Were the some of Reformers charismatics?

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by FrozenChosen, May 16, 2004.

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  1. FrozenChosen

    FrozenChosen Puritan Board Freshman


    Scroll down towards the end, where this web site designer lists John Knox, among others, as someone who practiced prophecy. I'm eager to hear opinions on this from all you guys.
  2. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    There could have been many prophets since the apostolic age. There could have been 'apostles of the church' (whatever that means). Though I don't think this is in the same sense as Paul's rendering. The foundation has been laid, but could there be sparadic events where prophetic encounters occur to restore us to the foundation that has been laid? I think so.

    I don't see why not. I mean, there is nothing in the Bible that directly hinders such a thought. Cessationalism is based on our understanding of what has happened since the canon has closed. Since the canon has closed, we don't know for sure, since our ideas are not inspired. I believe that cessationalism is based on reasoning APART from the Bible. But that doesn't mean it is false. I think our only true support is the testimony of the church. This atleast, is what I base my arguement for cessationalism on.

    I despise [edit: why can't I use the word "d*ad"?] preaching. My pastor is not a cessationalist which makes things kind of interesting in his preaching, except when he allows members of the congregation to pray sparadically out loud (eekkk...). Currently there is a church that is using our building who used to be under some kind of Charismatic Apostolic headship, until they repented and became Reformed (in some sense of the word). They still practice prophesy in the mode of allowing members to "share." That sounds dumb if you ask me. *just some thoughts*

    [quote:16b46ff139]this web site designer lists John Knox, among others, as someone who practiced prophecy.[/quote:16b46ff139]

    Luther could be said to have the gift of "discerning of spirits" (whatever that is). He had an inante sense of the physical presence of the devil. He used to throw things at the devil. I don't know if he did that after he became a Reformer. But the lyrics of his hymns seem to be that he did have that sense of the demonic.

    quote from the webpage:
    [quote:16b46ff139]There was no record of him being wrong. The question then is, "What do you do when he is correct? After all, he was a godly man, reformed in theology, and, [b:16b46ff139]apparently, not a cessationist[/b:16b46ff139].[/quote:16b46ff139]

    I have a hard time believing that they were not cessationalists in some sense of the word.


    [Edited on 5-16-2004 by rembrandt]

    [Edited on 5-16-2004 by rembrandt]

    [Edited on 5-16-2004 by rembrandt]
  3. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    I believe the man who is writing this article has departed from orthodoxy and is a schismatic.

    [quote:11bd610a99]The issue of the whether or not the extraordinary spiritual gifts are for today has caused much debate and opinion in the body of Christ.[/quote:11bd610a99]

    The only reason why this is even being debated, is because of the most ridiculous school of Parham (which came up with the modern pentecostal idea of tongues), and the "aszuza street revival" (which started pentecostalism). The Lord was cleary NOT in this 'move of the "spirit"'. All one needs to do is look at the history to find this out. These people are anethema, and they are the the only reason why this is being debated.

    [quote:11bd610a99]As an experiential Calvinist, I seek the Holy Spirit, His filling, and I am open to God using me and others in extraordinary ways.[/quote:11bd610a99]

    Nothing wrong with that statement.

    [quote:11bd610a99]I do because I have examined the scriptures and am convinced by what I read.[/quote:11bd610a99]

    I, also, am convinced of charismatic gifts in the Scriptures. Who wouldn't be? It doesn't matter what Scripture says on this if it is no longer applicable.

    [quote:11bd610a99]As Romans 14 says, we are not to pass judgment on our brother's (and sister's) debatable issues. And the spiritual gifts is definitely a debatable issue.[/quote:11bd610a99]

    This is not a debatable issue. It is the unanimous testimony of the church. We have good reason to believe that history can speak on this, since the Bible is silent on what will happen after canon is closed.

    It appears that the Lord has providentially crossed out verses that this man is referring to in the Bible which are no longer applicable. See the paper called, "Experiential Calvinism and the Charismatic Gifts" for an example of what I am talking about.

  4. dado6

    dado6 Puritan Board Freshman

    The fundamental question is how can we know if a manifestation is an exercise of a spiritual gift?

    Anyone can babble and anyone can make a statement that lines up with scripture in alleged support.

    Anyone can make pronouncements that will likely come true (I predicted in 2000 that there would be monthly flat rates for long distance phone service within 3 years).

    Anyone can make statements opaque enough to allow any number of events to be considered its fulfillment (some folks make a good living at it.).

    The ability to deceive on a purely human level should alone give us pause in this regard. When one considers possible demonic deception our guard should be raised all the more.

    If someone speaks in a non-understandable way, someone interprets said statement or someone makes a 'prophesy' how can we possibly know such was from the Spirit? By what method can certainty be achieved? The apostolic church had the apostles to infallibly pronounce such manifestations as Godly in origin or not. We have only scripture. What in scripture would tell us infallibly that a present day manifestation is in fact the Holy Spirit working in an extraordinary way?

    Knox's predictions could well have been obvious guesses at the time (like a king and queen meeting a violent end), or could be after-the-fact embellishments. We have no way of knowing for sure.

    In short, why would the Lord leave his body extraordinary gifts of the Spirit and yet not leave his people the means to infallibly confirm their manifestation? He is not the author of confusion.

  5. FrozenChosen

    FrozenChosen Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for your replies, guys.

    The first thing to note is that for all three reformers, he only quotes one book. Not sure what screams "poor scholarship" more than that.

    Second, is that the articles are a blatant appeal to authority. The writer knows that we care greatly for the ancestors in the church, and so he quotes a few names (Knox carrying the greatest weight no doubt) and expects us to agree with Knox. No one man has ever had all his theology straight, and not too long ago there was a thread in which we discussed what we disagreed with the oldies on. An example that comes quickly to mind is FredtGreco and his disagreement with Calvin on the nature of the 4th commandment.

    Third, his crossing out of Scripture in no way portrays was cessationists believe. That's the point...the gifts have ceased. But the writings of Paul to other contemporary believers, while historical, can still teach us a thing or two today.


    Great point. That was what I thought when I read the articles. Especially because I'm a history nerd. If you know a lot of history (and I don't, but i'm getting in a particular mindset, it's kind of scary), you might be able to predict, with a great degree of accuracy, future events.

    For example...

    I am going to predict that as we continue to blur gender lines and permit homosexuality in the States, our political leaders will be more and more willing to cave in to demands of other nations.

    Anyone care to watch this one with me? ;)

    Anyways, thanks again for posting guys.
  6. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:c43fbaa3bb]how can we possibly know such was from the Spirit?[/quote:c43fbaa3bb]
    How do we know that it was [i:c43fbaa3bb]not[/i:c43fbaa3bb] from the Spirit? Do we have enough [i:c43fbaa3bb]biblical[/i:c43fbaa3bb] warrant to AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME?

    How would one go about proving from the BIBLE that these men did not speak by the Spirit? Every argument falls short of EXCLUSIVLY PROVING that it was not prophesy (IN SOME SENCE of the word). I can argue from history that it was not the same thing as NT prophesy (that Paul described in Cor. 12-14), but thats about it.

    [quote:c43fbaa3bb]We have no way of knowing for sure.[/quote:c43fbaa3bb]

    I agree.

    [quote:c43fbaa3bb]In short, why would the Lord leave his body extraordinary gifts of the Spirit and yet not leave his people the means to infallibly confirm their manifestation? He is not the author of confusion.[/quote:c43fbaa3bb]

    Just for the record, my belief is that the gift itself has been taken away. And therefore we have no reason to confirm. We just automatically assume that it doesn't matter (that is, unless it was false!) This shouldn't confuse anybody if there is no need to know if it might have been an unusual occurance. Obviously, God did not intend for us to know. Why he would have still done it without us knowing that it is a true prophesy, I don't know. I don't claim to be able to account for that.


    [Edited on 5-17-2004 by rembrandt]
  7. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    Here is a quote from the famous Scottish reformer George Gillespie, who mentions Knox as one who received extraordinary prophetic revelation that involved telling the future:

    I must say it, to the glory of God, there were in the church of Scotland, both in the time of our first reformation, and after the reformation, such extraordinary men as were more than ordinary pastors and teachers, even holy prophets receiving extraordinary revelations from God, and foretelling diverse strange and remarkable things, which did accordingly come to pass punctually, to the great admiration of all who knew the particulars. Such were Mr. Wishart the martyr, Mr. Knox the reformer, also Mr. John Welsh, Mr. John Davidson, Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. Alexander Simpson, Mr. Fergusson, and others. It were too long to make a narrative here of all such particulars, and there are so many of them stupendous, that to give instance in some few, might seem to derogate from the rest, but if God give me opportunity, I shall think it worth the while to make a collection of these things (George Gillespie, Miscellany Questions , Vol. 2, Chapter 5, section 7, p. 30).

    Note that this does not make Knox a "charismatic" in the sense of Benny Hinn or even a Wayne Grudem. Rather, the events appear to involve real prophecy that involved predicting future events that Puritans recognized. For a description of that see Puritan Richard Baxter's Christian Directory.

    The Directory provides biblical guidance on understanding what kind of prophecy can happen today and how to distinguish it from false prophecy.


    [Edited on 5-17-2004 by Scott]
  8. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Scott, do you think that we can KNOW FOR SURE that those were prophesies given by the hand of God?

    My position is that they PROBABLY were. But can we KNOW FOR SURE? I guess you could say that there would be no way to know if non-canonical prophesy (occuring when the canon was still open) is true prophesy. I mean, my estimate is that there were thousands of prophets throughout Israel's history (scripture speaks of bands of prophets numbering into the hundreds), and how do we know if the things they foretold were true prophesy (they could have been good predicters)? I'm sure not EVERY last one of them was a miracle worker, and that Elijah (or whoever) didn't confirm every last one of the prophesies themselves. Hmmm.... so do we need unanimous proof [i:cdd41e8e7e]for[/i:cdd41e8e7e] the prophesies, or just proof to settle our consciences [i:cdd41e8e7e]if they are false[/i:cdd41e8e7e]?

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