Charismatic Exegesis...

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by John Ellwood Taylor, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    For years I've been looking for a good charismatic pastor to deal with the toungues/non-cessassionst to deal biblically, exegetically for the basis of their practices.
    I was looking forward to chuck smith's book, however, after reading it I found only straw men (cessasionists believe that with schools and universities we don't need tongues- never heard that put forth) and instead of drawing from the Biblical texts he resorts to the 'it happened to me in the desert' anecdote.

    Are they any books/articles that seek to present the charismatic viewpoint that speak from the original tongues (i.e. Greek and Hebrew exegesis not commentary on English translations)?

    Dons his flame suit awaiting replies...
    ;)
     
  2. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    It has been my experience with the "charis-maniacs" that the best one could hope for is ---eisegesis. Not exegesis.


    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  3. dean198

    dean198
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  4. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    That's my contention: base our experiences on the Word not read the Word through our experiences. That's what the mormons do: read our book and wait for that feeling in you bosom. How do I know if that feeling in my bosom is testimony to you book or if it's my burrito from lunch?
     
  5. dean198

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    the issue is whether the scriptures speak of such experiences. If they do, then your a priori rejection of them based upon subjective non experience is not valid.
     
  6. DHK

    DHK
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    Summarized in plain English your statement means that you base your theology on your experience--a dangerous position to hold, and certainly not Biblical.
    One does not have to have an experience to know whether it is Biblical or not.
    I do not have to stick my head in the garbage pail to find out whether or not it is dirty.
    I do not have to take cocaine to find out if it is wrong.
    I don't have to read the Ten Commandments to know that murder is wrong. God has written his moral law on our hearts.
    By the study of the Word of God alone I can determine whether tongues have ceased.
    By the study of the Word of God alone, I can determine what goes on in the name of tongues today is Biblical tongues or not.
    DHK
     
  7. dean198

    dean198
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    "By the study of the Word of God alone I can determine whether tongues have ceased.
    By the study of the Word of God alone, I can determine what goes on in the name of tongues today is Biblical tongues or not."

    Had you followed my plain English you would have realised that that was exactly my point. You cannot determine the question by your non experience....but only by the scriptures. of course a person will not understand them if they don't have the Spirit.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    We need to pay close attention to the details.

    One group "cessationists" believes that ALL supernatural gifts have stopped (not just tongues) and hence they "must" argue that the PRACTICE of tongues today can not possible be "real" and therefore can not possibly be what was going on in the first century.

    Their argument "From scripture" is not going to be "from tongues texts" but rather texts about ALL supernatural gifts.

    ON the other hand the question in the OP asks about the Bible basis for "The current practice".

    This can only have a viable context where BOTH sides agree that 1Cor 12 is STILL a valid chapter in the Bible meant for Christians.

    IN THAT context then - spiritual gifts like tongues ARE POSSIBLE today and the question then becomes -- whether or not all the mumbo jumbo we see today is really what was going on in Corinth and Acts chapter 2.

    Many (like those of my church) would conclude that while 1Cor 12 and 14 are STILL valid scripture FOR TODAY - they do not support the bogus practice that passes for tongues today.

    That is not an "exegetical" review of 1 Cor 14 and Acts 2 on this topic - but it sets the basis for one line of discussion.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Bob,

    Are there any books written by SDA people on the use of Spiritual Gifts?
     
  10. Link

    Link
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    Charismatic do not need complicated exegesis to argue that the gifts continue. The idea that the gifts of the Spirit are available today is the most straight-forward way of reading the scriptures. If one interprets the New Testament as a valid and relevant source for doctrine and revelation of how God interacts with His church, then it makes sense that the gifts continue. Many passages assume the existence of spiritual gifts. For example, I Corinthians 14 contains instructions on how to have church meetings and assumes the existence of gifts like prophecy and tongues. I Corinthians 12 says that God gives certain gifts to His church. Acts 2 speaks of God pouring out His Spirit in the last days. There is no passage that cancels out these teachings. So if we read the Bible straightforwardly, the ‘default’ conclusion is that the gifts continue.

    There are also the fact that Ephesians 4 indicates that prophets are given until the church becomes a perfect man, and comes to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

    It is the cessationists who need complicated arguments that do not come from the straightforward reading of the text of scripture. So you see cessationists coming up with complicated arguments about how after the church had power in the world, gifts were no longer needed, or that gifts gradually faded out throughout the course of the New Testament, or that gifts and miracles were only seen during certain time periods.

    The New Testament does not speak highly of having worldly power, so that argument does not hold water. The argument that gifts gradually faded out in the record of New Testament scripture would prove little or nothing if it were true since it is merely reading one’s theory into history, and it is not even true. If we were to make a time table of miracles and supernatural occurrences that occur in scripture, we would see a chart that goes up and down, not one that declines. We would see the chart spike up at the end, since the book of Revelation was given through supernatural experiences—visions. Revelation also predicted end-time prophets.

    The idea that miracles were only for certain time periods is also reading one’s theory into the facts. I have read the argument that miracles and supernatural experiences were concentrated at times of the giving of scripture. This is not true from the account of scripture. There is no strong evidence that much scripture was written during the time Elisha was doing his miracles. The passages appear to have been recorded much later. Furthermore, to assert that God will not do miracles when scripture is not being written is to presume upon His sovereignty. If God has not said that He will not do miracles except when scripture is being written or after the close of the canon, then there is no reason for us to assume it.

    There are other more homespun cessationist arguments that some of the more sophisticated cessationist commentators steer away from. One is the idea that ‘the perfect’ is the completed NT canon. This idea does not fit into the text of I Corinthians 13.

    Cessationism is a Johnny-come-lately view of scripture. The early church believed in miracles, prophecy, etc. It is clear from certain 2nd century writings that second century Christians generally believed in such gifts. Justin Martyr argued with Trypho that prophets were found among Christians rather than among Jews. The writings of Hermas were widely accepted and read in many churches in the 2nd century. Hermas records alleged meetings with an angel. Ireneaus, known as the disciple of Polycarp, the disciple of the apostle John, wrote of tongues, miracles, prophecy, healing, foreknowledge, casting out demons, raising the dead, and many other supernatural occurrences happening among the brethren in his own day. Even when the Montanist controversy arose, the issue was not whether prophecy was a valid gift for that day and age or not. Montanus’ opponents generally believed that it was. Some disagreed with his ecstatic style, and the real rift seems to have come from his setting up rival bishoprics.

    Charismatic exegesis on the topic of cessationism would need to be defensive in nature. The straightforward ‘default’ understanding of scripture is that gifts continue. Charismatics who engage in the discussion need only poke holes in the elaborate semantic gymnastics that cessationists engage in.

    I suspect there are not a lot of ‘professional charismatic theologians’ who write on this topic. I do not know if Gordan Fee writes on this issue, but he is known as a Pentecostal theologian. I do not think Fee believes in the ‘initial evidence doctrine’, so he may not be a true classical Pentecostal in his theology. I am not either, though I do believe in the gifts of the Spirit.
     
  11. Charles Meadows

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    I am certainly not a charismatic. But I think I can say pretty certainly that there is no clear statement of cessation. The one scripture that seems most to support tongues would (I think) be Acts 19 - but interestingly I rarely see it advanced in this argument.

    I would agree with others that what we see in charismatic churches today is a completely human invention and is not akin to NT "tongues".

    I think that miraculous thing can still occur today but are not readily available to men as they were in NT times. The apostles (including Paul) were given miraculous powers by Jesus Himself for the spreading of the gospel. No man today can simply say "be healed" and know that it will be done. I think that much is different.
     
  12. Kiffen

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    I am not a Charismatic but I have found Cessationist theology on the subject to be extremely weak. The Use of 1 Cor. 13 is probably the weakest case and generally cessionists usual contradict themselves.

    The issue is whether the scriptures declares it's sucession. It certaintly does not. Even the Church Fathers testify of sign gifts in their time. One does not have to accept either the Charismatic/Pentecostal understanding of this or the Dispensational Cessationist understanding.
     
  13. dean198

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    I also do not believe the initial evidence doctrine, but I do believe strongly in the gifts, and believe that we need to be seeking them more. When we realise how much we need them to accomplish our mission, maybe we will see them more. Church history is filled with these kinds of things - not just the early church, but the Anabaptists, the Scottish Covenanters, the early Methodists, all relate some amazing testimonies to these things. Also Huss, Luther, Knox etc.

    Charles - why is Acts 19 such a strong argument for you?

    Link - excellent observations.

    Kiffen - if I am not mistaken your namesake amongst the early Baptists (or at least some of his contempories) believed in the gifts, and especially miraculous healing.
     
  14. Charles Meadows

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    Dean,

    I have never found the incident of Pentecost as suggestive that we ALL get "tongues" with the indwelling of the Spirit. The passages in 1 Cor suggest that occasionally some people (perhaps even today) have been given uncommon gifts.

    In Acts 19 we see Paul asking some people if they have received the Spirit. After being baptized in the name of Jesus these speak in tongues. The incident occurred after Pentecost - and all of the men (not just a few) spoke in tongues.

    I think the emphasis is on what the real power of the Spirit and His connection to Jesus and His promise to the believer to send the "comforter".

    Still Acts 19:6 is the only verse that would even seem to remotely suggest that tongues should be considered normative expression of the Spirit for believers.
     
  15. Sonjeo

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    In Chapter 13 verse 8, which is generally used to defend the cessationist view, it begins with Love never fails. What is missed by some is the context of that one statement. It establishes that Love lasts for eternity and the continuing context is that the other gifts listed there do not. This verse is not about any gift ending in 98A.D. or with the perfection of the written word or any such exotic extrapolation but it is simply about the gifts ending in eternity,in heaven when we are perfected in the perfection of the wholeness of the Holy Spirit when, of course, the gifts are no longer needed to aid men in this fallen world. That is the context.
     
  16. atestring

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    Good points Kif
    An excellent book ofn this subject is "2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity" by Eddie Hyatt.
    Hyatt press.
    Another great source on this subject is
    "Awakened By The Spirit" by Dr. Ron Phillips
    Thomas Nelson Publishers

    One other is "The Spirit Comes (As part of the Package) by John Leach , Harper Collins (Zondervan)
     

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