Strange Fire Debate between Michael Brown and Sam Waldron

The online discussion of the charismatic gifts continues. I encourage everyone to watch my discussion with Steve Camp who is a friend of John MacArthur, and also to listen to the formal debate below between Michael Brown and Sam Waldron.

I think anyone watching both of these interactions will be forced to conclude at a minimum that some charismatics clearly have a strong biblical argument. I’m not expecting every cessationist to convert. Rather that we can all learn mutual respect. I love the way both these videos demonstrate gracious interactions from all participants.

But despite the winsomeness in which this was approached, I was shocked by Waldron’s answer to Brown’s question, “Can you point to any text of the New Testament where we’re told to stop prophesying?” He replied honestly something like, “I don’t need to. Because we don’t only base doctrine on the explicit teaching of Scripture, but on reasonable deductions from Scripture.” I feel once we get to pick and chose which bits of the New Testament we are going to obey, we have undermined fatally the Sufficiency of Scripture.

Imagine if you will that I and my charismatic friends are wrong. Will Jesus really reject us? Or will he say, “My dear children, in your enthusiasm to follow me you took literally some parts of the Bible I didn’t intend you to.” For the cessationists, I trust that Jesus will also graciously accept them, but can you imagine him saying, if they have got this issue wrong, “My dear children, I taught you clearly in my word, and you created a human argument to protect my precious Word which needs no such protection!

Anyway, I am not wanting to be offensive to my cessationist brothers and sisters, after all it was Strange Fire that prompted this whole debate. But for me this debate below should put pay once and for all to the idea that we are not biblically rooted:

YouTube Preview Image

What the Corinthian letters have to say about the charismatic gifts
LIVE interview with Michael L Brown on hypergrace
What do Acts and Romans say about the charismatic discussion?
Discussion with Michael Brown on Authentic Fire & how to disagree amicably
About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, and a writer. Since 1995 he has been a member of Jubilee Church London. Adrian serves as part of Jubilee's leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.
Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.


Adrian is also a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG²) . Check out more BG2 posts on Twitter or Facebook


You are warmly invited to comment on this blog. By doing so you demonstrate that you accept Adrian's comment policy.

  • Scott Lencke

    Adrian –

    You noted one of Waldron’s responses to Brown and then commented: I feel once we get to pick and chose which bits of the New Testament we are going to obey, we have undermined fatally the Sufficiency of Scripture.

    Though I am a continuationist-charismatic – one who bases this in Scripture, theology, history & experience – I think the charge that cessationists are (or Waldron is) picking & choosing which bits of the NT to obey will not hold much water. This is why trajectory hermeneutics is a plausible approach to forming a fully-orbed & healthy theology. Sola scriptura and the sufficiency of Scripture can never mean Scripture is the only source in developing a robust, kingdom-orientated theology. It means they run primary, but not the only (or they should not run as “only”). This is why I respect something more like the Wesleyan quadrilateral.

    And, so, various groups utilise trajectory theology with regards to head coverings, tithing, foot washing, slavery, etc. And I think this is good & healthy. I suppose you utilise trajectories as well, as does every group/person.

    Now, having said that, I don’t believe cessationism is the proper response when we fully engage with Scripture, history-tradition, actual experience & reasonable thought. But what you charge Waldron with doesn’t hold up when we look across every group’s perspective on varying issues.

    I think the other thing worth noting is that so many cessationists claim sola scriptura in the sense that Scripture is really the only place that we form our theology. So complementarian cessationists come fast & hard when egalitarians consider something like trajectory hermeneutics when allowing for women in leadership, etc. However, when the tables are turned in the continuationst-cessationist debate, someone who is both cessationist & complementarian will be happy to make a comment like Waldron’s.

    We all like to have our cake and eat it too. So I’m happy to confer with Waldron and say, “We don’t only base doctrine on the explicit teaching of Scripture, but on reasonable deductions from Scripture.” I think it’s actually healthy to recognise this. It’s just when discussions arise with regards to other issues where Scripture seems very “plain” to Waldron, I suppose he’ll pull out the sufficiency of Scripture and sola Scripture to support his case. Not so fair and fun. :)