Saturday, August 17, 2013

On Spiritual Gifts and Cessationism

Doug Wilson interviews Mark Driscoll on Spiritual Gifts and Cessationism... two Reformed guys, two perspectives:


Anonymous said...

That's quite the combination of nonstandard personalities... an FV guy and Driscoll?

MarieP said...

It was very disconcerting to hear Driscoll deflect Wilson's excellent question about the uniqueness of the Scriptural canon.

MarieP said...

Wilson's account of the woman seeking to join a cult and then reading in Peter about adultery and finding that this was the case in the woman's life was a very interesting story. My own pastor said that he once had an impression that a man he knew was an adulterer, but my pastor didn't say anything. Very soon after, it was revealed that the man was one.

MarieP said...

That was a very worthwhile listen! I hope that Driscoll got a better idea of where non-continuationists are coming from, especially how the language of "God in is providence" is different than giving a thus saith the Lord. We do live in a "weird world," but, as Wilson wrote on his blog, "You no longer pour concrete when you are framing in the attic."

The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

These are the discussions one has when one belongs to a religion without wonder-working Saints, wonder-working relics, and wonder-working icons...

Apollo5600 said...

The problem is that there really is no way to regulate it, but almost in every case these things open people up to the most pernicious of errors. I was with the Charismatics for a while, and a fellow told me that God had gifted him with such a power of discernment that he could basically read people's minds.

Now, this he told me because, apparently, he had the impression that his wife was cheating with me. Though this did not come out until later. He also suspected I was a serial adulterer as well, as he would bring up the subject with me. And I would just sit there nodding and such like a big dummy, when here the guy was basically accusing me.

And that is just one example of the abuses, but in many other cases I have seen even honest Christians without any seeming problems, have basically very vague and pretty much useless visions, which served only to puff them up to ever greater heights, until eventually they started having visions of a new Flu coming out in the next month to kill half of humanity. And, of course, the prophecy does not come true... so, what happens to their faith when this breaks? I don't know, since I had left them before I could see the ending of it.

Certainly John Knox and many of the other Scottish reformers had experiences that were profound as a result of their prayers. And these are things I cannot explain. But it seems to me that we can uphold the power of prayer without giving in to the horrible errors and assumptions rampant with the Charismatics.

Michael Taylor said...

As far as I'm concerned, Wilson simply made Driscoll's continuationism all the more plausible. He mostly agreed that certain experiences happen, but opted to interpret them from a non-cessationist perspective.

Like Driscoll, I'm a Calvinist-Charismatic precisely because of sola scriptura. So the objection that the charismatic gifts necessarily constitute an authority that norms scripture is, to my mind anyway, driven more by fear and negative experiences than anything substantive that we find in scripture itself.

Jack Deere pointed out a long time ago that the only real argument that the cessationist has is experience--either negative encounters with charismatic kookiness or the lack of miraculous experiences.

But experience can't be what determines the validity of the charismata: only exegesis can determine this. If someone can put forth a biblical case for cessationism, then I'd be far more inclined to listening to you than simply relating an anecdote of a kooky charismatic. There are kooky cessationists too. So what?

To date, I haven't seen a good biblical case for cessationism. But if you have, then I'd say, "Good for you: hold your cessationist views with conviction if that's where scripture has lead you." Just don't blame Driscoll, or Storms or Piper or Grudem for doing the same thing and coming up with the opposite conclusion.

Ken said...

Except Driscoll does some pretty kooky stuff with his "I see things" - and his chapter on sex (since it was tied in a lot with his gift of "prophesy" and "seeing things in the Spirit" (discernment ?, word of knowledge ?) in his marriage book was shocking to say the least. (and seemed to me to be dis-respectful toward his wife.)

Grudem's view of prophesy is weird to me, being based mostly on Agabus in Acts - historical narrative. (a report to the mind by the Spirit that then gets mis-interpreted or mis-communicated)

The problem comes when trying to actually implement spiritual miraculous gifts in a worship service.

We can still pray sincerely for healing, but God's sovereignty is key. 1 John 5:14 - according to the will of God.

Piper is much more careful; and I can respect the way he seems to apply his view of continuation of spiritual gifts. I have listened to him and watched him for years, and he seems to apply it the best that I have seen. But the way he reported on going to the Toronto Blessing was irresponsible, in my opinion.

Jack Deere made an excellent case in "Surprised by the Holy Spirit", but his second book, was not very strong and had some problems, although I cannot remember them.

For me, Deere was discredited by his endorsement of kooks like Bob Jones and other prophets and the whole Mike Bickle- Kansas City prophets and International House of Prayer type stuff is kooky and goofy.

Storms is more careful and an excellent exegete, but I guess my big problem is the whole emphasis on saying that "earnestly desiring the greater gifts" means to actually "taking risks in performing spiritual gifts" - actually trying to see them take place. He was very strong on this in his chapter on the 5 views of Spiritual Gifts, very much like John Wimber.

I have a problem with someone claiming that they have the gift of healing like in the apostles days - it seems to be something clear and unmistakable. The Benny Hinns and other nut-jobs do lots of damage to something that would be respectable.

After being "open, but cautious" for a while, I have returned to the cessationist position because it affirms the reality of those spiritual gifts for the NT age and it does not deny that God does still heal sometimes by prayer under God's sovereignty, and seems to explain the lack of clear examples of people who are not kooky or heretics having a miraculous type of gift for today since the apostle's time; and cuts down on people doing goofy things and bringing confusion to others in church.

Granted, that it makes exegeting 1 Cor. 12 hard, since it says "to one is given the gift of miracles, another gifts of headings, another speaking in tongues", etc.

It seems to me that tongues were real languages, as in Acts chapter 2 and not gobbledygook gibberish.

The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

he had the impression that his wife was cheating with me. He also suspected I was a serial adulterer as well


Michael Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.