Tuesday, January 31, 2012

reblog: "I see things", cessationists, prophets, and recovered memories

I spent months researching different ways of understanding Deuteronomy as a foundational text for guiding a discussion of cessationism/continuationism on the subject of Driscoll's 2008 claim to "I see things". The more I began to study the matter the more I began to realize the charismatic/cessationist debates ultimately has nothing to do with gifts the apostle Paul did not bother to define.  Paul cared more to have love be the guide through which gifts not only operated but emerged.  Notice that Paul spent a a good bit of space talking about spiritual fruit and bracketed spiritual gifts as a manifestation of spiritual activity.

More to the point, the cessationist/charismatic debates in the last century are not really about what Paul seemed to be talking about but about the foundation for institutional authority in contemporary ecclesiology.  Do we build a church as an institution upon a confessional tradition or out of the power of a charismatic personality? It is entirely possible for even a person who is formally a cessationist to essentially be a charismatic personality whose sayings and writings and activity completely shape the church. 

Thus, paradoxically, a pastor who is formally a cessationist in doctrine can still lead and organize his church around the force of his personality and his partisans in a way that demonstrates that the foundation of his church is, in a beautifully ironic way, charismatic. In case Christians forgot this obvious point, "charismatic" does not always default to a theological position regarding pneumatology!

But that's enough for now.  I'm still just re-linking to some writing and thinking I did last year, after all.  And here you go:


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