All of the following sites came to my attention on Friday (28-Oct), but I am only just now able to mention them due to a somewhat hectic schedule. Given the subject matter of my dissertation, and my general interest in theological discussion about the Spirit, I was naturally drawn to each of these sites:
- The first is an article by Mark Cartledge on the ‘Nature and Function of New Testament Glossolalia’ (2000). I remember reading it shortly after it came out and wanting to return to some of its arguments. There was much that I appreciated about his presentation, but there were also points where I would want to nuance things a bit differently.
- The second is a post by Scot McKnight, briefly interacting with a book by Mark Galli. I have not read the book, but I am quite interested to do so. I especially like the notion of the Spirit being ‘disruptive’ in the life of the believer–‘disruptive’ in a good sense of the term–but I’m not too comfortable with the role of the Spirit being associated with ‘chaos.’ I see what Galli is trying to do and suggest; I’m just thinking there could have been another way of saying things.
- The third is a brief look at 1 Cor 13 by Mark Dabbs, a chapter that he considers to be the ‘the best chapter on spiritual gifts in the Bible’. While I depart only at minor points from Dabb’s treatment, I thoroughly appreciated this bit of sage advice: ‘don’t get caught up in the gift. Get caught up in the one who gave the gift, God, and how He wants us to use those gifts in loving ways.’
- The fourth is from C. Michael Patton, ‘Why I Am/Not Charismatic: Biblical Arguments for Cessationism’, which is always a fun discussion to have.* As with the Cartledge article, there are points where I agree with Patton’s reasoning and points where I simply cannot agree.
- The final one is from Sam Storms, ‘Why I Am/Not Charismatic: Biblical Arguments for Cessationism Response’, which, as you can probably gather, replies to Patton’s arguments. Storms raises a number of excellent points and questions for Patton, many with which I enjoy and support. However, there were also points in Storms’ argument where I found myself shaking my head.
I might take some time and enter these conversations, or at least offer my perspective and see what happens.
UPDATE [10-Nov]: C. Michael Patton has responded to Sam Storm’s response (see above), which once again created multifarious reactions within me. After reading Patton’s response, I have concluded that I will have to dive into this discussion and will do so in good time. (I have to finish a couple more pressing matters first). However, I will offer this as a teaser: to both sides of the debate (i.e. Cessationists and Continuationists), those of you asking when a small number of specific gifts will cease;** I think the apostle Paul would say, “You’re asking the wrong question, and you’re focused on the wrong point.” (That should ruffle some feathers).
* Yes, there was a bit of sarcasm in that comment.
** Let’s face it, the issue about the (non-)cessation of spiritual gifts is really only about the ones mentioned in 1 Cor 13.1-2, 8b–i.e. tongues, prophecy and knowledge.