23 April 2009

"Continuationist" dodge (NEXT! #11)

by Dan Phillips

Challenge: I'm a continuationist.

Response: Really? And here I am, "stuck" with a sixty-six book Bible. You guys must have hundreds of inerrant, morally-binding Bible books by now!

(Proverbs 21:22)

Dan Phillips's signature


DJP said...

This line of thought is opened up a bit more in the review of Waldron's To Be Continued.

DJP said...

BTW, I will use both my hands to keep this meta on-topic.

Fred Butler said...

Get ready for those people who will say "it's revelation, but it really ain't THAT kind of revelation."

Anonymous said...

Or the, "God doesn't change so he couldn't possibly do ANYTHING differently than he did back then!"

You know, like how he still floods the earth, makes covenants by cutting up animals and writes laws on stone tablets from time to time...

CGrim said...


Serious question: is it incoherent for someone to affirm 'imperfect' spiritual gifts. i.e. "I believe God speaks to me, but due to my human fallibility, I cannot interpret it perfectly."

I think I'm open to the *idea* of spiritual gifts, but I generally tend to be skeptical of most people's claims about them. That of course leaves me second-guessing myself: what if I'm being skeptical about things that God has initiated?

DJP said...

To all of you: yep.

I'll let more comment flow before diving in more.

Mike Westfall said...

As it is written, The righteous shall live by faith.

What faith can one have in "revelation" that's not THAT kind of revelation?

Sola Scriptura.

Mal said...

So let me get this straight... there are no more apostles, no more prophecies, no more tongues, no more miracles, and following the cascade to the logical conclusion, no more acting of God in the world. Hmmm... don't like it.

HeavyDluxe said...


Mal said...

And not only that, but there are no more healings and no more teachers... this is not looking good.

DJP said...

Well, Mal, not looking good for you, I'd say. In the sense that you've never listened to nor thought through what you're trying to criticize.

Or you'd not be raising a silly that's been answered a thousand times, and answered well.

Associate-to-the-Pastor said...

Hmmm...I don't believe that your argument is valid,Mal. Saying that God's self-disclosure is fully contained within Scripture and needs no addition means that we weigh all experience by the Scripture. While I do believe that prophecy, apostleship, and tongues are done, I don't believe miracles are done; nor does cessationism require me to.

Best example: someone who responds to the Gospel message. As a young child, I watched as my parents' lives were upended by Jesus Christ. Our home changed indefinitely: how my parents treated each other, what we did as a family, what we valued, etc. We began going to church and learning. They began to teach us the Scriptures. There was a genuine love for the things of God.

As a result, I got to see the transforming power of God at work, up close and personal. But what puts backbone to my parents' profession. According to the N.T., their works do. So, short story made long, the miracle of conversion was presented to me up front and incredible, and I believe that the miracle was valid because the results match up with the results Scripture indicates.

Mal said...

Well I am a complete noob here, and probably a theological imbecile, but I do wonder how you can zip through 1 Cor 12 and put ticks next to some items in the list and crosses next to others.

DJP said...

Now that, Mal, is on-topic, and a perfectly decent question.

So tell me: by your logic, you must believe that there have been new, inerrant books added to the Bible in the last 1900 years. What are they, and where are they?

Adam Omelianchuk said...

How exactly is the self-declaration of "I'm a continuationist" a challenge?

David Regier said...

May we say that the continuing work of the Holy Spirit is always rooted firmly in the finished work of Jesus Christ?

DJP said...

Absolutely, David.

Oh boy: I'm going to practice what I preach and stop myself from launching on what I was about to, because, if I did, it would be... OFF TOPIC.

And I'd have to delete it and give myself my first warning.

DJP said...

Yeah, Adam, maybe "How Is Leaky Canonism a Challenge to Biblical Christianity" might make an interesting topic sometime.

But it isn't this topic.

SolaMommy said...

LOL!!! Good post, Dan.

Marie said...

Are we allowed to quote from Macarthur's sermon series "Charismatic Chaos", or is that the equivalent of using crib notes?

BTW, I've never met a charismatic IRL who knows what "continuationist" means. They prefer the euphemism "Spirit-filled".

@ Associate to the Pastor: Awesome testimony. There was a genuine love for the things of God. Sounds pretty Spirit-filled to me.

CH said...

Is it possible to believe that the cannon is closed but still believe that the gift of tongues is operational? And by the gift of tongues I mean the truly biblical version, not the crazy out of control mumbling done in many penecostal churches.

DJP said...

Interesting question, CH, but not the point of this post.

Here's your question, readjusted to that point:

Can you argue that tongues must continue because no verse (it is argued - wrongly, I think) says they would cease, WITHOUT AT THE SAME TIME arguing that there must be apostles and prophets writing new Scriptures?

David Regier said...

Part of the problem here is that many of us who consider ourselves continuationists do so in exactly the sense that I just stated.

The Holy Spirit has a present, continuing, fruit-bearing ministry that points fully and finally to the finished work of Jesus Christ for the purpose of our walking in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col 1). It has nothing to do with the finality of the canon or quasi-prophetic spectacle.

Doug Hibbard said...

Why, of course, I have gabs of morally-binding books! They're by: _______________________(rather than derail your meta with author-specific criticisms and defenses)

And then there's the newsletters, sermons, podcasts, and blogs and meta comments and the sermons in response to the meta comments on the blogs about the podcasts that address the books that say my new books are not as inerrant and morally binding...and, oh, bother....

And that doesn't count all those books I never knew Christianity was hiding until I got the History Channel! Why, there's a cornucopia of truth we have to live by! /sarcasm=off

Other response: Really? And do you try to hold a ship in place by throwing chains over the side? Or would you rather have an ANCHOR? A nice, solid, unchanging place to hold to?

CH said...

Dan, you anticipated/readjusted to my larger point, can continualists cherry pick which spiritual gifts are continuing and which are not (cherry pick maybe a poor choice of words).

To be honest I'm still wrestling with some of this in my mind. I attend a Sovereign Grace church but I grew up Baptist, so this issue of spiritual gifts is one that I'm still hammering out logically and theologically.

Mal said...

I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, I be quiet now.

DJP said...

CH — agreed. I do not think that this makes the "cessationist" case. But I do think it completely demolishes one of their major Biblical arguments.

And delegitimatizes their chosen, unwarrantedly positive label.

CH said...


Here's a question for you...what do you say to the argument that the spiritual gifts are "situational," meaning they are present where there is a need for them.

So a gift such as teaching, preaching, etc. will always be needed hence the abundance of pastors. Revelation is no longer needed because the cannon is complete, hence that gift is "discontinued." Tongues, while perhaps no longer necessary in many contexts, may still be needed in places where the gospel is newly being established.

Do you think that this argument adequately speaks to the point you are making in your post?

Anonymous said...

So are you telling me that Benny Hinn's prophecies are not morally-binding?

What to do?

DJP said...

Well, CH, I'm trying hard to stay strictly on-topic. The charismatic-themed posts as a rule have the most wildly careening meta's, because while posts about perversions to the Gospel or other things don't get some readers excited at all, the slightest suggestion that modern counterfeits to spiritual gifts are, well, counterfeits, really does.

And I'd say that (trying to link your question to the topic) anyone who wants to make that argument has lost his strictly-Biblical argument, and is now firmly in the "cessationists'" playground.

The Squirrel said...

Dan, I'm sorry, Brother, but you're just plan wrong. According to 2 Ralph, chapter 6...


Great post, & right on target.


Mal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jugulum said...

Hmm. I partly agree with this. Continuationists can be doing a dodge--though the use of the word isn't inherently a dodge--if they say, "You can't say that these gifts ceased, because there's no Biblical indication that they would!", and yet they also say, "This gift over here did cease."

If someone argues that way, they're being inconsistent. And if they take pride in the name "continuationist" on that basis, then the label is a dodge. (Though it's not a dodge if they use the word to mean "I believe that the vast majority of gifts continue". Which doesn't seem worse than using "Calvinist" when you don't agree perfectly with Calvin. It depends on the historical usage of the term, not how it could be defined at first glance.)

But, looking at the linked post from Phil, I see a problem with applying that to "the gift of apostleship":

"By arguing for a lesser kind of apostleship, they are actually conceding that the authentic, original New Testament gift of apostleship (Ephesians 4:11) has ceased. They have in effect embraced a kind of cessationism themselves.

Note: There is no more or less biblical warrant for this view than for any other kind of cessationism."

Similarly, DJP just asked,
"Can you argue that tongues must continue because no verse (it is argued - wrongly, I think) says they would cease, WITHOUT AT THE SAME TIME arguing that there must be apostles and prophets writing new Scriptures?"

Yes. One can consistently argue precisely that. It depends on some exegetical views that you probably disagree with, but it's consistent.

(Myself, I don't think "you must have a verse that says it will cease." That's a bad argument for the charismatic view.)

1.) Apostleship is not a gift, but an office.
2.) That office was connected with being an eye-witness to the risen Christ, commissioned by him.
3.) The authoring of Scripture was a work of the Spirit's inspiration, but not properly classified as a gift.
4.) "This gift continues" does not imply "this gift must be given frequently, and must operate at the same level or quality that it did in the NT." (This definition disagrees with Phil's, from the Really? link.)
5.) And by the definition in 4, the spiritual gifts possessed by apostles in the NT do all continue.

Note: #5 would be a combination of a bunch of exegetical arguments (defining the spiritual gifts) and some historical/evidential arguments (whether those gifts are happening.) As an example, many charismatics deny that "the gift of healing" meant "able to heal at will". When people commanded healing, it was because God was initiating--they commanded when God intended to heal, but without that initiation, they would have to pray for healing like anyone else. The gift of healing was worked under God's sovereign will. Which would mean that "If you have the gift of healing, why don't you go into hospitals and heal everyone?" is a strawman.

Brad Williams said...

I'm pretty sure that I'm with you DJP. I'm just wondering if being a continuationist necessarily means that you must believe that Scripture is still being written. What I mean is, if someone did believe in apostles still being around, that doesn't necessarily mean that they write/are writing Scripture. Not every prophet in the OT wrote Scripture, and neither did every apostle.

Just for full disclosure, I'm open to prophecy as long as we're still open for stoning. Well, maybe replace stoning for raised eyebrows and sighing. I'm not that hard core.

The Squirrel said...

Oh, Mal, I wish you hadn't deleted that last... too funny!


Joshua Elsom said...

I guess my only question would be, if we are to consider all things spoken by the prophets to be worthy of the canon of Scripture then why do we not have all the prophecies of King Saul, Agabus, Judas Barsabbas, Silas, from the prophets of Antioch, from Philip the Evangelist's daughters, or any of the other myriad of prophets who prophesied in the Bible recorded?

Jugulum said...


I don't think it's a matter of being worthy of being Scripture.

God could inspire a prophet to say something inerrantly and infallibly, without God intending it to be written down and included in the Bible.

So "It didn't go in the Bible" doesn't mean "It was fallible".

DJP said...

Jugulum - very intelligent, thoughtful comment. Thank you.

Yet I think it still falls under this post's sledge-hammer.

You end up saying in effect "Yes, the gifts continue... but they're not really the gifts we see in the Bible, they have to be redefined; and I can't say they have to continue since no text expressly lists which lists will cease, because I've already granted that such is not necessary."

Hardly convincing.

DJP said...

Brad WilliamsI'm open to prophecy as long as we're still open for stoningI'm pretty sure we have our Comment of the Day.

Jugulum said...


Thanks. (I'm sure part of what made it seem intelligent was where I was agreeing with you. :) )

"Yet I think it still falls under this post's sledge-hammer."

Hmm... I may need to clarify. My post had two pieces. One was my disagreement with the bad continuationist assumption, "You have to have a verse that says it ceases." I think that's a bad assumption on its own, even apart from your NEXT response.

That's where I agreed with you, and granted that an express list of ceasing gifts isn't necessary. (I think I'd keep believing that, even if I became a Pentecostal!)

The other piece was the 5-point argument, where I played devil's advocate for someone who does use that bad assumption. Defending their ability to be consistent, without opening the door to continuing apostleship & Scripture.

The second piece didn't grant "that such is not necessary".

And the second piece also did not include, "they're not really the gifts we see in the Bible, they have to be redefined". I talked about correctly defining the gifts from Scripture, not redefining them. (Unless you think that "the gift happens less frequently and less impressively" is a redefinition of that gift?)

And aside from that: Your post assumes that both apostleship and the writing of Scripture are gifts. (Which is arguable. I'm not sure what I think.) And it assumes that there's no Biblical warrant for thinking that the office of apostleship has ceased. (Which is definitely false, if the office is linked to being an eye-witness commissioned by Christ.)

BUT. Your argument about Scripture could still work against some people, even if Scripture-writing isn't a gift. If people simply argue, "God worked that way then, so he must work that way now," then that should apply to writing Scripture, too. And I think I've seen Jack Deere argue that way.

DJP said...

Jugulum — well, that was less intelligent.

Just kidding.

Apostleship is treated as a gift along with the other gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, and expressly called such in Ephesians 4:8-11.

And yes, I'm saying that one can't argue "All gifts continue... just, you know, different. But the same gifts. But not all of them."

Anonymous said...


You said this:

"Unless you think that "the gift happens less frequently and less impressively" is a redefinition of that gift?"

It seems to me that "less impressively", unless you mean less Side-Show-Bob type fanfare at the time, necessarily redefines the gift.
Isn't that precisely the common claim?
That prophecy continues but is less accurate and less authoratative (which sounds less impressive to me).

Joshua Elsom said...


Maybe I am confused but it would appear that Dan's post implies that if one is a continuationist and believes in the ongoing grace of prophecy then we need to make an addendum to the Bible for any prophetic utterance given. If that is the case then what do we do with all of these prophecies that we know were given yet are not recorded for us in Scripture?

If I have misunderstood Dan's posting forgive me and if I am missing something let me know.

Jugulum said...

"Apostleship is treated as a gift along with the other gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, and expressly called such in Ephesians 4:8-11."1 Cor 12 -- How odd... When I was writing my first comment, I couldn't remember whether "apostle" was included in this passage. So I checked, and my eyes must have skipped over 12:28, where "apostle" appears.

OK, granted. "Apostleship" should be seen both as a gift and an office. (Though it still might be the case that apostleship has more to do with a collection of gifts than "a" gift.)

However... Go back to the 5-point devil's advocacy. All this proves is that #1 isn't true. #2 is still there.

So a continuationist might turn out to be a cessationist on the gift of apostleship. But that's only inconsistent if there's no Biblical basis for saying that apostleship ceased.

So what about the eye-witness & commissioned-by-Christ criteria?

"And yes, I'm saying that one can't argue "All gifts continue... just, you know, different. But the same gifts. But not all of them."Again, to clarify, "not all of them" wasn't part of my comment. I agree, that's inconsistent.

"A different but similar gift" is also inconsistent.

But you need some kind of criteria for saying that "less impressive occurrences of a gift" qualifies as "a different gift". Or you're just being arbitrary, not exegetical.

Perhaps if you gave an example of redefinition of a gift?

Note: The other point I was making was, we have to establish the NT definition before we talk about redefinition.

So, if you've been thinking of fallible prophecy as an example, then you're not paying attention. (Because charismatics argue that prophecy in the NT was fallible. They may be wrong, but they're not being inconsistent about continuation.)

Also, I chose "gifts of healings" as an example for a reason. People assume that it means "able to command healing at will", and that obviously doesn't happen today, and that becomes one of the major arguments for cessation. But that definition is doubtful. Or at least challengable. If the NT gift was "God sometimes gave the confidence to know that he would heal, so people commanded healing in those cases instead of simply asking God for healing", then it's not an at-will thing. (And that definition is supported both by phrases like "the power of God was with Jesus to heal", and by the fact of sicknesses mentioned in the epistles.)

Jugulum said...


It depends on what we have in mind when we say "less impressive".

A healing is a healing, regardless of what's healed. So if it's a less impressive healing... How is that a different gift?

On prophecy, see my comment to Dan. That's about establishing the NT definition--not redefining it for the post-NT era.

Jugulum said...


Ah. If Dan was assuming "all prophecy should go in the Bible", then you have a point.

But his post would still apply to apostles writing Scripture. Continuationists still need a reason to say that ceased.

John said...

We really have a dilemma; the same that I ran into when trying to pursuade the LDS missionaries that came to my door. How do we convince people from Scripture when they don't believe it is the final (closed) authority?

DJP said...

JugulumSo, if you've been thinking of fallible prophecy as an example, then you're not paying attention (yelling original)

Gosh, so my only choices are agree with Charismatics, or admit I'm not paying attention? Gosh, Johnny... I choose Door #3.

The fallible prophecy dodge is popular only to give counterfeit gifts an exemption from objective testing, falsifiability, and consequences.

Back to THIS TOPIC: if one's argument is that the gifts must be around because the NT never explicitly says anything will change or be withdrawn, then we should expect the continued authorship of inerrant, binding Scripture.

Anonymous said...


The healing issue would be commanded healing vs. prayer. Clearly the NT tells everyone to pray for healing, particularly the church elders, and doesn't lump that in with the gift.

The prophetic issue, you're right, when people start to say that NT prophecy is fallible...that's where I check out. And equally so when they say that it's all infallible so that I need to take what Mary Jane in church says God said at the same level as Paul or Peter et al.

Doesn't some of this have an emergent ring to it? By that I mean, isn't it odd that, like the emergents, hard-core Charismatics often begin to redefine things when their face-value arguement starts looking a little weak?

BTW, my verification word is "methe" which may or may not relate to all of this...

Jugulum said...

"Jugulum — So, if you've been thinking of fallible prophecy as an example, then you're not paying attention (yelling original)

Gosh, so my only choices are agree with Charismatics, or admit I'm not paying attention? Gosh, Johnny... I choose Door #3."

Gosh, Dan. You think I was saying you have to agree with them, or you're not paying attention?

That's fascinating. Do you know how I would respond to that misunderstanding of what I said?

With this: "They may be wrong, but they're not being inconsistent about continuation."

I said that in the parenthetical comment right after what you quoted.

As far as being on-topic--What about the on-topic points I raised about (1) biblical warrant for cesssation of apostleship, (2) Scripture-writing not being a gift?

And are you saying it wasn't on-topic when I asked, What's the criteria for saying that a less-impressive occurrence of the gift is a "different gift"?

Stefan Ewing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stefan Ewing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stefan Ewing said...

[Argh! Formatting!]

David:Thanks so much for your two comments. I guess it takes a songwriter to express a complex doctrine of the person and work of the Holy Spirit succinctly in one or two lines! ;)

CH:I like your positing the idea of "situational" gifts, as well. Not clear whether Dan agrees with it or not, except that he seems to be saying that such an idea is essentially a type of cessationist position.

Dan:So I follow your link to the post you wrote a couple of years ago on leaky canonism, and it says (to paraphrase):

"I wrote a post, Adrian replied at length to it, and this is the 3rd lengthy part of a long series in response to him. Before you comment, please read Adrian's long post and my 3 long posts, since it's a built-up argument."

I guess, then, we should be grateful for the "Next!" series to sum it all up? ;)

Stefan Ewing said...

So < /b > tag followed by 2 line breaks has the same problem as < /i > tag followed by same.

Stefan Ewing said...

(And no offense, Dan:

Writing long, thorough, precise, meticulous business documents is a trademark of mine, one that is both a blessing and a curse.)

CH said...

There is a spectrum to the "continualist" position which nuances this discussion somewhat. Perhaps such nuance will derail Dan's post, and if so, ignore what I say, we can save nuance for another day.

But here's how I make sense of it...the "pure" continualists, which can be represented by the Benny Hinn types, are theologically and logically forced into the continuing revelation position if they want to remain consistant and coherent within their (mis)interpretation of scripture.

However, another position, represented by the "Reformed charismatics" doesn't take a "pure" continualist position (at least the ones I'm familiar with). So they are more "partial" continualists, with sympathies for both continualists and cessationists.

Having said that several thoughts come to mind:

1. Is the partial continualist position theologically and logically viable? Is there a basis by which we can judge that some gifts have ceased while others have not? That is where the "situational" argument comes into play.

2. Do they clearly distinguish themselves from the "pure" continualists?

CH said...

And to clarify, let me add one more thing. The reason I bring this up is because I think the "partial continualist" position is somewhat of a way around Dan's point.

But then again, perhaps his point isn't addressed to them which would again make my point off topic.

FX Turk said...


donsands said...

I visited Josh Harris' church, and it was incredible to see the Body of Christ coming together and being blessed by the Lord. And yet, I am a skeptic of the gifts.

I suppose I'll have to wait to I get to glory to know for sure. There's a lot of phonyism out there for sure, but with pastors like CJ, Josh, Adrian, and others, and Dr. Grudem, it's difficult for me to be a cessationist, which is what I am, especially to them.

I hope this isn't off topic.

Jugulum said...

Here's another contribution, where Michael Patton says something very similar to Dan's NEXT. He introduces the term, "de facto cessationism".

Why I am Not Charismatic (Part 8): I am a De Facto CessationistPatton also makes the comparison to the closing of the canon.

Jugulum said...


"So < /b > tag followed by 2 line breaks has the same problem as < /i > tag followed by same."

And based on my last post, it looks like < /a > also has the problem.

Seems to be all HTML. All closing tags.

We can fix it by manually entering < br > tags after closing tags. Hmm... But should we do 2 < br >'s, or just 1? I'll test it.

Example with 1: test
Following text.

Example with 2: test

Following text.

Jugulum said...


If you want a blank line between the text (like a new paragraph), you have to manually enter two < br >'s.

Stefan Ewing said...


Yeah, two < br >'s work, but then Dan pointed out (just to madden me [inside joke] after all the testing I'd done) that you can just add a punctuation mark after the closing tag:

Like put a closing period, etc. after the < /a >, < /b >, or < /i >, then hit Enter twice.

DJP said...

just to madden me Yep. It's what I do!


Jugulum said...



Good point.

I'll do that. :)

Stupid blogger system.

KRG said...

I still have yet to read through all the comments so I apologize in advance if this has been discussed, but are there any absolute cessationists (i.e. all spiritual gifts have ceased) reading this? I have been wrestling with this for a while and I have a hard time with "put[ing] ticks next to some items in the list and crosses next to others." It seems that you either need to take them all or throw them all out. Any thoughts?

Kevin Williams said...

I thought you lot where dispensationalists and believe Moses and Elijah are to come again? ;0)

DJP said...

KRG - the point of this post is that every Christian puts tick and crosses.

Jugulum said...

I'd just like to summarize what I was saying before:

This NEXT seems to be an internal critique. It's pointing out an inconsistency, of people who try to say "you have to assume continuation from NT to modern times unless the Bible says otherwise".

1.) That doesn't apply to Apostleship, if the Bible says Apostleship will cease--or if it says that being an eye-witness is part of being an Apostle.
2.) That doesn't apply to the fallible-prophecy view at all. Charismatics are consistent about that--in their view, prophecy is the same in the NT and now. (If they're wrong, it's because prophecy wasn't fallible in the NT. Not because they're being inconsistent about it continuing from the NT to modern times.)
3.) It doesn't apply to Scripture, if Scripture-writing isn't a gift, and if the continuation argument is only about gifts. It doesn't apply if the continuation argument is, "Acts 2 describes the New Covenant era." Or "1 Cor 12 describes the life of the church in the New Covenant." Because Scripture-writing isn't part of either of those.

But it does apply to Scripture if the continuation argument is, "God worked that way before, so we should expect him to work that way now."

So the comparison to closure of the canon does prove something. It's a good test case. It shows that something can cease without explicit Biblical warrant. (Unless you think 1 Cor 13 is talking about the Bible!) But we know that already, generally. At one point in history, God does something--without doing it the same way later.

"De facto cessationism" makes sense, in other words.

Strong Tower said...

"I'm a continuationist."

Me too, and I have the gift of discerning of spirits and I perceive that you are a lying spirit.

Unknown said...

I John gives us a little help with the whole "spirit discernment" thing.

Oh, yeah, and it was written by the guy who, in the Spirit on the Lord's day, fell (in error) at an angel's feet to worship in the midst of seeing the vision of what he was to put in the inspired, inerrant canon of Scripture.

Let that mess with our categories for a minute or two.

Unknown said...

In other words, the true Spirit always points us to worship Jesus.


Unknown said...

Challenge: I'm a pastor.

Response: Really? The gifts of sheparding and teaching are for today? You guys must think apostles still exist!


"They shall not teach.. for they shall all know me," doncha know?

DJP said...

That's a dodge, not even close to a response.

Joshua Elsom said...

Well put Jugulum.

Stefan Ewing said...


All right. I've got one question that's been bugging me.

We affirm that Paul was an Apostle of Christ, and that he was a writer of inspired, authoritative Scripture (as attested by Peter [2 Peter 3:15-16])—and most of us affirm that the gift of apostleship has ceased.

But when exactly did it cease? With the close of the canon?

Because Paul wasn't exactly an Apostle in the same way that Peter through to Matthias were.

That is to say, he wasn't an eyewitness to the bodily resurrection of Christ, as nowhere does he claim or is he recorded as being an eyewitness to Christ during the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension.

True, he was a contemporary of the eyewitnesses, he himself had a vision of Christ, and he was recognized by the Twelve as an Apostle of Christ—and as I mentioned, Peter describes Paul's letters in passing as being one with "the other Scriptures" (i.e., the Old Testament).

Does this come down to the meaning of "apostle" in Greek ("one who is sent"?) that is lost on us in English?

(I do not for a minute question the inspired authority and inerrancy of Paul's writings, of course. Accepting him as an inspired author of Scripture was critical to my repentance and salvation.)

Help a brother out?

Stefan Ewing said...

Granted, he did describe himself as a witness, "as...one untimely born," in 1 Corinthians 15:8, and he was present (with blood on his hands) when Stephen had his vision of Christ standing in Heaven, at the right hand of the glory of God....

Stefan Ewing said...

Feel free to rebuke if I've taken this totally off topic.

Nash Equilibrium said...

As a reformed charismatic (i.e., I'm pretty much a Calvinist now), I can vouch for the fact that most charismatics go through life in a doctrinally confused, conflicted state of mind, if they are thinkers. They are told to embrace tongues and other gifts of the Spirit as if they were messages from God; yet, almost everyone I knew in that movement would absolutely say that Scripture is the reference point by which all other things are judged. So as a charismatic, you drift through life thinking of tongues, "words of knowledge" and other mumbo-jumbo as being sacred deliveries from God, yet at the same time recognizing that a lot of it is obvious nonsense, and the rest of it is suspect and nowhere near a Scriptural-level of reliability. Yet, it is somehow holy. The end result is that eventually, one either has to conclude that there is something wrong with the whole set of charismatic doctrines (as I have), or conclude that all "holy" things (incl. the Bible)are nonsense (as some tragically have). That is one of the resulting tragedies of the fuzzy thinking that is pentecostalism.

DJP said...

True, dat. I think when all the numbers are run, it will be tallied that the distinctive contributions of Charismaticism will have caused far more harm than good.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe that the gifts ARE still available today.

However, i do not think they are anywhere near the level that certain people are taking them to.

I've never found definitive proof that the gifts have ended, based on Scripture. I also don't think that 'gifts' implies 'adding books'. I simply think it means God may say something that aligns with His word, while using our own terminiology.

Otherwise we could get into the whole debate of King James Onlyism and such....oy vey.

However, when it all comes down, I put more faith in God's word than in a person's percieved 'experience'.

God bless.

Anonymous said...


Wouldn't this response prove too much? Couldn't it be applied to the church even during the time of the apostles? After all, you believe there was innerant revelation given to a good many churches, and yet none of those hundreds or thousands of prophecies produced additional books of the Bible. So wouldn't the 1st century churches have failed this test also?

Nash Equilibrium said...

Personally I could go along with the idea that King James Only has the gift of tongues, since he's been dead close to 400 years now.

DJP said...

Not at all, thesgc; the focus is exclusively on anyone calling himself a "continuationist" and leaning on the argument that the gifts must continue, because God doesn't change, Scripture doesn't expressly list expiration dates, etc. etc. etc.

Like the article I linked to in the post.

Very focused argument, like most Next!s.

Jugulum said...

Impressive. Further reducing Storms's "'outline' with little substantive content to explain each point" (as he describes it) to:

"the gifts must continue, because God doesn't change, Scripture doesn't expressly list expiration dates, etc. etc. etc."

Man... I wouldn't have been able to recognize either of those in his "12 Good Reasons for Being a Continuationist". Perhaps you have the gift of interpretation?

Strong Tower said...

Stefano the language is pretty clear that Paul didn't just have a vision. He appeared to them all and in the context it would make no sense because it is referring to the bodily resurrection, not a mere spirit apparition.

strategem- agreed. Having come in through Pentacostalism and waded through the mire of Charismaticism, the thing that moved me along was the striving to understand. I came to the simple conclusion that with all the chaos in either manifestations or doctrine something wasn't right. Dr. W. Martin was a great help. One portion of the whole mess was the issue of tongues and its attendent interpretation, and Paul's statement that toungues were no good except that one intepret. It might be true that one speaks to himself in his spirit, but who knows. And to Paul that meant if you lacked understanding, their could be no progress toward maturity in the knowledge of the Faith. His aim was to grow people up, not to let them remain tongue tied, but to loose it for the edification of all.

As to those who think of the gift of prophecy being only the reiteration of the Scripture, to what end? We have Scripture.

Then there is that thing where if I have a gift and your gift doesn't agree with my gift, well, then... you got a wrong spirit, but... you need deliverance, here let me show you the right knowlege... Uh uh uh, touch not God's anointed you foul spirit of criticism... (saith with a southern drawl, it really sounds spiritual).

I chased the Prophetic Ministries especially the Eschatological ones for some time only to conclude that the money would have been better spent on a good dark micro and a fine cigar. Just like PM&E there is a diversity of beers and cigars, but few good ones and they all in turn are flushed out or flame out. The friends I knew remain lost in those things, wandering from one experience to another. Our fellowship in the "Spirit" was about as deep as the truth we shared.

It confuses me, somewhat, to find the Charismatics within the Reformed camp. But heh, if they can't discern what is wrong with certain language barrier breachers, they're probably just still a little confused about the gifts too.

Joshua Elsom said...

Strong Tower,

I'm trying to figure out if you are arguing for the affirmative or the negative on continuation. So which is it?

Stefan Ewing said...

Strong Tower:

So we should understand Jesus Christ as having appeared to Paul, insofar as he also spoke to him, etc., so that from Paul's point of view, [it was as if] he was in the physical presence of the resurrected Christ?

So it wasn't merely Paul's having a vision of Christ.

That actually makes sense to me. Thank you.

Strong Tower said...

Negatory, Joshua.

I see no clear evidence of it within the Scripture.

The following may appear painfully redundant...

I don't deny the experience, I have had it. I do deny its validity and verifiability. The reason is as I stated, confusion. I have never known anyone in those circles to hold to their doctrine with consistency.

Take for instance the matter of tongues. The concept of a private prayer language when taken to the Scripture, typically is superfluous. For it to be of any use, Paul says it must be interpreted. And he preferred to speak and to pray with understanding so that both the spirit and the mind are benefitted. The same holds for congregational tongues for both the invididual and the hearers. Now this is crucial, because the thing that Paul is teaching is pointing to the maturation of the believer in matters of doctrine: "Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature," cf. Ephesians 4:11-15. He tells the Corinthians to put away childish things.

So, in part, as Dan is pointing to, what need is there for the gifts? To improve, confirm and perserve doctrine? To bring comfort? There are preserving gifts, faithful men able to give comfort, called pastors and teachers who are given for the very things that were be effected by the other gifts. So we don't need the sign gifts unless one believes the canon open or that the church has yet to be established as Paul was doing in commissioning Timothy and Titus. The pastors and teachers, Paul tells Timothy, are to pass along the teaching as it was delivered- finished and completed- to Paul (if I am understanding correctly that this completed mystery was given to him to pass along).

The sign gifts were given to confirm these things that Paul says are now complete. But if they are not yet confirmed and established as complete, we have a major problem with the authority of Scripture. And if that is the case, who can say what the meanings of the sign gift passages are? And if that is the case, the charismatics are in deep doo. How do they know what it all means if the revelation is still ongoing?

If one says he believes in continuance and I say I discern he has lying spirit, where now do we go to judge between sheep and sheep? If I agree that there is continuance, who is he, or anyone else, to say that my revelation is incorrect. If he appeals to Scripture, I need merely amend it by my further revelation.

Hey Stefan- if what you meant I meant was that Jesus appeared in physical form to Paul so that Paul actually is among those who John refers to who handled Him, 1 John 1:1, then you meant what I meant. Paul's reference is concerned with the physical resurrection not a vision or even presence. I am not sure if Paul is referencing the third heaven experience or the Rd. to Damascus or what, just that he claims the same experience as the rest of the apostles who witnessed the resurrected Lord.

ezekiel said...


"Response: Really? And here I am, "stuck" with a sixty-six book Bible. You guys must have hundreds of inerrant, morally-binding Bible books by now!"

Are you saying that if anyone claims to be a prophet, the acid test is whether or not he has written a book? If that is the acid test, then where are the books written by the 100 in 1 Kings 18:13?

If you can't document their writings or prophecy, does that make them any less a prophet?

Merlin said...

If a prophet speaks in the woods and there is no one there to write it down, is he a continuationist?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

takin said...

ezekiel said, “Are you saying that if anyone claims to be a prophet, the acid test is whether or not he has written a book?”

I don't think that is what DJP is saying. There are many false prophets who have written books.

But my question is similar: If there were occasions in OT/NT times when genuine prophecy was uttered and that particular prophecy was not recorded, how then does the continuance of the gift of prophecy contradict a closed canon?

ezekiel said...

I guess for me anyway, if we don't have the gifts in 1 Cor 12 operating in the church today, then the church is as dead as Israel was in Jerusalem when Christ walked among them.

What exactly does make us different then from the ones Jesus is talking to in John 5:39?

Joh 5:39 You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me!
Joh 5:40 And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.

Is knowing scripture front to back our salvation or is it Christ abiding in us that is our salvation?

1Co 12:4 Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same. If we say then that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, how do we make the argument that He checked His power at the door?

Joshua Elsom said...

Strong Tower,

That is what I thought but I was a little thrown off by your comments about Dr. Martin.

"I came to the simple conclusion that with all the chaos in either manifestations or doctrine something wasn't right. Dr. W. Martin was a great help."I find it bit humorous actually that you would credit Walter Martin for liberating you from Charismatic doctrine since Walter Martin was definitely not a cessationist.

DJP said...

So, Ezekiel, did you just glance at the title, skim the comments, and post?

Your question isn't about the post, and your remark ignores it.

Please read the post, think about it for a moment, then revisit your last comment.

David Sheldon said...

Strong Tower & Joshua & DJP,
Dr. Walter Martin was a very very different kind of a continuationist than our modern day counterparts. Since his name came up here - to get a very excellent handle on his views - listen to his tape: "Charisma - Cultic, Occultic, or Christian?"

DJP said...

But sadly, he buddied around with the TBN types in his latter days.

In an unpublished book on the person and work of the Spirit, I interacted with his views on Da Gifts, as expressed in Essential Christianity. The section was called "The Maze of Martinism." His views may have been different, but they weren't good.

David Sheldon said...

So some of his views changed before his death? I am pretty sure the tape I have is from the late 70's or very early 80's. For example, on the tape he says "tongues" of 1 Corinthians and Acts are distinct known dialects. He also insists on the tape that he reckoned much of what was taking place in his day as counterfeit. I just am not aware of those he "elbowed" with toward the end of his life. So where might one get an "unpublished" copy of this Essential Christianity???

DJP said...

No, sorry if that was unclear. Essential Christianity was Martin's book, and it was published; the unpublished book was mine.

What was weird was that his rationale for the gifts was really oddly close to a quotation I found in the Book of Mormon.

From which I draw no sinister conclusions about Martin, but rather about the whole charismatic position.

DJP said...

To wit: Essential Christianity

David Sheldon said...

The rationale that settled it for me was "Counterfeit Miracles" by B.B. Warfield. Seems to me that every continuationist should read it before they begin to defend their position. Maybe - just maybe - they don't really comprehend the cessationist view/rationale. Just a thought.

DJP said...

Oh, I find that's commonly the case, David. Goodness, just look at this meta.

Ditto re. Warfield — I think even Gordon Fee (who never tires of reminding us what a Deep Academic Scholar he is) attributes to Warfield a position or two for which I've never seen documentation.

David Sheldon said...

I probably should add that it seems to me Dr. Martin did address so many Christian issues - with great Biblical wisdom. Surely he was in the battle for the truth of the gospel in his day.

DJP said...

And I'll ditto that. He was a real man with a spade in his hand.

Hank Hannegraaaaf is a little bird that goes and pecks up someone else's seed here and there.

CRI was a great thing, in Martin's heyday.

Jugulum said...

Misunderstanding of the other side abounds... on all sides.

For instance, the last two audio defenses of cessationism that I heard. Neither displayed any awareness of the "fallible prophecy" view. (I'm not saying that they disagreed, or argued against it. I'm not saying, "They assumed prophecy is always infallible." I'm saying, "They assumed that charismatics believe prophecy is infallible.")

Stefan Ewing said...

I have no comment, but I just noticed the verification word is "ourucle."

Kind of like a genuine "oracle," but not...?

Strong Tower said...

"Having come in through Pentacostalism and waded through the mire of Charismaticism, the thing that moved me along was the striving to understand. I came to the simple conclusion that with all the chaos in either manifestations or doctrine something wasn't right. Dr. W. Martin was a great help."

Martin was a great help in winding my way through the maze of the cults and his works on the mind-science cults and the connection between them and the Third wave types like John Wimber and C. Peter Wagoner and the prosperity Gospel, (Copeland was my guide into tongues), as well as the various branches of the Manifest Sons of God movements, (I was a fan of Earl Paulk), et cetera. Before becoming a believer I had experienced all manners of power occult. To me it charisma was religion as normal, just a rival. Walter Martin's apologetics ministry did indeed help de-con my fusion.

You needed to read all that I said. It was the inconsistency in docrine and the chaos and confusion to which I was alluding. Sorry to name drop. I can see how it might well cause your synapses to misfire.

But there was also this: "It confuses me, somewhat, to find the Charismatics within the Reformed camp."

I don't expect that everyone should be perfect, but generally I do expect the Reformed to think. What I did learne from W. Martin was to search futher and establish. I still credit him for bringing me out of those circles, for without him I wouldn't have had a clue as to what might be amiss. When I landed in the SBC I discovered they had no reasons, just traditions, and after more than fifteen years there, I realized they weren't any better off not knowing why they believed than I had been when I thought that I did. Now, W. Martin was an SBCer, but he still had much to do with my leaving it behind. Some day they might learn what the authority of Scripture is to go along with inerrency, and some day I might return. But I digress. The fact that Martin was ordained Episcopalian (if I remember right), but a quasi-non-cessationist/SBCer, means little. It was his apologetic approach to the faith that helped me.

It's a sign Stefan.

takin said...

Strong Tower said, "It confuses me, somewhat, to find the Charismatics within the Reformed camp."

Why? What is it about Reformed theology that demands cessationism?

Some believe that you cannot be baptistic and reformed?

Someone even said that to be consistently Reformed you must be a premillinialist.

Certainly, your overarching theology must interact with all the secondary parts, but I fail to see why Reformed theology is incongruent with believer’s baptism, amillinialism, or continuationism.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking there might be omething to the "it's revelation but it's not THAT kind of revelation" argument.

Phillip had four daughters who were prophetesses. I would find it hard to comprehend how the could be called prophetesses if they never, ever prophesied. But we have not a single word in the Scriptures telling us what they prophesied.

This leads me to conclude one of a couple of things; 1. either God does speak or reveal stuff (or at least has done so in the past). At it was not recorded in the Scriptures, because it was "not THAT kind of revelation".


2. The "prophesying" meant "preaching" and would then lead me to the possible conclusion that the gifts have therefore not actually ceased but changed somewhat, (special revelation not being necessary any longer as we have the completed canon of Scripture).

Would that latter belief make one a cessationist? IE. Not believing that the gift of prophecy to have ceased but rather to have moved into the greater emphasis of speaking forth the word of God as opposed to speaking forth the new revelation of God.

Another possible example might be the Apostle Paul receiving a revelation of Heaven, which he didn't record the details of in the Scriptures.

Just a thought

DJP said...

Thanks, but:

Either you're making a comment that would have been appropriate under the Next! about prophecy, and not this one; or...

You don't get what this Next! is about. It isn't about the nature of prophecy. It is about continuationism. If one wants to argue (as linked in the article above) that NT events continue because there's no verse (it is claimed) that says they won't, then show me the Scriptures!See?

DJP said...

Oops. I fell befoul of the new Blogger html tag curse.

Strong Tower said...

"Why? What is it about Reformed theology that demands cessationism?"

Well, I'll try to answer that within this NEXT: "You guys must have hundreds of inerrant, morally-binding Bible books by now!"

One piece of the heart of the Reformation "was" Sola Scriptura-

Now the Catholic Church has its charismatic sense if one considers that the Pop has a special gift which enables him to receive special, infallible revelation and such. He even speaks Latin which everyone knows is the tongues of angels ;)

Anyway, it seems to me that personal, special revelation, works contrary to the essential doctrine of the Word as the infallible final authority for faith and practice. Somehow it just doesn't fit.

The other reason is somewhat along those lines but really has to do with academic traditions, roots and origins of the movements and the fact that the "emotive" charisma aberrations are found almost exclusively among the non-Reformed. Having come the long road into the Reformed camp I was only familiar with the Arminianism of the emotives. So for me there was an assumption that the two went together and were necessarily incompatible with the Reformed message.

Now if I have to weigh the balance it would tip to the cessationist side if only for the first reason I gave. What I have found in the second case is what I stated before, whether Reformed or not, I find the argument within the continuationist camp to be unable to square itself with Scripture in much the same ways when defending it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, if I didn't make myself clear. The implication that I got from your post was based on what I thought was a progressive logic.

A) ALL revelation from God is the same, it equals Scripture.

B) "if" someone claims to hear from God then it should (by virtue of "A" being true) be tacked onto to Scripture.

C) So... a continuationist's Bible must be huge by now.

I was thinking that the logic of the argument was already lost at point "A", and that Fred Butler may be wrong in his assumption that there couldn't be more than one kind of revelation from God.

Phillip's daughters (Acts 219)were prophetesses. That to me would imply that they prophesied (IE. received revelation from God). But, nowhere are the words of their prophecies recorded in the Scriptures.

Now, if they prophesied and the Lord did not consider that it was necessary for those words to be added to the Scriptures, (giving reasonable credibility to the idea that perhaps it was because they weren't the kind of revelation that needed to be in the Scriptures).

How then can you not consider that someone who claims to receive some revelation from God today also may not consider the words of the revelation to be on the same level as Scripture either?

I am NOT arguing for continuationism in this post, ONLY that the logic by which you are seeking to oppose it, is faulty.

DJP said...

Strong TowerWell, I'll try to answer that within this NEXT...THANK you. Really! (c:

Now the Catholic Church has its charismatic sense if one considers that the Pop has a special....Did you mean to write "the Pop"?

Either way, I'm cracking up.

DJP said...

Yes, comeinfromtherain, I understood it the first time you said it. And I replied. You saying it again is not, to me, endearing. Shall I copy and paste my response to the first iteration?

Jugulum said...


Yeah, you're missing the point.

You're defending the idea of extra-biblical revelation. Which was the topic of the previous NEXT.

This NEXT is focused on the simplistic argument, "You can't say that the gifts ceased unless you have a verse that says they would." Because charismatics do agree that other NT activities ceased. They agree that Scripture isn't being written anymore--and there's no verse that says so. (Unless you think 1 Cor 13 applies--and charismatics don't think it does.)

So that applies to any charismatics who simply argue, "God used to work that way, and God doesn't change, so he works that way now." It does not apply to charismatics who argue, "Acts 2 describes the characteristics of the New Covenant." Because Scripture-writing isn't part of that description of the New Covenant.

And again, as for apostleship: There isn't a verse that says "apostleship will cease", but it does seem to include "being an eyewitness" in the definition. So charismatics can point to that biblical warrant for saying apostleship will cease.

Of course, that means charismatics need to be open to another idea. There doesn't have to be "a verse" to justify cessationism. The Bible can define the purpose of certain gifts in a way that implies they'll cease.

DJP said...

The charismatics' argument is a simplistic argument. It is also almost universally used by them, and is a major prop to their system. Remove it, and much logically follows that isn't supportive of their diversion.

Also, comeinfromtherain, it should be noted that Jugulum's atomizing insistence on a facile divorcing of the authorship of Scripture from the office/gifts of apostles and prophets (and the inauguration of the New Covenant), as if it were just an explicable and unrelated happenstance, is not really supported by Jesus' description of the offices and their function, and probably would not be persuasive to many. Nor should you miss that adding any qualifiers to the office of apostle, absent an explicit verse limiting the gift, is still another confirmation of the point of this post.

takin said...

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)

Does the foundational nature of the apostles and prophets demonstrate that those offices, as opposed to elders and deacons, had a limited duration?

DJP said...

Takin... "demonstrate" may be true, but it's just a bit stronger than I'd say. I'd say it accords well with that understanding, and makes the best sense. Given that both offices necessarily entail inerrant direct revelation, and given that the full inauguration of the New Covenant (particularly given the "mystery" aspects) required additional revelation, what you're suggesting makes the best sense to me.

Strong Tower said...

5:15 AM, April 23, 2009; 5:55 AM, April 25, 2009 Who gets up that early?

Yeah I meant the Pop.

And I was thinking along this line: "hundreds of inerrant, morally-binding Bible books by now!"

And about Peter Popoff's Miracle Spring Water, but that's another story.

Then I was thinking about authority and how it is that the charis guys seem to have their own and that ends up infecting the underlings. Eventually everyone becomes their own authority but if you attack a pop figure the lemmings rally to the defense, knowing that if his infallibility is challenged, theirs falls victim too...

anyway, there is something not right about inerrant, morally-binding and ongoing that paves the way for things like blacks can't fill the priesthood, women can be elders, sex-talk from the pulpit is cool, repeating unsubstantiated stories of healings and resurrections, speaking in tongues and not knowing what it means means they're real, and justification of other stuff like the writing of weird novelly books that aren't technically theology texts, but that are really neat new ways of expressing Christian "truth" also known as shackin up...

By that time my medication was kicking in so I went and watched The Last Samurai and meditated upon the meaning of sake and why some like it hot and some like it not.

Stefan my WV was bedoznni. I am beginning to suspect some ominicient spiritual force. It just doesn't seem random. But then, how does random determine what is not.

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

Ah, Dan, good! Thank you for your last comment. The second paragraph gave me some clue how you would have responded to my earlier on-topic questions about the matter, had you decided to reply.

I'll think about what you said. I wasn't separating apostleship & Scripture-writing, at least in my mind. But I need to review my comments, because I see where you got that idea. And... Well, I need to think about it. Thank you. (Though I don't see any connection in Acts or the epistles between prophets in early church, and the writing of Scripture.)

And I'll repeat my agreement with you, which you may have missed: That charismatics need to be more open to the idea that the Bible give a basis for the idea that some gifts would cease without explicitly stating that they would cease.

But I also want to encourage everyone not to accept you reductionistic simplification as Gospel Truth. It's not that you're totally off-base--it's that you're stripping away nuance & sophistication that is sometimes present, and that doesn't fit your criticism. As I said before, I've seen such simplicity from Jack Deere--also from Dallas Willard. It's there, and I see it sometimes from the average charismatic on the Internet.

But, for instance, arguments about the characteristics of the New Covenant do not fall into that simplistic category. Nor does every request for Biblical justification for cessation fit this simplistic form. Nor does every statement, "There's no passage that teaches cessationism" translate to "Unless I have a verse, I won't believe cessation." And your "summary" of Sam Storms' article was only recognizable by the slimmest margin. (Even aside from the fact that Storms said it was an outline of a talk, without the development of each point. Meaning that you over-simplified an already simplified outline.)

It reminds me of the way some people report Young Earth Creationist arguments in overly-simplified forms. I've seen the simple forms, but I've also seen the better forms.

DJP said...

Take away this argument, and they don't have much.

And remind me, where did I say my intent was to summarize Sam Storms' entire attempt at an argument?

Jugulum said...

"Take away this argument, and they don't have much."

Two arguments, actually. The "there must be a verse" argument, and the "God worked that way in the past, and God doesn't change" argument.

I disagree, but "No they don't"/"yes they do" isn't particularly productive.

"And remind me, where did I say my intent was to summarize Sam Storms' entire attempt at an argument?".

I was talking about this comment:

"Not at all, thesgc; the focus is exclusively on anyone calling himself a "continuationist" and leaning on the argument that the gifts must continue, because God doesn't change, Scripture doesn't expressly list expiration dates, etc. etc. etc.

Like the article I linked to in the post."

When I mentioned your "summary", I was referring to this. To the idea that Storms was leaning on the argument that gifts must continue because God doesn't change, and that Scripture doesn't expressly list expiration dates.

Perhaps you actually meant, "This post is focused like Phil Johnson's post was focused." If so, then I misunderstood you. (And I wish you had corrected that misunderstanding earlier.)

Note: I'm not saying you intended to summarize the entire set of 12 points, in that quote. ("Summary" implied that. My bad.) I'm saying, he did use some form of the concept of continuity & lack of Biblical support for discontinuity. But whether he using your translation is another matter. And how he was "leaning" on them is a matter of how those points interacted with his other points. (Unless you think he was saying, "These are 12 standalone proofs of continuation"?)

Without taking into account the context (and the development of the outline in the actual lecture), you don't know how he applied those concepts. You don't know how he leaned on them. You don't know what he said about the limitations of each argument.

And you don't know whether he would agree with your post.

Jugulum said...

Hmm. I think my last line was a good summary--that you read his article, and think he would disagree with your point. And I'm saying his article shows nothing of the sort.

DJP said...

I summarized the argument, and I allused to his article, which also employs it. That I was summarizing Storm's article was your fabrication.

You haven't already noticed that I don't feel obliged to respond to every snark or emotional outburst of yours (such as the one to which you allude) or anyone else's, or follow you (or anyone) into every argument over every space between every letter of every post that I write?

Then take notice. That's what Rule 1 is about.

Jugulum said...

On Rule 1:

Dan, my thought was, "Oh, if I simply misunderstood which article he was talking about... I wish he would've pointed it out." I didn't think you were obliged to correct it; I thought that simple correction is helpful. I especially didn't think your obliged to respond to arguments. (And yes, I thought of Rule 1 yesterday, when I noticed that you didn't reply. I thought, "Oh well.")

And apparently I didn't misunderstand. You were referring to Storms' article.

I already said that "summary" was the wrong word, and proceeded to explain myself. You respond by saying, "I wasn't summarizing." I don't expect you to respond; I do expect that if you respond, it's after listening.

To quote you, "Shall I copy and paste my response to the first iteration?"

I'll leave it with this, unless you choose to interact more specifically:

No. Storms' article didn't use the arguments you're responding to. "God doesn't change" and "Scripture doesn't expressly list expiration dates" are not part of his article.

Your argument isn't aimed at every kind of reference to continuity or to a lack of Biblical warrant for cessationism. It depends on how those concepts are used, and how much weight it put on them. None of which you know, from "an 'outline' with little substantive content to explain each point."

DJP said...

Yes, the Storms article does make the sort of argument I say it makes. This may not be the same thing as saying it makes the sort of argument you say I say it makes.

And then, since anyone who wants can read my brief post and his longer post and draw his own conclusion, let's let it lie.