Accurately understanding "Reformed continuationism"

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by Moses Costigan, Mar 1, 2018.

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  1. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Which only works if one wishes to separate prophesy and such by calling them "grace" gifts. Such a distinction is not warranted from scripture.
     
  2. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Make no mistake that when ever one uses "word of knowledge", in the context we are using it, it always means some type of communication that Jesus and the prophets received.
     
  3. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    The very same point was made to us by the author of Hebrews, as those living at that time had the Apostles signs and wonders testify to Jesus being the Lord, and to the validity of His mission as messiah, but now we have the more sure word given to us.
    I do allow for the lord to in special situations still do miracles and healing, such as when the message of Jesus now getting into a brand new area, or say dreams and visions being sent among Muslims today, but those are temporary only and are used to prepare the coming of the scriptures unto those regions.
     
  4. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I would see it that none are gifted by God today to do miracles and healings, but that God Himself can choose still to do such as He pleases....
     
  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    God the Father revealing the truth of Jesus to Peter would fit that definition of a word of knowledge.
     
  6. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    So by what means does God heal miraculously today?
     
  7. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Directly touching bodies, as he did while on earth as Jesus Christ.
     
  8. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    This is Christological error. The physical body of Jesus is not omnipresent, as Rome believes, but is seated at the right hand of the Father.
     
  9. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    i was just saying that the same Jesus would heal now if he so chooses just as he did while walking around on the earth.
     
  10. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    That is NOT what you said. You said "directly touching bodies as he did while on earth as Jesus Christ". If you don't like to be challenged for all manner of erroneous statements, you should be far more clear in the original posts. What you actually did say might have gotten you burned at the stake in times past......just sayin'
     
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Perhaps you mean "Jesus directly touched the body of the sick person." But that doesn't account for all healings, as he healed the centurion's servant from a distance.

    But the statement "as he did while on earth as Jesus Christ" is dangerously misleading. Is he no longer Jesus Christ?
     
  12. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    David, the signs and wonders performed by Christ and the Apostles were written down so that people might believe that Jesus is the Christ. There is no longer a need for those miracles, in fact they’re precluded- to say that they’re desirable or needed in evangelism is to undermine the preaching of the gospel. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13.


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  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    What if someone says "God, please heal because you are a God of compassion and I don't want to see this person suffering." Sure, he might not, but that really doesn't have anything to do with attesting to the gospel's veracity.
     
  14. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Well, it’s pretty certain that if God causes that person to get well, it won’t be the kind of immediate, dramatic healing that happened during the days of Christ in the earth and his apostles afterward. I’ve felt a few times before that perhaps God granted relief to myself or someone else blessedly quickly. He is to be praised and thanked for it, but we should rejoice and thank him every day in all his providential dealings with us. These providences of God are not meant for the same purpose as the signs and wonders accompanying the ministries of Christ and the apostles were.


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  15. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I've yet to see (in my estimation) anyone in this thread make a solid argument against BayouHuguenot's position; most of what has been offered has been assertions or conclusions, but no convincing argumentation.
     
  16. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Can you show where he has made a convincing argument from Scripture?


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  17. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think it is pretty certain.
     
  18. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    My argument is where does Scripture place an asterisk by some of the grace-gifts, saying they will be gone once the last letter of the NT canon (which is never mentioned in Scripture) is completed.
     
  19. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Please explain in detail exactly what Jacob's position is. I have yet to see it laid out in this thread. What I have seen are winsome and less than detailed responses to others that hint at some views. Yet where exactly may I find the convincing argumentation that apparently exists against which you are observing the same as countering is lacking? Must I have to go back through pages of posts to tease out an actual argument? I may have missed it.
     
  20. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Agreed. I didn't actually make a position. I started out by distancing the Grudemites (for lack of a better term) from other continuationists. I then pointed out that many "arguments" against continuationism were actually rebuttals or assertions, not refutation.
     
  21. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Jacob, your demand for the asterisk springs from assertions you’ve also been making, some of them vague. What do you mean by ‘some of the grace gifts’- which gifts (the biblical term) are you referring to? Specifically? It’s been hard to answer you because you change the game a bit from time to time in your posts (I assert).

    The OP concerns the assertions made by Grudem, Piper, Beth Moore, and whoever else fits into that category. Basically, that Christians are to expect to see extraordinary revelatory gifts return to operation in the church (tongues, words of knowledge [whatever that was], extraordinary healings, etc.). Considering the absence of these things in the church since the first centuries, and considering the words of the confession we hold to, and considering the strong case to be made from Scripture that those types of gifts have ceased to operate in the church, I think the burden of proof is on those who teach modern continuationism to make the case from Scripture that we are, indeed, to pray for and expect the reappearance of these gifts in our assemblies.

    The gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12 (and elsewhere) were for the assembled people of God- for their profit and good. You will have to show where they were meant for private usage, and that among lay people with no oversight, and where they can justify pronouncing something that happens in private usage outside the corporate gathering of the church and away from its oversight a “prophecy” or a “word of knowledge.”

    You’ll also need to make the case from Scripture that signs and wonders accompanying evangelism are still needed or desirable. Use Scripture, please, for these assertions.

    I think that’s the problem we have when we discuss these things. We have to make our arguments from Scripture. Of course, even doing so I still expect we’ll disagree on what they teach.
     
  22. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I found a fairly short review of Milne’s book which provides a recap of the chapters and seems helpful. The author of the review adds a couple of his own caveats at the end. Do you think the review is fair and accurate? http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/ddd_chc82/articles/WCF_CessationSR_review.html
     
  23. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I don't have the book so cannot say if the review is fair; it's a pretty positive review though.
     
  24. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    charismata connotes grace gifts, which all of the gifts are.
    I understand that they say that. I think "expect to see" is a bit strong. On one hand these are gifts from God. He doesn't owe us anything. On the other hand, we shouldn't be surprised.
    I've proven that false. Eusebius explicitly says that Ireaneus's church raised people from the dead, prophesied, and spoke in tongues. Augustine in City of God documents numerous cases of healing (and for what it's worth, he was a cessationist).
    I think I've produced enough sufficient defeaters, or at least have shown the above is circular reasoning.
    I will grant you that I haven't made a sufficient case in this thread. That was never my intention. But even if I were, I can anticipate the rejoinder: "That closed with the canon." That is literally the answer to every continuationist case.
    I never said that.
    The apostle Paul was the most powerful preacher of all time, yet in Acts 14:3 he asked that signs and wonders be granted to accompany the preaching.
    I don't disagree, but when Scripture is brought up we are immediately pushed back on presuppositions and assumptions. Those have to be tackled first (it's kind of like arguing with an old-school dispensationalist).
     
  25. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I’ll wait for your arguments from Scripture, Jacob!
     
  26. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Acts 14 didn't count? We could go with the simple reading of the texts. That's my argument from Scripture. You are the one who is saying this scripture doesn't apply any more. The burden is on you.

    1 Corinthians 1:7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Paul sees the terminus of the gifts with the 2nd Coming. That's my closing statement
     
  27. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, I appreciate the quote of 1 Corinthians 1:7, as well as the other inferences from Scripture. That’s what we need to talk about these things. But don’t let it be your closing statement, if you’re willing to engage more over Scripture. I have jury duty today so don’t know what my own contributions can be until later, but perhaps others will engage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  28. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Jacob, I do appreciate you pressing the common assumptions. You've got me thinking harder about defending cessationism which is good.

    But, what changed with the death of the apostles? How could that "gift" continue when there are no more eyewitnesses (Acts 1:21-22)? Even Paul, though seeing the risen Christ and receiving his gospel by personal revelation, was still given the right hand of fellowship by these apostles (Gal. 2:9).

    You know as well as I that the arguments for cessationism and for the closing of the canon are based upon good and necessary consequence about the unique "foundation" (Eph 2:20) nature of the apostolic office, the nature of revelation, and the nature of Scripture. Just like the term "Trinity", we have no explicit references in Scripture to these gifts or offices ceasing other than a passing comment in 1 Cor 13.

    But if all the "grace-gifts" must continue, then the "gift" of apostles has not ceased either, nor has the canon been closed. But 2000 years later, who can give the right hand of fellowship to a new apostle? We have no circle of prophets to evaluate claims of revelation in the congregation (1 Cor 14). We do not have the ability to obey these commands of the NT in our worship. Nor do we have the ability to restore these offices without eyewitnesses of Christ here to give the right hand of fellowship. So we are stuck in a dilemma. Either we have been living in perpetual disobedience to God since the first century because he has failed to provide us these offices. Or something has changed because their offices and extraordinary gifts were provisional or confirmatory (2 Cor 12:12, Heb 2:3-4). The apostles are gone, but their inspired writings remain.

    If these gifts continue, how in the world can we confirm them now? We are given no criteria in the New Testament to evaluate or call a man to the office of a prophet in the church. In later letters of the New Testament, we are not even told to look for more prophets or apostles, but only to look for elders and deacons. So what must we deduce by good and necessary consequence from the data we have?

    It seems to me, that Scripture itself gives us the "asterisk" you are looking for by showing us the uniqueness of the apostolic and prophetic office in the new covenant, and by not providing us the mechanism or criteria for those things to continue in the new covenant (unlike the specific old covenant provisions for the office of prophet).

    Perhaps others could argue better than I could, but let's begin there...

    As a side note, have you read O. Palmer Robertson's "The Final Word"?
     
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  29. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I understand what you are getting at. Honestly, that's an area I am studying right now. All I will say at this point is even if the apostolate closed, that just means the apostolate closed.

    NT prophet and apostle aren't the same thing. An apostle's word is binding from God (except Peter's in Gal. 2). Yet, Paul, an apostle, distinguishes himself from the Corinthian prophets. Further, Phillip's daughters prophesied but they weren't apostles.
    I've read Gaffin, but not Robertson.
     
  30. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree they are not the same. But they performed similar functions and gifts, and the prophets did not act alone. They could not contradict the apostles, and the other prophets had to confirm a prophet's revelation in the worship service. The eyewitnesses and the prophets provided supernatural checks on individual prophets during the time of the apostles. Those checks are now gone.

    And how can we now lay hands to ordain a new covenant prophet when we have been given no criteria or instructions by which to call or identify one, like we do with elders or deacons?

    I'd encourage you to check it out. It's not a long read, but he handles these things by exegesis rather than extra-biblical historical arguments. I found it helpful in closing the door to my own Pentecostal past.
     
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