WATCH NOW: Strange Fire: dialogue with Steve Camp

This is my conversation with committed cessationist, and friend of MacArthur,Steve Camp.

We talked about Strange Fire, and to keep the peace was the moderator Rob Wilkerson. I really believe this is an interesting and fruitful conversation.  You can view the archive here:

In the meantime feel free to watch this podcast interview I recorded with RE2.

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, a writer, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he serves as part of the 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+.

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  • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

    Hi folks. Sorry for the delay. We should start soon. Technical hitch!

    • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

      Unsure how long the delay will be …. Google hangouts is complex sometimes!

  • http://thesidos.blogspot.com/ Arthur Sido

    Wow, Steve has lost a lot of weight since I last saw him!

  • eroops

    Adrian said, He doesn’t think folks in his church watch Charismatic TV shows.
    My take is that he would say most mainstream (biblical) Charismatics don’t follow those folks.
    Question: Would you say that “Charisma Magazine” is viewed favorably by mainstream (biblical) charismatics? If yes, Just look at who Charisma publishes and promotes. You will find that it is full of “word/faith” leaders. Which means that mainstream charismatics are – in fact – influenced by and promote those false teachers.
    As such, it’s very reasonably to assume that if you choose to read (be taught) by those false teachers in charisma magazine, you will also view them on T.V.

    • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

      Ive not ever read that magazine

      • Matt Waymeyer

        The printed version of Charisma has a current readership of 240,000 people, and in 2010 it was named in the top five of digital magazines in terms of readers. But I’m sure it simply represents the “fringe” of the charismatic movement! :-)

        • Drew Darnell

          So 240,000 people out of almost 600 million read a magazine – so roughly 0.04% of the charismatic population – and you don’t think it’s fringe?

          • Matt Waymeyer

            That’s just the printed version of the magazine, Drew, which admittedly–and presumably for obvious reasons–doesn’t enjoy a very wide circulation among the 126 million charismatics in Africa (not to mention the 141 million in Latin America, the 135 million in Asia, or the 38 million in Europe). As I mentioned above, Charisma was recently named in the top five of digital magazines in terms of readership. So no, this magazine certainly does not represent the “fringe” of charismatic Christianity. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would argue otherwise.

            At the same time, I will concede that Charisma doesn’t have nearly the level of popularity and influence of Benny Hinn, whose television program (This is Your Life) reaches more than 20 million people in the United States alone.
            Adrian, please say hello to my old friend (and next-door neighbor during our seminary days), Rob Wilkerson!

      • Vanessa Hobday

        GOD TV can be really good Adrian. It’s had an amazing impact. I hardly every watch it myself though.

  • http://onewaypublishing.co.uk/blog 1WayPublishing
  • The Woods

    Perhaps this has already been mentioned, so forgive me if it has. My concern over all of this is that the “Strange Fire” conference has caused many to draw a line in the sand. What I mean is that the average lay person has no clue what “cessationsim” even means. In fact many have never even heard the term.

    So you have hundreds of people who have their own personal beliefs about “gifts” and who have been very content as embers of their local body, and now their church leadership is starting to “take sides”. The average church member is hearing, for the first time, that “we don’t belief that the miraculous gifts are for today”.

    Some I have spoken to say, “Well, it’s about time we draw a line in the sand” and others say, “I can no longer be a member here. I had no idea my church felt this way about the miraculous gifts”.

    Let us remember that the average church going person, is not aware of all of the secondary issues and how some pastors are using these issues to “identify the body of Christ”. It’s heart breaking.

    I suppose, in some ways this is good, in that it raising peoples awareness of these differences and prompts them to “Think”!. But, on the flip side, it is creating major turmoil in churches for the un-learned people who are now finding out that their church “doesn’t believe in certain things” that they assumed were just fine to believe in.

    Is this really an issue that we should be drawing a line int he sand over? More Designer churches–”you must be dispensational and a cessationist in order to be an member here”!

    So sad!

  • Tom O

    Commenting as I watch but so far, very frustrated by all the background noise while someone else is speaking. Phones, doors, coughing etc… Grr.

  • hopechurch

    Steve Camp mentioned RC Sproul’s message at StangeFire, but even RC admits John 20:22 is more than a foreshadowing of Pentecost. Penetecostals and charismatics state it was salvation with Pentecost being the empowering by the HS as promised. Pentecost for the disciples was not salvation but empowerment, for the locals it was both. Two separate events. Even other friends of RC have the disciples saved before the Cross in John 14:17 ….dwells with and will be in you? Too early! Others disagree, saying like the OT saints the HS was with them, salvation would be as defined by these scriptures “in you.” Since the reformed or cessionationists have raised this language we get to Pentecost and the promise of Pentecost and the language changes to “on you.” But then the confusion come when scripture uses “filled”. My point is the reformed misunderstand that John 20:22 was salvation a separate event from Pentecost.

  • hopechurch

    I support the fact that scripture is now closed, hence we reject the Mormon Bible, the middle bits of the Catholic Bible. My problem is what happened to all those prophecies in the New Testament inspired by the Holy Spirit judged and weighed by the leaders, but never recorded as scripture? Some were told to sit down and stop prophesying if another had a prophecy. Was it inspired by the Holy Spirit, was it tested? Paul addresses the abuse, but when it was happening in order and glorifying Christ and now it is lost..”how should that be classified and is that what happens today in pent / char churches? MacArthur can only respond by saying yes it was inspired by the HS, subject to error because it is using humans, hence needs judgment yet brought blessing and encouragement but not recorded obviously hence not scripture and not revelation. Is this not prophesy in church today?

  • Jared Thirsk

    This interview was really encouraging! First, it was cordial discussion and easy for everyone to share, and there was no venting of emotions. (The other post-Strange Fire interview I listened to, Dr. Brown vs Phil Johnson, was more tense.) Secondly, a supposed committed cessationist apparently believes prophetic utterances still happen, and he could fit in with teaching a big chunk of a Prophecy 101 course at a charismatic church I have been a part of! I am confused about how Steve is a cessationist, but at least I am encouraged.

    Adrian, have you heard any cessationists respond to Steve’s answers here? I also am curious whether Steve got any phone calls ;-)

    • Jared Thirsk

      One difference that may remain is how “normative” prophecy is, or that it shouldn’t be (quite) as normative as some make it. This kind of objection seems to be a subjective distinction and one of attitude or caution and more of a wishy washy one than a hard fast and clear argument supported by Scripture about exactly how normative or frequent any one gift should be. I find that such arguments are weak and more coming from the level of lack of experience one church group has, or the time they devote to other things. For people claiming to go by Scripture, it seems puzzling and upsetting when they try to use their lack of experience or emphasis, or lack of earnestly pursuing greater gifts including prophecy (disobedience?) to oppose another group’s different emphasis. And who is to say exactly what level of emphasis is right or wrong? There could be undue emphases, but to say “any more emphasis on prophetic utterances than my cessationist church is wrong” lacks all credibility — people making such arguments would have more success saying “look at this charismatic church — they appear have a healthy level of emphasis on prophecy.”

      To put it in a more blunt way, those who understand prophecy to be a valid gift today, yet who do not earnestly desire it as Paul instructs seem to me to be in a position of willful disobedience and not in a position to declare how normative prophecy should or shouldn’t be.

      My experience is that prophetic encouragement/edification (and to a lesser extent, direction) can be way more frequent when we do actually earnestly desire it, than when we do not and God graciously volunteers it anyway despite our lack of heeding Paul’s instruction. My church even trains dozens of people to pray and listen to God, and dedicates a 2.5 hour time block where we meet with the public to ask God if He has anything for them. (Amazingly, it seems He always does! I could expound on that but I’ll leave that for another time/post.)

      Frequency of prophecy (because it is earnestly desired) in and of itself by no means necessitates that it is disrespectful or irreverent. We take it very seriously and we take the precious sheep seriously, those who are loved by a Holy God, and we have intercessors praying before and during our times. Some of us are aware of the spiritual warfare involved, and the demonic forces interrupt or corrupt what is going on, as well as the attacks of fear of deception, as well as demonically inspired attacks of accusation that the encouragement that is going on is not of God but of the devil. So being more face to face with spiritual warfare demands even more that we are reverent, humble, and committed in prayer (and absolutely diligent about testing everything by the standards of Scripture, and that prophesies are encouraging, edifying, and that the hearer is clearly instructed to test it, etc.)


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