Like I said in my last post, I found a new podcast to listen to called Theology Unplugged. The current series of discussions is on Continuationism, the belief on whether the gifts of the Spirit like tongues, miraculous healings, and prophecies are still in use today. In my last post I discussed their first podcast discussing definitions. In this post, I’m going to look at their background stories.

Really this series is supposed to be a discussion between Sam Storms (the Charismatic) and Michael Patton (the Cessationist). Each man gave background to why he holds to his belief.

Michael Patton, right from the outset admitted to wanting to be Charismatic. For him, he wants to experience God in a more supernatural way and experience God more imminently and stop experiencing God in a mundane way of say daily obedience, but not a real closeness with God. But also on the flip side he is hesitant to associate with that and encourage that because he doesn’t want to build up expectations for people, pulling up their faith, then not have God move in the way that the person was expecting. As they put it, it drains someone or takes a lot of air our of someones recently filled balloon that is holding up their faith.

Sam’s story is that he used to be a Cessationist. He went to school at Dallas, which is totally Cessationist. He even argued against the Charistmatic point of view. One of the things that really caused him to rethink his view was reading D.A. Carson’s book Showing the Spirit. The book tore down the arguments he had been using for Cessationism. Over time, other things happened like re-engagement with Jack Deere. Then he went to a prophecy meeting, and the man who prophesied about him, knew details that only God would know from Sam’s prayers, and they came true. But this wasn’t the only experience he had. Overtime God pulled him toward being a Charismatic, but his wife took a little longer, but eventually she came to believe as she started experiencing the Spirit moving in the Charismatic way. At first she thought he went off the deep end because he had taught her in the cessationist view. He accumulated a better relationship with God, freedom, joy, a new dimention of intimacy with His relationship with God. He wrote a full bio in a book called

For me, I totally resonate with Michael Patton because I don’t want to build up an expectation in people and have God not move in the way I said He would move. Yet, I also desire to experience God in that way he describes, and Sam describes. I want to have a more intimate experience with God than I already have. Though I can’t deny Sam’s experience. I can’t say he didn’t experience it. I wasn’t there. Experiences are more subjective. So I do desire the experience but I also am concerned with the desire to protect people and not putting up expectations for people that I don’t know if they will happen. But I want that intimacy, worship, the joy and freedom to enjoy God.

During the podcast Sam also mentions a few more books as he was going through his story.

Series Posts on the Parchment and Pen Blog
Michael Patton’s StorySam Storm’s Response
Sam Storm’s StoryMichael Patton’s Response