Thursday, May 10, 2007

Are Miraculous Gifts For Today?

Praise the LORD! I just finished reading this book. It presents four differing views on the cessation of miraculous gifts. It includes the Cessastionist, Open But Cautious, Third Wave, and Pentecostal/Charismatic views. It was a long and extremely hard book to read. I read it for a pneumatology class.

My only beef with the book is that I wish they would have a had separate pentecostal and charismatic sections, though the section which included both did a fairly good job. After looking at the evidence presented I find myself agreeing most with C. Samuel Storms and the Third Wave theology.

Third Wave pneumatology states that baptism in/with the Spirit occurs upon conversion. They believe that at conversion, as do I, that all receive the Holy Spirit. They also believe that there are subsequent empowerments by the Spirit that coincide with our seeking the Spirit as well as His sovereign will outside of our seeking. They also affirm and believe in all the gifts mentioned by both Paul and Luke's writings. As far as I can tell, the Third Wave theology that we are Christ's Body in the world today, have been given the same empowerment (God the Holy Spirit) and filling, and, therefore, as the Body act out and continue Christ's redemptive, gospel affirming ministry in th world today.

If you enjoy dense, slow, deep theological reads, then this is a book for you. Have a ball. I am glad to be done with it.

4 comments:

  1. Mike, what do you think about time in Acts when believes had not heard there was a Holy Spirit so Paul laid hands on them and prayed for them?

    I'd just like to hear your thoughts after doing so much reading.

    Danny

    PS I know how you feel with your family gone - Liese left for 2 weeks once and I was a wreck. God gives grace!

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  2. Mike,

    I totally agree with you. I am a Sam Storms fan. I posted his audion on Jonathan Edwards "Joy's eternal increase" a few months ago because I loved it so much.

    As far as the views on the Holy Spirit go, there are a lot of guys with Storms views that I respect tremendously. Piper, Grudem, Alcorn, to name a few.

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  3. Danny,

    The passage you are talking about is Acts 19:1-7. In this passage Paul traveled to the interior of Ephesus and met some disciples of John the Baptist. Paul then asked them if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They said they had never heard of such a thing.

    Paul then asks them them what baptism they believed. Paul was asking if they did not receive the Spirit, then what did they believe in--what were they baptized into.

    I don't think I need to exegete the passage, you are capable of this. What is going on here is that they had never been presented with the gospel of Jesus. They had only responded to John and didn;t know that what John was preaching had been fulfilled.

    Once Paul explained this to them, they believed and Paul prayed with them and laid hands on them. It was at this time, when they believed and where baptized into the Spirit (through believing on Christ) -- into the New Covenant, that the Holy Spirit came upon them and they prophesied.

    So, my explanation for this is simply that thought they were God fearers, they were not yet Christians, and, therefore, not yet filled with the Spirit.


    Jake,

    For this class, and others as well, I have been reading a lot of Grudem. I find myself agreeing with him a ton. Especially when it comes to pneumatolgy and the miraculous gifts. Grudem was actually the editor of this book. He was the one that sought to put this book together.

    They others have been enjoyed as well.

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  4. Mike you put that very well. I wasn't trying to disagree I just wondered what you thought about that passage because it appears to be the one place in the bible that shows someone believing, being baptized, and then receiving the Holy Spirit. I think that I side more with you that everyone is given the Holy Spirit when they believe - but He manifests Himself at various times and in various ways.

    Danny

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