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Extraordinary gifts and offices.

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  • Martin
    I am looking for resources on the matter of extraordinary gifts and offices. By this I mean the offices of Apostle, Evangelist and Prophet along with the
    Message 1 of 5 , May 4, 2003
      I am looking for resources on the matter of extraordinary gifts and
      offices. By this I mean the offices of Apostle, Evangelist and Prophet
      along with the various gifts which accompanied those offices (ie: prophecy
      and tongues). From my perusal of various Reformed writings/commentaries it
      doesn't seem like the Reformers were strict cessationalists. However, given
      the existence of the Anabaptists with their mysticism that was prevalent in
      their days it seems that they should have encountered similar errors as we
      find amongst those who denominate themselves Pentecostals.

      A few questions I'm looking for more information on are:
      1) Where can I find a detailed explanation of what these offices and gifts
      consisted of?
      2) Did all of those extraordinary offices and gifts absolutely cease in the
      early days of the church? By absolutely, I mean that if anyone should now
      claim them, they are on that ground alone to be deemed false.
      3) If in fact there may still be found extraordinary manifestations of these
      offices or gifts, what are the criteria for trying them?

      Thanks,

      Martin
    • Colin
      ... If you have access to back issues of the Westminster Theological Journal, there is an article on the Reformers and puritans on this topic of cessationism
      Message 2 of 5 , May 5, 2003
        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin"
        <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:
        > I am looking for resources on the matter of extraordinary gifts and
        > offices. By this I mean the offices of Apostle, Evangelist and
        > Prophet along with the various gifts which accompanied those
        > offices (ie: prophecy and tongues). From my perusal of various
        > Reformed writings/commentaries it doesn't seem like the Reformers
        > were strict cessationalists.

        If you have access to back issues of the Westminster Theological
        Journal, there is an article on the Reformers and puritans on this
        topic of cessationism in the one of the issues published in 2001. It
        also cites the RPNA article, among many other secondary and primary
        references.

        There is also another WTJ article from last year that deals with
        Jonathan Edwards views:

        http://www.banneroftruth.co.uk/articles/2002/10/prophecy.htm

        See also the "Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society", March
        1996 and the article by Vern Poythress: "Modern Spiritual Gifts as
        Analogous to Apostolic Gifts: Affirming the Extraordinary Works of
        the Spirit within Cessationist Theology".

        > However, given the existence of the Anabaptists with their
        > mysticism that was prevalent in their days it seems that they
        > should have encountered similar errors as we
        > find amongst those who denominate themselves Pentecostals.
        >

        Or more precisely, the "charismatics" of our own day. Dr. Theodore
        Letis once wrote a booklet on Martin Luther's opposition to
        the "Charismatics" of his day. Unfortunately, that work is out of
        print and ought to be reprinted.

        I think the "Pentecostal" argument is that the Apostolic gifts did in
        fact "cease", but were then "restored in these last days" of the 20th
        and now 21st century. (The "last days" presumably began with the so-
        called, "Azuza Street Revival").

        > A few questions I'm looking for more information on are:
        > 1) Where can I find a detailed explanation of what these offices
        > and gifts consisted of?

        James Buchanan on "Office and Work of the Holy Spirit" and C.R.
        Vaughan on "The Gifts of the Holy Spirit" answers this. Also, Kenneth
        Gentry's "The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy: A Reformed Response to
        Wayne Grudem" is helpful. And George Smeaton on "The Holy Spirit" is
        a very good treatment too. And there is another work entitled, "The
        Cessation of Extraordinary Gifts: Historical Evidence" by Geoffrey
        Thomas.

        > 2) Did all of those extraordinary offices and gifts absolutely
        > cease in the early days of the church? By absolutely, I mean that
        > if anyone should now claim them, they are on that ground alone to
        > be deemed false.

        Warfield gave one of the best exegetical treatments of this in his
        book on "Counterfeit Miracles" in regards to the closing of the Canon
        and the cessation of the Apostolic gifts.

        > 3) If in fact there may still be found extraordinary manifestations
        > of these offices or gifts, what are the criteria for trying them?

        Here is one article written by a Calvinist, a graduate of Westminster
        Seminary, who is also a committed non-cessationist:

        http://www.mslick.com/gifts.htm

        Lastly, you might want to consult these articles that were composed
        by ex-Charismatics who finally became convinced of the Reformed view
        of cessationism after investigating the issue thoroughly:

        http://www.u-turn.net/8-1/

        Colin
      • thebishopsdoom
        Martin, A lot of the stuff one runs across is anecdotal material - Scots Worthies, Witsius (I think it was either on the Creed or the Lord s Prayer that
        Message 3 of 5 , May 6, 2003
          Martin,
          A lot of the stuff one runs across is anecdotal material - Scots
          Worthies, Witsius (I think it was either on the Creed or the Lord's
          Prayer that someone read a section to me some time back) mentions
          some examples along with if I'm not mistaken a reference to Gillespie
          on the question, and the stories of Knox are famous. Then of course,
          there are famous accounts from the early church - some of which have
          more a ring of veracity than others. The medieval era, of course too,
          but which run from much more fanciful (stories of dogs and fish
          sharing the gospel) to some claimed by certain reformed historians
          like D'Aubigne (a couple instances of alleged prophesies uttered by
          martyrs just prior to the reformation).
          As to more of an actual theological discussion, four that come to
          mind from a "non-strict cessationist" perspective (by which I intend
          the view that is basically cessationist, but holding that God both
          can and does in unusual cases and times manifest these same sorts of
          things again in the history of the church, in scattered instances
          here and there, especially in persecution or peril, though they are
          no longer normative for the church) are Gillespie's Miscellaneous
          Questions, Rutherfurd's Survey of Spiritual AntiChrist, Durham's
          essay Concerning Prophesying (from his Apocalypse commentary), and as
          I seem to recall, Vermigli's Loci Communes. Vermigli and Rutherfurd
          have more detailed discussion on these matters than Gillespie or
          Durham in the works cited.
          For a different opinion, from the "strict cessationist" perspective,
          Gaffin's Perspectives on Pentecost was considered the best treatment
          from that camp when I was in college, and is probably still a
          standard from that viewpoint.
          There is a "4 views" book edited by Wayne Grudem that presents essays
          and responses from cessationist, "open but cautious," and 2 slightly
          different charismatic perspectives that may also be helpful to get a
          feel for the territory. Don't think you'd know the charismatic
          authors there, but the cessationist is Gaffin, and the "open but
          cautious" is Robert Saucy.
          -doom
        • seamrog1935
          I found an article on the RPNA website under Writings: A Reformation Discussion of Extraordinary Predictive Prophecy Subsequent to The Closing of the Canon of
          Message 4 of 5 , May 11, 2003
            I found an article on the RPNA website under Writings: "A Reformation
            Discussion of Extraordinary Predictive Prophecy Subsequent to The
            Closing of the Canon of Scripture" by a PRC Session. It starts with
            a brief overview of the offices and gifts of prophet, evangelists,
            apostles, etc. Yes, I too understood that the Reformeds were not
            strict cessationists when I read that helpful article.

            Whit
            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin"
            <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:
            > I am looking for resources on the matter of extraordinary gifts and
            > offices. By this I mean the offices of Apostle, Evangelist and
            Prophet
            > along with the various gifts which accompanied those offices (ie:
            prophecy
            > and tongues). From my perusal of various Reformed
            writings/commentaries it
            > doesn't seem like the Reformers were strict cessationalists.
            However, given
            > the existence of the Anabaptists with their mysticism that was
            prevalent in
            > their days it seems that they should have encountered similar
            errors as we
            > find amongst those who denominate themselves Pentecostals.
            >
            > A few questions I'm looking for more information on are:
            > 1) Where can I find a detailed explanation of what these offices
            and gifts
            > consisted of?
            > 2) Did all of those extraordinary offices and gifts absolutely
            cease in the
            > early days of the church? By absolutely, I mean that if anyone
            should now
            > claim them, they are on that ground alone to be deemed false.
            > 3) If in fact there may still be found extraordinary manifestations
            of these
            > offices or gifts, what are the criteria for trying them?
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Martin
          • seamrog1935
            I see that Ginny beat me to it! :) ... Reformation ... with ... and ... manifestations
            Message 5 of 5 , May 11, 2003
              I see that Ginny beat me to it! :)

              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, seamrog1935
              <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > I found an article on the RPNA website under Writings: "A
              Reformation
              > Discussion of Extraordinary Predictive Prophecy Subsequent to The
              > Closing of the Canon of Scripture" by a PRC Session. It starts
              with
              > a brief overview of the offices and gifts of prophet, evangelists,
              > apostles, etc. Yes, I too understood that the Reformeds were not
              > strict cessationists when I read that helpful article.
              >
              > Whit
              > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin"
              > <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:
              > > I am looking for resources on the matter of extraordinary gifts
              and
              > > offices. By this I mean the offices of Apostle, Evangelist and
              > Prophet
              > > along with the various gifts which accompanied those offices (ie:
              > prophecy
              > > and tongues). From my perusal of various Reformed
              > writings/commentaries it
              > > doesn't seem like the Reformers were strict cessationalists.
              > However, given
              > > the existence of the Anabaptists with their mysticism that was
              > prevalent in
              > > their days it seems that they should have encountered similar
              > errors as we
              > > find amongst those who denominate themselves Pentecostals.
              > >
              > > A few questions I'm looking for more information on are:
              > > 1) Where can I find a detailed explanation of what these offices
              > and gifts
              > > consisted of?
              > > 2) Did all of those extraordinary offices and gifts absolutely
              > cease in the
              > > early days of the church? By absolutely, I mean that if anyone
              > should now
              > > claim them, they are on that ground alone to be deemed false.
              > > 3) If in fact there may still be found extraordinary
              manifestations
              > of these
              > > offices or gifts, what are the criteria for trying them?
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > >
              > > Martin
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