It is sad to see pastor Piper saying these things.
This interview was put on the web to convince us to “exercise the gifts”? It is a much better example of what happens when a post-modern mindset collides with the firm foundation of Scripture. The foundation is shaken, and while much of the foundation remains, just about everything else is thrown open for question. How often did the speaker basically tell us that he didn’t know what he was doing?
I really appreciate both of these guy’s perspectives, and especially the carefulness and the honesty with which they are working through these questions with their churches. I think these men are showing that it is possible to hold a different position concerning the special gifts and not go to the extreme, with people rolling around in the isles and shouting nonsense during the service.
I think as Calvinists we are familiar with those who hear the label: “Calvinist” and assume “hyper Calvinists” and they beat on a straw man who does not actually represent what we believe. It seems like we need to be careful that we are not doing the exact same thing with regard to brothers who are taking on the label “charismatic”. Just as we need those who are judging us as Calvinists to put aside their cultural predispositions toward Calvinism, it seems we should be willing to do the same thing for Piper and Chandler with regard to special gifts.
Brad – It is not “cultural predispositions” that cause us to reject Charismatic nonsense, it is the inspired word of God that causes us to reject it. This is an exegetical issue, not one of “perspective.”
The foggy, muddy, mushy way in which they speak about these things is enough in itself for us to be concerned. Dr. Piper says there for small groups? Where does he get this? Well, he tells us that he basically doesn’t want to freak out visitors to the church! And Matt Chandler is a little more consistent in insisting that it is for the whole church: “If this really is apart of what God has for us, then we want it.” He also says “We believe the gifts are there, we just don’t know how to operate, so we want to find out.” And how will you discover how to “operate” in the gifts of the Spirit? And by what objective standard will you measure your success? This kind of language is very troubling.
Unfortunately, the language is not surprising.
The lack of clarity should ought to raise red flags. Even more unfortunate is the search for that “something else to be experienced” will always be nipping at the heels.
I agree with “Christian.” The only “experience” christians need today is the exposition of the Scriptures within the local church, along with the other “means of grace” God has given in His Church today.
Hi Jason. Just to clarify that is really my name. 😉
It’s a good name 🙂
I have just stumbled on this site, and I guess as a Calvinistic non-cessationist Baptist I have a totally different response to these clips – I found them interesting and honest accounts by two leaders of how to lead an orderly church service while not attempting to control it so much that speaking gifts are automatically excluded.
When the Lord first saw fit to deliver me and my family out of a Pentecostal/Charismatic denomination, I ignorantly assumed that the Reformed/Sovereign Grace Baptist Church was shielded from that nonsense. It didn’t take long to realize that false doctrine creeps in through every crack in the floorboards! In this case, the cracks are found in the understanding of Sola Scriptura.
This issue at play here is the very sufficiency of the God’s Word. Do we trust that God has given us, through His inspired Word, a revelation of Himself and of His Christ that is sufficient to lead and guide His people? If we believe His Word to be sufficient, as all Reformed Confessions plainly teach, why would we seek other words, be them words of prophecy, tongues, or words of knowledge? Surely, Spirit-empowered expositional preaching and teaching are sufficient, nay, more than sufficient. The preaching of the Cross is….. the power of God unto salvation!
To insist that God still operates in these miraculous gifts today is an implicit denial of Sola Scriptura. God help us all.
When I was in the Charismatic movement in the Roman Catholic Church and then in a Pentecostal Holiness Church the Church Of God Cleveland TN it always puzzled me as to why I had to help the Holy Spirit manifest the gifts. People not the Holy Spirit would try and help me speak in tongues.People would try to get me all stirred up so I could feel the power of the Spirit etc. And when i was not being coached by spirit filled people I was told to just open my heart and spirit up to the mystical realm always of course in Jesus name but rarely in accordance with scripture. What a nightmare all this was for me and the impact it had on me was to nearly drive me insane. I will say that somethings in rare situations where it seemed very good and helpful to my faith in the power of my GOD and His Son. But I have long sence learned to stick with the clearer things of the Holy Spirit He reveals in the WORD. I will always seek to be humble and teachable but the teaching must have as its foundation the Scriptures and the objective truth found there. There is a place for subjective expierence but ever and always governed by what is written not was is felt.
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