspect, though cannot prove) today’s glossolalists do not speak such tongues as were spoken at Corinth, none should forbid them their practice..."
How does Matthew 6:7 not dismantle this foolishness?
Jesus himself forbids mindless babbling specifically in the context of prayer.

Also:
"Subjectively, it is a matter of letting one's vocal chords run free as one lifts one's heart to God, and as with learning to swim, confidence in entrusting oneself to the medium (the water in the one case, babbling utterance in the other) has much to do with one's measure of success and enjoyment.

This water analogy is just as ridiculous. If you mindlessly throw yourself into a body of water and just see what happens- hello, you are not learning to swim; you are drowning. Your mind better be engaged and telling your body what to do in the water, or you will have neither "success nor enjoyment" as Packer says.

Ken said...

My edition (2005) of Keeping in Step with the Spirit

has your first and third quote on page 179

and your second quote on page 145

Did they update it and expand it again?


Packer seems clear that modern glossolalia is not NT tongues. He provides a lot more details than only those 3 quotes. He just basically says that if a person is mentally healthy and stable, if a person claims to have the gift of tongues and they do it in private, (and not in church), that we can't forbid that. (p. 183) (so, in all due respect to Tom Chanty's comment, I don't think Packer would approve of reading passages from Fifty Shades of Gray in church, etc. - or any of those other things "in church" - if I understand Packer, he relegates the modern glossalalia to private prayer language.

I cannot understand that "private language" stuff; but I can understand other experiences of deeper levels of devotion, in private times of singing and prayers, "with groanings too deep for words".

So, overall, as I read over some of this again, it seems to me that he gives "cover" for the private use of tongues in a so called "prayer language", but it seems to me he does not give cover for tongues being done in church. (If one reads all of what he says, it seems to me)

So, all the modern movement of tongues as a private prayer language has, at the end of the day, is an emotional release or positive feeling of devotion and praise, in private.

Packer clearly says that the gift of interpretation as practiced today is not the same as in the NT (page 171 - "it would be hazardous to assume that here have a restoring of the gift of interpretation of which Paul wrote.")

and p. 171-174 he says the gifts of healing and prophesying as practiced today are not the NT gifts - "surely not" (p. 171)

p. 172 - "surely not" (modern charismatic "prophesy" is surely not the NT gift of prophesy.)

"therefore, to identify it [modern explanations of prophesy] as a new Testament sign-gift, now restored, is incorrect." (p. 174)

one of the biggest problems is that many times Charismatics want to be able to speak in tongues softy under their breath in small groups - just enough so that others know some miracle is taking place or that they have that gift, but claim that it is not for interpretation for the rest of us. They seem to want to have their cake and eat it, to claim the NT gift is ongoing and that they have it; and yet not have it tested - interpeted and judged - as I Cor. 14:27-29 tells us. Hardly anyone follows the last command - let others pass judgement on it.

-----

On a different issue, Packer was quite astute at analyzing the "deeper life"/Keswick movement of "let go and let God" and I thought it was very helpful analysis.

DJP said...

Mine is the 1984 Revell edition.

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

BW's comment was more off-topic circling.

So, BW, to recap: you completely wasted everyone's time in the thread yesterday, with your stubborn disingenuousness. That's not going to happen again.

Your issue is that you deny that Scripture is and does all that the Holy Spirit affirms that Scripture is and does — and you deny your denial.

(Newcomers can learn more about that here, here, and here, for starters.)

You're free to do that in your personal life, that's between you, God, and your pastor. But you've wasted enough time here with it. It saddens me that you've gone the path you have, and I pray that you'll repent and return to the sound foundation of Scripture alone. Your constant citation of Deere also saddens me; his first book is one of the most depressing, miserable books I've ever read, and his trajectory since simply continues the sad story. I pray for him as well.

But it isn't the purpose of this blog, or my purpose to give a platform for stubbornly-misled folks to mislead others. So unless you want to start over with a candid admission of your rejection of Scripture's self-testimony, you're pretty much done here.

And if you are genuinely baffled as to what I mean — which I don't expect to be the case — the resources above would be a good starting-place.

Tom Chantry said...

to give a platform for stubbornly-misled folks to mislead others

This ought to be the header of a number of blogs. And it ought to be in the promotional material for many Bible Studies.

DJP said...

Ah; as in "Giving a platform for stubbornly-misled folks to mislead others since 2003"? Like that?

Tom Chantry said...

@jbboren,

Please don't waste good coffee. If you promise to be careful, I may counter with the "I'm rubber; you're glue" rebuttal.

Pam said...

RC's comment caused me to burst into holy laughter, cross between a snort and an aloud giggle so rare for this stoic so I thank RC for commenting. Hilarious. Thanks! And, Dan, an eye opener for me. Thank you.Great writing, as usual.

Frank Turk said...

I have a brief lunchtime rant I'm going to post here, so live it; love it.

First of all, I pity all of you who will never have any of my wife's confetti chili.

That said, I think a lot of people don't understand a very important issue that StrangeFire and this blog have been trying to sort out for years, and that's the burden of those who are not themselves lunatics but seem to have no problem providing shelter and comfort to lunatics.

Let's assume for a second that everything that Dan Phillips has ever written is pure gold -- sweeter than Spurgeon, more pastoral than Carson, more (um) wordy than Piper, more inspiring than Lewis and Manning combined, more manly than Driscoll, far more softly feminine than Rachel Held Evans. In every way, let's say that Dan's contributions to literature are Shakespearean in beauty and Pauline in theological depth.

Then one day, Dan (because he is a dispensationalist) endorses the work of Harold Camping. That is to say: he doesn't actually start selling his stuff due to Camping's dates, but he doesn't want to violate his theological fortress of dispensationalism by saying another dispensationalist (albeit a wacko one) is not just wrong but a lunatic. Just to keep things straight here, let's say that Dan's argument is actually that it would grieve the Holy Spirit to go heresy hunting in this matter.

Look: it is bad enough that Camping is (was?) actually deceiving people, right? But what about Mat 18:6 and the fate of someone who "causes one of these little ones who believe in [Jesus] to sin?"

See: I'm willing to say that there is some kind of cautious charismaticism which we have never seen before -- one which, if we are clear, will do to those who are deceivers what they are willing to do to John MacArthur and the like. That is: call them out to correct and discipline them. But today, what we actually have is people as respectable as Packer and Piper and Storms doing effectively what Hypothetical Dan does above: by failing to do anything about the real deceivers, they cause other people to be deceived.

That is a problem which is not a small problem.

Pam said...

RC's comment caused me to burst into holy laughter, cross between a snort and an aloud giggle so rare for this stoic so I thank RC for commenting. Hilarious. Thanks! And, Dan, an eye opener for me. Thank you.Great writing, as usual.

DJP said...

Excellent word, Frank, and my best laugh all day.

Before someone who doesn't love you points it out: Camping is actually amill.

But even if he were dispie, you'd be right.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Frank,

For the record: I'm a huge fan of how you turn into a gigantic green rage-monster on the Pyro comment feed and then smash. That is all.

Tom Chantry said...

Maybe he's an amilenial dispensationalist. If one of those existed, I'm pretty sure he'd sound just like Camping.

Tom Chantry said...

And before you say that's not possible, I once met a Pentecostal Lutheran.

Tom Chantry said...

Speaking of anomalies, why is Frank allowed to hijack your thread and posit various alternate-reality DJPs while he's on an alleged hiatus?

DJP said...

Because: Frank.

Duh.

Tom Chantry said...

Hmph. Phil never acted this way.

Frank Turk said...

Must we ban Chantry, too?

Tom Chantry said...

Well, an alternate-reality Frank who was that kind of Puritan might ban me to avoid competition, but I'm pretty sure that alternate-reality-amilenial-dispensational-Campingite Dan would stop him.

And then we'd all start speaking in tongues.

DJP said...

You mean we haven't?

homefront said...

I watched a bit of Mark Driscoll's Resurgence 13 on YouTube today and I see that the first stumbling block, even before discussing this topic with a Charasmatic, is their repeated charge that it is somehow wrong to question the theology of a fellow Christian on matters not essential to salvation = "Tribalism". That really bothers me. Non essential for salvation I get, but non essential Scripture/doctrine? Why then did God include it? 1 Cor 5:12 makes no sense then.

Tony Huy said...

Frank Turk - I was tracking with your hypothetical on “10:17 AM, November 06, 2013” until you said:

"Then one day, Dan (because he is a dispensationalist) endorses the work of Harold Camping. That is to say: he doesn't actually start selling his stuff due to Camping's dates, but he doesn't want to violate his theological fortress of dispensationalism by saying another dispensationalist (albeit a wacko one) is not just wrong but a lunatic. Just to keep things straight here, let's say that Dan's argument is actually that it would grieve the Holy Spirit to go heresy hunting in this matter."

I think you’ve incorrectly portrayed the situation for those that or continuist like Piper, Storm, Packer. They (1) do not endorse the abuse of prosperity teaching nor crazy pentecostalism (2) they do not say it’s heresy hunting to address these issues. I’m not sure your hypothetical fits the situation for some of the names of godly men being thrown around here.

In fact, the very situation you bring up is the very reason there is such a big backlash against the conference. In your scenario and with the stand you promote in the hypothetical, we ought to right now either (1) condemn Dan or (2) condemn dispensationalism as a movement for it’s shelter of Harold Camping and the many that abuse a dispensationalist view.

I’m just not tracking your logic and lack of nuance here.

Tony Huy said...

I'm actually perplexed to hear that anyone would make this link:

(1) believe in tongues or spiritual gifts - therefore
(2) you support the charismatic movement- therefore
(3) because many devilish prosperity teachers are charismatic, therefore
(4) You support or cover prosperity teachers.

It seems to me that's a link that many make , but also many do not make. I think I'm hearing that the wickedness being addressed is the prosperity gospel, but that where we stand on spiritual gifts is a slope towards that.

But take John Piper who clearly believes in tongues and then watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc_FoELt8s

How anyone can even hint that Piper's belief in tongues endorses or covers prosperity teaching is perplexing to me.

I think it does God honor to check our sources 10,000 times over before we mar the name of a person (if even in the slightest).

Kay said...

Frank's comment of 10:17 is gold. Hey Frank, you should consider blogging...

donsands said...

"confetti chili.?" Cent, I have no idea what that is, but would love to run it by my wife, who makes the best chicken cacciatore on the East Coast.

The manipulation that goes on in Charasmatic realms can be mild to very intense.
May our Lord help all our brothers and sisters who are being manipulated, and coerced, by these phonies, and also those who are not false teachers, but have a strong opinion and personality. Amen and amen.

"Build a kingdom with a cattle prod
Tell the masses it's a message from God
Where the innocent congregate
I manipulate"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKlZ7U67Uio

DJP said...

Tony, let us know what you think after you read this post (which you're really supposed to do BEFORE commenting), and listen to the Strange Fire conference. All your questions are answered.

Daryl said...

Terry,

As another former charismatic I can vouch for you teory.
For years I would "speak in tongues", most of the time thinking that it wasn't for real, only to be almost afraid to not due because tongues is what you're supposedto do, right?

No one ever tried to draw a straight line from Pentecost to what we called tongues although they would drae that line fron our "experience of Pentecost" to"tongues".

Add to that their constant teaching that tongues is essentially the gateway toi the other gifts and to the power to live a holy life.

On the other end, long after I was freed from those charismatic chains, I would strugglw with making sure I only prayed in English when I prayed. Especially when I was in earnest.
It was never ever a theological thing, it was an emotional thing and a "but what if it's true" thing.

Your comment kind of overwhelmed the emotion that happens when you need to be free but fear the freedom, and then someone calls you out. For an ex-charimatic freedom is so good yet at times so terrifying.

Which I'd why I am so bothered by what people want to make of Packer (and what he almost invites by his ambiguity). Tbese peopel just don't see the bondage that is the charismatic movement.

Anyways, thanks for you comment Terry.

Daryl said...

Donsands...a little Steve Taylor is almost as good as Princess Bride references.

Love it.

Daryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trogdor said...

No matter how often I see it, I just cannot believe people are actually arguing, "this is different from the scriptural practice, but let's call it by the same name anyway". I hate to get all tautological, but if the modern practice is not Biblical tongues, it's not Biblical tongues. To hear such a ridiculous assertion from someone of Packer's stature is truly staggering.

God describes X in the Bible. This is not X. Let's call it X anyway. Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

Reading these Packer quotes reminded me of when I read Grudem's systematic theology back when I was "open, but cautious". His case for fallible prophecy (?!!??!) was so ?!!??!-inducing that it pushed me towards the Biblical, cessationist view. I was shocked that anyone could find support in the view that "here's the word of God, sort of, if we don't screw it up, and it's up to you to determine if you want to believe it".

Same here. Packer pretty bluntly states that whatever the modern practice actually is, it most certainly is not tongues. How they find this as support for their position, I dunno. How Packer makes that statement, then proceeds to discuss the modern practice as if it was tongues anyway, is baffling.

donsands said...

Daryl, this is for us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tAKLTktY0

(And it sort of fits our subject at hand, sort of.)

Unknown said...

I understand Packer as simply making room for ecstatic worship without buying into the charismatic/Pentecostal explanation of what that ecstatic worship is. Verbal yodeling he calls it. Growing up in the South I heard many a song that used yodeling to communicate states of the emotions beyond the dictionary definitions of words. This view has explanatory power for me. We might want to hammer the charismatic into a more careful use of words and the danger of careless definitions but we must be careful not to overstate what is really going on. It is a sociological phenomenon of a style of worship that certain segments of culture find comfortable, significant and even necessary.

DJP said...

Thank you for exactly validating my every point, and the point of Strange Fire.

Kambole Chituwo said...

I have read the book. When you understand what Packer is saying, it actually offends both 'pro' and 'anti' tongues positions! In one step he created a middle position that does not represent any denomination or group.
But overall, it leans on the cessation side, because he admits it is not the same stuff as at Pentecost.
Still, allowing others to call them 'tongues' when they are not 'tongues' is too much. We may as well say a resurrection has taken place when someone is cured of a headache. Big difference...