Tag Archive: Cessationist

I’m doing a series of posts in response to the podcast/blog series of Parchment and Pen called Why I Am/Am Not a Charismatic. The reason I’m doing this series is because I’ve never solidified my theology in this area and it’s a good time to do it. My first post. My second post.

In the third podcast from my opinion, they were all over the place. They took about 8 mins in the introduction to introduce their newest guy in the series, JJ, a Charismatic, and do announcements. JJ now makes the two “sides” even. Now their is Michael and Tim as Cessationists, and Sam and JJ as Charismatics.

From about 8 mins, Michael lays out that the two things that are on the table that he’d like to cover: 1) He wants to furthur clarify what that mean by Charismatic, and 2) clarify that there are life implications.

The second one is answered right off the bat. There are life implications. It affects ones view of God and how one person lives daily life more than say eschatology does.

The first one is where the discussion goes everywhere. They discuss how both men are taking it from two sides. Michael is looking at it from a continuum perspective, while Sam is looking at it from a what does God say, this requires obedience perspective. Another topic discussed is that it’s possible it’s a matter of terminology. JJ brought up that it’s possible that cessationists can employ the gifts and they would call it feeling an urge from the Lord. He gave a couple of examples of that idea. They also discussed worship. Sometimes cessationists have a more charismatic worship service but sometimes it’s done as a church growth strategy rather than as a spiritual conviction. They even discuss the theology of demonology from both sides and how they would respond to demons.

At the end of the podcast, Michael tries to bring it back around to what he wanted to answer by asking the question, is the issue they are trying to discuss whether speaking in tongues, prophecy, and healings still continue or not? Like is that what defines a Charismatic or the power of the Holy Spirit in someones life? Is it the three things or more than that? They never get to it because Sam comes back and asks the power of the Holy Spirit to what end? Battle temptation? Quicken mind to preach? Evangelism? Or for the full range of the gifts? There are cessationists that clearly rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Personally, I do believe that someone’s view of God and life will be impacted by what they believe in terms of the charismatic viewpoint or cessationist viewpoint. With Charismatic, God is way more, deeply, intimately involved in the world in the sense that He is giving personal words to people, healing people, crossing borders through the supernatural speaking of other languages. As well as the fact that God could do that at any moment in a believers life toward and for another person.

For me, in defining the meaning that Michael tried to clarify at the end but didn’t get, I personally am not sure on what I would say a Charismatic is either. They would seem to have a bigger role for the Holy Spirit, and that would include both the fact that the role Jesus prescribed for the Holy Spirit as Helper, Teacher, Guide, and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 14:26; 16:8). Are the gifts the means by which the Holy Spirit would cause this to happen?  Helper, Teach, Guide and even Comforter (Acts 9:41) would be for believers, so edification of the church would be the role of the Spirit. But convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment would be an aspect of evangelism, which would lead to glorifying Christ (John 16:14), because those are the bad news that point to Jesus as Savior. Cessationists would cling to this power of the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word, to convict both believers and unbelievers of sin, judgment and righteousness. Thinking all that through, it would be more of a matter of the Holy Spirit still giving and applying those gifts among believers today, because the power of the Holy Spirit is even essential for cessationists.

Series Posts on the Parchment and Pen Blog
Michael Patton’s Post – Sam Storms’ Response
Sam Storms’ PostMichael Patton’s Repsonse

This Podcast

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

Thanks to Tim Challies and my new iPod touch, I was looking for new RSS feeds and I found some. One of them was Parchment and Pen. Well, they started a new series just as I was tuning in called Why I Am/Am Not a Charismatic. I’ve been interested in that for a while. Well, they also have a podcast that I didn’t know about before called Theology Unplugged and they are covering the series as a conversation in that too. What I like about it that is conversational like Connected Kingdom with Tim Challies and David Murray.

So far in the Podcast they have covered definitions (part 1) and background stories of Sam Storms and Michael Patton (part 2). Tim Kimberley is somewhat of a moderator. He is trying to push more for organization and having topics to be covered.

First they covered a small introduction including that all three men attended Dallas Theological Seminary, which is very cessationist, yet Storms has come to believe in the gifts as a Continuationist. They listed some guys that are Charismatic. The guys I was familiar with were Wayne Grudem, John Piper and Mark Driscoll, though I didn’t know he held Charismatic beliefs.

Then Sam Storms covered the history of the modern Charismatic movement in Evangelicalism in a response to a question of how charismatism has been changing over the Christian landscape.

They clarified what Charismatic or Continuationist and Cessationist mean.
Charismatic or Continuationists believe that the gifts of the Spirit like prophecy or tongues or miraculous healings still exist today though they clarified it that the purpose is to edify the church or spread the gospel. They did go against those people that hold onto it that are prosperity preachers.
They also clarified the difference between Continuationists and practicing Continuationists. There are some Continuationists that don’t pursue them. I forgot the name they used for them.

Cessationists believe that the gifts of the Spirit mentioned above have been stopped and ended at the church age and part of the reason for the belief is the abuse of the “gifts” by people that don’t seem to proclaim Christ and use it for their own gain.

My personal experience with Charismatics is that early in my Christian walk I attended church with a friend that had a prophecy and tongues as a regular part of their service. After that I had little thought until I spent some time on Sam Storms personal site. I’m still open on my theology in this area. I haven’t made a decision one way or another because for me it’s a peripheral theological point. I’ve been sticking to the Gospel primarily and theology directly associated with it like the Doctrines of Grace, theology proper, Christology, etc. I understand that I should take a view because it’s commanded in the scripture to pursue the gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). So I’ve decided after going through this series, I’ll make up my mind for my own personal theology. And if they don’t cover everything I need, I’ll pursue it and find answers on my own.

In the next blog post I’ll discuss more thoroughly the background stories of Patton and Storms as Kimberley is moderating.

Series Posts on the Parchment and Pen Blog
What to Expect