15 March 2014

Weekend Extra: which ones need a Kleenex?

by Frank Turk

It's sort of an odd hiatus when I keep poking my head back in for this and that (some of it: spoiling Dan's day), but it is what it is.

As some of you know, I have been conducting a dialog with a fellow from Central Time, USA (same area code, even, as me) over at a little blog called Notebook Luncheon.  Bryan is a continualist -- a full-on Jack Deere daGifts kind of guy (who, if I am to be fair to him entirely, evangelizes foreign students at the local university, and has a lovely family) -- and he and I have been asking each other questions about our place in the question of cessationism vs. continualism.  While neither one of us has any kind of triumphalistic view of the exchange there, I think it has been at least as helpful as my exchange with Adrian Warnock.  The most important thing, I think, in this situation, is that the two sides at least honestly put their differences on the table.  Bryan has done that, and of course I have done that.

The reason I stopped by this weekend was because of the chain of answer Bryan has made regarding whether or not we can tell if the continualist camp is theologically/doctrinally healthy or not.  His view of it, frankly, is that we have to assume the best and forgive the worst -- but that the cessationist ought to consider that there's an explosion in moderate/conservative continualism right now.

I think his view of it is naive, and I wanted to spend a few minutes saying why.

1. My first contention is that if Bryan is able to make the claim that there is a "growth" in anything that resembles the net number of Continualists on Earth (and he does), he has all the tools he needs to take a look and see how many of them actually believe and practice his "moderate" version of Continualism -- let alone any form more moderate, and especially any form less moderate than he is.  He can't claim, for example, that there is an explosion of continualist scholarship (he can count those noses) and then pretend he doesn't know if they are saying anything unorthodox (he doesn't know if any need a Kleenex?).

2. My second contention is that Bryan has a stunningly-Anglo-centric view of the Christian world.  What I am not saying is that he's any kind of a racist -- because I know he is not.  What I am saying is that he somehow only measures the church by the people he can see in his small group at his local church.  I have no idea how he can do that when he, again, wants to make claims about how many new scholars there on on his side.  Maybe he only sees those he likes and ignores those he doesn't like?  If that's true, why is he so worried about all the ruddy cessationists?

3. My last contention is that while Bryan (like Adrian before him) has a crystal ball into the hearts of the Cessationist, where's his crystal ball into the hearts of those who are rightly counted on his side of the ledger?  Is it really so difficult to see that the Continualist movement is really chock-full of those who are far more interested in seed money than they are in the Word of God?  Is it really impossible to see that the followers of those people are legion compared to Bryan's small colony of moderates?  The blind spots which have been demonstrated in the blog so far (not much longer to the end, all) are startling.

That's all.  Have a nice weekend.


James Wells said...

Notebook link not working??

Frank Turk said...


Morris Brooks said...

The question I have is, "Who defines what moderate/conservative is?" Is it a committee, someone self-appointed, or is it left up to each person's own definition (including your friend) of what moderate is?

Tom Chantry said...

I've figured it out. Frank's not taking a hiatus from the internet; the internet has taken a series of hiati from Frank. Only, the internet processes Frank so quickly, that to it, a day without Frank is like a thousand years...