04 June 2009

The-Holy-Spirit, not-the-Bible dodge (NEXT! #14)

by Dan Phillips

Challenge: Your stress on "the Bible alone" leaves no room for the Holy Spirit.

Response: Uh-huh. And the Bible was created by...?

(Proverbs 21:22)

Dan Phillips's signature


lee n. field said...

Among my recent reading was Calvin's reply to Cardinal Sadoleto. He talks about that:

"We are assailed by two sects, which seem to differ most widely from each other. For what similitude is there in appearance between the Pope and the Anabaptists? And yet, that you may see that Satan never transforms himself so cunningly, as not in some measure to betray himself, the principal weapon with which they both assail us is the same. For when they boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency certainly is to sink and bury the Word of God, that they may make room for their own falsehoods. ...Learn, then, by your own experience, that it is no less unreasonable to boast of the Spirit without the Word, than it would be absurd to bring forward the Word itself without the Spirit. "

Anonymous said...

Among the church, I daresay there's not many more significant "NEXT"s than this one.

Almost too easy really.

Anonymous said...

It's right up there with the idea that the Spirit can lead a preacher as he is preaching but not in his study...

Tim Bertolet said...

There's a quote from Luther that I love: "The devil has no better way to conquer us than by leading us away from the Word and to the Spirit."

DJP said...

Lee and Tim: great double-barrel from the Reformers.

SammyBoy said...

Since asking this is so very much easier than scanning back through dozens or hundreds of earlier entries: Would you please, briefly (if that's possible) summarize your view of the Reformed position on just what the Holy Spirit's role is in our lives as believers?

DJP said...

Well — and I say this to be accurate, and for no other reason — I don't ever think I position myself as, nor aim at, giving "the Reformed position" on anything. My concern is to try to understand, embrace, and communicate the Biblical position. It just so happens that on issue after issue, I find them to be one and the same. (Though I feel myself not only free, but obligated, to part company with what is supposed to be "the party line" as needed.)


As I wrote in my statement of faith, the Holy Spirit

"is a Person who is fully God (Acts 5:3, 4). He is one with the Father and Son in His essence (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4), and is distinguished from the Father and the Son in His person (Mark 1:9-11). He proceeds from the Father (John 15:26), is sent by the Father (John 14:26) and the Son John 15:26; 16:7; Acts 2:33), and comes of His own accord (John 16:13). His delight has ever been to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, both under the Old Covenant (1Peter 1:10, 11), and under the New (John 16:14; 1 Peter 1:12). The conversion of sinners is a result of the Holy Spirit’s convicting (John 16:7-11) and regenerating (John 3:3-8) work. At conversion, the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes (immerses) every believing sinner (without exception) with the Spirit into the body of Christ (Mark 1:7, 8; 1 Corinthians 12:13). The Spirit gives every believer at least one spiritual gift for service and for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:4, 7, 11), seals the believer for holy, Christian living (Romans 8:12-14; Galatians 5:16, 17, 25;Ephesians 5:18 ff.), and bears His fruit in the Christian (Galatians 5:22, 23). Some of the Spirit’s gifts and manifestations are expressly declared to be temporary (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; cf. Hebrews 2:3, 4). The focus of the Spirit-filled Christian is glorifying Christ (cf. John 16:14) by a holy, Christ-like character (Galatians 5:22, 23), and by a worshipful, submissive, productive lifestyle (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 5:18ff.) that is bound in obedience to the written Word of God (1 Corinthians 14:37)."

Solameanie said...

Here come the accusations of "Bibleolatry."

DJP said...

Yes, of course. Agreeing with the Holy Spirit that His masterpiece is what He says it is is clearly Bibliolatry.

< /s >

donsands said...

"Your stress on "the Bible alone" leaves no room for the Holy Spirit."

But isn't it in fact the Holy Spirit who stresses "the Bible alone"?

I remember reading Dr. Carson's book 'Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church', and in it he writes about a pastor who had become disappointed with his church, and so left with an ECM guy for a retreat to draw close to God, and this disappointed fellow was going to bring his Bible to the retreat, but the ECM said, "Don't even bring your Bible. We are simply going to go and meet with God, and listen."
Supposedly this was a breakthrough for the distraught pasyor, and so he was now fired up for God, without the Bible, but with the Spirit.


Father of Eleven said...

So let me understand. If my wife were away and sent me a letter and I put that letter in my pocket and I took it out an read the letter every hour, that makes me in love with the letter. Got it! Letterology.

Jugulum said...

Hmm... At first glance, I saw a flaw in this--I was thinking you needed to add something to make it work. But I think that was because I misunderstood the point. I'll give my initial reaction plus reconsideration, in case anyone else was thinking the same thing.

"Challenge: Your stress on 'the Bible alone' leaves no room for the Holy Spirit.

Response: Uh-huh. And the Bible was created by...?"

Challenge 2: Sure, the Holy Spirit created Scripture. And the Holy Spirit told us he would guide us!

Response 2a: But how did the Holy Spirit say in Scripture that he would guide us?

Response 2b: You think Scripture isn't the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

Those were my first thoughts--that your point wouldn't be complete without those. But now I'm thinking your point was this:

Response 2c: You're changing your argument. You said that "the Bible alone" leaves no room for the Holy Spirit. But when we seek the Scripture, we are seeking the work of the Spirit.

(Hmm... Actually, I guess 2b and 2c are pretty similar.)

Jugulum said...

Father of Eleven,

First reaction: That's brilliant.

Second reaction: By that analogy, the only way God is with us right now is through the Bible.

Gisela said...


****** I ****** needed that personally!!!!!!!

It's recorded in the Bible (Numbers 11:20?) that when the Israelites grumbled that they were bored with the daily manna, God said that they had rejected Him.

I see a connection between the manna and the Word of God (I'm pretty sure this is Biblical), so those times when I'm tempted to satisfy my restless mind with some other book, passing over the Bible sitting right there, I remember that I really don't want to personally reject Him.

But your NEXT! #14 post puts the above written thought so much more succinctly! Thank you!

DJP said...

Bingo, Gisela. Very good, thanks.

I see this as yet another manifestation of the deadly practice of isolating one truth from Scripture (i.e. we should be led by the Spirit), and then free-associating as to what that means to us, rather than seeing how Scripture expressly develops it.


Father of Eleven said...


Uh, no. Even if we press the analogy to someplace it was not intended to go, it does not say that is the ONLY access I have to my wife. In the case of my wife, I can still call her on the phone.

But the point of the analogy is that what is interesting to me about the letter is that the words were written by my wife, not the letter itself. Likewise, what is interesting to me about the Bible is that they are God's Words and because I love God I want to know what He has to say to me. It's not the Bible that I am worshiping it is the God who wrote the Bible.

What is unclear to me is why I would want to depend on vague impressions, feelings, fleeces and apparently open doors rather than depend on the sure words of God that have been attested by his people for thousands of years. When I am assembling my life dto I guess on how it should be put together or do I read the users manual?

Fred Butler said...

The "holy spirit told me, authority of the Bible dodge", isn't necessarily unique to non-Reformed Charismatics. I am currently in an email exchange with a fellow who claims to be a homosexual Christian and he came to embrace his sexual orientation because the "holy spirit" affirmed to him that orientation. It matters not what the Bible says, it is considered a 2,000 year old book. Which is to say in his mind, it's too old to offer anything relevant to our modern day, especially our progressive views of sex.

DJP said...

Nor is it limited to any kind of Charismatics.

Someone showed my reviews of Blackaby to an advocate of that view. The response was that I left no room for the Holy Spirit.

Jugulum said...

Father of Eleven,

As far as the analogy is intended to go--a response to the basic bibliolatry charge--I do think it's brilliant. It shows really well why loving the Bible depends on loving God. (And it also shows the problem with true bibliolatry--describing someone who loves studying the Bible, but has no interest in worship. Or someone who loves the academic exercise of theology, but not rooted in a love for & desire to understand God.)

It expresses one thing very well. (And if that's all it was intended to express, then this isn't a criticism--just a caution that the analogy could easily be taken the wrong way.) But in the context of this post, it's fairly awkward.

This post is about the relationship between Scripture and the Holy Spirit in our lives. And going from your analogy, I would ask:
1.) If your wife were in the room with you (as the Holy Spirit indwells us), and you only ever read her letter--never talking with her directly--then wouldn't that begin to look like bibliolatry? (At least, the focus on the letter would begin to look weird.)
2.) You said,
""Even if we press the analogy to someplace it was not intended to go, it does not say that is the ONLY access I have to my wife. In the case of my wife, I can still call her on the phone."
In which case, you're not talking about "Sola Lettera". (Which, again, just points out that the analogy really doesn't work if it's pressed any further than you intended it.)

John said...

DJP - like a McCafe iced coffee sans scratchy turtleneck...I'm lovin' it. But in my experience the Spirit/Word false dichotomy (think about how absurd that is for a moment) is founded on a basic doubt of the Word of God. Modern hermeneutical theories have so clouded the minds of many people that they can't see the Bible's authoritative role. Perhaps what we need is a modern, coherent, and simple presentation of the doctrine of Scripture.

Father of Eleven said...


Fine, in context it was a response the Bibliolatry charge not the post itself. Sorry for losing the larger context.

Jugulum said...

"Someone showed my reviews of Blackaby to an advocate of that view. The response was that I left no room for the Holy Spirit."

Wouldn't an additional response be something like this?

"The Holy Spirit, with us now, also illuminates Scripture and inclines our hearts toward the truth He expressed in it--instead of rebelliously fleeing from His wisdom.

And the Spirit gives us the wisdom (James 1:5) we're trying to exercise, when we seek it from him in prayer."

Hmm... I can't tell from your Statement of Faith on the Holy Spirit whether you would include illumination of Scripture or the giving of wisdom.

Quapaw said...

When we believe that being led by the Holy Spirit is the same as being led by Satan, it's blasphemy, pure and simple, unmistakable, pitiable, whether you are John Doe or John Calvin, for you essentially call God and Christ the devil.

If the devil leads me to God, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I thank him. Why he would do such a thing, I don't know.

While you may bind demons, you will not be able to bind the Holy Spirit; however, if you accept free will, you are indeed capable of rejecting the spirit of truth.

I think the words of Christ are very appropriate here:
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Tim Bertolet said...

Somebody ought to charge the Psalmist with Biliolatry... after all he says "I love your law" "I delight in it", "I hope in your words," "I rejoice in your words," etc. in Psalm 119. Sure sounds like Bibliolatry to me.

Carl said...

I've run into some folks trying to use this dodge on some discussion forums.

David said...

The scriptures Dan referenced in his statement of faith certainly affirm the activity of the Spirit in giving wisdom. The wisdom of the Spirit will always be according to His word, which is His sword (Heb 4:12-13, Eph 6:17-18). This wisdom will never, ever contradict His revealed word. It will always point to Jesus Christ.

donsands said...

I had a Christian ask me: "What is the final sovereign authority on earth for the Church?

I thought for a minute, and said, "The Holy Writ."
he said, "Nope. It's the Holy Spirit.'

I said, "Well, yeah. But how do we know He is sovereign?"

KM said...

I leave room for the Holy Spirit. I always appreciate it when the Holy Spirit gives me that feeling when someone is trying to tell me the Bible says something it doesn't say. Sometimes I don't know absolutely that they are wrong when I hear them. But, the Holy Spirit does not let me rest on a matter where that feeling is present until I have researched and discovered the truth. And, if I pray about it and look for it I always find it because the Holy Spirit's cool like that too. Somehow I don't think that those people who use that dodge appreciate the Holy Spirit for the same reason I do though. At least that's been my experience.

DJP said...

Interesting thoughts, Quapaw.

So... did you want to share anything that was in some way related to this post?

David said...

Just a plug for Scripture memory:

If you want more activity by the Holy Spirit in your life, memorize long passages, chapters, or even books of the things He's said already.

Gary said...

A helpful quote from Piper,

"I love the Bible the way I love my eyes—not because my eyes are lovely, but because without them I can't see what's lovely."

At the same time, if this is NOT why/how we love the Bible, then maybe we really are worshipping the wrong thing.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

The more I can saturate my mind with God's Word, the better the Holy Spirit can lead me with it.

My .02,


Sir Aaron said...

Leaving room for the Holy Spirit, huh? That must be like listening to that still soft voice that I don't recall seeing mentioned in the Bible.

I was in the Boy Scouts and learned about following a compass, reading maps, finding the north star, etc. One sure way to get lost was to walk off in the direction you feel is right, rather than using tangible means to acquire the correct direction.

DJP said...

Yep. It's all about "These are the sorts of things it seems to me the Holy Spirit should do. You say He doesn't, and we should look to the Bible for most of those things. Ergo, you are leaving no room for the Holy Spirit.)

Sir Aaron said...

Dan, I see that thinking in Christians who don't have jobs, don't have a mate, or don't have the financial means to support themselves. They are waiting for the Holy Spirit to deliver manna to them on a silver platter and then drop it into their mouths.

The Squirrel said...

"I was in the Boy Scouts and learned about following a compass, reading maps, finding the north star, etc. One sure way to get lost was to walk off in the direction you feel is right, rather than using tangible means to acquire the correct direction."

I'm stealing this for future use!



stratagem said...

Not that this is perfect or complete by any means, but isn't the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, primarily summed up as "leading the believer into believing the Word, to such an extent that he follows it."

Anonymous said...

with you. Thanks.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Sir Aaron - great analogy :0)

To take it further... sometimes (when I think I'm following the map) I feel like I'm going the wrong direction, so I re-check my map and compass. That feeling should lead me to more carefully scrutinize my reading of the map.


olan strickland said...

We're guided by the Bible alone but the guiding Bible is not alone!

Susan said...

Oh, I think I get this one...maybe. (Can't say that about all the other ones in this series, though, but that's my problem and not yours, Dan.)

The verse that came to my mind (without having read through all the comments) was 2 Tim. 3:16. Then I remembered that the Greek word for "breath" is pneuma. (Don't know much NT Greek, but I do know this one.) Isn't pneuma also used for "Spirit" (as in the Holy Spirit)? If so, the connection becomes very interesting....

Susan said...

(I'm still having trouble about how to finish my thought above. Too preoccupied right now. Will try again later--hopefully.)

David Sheldon said...

This is a key issue (dodge per blog) in what has been taking place in the church for a long time.

For example, was Wayne Grudem's, “The Gift of Prophecy” really about the Gift of Prophecy by the Spirit according to the Word of God? Ultimately, I would say “no” – it was indeed about Next #14. And on down the line with issues regarding “Charismatic” and “Signs and Wonders” and “New Apostolic Reformation” etc. It touches on current issues Team Pyro is discussing about Blackaby versus Friesen.

Is the issue between the Word and Spirit one of listening? Do we study/surrender well enough to hear Him now speak (in Person) the very exact same things He spoke and finished long ago (the Bible) and thus know and obey Him – today! That brings Glory to Jesus Christ - today! It is the only place we hear Him speak!

The Spirit leads us into the Objective Truth of the Word of God. The Spirit guides us into ALL truth (objective and complete – John 16:13; 17:17). It is truth about the Father, Son and the Spirit and they are unequivocally linked in absolute unity and purpose in the Word!!! It is sufficient in what it states about each of Them!

How do I know if I am really “making room” ONLY for the Holy Spirit? Didn’t the SPIRIT breathe out through the Apostle John that we should test the spirits to see whether they are from God in 1 John 4:1? The Spirit is evidently up to the test or He wouldn’t have bothered to tell us to test for HIM. He evidently is in competition with other spirits for our devotion to the real Lord Jesus Christ versus another Christ or He wouldn’t have told us this! Do these seducing spirits actually disguise themselves as the voice of the Spirit through false teachers to seduce even believers? (1 Corinthians 10:20-21; 2 Corinthians 11:4)

Is the issue the Acts of the Spirit versus the Word? When the Spirit Acts – He Acts! Do little old you or me think we have to “make room” for Him/that? You have to be kidding me! We are quite something aren’t we? His Acts are always consistent with His character/purpose as revealed in the Word. Can He ACT on my brain cells to make me think things? But when the Spirit speaks – it’s the “breathed-out” WORD!

Isn’t the “scary” thing about “listening for THE voice” apart from the Word that we end up hearing voices (plural)? The god of this age is powerful and seductive and he will speak in ways and through people (voices) that seem very spiritual. And even attending to those words with false signs – even fulfillment – and yet leading us astray from GOD! (There are at least two Biblical texts for this statement - if anyone would like to hear the Spirit’s voice.) This should be a warning for us! We are not to be involved in the whole “voice” thing because IT IS REAL! We will hear something and won’t know the source! If they do not speak in accordance with the Scripture – there is NO light in them! (Scripture/voice test!) When we won't listen to the Spirit it means within Biblical context – EVERY TIME – we won’t listen/obey His Word. The real Spirit ALWAYS comes to us as He is now – as the Spirit of Holiness/Truth. That is just like He breathed out the TEXT in complete harmony with the Father and what the Son said/says about HIM! (John 14-17)

We can NEVER have too high a view of the Bible! Incorrect view – yes! We can have a non-biblical view of the work/gifts of the Spirit! If my beliefs ever lead me to a place where I think Jesus and/or the Spirit are in conflict with the completed Word or in conflict between Themselves – I need to repent!!! Quickly!!! (“Cussing” pastors come to mind.) I am listening to a different “spirit” – either my own, someone else’s or a spirit being (2 Cor. 11:4; 2 Timothy 6:3) and not conforming to the Words of Jesus Christ or the doctrines of godliness. Word and Spirit – they go together. The REAL and underlying issue in the Cessationist/Continuationist debate may ultimately be NEXT #14. Excellent NEXT! Extremely critical!

David Sheldon said...

I think the Greek word is "theopneustos" and so the text states: All Scripture is breathed-out by God or "God-breathed" as some translate it. Theo-pneustos = God breathed.

Steve B said...

It's been my view that without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is just another book. And without the Bible, the Holy Spirit is just another spook.

A tad irreverant, but true. Without the foundation of Scriptures, there is nothing against which to test the "leadings" of the Holy Spirit. They CANNOT be contradictory and be from the same source!

By the same token, without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we lack the ability to understand the essential truths of the text. It would then be nothing more than another self-help book, spiritualistic guide to moral living, etc. The Holy Spirit gives it the authority other books lack.

DJP said...

Hey Susan — David's right, it's theopneustos. Your central idea is also right: it's a compound word, of which the second element derives from pneƍ, "I breathe," as does pneuma — "breath, wind, spirit."

Combined with other texts we do understand that Paul's full idea is that all Scripture is breathed out by God, the medium of that breathing being the Person of the pneuma.

DJP said...

Steve, your wording makes me uncomfortable, but your point is important. Divorcing the Spirit from the Word is trying to put asunder what God has joined together. It is as if someone were to say, "What, do you think God is chained to the Gospel, enslaved to the Gospel? Can't He save any way He chooses?"

Our answer would be that yes indeed, God can save any way He chooses, or not at all. But the way He has chosen is by means of the Gospel.

Ditto the Word and Spirit.

Anonymous said...

I would add to this that saying that the "leading of the Spirit" cannot be contradictory to Scripture is not saying enough.

Most of what people claim God is telling them is neither contradictory to or parallel with Scripture. It's more like "Move to Minnesota" or "Buy that car".

I really think it's more accurate to say that his leading is Scripture. That is, if we think he's saying something and it's not the very words of Scripture then we need to think again.
Otherwise, how can we know if it's him?

So it really is true that absent chapter and verse, we have no warrant to say "God said".

DJP said...

I think that's right. God does direct our steps — every one of them, irrespsective of our listening for "voices" — providentially (Proverbs 16:1, 9; Jeremiah 10:23). But that isn't what Scripture means when it speaks of the leading of the Spirit.

It is not enough to say that the Spirit does not lead us contrary to Scripture. We must affirm, with the apostle, that when the Spirit leads us, it is for the purpose of conforming us to Scripture (Romans 8:13-14, which must be read together).

olan strickland said...

"What, do you think God is chained to the Gospel, enslaved to the Gospel? Can't He save any way He chooses?"

Our answer would be that yes indeed, God can save any way He chooses, or not at all. But the way He has chosen is by means of the Gospel.

Dan, I would humbly and graciously disagree. There is only one answer to how a Holy God of divine justice can forgive sinners and remain just in the process - by means of the Gospel (Penal-Substitution). This is why when the Lord Jesus prayed three times that if there were any other way there was no other answer to that dilemma.

God did have a choice though and therefore is not and was not chained or enslaved to the Gospel - He could have chosen not to save. But God cannot deny Himself and therefore because He chose to save He did so in the only way that allows Him to be true to Himself.

This however establishes the point that you are making - for the same reason the Holy Spirit and the Word are not and will not ever be in contradiction.

DJP said...

Olan, I want immediately to thank you for the correction, you're absolutely right, and I passionately and emphatically agree with you. I phrased myself very poorly. I wish I could edit the comment; I'll consider deleting it.

I do not believe, and was not meaning to suggest, that there would be any method of salvation other than the Gospel facts.

At that early hour, my mind was on my point: whatever God could have done in terms of MEANS of salvation. What I was targeting was the means of communicating the Gospel benefits through the preaching of the Gospel, not the events and transactions themselves. An angel could have preached it; God could have spoken directly to every man's mind; He could have used some other means.

But He has invested the Gospel message with His saving power (Romans 1:16), and chosen to save men thought the preaching of it (Romans 10; 1 Corinthians 1). So it would be silly to try to cause the divorce between Gospel preaching and salvation, that men try to do with the Spirit's leading and the Word.

Again, thank you.

olan strickland said...

Dan, thanks for the clarification. And thanks for pointing out the dangers of unbiblical mystical experiences.

Russ said...

"The gay invention" at http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f
"The Pink Swastika" at www.abidingtruth.com/pfrc/books/pinkswastika/html/the_pinkswastika_4th_edition_-_final.htm
The "Bible-not-the-Holy-Spirit" dodge
How ironic that those who regularly excuse "grieving" and "quenching" the Holy Ghost and "forbidding" "speaking in tongues" should pretend that they take His creation of God's Word seriously, especially considering how many reject ultimate Biblical authority over chronology especially when it comes to Genesis creation. The flat-out falsehoods (I don't say lies since they clearly believed what they were saying though of course too proud to verify things with the accused, further scripture violation of Matt 18:15) and misrepresentations told about my and other charismatic fellowships by oh so spiritual "sola scriptura" pharisees like cold Pyros have not impressed me any more than similar flack coming from the charismatic side competing to be as hostile to God's Word as "Sola Scriptura/Pyro" types are to His Spirit. Being a reformed charismatic is quite a challenging opportunity to be shot at by both sides and die to pride daily/hourly. God save us all.

DJP said...

Everybody: Russ is a "reformed Charismatic."

< /breaking news >

As you were.

Russ said...

lee n. field said...
that Calvin thought it no more "unreasonable to boast of the Spirit without the Word, than it would be absurd to bring forward the Word itself without the Spirit." and yet sadly cessationist calvinism (even Calvin himself?) has been quite contradictory (as we all usually are) in hopeless eisegesis of 1Cor 13:10 by which sadly falsely to claim that this means the completion of the NT means/meant the cessation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which in a deranged manner makes much of the instructions Paul gave concerning their exercise strangely obsolete for Christ's Church by which conveniently to give cessationists control. As ex-cessationist Sam Storms has said (and as I've seen with so many professing "christian leaders"), that obsessing with control is the central issue for those whose hearts are closed to the Holy Spirit, for He will not give His control to another any more than His glory, similar aspects, why simple tongues is so fought, lest He be given control there too (Luke 9:54-56). Before I could speak in tongues I had to be spiritually delivered through much prayer in this regard and its clear from the writings here that typical for believers, Pyros are in the same boat, and it remains an ongoing battle for those honest about themselves and Jeremiah 17:9-10

Sir Aaron said...


I'm starting to think tongues are for today because I'm pretty sure I just Russ has the gift of babble.

Mike Riccardi said...

LOL! Sir Aaron!

I thought the exact same thing before reading your comment! Same wording and everything!

So there you have it... a confirmed "word from God."

Seriously, though, Russ, you should really consider the outcome of your comments on this blog. I have to tell you in all honesty, even if I shared your position, I'd be embarrassed of my position because of the way you present things.

What is the end of your comments? Is it to give grace to those who are reading, or is it to take pot-shots at Dan? Sarcasm, satire, and reductio ad absurdum type arguments (I think) can be used for edification, but do you really think that's what you're doing? Are people benefited after reading what you write here?

I'm pretty convinced you can do better than you've done in recent months...

Jugulum said...


And speaking as a non-cessationist who's a member of a charismatic church, and who probably agrees with you in at least some of your biblical disagreements with the Pyros:

The way you're talking makes it seem like you're grinding a personal axe, not just differing over what God's Word says about the Spirit. Even assuming that your grievances were legitimate, I find it pretty difficult to listen past the sweeping generalizations.

For instance, assuming that non-charismatics are just suppressing the Spirit. Assuming that people who think that glossalalia is not the gift of tongues are just obsessed with keeping control out of the Spirit's hands.

There seems to be no room in your mind for people to be able to disagree with you honestly & sincerely, in genuine pursuit of the truth.

And that turns your comments into a rant, regardless of any legitimate point that you might have been able to make.

(Of course, this point about sweeping generalizations is a general principle. Applicable to all sides.)

Susan said...

Thanks, David and Dan, for explaining "God-breathed". I wrote my first comment while struggling with some personal issues and therefore wasn't completely clear in the head, so let me backtrack a bit. When I remembered the Timothy verse and subsequently the word pneuma, I also remembered the exchange between Jesus's reply to Nicodemus about being born again in John 3. Jesus spoke of the wind's blowing where it pleases (cf. John 3:8), and I didn't know if the word "wind" was translated as pneuma, so I looked up pneuma online and confirmed that it meant "breath". (I don't think I knew for sure about the "breath" definition prior to the search.)

Lisa Nunley said...

In conversing with a Catholic friend on sola scriptura, she writes:
"Ultimately, to hold to sola scriptura, then the Bible would have to state that doctrine. Where, in the Bible, does it say that the Bible is our sole authority in matters of faith and morals? If the Scriptures don't call themselves our sole authority, then believing that would be a tradition. Saying 'God’s written word alone is inspired, it and it alone is the sole rule of faith' is not in the Bible. ...The Catholic Church simply interprets scripture differently than your church, just as your church interprets it differently than Pinnacle Hills, or Fellowship Bible, etc. The difference is that the Church interprets the Bible as giving her (the Church) the authority to correctly interpret it. This has been the Church's approach to Scripture from the very beginning of the Church, before the New Testament canon was developed. If the Reformers were trying to restore the faith of the early Church, then they failed. Because what we read about in the writings of the Early Church Fathers is the Catholic Church... and NO WHERE in the Bible does it state that the Bible is the sole source in which the Holy Spirit teaches or illumines us to what is truth."

DJP said...

Not sure why you put that here, Lisa. But that was the subject of Next #8.

Lisa Nunley said...

Because I'm blond, Dan, and I got confused. It happens. Especially since I hit 40... headin' down hill, but closer to heaven.
Sadly, I'm still writing 2008 on stuff.

Lisa Nunley said...

Obviously when I recently read #8, it stuck in my head... kinda like still thinking it's 2008. Sorry about that.

DJP said...

< shrug >

8's a good number, too.

It's all-good.


Anonymous said...

If I am understanding you, are you saying that it is not an either/or,
but rather that the Word and the Holy Spirit are so completely linked, that it is always, in a sense, both?

(If you are old enough you might recall the song "Love and marriage, Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage...let me tell you, brother, you can't have one without the other...." Catchy little tune. (One of the greats of the 50's or there-about...right up there with "Mares Eat Oats"...} Yes, I am very old.)

DJP said...

Sadly, I do know that song.

I'll say that it is possible to approach the Bible academically or intellectually only, as an unbeliever, and to read the text in such a way that doesn't involve the Spirit. But even in so doing, one is looking at a major product of the Spirit's ministry, even if he is not seeing it.

But for a believer, if he wants to honor the Spirit, he'll never speak (nor think!) disparagingly of this, His major production; nor try to sunder what God has joined..

Anonymous said...

Nicely put.