What do Acts and Romans say about the charismatic discussion?

In these few posts I am wanting to simply draw our attention to what the Scriptures say on the debate that has been raging recently. I am trying not to pass comment on these verses but allowing them to speak for themselves. It is worth pointing out one key difference in the way that charismatics approach Acts in particular, however. For us, this book is broadly speaking intended to be a normative model of what the Church can be like at best. For more of that follow the link, but here are the … [Read more...]

The Charismatic gifts debate: verses from the Gospels

In the last post I shared some OT verses which speak to the charismatic debate. Today, I continue with some passages from the Gospels. Read these, and try to allow the Bible to shape your viewpoint, not your traditions, whichever side of the fence you have come down on so far. Please also share any key verses I may have missed in the comment section. “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind recei … [Read more...]

John Stott on non-authoritative NT prophecy


As far as I know John Stott was a cessationist through and through.  This makes his attached statement about  New Testament prophecy all the more credible and significant. It is worthy of our consideration because what is happening here is that a good biblical scholar is allowing the Bible to take him in the direction of something that could potentially undermine his position.  We all do well to approach the Bible with a similar reverence.Of course there are degrees of charismaticism and ce … [Read more...]

Are there apostles today?


I am nearing the end of my series on Strange Fire.  It may feel interminable for some, but believe me when I get the bit between my teeth, sometimes I keep at it a lot longer than I will have done on this!Today I turn to an argument that MacArthur uses against the charismatic movement. He takes some of the odd things some people say and do about the idea of apostles today and rightly rejects that. But again he fails to interact with more responsible groups who do believe in apostles today. … [Read more...]

Strange Fire: Mark Driscoll open letter to John MacArthur

There has been an interesting twist to the Strange Fire controversy and the side-show which is Mark Driscoll vs John MacArthur. In an open letter, Driscoll has challenged MacArthur to a duel I mean genial discussion with himself or Wayne Grudem at his Resurgence Conference.The Strange Fire conference felt like one group in the Church erecting a large wall, and then yelling over the top of at it at another group.If they really want to help the Global Church, Grace To You must look for ways to … [Read more...]

Strange Fire: Every biblical argument refuted – Part Two

I must begin today with a shockingly offensieve quote from the book Strange Fire. My response to the Strange Fire Conference  is given yet more weight by this quote. Although there are a few places in the book where MacArthur does seek to nuance his assualt, places like this seem to make it clear that it really is the whole charismatic movement on which he elsewhere says he has declared war. "It is a sad twist of irony that those who claim to be most focused on the Holy Spirit are in actuality … [Read more...]

Strange Fire: National Radio program with Phil Johnson, Sam Storms and Myself


The Strange Fire Conference continues to generate a lot of interest and discussion online. My main response can be found at Strange Fire - a charismatic response. Today, from 2pm to 4pm EST (7pm-9pm UK time) this will be the focus of  on Michael L Brown's nationally syndicated radio show, coincidentally called The Line of Fire.  The guest during the first hour of the show will be MacArthur's right hand man,  Phil_Johnson.  I should be overlapping with Phil around a quarter to 3pm EST and then … [Read more...]

Strange Fire – A Charismatic Response to John MacArthur


See also the following posts: Strange Fire – A Charismatic Response to John MacArthur My review of the book Strange Fire: MacAthur accuses charismatics of being like Mormons John Piper responds to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference RT Kendall responds to MacArthur’s Strange FireChristians have a long history of disagreeing with each other over doctrine. There is nothing new about that. Sometimes that disagreement can get quite heated. So for example, in the time when Wesley a … [Read more...]

Strange Fire: John MacArthur claims no good has come out of the Charismatic Movement


I've just listened to most of the first session of the Strange Fire Conference. My connection was spotty, so I missed some of it.I know that wisdom would probably dictate that I should wait, listen to it all, even read his book, then respond to it as a whole.But, my brothers have just been insulted. How can I not rise to their defence immediately?As I suspected there was no attempt to demonstrate from Scripture that the charismatic view of matters like prophecy was wrong.MacArthur did … [Read more...]

Why cessationists are wrong about prophecy


Later today the Strange Fire conference hosted by John MacArthur begins. A few weeks back I expressed my concern about some of the publicity for this event seeming to accuse all charismatics of being blasphemers. This event also prompted Terry Virgo to share a video about how Lloyd-Jones encouraged him as a young charismatic.I will be watching at least some of the event online. But one thing I am not expecting to hear is a novel or convincing argument from Scripture. I just want to state … [Read more...]