I have just about finished listening to a very good series on the nature of spiritual gifts (charisma) “Why I am/not a charismatic” with contributors Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley (non-charismatics – cesssationists) and Sam Storms (a charismatic – a continuationist).
In Part 15 Patton says the reason that he is a cessationist is not that there is any biblical warrant for cessationism but that he has never experienced the “gifts.” Storms responded that cesssationists describe continuationism as”experiences in search of a theology,” yet here is Patton, whom I admire greatly, admitting that the only reason why he does not believe in supernatural gifts like tongues, prophecy and healing is because nothing like that has happened to him. I might add nothing like that has happened to the vast majority of the church since the time of the Apostles. In the Middle Ages, if you spoke in tongues, the “Church” would have given you an extra gift: the gift of tongs. The ghastly “charismatic” spectacles (woof woof) of modern times are further grist for the cessationist mill.
Like a good calvinist (as are all three of the contributors) suddenly I have been given, the gift of laugher, brought on by this equally inspired thought: So, if continuationism (of the gifts) is “experiences in search of a theology,” then cesssationism must be (non-biblical) theology in dearth of an experience.
Non-biblical theology for a Christian is the death of theology, surely?
And my view on the continuation of the “gifts?”Let me say it in comfortable Yiddish: at the moment, I’m nu?-tral