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Re: Extraordinary gifts and offices.

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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