REVISITING THE SO-CALLED "SIGN" OR "MIRACLE" GIFTS (Part 4)
by Jeff Hagan
(Tacoma, WA, USA)
Sixth “good” reason ties back to the fifth. “...because of what Luke recorded Peter saying in Acts 2 concerning the operation of so-called miraculous gifts as characteristic of the new covenant age of the church.”
RESPONSE: Again, sorry to say I think he's taking another leap here. It still doesn't mean they are for today. I really don't even think anymore commenting is necessary for this one.
“Good” reason seven for being a continuationist is found in 1 Cor. 13:8-12. This was discussed in the “bad” list. In this passage, Paul says that the gifts will not “pass away” (vv.8-10) until the “perfect” comes. In the “bad” list I covered why I agreed with this point. Refer back to that portion if you wish to read it again.
Eighth “good” reason given is Paul's words in Eph. 4:11-13. In reference to the gifts, he speaks of them as functioning “until we all attain to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13). Because it is clear the latter has not been achieved by the church, he surmises we can confidently expect these gifts to continue until that day comes.
RESPONSE: Okay, I'll bite. I don't believe the above has yet been achieved either. But still, there are other ways to explain this passage that does not automatically require the gifts to be continually operative.
Reason number nine, “because the Holy Spirit in Christ is the Holy Spirit in Christians.” Again, a giant leap is taken here. We are NOT Christ.
“A tenth reason to be a continuationist is the absence of any explicit or implicit notion that we should view spiritual gifts any differently than we do other NT practices and ministries that are portrayed as essential for the life and wellbeing of the church.” He then connects this to church discipline, Communion, water baptism, requirements for elders and deacons all still being practiced today and then goes on to ask, “What good exegetical or theological reasons can be given why we should treat the presence and operation of spiritual gifts any differently?” And answers himself with, “None, so far as I can see.”
RESPONSE: Some being applied today does not equate to all needing to be applied today. How about separating men and women on different sides of the congregation? What about apostles? I could ask more, but I think the point is seen with just these two.
I am now going to reverse the order of Storm's final two as what he lists as reason eleven is quite extensive. His reason number twelve is very short and unimpressive. So my eleven is his twelve, and my twelve is his eleven.
The eleventh “good” reason for being a continuationst is personal experience.
RESPONSE: Come on now, really. Although he admits it's technically not a reason or argument like the others, he states he cannot ignore his personal experience. Well, experiences are subjective. Any cessationist can just as easily state that a “good” reason for being a cessationist is their personal experience. I mean, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.