Tuesday, October 17, 2006

things charismatics must defend

Here's a quote from Dan Phillips - respected Bible teacher, author, and blogger (at Pyromaniacs and Biblical Christianity).

All Charismatics, to prop up their position, must explain away two facts:

  1. Their distinctive "gifts" bear no resemblance to the Biblical phenomena.
  2. Biblical Christians have not manifested the Biblical phenomena from the second century to the twentieth. (I'd add "-- and still haven't.")
To which I would reply, is it true that these are "facts"? Is it true that these require explanation to support the charismatic position?

He later says ...

... if this quotation [referring to an excerpt from the Book of Mormon arguing for the continuance of the gifts of the spirit], all by itself, makes someone feel defensive and guilty... maybe it's because there's something (s)he should think about more seriously?
I certainly felt defensive but not by the quote "all by itself". The quote itself made me feel nothing. Actually, if I work at it, I guess I felt a little bit of an "amen" inside. But I did feel defensive because this was posted on Pyromaniacs. I've come to not expect treatment from that group that I think is appropriate for fellow beleivers. I've contrasted disagreeing comments coming from folks like Phillips with disagreeing comments coming from someone like Piper. When I disagree with Piper, I feel simply disagreement as well as challenged to find truth. When I disagree with Phillips, I feel defensive.

A small example is found in the same comment section of his challenge above. Phillips refers to Charismatics as holding to a "leaky-Canon". This is like the pro-life, pro-choice terminology. I prefer calling "pro-choicers" "anti-lifers" but if I do so, I still don't properly categorize them and I would certainly alienate them. I guess I could coin the phrase "dead-Canon" for those that think like Phillips but I don't think that would be accurate or helpful.

Anyway, we need to focus on the issues and Phillips choice of words and often his logic causes that to not happen and which provides him more ammunition for accusation.

So, now that I got that out of my system, I have to leave for small group. I'll try to come back within the next couple of days to address the two points Phillips raises. I'll try to address these not because I think it is required to respond to support my position but because I think many are "deceived" by these points. I hope I can do an adequate job.

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Randy (no blog) said...

I don't know that much would be accomplished by discussing his 2nd point. I would, however, be interested in your views of his 1st point.

rick said...

"no-blog" - I may have been typing the above post while you were commenting here.

I would be very concerned about anyone meeting Phillips' expectation in point 1. I do not think Scripture suggests that the word and work of Jesus and the Apostles is 100% repeatable.

Which is what I find so ironic about this "conversation". The truth is that there are "bell shaped" curves representing the distribution of thought around both sides of this. If I place Phillips and gang on the right, and me and gang on the left, I would fall on the right side of that distribution and you would fall on the left side of yours - and if we could cut through all of the language confusion and concern about the other guys, we would find that we have a lot in common.

I think we would find that the real difference (and it would be a big one) would be our approach to this issue not our Scriptural basis, etc.. That is, we would never agree but 95% of the argument is about stuff that neither of us really thinks. That's why I struggle with Phillips, he seems unaware of this, he generalizes and classifies in ways that are not representative, and then builds bad logic on top of that.