Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Agree with John Calvin on Tongues:)

As I share my personal understanding of what scripture teaches on tongues allow me to give a preamble (adapted from Kreeft's and Tacelli's "Handbook on Christian Apologetics").
1. I am totally convinced that Christianity is true and the Scriptures are inerrant.
2. I am a little less convinced, but still certain that the SBC has accurately expressed the great doctrines of the faith in the BFM.
3. I am even less convinced, but still confident, that the Trustees of the IMB have accurately understood the Scriptural position of a PPL as evidenced by their actions.
With the above in mind I share my understanding of a PPL with confidence but reverence.

I will not be addressing the practice of tongues from the book of Acts: nearly all-credible scholars agree - tongues in Acts were known languages. I believe the gift of tongues as practiced in Acts is still dispensed by God today according to His good pleasure. I believe God can and does give individuals, on the mission field, the gift of speaking in a language, they do not know, in order for others to be saved. However, I will be dealing with tongues as ecstatic utterances. But before I deal with 1 Corinthians 14, I want to make some observations.

1. We have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances (commonly called tongues today) were ever uttered in any NT church outside of Corinth. In fact, we have no Scriptural evidence that any believer other than Corinthian believers experienced ecstatic utterances.

The early church did not have the NT: they had the letters Paul and the other apostles sent them, and the OT. We can conclude that the Christians outside of Corinth received no Scripture concerning the practice of tongues – NONE (we have no evidence that the letters to Corinth were circular letters passed to other churches).

It is interesting that Paul did not speak to the Christians in Galatia, Ephesus, Rome, Philippi, Thessalonica, Colosse, or Crete about tongues…he never even mentions it.

I shall logically deduce it is because they were not practicing tongues like the Corinthians, which begs the question as to why the church at Corinth evidently was the only church in the entire world where Christians were practicing ecstatic utterances (especially in light of the Corinthian abuses).

Perhaps more than any other evidence, the silence of Scripture on Tongues (outside of the Corinthian abuses) speaks volumes.

2. Corinth was an area where pagan religious belief included ecstatic utterances, and the Corinthian believers were guilty of bringing such cultish beliefs into the church. Thus, Dr. Yarnell notes, “Examples of ecstatic, untranslatable speech may be found in the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi as well as the cults of Dionysius and Cybele. The pre-Christian background of the Corinthians indicates that ecstatic religious experiences involving unintelligible speech conferred special status upon those who practiced such. Unfortunately, the Corinthian believers brought their pagan religious practices, its attendant elitism, and the resulting social divisions into the Christian church (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10-11; 3:1-4, 18; 11:17- 22).”

It is not unusual for new Christians, without proper discipleship, to syncretize Christian beliefs with the dominant religion of their locale. Perhaps, the Corinthians were guilty here (as Dr. Yarnell implies). This would explain why the Corinthians were the only Christians, we know of, who were practicing ecstatic utterances.

3. Paul was an encourager who always saw the glass half-full. Instead of criticizing the errant and foolish beliefs of the philosophers at Rome he commended their religious zeal. Amazingly, he even took one of their idols and rather than condemn idol worship, he exclaimed that the God which, that idol represented (unknown God) was the God of the Bible. In other words Paul gently pointed out their abuses of religion by pointing to the True God without diluting their zeal in seeking God.

I believe Paul did this (gentle rebuke without diluting religious zeal) on numerous occasions, including the Corinthian abuse of tongues. Rather, than pour water on their zeal and dilute their fire for Christ…he set up guidelines or POLICY:) which would have the effect of diminishing the practice of ecstatic utterances without diminishing the zeal of those who practiced such.

Here was a church divided, and Paul, as a gentle pastoral father, corrected the abuses of tongues in such a way that tongues (ecstatic utterances) themselves were subjugated to an unnecessary and irrelevant gift. And yet those who practiced such were not forbidden from doing so and thus their zeal was not affected: they were able to save face, so to speak.

However, with the new policy Paul effectually stopped the practice of tongues within the church. In fact, if we were to relegate tongues to the minor gift which Paul relegated it to and if churches would follow the policy of Paul, tongues (ecstatic utterances) would effectually cease today. Paul's policy and revelation about tongues included: 1) 5 words of understanding spoke in church is better than 10,000 words in a tongue; 2) Tongues are a sign to unbelievers, so don’t confuse unbelievers, who may be attending your church service, by practicing ecstatic utterances; 3) let no more than 3 speak at a time and have an interpreter; 4) Remember, God is not the author of confusion (thus, if tongues confuses members of the church, then they are not from God); 5) Women are forbidden from speaking in tongues in the church; 6) Let all things be done decently and in order.

4. During the apostolic age the Canon was not yet complete. Paul, Peter, James and other apostles were still receiving Divine Revelation from God (SCRIPTURE). The church did not have the complete Revelation (Bible) yet. Thus, there was still a need for “words” (revelation) from God.

It appears to me that the purpose of most manifestations of tongues (ecstatic utterances) today is to share a word or revelation from God. However, we now have the entire Bible: the completion of the Canon invalidates that purpose. We have no need for further Revelation from God. His Word is SUFFICIENT for every area of life and every trial we face. Any “further” revelation immediately raises RED FLAGS (the Mormon cult originated from “further” words from God). I am amazed that many who are claiming the sufficiency of Scripture are also supporting the practice of tongues, which is facially duplicitous.

5. It is very possible that Paul uses a dual meaning of tongues in his letter to the Corinthians: on the one hand he is speaking of the validity of Scriptural tongues not being forbidden and used for salvation purposes; on the other hand he is creating guidelines but refusing to condemn ecstatic utterances because he does not desire to quench the flames of some of his converts or to create more division in the already divided church at Corinth. And yet his new policy would have the effect of causing ecstatic utterances to cease.

With these observations in mind I conclude that the only Biblically valid practice of tongues was the practice in Acts, where tongues were languages whereby the gospel was shared. I further conclude the Corinthian abuses of tongues through ecstatic utterances did not validate ecstatic utterances then, nor does it today.

I shall now proceed to PPL. Again, let us begin with some observations:

1. Scripture does not mention a PPL anywhere. Such a concept is derived from 1 Cor 14.

2. There is no mention of a PPL in any Commentary or Theological work, of which I am familiar, before the Azusa Street Revival (Modern charismatic Movement). In fact, the linguistic and critical commentaries do not mention it still (they do mention tongues used in prayer but not a PPL). Which implies a belief in PPL is due more to the practice and traditions of men than to God's Word.

3. The individuals that I have had experiences with, who had a PPL, used it to gain NEW REVELATION from God. Such revelation inevitably led to unbiblical comprehensions of Scripture. One lady (a very spiritual woman who loves Jesus very much) spent hours in prayer daily. She was an avid reader of books on prayer, including David Jeremiah’s. She knew Scripture very well and had a PPL. To make a long story short, I will just address the most outrageous revelation she received: she claimed God told her, in her PPL, that she and I were the two witnesses in the book of Revelation!!!

Is it possible that many others are deceived about a PPL as she was?

With these observations in mind, we proceed to 1 Corinthians 14:14. I shall quote from commentaries, which reveal my understanding of this passage. John Calvin gives perhaps the clearest indictment against a PPL: therefore, I will end this post with his comments.

The ICC states: “Paul will not pray in ecstatic utterances that he cannot understand but he will pray with understanding as well as in the spirit.” In other words, Paul’s practice of tongues (1 Cor 14) was not a PPL, for he prayed in a language he could understand, thus his practice was the gift of foreign languages and he sets his practice as the example the Corinthians should follow.

The Translators Guide to the First Letter to the Corinthians concludes similarly: “Paul will use clear intelligible words besides the unintelligible sounds.”

John MacArthur makes a convincing argument that Paul was speaking sarcastically of false tongues (ecstatic utterances) but affirming the practice of the tongues of Acts. He further confirms what others have stated: namely, Paul will pray with the mind and the spirit (intelligible words).

John Calvin felt that the Corinthians were actually practicing the Biblical form of tongues (foreign languages) but doing so in prayer. He says, “for it is likely that the Corinthians also went wrong in this respect that, just as they were in the habit of speaking in foreign languages, so they were also using them in prayer.” He further reveals that, “the gift of tongues was bestowed for the purpose of communication.”

Calvin concludes: “if the gift of speaking in a tongue is kept distinct from the understanding, so that the speaker is a foreigner to himself, as well as to others, what good will he do by stammering along like that...the meaning is now plain. If I devise prayers in a language that is unknown to me and the spirit provides me with a rich flow of words, it is clear that the spirit itself, which controls my tongue, will indeed be praying, but my understanding will be wandering elsewhere, or at any rate will not be involved in the prayer. We should note that Paul thinks it a GREAT FAULT (caps mine) if the understanding takes no part in prayer. No wonder. For what else do we do in praying but pour out our thoughts and desires before God…in view of the fact that spiritual prayer is a means of worshipping, what is more out of keeping with its very nature than its coming only from the lips and not from the innermost recesses of the soul” (our thoughts).

BR

188 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post, Brad,

A welcome distraction from the polls.

brad reynolds said...

Bart

Thank You.

God's Sovereignty is the extent of my comfort concerning the polls...but then again, that's all the comfort we need.

God Bless you my brother
BR

Nathan Finn said...

Brad,

This is a fine post. I expect many will disagree with your conclusions--this is a touchy subject these days--but I think you are spot-on, and I appreciate the clarity and graciousness with which you make this argument. Well done.

NAF

brad reynolds said...

Nathan

Thank you my brother. I prayed for you and your family Saturday after we visited Friday afternoon. Thank you for your encouragement as I begin fatherhood.

God bless you my brother
BR

Anonymous said...

Brother Brad,

You have had congrats from two scholars, so now you will hear from the rednecks. Congrats.

What a great post. Would you agree that though others will disagree with you, you can still work with someone that may see this subject another way? Also, would you not agree that while you could work that that person, you could not support their work within the SBC?

I think that is the basic debate going on in the SBC.

Blessings,
Tim

volfan007 said...

brad,

another excellent post and right on target. this should be enough truth to convince anyone that ecstatic utterances were not true tongues, and there is really no biblical support for a ppl either. although, i do believe that paul was telling them that if they wanted to speak in an ecstatic utterance privately....if it did them some good emotionally to do so...then go ahead. it wouldnt hurt anything if done in private. but, paul had rather pray with understanding. to pray with understanding was far better.

i am very concerned about the election as well. gay rights and abortion and higher taxes all got a huge shot in the arm yesterday. God help us. we need to really pray for our country.

from the hills of tn,

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

Tim

I could certainly work with individuals with whom I disagree with on this issue. I could even support some in the SBC with whom I disagree with; if by support you mean the greatest type pf support (prayer).

But if by support you mean using CP funds given from individuals who do not believe in such utterances and do not give for such practices to pay those who do, then NO I could not abuse the gifts of individuals in such a way.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Volfan

Thanks. I'm not sure if Paul allowed for ecstatic utterances in private but I am sure he did not forbid it. He just, apparently, as Calvin argues, thought it a GREAT FAULT.

Concerning the election. Be comforted my friend. The democrats gained mainly conservative voices (for example: Heath Shuler - Pro Life, Pro Marriage, Pro Military). Further, if they blunder this it's good for our next Presedential candidate. So they are in a lose/lose situation. If they gridlock we win, if they don't and work with Pres. Bush we win. If they block Court appointments we win...if they don't we win. So be encouraged my brother. Also, Va passed a statute that marriage was 1 man and 1 woman - other states passed similar statutes.

The nation is still conservative and hopefully Republicans, who lost all their moderate congressional seats, will finally get that message and work for their base, rather than for the "undecideds".

God Bless
BR

CB Scott said...

Brad,

I never had doubt about those folks in VA.

cb

brad reynolds said...

CB

I think they dropped the ball on the senatorial election, however, it is most interesting that Webb stood on the same side as Allen on almost all issues. A liberal democrat would not have won.
BR

Grosey's Messages said...

Good post Brad....
Wish I understood US politics... I guess an elephant in the White house is better than a donkey.. we have Crocs in ours
Steve

SelahV said...

Brad: never had tongues explained so succinctly. Especially liked the point you made that this was only an issue in Corinth. I look forward to hearing from folks who view this differently. selahV

brad reynolds said...

Grosey

I don't know but I think I would rather have donkey and an elephant over a Croc. Just never liked them reptiles too much:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

Selah

Thank you. You are very gracious.

I too look forward to interacting with those who may disagree.

God Bless
BR

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

If you don't believe in PPL, you just really need to be more clear about it.
:-)
Very good post. With that, I am...

Peter

Timothy Cowin said...

Brad,

You stated that,

"But if by support you mean using CP funds given from individuals who do not believe in such utterances and do not give for such practices to pay those who do, then NO I could not abuse the gifts of individuals in such a way."

Are you saying that Jerry Rankin should resign or step down? Are you implying that it was and is a mistake to have him as the President of the IMB?

I think he is exhibit #1 of how SB's who disagree on this issue can still cooperate together for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

For all the talk about not narrowing the paremeters of cooperation in the convention, this statement, if followed to its logical conclusion, certainly would lead to singling out and not cooperating with certain people for what they do in private.

However you want to interpret this passage, the end result is that Paul did not call for the Church to refuse to cooperate with the others in the body who were using ecstatic utterances. He severly restricted its public use, but did not forbid its use.

Timothy

brad reynolds said...

Peter

Thanks

God bless Brother
BR

brad reynolds said...

Timothy,

Excellent deductive reasoning as usual. However, I think the Trustees revealed their wisdom in the policy by not making it retroactive.

I think Dr. Rankin is a great President for the IMB.

You are right about Paul not calling for the church to refuse to cooperate with those who practiced tongues (PPL is not mentioned in Scripture nor commentaries until after the modern charismatic movement). However, we have no evidence that cooperation meant funding them as Missionaries. There is a difference in maintaining unity (cooperation) in the local church at Corinth and funding Missionaries through an organization.

I think we can agree there is a major difference.

God Bless
BR

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Logical thoughts brother. From one who has never practiced 'tongues', however, I would offer the following as possible refutations to your arguments: (1) is it possible that the reason Paul didn't address tongues in his other letters was because the Corinthian church was the only church practicing it 'wrongly' and the other churches were practicing it 'correctly'? (i.e. there was no need to address this as there would have been nothing to address) (2) I see Paul as one of the most devoted, articulate, and intellectual Christians ever - but I rarely see him as 'gentle', and (3) I'm not sure the argument that he didn't want to 'quench their zeal' will stand - if they were practicing something that was wrong, he would have told them so - and not minced words about doing so; remember the Lord's supper issue?
Having made these observations, let me say that I am very uncomfortable with tongues - but I question whether I'd be so uncomfortable with them if I'd been raised in a 'charismatic' environment. In other words, does my discomfort stem from an environmental source or a 'Holy Spirit' source? Thoughts for fodder......


Grace and peace brother,

PTL

PS - not long until fatherhood, huh?

volfan007 said...

brad,

i agree. there is a huge difference in having someone in the sbc who has a ppl, and in sending them out as a missionary. there is a huge difference in cooperating with a person who has a ppl, and with setting them up as the head of an sbc ministry.

personally, i dont think that we should allow anyone who is off on an extreme of theology to be a missionary or a leader. cooperate with them...yes. love them...yes. but, to allow an aggresive five pointer, or a tongue speaker to lead, or to be a missionary....no.


from the hills of tn,

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

PTL,
Thank you for your “refutation,” it is good to challenge our thoughts and to have other views presented. However, depending on what you mean, there may be some hermeneutical errors contained therein my friend.

If by tongues you mean languages then we agree. It is very likely he dealt with the Corinthians because they were not practicing languages as in Acts but rather abusing tongues with ecstatic utterances…I’m glad you see my point.

If however, by tongues you mean ecstatic utterances, then this is an argument from silence since even the book of Acts knows of no such practice. The point thus remains we have no evidence that 1) Paul spoke to any Christian outside of Corinth about ecstatic utterances; 2) any Christian outside of Corinth was practicing such.

We could argue that the early Christians were praying to the planet Mars but we have no evidence of such. The point is THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT CHRISTIANS OUTSIDE OF CORINTH WERE PRACTICING ECSTATIC UTTERANCES. You can surmise all you want about what they MAY have been doing but you have no evidence. The only Christians we know who were doing this were the ones who were abusing the gift.

Second, the fact you do not see Paul as gentle does not mean he was not. Sure he had little tolerance for heresy in the church but no one in the NT spoke as oft of being gentle and of gentleness as Paul. Further, even in the book of Galatians where Paul chastises the Galatians for buying into the heresy of legalism and asks who has “bewitched” them; he also, 1 chapter later, uses tender loving words like “My little children.”

I say we will disagree here…Paul practiced the fruit of the spirit including gentleness and was no hypocrite by telling others to practice it (Gal 5:22ff).

Third, Paul did address the wrongness of their actions just as he addressed the wrongness of the men pursuing false Gods in Acts 16, but he did so in such a way as to not pour water on their zeal. I think we will agree there is a major difference in abusing the Lord’s Supper in such a way that its meaning (substitution) was being lost and allowing for some to practice “ecstatic utterances” in private no matter how much “Fault” there is within.

Finally, I am confident you are not suggesting that our belief in tongues is based on our experiences. Surely, you are not implying that we interpret God’s Word based on our experiences rather than interpreting our experiences by God’s Word. All of my theology professors (I took 15 hours of systematic and more elective hours) were 4 or 5 point Calvinists and yet I am only a 3-point Calvinist. In other words my beliefs have come from my grasp of God’s Word not my “raisings” or experience here. The whole point is the reverse of your question. Since, no such thing as a PPL was ever known until after the charismatic movement then does a PPL come from the Holy Spirit or from “experience.”

April is 32 weeks :) – I am excited
BR

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
To your first point - you're exactly right - the argument that there may have been other churches practicing 'ecstatic utterances' correctly (whatever that means) is an argument from silence. However, the argument that there were none is also an argument from silence. We cannot logically conclude that, because Paul didn't address it, that they didn't do it - only that they didn't do it 'wrongly' - or it would have been addressed. Yours is also an argument from silence.
To the second point - I am not implying by any means that Paul didn't, at times, practice the fruit of the Spirit - but you MUST admit that Paul failed in displaying the fruit just like we all fail (hence Rom. 7). And, based on the records we have, I'd venture that gentleness was probably one of the areas he struggled with (as evidenced by his interaction with Mark).
To the third point, we must agree to disagree. I do not believe Paul would have sacrificed Holiness in order to not 'quench the Corinthians' zeal' - be it inappropriate behavior at the Lord's supper or inappropriate behavior at the worship meetings. If it was wrong, he'd have said it was wrong.
Finally, I most certainly AM saying that our life experiences effect the way we interpret Scripture. Scripture is inerrent - we are not. Sure, there are examples of where we part with our upbringing - I'm a pretty devout sovereigntist in spite of the fact I was raised in a 'free choice' environment. The fact remains, however, that we cannot divest ourselves of our life experiences as we approach God's Holy Writ. Would that it were possible, but alas, it is not. As evidence, I merely have to point to the fact that (a) there are THOUSANDS of honest, intelligent, and diligent researchers of Scripture - but (b) NONE will agree on every point in Scripture. This means that either Scripture CAN be interpreted in several different ways (i.e. that there is not 'one' inerrent interpretation) or that we are fallible and Scripture is not. I choose the second option. And part of that fallibility is attributable to our 'life experiences' being brought into our efforts to honestly interpret Holy Writ.

I am excited for you as well :)

Grace and peace brother,

PTL

SelahV said...

Brad: how very very exciting. 32 weeks! do you and your wife know whether God is blessing you with a boy or girl! This is going to be one of the most profound moments in your lives. Your eyes will see things you have never even conceived possible. God bless you greatly.

Enjoyed the dialog just now. Am still wondering how people so "gifted" with the Spirit will speak to this. selahV

brad reynolds said...

PTL
Thanks for your excitement for my wife and I. Kelton has already brought us great joy. No to your points:)

Nowhere is there any mention of practicing “ecstatic utterances” correctly. That’s like saying they were “praying to Pluto” correctly. We have no evidence that there is such a thing as correct ecstatic utterances…NONE. Show me one clear passage where there was correct “ecstatic utterances.” The Greek word for tongue means language!!!

You miss the entire point, which is why I use hyperbole above. The point is WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT ECSTATIC UTTERANCES OCCURRED ANYWHERE BUT CORINTH!!! Languages (Tongues in Acts as scholars from all denominations agree) were practiced elsewhere but not ecstatic utterances; to assume they were is an argument from silence.

You see: you make the assumption that Scriptural tongues are ecstatic utterances based on Corinthians (not Acts or anywhere else in Scripture) and then you use your assumption (tongues in Scripture are ecstatic utterances) to state “therefore it was practiced in other areas”; and then you use your statement that “ecstatic utterances were practiced in other areas” (it is legitimate since other areas practiced it correctly) to prove your assumption (tongues are ecstatic utterances). This is known as circular reasoning and not valid in debate.

Again concerning point 2, we will disagree. Paul was an example in gentleness.

To point 3 – I never said he sacrificed holiness, but kudos on your sleight of hand. I said Paul did say it was wrong and corrected their public worship (please reread my post)…but he allowed them to save face and keep unity even though John Calvin pointed out such gibberish would be Faulty.

To your final point – We agree we CAN be subjective in interpreting Scripture, but if it is impossible for us to arrive at THE CORRECT interpretation of Scripture in spite of our upbringing then Revelation is not Revelation. Now to claim we have inerrantly arrived at THE CORRECT interpretation is also errant as I made clear with the prelude to my post (you may want to reread that also), nevertheless I explain why I am confident the Trustees were correct – which was the rest of my post.

Again, you have failed to show any error in logic or Scriptural understanding in my post. You have just suggested alternative scenarios from silence (of which there are millions - for example the Philippians actually spoke in a combination of known languages and ecstatic utterances which is what we should do – or the Ephesians spoke in Hebrew and everyone understood it in their own languages, which is what we should do – or the Colossians actually prayed in King James language and if it was good enough for them then we should pray in it, etc) but that reveals nothing.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Selah
Thank you for your words. He is a little boy and we have named him Kelton Isaiah. April and I have just finished reading the Old Testament to him and hope to finish the New Testament before he comes forth from the womb. He seemed to move around alot when we were in Jeremiah...at any rate we are praying God will use him greatly and will providentially grace the mistakes we make in parenting.

I too am anxious to hear from those who have the gift...although PTL is giving a valiant effort to be their spokesman.
BR

volfan007 said...

brad,

get ready for sleepless nites...unless, like me, you are a sound sleeper and your wife is a light sleeper...wink..wink.


having children is a great blessing from God. it will...as... selah puts it....open your eyes to many things about life. it made me mature in ways i didnt know about. my wife and i have three children....two are in college...the baby is in jr. high.

God bless you, and extra blessings on your wife.

from the hills of tn,

volfan007

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Please understand that I am not advocating the acceptance of PPL's or ecstatic utterances - I am simply offering my humble thoughts on why I am hesitant to be as adamantly opposed to such as you are. I am afraid, however, that - based on your sharp rhetoric - I have incurred your ire. Please forgive me for such as that was not my intention.
Having said that, I must take exception to your analogy of "praying to Pluto". I'm afraid that is a poor analogy my friend as we are told over and over that there is only One God and that we are to have no other gods before us/Him - thus praying to Pluto or any other diety for that matter is EXPLICITLY forbidden. Ecstatic utterances, however, are not explicitly forbidden. Thus, your analogy fails. My only point was that to argue that the Ephesians or Colossians did not practice ecstatic utterances as evidenced by the fact that Paul didn't address ecstatic utterances in his letters to these churches is an argument from silence. Agreed?
To your next accusation: I make/made no assumption that ecstatic utterances are the same as Scriptural tongues - or at least I didn't intend to. If you'll kindly point to where I made that statement, I'll gladly recant. I wouldn't spend too much time looking, however, as I can assure you I never made that statement.
To your next accusation: I never said that tongues - be it ecstatic utterances or languages - were practiced in other areas - or at least I didn't intend to. If you'll kindly point to where I made that statement, I'll gladly recant. I do, however, remember saying that we cannot say tongues were NOT practiced in other areas simply because Paul didn't broach the subject in his other pastorals (I'm not sure where you got the statements that you put in quotations, but they certainly weren't from my posts). Feel free to quote me any time, dear brother, just don't attribute quotes to me that I didn't make. :)
Finally, you may be wrong about the Colossians speaking in King James english - I don't think the King James version was available at that time. :)


PS - I'm no one's spokesperson except my own. God knows I have enough trouble keeping up with my own ideas - I certainly don't have the time or talent to be anyone else's spokesperson, so please don't give that title to one who obviously doesn't deserve it. :)

Grace and peace,

PTL

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I have held off responding to your post up till now, because I do not have the time right now to give a thorough answer to every point.

For the time being, it looks like PTL is doing a pretty good job with some of the points I would have brought up.

In general, though, I think a lot of what you are saying hinges on a forced interpretation of terms like "ecstatic utterances" and "PPL" that are not biblical terms, and only serve, in my opinion, to "muddy the waters."

What exactly do you mean by "ecstatic utterances"? Would you call, if it you were convinced it existed, an "angelic language" that defied human attempts of linguistic analysis, yet had a meaning that could be translated by the supernatural gift of "interpretation of tongues" and "ecstatic utterance"? Does the word "ecstatic" imply out of control? What do you (and other people) mean when you use this term?

Even though the Bible does not specifically use the term "private prayer language," would you not agree that 1 Cor. 14.2 and 28 refer to praying privately to God in tongues (independently of how you define them)?

Would you not agree that the "New Revelation" argument is essentially a "straw man," since no one I know of on the Southern Baptist blogosphere, nor anyone I know of who has ever been affiliated with the IMB, is arguing for "New Revelation" as you are describing it here?

Last of all, though PTL has already touched on this, in my opinion the double-entendre interpretation of 1 Cor. 14 (your point #5) does violence to the natural reading of the text. If we as evangelicals really believe in the perspicuity of the Bible, that it is a book able to be understood by the common person, I don't see how such a convoluted reading of 1 Cor. 14 makes any sense at all. It sounds more like trying to decipher the Da Vinci Code or the Cabbala to me.

Jim said...

Thanks for the post Brad. I'm becoming more convinced of your position.

Alan Cross said...

Brad, I'm sure that you are a fine man and I consider you a Christian brother. I'm going to disagree with you here, but please do not take any of this personally. I am only dealing with your arguments.

1. I don't believe that you can make the point that because Paul only writes to the Corinthians about tongues they were were not happening anywhere else. That's an argument from silence. We know that not everything that happened in the early churches is addressed in Scripture. That is impossible. These letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit so that they and WE would have the teaching we would need to guide us in our walk with the Lord. How many things were just mentioned in one letter? Are you now going to call those things into question because they were only mentioned once? How many things were completely left out? We have possibly two letters to the Corinthians that Paul wrote that are lost. How many other letters are lost? The point is that this is in the BIBLE because God wanted it there and it is authoritative. You are minimizing the occurrence of tongues because you are saying that only one church engaged in it. You have no proof of that, but you are basing an argument on silence.

"Perhaps more than any other evidence, the silence of Scripture on Tongues (outside of the Corinthian abuses) speaks volumes."

I think that your use of an argument from silence speaks volumes about your biases and presuppositions and how they guide you through your interpretation. I believe that you broke one of the cardinal rules of Biblical interpretation here.

2. If what the Corinthians were practicing was pagan, Paul would have forbid it. He would not have called it a gift of the Spirit that came from the Spirit of Christ without whom no one can say "Jesus is Lord." Are you saying that what Paul called a gift of the Spirit, what he said he practiced more than any of them, what he told them not to forbid, and what he wished they all practiced, was a pagan practice? I am dumbfounded. You are saying that Paul is affirming paganism, because he clearly affirmed the practice of tongues in Corinth. He limited it, guided it, and corrected it's abuses, but he did not eliminate it when he had every chance to do so, and he encouraged them to do it correctly, while subjugating it in the church to prophecy. Your words ascribe what the Corinthians were doing to a pagan origin and you are led into the fallacy that that was alright with Paul based on what he said about the gift.

3. You are explaining away Paul's apparent vacilation on tongues according to your interpretation of 1 Cor. 14 as him being gentle? Yes, Paul was gentle, but he was never unclear. He had no problem being directive and clear on every issue because he knew that their spiritual lives depended on his teaching. According to you, they were engaging in pagan practices and Paul was gentle to the point that he contradicted himself with trying to limit the practice, but he told them to not forbid the practice. This would make Paul a VERY poor communicator at best, or possibly someone who was afraid of the opinions of man (he didn't want to offend them), or a deceiver because he wanted them to stop but didn't want to come straight out and say it.

The idea that he didn't want to put out their fire seems silly to me. Spiritual fire comes from being connected to the Spirit and obeying the Lord, not from religious hysteria or unfounded zeal. A prime thing that reduces spiritual fire is to engage in unbiblical practices that zap your energy and divert your attention away from God. Because Paul loved them, he would have warned them to stop engaging in pagan practices, lest they "may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3).


4. Concerning your comments on the canon, you say, "It appears to me that the purpose of most manifestations of tongues (ecstatic utterances) today is to share a word or revelation from God." The way that Paul addresses the Corinthian use of tongues has nothing to do with receiving new revelation, but rather with talking to God through prayer and praise, and in the case of an interpretation, edification. The problem came in when they would abuse this gift and go up to one another and talk to one another in tongues without an interpreter. This was foolish because it was not the purpose, unless there was an interpreter. It was a hindrance to public worship.

What "appears" to you to be happening today, really has no bearing on a scriptural discussion. You are making an argument from your experience and are doing what you accuse Pentecostals of doing.

5. If that is the case, Paul is being unclear. Why would he bring further confusion? Why would he try to eliminate a practice through this way? If he wanted it to end, why would he not have said so? To go back and forth between two different types of tongues, one being Biblical (in your opinion), the other being pagan (again, in your opinion), and thus from the devil, without any hint of this is very strange to say the least. You are not even convinced of this yourself, because you say, "it is very possible." I would heartily disagree.

If all "scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16), then your conclusions are clearly wrong, because this passage is indecipherable according to your conclusions. You could only see things this way if you were predisposed to this interpretation. How could anyone draw these conclusions from a clear reading of the text? How could this be used to teach others in how to function in the body? Your conclusions are full of your own presuppositions.

When I read your arguments, or Dr. Yarnell's paper, I see a scrambling to try and defend a position by piecing together ideas, arguments from silence, arguments from your own lack of experience, and arguments from the existence of abuse. I see otherwise fine biblical expositors reduce themselves to cut and paste eisegetes who are trying to prove a point rather than interpret what Scripture actually says. A clear reading of the text, based on the context and other Scripture would not lead someone to come to your conclusions, in my opinion.

Just one more thing: I agree with the BFM2000 stance on women in ministry. I am very conservative in that regard, primarily because the interpretation of the texts that support it comes from a clear reading of that Scripture. The opponents of the SBC stance bring in all types of variables and theological gymnastics to show that the text does not mean what is actually says. Baptists were smart enough, conservative enough, and had enough faith in the inerrant Word of God to reject such nonsense and stick to the clear reading of the text. If you employed the same hermenuetic to tongues as I am sure you employ with women in ministry, you would come to radically different conclusions than what you have come to, in my opinion.

I believe that the "conservative" position on this issue is a continualist position because it accepts the clear reading of the text instead of assumptions, arguments from silence, and innuendo the way that your argument seems to do.

Thanks for putting your ideas forward. If this viewpoint is guiding the SBC, then, I believe, our fidelity to Scripture is in danger.

Jonny V said...

Brad,

Congrats on the birth of your son. Mine is right at 11 months now. There's nothing like fatherhood, man!

brad reynolds said...

David

I will try to address your thoughts point by point.

1. I shall assume by the phrase “angelic language” you are referencing 1 Corinthians 13. The tongues or “language” of angels…let us note some things here. First Paul’s purpose was certainly not to validate the existence of such just as he did not validate the existence of “other gods” when he addressed the philosophers although he did admit they had “objects of worship” including an alter to the unknown god. Paul wasn’t validating the alter any more than he was validating an angelic language. What Paul was doing in 1 Corinthians 13 was actually de-emphasizing “tongues” for Love and for the better gift of communication.

Now, when he says “angelic language” are you assuming it is the language angels use to communicate with each other? or are you assuming it is the language by which we communicate with angels? Or are you assuming with scholars it is the language the Corinthians assumed existed in their syncritic practices. If the former or latter then we are discussing a non-issue; if the middle then allow me to remind you that every instance in Scripture where angels communicated with man it was through human language. We have NO INSTANCE where angels communed with man through angelic language.

Further, every case where angels communed with God was for the purpose of DIVINE REVELATION. For what purpose do angels have to commune with man now, we have the full revelation of God; the canon is complete!

If however, by “angelic language you mean communication with Jesus or the Holy Spirit then shouldn’t we better call it “Jesus Language” or “Holy Spirit Language?” And yet once again we have NO EVIDENCE that God ever communed with man in something other than human language. Now if He communicated Scripture (the most divine communication given) through human language, it begs the question as to why He might communicate further through non-human language.

2. Again if we look at the abuse of tongues in Corinth through the Scriptural use in Acts then we may logically assume Paul could very well be addressing the abuses here and putting in policy which would cause it to cease in worship services and yet allowing them to continue the utterances in private, thus not diluting their zeal.

If however, their purpose of using them was for “honor” as Corinthians implies, then to reduce it to private practice would in essence cause it too cease in Corinth. Which is also the point of vs 28. Concerning the use of using languages which one does not understand in order to commune with God I don’t think I could express my concerns any better than Calvin did.

3. The New Revelation argument is certainly not a straw man! What does one receive from God in their ecstatic or “angelic” experience if not a word? If the only message they are receiving is Philippians 2:13 or Galatians 5:22 or any other Scripture then the purpose of tongues is questioned. However, when one practices tongues or PPL they are receiving words or communication from God in a special language and thus more revelation.

4. I’m not sure you can dismiss the double-entendre interpretation so easily. Would you dismiss a double-entendre interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 so quickly? And quite frankly I believe a clear understanding of Scripture does require in-depth study even into the original languages (2 Timothy 2:15). Now that does not mean that the Holy Spirit cannot reveal truth to a man who has a 2nd grade reading level, but it certainly does not mean that such a man should not study deeper than a cursory reading.

Hope this helps
BR

brad reynolds said...

PTL

You have certainly not incurred my ire, my friend. I am a very analytical person and sometimes the kindness I intend in my responses is missed by those I respond to because I simply jump into the debate. I would much rather discuss face to face rather than through type because so much of the communication is lost in type and thus misunderstood. Please forgive when I appear “short” I certainly do not intend such.

Now my point about praying to Pluto was not to state that it was a viable practice. But to reveal that to argue that ecstatic utterances occurred elsewhere is like saying the erroneous praying to Pluto occurred elsewhere. There is no evidence of either. Thus I repeat, “We have no evidence that there is such a thing as correct ecstatic utterances…NONE. Show me one clear passage where there was correct “ecstatic utterances.” The Greek word for tongue means language!!!”

I’m still waiting for the passage:)

If you are not assuming that ecstatic utterances or whatever you want to call them (angelic language nonhuman language, etc) are Scriptural tongues then for my part our entire conversation has been in vain…for we are agreed that Scriptural tongues are not ecstatic utterances:) - The same is true about your next statement if you don’t assume such then we are agreed:)

The point I was making is that we must consider the purposes of the books and what is included and what is not. Why would Paul say some things to the Ephesians he didn’t say to the Colossians even though he wrote the letters at the same time to similar churches. One must consider that one of the main reasons Paul would not have included his warnings against incest or his comments on ecstatic utterances to the other churches was because they were not having such problems. Now it is possible that the Ephesians were practicing incest like the Corinthians and Paul addressed it in another letter, which we do not have. But to claim they were practicing it is an argument from silence. Thus, I repeat, “WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT ECSTATIC UTTERANCES OCCURRED ANYWHERE BUT CORINTH!!!”

Concerning the King James Language that could have been the language of their ecstatic utterances, thus my point of alternate scenarios from silence.

Finally, don’t sell yourself short…you exhibit great talent and thought and would be an excellent spokesperson for those who believe in PPL, as David affirms.

However, you would be wrong:)

God bless my friend
BR

brad reynolds said...

Alan

Thanks for your kind spirit.

Now to your points.

1. Again, I said, “We have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances (commonly called tongues today) were ever uttered in any NT church outside of Corinth. In fact, we have no Scriptural evidence that any believer other than Corinthian believers experienced ecstatic utterances.”

To claim they were practicing such is actually the argument from silence.

That is the point…it appears that those who affirm tongues, assume it was a common practice in the NT churches and yet they have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances were practiced anywhere but Corinth were they were abused and were used in “cult” practices also (this is not to imply that the Corinthian syncretism was cultish or devilish itself).

Now, inevitably one will argue “but Brad to assume they were not being practiced is an argument from silence.” That is like saying, “to assume the NT Christians did not stand on their heads when they prayed is an argument from silence.” Sure they could have prayed in such a position but to state that they did is the argument from silence. Thus, the assumption is that they did not although they could have.

Normal language and normal prayer was not ecstatic utterances; and tongues in Acts were not ecstatic utterances (which actually validates a double-entendre meaning in Corinthians if the Corinthians were speaking in nonhuman language – since tongues in other places meant human language).

And thus I conclude with your statement applied to your logic:) – “I think that your use of an argument from silence speaks volumes about your biases and presuppositions and how they guide you through your interpretation. I believe that you broke one of the cardinal rules of Biblical interpretation here.”

2. and 3. To assume Paul was calling the Corinthian abuses of tongues rather than the biblical practice of tongues in Acts, as the gift of the spirit is quite an assumption. Further, to assume that I am equating the “fault” of the Corinthians with Paganism is a false assumption. Concerning the gentleness of Paul and his rebuke please read my remarks to PTL about Galatians. IMHO, we do have to be gentle with new believers, especially if it would embarrass them.
4. Actually, what is happening today does have bearing on Scripture, especially if, in their communion with God they are hearing things from Him (revelation). Further, if they are just expressing their thoughts to Him than Calvin addresses that.
5. Basically, what you say here of Dr. Yarnell and me could very easily be said of your interpretation. The only difference being, I know of know validity to your interpretation from any scholars before the modern charismatic movement. Which begs the question as to who is really being led by traditions of man and who is actually dealing with the texts as scholars before have. Tongues in ACTS were known languages; please interpret Corinthians by the clearness of Acts.

Again, I do not do a good job of communicating in type the kindness I intend so please forgive me and thanks for your spirit.

God Bless my friend

Also, I hope this response addresses your questions in the other communication.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jim

Next time you are in Wake Forest, I would love to have lunch with you...I enjoyed meeting you. Your friend and mine speaks very highly of you.
BR

brad reynolds said...

jonny

Thanks for the encouragement and may God bless you and your family
BR

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

I praise the Lord for how He had blessed you and your wife.

I will be getting to my points quickly.

You said "Instead of criticizing the errant and foolish beliefs of the philosophers at Rome he commended their religious zeal."

No. He "observed" their religiosity (vs. 22).

You said "Amazingly, he even took one of their idols and rather than condemn idol worship, he exclaimed that the God which, that idol represented (unknown God) was the God of the Bible."

He did condemn it. He told them they "ought" not think of God as an idol (vs. 29).

Paul was committed to "bringing into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Therefore, Paul would not tolerate ANY cultish idea in the church. And therefore your argument of Paul tolerating a cultish practice and merely giving guidance for its usage is without merit.

Tongues in 1 Corinthians was valid or else Paul would have taken the idea of tongues captive to Christ.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I too must concur that this is an excellent post. Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brad reynolds said...

JLG

Thanks friend.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Benji

Thanks my brother.

We will disagree on your first point. I think Paul was commending their religious zeal (vs. 21) and he did not criticize their errant and foolish beliefs. However, you are right he did observe their religiosity also.

He didn’t “condemn” it until after he had taken one of their very idols and exclaimed, the God which, that idol represented (unknown God) was the God of the Bible.

I did not say the Corinthian syncretism was a cultish practice, anymore than a Catholic who still wears a crucifix is a cultish practice. For although some Catholics pray to such a relic (cultish), if they are truly saved they will depart from such practice, but may hold on to the crucifix as an inspirational symbol.

Hope this helps
BR

brad reynolds said...

To All,

Again no one has refuted the following statement.

"We have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances (commonly called tongues today) were ever uttered in any NT church outside of Corinth. In fact, we have no Scriptural evidence that any believer other than Corinthian believers experienced ecstatic utterances."

Which begs the question, and the cultural setting in Corinth may answer the begged question.
BR

RevBubbaBear said...

Dr. Brad,

I have been thankin over what you said on this here post. I reread the Scriptures and I thank you are right on target. I never saw it just like that, but I do thanks you are right. Thanks for helpin me see this.

Can you clear up something for me? When I read Mr. David Rogers, he sounds like one of them there tent enlargen tongue speakers. Is he?

Bubba,

VOLFAN,

Sounds like you got a good handle on thangs too.

Ps. Brad, what happened to your Cowgirls? I mean Cowboys.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

What part of Virginia do you live in? I used to live in Hopewell a few years ago.

You said "We have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances (commonly called tongues today) were ever uttered in any NT church outside of Corinth. In fact, we have no Scriptural evidence that any believer other than Corinthian believers experienced ecstatic utterances."

It could have been because they were not abusing the gift. I can give this reason, at the least, just as easy as you can give the particular reason why you think it is.

Pointing out the "unkown God" was no encouragement. It was a humbling statement because Paul was telling them that they lacked knowledge and needed it (which is a humbling thing to be told).

Paul spoke well of the Corinthians not missing out on ANY gift (1 Cor. 1:7). Therefore, the gift of tongues was a valid gift.

However, according to your argument, you have Paul allowing something to be practiced (tongues) in the church THAT WAS NOT BASED UPON THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST.

But Paul was committed to EVERYTHING being based on the authority of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Sure you can apply Christ's commands in different ways. But you have these Corinthians being allowed to practice something that they could find no Christological basis to practice in the first place.

Alan Cross said...

Brad,

Thank you so much for engaging with everyone on this! I see what you did with my comment and I completely understand. Thanks for taking the time to respond to us. I know this is taking a lot of your time, but these are the types of discussions we need to be having. I appreciate you and your willingness to debate this important topic.

You said:

"Again no one has refuted the following statement.

'We have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances (commonly called tongues today) were ever uttered in any NT church outside of Corinth. In fact, we have no Scriptural evidence that any believer other than Corinthian believers experienced ecstatic utterances.'

"Which begs the question, and the cultural setting in Corinth may answer the begged question."


My question is, why does that matter? I believe that you are setting false rules that you are forcing the rest of us to play by, and they are irrelevant. Paul sets forth a clear teaching of the GIFT of the SPIRIT and does not forbid it. Rather, he wishes that they all did it. It can be reasonably assumed that it happened elsewhere, especially since it is equated to praying with the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:14-16)and both Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 tell us to pray in the Spirit. But, even if that didn't exist, the fact that Paul lays out a clear teaching on the subject cannot be disregarded on cultural grounds or because there were abuses. We KNOW that Paul's letters were often written to correct problems or abuses (see Galatians and Colossians). The fact that it is not mentioned in other letters could have meant that they were not having a problem with it being used incorrectly in other places, just like the fact that circumcision is not mentioned in every one of Paul's letters can mean that the Judaizers had not sown their seeds of legalism there yet.

Paul spoke in tongues more than them all. It is not absurd to assume that he was open about this with others as well. As a matter of fact, we have no complete list of the gifts of the Spirit because the lists are a little different everywhere they are mentioned.

If the Holy Spirit is the true author of Scripture, does He have to repeat a teaching over and over for it to be acceptable? How many times does something have to be mentioned before it is considered acceptable? If we look at the New Testament as a whole, and we see a clear teaching on a subject, how are we able to disavow that teaching because it is only mentioned one place? How are we able to use our cultural knowledge in order to eliminate the weight of that teaching? This seems spurious to me and more than a little disingenous. Again, I believe that you are being led by your presuppositions.

I like your spirit and your zeal Brad, but if I had used your reasoning in my seminary theology or New Testament classes, I would have been severely marked down.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Brad,

For a SEBTS guy, you are doing incredibly well. I have been following this discussion and am admiring your consistency and your gentleness. Glad we are in agreement!

Alan Cross said...

Brad,

I want to apologize for my last remark about being marked down in seminary courses if I used your argumentation. That was not meant disrespectfully, but I am afraid that it probably will come across that way. What I was trying to say, and did it wrong, is that I was not taught to think theologically in the way that you are thinking. If I did use your reasoning, it would not be accepted. I am sure that you and I agree on way more than we disagree on and we probably use the same type of hermenuetic on most other issues. Your method regarding this topic seems to be a deviation and it seems very foreign to me and to the way I was trained to think in an SBC seminary.

Again, sorry for any offense. It was not intentional. I really do want to stay above board in this. Thanks again for your time and effort to engage with us.

brad reynolds said...

Benji

I lived in Waverly, near Hopewell for 11 years. I now live in NC.

Also, We will disagree about Paul’s kindness to the philosophers on Mars Hill.


Benji and Alan,

It appears to me that you are making the assumption the biblical tongues were the ecstatic utterances which Paul was correcting in Corinth rather than the Languages practiced in Acts. Now if both were the same thing then the Corinthians were actually speaking human languages. If they were not the same then you are assuming the other Christian practiced the abused ecstatic utterances rather than the Biblical model at Pentecost. Yes Tongues were a gift of the Holy Spirit and yes I think Paul (the greatest Missionary of the time) was certainly gifted by God with them. It is no wonder he wanted all to speak, the gospel was conveyed in other languages through them.

Contextually, I think the Corinthian tongues were ecstatic utterances and therefore obviously different than the tongues in Acts. And since the tongues in Acts came at Pentecost I think they are the ones Paul is speaking of.

Now, you can assume that Christians everywhere were speaking ecstatic utterances rather than the tongues in Acts (human language), but I can also assume they stood on their heads to pray – we have no evidence of either.

It makes better sense that Paul did not address it in the other letters because they were not abusing the tongues mentioned in Acts (human language), rather than assuming they were not abusing the ecstatic utterances in Corinth…which begs the question.

Alan – No offense taken at your remark. I do think one of us has departed from good hermeneutic practice:)

Thank you both for the kindness with which you display.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Bear

Thank You.

However, once again you ask me a question that I think you would do better to ask the individual of whom you speak. I try not to answer for others.

Concerning your comment about my Cowboys…well that doesn’t bother me since it comes from a Bear in hibernation (anonymous:).
BR

brad reynolds said...

Tim,
Thanks my brother. Sometimes its humbling, knowing I teach at the greatest seminary:)
BR

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
It seems that your main basis for dismissing 'tongues' (or whatever monicker you apply to what the Corinthians were practicing) is that the letter to the Corinthians is the only pastoral which dealt with the issue - thus your many requests (rhetorical I assume) for someone to point to any passage outside that book as textual proof for the viability of that gift. What you are failing to see, my friend, is that you are ignoring the same request from others - i.e. where is the proof that the other churches did not practice 'tongues'? You say that the assertion that they MAY have is an argument from silence, but your assertion that they didn't is ALSO an argument from silence. Where, my friend, is the passage where Paul says that the Corinthian church is the only church involved in this 'pagan' (as you call it) behavior?
To use an appropriate analogy, the only letter in which Paul dealt with correct manner of observing the Lord's Supper is the letter to the Corinthians. It would be ludicrous, however, to claim that, since he didn't address this issue in the other pastorals, they didn't practice it. It seems more logical to assume that they practiced it correctly and that it didn't need to be addressed - granted, this too is an argument from silence, but a logical one.
Again, I am personally uncomfortable with the practice of tongues, but I'm not convinced that my discomfort is as much environmental as Spiritual.

Grace and peace,

PTL

volfan007 said...

brad,

hold the line, bro. you are right on target about this issue. it is of the utmost importance that paul speaks of tongues in corinthians in order to put down ecstatic utterances as having no value, being confusing to the lost, and resulting in disorder. he is actually getting onto the corinthians for participating in this practice, just like he got onto the corinthians for many things in thier carnal, worldly, fleshly state of being.

brad,

you are like clear water in the middle of the muddy mississippi river. thank you for your voice of truth and common sense and reason amongst all the muddy water.
and remember, you are a heavy, sound sleeper....your wife is a light sleeper....you cant wake up when the baby cries at 2 am. wink...wink.


bear,

God bless you, bro. keep growling.

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

PTL

You are RIGHT. The Corinthians were abusing the tongues we see in Acts. It had become ecstatic utterances. Of course, we can assume that the other churches were practicing the correct gift of tongues as we see in Acts (human languages).

However, my point, was that to assume the other churches were practicing tongues the way the Corinthians were (ecstatic utterances) rather than the way it was practiced in Acts (other human languages) is the argument from silence. It would be equivalent to saying the other churches were practicing the Lord’s Supper in the same way the Corinthians were…which begs the question as to why Corinth was the only church Paul addressed.

Now, you can certainly state that my assumption that the other churches practiced tongues in the manner we see in Acts and not in Corinthians is an argument from silence but that would be equivalent to saying “I think the Christians in Ephesus prayed to a crucifix rather than praying in the same manner as the Christians in Acts, because if you say they prayed as the other Christians in Acts prayed you are arguing from silence.”

I’m not sure what you were saying at the end…but if you were saying your lack of comfort with tongues is due to your environment rather than the spirit, then can we assume that the more spiritual you become the more comfort you will have with tongues?

I may very well have misunderstood you…and I apologize if I did.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Volfan

Thanks.

As to being a sound sleeper...too late:(
My wife already knows better.
BR

brad reynolds said...

PTL

One other thing. I do not think our upbringing is a legitimate excuse for why we translate something the way we do. Nor do I believe it carries any validity in this debate. That’s like saying, I can understand why some believe they can lose their salvation – they were brought up believing such. At some point we have to say, my upbringing does not filter Scripture.

I think you will agree with me here.
BR

Anonymous said...

Actually, the only time the Bible insinuates "tongues" were known human languages is in Acts 2, and even that is up for question, as it does not specifically state this to be the case. Some interpreters posit the possibility of a miracle in the ears of the hearers, who the text says "each one HEARD them speaking in his own language." In any case, the case for "tongues" normally being what you call "ecstatic utterance" is just as good as it being "known human languages." The better option to either one, is what Paul says in 1 Cor. 12.10: "different kinds of tongues."

Anonymous said...

Brad,

It would be helpful for me, in order to get a better grasp on your interpretation, if you could go through 1 Cor. 12-14, and each time the word "tongues" appears, tell me if you think it is referring to "known human languages" or "ecstatic utterances," and your reason for making that assumption in each case. I know this would be a bit complicated, but it would perhaps help me to see a bit better where you are coming from.

Jeffro said...

Brad,

I thought I would let you know that I was encouraged that you actually said to volfan, "As Calving argues." Maybe you boys are coming around...;-)

Well maybe not, volfan wouldn't have wanted to allow J.P. Boyce(an aggressive five pointer) to found Southern Seminary or serve as President for 8 years.

Maybe volfan will start reading Calvin next....lol
God Bless

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
The point at which your argument fails is your assertion that 'ecstatic utterances' are wrong. It is a mighty leap, brother, to say that Paul was referencing 'languages' in I Cor. 14:2. If the inference were, in fact, languages, then why would Paul say that no one but God would understand it?
My point has always been that, whether the 'tongues' addressed in I Cor. 14 is languages or utterances, the Corinthians were practicing it wrongly and needed direction from Paul on how to practice it correctly (as with the Lord's supper); and to say that the other churches did not practice utterances is an argument from silence. We can only surmise that, if they did practice them, that they were orderly and had interpreters present, no?
To your assumption, you may not assume that I would say that 'the more Spiritual we become, the more comfortable we'll be with tongues.' I simply said that my discomfort with tongues MAY be associated with my upbringing. To this point, you're arguments are not convincing. Am I curious that I've never spoken in tongues and yet I believe I am fully saved? Sure. Would I vehemently disagree with those who would add the work of 'speaking in tongues' to justification/sanctification? Of course! But on grounds other than our cut and paste exegesis for why tongues is no longer a valid gift.
And finally (again), you're correct - upbringing is not an excuse for ANYTHING, much less Biblical exegesis. It does, however, influence how we see/interpret EVERYTHING - that's not an excuse, it's a fact. And it's an indisputable fact. Else, why would the VAST preponderance of people remain in the environment in which they were brought up? Were you raised southern baptist? And are you now a southern baptist preacher? You may say that it is due simply to your Biblical acumen and is completely unrelated to your upbringing, but you will only be deceiving yourself. Is that an excuse? NO! Is it a fact? YES.
Is the Bible inerrent? Of course! Are we? Certainly not! You cannot honestly say that your upbringing/culture/environment does not influence the way you interpret Scripture. Humanity itself will disprove you.

Grace and peace brother,

PTL

brad reynolds said...

David,

Actually, as Dr. Yarnell makes clear – Acts 2 is not the only place. I apologize for quoting him extensively here…but I think some have not read his article. I hope this helps.

“The Jews who were present in Caesarea heard the Gentiles “speak with tongues [lalounton glossais] and magnify God” (10:46). This wondrous event had a significant impact upon Peter. The sign of the Spirit’s coming upon the Jews was now evident in His coming upon the Gentiles. The Jewish Christians heard these foreign Gentiles magnify God as they communicated intelligibly in languages. Peter therefore commanded that his Jewish Christian companions baptize the Gentile Christians, thus bringing Gentile believers into fellowship with the Jerusalem church (10:47-48).

Afterwards, when word of these events spread, other Jewish Christians questioned Peter. Peter relayed to them that the Holy Spirit had come upon the Gentiles at Caesarea as He had come upon the Jews. The sign-value of this event was not lost upon Peter’s questioners, for they too glorified God that He had graced the Gentiles with repentance and life (11:12-18). Similar to the events at Jerusalem, speaking with tongues at Caesarea publicly magnified God. Moreover, like the Jerusalem occurrence, the purpose of the sign of speaking with tongues was to verify that the Father was active in saving people—here, the Gentiles—by sending His Son and His Spirit. While speaking in tongues, they “magnified God:” the gift both helped publicly convey the gospel and uniquely signified divine verification of that gospel.

Acts 19:6: The dual role of the gift in proclamation and in verification occurs once again in Acts 19:6. Here, the followers of John the Baptist, who were expecting the Messiah but had not yet surrendered to Jesus Christ, were also converted and received the Spirit. For the third and final time in the book of Acts, a unique group of people was publicly verified as coming into the church through the sign of glossolalia. The former followers of John the Baptist were now Christians and “spoke with tongues [elaloun glossais] and prophesied.” Again, the gift functioned as verification that a new people were brought into a church. Again, the gift intelligibly conveyed the gospel. The verification concerned the conversion of the followers of John the Baptist. The proclamation can be seen in the coupling of prophesy with the gift.

These three passages—Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6—are the only instances regarding speaking in tongues in the book of Acts. Pentecostal theologians assert glossolalia also occurred in Acts 8;4 however, there is no textual support for such speculation. All three passages treat the gift of speaking in tongues as the public and intelligible communication of truth about God. These passages also treat the gift of speaking in tongues as a verifying sign of the unique coming of the Holy Spirit upon a new group of people, thereby incorporating that group into the church. There are numerous other instances of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon new believers without any indication of the gift of tongues being present (Acts 2:41-42, 8:12, 9:17-19). Although Scripture teaches that the Spirit must accompany the proclamation of the Word to be effective (1 Thess. 1:5-6), there is no specific reason to assume that the verification provided by the particular spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is required beyond the verification of the incorporation of these three main communities – Jews, Gentiles, and followers of John the Baptist.


1 Corinthians 12-14: In contrast to the churches in Acts, the church at Corinth was an extremely unhealthy and fractured church. Its membership included a number of former pagans who were finding it difficult to leave behind their ungodly ways. In discussing spiritual gifts, a major concern for these former pagans, Paul found it necessary to re-educate the Corinthians by placing the gift of tongues in its proper context. First, he reminded the Corinthians that before converting to Christ they had followed “dumb [aphona] idols” (1 Cor. 12:2). An aphonic idol is literally an idol “without a voice” or “without meaning.” In the Old Testament, God’s powerful voice [translated as phona in the Septuagint] indicated His self-revelation by His Word. In the New Testament, phona may indicate a powerful voice expressed through those who bear the Spirit of God.

Opposite the biblical examples of God speaking phonically, powerfully and clearly, through His servants, idols are known to be aphonic, incapable of speech and meaningless. Pagans believed their idols could express themselves in speech through an oracle, but their speech was unintelligible and a religious poet was required to translate. Examples of ecstatic, untranslatable speech may be found in the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi as well as the cults of Dionysius and Cybele. The pre-Christian background of the Corinthians indicates that ecstatic religious experiences involving unintelligible speech conferred special status upon those who practiced such. Unfortunately, the Corinthian believers brought their pagan religious practices, its attendant elitism, and the resulting social divisions into the Christian church (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10-11; 3:1-4, 18; 11:17- 22).

Where the healthy churches of Jerusalem and Ephesus experienced tongues as a significant verification of popular conversion which proclaimed the gospel and united the people of God, the unhealthy Corinthian church was experiencing tongues as a sign of personal status which was unintelligible and resulted in divisions among the people of God. Paul was therefore forced to put the idea of glossolalia in its proper Christian context as intelligible and significant speech, in opposition to the pagan context where glossolalia was unintelligible and insignificant speech. He began fulfilling that difficult task by reminding the Corinthians that the Spirit will never lead people to curse Christ; instead, the Spirit’s role is to lead people to confess Jesus as Lord. The pagan practice of glossolalia, characterized by unintelligibility, could apparently lead some to ignorantly curse Christ (1 Cor. 12:3).”

BR

brad reynolds said...

David,

Perhaps you can go through the NT and tell us where you think tongues were not the tongues practiced in Acts 2. If you agree they are all like the ones in Acts 2 then we are agreed. Suffice it to say, I do not believe what the Corinthians were doing was what took place in Acts, hence Paul's correction.

God Bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

PTL

Your assumption that ecstatic utterances are right is where your argument fails:)

My argument is not that ecstatic utterances are wrong but rather the tongues in Acts were right and the tongues in Corinth were wrong. The tongues in Acts were known languages…the tongues in Corinth were ecstatic utterances. Now I did connect the dots, but I think the connection is very logical. Especially, in light of the other option, which is: the other instances of tongues in the NT, outside of Corinth, were known languages; the Corinthians were corrected by Paul, but we will assume that the other Christians practiced tongues like the Corinthians rather than like the occurrences in Acts and therefore ecstatic utterances are Biblical.

Again, this is circular reasoning. Ie – The Corinthian tongues (ecstatic utterances) are biblical because others practiced them, others practiced ecstatic utterances because they are biblical.

The surmising that others practiced utterances rather than languages like in Acts is actually the argument from silence…I am not sure I can find more ways of explaining this. But I state again for all…WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT ANYONE OUTSIDE OF CORINTH PRACTICED ECSTATIC UTTERANCES…WHILE WE CAN ASSUME ALL WE WANT IT DOES NOT MAKE IT SO.

I think we shall disagree and allow others to decide which is more logical and Scriptural.

Concerning upbringing. You imply I would be deceiving myself if I claimed I am SB by choice through an open-minded view of Scripture in spite of my upbringing. Surely, you are not claiming all SB who were born into SB homes would not be SB had they not been brought up as such. I think the Holy Spirit is able and does overpower our upbringings.

It is interesting that some (not you) think that the only open-minded SB are those who have departed from where SB have been historically. Could it actually be possible that our SB predecessors were correct and not incorrect in their interpretation of Scripture? Could it be that Dr. Rogers did not stand against the NAMB policy when he was president because he actually affirmed it (I did not know Dr. Rogers real well, but he did not come across to me as a man who would silence his voice if he felt something was wrong).

Further, if I am unable to interpret Scripture correctly because of my upbringing then for what reason did God give Scripture? I felt it was to reveal Himself to man, which would imply man could understand the truth of Scripture, in spite of his upbringing. I am confident God can commune with me through Scripture. Am I inerrant – of course not…but to assume that our errancy keeps us from rightly interpreting Scripture begs the question concerning the purpose of Revelation (if it is not Revelation).

God bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro

Thanks. Calvin was right on numerous things. I am sure you agree he was right on tongues:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

PTL
I do want to make sure you are not implying that we are forever bound to errant understandings of Scripture because of our raisings. I don’t think you are implying that but I want to be sure.
BR

volfan007 said...

jeffro,

i have read calvin. i have read spurgeon. i have read piper. i have read sproul.

also, john mcarthur is one of my favorite bible study helps.

maybe you will read j. vernon mcgee and dr. ironside?

still not a five pointer due to what the bible teaches,

volfan007

ps. david rogers, do you have a ppl? just curious.

volfan007 said...

brad,

once again, pride seems to be at the heart of the tongues...ppl...movevment. as with all extremes and error in theology. pride is a big reason why. i am more spiritual than you because i can speak in ecstatic jibberace...a la the corinthian cults that received status from it.

or, like with agressive, hybrid, neo five pointers who feel that they are more intellectual and more spiritual than others who are not willing to believe the doctrines of grace....as they put it, or tulip as the rest of us put it.

anyway, jeffro, i love five pointers. i beleive that yall are wrong...to the extreme...but, i still love ya and appreciate any good yall do for the kingdom of God. just as i appreciate my arminian, charismatic brothers...they are to the extreme, but i still thank God for the good they do for Gods kingdom.


from the hills of tn,

volfan007

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I have been meaning to get around to doing a thorough evalution of Dr. Yarnell's paper. However, it would require more free time than I have had lately. In the meantime, Alan Cross is doing a fantastic job on his blog of commenting about this whole general topic. I would love to see you, or any other readers here, make your way over to Alan's blog, and comment on the very insightful comments he is posting there.

Regarding the specific parts of Dr. Yarnell's paper you quote here, my response is:

I am not necessarily claiming the "tongues" in Acts 10.46 and 19.6 were not "known human languages," but, in my opinion, the case is far from conclusive. Acts 10.46 says in the NIV "For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God." It is possible to read this "heard them speaking in tongues" and also "heard them praising God." It is also possible that since they heard them "speaking in tongues," they assumed they were also, at the same time "praising God." It is also possible that they actually understood the words being spoken, though, since we have no reason to assume they were not all Greek speakers, it is a pretty big assumption, in my opinion, that they were speaking in some foreign language other than Greek that they had not previously learned. Such being the case, it would be necessary that it happened to be a language the hearers were able to understand. Or else, someone else "interpreted the tongues." But, that would be an argument from silence also.

Acts 19.6 says they "spoke in tongues and prophesied." Once again, we are before the disjunctive: "spoke in tongues" and also, as a separate activity, "prophesied", or "prophesied" by means of "speaking in tongues." The more natural reading, to me seem to be "prophesied" as a separate activity. Such being the case, Acts 19.6 says nothing whatsoever to indicate whether the "tongues" spoken were "known human languages" or not. Once again, there is no indication, though, that ability in foreign languages was necessary for clear communication.

Also, I fail to see the connection between pagan idolatrous practices and 1 Cor. 1:10-11; 3:1-4, 18; and 11:17- 22. All these verses point to, as far as I can see, is just plain garden-variety carnality and immaturity.

I will grant that 1 Cor. 12.3 does appear to allude to demonically-inspired "tongues" in which Jesus was being cursed. However, even this was not "ecstatic speech," since it apparently had an understandable translation. So what Paul was apparently correcting was not "tongues" that were not "known human languages," but rather "tongues" that were not subject to the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit.

brad reynolds said...

David

As you can imagine my time is full just responding to those here. However, even if I had time, I'm not much on responding to blogs that cross-examine papers. I think if someone wants to cross-examine Dr. Yarnell (who can actually speak back) one will find a totally different outcome than enjoying the benefit of cross-examaning his paper - which is without a tongue:)

Also,concerning your assumption that the conjunctive is disjunctive; I humbly believe you are the one making the giant interpretive leap here. The normal use of kai is "and"; to interpret as "speaking in tongues (and also) praising creates a disjunctive that is not in a clear reading of the text. Same with your other example. I think you were the one who argued one should be able to understand Scripture with a clear reading of the text. Now while one could argue all day long about what the text could mean (a ploy used by JW's), we must look at the most natural reading of the text.

But I think we can agree that one would be hard-pressed to argue that Acts 10 and 19 differed from Acts 2 based on the text...which is exactly my point.

Thanks for your well-reasoned responses...I just think they fall short...but then that could be me.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Volfan

Please be careful. I think some may take your comments as being unkind.

Thanks
BR

volfan007 said...

brad,

aint tryin to be unkind...just truthful. i love everybody.


volfan007

posttinebraelux said...

Volfan,
I'll assume you know of specific individuals who fall into your category of 'aggressive,hybrid, neo five pointes' (whatever that means) and are not 'lumping' all those who hold a doctrine of sovereign grace in this category. Based on that assumption, your boorish comments are forgiven. :)

Brad,
It seems we've diverted from the 'tongues' path a bit, but nonetheless down a path that is relevant to the topic as most of us who were raised sb are uncomfortable with tongues and most who were raised charismatic are very comfortable with tongues. Smacks of environmental dispositions, no? At any rate, of course all Scripture is profitable for correction, reproof, and instruction in righteousness. And, of courese, God gave us intellects with which to discern Scripture and apply it to our lives. That is not what I am addressing. I'm addressing the fact that no matter how hard we try, we can never 'untaint' ourselves completely of our preconceptions and environmentally filtered beliefs/convictions. Again, as evidence I merely have to point to the fact that, regardless of their intellectual diligence and Spiritual honesty, the vast majority of people will remain relatively close to the religious environment in which they were raised. You are a good example, my friend.
And finally, yes - we are forever bound to our errant understandings of Scripture - not only because of our upbringings (although that is a factor), but primarily because of our limited understanding of God. Does God use our limited selves to carry out His will? Absolutely! Are we still bound to our own errant selves? Absolutely! Does that mean His Scripture is, in turn, errant? NEVER!

Grace and peace brother,


PTL

PS - this is a better blog than I thought it'd be.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brad,

I’ve held back for several days, but I’m not going to resist jumping in any longer. :-) Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this topic. I’m sorry that this will be a long comment.

David, Alan, and Posttinebraelux, you’re not alone in your views.

Brad, regarding the post-Pentecost occurrences of tongues in Acts, can we really be so sure as you and Malcolm Yarnell are, that they were known languages in each case? The Scripture is just not that clear about what the languages were or what they sounded like, outside of Acts 2. So I think we have another argument here from silence -- maybe logical but maybe wrong. The manner in which the Spirit was poured out was evidently similar and powerful. But we don’t know much about the speech of the believers when they were filled with the Spirit, except that they spoke in “glossa” and praised God or prophesied (Acts 10 & 19). I would think that, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, their speech was rather enthusiastic (“ecstatic utterances”?) or in some way dramatic. Consider how Simon the sorcerer was impressed and wanted to buy the power evidenced by the laying on of hands (Acts 8). And if they were known languages in Acts 10 and 19, what would be the purpose of using those languages in a small gathering with fellow believers and apostles? It wasn’t an evangelistic purpose.

Regarding 1 Cor 14, of course, the culture of Corinth must be considered as the context for Paul's instructions, but I think you (and others) make an artificial and unwarranted distinction when you insist that ecstatic utterances are or MUST be different in kind compared to tongues in Acts. Dr Yarnell makes the same distinction in his paper. Bart Barber and Jerry Corbally seem to agree, according to their blogs. Respectfully, I do not agree.

Wayne Grudem writes that, based on the usage of the word “glossa” outside the NT to mean known languages, we shouldn’t make a rigid differentiation between known languages in Acts and ecstatic utterances in 1 Cor 14. He says the Greek language had no better word than “glossa” to describe the two practices. “Speaking in tongues” is sufficiently broad to include a wide variety of linguistic phenomena. (ST, pg. 1072-73 footnote). I agree with Grudem.

Brad, you’ve stated several times …

We have no Scriptural evidence that ecstatic utterances (commonly called tongues today) were ever uttered in any NT church outside of Corinth. In fact, we have no Scriptural evidence that any believer other than Corinthian believers experienced ecstatic utterances.

Several commenters have answered you on that statement – satisfactorily, I think. We do know that God gave His Spirit and “tongues” in Jerusalem (Acts 2), possibly Samaria (Acts 8), Caesarea (Acts 10), and Ephesus (Acts 19). And if there was no abuse later in those places or other places, then there is no need for correction or necessarily even addressing the subject in Scripture.

Beyond Scripture, there is historical evidence in the post-apostolic period that tongues continued outside of Corinth in fringe groups up to the beginning of the third century. (I'll look it up and send you references if you like.) There were various forms of charismata that reappeared in the 16th century during the time of the Reformation. And then tongues reappeared in the 18th century.

Contrary to popular belief, tongues and other charismata did not just suddenly burst on the scene with Charles Parham in Topeka in 1901. In fact, for instance, John Wesley came into contact with some tongues-speakers who fled persecution in France in the 1700s. They were French Protestants known as Camisards. Wesley thought kindly of them and defended their charismatic practices. (Again, if you want some references, I'll be happy to send them. One is Russell Spittler in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Zondervan, 1988, p. 339.)

In the same time period, there was Jonathan Edwards and his defense of the spiritual manifestations of revival in the First Great Awakening in the American colonies. Not exactly stuff that Southern Baptists would welcome today, it seems – not to mention the Second Great Awakening and all the spiritual phenomena that happened in that time period among Baptists, Methodists, and others.

Brad, here's a question and a scenario for you to consider -- an alternate view of church history, if you will, with regard to charismata ...

Is it not possible that God could be bringing back certain spiritual gifts that waned over the centuries? Maybe it was the institutionalism of the church, starting with Emperor Constantine, that caused certain gifts to disappear, or nearly so. And through the Middle Ages, during the rise and expansion of the Catholic Church, reading of the Word was neglected and discouraged by the ecclesiastical powers (much to the grief of the Holy Spirit and to the decline of spiritual vitality). During and after the Reformation, however, when the Word was loosed from its captivity among the clergy, God poured out His Spirit yet again and the charismata were rediscovered by the people of God as their inheritance in Christ. Does this interpretation sound plausible?

I’m not trying to do a “Trail of Blood” for charismatics (like JM Carroll did for Baptists), just suggesting a reasonable explanation of why tongues and prophecy faded away and seem to be making a come-back in the last two centuries. :-) On the other hand, maybe it’s just God’s sovereignty at work.

Brad, similar to what Alan Cross wrote, I find your creative interpretations (and MacArthur's) illustrative of one who is trying to defend a position to which you are already committed, rather than seeking further understanding from those who disagree. I hope you will remain open to changing your mind, just as I try to stay open as well.

One more thing, I find it really disappointing that you could not / would not support the appointment of missionaries like me or maybe David Rogers or even Jerry Rankin who differ with your interpretation. You, Bart and others cite the Baptists in the pews who support missions with their giving through the CP. Well, instead of only defending and promoting traditional Baptist interpretations, I believe we pastors should be educating our church members about the various interpretations of Scripture to which Baptists may subscribe and still coexist and cooperate.

God’s Word is inerrant and eternal, but our theology is not. Theology is a living discipline because we serve a living God who still speaks through His Word, to and through His world, and to and through His people.

Finally, on my site, I have a link to an article I discovered recently on the brain physiology of speaking in tongues. No “proofs” or theological arguments, just an interesting medical study.

Again, thanks for initiating this discussion. And congrats on your growing family.

Blessings,
Todd

brad reynolds said...

PTL

Concerning my raisings. I had never heard of whether God’s grace was irresistible or not until I got to college…and all my Systematic profs as well as the texts we used leaned toward irresistible but I do not…thus I do not think I am as good of an example of “raisings” influence as you assume.

Further, I was raised to believe the deacons ran the church but as I study God’s word I find that although all the churches with whom I was familiar are wrong on this…again, not sure I’m a great example of your raisings hypothesis.

But more to the point, for subjective experiences miss it. Is it possible that those who do not affirm tongues (no matter their raisings) are convinced Scripturally, in spite of their raisings? If it is not possible, then we cannot know what God’s Word says, which again begs the question of revelation.
BR

Anonymous said...

Vol fan,

No, I do not have a "PPL".

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I am not "assuming" that the conjunctive "kai" is disjunctive. I believe that is a possible reading though. Thus, to base your understanding on "tongues" on the other option rests on a bit shaky ground, in my opinion. I will agree it is a possibility, and thus may have some value as secondary evidence. But I don't believe I have warrant to concede the point we are discussing based on your reading of "kai" here.

Once again, Acts 10 and 19 may well be just like Acts 2. But that is conjecture, as I read it. Especially given the fact that the text says nothing about others "hearing in their own language" like what happened in Acts 2. Or, doesn't even give the indication there might be any need for communicating in a foreign language.

brad reynolds said...

Todd

Thanks for joining in the discussion, I think:)

Typically when we translate we use clear passages to understand unclear passages. Luke wrote all of Acts – it is one letter and did not have chapters or verses. Thus, once something is explained we should assume that when Luke mentions it again he need not be as detailed as the first. Further, since Acts 2 is clearer we should use it to understand the other passages. Finally, he uses a conjunction (kai) in the other passages…not a disjunctive!

Now, I don’t think you were implying that enthusiasm is to be equated with ecstatic utterances but if you are then we shall disagree.

Actually, Dr. Yarnell reveals salvation did take place in Acts 10 and 19.

Concerning your relegation of tongues with other charismatic practice…I’m not sure that is relevant to this discussion. I do however, agree their were fringe groups in Christianity historically that practiced weird practices (laughing revivals, etc). I never said they didn’t exist. I said you would search in vain to find commentators before the 20th Century who found a PPL in 1 Corinthians 14 – which should tell us something.

No commentators have answered my question…please show me one place outside of Corinth where you can evidence tongues were not known languages. I can show you places where they were languages!

Concerning your assumption about my defending a position I am committed to…the same shoe fits your foot my friend.

Concerning what God could do…we could be surmising all day long.

I have never ever promoted historical Baptist positions in the churches I have pastored. I have preached God’s word form the Greek and Hebrew texts and interestingly the texts usually confirm historic Baptist positions. Now, concerning using CP funds to fund non-SB beliefs I apologize if that offends you, but I do not apologize in my belief that SB should be SB.

I would cooperate and have cooperated with many Charismatics but I choose to use the funds I contribute to missions to fund SB missionaries.

Thanks for your encouragement and your spirit. And I am glad to initiate this discussion and respond openly. Truth has no need to run. And I like to think we are all pursuing truth.
BR

brad reynolds said...

David,

I think the shaky ground is to take a conjunction and make it a disjunctive. I think the more sound interpretation would be to take a conjunction as a conjuctive. Maybe, I’m off here…but that makes sense to me.

The conjecture would be to assume Acts 10 and 19 were different from Acts 2 since there is no evidence of such. The text need not repeat itself, it was a letter, it only makes sense to take the initial clear explanation as normative for the others unless there is reason not to…and there is not.
BR

brad reynolds said...

To All
This post was not intended to convince those whose mind is made up. So please don't assume I desire to do this. I do not.
BR

RevBubbaBear said...

Volfan,

I noticed that David Rogers denied having PPL. Many times when folks are so adamit about a topic even when Scripture is quite clear otherwise, they have family that holds to that stance.

Mr. David Rogers,

Does anyone in your family speak in tongues?

Bubba

Lug Nutmegger said...

Dr. Reynolds,

You guys use way too many acronyms. It seems to me you are blogging in tongues.

I am normally more involved with politics than religion but I have found your blog to be extremely interesting.

I found your assessment on speaking in tongues very interesting...and accurate. You know my background so from that I will comment; we pretty much believe exactly as you write although I don't think I have read anything that in-depth on the subject from our side to date.

I served as a missionary for two years in Japan.

Lug

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Of course it is possible - with God all things are possible (I remember reading that somewhere but don't remember exactly what book I read it in). Now one for you, my friend. Is it possible to approach a topic with a completely objective, unbiased, and open-minded approach? (actually, this is more a rhetorical statement as the answer is obvious, but you're certainly welcome to entertain it if you'd like).

TTFN as I'm off to a good friend's daughter's regional semi-final volleyball tournament.

Grace and peace,

PTL

Anonymous said...

Brother Brad,

What great material! Everyone that has commented gives great eivdence for their arguments. I must admit that Todd has impressed me the most. He gave a reference to Dr. Grudems ST book using the footnotes. :>)

I do not desire to change the direction of your post, and I do believe this goes along with it. If you feel otherwise, please do not hesitate to delete it.

Everyone,
Would you say that PPL is the same as the Holy Spirit's gifting found in the NT that we know today as the Gift of Tongues?

Blessings,
Tim

brad reynolds said...

Lug
It is good to hear from you again…and I appreciate your wisdom. Look forward to visiting via e-mail. I hope you are doing well.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Tim
Great question.
BR

brad reynolds said...

PTL
Do I believe it is possible for one to think logically and flawless, no matter their upbringing? – yes. An example 2+2=4.
Do I think it is extremely difficult in interpretive matters? – Yes.
Do I think errant men can arrive at inerrant truth? – Yes.
Do I think the Holy Spirit can overcome our environment to bring us to truth? – Yes.

Have fun my friend
BR

Grosey's Messages said...

G'day Brad,
Dave,
ἐλάλουν τε γλώσσαις καὶ ἐπροφήτευον.

I think that the verb ending of both "speaking" and "prophesying" indicates that the "kai" is a conjunctive carrying the same thought onwards.
Steve


Tim,
I would state most strongly that I do not believe the current phenomena called "tongues" in any way resembles the biblical gift of tongues. As I have said often, the purpose of NT tongues is complete as a sign to Jews that their dispensation as the racial covenant people of God is over, and that the gospel is for a all races :
(1 Cor 14:20 -25 20 Brothers, don’t be childish in your thinking, but be infants in evil and adult in your thinking. 21 It is written in the law: By people of other languages and by the lips of foreigners, I will speak to this people; and even then, they will not listen to Me,says the Lord. 22 It follows that speaking in other languages is intended as a sign, not to believers but to unbelievers. But prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers.)

As Brad has well stated, 1 Cor 13 "tongues of angels" is a superlative expression found as an introduction to the passage highlighting the preeminency of love. Paul appears to be saying to the Corinthians.. "hey Some of you claim your ecstatic language" (of 1 Cor 12:2 You know how, when you were pagans, you were led to dumb idols—being led astray. ... the "lead astray" here is a term common in the mystery religions for those participants in an ecstatic state speaking ecstatic languages under the control of the "spirit" of that particular mystery religion)
is an "angelic language", well guys love is greater!"
He is not affirming that their ecstatic language is an angelic language. He is taking their position to highlight what is of greater importance.
He is not affirming that their ecstatic language is the Acts gift of tongues, but in 1 Cor 14 he makes allowance that this could possibly be so (and was so in their minds), and if it is, they better keep it quiet unless there is a translator present.

Phew, I hope I haven't tried to put too many brands in the one fire...

Now as to the significance of the argument? Why should conservatives so strongly dispute these matters? Why raise the issues at all? The argument is significiant because, as the SIM director Dr. Djoeandy, said to me Saturday night "most Baptist churches in africa practise tongues in an unrestrained way in their church services."
Do you want the SBC of the future to be raving pentecostals or gospel centred?
The choice you make now with widening the tent will affect your children and grandchildren. (My ownchildren as they marry and move away, will probably no longer attend a Baptist church in Australia, because those holding Baptist beliefs and Baptist principles are mainly found in evangelical anglican churches!! While Baptist churches in Australia predominantly resemble your more extreme USA AOG churches)
Please remember that 80% of people who speak in tongues today will be anti-christian 10 years from now (pentecostals have a very high fall out rate). Maybe this IS the Laodicean age.

I hope that's not too long.. please forgive me..
Steve

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

I never said Paul was unkind. Is telling unbelievers they are ignorant of God's revelation (if they are) and need it unkind? It is not encouraging or commendable, but that does not neccessarily make it unkind.

If tongues in 1 Corinthians is invalid then why did Paul say he THANKED God that he spoke in tongues more than the rest of them (1 Cor. 14:18)?

If tongues in 1 Corinthians is invalid than why did Paul speak well of the Corinthians not lacking ANY gift (1 Cor. 1:7)?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

You said "But if by support you mean using CP funds given from individuals who do not believe in such utterances and do not give for such practices to pay those who do, then NO I could not abuse the gifts of individuals in such a way."

Based on this logic, then ANY Southern Baptist who gives money to the CP for something he or she does not believe in and does not give for such practices to pay for those who do, would be an abuse of their money.

However, I suspect, you have in mind what you think the MAJORITY of SB's believe and pay for. If so, then why would it be an abuse for the majority view but not an abuse for a minority view as well if there is a minority view that is not believed in or practiced by SB missionaries?

My suspician is that, while the majority might not believe in tongues, they do not mind their money paying for missionaries who do speak in tongues in private.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

You said "This post was not intended to convince those whose mind is made up."

I wanted to let you know that I, for one, do not have a made up mind on the validity or invalidity of PPL for today's time.

However, I do not mind supporting missionaries who do believe it is valid and have a PPL.

Alan Cross said...

Brad,

You told David, " I think you were the one who argued one should be able to understand Scripture with a clear reading of the text. Now while one could argue all day long about what the text could mean (a ploy used by JW's), we must look at the most natural reading of the text." In my opinion, you have repeatedly changed tactics to adhere to a clear reading of the text when it suits you, and you have then obfuscated the meaning of other texts with cultural and language variations that no one could possibly see unless they were initiated into the cessationist school of thought. You never dealt with my comparison of the fact that you are using the same approach that opponents of the SBC's ammendment on women in ministry use. They disavow the clear reading of the text and appeal to cultural and other variations to prove their point. You are doing the same, in my opinion.

1 Cor. 12:10 says that there is the gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues. A clear reading of the text would tell us that there are then, different kinds of tongues. 1 Cor. 14:2 says that those who speak in a tongue utter mysteries with their spirit and they speak to God not to men. This could not be a human language. This seems to be some type of spiritual language of prayer based on the following verses. Paul wishes that they all spoke in tongues, but he would rather that they prophesy in the church so that they could be understood. You cannot think that he suddenly shifts from heavenly languages in 14:2 to human languages in 14:5 with no notation, do you? Furthermore, in 14:14-16 it is clear that speaking in tongues is praying and praising with your spirit, apart from praying intelligibly with your mind. Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 can be seen in the same light. This seems to fit very well with what was happening in Acts 10 and Acts 19, despite what Dr. Yarnell says.

A clear reading of the text leads you to the conclusion that there are different kinds of tongues. Some tongues are human languages that are given for the advancement of the gospel. I only see that in Acts 2 conclusively, because in Acts 10 and 19, the gospel had already been preached and accepted and everyone understood the speaker. Why would it be necessary for the receivers of the Holy Spirit to speak in another language at that point? The answer you give is so that there would be confirmation of the gospel advancing to these different groups. But, is that not an assumption? I know that it is widely accepted, and it is plausible with Cornelius, but why is that necessary with John the Baptist's disciples? Are we to believe that these were the first disciples of John the Baptist to accept Christ? It is much more likely, in my opinion, that both groups were engaging in the same thing that the Corinthians were doing as a sign of the Spirit's coming, which was a heavenly language of prayer and praise to God.

Brad, we could continue to disagree again and again on this issue. We clearly see it differently. I respect your desire to hold this position and be wrong! :) It is hard to debate this effectively in a blog, and I see so many errors in your reasoning that it is hard for me to know what to respond to. However, I struggle to understand why you feel that it is necessary to purge the SBC of all continualists. We agree on salvation, sanctification, the Word of God, advancement in the Christian life and so many other things. We are both Southern Baptists. This is a minor issue that has never come up for me and that I would NEVER divide over, unless I am told that if I hold this conviction, I have no place in SBC life or leadership. You and others who are advocating an exclusionary cessationist position in SBC life and who require the rest of us who want to be involved to sign off on it are the ones guilty of causing division over minor doctrines, in my opinion.

What is so heartbreaking about this, is that if we actually knew each other I feel that we would would be friends and would work very well together in advancing the Kingdom because I admire your passion and heart for the Lord. It would be a shame for the SBC to draw lines on this issue. Can we at least agree on that?

TruthOfActs said...

Brad Reynolds,
Ran across your blog today. Seems like old times—I’ve missed you on Wade Burleson’s blog.
As usual, I’m taking the other side…not because I have a ppl but because of Scripture. I was raised Baptist and thought tongues were for weird people. I guess that’s how most Baptists are raised, and I’ll admit you have done a good job of defending that position.
But I’m not saying thanks, because I’ve seen the change in Christians after they received this gift.
I’d like to make this point up front—IT IS A GIFT FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT OR THE DEVIL.

If I believe it is a gift from God but it is from the devil, then I’ve made a mistake.

But if I believe it is a gift from the devil but it is from the Holy Spirit, then I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.

Brad, can we agree on that?

And if the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in the world to come, are you willing to take that chance?

Your ‘opponents’ have done an excellent job of presenting the other side. David brought out that God could have changed the ‘ear’ to hear their language as well as a tongue speaking that language. Neither concept can be proven. (I think God wanted the Bible that way so we have to believe by faith.)

At Pentecost, they were accused of being drunk. (The only time I’ve heard ‘tongues’, I didn’t think the guy was drunk—I thought he was crazy…raised the hair on my neck. I’ve heard many foreign languages and none of them affected me like that.)

Maybe they thought they were drunk when they heard ‘glossa’ words, but then God ‘opened’ their ears and they heard in their own language.
Could it have happened like that? Naw—won’t fit in our Southern Baptist box.

The same could have happened on the road to Damascus. Everyone heard God’s voice, but only Paul’s ears were opened.

Brad, you might heed Acts 5:38-39 “…If this…is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God…you may even be found fighting against God.”
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

BR: Thank you for allowing me to post anonymously. I am in a secure area serving with the IMB. Some of my comments are off topic, but I will take my chances anyway. :) I agree with you that the "perfect" has come, scripture is complete, hence no need for tongues any longer. Haven't heard it on the field, but unless they are "tongueing" Holy Scripture, we got a problem in my opinion. And if they were, what would be the purpose behind "tongueing" scripture?

Also, for fun, volfan said:

"brad,

i agree. there is a huge difference in having someone in the sbc who has a ppl, and in sending them out as a missionary. there is a huge difference in cooperating with a person who has a ppl, and with setting them up as the head of an sbc ministry.

personally, i dont think that we should allow anyone who is off on an extreme of theology to be a missionary or a leader. cooperate with them...yes. love them...yes. but, to allow an aggresive five pointer, or a tongue speaker to lead, or to be a missionary....no."

So, in an effort to keep volfan up at night screaming in horror :), just thought I would say that when I went through the MLC in Virginia a few years ago to become a missionary, through simple conversation or via bible study and discussing scripture, I was delighted to find 53 folks(this is a minimum, as I only know this from the interaction we had) out of the 129 missionaries that were attending that session were reformed in their theology...including all 4 families in my Quad (living quarters during the 2 months time there). So, it seems to me if you (Volfan) feel that much animosity toward those who don't believe as you, you might be on the "outside looking in" before too long.

BR: Sincere, honest questions for you.

1. If Calvin is right about the tongues issue, is it POSSIBLE that he is right about the doctrine of election?

2. You said, "I believe the gift of tongues as practiced in Acts is still dispensed by God today according to His good pleasure. I believe God can and does give individuals, on the mission field, the gift of speaking in a language, they do not know, in order for others to be saved."

My question, is it POSSIBLE that God also elects those unto salvation according to that same "good pleasure of His will"?

3. Assuming you think Calvin is wrong about the doctrine of election, does the fact that so many universally regarded "titans of theology" agreed on the doctrine of election impact you at all. In other words, while Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Schaeffer, Sproul, Spurgeon, and many others disagree on many things, does the fact that these theologians agree on that one issue impact you in any way? Of course, I know there are other theologians who disagree with the doctrine, but I mean that as a sincere question simply because that fact had an impact on me while overcoming my traditions to learn to lean on "sola scriptura".

Off topic, but fun anyway. Thanks for the space!

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Thanks for the kind word! Or were you pulling my leg? :-) Anyway ...

To answer your question about PPL and "the gift of tongues", I would say, "They may be the same in form, but they are definitely different in function."

My own working theory is that PPL is a gift resulting from Spirit-fullness -- and the grace of God, of course -- and is for personal edification. The gift of tongues for public use is for edifying the church when interpreted. (I've written quite a bit over at Jerry Corbaley's blog on this subject.)

The sounds may be similarly produced (without mental effort), but their purpose is different. And perhaps God may prompt one who prays in tongues to also speak publicly in tongues trusting Him to provide an interpretation through another person or even through himself.

I do pray in tongues but have never spoken publicly that way. I've never sensed a prompting from the Lord to do so.

I also believe the gift of interpretation is a supernatural one, not simply a translation by someone who knows the language used by the tongues-speaker. Otherwise it would hardly be a gift, would it?

I believe PPL and tongues can both be either a known or unknown "language".

BTW, I came to these understandings of Scripture (primarily Acts and 1 Cor) through study and prayer; then I experienced the gift of a PPL after asking the Lord for it privately (Luke 11:9-13). It wasn't "experience first, then defend it with Scripture." This distinction is important to me, because I believe I approached the Scriptures openly seeking understanding, and the Lord honored my search with a biblical experience, IMHO.

I also want to say that I'm not an evangelist for tongues. It is a minor gift. I'd much rather prophecy and teach and exercise faith. But PPL has encouraged me to believe that all of God's gracious gifts still operate today.

I also want to counter the idea that PPL is for revelation. Not true according to Scripture and not true in my experience. Only prophecy and interp. of tongues provide spontaneous intelligible messages from the Spirit of God (maybe teaching/preaching, too, but not usually spontaneously). And as Paul says, prophecies are to be tested by Scripture and by local church leaders/teachers. Scripture trumps prophecy, and the pastor-teacher role governs the church, not the gifted prophet.

That's a lot more than you asked for, but I hope it provides a helpful perspective from one practitioner. :-)

Blessings,
Todd

Anonymous said...

Two comments:
1. one on the upbringing - a Hindu man in our country became a believer. He was invited to a charismatic church where he observed people speaking in "tongues". He immediately recognized it as something from his former Hindu practices - and left the church declaring "if I had wanted this I would have remained a Hindu".
2. Not to change the subject - but in the last chapter of Mark - handling snakes was grouped with speaking in tongues. I always notice that "charismatics" do not seem to have the same enthusiasm for this activity that they do speaking in tongues. I just noticed last week a lady in Kentucky died from such snake handling - poor lady - she must not have had enough faith. I realize that the passage in question is sometimes questioned - however it has always puzzled me why when I have discussed this passage with charismatics they pick and choose their "sign". I believe that this is the one passage that anyone has neglected to mention - most have focused on Acts and Corinthians.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I make no pretensions of being a Greek scholar. On the “conjunction”/“disjunctive” use of “kai”, I think it safest that I don’t venture any more opinion, since I am admittedly out of my league. However, I do wonder if the New International Reader’s Version is necessarily mistaken when it translates Acts 10.46: “They heard them speaking in languages they had not known before. They also heard them praising God” and Acts 19:6 “Paul placed his hands on them. Then the Holy Spirit came on them. They spoke in languages they had not known before. They also prophesied.” All the other translations I consulted were somewhat ambiguous on this possibility, opting for the straight-ahead translation “speaking in tongues and praising God” and “speaking in tongues and prophesying,” with the possible exception of The Message, which translates Acts 10.46 “they heard them speaking in tongues, heard them praising God.”

In the meantime, I also think the comments in the following commentaries (neither of which could be accused of “having an axe to grind” in defense of Charismatic practices), regarding whether or not the “tongues” in Acts 10 and 19 were “known languages,” to be apropos to our discussion:

John B. Polhill, The New American Commentary on Acts

Footnote on Acts 10.46: “The NIV footnote gives the alternative “other languages”; that reflects the Western text, which adds ‘heterais’. This makes the event in Acts 10 parallel to Pentecost. “Speaking in tongues” (‘lalounton glossais’) is the better-attested reading and refers most likely to the phenomenon of tongue-speaking, which Paul sought to regulate in 1 Cor 12-14.

Note on Acts 19:6: “In this instance the gesture is closely associated with the disciples’ receiving the Spirit, much as with the case of the Samaritan disciples in 8.15-17. In both instances the reality of their experience was demonstrated in an ecstatic manifestation, with this group speaking in tongues and prophesying.”

Simon Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary on Acts

Note on Acts 10.46: “Luke does not explain the manner of this speaking in tongues; he only records Peter’s report to the church in Jerusalem. Peter relates that the Spirit came on the Gentiles exactly as he did on the apostles at Pentecost (11.15) and that God gave the Gentiles the same gift he gave the Jews (11.17). The only difference between Luke’s Pentecost account and his narrative about the Ceasarean Gentiles is the word ‘other’. That is, in Jerusalem the apostles spoke in other tongues (languages), but Cornelius and his friends were ‘speaking in tongues.’ Luke fails to explain whether the Gentiles expressed themselves in known languages or ecstatic speech. We are unable to ascertain the precise meaning of the term ‘tongue speaking’ in this text and in 19.6. Indeed, the difficulty with which we wrestle lies in the extreme rarity of this expression in New Testament writings.

With the use of the verb tenses in the Greek, Luke indicates that the outburst of joy and happiness took time. The Jewish Christians continued to listen as the Gentiles were raising their voices in praise to God. Luke seems to suggest that the Jews heard the Gentiles speak in tongues but that they did not need interpreters to understand the spoken words.

Note on Acts 19.6: “Note that Luke provides no explanation whether the converts in Caesarea and in Ephesus uttered known languages or ecstatic speech. In both instances (10.46; 19.6), there is no indication whether interpreters were needed to explain the words of the speakers. Because the evidence in Acts is inconclusive, a wise course of action to refrain from being dogmatic on this point.

Do you have any response to any of this?

brad reynolds said...

WOW

A lot to respond to today.

Grosey,
Great insight my brother. Oh that we Americans might humble ourselves and learn from fellow Baptist. Thank you my friend!!!

Your wisdom is not too long, especially in light of the length of some of the other comments I shall be responding to.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Benji

The misunderstanding of tongues (ecstatic utterances) is what is invalid, not tongues themselves, thus Paul’s clear comments.

My point still remains. NO ONE, (STILL TO DATE WITH ALL THE ADVOCATES OF TONGUES COMING OUT TO DEFEND IT) HAS SHOWN WHERE ECSTATIC UTTERANCES WERE PRACTICED ANYWHERE BUT CORINTH, although David Rogers is giving a valiant effort (I think he rightly realizes that if Corinth is the only place we find it Scripturally then the current practice of tongues is in trouble).

I’m not saying we send money to support what the majority of SB believe, although I don’t necessarily disagree with that. I’m saying widening the tent to include individuals who have historically been known as AOG rather than SB is not something I could support. Now, perhaps Dr. Rogers was wrong in not standing against the NAMB policy when he was president…but I think he understood who SB were and are. See Grosey’s Comment!!!

I think you would be surprised about SB supporting a PPL through CP funds…very surprised – ie. They would overwhelmingly reject such an idea.

Thanks for being open-minded also my friend.
God Bless You
BR

RevBubbaBear said...

David Rogers,

You did not answer my question. Does someone in your family speak in tongues?

Please do not Burleson me and refuse to answer the question with a redirection.

Bubba

brad reynolds said...

Alan

Much of your comment is just ad-hominal: ie – “Brad you change tactics, obfuscate, etc.” However, I will deal with the substantive points.

I have clearly stated there is a difference in the tongues in Acts, which is clearly known languages, and those in Corinth, apparently were ecstatic utterances, which were also practiced by the other religious pagans in Corinth. When you deal with these clear reading of the texts then we can discuss them.

Of course there are different kinds of “languages.” (1 Cor. 12:10)

Your assumption that I cor. 14:2 “Could NOT be a human language” is telling of your presuppositions as you approach the text. Those presuppositions lead you to your interpretation.

Concerning 14:14 - See the Post which we are discussing.

Concerning Acts – Surely Luke doesn’t just jump around (without explanation) confusing known languages with unknown languages in his personal letter to Theophilus does he?

The necessity of tongues in Acts 10 and 19 is dealt with in Grosey’s comment.

To use your words, “we could continue to disagree again and again on this issue. We clearly see it differently. I respect your desire to hold this position and be wrong! :) It is hard to debate this effectively in a blog, and I see so many errors in your reasoning that it is hard for me to know what to respond to.” :)

I would never say if you had a PPL you have no place in SBC life. I have said, the NAMB and IMB trustees were correct to not fund Missionaries who practice such with CP funds…it is not who SB are…although it is what some charismatic denominations are. I also, believe our seminaries are correct to not fund (assist) students who use tobacco or alcohol. That does not mean I want all SB who do these to be cast aside…I do not.

And I disagree, those who are causing division are those who are trying to force us to be who we have never been. And I would never allow this to keep me from being friends with people…but it is unfair for SB to fund those who are more AOG than SB.

God Bless my friend
BR

brad reynolds said...

Rex

Long time no see. I do not go to Wade’s blog anymore because he refused to post a couple of my comments and he seems to always want to attack the “leaders” of the SBC. I would rather deal with issues than personalities. But I have missed you. I have oft used your quote about inerrancy:)

We shall disagree on what Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit is. And yes, David is correct that the men in Acts 2 were actually speaking in their native language but the others heard it in their native language (this does not change the fact that it was human language), although I would argue that is not the most natural reading of the text.

I do appreciate your concern for my spiritual welfare and thank you for it my brother.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous,

You are welcome to post comments here anytime…and thank you for your service to the King.

In answer to your questions:
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

While I am not a 5 point Calvinist, I am not one who assumes God elects based on what we do either.

In fairness to Volfan, I think, according to other comments he makes, his problem with Calvinist is not 5 pointers per say but rather those who want to make the SBC a 5 point Convention or those who do not tell their churches their soteriological convictions before becoming pastors and then try to make churches 5 point.

God Bless my brother,
BR

brad reynolds said...

Todd

I struggle with some of your comments but will allow Tim to address it:)

God Bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous

Excellent thoughts!!!
BR

Anonymous said...

Bubba Bear,

No one in my immediate family (wife, children, brother, sisters, Mom) that I know of has a PPL. I have heard that a couple of my deceased uncles were quite charismatic, and, thus, I wouldn't be surprised if they had a PPL. I also have an aunt who may well have a PPL, since she is a member of a Charismatic-oriented church. I've never asked directly, so I'm not really sure.

In any case, I am quite confident, before God, that my motive for defending the views I am defending here is my sincere belief, based on in-depth study, that they are more in line with what the Bible teaches: Nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

Just a minor clarification.

You say:

"And yes, David is correct that the men in Acts 2 were actually speaking in their native language but the others heard it in their native language."

I am not actually claiming this is necessarily the case, merely that it is a possible reading of the limited information provided to us by the text.

brad reynolds said...

David,

I think Grosey addressed the conjunctive very well.

Concerning your commentaries, do any of them mention a PPL?

Also, when were they written? Was it before the 20th Century?

I think we can all find Commentaries to support our position. But can you find one before the 20th Century which affirms a PPL or states the tongues in Acts were ecstatic utterances? If not, does that not beg the question concerning how much influence the modern charismatic movement has had, otherwise we must assume that the Christians who wrote commentaries before 1902 were all in the dark or the “cat had their tongue”:)

Concerning Kistemaker’s comment, perhaps he does not consider that Luke would not need to explain “other” in Acts 10 because he had already explained it in Acts 2. This makes much more sense than assuming that Theophilus had to try and decide whether Luke was speaking of the same thing he spoke of in Acts 2 or if Luke was speaking of something he had never mentioned before and Theophilus was somehow supposed to know what that was. If I received a letter that said in one spot, “God supernaturally allowed us to speak to the Brazilians in their glossa”, and then in another spot it said “and like we experienced with the Brazilians we spoke in glossa when we spoke to the Indians” then I would never assume one to be a “heavenly language and one to be a human language.

It appears that those who defend “ecstatic utterances” of necessity must appeal to make tongues in Acts ecstatic utterances, or else Corinth is the only place in the NT where this was practiced, which begs the question.

Hope that helps
BR

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Boy this is GGOOOOODDDD stuff. Who needs a systematic theology when we have blogs like this? (and I'm not being sarcastic - this is really good information). Only one thing to offer this morning. You've asked for evidence that tongues were spoken outside Corinth. If Paul said that he spoke in tongues more than any of them, do you contend that he only did it in Corinth? Admittedly it is an argument from silence to say that he did it outside Corinth, but if Corinth was the only place he did it, it'd be difficult to do it more than all of them, no? I'm sure you'll counter that his 'tongue speaking' was 'other languages' and not utterances, but that is quite a stretch when weighed against the balance of the first part of I Cor. 14.

TTFN as I'm off fishing with my grandfather this morning (can you tell my wife is out of town and I'm doing all the 'guy stuff' I can before she gets back?)

Grace and peace,

PTL

brad reynolds said...

David

Thanks…you are right you do not claim to hold that position in Acts 2.
BR

brad reynolds said...

PTL
I would argue Paul did not speak in languages like the Corinthians, hence his correction of them, but he did speak in languages more than them all.

Have fun fishing! Hope you catch one that will be a fish story...although I'm not sure you have to get any evidence:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

I'm gone until this afternoon. But will post your comments when I get back
BR

Anonymous said...

Brad,

You say:

"My point still remains. NO ONE, (STILL TO DATE WITH ALL THE ADVOCATES OF TONGUES COMING OUT TO DEFEND IT) HAS SHOWN WHERE ECSTATIC UTTERANCES WERE PRACTICED ANYWHERE BUT CORINTH, although David Rogers is giving a valiant effort (I think he rightly realizes that if Corinth is the only place we find it Scripturally then the current practice of tongues is in trouble)."

No, I do not concede that if Corinth is the only place we find it Scripturally then the current practice of tongues is in trouble, anymore than I concede that, for instance, the whole concept of the Millenium (however you define it) is in trouble, since it is only mentioned in the book of Revelation, or that the spiritual gift (not the normal practice) of giving is not relevant for us, since it is only mentioned in Romans, etc., etc.

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
Thanks for replying. So you have thought/used “Smiling lips of the devil” huh? I ‘analyzed’ The Chicago Statement and put it on Art Roger’s blog. He said his rules didn’t allow ‘high jacking’ and deleted it, but said it was ‘worthy’ and suggested I post it on my blog. So far no one has commented on it.

Without going back and reading David’s comment, I thought he/me said the Christians were speaking in Glossa and the people were hearing in their own language; otherwise why were they labeled as drunk? The same when Jesus spoke to Paul.

Do you reckon Jesus ever spoke to his Father in Glossa or which language did he use if both knew them all? I figure if the tongues of angels was of heaven, Jesus used the ‘higher’ language which would not be any of man’s.
Also why would Paul pray in ‘English’ when there was a ‘higher language of God?
Of course all this ‘thinking’ can get to be too much.

Burleson is not posting for 40 days--until December 10.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

THE EARLY YEARS OF CHRISTIANITY.
BY E. DE PRESSENSÉ

Published in 1870

The following quote can be found here at the bottom of the page, under the heading "The Miracle of Pentecost."

"We see no difficulty in believing that the miracle of the gift of tongues assumed a special character on the day of Pentecost. It was the language of ecstacy, and in this respect resembled the gift of tongues at Corinth, but was distinguished from the latter by its intelligibility. Why should not the same miracle have assumed various forms in the apostolic age? Its extraordinary and unique character on the day of Pentecost is explained by supposing that the miracle reached on that day, as it were, its mightiest development. It was a glorious completion of the divine symbolism, which we have recognized in the marvelous circumstances accompanying the first outpouring of the Spirit."

brad reynolds said...

David

I think you will agree John’s direct revelation about the Millennium is different from an instance where only one church (we know of) was practicing ecstatic utterances, which brought correction by Paul. I think it very wanting to equate the two.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Rex

The assumption that glossa is some unhuman language is the problem. It is an assumption bore out nowhere in Scripture save the abuses in an area where ecstatic utterances were used to false deities.

Show me one place where God communed with man in an unhuman language outside of Corinth (please feel free to incorporate the OT revelations from god directly to Moses and Adam and Abraham)…moreover please reveal one place outside of Corinth where angels communed with man in unhuman language (again feel free to point to Abraham, Daniel, or any OT passages). Scriptural silence is not evidence, contrary to what some assume (I’m not implying you assume such).
BR

brad reynolds said...

David

I am not familiar with that author but perhaps he was orthodox, nevertheless, I think your own quote proves my point: “but was distinguished from the latter (Corinthian tongues) by its intelligibility.”

Again, please reveal any commentary, which will claim that the tongues in Acts were unhuman or that speaks of a PPL. Thanks for validating my question:)
BR

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I am sorry, but if you don't see the parallel between the Millenium and Revelation, the gift of giving and Romans, as well as the point PTL made earlier about the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians, I do not follow just what you are trying to say. Maybe I am just dense here. But I really am not grasping your point. It seemed like you were implying that a doctrine or teaching that is only mentioned in one book of the Bible is therefore questionable.

I am not familiar with Pressencé either. I just found his commentary through a Google search. But he does seem to be saying that the only difference between "tongues" on the Day of Pentecost, and all the other references to "tongues" in the NT (including the othere references in Acts) is that on Pentecost they were "intelligible."

In any case, whether or not pre-1900 commentators had anything to say about "ecstatic utterance" in Acts or PPL is not a major issue in my book. It doesn't prove anything one way or the other.

brad reynolds said...

David

I would NEVER imply that a doctrine that is only mentioned once in the Bible is questionable. Such a foolish assumption questions the inerrancy of Scripture.

What I was implying is that the Corinthian practice of tongues is not known to have occurred in any other place…which begs the question as to why it was known in Corinth (a place where ecstatic utterances were practiced to false deities). Corinthian tongues are different than tongues in Acts which may explain both their abuses and why we see it in no other area.

Concerning the commentary, my point was that I don’t think you will find PPL in any orthodox scholarly commentary before the 20th Century…which certainly begs the question.
BR

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

If a SB has a PPL and can agree with everything in the “Principles of Faith of The Sandy Creek Association”, “the London Baptist Confession of 1689″ (Charleston’s Confession), and "the Abstract of Principles", then how can he be JUSTIFIABLY known as AOG rather than SB?

If I'm not mistaken, AOG is at least heavily (though probably not completely) Arminian and has a top down form of government. Therefore, how could someone as I described in my question above fit in with the AOG?

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I am glad my ìmpression was wrong. I had a hard time really believing you would think that, anyway.

In any case, I don't think the silence of other NT books on PPL proves anything. There are no doubt numerous practices of all of the churches of NT times that are not recorded in Scripture. Those that are recorded are there because God wanted them to be there, and are there, as Paul says in Romans 15.4, "to teach us."

If Paul's intention was to stifle the "tongues" being practiced at Corinth rather than merely correct some abuses related to their practice, he sure did this in a way (under the inspiration of God) that has led to a lot of confusion.

I prefer to take what he says at face value, and assume that the same gift, practiced in essentially the same way (perhaps without some of the abuses) was in operation in other places. Just because Paul does not write to others about it, does not mean it was not in practice. There are various epistles that say nothing about prophecy. Does this mean it was not practiced there? From the point of view of the usefulness of God's revelation to his people throughout eternity, the teaching in 1 Corinthians is sufficient. God had already revealed what He thought needful for us to know there.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

You said "The misunderstanding of tongues (ecstatic utterances) is what is invalid, not tongues themselves, thus Paul’s clear comments."

But where does Paul make this distinction himself in the text of 1 Corinthians?

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
I think you’re missing the point I’m trying to make. I agree the point is not the norm—not Baptist thinking, but it is still a logical point.

That point is: it’s possible for angels to have only a language of heaven and no earthly language. Therefore every time an angel spoke to a human in the Old or New Testament, the ears of the human were ‘opened’ to hear in the language they knew. Would that be too hard for God to do?

Jesus said that a house divided will not stand referring he did not use the power of the devil to cast out demons. Why would the devil give the gift of tongues when it causes people to do good? Wouldn’t that divide his house?

Brad, you are saying that tongues do not come from God? Right? Will you put that in writing and were you think they come from?
Rex Ray

Alan Cross said...

Brad, you said,

"Much of your comment is just ad-hominal: ie – “Brad you change tactics, obfuscate, etc.”

Sorry if you took it that way, Brad. That was not my intention. Wikipedia gives a good definition of an ad hominem fallacy:

"An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone's argument is wrong and/or he is wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by him rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself. The implication is that the person's argument and/or ability to argue correctly lacks authority."

I have not insulted you or attacked you personally. I do not discredit your authority. I am discussing these things with you because you DO have authority. Also, to say that MUCH of my comment is just ad hominal is totally inaccurate. I made ONE statement about how you seem to consistently change the rules as you discuss this with people. That has nothing to do with your character or person, but it appears to be what you are doing as we try and debate these issues. I still cannot get you to respond to my comparison with the SBC approach on women in ministry (you use a clear reading of the text on that issue, which I agree with, and you do not use a clear reading here)and NO ONE will deal with 1 Cor. 14:2. You just refuse to address it.

So, no, much of my comment was not just ad hominal. That is a way of dismissing what I am saying without dealing with the issues, although I TOTALLY appreciate your answer to each and every question. I respect you greatly and I would in no way try and discredit you to win an argument. I was reflecting on what I am picking up on in your debating style. If you are not able to receive that, then I humbly withdraw, but I ask you not to see it as an attack.

This is difficult to debate because it is clear that presuppositions and different definitions are influencing both of us. There is no common ground to debate on. Your entire position seems in error to me and I disagree with almost every point. Our starting place is different. I have no trouble whatsoever disputing your arguments from my position, but we are playing on your field and you are able to continually set and reset the rules. You quote Calvin and his take on 1 Cor. 14, but it is all conjecture, in my opinion. It is what he thought. It is not authoritative and he bases it on nothing except his opinion and his reading of the subject. I could pull out someone to do the same thing in the opposite direction. You and I would disagree with Calvin on other things as well, I suppose, and if this debate shifts, we would find ourselves on the same side. ;)

I'll leave you the field, grateful for your diligence to honorably answer every question. This has been a wonderful debate and should be a model for how we can discuss these issues in the blogosphere. I understand much better where you are coming from, but you have left me completely unconvinced of your position.

I'll be happy to visit your blog again! By the way, if you want to play on the road, I am hosting a discussion on downshoredrift.com on the same issues. You are welcome to join in!

Grosey's Messages said...

hahaha :) :) :)
David, forbid that we would ever think that the NIV was not a good and accurate translation...
except if your name is Leon Morris or some other Greek scholar.. have you ever read Morris' commentary on Romans.. it is more valuable as a commentary on the poverty of the NIV translation than a commentary on Romans. :)

Now this is not a cheap shot.. just compare the theological bias of the NIV translation of Romans 6-8 with that of the NASB!
or read it in Greek and weep!
Steve

brad reynolds said...

To All

I am heading out to speak to a youth group tonight and have been with my wife at a Fall Festival today.

I don't have time to respond to the comments right now and fear I will be getting behind soon...but will try to respond to each one when I return.

Thank you all for playing fair and kind...I think this discussion is a great example of how we can disagree and maintain Christian civility.

Alan, I apologize for reading too much into your comments and please feel welcome here...I don't think I am changing rules but if you will show me where I am I will correct my mistake.

Be back late tonight.
BR

volfan007 said...

anonymous,

first of all, if everybody jumped off a bridge....i wouldnt jump with them. my momma taught me better than that. just because a lot of young missionary people are reformed doesnt make it right...no more than a majority being hyper calvinists not too long ago in our past made it right back then. also, as a wise, old, seminary prof used to say....arminianism and calvinism are young men's religions.

secondly, it may shock you to know that i believe in predestination and election and the sovereignty of God. i dont believe in fatalism though. also, i equally believe in the choice and the responsibility of man. i see no contradiction in believing in them all. in fact, we dont need to interject our philosophy to try to figure out these doctrines when the bible is silent. somethings God left a mystery. and you dont have it figured out. i dont have it figured out. calvin didnt have it figured out. the founders dont have it figured out. the arminians dont have it figured out. God didnt tell us how those doctrines all fit together. they are all just true.

thirdly, brad shared very well my view on this subject. i am against the aggresive, prideful five pointers who seek to take over the convention and lead us back into the dark ages. i am against five pointers sneaking into churches and trying to change, or convert them. brad is a very smart man. he has a lot of insight and wisdom.

from the hills of tn,

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

Benji,

If someone has a PPL then I do not know about it and it is not an issue. The problem with PPL is they are not private when other people know of them. And SB have never held to tongues or PPL, but other denominations have.
Also, I think my answer to David will answer your second question.

PS – do you know where Waverly is?
Thanks my friend
BR

brad reynolds said...

David,

I am not sure there is a lot of confusion unless one assumes that the ecstatic utterances in Corinth were common practice in other churches…which leads to confusion about the tongues in Acts.

But if one admits that the tongues in Acts were known languages and that the cultural-historical setting in Corinth was one of “religious syncretism” (as seen in other criticisms by Paul to the Corinthians) then the picture seems clear. This syncretism could be seen in the ecstatic utterances, which were known to be a part of other religions in Corinth. Further, the differences between Corinth and Acts may explain why we do not see it (ecstatic utterances) anywhere else in the NT.

God Bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

Rex
Sure your postulation is possible. But it is not what the texts clearly state. When Joshua met the Angel he assumed him to be human and carried on a conversation. When Abraham met the angels there is no indication of a heavenly language but normal human communication. We can assume a lot but I am uncomfortable stretching the texts like that.

Now while I would never say I am 100% sure ecstatic utterances never come from God…I am saying there seems to be no Biblical evidence they do. But allow me to ask you are all ecstatic utterances from God? If not who decides if they are or are not? Would you be willing to allow “possible” words from Satan in the church?

Although in reality, the issue isn’t tongues but as Tim pointed out, PPL.

Although you and I disagree on A Whole Lot…I appreciate your spirit here.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Alan
I have used the clear readings of Acts, which seem to be consistently overlooked or excused by those promoting tongues. In fact, time and again I say we use the clear texts in Acts to know what Biblical tongues are. Please reread my comments…I have dealt with 1 Cor 14:2.

Again, show me where I have reset the rules and I will re reset them:)

Finally, the reason I quote Calvin is to reveal that orthodox commentators before the 20th Century did not find a PPL in the text nor did they see ecstatic utterances as the norm for tongues.

Blessings
BR

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

I am pretty sure that I heard of Waverly, but I am not sure how far from Hopewell it is. What city is next to it (Prince George. etc?). Also, what church did you attend?


You said "The problem with PPL is they are not private when other people know of them."

But the IMB will now force it out of you whether or not you have a PPL.

You said "And SB have never held to tongues or PPL, but other denominations have."

But Southern Baptists have not even spoken on tongues for a good portion of its history either (Abstract, 1925 Baptist Faith and Message [I'm assuming], etc.). And if 1979 is the first time that some sort of stand was taken (I don't know if it was), then that is pretty recent considering our demonination goes all the way back to 1845.

Do you believe that if someone can affirm everything in the historic documents that I mentioned in an earlier comment, that they have the right to call themselves a traditional Southern Baptist? Or is there something "extra" they must also affirm?

What is it about a PPL that is so dangerous to you?

How does your belief that Paul would allow syncretism square with 2 Cor. 10:5?

And brother, let me tell you, I
L O V E North Carolina and I hope you will too.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

Based on your answer to David, it's like you have Paul saying...

in 1:7 "So that ye come behind in no gift (uh, at least the valid ones).

in 1:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all (and by the way, mine is valid and yours is not).

There is no EXEGETICAL evidence, that I know of, in 1 Corinthians itself for someone to be like "Well, over here Paul is talking about a valid gift, but over here he is talking about an invalid gift" even if you bring in your cultural argument.

If there is, then please show it to me.

RevBubbaBear said...

Dr. Brad,

This is a very complicated issue, but you have been right on target and cleared up a heap of misunderstandin. Thanks for stayin true to the Word. I just wish these other fellers was as perceptive as you.

Bubba

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

Allow me to give a hypothetical.

Let's say we discovered the personal journal of James Boyce and, lo and behold, we found out that he practiced foot washing. Would that then make Boyce a Primitive Baptist rather than a Southern Baptist?

If not, then how is this different from the logic that says that a SB that has a PPL is an AOG rather than a SB?

By the way, is not Dr. Bruce Ashford the most eligible bachelor you've ever seen?

volfan007 said...

brad,

i know where waverly is...if you are talking about waverly, tn.

also, i was so hoping that smokey was gonna dine on ribs tonite, but alas the sharp teeth of the hogs took him down.

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

Benji

I’ll try and be to the point to answer your questions…but don’t assume I am being short:)

Waverly is on 460 down from Petersburg. I pastored Waverly Baptist Church.

The IMB was forced to force it by missionaries who claimed a PPL but made it a PublicPL.

The SB never had to address PPL until the 80’s because the charismatic influence was almost non-existent.

Do you think there are people in the AOG who can affirm the documents you mentioned?

I continue to say Paul did not allow syncretism…which is why he placed the policy.

PPL can be dangerous…I think Grosey has addressed that.


Also, while you find my interpretation tough to grasp I find yours even more difficult to swallow. Ie- “dear Corinthians, everyone else speaks in known languages (Acts) but you speak in ecstatic utterances, however they are all the same.”

There is no EXEGETICAL evidence that anyone other than the Corinthians practiced “ecstatic utterances.” There is cultural evidence that other religions did. There is exegetical evidence that tongues in acts were known languages.

Also, to equate foot-washing with tongues is quite revealing of your position my friend.

Finally, Bruce is amazingly gifted and a man who loves God dearly…so I am sure he would make a fine husband…although I have no intention of making this blog a match-making resource (although I hear there is good money in that:) – Just kidding.
God Bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

Volfan
We speak of Waverly, Va, although I know where Waverly, TN is

Sadly my horns went down tonight and they lost their starting quarterback…so much for back to back. I hope he is not hurt bad.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Bear

Thanks
BR

brad reynolds said...

Dr WhoamI

I will gladly publish your comment if you can shorten it (you have some excellent quotes). However, since it is not dealing with this topic and really long...I would prefer not to side-track others.

Having said that...I affirm what you said and appreciate much your quotes...I have saved them for future use
BR

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
One thing we have in common is that we don’t give up easily. Early in life, I developed a rule when ‘arguing’ with my twin brother never to go beyond a circle.

I want to commend you on the time and effort of answering all comments. That is a noble undertaking, but your arms may become like Moses.

I’m glad you agreed that it was possible that God could ‘open’ the ears to hear in their own language while only one (heavenly) language was being spoken.
I relate to this as I remember attending the Nunberg Trials in 1947. The speaker’s language was strange to me, but my ears were ‘opened’ by wearing ‘English ear phones.’

There were many languages represented by the audience at Pentecost. I believe God does things in an orderly way. Which would be more orderly, trying to hear your language and 10 others at the same time; or hearing only your language? So you see, it’s not 100% proof that human languages were spoken. And it’s not stretching the Scripture to believe one way or the other.
Whenever man tells God what He is doing, has done, or going to do, we are in big trouble. We go back to Adam’s problem of wanting to be like God.

You state, “I would never say I am 100% sure ecstatic utterances never come from God.” Since this ‘language’ is used in PPL, would I be correct to conclude that you disagree with the new rules of the IMB prohibiting would be missionaries from having a PPL?

If you agree with the IMB rule, then you disagree with your statement. (You can’t eat cake and have it too.)

All ecstatic utterances do not come from God—I met a man who had memorized ‘words’ and said he was faking. So we must be ‘fruit inspectors’ to know if a man’s works are from God or not.

You asked if I would allow ‘possible’ words from Satan in the church. Where do you thing Satan works best if not in the church? I hear them all the time—let someone else do it, if you let someone else have my job I’m quitting the church, fuss, fuss, fuss. I visited a church that would pass for a YMCA. There the pastor kicked 4 good members out for revenge, and then had the gall to demand a million dollars when he was asked to resign.

And the IMB is worried about PPL—they ought to praise God.
Rex Ray

Jeffro said...

Volfan,

Once again, half of what you say is acceptable. The other half is, well, just plain wrong.

Please enlighten me with some facts about when the SBC was filled with a majority of hyper calvinists. I would like some names and dates. Apparently, I have missed that in my Baptist history study.

Second, my brother, to effectively say that no one has it figured out, is to say that we are at best taking a leap into what cannot be understood, or at worst that we are Christian agnostics, and just can't know. Furthermore, the argument that Calvinists are elitist and "prideful" because they assert that they can put it all together is an elitism in itself. In other words, you say, "them wiley 5 pointers are arrogant, prideful georgia bulldogs who think they is right. its all mystery we can't understand." (my best paraprase of you, my brother ;-) ). But your assertion that it is all a mystery is just as dogmatic, and paints everyone who attempts to systematize these doctrines as a know it all. This, my friend, is elitism.

And finally, what "prideful 5 pointer" is trying to "take over the convention?" I am yet to see a great political push by any Calvinist to be President of the SBC, IMB, or NAMB. In the SBC we all have a vote and an opinion (as evidenced by Brad's blog here), but that doesn't mean that we (the wiley, 5 pointers) are out to take over. Tom Ascol, whom you obviously take issue with, is not trying to take over the convention. And you can produce no evidence to the contrary.

I said this at the convention after Ed Young's sermon at the Pastor's conference, and I will say it again. He made a statement to this effect. "Baptists aren't Calvinists. Baptists aren't Arminians. Baptists are somewhere in the middle. My brother, I am not somewhere in the middle. I am a Calvinist, and I will stand right beside you and preach the Gospel, without you having to be like me. So why do I have to be like you, in order to do the same?

God Bless

brad reynolds said...

Rex

Thank you my friend and you are tenacious (which is not bad). However, I fear that you are not alone in your approach (which concerns me). It appears you are saying, “God could have done it this way, so God DID IT this way. Your theory (as you know) is not new, nor is it the most normal (accurate) reading of the texts in both the Old and New Testaments.

Further, I am not 100% sure about much of anything, but that does not mean I am not confident. Please see the Preamble to this post.

Now, you brilliantly avoided my question about possible “words” from Satan in the church (I was speaking of ecstatic utterances in the context), however, such a ploy does not escape most of us…so I still await your answer.

Further, I am not sure the IMB’s concern about PPL is in juxtaposition with Praise.

BR

volfan007 said...

jeffro,

when talking about the hyper calvinist dominating in the past...i was talking about the church in general after the reformation, and how things begin to turn that way. and, it resulted in william carey being told that God could use trees to save the heathen if He wanted to save them...or something like that. we did have hyper calvinists dominating the scene. and, quite honestly, i wouldnt want to even go back to the days of boyce and gill.
that's my humble opinion.

also, my brother, anything that you believe beyond what the bible clearly teaches is your personal opinion. five point calvinism is a personal opinion...as is arminianism. i know that you wont agree with this, because, after all, you got it all figured out.

also, nearly every five pointer that i know...which is quite a few...are prideful and arrogant. they think that because they are five pointers that it makes them more intellectual than all of us peons who cant see it. and, they think that it makes them more spiritual because they are willing to believe the doctrines of grace and the rest of us are not.

also, i dont believe for a minute that the founders types would not love to set the policies for the sbc and have thier man in the top position. do you? do you honestly think that they would not like to be in control? not from what i've seen and heard from them.

and, btw, jeffro, i say God bless you and ascol and nettles and anyone else that believes like you do...i thank God for the good that yall do for the kingdom of God. just as i thank God for the good that lucado and dobson and some of my arminian, charismatic friends do for the kingdom of God.


from the hills of tn,

volfan007

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

Don't worry about getting to your points quckly with me. I know you are a busy man and I like it anyway.

You said "The IMB was forced to force it by missionaries who claimed a PPL but made it a PublicPL."

Then why did the IMB not merely enforce its already existing policy?

You said "Do you think there are people in the AOG who can affirm the documents you mentioned?"

I don't think too many people in the AOG hold to effectual calling (among other things).

You said "I continue to say Paul did not allow syncretism…which is why he placed the policy."

Now, I hope I have understood you correctly. I think what you are arguing is that Paul put boundaries around a pagan practice in order for it to ultimately fall away. If so , then you still have Paul allowing for synctretism (for a time) and the boundaries that Paul gave do not NECESSITATE the falling away of the practice.

You said "Also, while you find my interpretation tough to grasp I find yours even more difficult to swallow. Ie- “dear Corinthians, everyone else speaks in known languages (Acts) but you speak in ecstatic utterances, however they are all the same.”

I don't think I said that I believed that the Corinthians were speaking in ecstatic utterances.

You said "There is exegetical evidence that tongues in acts were known languages."

Is there exegetical evidence that the tongues in Corinthians were not known languages? You might have touched on this and I just missed it.

You said "Also, to equate foot-washing with tongues is quite revealing of your position my friend."

What does it reveal? You seem to act like me equating foot-washing with tongues is almost like me equating foot-washing with homosexuality.

You might not think foot washing is that big of a deal, but one of the specific problems John H. Fisher (who once attended Southern Seminary and once was a Missionary Baptist and became a Primitive Baptist) had with Missionary Baptists is revealed in this quote of his:

"They overrule and tear out the simple, restrictive commandments of Jesus and consume them by teaching the commandments of men. They refuse to wash feet..."

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
You state, “I fear that you are not alone in your approach (which concerns me). It appears you are saying, ‘God could have done it this way, so God DID IT this way.”
I agree your fears are well founded because you yourself use the same reasoning as you say God could have used human languages, so God USED HUMAN LANGUAGES. Is this not the same approach?

Can you see yourself as others see you? Our difference is I don’t condemn you for your beliefs, but you condemn me for mine even thought I arrive at my conclusion the same way you arrive at yours.

So you still await an answer to your question about possible “words” from Satan in the church.”

In the first place, your question is flawed by having a wrong conclusion that “words” (ecstatic utterances) are from Satan. You have stated you are not 100% sure, but your question implies 100%.

In a ten nation study, sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found 25% of the world’s 2 billion Christians are Pentecostals or charismatics. They are 50% of the population in Brazil, Guatemala, and Kenya.

While Southern Baptists are decreasing in baptisms, they are growing. Would you accuse them of having Satan in their churches? Could it be we’re so busy making rules that we end up fighting God?
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Brother Todd,

Sorry that it has taken so long to get back with you. I have been trying to do some Baptist Men work with our church and that took me away from my family which means that I spend time with them before I do with you guys.

I am at our NC Baptist Convention's Pastor Conference so I will have to be brief.

Let me say Todd, that I have a biological Sister with a PPL. She, like you, have given me the same argument. Of course hers was not as theological sound and yours even reference scholarly footnotes. I want to say something that many may shudder at when I say it. I believe that God still gifts today the same as He gifted in the first century. I do not believe what is being presented today as a spiritual gift is the same as Biblical times. (I know Alan Cross is chomping at the bit by now) What I am saying Todd, is that the Gift of Tongues as practiced today is not the gift presented in Acts. AS has already been pointed out, 1 Corinthians deals with the gift of abuses not the true gift of tongues. Thus PPL is not listed in the Scripture. PPL is a doctrine derived out of the Third Wave movement in order to make Charismatics more acceptable in Mainline Evangelicism.

This is how I see it. I also believe that is how most SB will define it by their votes if this is an issue in 2007.

Blessings,
Tim

brad reynolds said...

Rex

I don’t condemn you for your beliefs. I would never presume to do so. We have one judge and He is just.

Now there seems to be a difference in my approach and yours. Allow me to demonstrate (although I am quite confident my rationale will fail to convince you: whether that is a lack or rationale on my part or yours I am not sure, but I am persuaded it is the latter:).

It appears you are saying, “God could have done it this way, so God DID IT this way, although we have no evidence of it outside of Corinth.”

I am saying God DID use human language in ACTS in at least 3 different areas, so why should we assume He would not elsewhere (Corinth, is the only place we see human language not used and there were religions full of ecstatic utterances there and the Corinthians were certainly abusing tongues),

Further, you continue to avoid my question. Now you state it is flawed, however, it appears (at least to me) that the flaw lies in the flawed statement “your question is flawed.”

Let’s review. I ask you about “POSSIBLE” words from Satan. You readily admit some “tongues” could be from Satan, thus I ask about those possible incidences. Hence, my question, who decides if they are or are not from God and would you be willing to allow “possible” words from Satan in your church?

Are tongues practiced in your church? If not, why do you think that is? Shouldn’t they be?

I’ll be posting soon about the positive things happening in the SBC:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

Benji

If you agree tongues are human languages then we are closer than you know, so I really don’t need to address your concerns for I think we are similar.
BR

RevBubbaBear said...

Dr. Brad,

I am tryin to keep up with the topic, but I am afraid I missed somethang. Has Rex Ray ever answered your question or is he Burlesoning you? Has he amidded he is a tongue speaker? And is his church tongue speakin?

Bubba

Benji Ramsaur said...

Brad,

I first want to thank you for at least being engaging on this issue.

I'm not sure what tongues was in 1 Cor. However, I do not see any exegetical evidence in 1 Corinthians to support the notion that what Paul meant by his practice of speaking in tongues was any different than what the Corinthains practiced (aside from the abuse of it).

God Bless

PS.
I knew Bruce back in college (Campbell U.) and I like to pick on him. But seriously, he is a great professor of missions.

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
For the record: the IMB CONDEMNS missionary applicants if they have a PPL. Right? You agree with the IMB. Right? So YOU condemn people with a PPL. Right?
So don’t give me: “I don’t condemn you for your beliefs. I would never presume to do so. We have one judge and He is just.”

I don’t need a sermon for your condemning people for having a PPL. You either condemn them or you don’t condemn them—make up your mind.

You have a clever way of taking a person’s words and giving them a ‘twist.’ For example, I said, “All ecstatic utterances do not come from God—I met a man who had memorized ‘words’ and said he was faking.”
So you take this one in a million example and say, “You readily admit some “tongues” could be from Satan.”

You ignored the facts that Baptists are declining in baptisms while Pentecostals and charismatics are increasing. Do you think they are doing that by the power of Satan?

Once again we are back to your saying, “I am saying God DID use human language in Acts…”; with me saying, “Prove that God DID NOT open the ears of man to hear in his own language.”

As I’ve stated before, I will not rehash or talk in a circle, so I will not be making any more comments on this subject. While I sometimes have to use a dictionary to understand you, I wonder sometimes why you can’t understand my small words.

I’ve learned some and have enjoyed your discussion, but won’t comment till there is a different subject. Wish you would comment on my view of the Chicago Statement on inerrancy.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Dear Tim (and Brad),

No problem on the delayed reply, Tim -- not at all. Family first!

I can appreciate your views, both of you. I'm not offended; neither am I dissuaded from my interpretation and practice of what I believe to be a Scriptural spiritual gift.

What I am disappointed about, however, are the cooperation-in-missions and IMB/NAMB policy issues. Guys like Alan Cross, David Rogers, Dwight McKissic, and I are not AOG or charismatic in theology. We are Baptists who believe in the sovereignty of God to continue or restore the gifts He originally gave for the edification and expansion of His church. (I hope I'm not putting words in the mouths of Alan, David, and Dwight; they are writing quite eloquently for themselves!)

I am concerned that many SB pastors and leaders, in their emphasis on Baptist dogma and Baptist distinctives -- which they sincerely believe to be unquestionably biblical and essential -- are beginning to exclude other Baptists unnecessarily.

If other Baptists agree with me and continue to be excluded from employment with IMB, NAMB, SWBTS, etc., then we may have to form our own missions alliances, pursue state Baptist missions efforts (like the BGCT), or seek fellowship with some other movement like The Vineyard, YWAM, or The Acts 29 network, etc. I believe that for most of us, none of these options would be our first choice, because we believe there should be room in the SBC for us.

Other Baptists might say, "Good riddance to the troublemakers." But I would argue that we didn't start this fight. We are simply standing up for a legitimate interpretation of the Bible and for the appointing of missionaries who share this interpretation.

I for one am not asking SBs to believe just like me, I'm simply saying, "Let's continue to reason, pray, and work together for the cause of missions -- rather than dispute and divide unnecessarily."

Thanks, Brad, for letting Tim and I visit in your house.

Blessings,
Todd

davidinflorida said...

1 cor 12:28 " And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues."......What church ? Was it just for the church in Corinth or is it also for the Christian church of yesterday and today?..........We in the SBC surely appear to have teachers and a whole load of administrations. But, I say again , but, when someone comes around with these other gifts, we in the SBC are automatic to conclude that they are not correct.....Where are the apostles and prophets in the SBC? Where are all of the miracles and the gifts of healings in the SBC?.........We say that they must be wrong because they dont conform to our SBC tradition..... Yes the SBC with its 73% of plateaued or declining churches , and our 11,740 churches with 0 or 1 Baptisms....We have all the answers. If we dont agree with it , it must not be right.

brad reynolds said...

Bear

I don’t think Rex has answered my question about tongues in his church, which prompts some thoughts about some of these pastors pushing for tongues in the SBC. From where I am standing it appears some in our convention are arguing “we SB should pay CP funds to M’s who practice tongues,” however, I will not hire a staff member in my church who practices tongues.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Benji

If Paul and the Corinthians both practiced the same tongues then I am glad they spoke in known languages:) which would be no problem.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Rex

If you equate not funding with condemning then I suppose the SB condemn a lot of people (overweight and health restrictions) including some with diseases. However, I do not equate the two, nor do I believe the vast majority of SB equate the two.

Further I think you may exaggerate the one “faking” as claiming he is one in a million. However, you still avoided the question about allowing someone to “possibly” speak a “word” from Satan.

Concerning your question of proof…it appears the burden lies with you since the natural reading of the texts (Old and New T) is human languages being spoken.

Thank you so much for adding to the discussion, it was most insightful.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Todd

Thanks for your words. However, I think we will disagree, further I think history will show the fight did begin with those who have made this an issue, since it was never an issue before (including when Dr. Adrian Rogers presided over the meeting when NAMB had the same policy).

BR

brad reynolds said...

David,

Welcome. Good to have you.
I would be cautious about anyone who claimed to be an apostle today. Concerning the SBC, I have a little more optimistic perception, but you are obviously welcome to your opinion.

God Bless
BR

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I am asking this because I honestly don't know the answer, and am wondering if maybe you do.

I have noticed that you have referenced on several different occasions my Dad's "silence" on the NAMB's policy on tongues while he was SBC President. I also realize you are repeating this observation initially made by Dr. Caner.

My question is: Have other SBC Presidents used the platform of their office to criticize decisions made by SBC boards or committees during their terms of office? Maybe this has happened, and I am unaware of it. But, if it has not happened, or if it has happened very infrequently, I think the point you (and Dr. Caner) are trying to make here loses a lot of its force.

Or is there something else here I am failing to see?

Grosey's Messages said...

G'day Brad,
Todd, I think you ought to make it clear that you are already affiliated (informally or formally?) with the Vineyard movement as your church website indicates.


"This statement of faith highlights the "Kingdom of God" theme of Scripture. It came originally from the context of the Vineyard movement pioneered by the late John Wimber in the 1980s. The framework and writing of the statement is that of Rev Dr Don Williams, senior pastor of Coast Vineyard in La Jolla, California. It has been lightly edited by Rev Dr Todd Nelson, senior pastor of The Bridge. (We are not a Vineyard church, but we appreciate and identify with the distinctives of the Vineyard movement, a combination of the best of the evangelical and charismatic streams of the Church.)"



Here in Australia 12 years ago I was invited to attend a meeting of 80 Baptist pastors who were Vineyard pastors (out of 300 in our union. The statement was made with the invitation (because I, a cessationist was pastoring a formerly charismatic Baptist church) that "isn't it great that the Baptist union is letting us (Vineyard pastors) have their churches!"
Let's be fair, intentionally subversive charismatic activity is present in Baptist churches!
And it is dishonest and lacking integrity for Vineyard pastors to make Baptist churches Vineyard churches!
I apologise for being Jack Blunt today (I had my wheaties!) buit not my coffee! :)
Steve

Lug Nutmegger said...

Dr. Reynolds,

Is speaking in tongues the only doctrinal difference between "regular" Baptists (for lack of a better word) and Charismatics? Is the Charismatic movement a completely different Baptist sect? Do all current members of the SBC believe in the Calvinist view of speaking in tongues?

BTW, what exactly is a PPL?

I hesitate to state this since I am not one of you...but...I am not sure that just because membership has plateaued and new baptisms are few and far between that certain beliefs or doctrines should be adopted in order to gather a few more souls. As a Mormon I cannot talk as we have had a couple of changes in the past. Of course we get away with it because we have a modern day prophet that you warn David about.

It has suddenly become clear to me why there is so much hesitation by the SBC to open up the tent as it were. If the SBC opens the tent to allow Charismatics, for example, then the SBC would effectively be adopting and legitimizing "speaking in tongues" in the Charismatic sense (This is just an example and no offense intended, also the example may have errors as I am still unclear on a few things). I suppose the same can be said why you will not concede to call Mormons Christian instead of a Christian cult as you would be essentially, albeit passively, expressing your acceptance of their/our doctrine by default. Is this an accurate assessment?

I apologize for all of the questions. I know this is not a general Q&A thread and should not be detracting from the issues at hand.

If you would rather you can e-mail me your comments Dr. Reynolds.

Thanks,

Lug, out

brad reynolds said...

Lug

I got your e-mail and will respond tomorrow, but your comment here brings some great insight from the outside into this debate. I was especially enlightened by your comment: “I hesitate to state this since I am not one of you...but...I am not sure that just because membership has plateaued and new baptisms are few and far between that certain beliefs or doctrines should be adopted in order to gather a few more souls.”

Wow – Wise Words!

I will try and answer your questions from my limited perspective.

I think the charismatic influence on the mission field is what lies behind the new-charismatics in the SBC. I also believe the main reason we are discussing it has more to do with individuals who are wanting political change in the SBC, than with the legitimacy of it (although I do believe many are searching for theological truth here).

No, not all current members of the SBC hold to a Calvinist view of tongues. Baptists have long held to the doctrine of priesthood of the believer (in other words man does not need to go through man to get to God, we have direct access through Christ’s shed blood). Thus, Baptists disagree on nearly every secondary issue (by secondary I mean essential to the gospel), and some primary issues, but SB, as a convention, are united on the BFM2K, although even here individual Baptists disagree.

I think the fear of opening the tent has more to do with our understanding of Scripture. Which, is why I would be opposed to paying someone who practices tongues with our cooperative funds. I am not opposed to someone who practices tongues being a part of the SBC.

PPL stand for Private Prayer Language.

BR

brad reynolds said...

David,

I hesitate to give my impression of a man to his son...however, please know my impression of your father comes with great reverence and is very positive...I am extremely uncomfortable speaking of what I think he might or might not have done, for I do not know and am in NO position to even assume. Personally, I would not even want to speak for people I knew very well, who have passed.

And yet, you ask a fair and excellent Question, and I do not want to be impolite by refusing to answer. Thus, if my answer in anyway offends any, please forgive me.

However, to the degree that I knew your father, which is obviously inconsequential to your knowledge, I never saw him as one who would keep silent on an issue that he felt was wrong. I am convinced that if he felt NAMB was doing something wrong, he would never have allowed a position (President) to keep him from addressing it…in fact, my impression of him was that he would use his position to speak to things he felt were wrong.

I may very well be wrong, but that was my impression of him.

Thanks
BR

Anonymous said...

Brad:-
Ok, we disagree on the tongues issue. And we probably disagree on how this whole controversy started. I can leave it at that. We both may eventually gain a more objective perspective years down the road -- depending on who writes the history. :)

Steve:-
I'm not familiar with any Baptist or Vineyard pastors in Oz. But I would agree that it's wrong for a pastor to try to "hijack" a church. Anywhere. Absolutely. And the statement you quoted, with a little bit of the context, would rightly cause concern. But there also may be another side to the story. :)

When John Wimber went to Australia (in the mid- to late-1980s, I think), I understand that he showed great integrity and respect for local pastors and denominational leaders when he agreed not to target Australia for his conferences or church planting because it upset them. So he didn't go back. Evidently other Aussie pastors later chose to affiliate anyway.

I'm not sure why you think I should make it clear that I am affiliated with the Vineyard movement. Actually, I am not. I do know a handful of Vineyard pastors (spread out on a few continents), and I've read Vineyard literature. I even invited a German Swiss Vineyard missionary in Thailand to teach one weekend in our church on "The Kingdom of God". And we have adopted a Statement of Faith that comes from the Vineyard movement -- because we believe it to be eminently biblical and properly focused on the Kingdom of God. But I'm not a Vineyard pastor nor is our church affiliated in any way. But if I were formally or more informally associated, what would that prove? Guilt by association?

I am the founding pastor of our church here in KL. It was never anything other than an international evangelical church from its beginning.

Sorry if I sound defensive, but I do think that, while your accusations of subterfuge by charismatics has merit in some cases (one is too many), there is always another side to each story to help balance it toward objectivity.

I think you're trying to tag me with some sort of hidden plot or agenda. Not true. I've never had a position or any influence beyond the associational level, and I'm certainly not seeking any now. I will carry on my work for the King, whether inside or outside of the SBC, depending on how the Lord leads.

What I've observed over the last thirty years among SB churches has been a gradual opening to more expressive worship and the gifts of the Spirit; but now I also see an attempt to clamp down on any further movement in that direction -- in the name of what is properly and historically Baptist (which, of course, some people equate with what is biblical.)

I am merely one pastor, from a long line of Southern Baptists, who recognizes that God can bring new understandings of His Word and a fresh and Spirit-empowered obedience to His commission using the spiritual gifts He gives. I don't think this "agenda" is far off from what many Baptist pastors and leaders long for. Do you?

If/when you reply, please do have your coffee after your Wheaties! ;) And maybe we should take any further conversation over to email.

In Christ,
Todd

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
Stop! Stop! I can’t stand being silent when your thinking went out the window. You said, “Wow – Wise Words.”
I thought ‘word’ was only capitalized when it was God’s. Did this cult person blind you when he called you “Dr.”? Did his “great insight” reveal ‘blind—leaders of the blind’?

He was against doing something that would “gather more souls.” To me, his suggestion seemed straight from the devil, but to you it was “wise.” You agreed with him because he agreed with you.

Nuff said.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I think you and I will both agree that my father was never lacking in courage. By the way, yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of his death.

The question I am asking, though, has to do, not so much with my father's character as with protocol. It is one thing to "speak out," and another to "speak out of turn." I would not say my father was given to "speaking out of turn."

Unless, do you know if it has been standardly acceptable practice for sitting presidents to use their position as a platform to address issues like this? I'm really not sure.

brad reynolds said...

Rex
You have an amazing gift for rephrasing. Our Mormon friend wrote, “I am not sure that just because membership has plateaued and new baptisms are few and far between that certain beliefs or doctrines should be adopted in order to gather a few more souls.” And you have restated it by saying, “He was against doing something that would “gather more souls.” To me, his suggestion seemed straight from the devil.”

Clearly, we disagree on what he intended. I felt a translucent reading of his comment implied that he did not think it wise to compromise theology for praxis.

I felt he was saying the ends does not justify the means. I am certainly not going to throw my hat in with the CBF (who have compromised theological truths) just because they may be “winning some souls,” nor will I give my support to Benny Hinn or others just because they “win souls.” Feel free to claim that such thinking is from the devil; but such rhetoric is quite revealing.

Also, words are not just capitalized for their proximity to Truth, I also capitalize them for emphasis…I certainly did not intend to offend you. I revere God’s Word highly, and that reverence is not compromised when I capitalize other Men’s Words for Emphasis. If it appeared that way, I apologize.

As to my agreement with others because they agree with me…I’m not really sure that it matters who initiates the agreement, but you are right, I am in agreement with those who I am in agreement with.
BR

brad reynolds said...

David,

I am not sure of protocol either. I am, however, quite sure Presidents have used their Presidential address to address: 1)concerns in the convention and 2)practices they may not be in agreement with. Dr. Welch spoke of blogs this summer.

However, my point was that my impression of your father was that, had he been opposed to the actions of NAMB, whether he was President or not, he would have voiced his opposition.

I did not remember, that yesterday was the one-year anniversary…when I read that I took a moment to pray for you and your family, especially your mom (their marriage testimony still speaks volumes), and to thank God for his life.

God bless my brother
BR

brad reynolds said...

Rex
You have an amazing gift for rephrasing. Our Mormon friend wrote, “I am not sure that just because membership has plateaued and new baptisms are few and far between that certain beliefs or doctrines should be adopted in order to gather a few more souls.” And you have restated it by saying, “He was against doing something that would “gather more souls.” To me, his suggestion seemed straight from the devil.”

Clearly, we disagree on what he intended. I felt a transparent reading of his comment implied that he did not think it wise to compromise theology for praxis.

I felt he was saying the ends does not justify the means. I am certainly not going to throw my hat in with the CBF (who have compromised theological truths) just because they may be “winning some souls,” nor will I give my support to Benny Hinn or others just because they “win souls.” Feel free to claim that such thinking is from the devil; but such rhetoric is quite revealing.

Also, I do not capitalize words just for their proximity to Truth, I also capitalize them for emphasis…I certainly did not intend to offend you. I revere God’s Word highly, and that reverence is not compromised when I capitalize other Men’s Words for Emphasis. If it appeared that way, I apologize.

As to my agreement with others because they agree with me…I’m not really sure that it matters who initiates the agreement, but you are right, I am in agreement with those who I am in agreement with.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Todd
Agreed. And you are wise in recognizing the validity of history based on who writes it. I imagine we will one day realize the truth of all things but I fear many concerns will fade in that day:)
BR

RevBubbaBear said...

Dr. Brad,

Several years ago I had one of them there tongue slangers in my church until the Lord dealt with her. When I ask her questions she would do just like ole Rex Ray and change the subject. She never did give me a straight answer. I dont thank she really knew the Bible like she ought.

Why do you think Rex keeps avoidin your questions? Is he a tongue speaker? Does his staff do it? Is he the pastor of a tongue speakin fellowship? and by the way is he even Baptist?

Bubba

How bout it Rex? Got any answers?

Lug Nutmegger said...

Dear Mr. Ray,

I profusely apologize if I stated anything which might have been offensive. That was not my intention and I tried to make that clear in my comments.

Just to clarify a few things; I refer to Brad Reynolds as Dr. Reynolds as a sign of respect and because his education level dictates I should. Similarly I would refer to Rev. Todd Nelson as Dr. Nelson and I would naturally extend that same respect to you.

As I stated in my comments I was merely posing an example and I did not wish to offend. There was a comment made prior to my posting about waning membership and that maybe the SBC should embrace certain groups despite doctrinal differences merely because said groups are growing. When I posted I was actually thinking of the Episcopalians with their more controversial inclusion of beliefs and doctrines, diametriclly opposed to what I believe the Bible to state, just to increase membership. I just didn't want to mention a specific religion.

I am certainly not against gathering more souls to Christ. Just because I belong to the cult of Mormonism does not mean that I am not pleased if the Baptists bring people to Christ. (BTW, my wife is Baptist, although in the interest of disclosure, not a very good one, lol) I hope I did not give that impression and I apologize if I did.

I spent eight years in Georgia and one of the many positives I took from my time in the South was my experience with the Southern Baptists. Although we have some fundemental doctrinal differences, the one area where we are not as different as you think would be in the manner in which we choose to serve Christ (I know SB's think we are not following the same Christ so this point does not need to be brought up). My point is that living a Christ-like life is where we are similar; serving Christ and our fellow man, for Baptists and Mormons, is a way of life and not ceremony or once a week at church etc. I was extremely impressed with the 24/7 spirituality and kindness shown by SB members. That may not mean much coming from me but I wanted to at least express my feelings.

One last point and I will finish. I visit Dr. Reynolds blog because I find his posts thoughtful, intelligent, and for the most part accurate. I have also been impressed with Dr. Reynolds even-handed manner...even when dealing with Mormons. I have found the visitors and commentors to be polite and for the most part objective when discussing subjective content. Commentors state scriptural basis for their arguments and do not resort to the "I'm right, you're wrong" level which I find refreshing. Plus I love to read stuff from that revbubbabear, that guy cracks me up.

For the record, I was agreeing with Dr. Reynolds thesis on Calvin's writings on tongues not necessarily agreeing with Dr. Reynolds. I have not been posting here long but I think you will find that Dr. Reynolds and I rarely agree but are civil in our disagreements.

I hope that clears things up a bit. I truly am sorry if I posted anything you, or anyone else for that matter, might have found to be offensive or "of the devil". I will be more careful in the future.

God be with you,

Lug...out

Anonymous said...

David,
Your father was probably the "prince of Southern Baptist preachers" - I have been at various times challenged, entertained, convicted, and edified by his messages. I often wonder if he were here what he would be thinking aobut all of this. What would he think of his sons position? Either Dr. Rogers had a sympathetic or at least tolerant view for PPL and such matters - or he was oppposed to it. I think that would be a fair assessment of everyone position that has written on this blog. If he had a sympathetic view (which would coincide with yours and therefore it is very possible since you grew up in his home) then he would probably be very proud of you. Conversely if he held to the other view - while still proud of you - he might be disappointed in you. Other than meeting and shaking his hand a couple of times - I did not know your father. However as I look at people who did know him well - his neighbor who was also a deacon at Bellevue and a close friend of mine - and many graduates of mid-America - I would tend to think that he would be opposed to PPL. Why? Because some of the people I see who are the most opposed (vehemently opposed - even more than I am - and I am opposed) to PPL are graduates of Mid-America or have been prominently associatged with your dad. Now his associates he may not have any control over - however the gradautes of the school that he was a moving force behind - for them to be coming out with such an anti-PPL position would I feel be very strange. Just as graduates of ORU often reflect the views and beliefs of Oral Roberts, or graduates of Regent reflects the views of Pat Robertson (there ae exceptions) - thus I would think that by and large graduates of Mid-America would have been impacted by your father's views of Scripture. Of course your father is no longer amongst us but in a much better place where he KNOWS pure truth. I get the ompression from some of the things that you have written however that you have been more impacted possibly by George Verwer as I see a lot of his thinking in you - and that is not bad - he has one of the most passionate visions of reaching the world of anyone I know of anywhere. Blessings on you and your family.

Anonymous said...

MMM Todd,
I've had my wheaties and coffee.. but maybe you need yours :)
Your response is overly defensive.
My only concern with you personally is that you are identifying yourself as a SBC, rather than a Vineyard pastor, which your website indicates you are (unless you do not personally subscribe to the Vineyard statement of faith that you have published as your church's statement of faith on your website).

To say that Wimber and his associates only came to Australia once and didn't push stuff here is incorrect. It was between 1981 through 1983 that he came out while still lecturing at Fuller, and then in 1990 there was another spate (SMH 20/02/1990). My mates at theological college all went along.
Our main source of Christian books in Australia is the near monopoly holder Koorong (I have known the owner since 1977), who, as a Vineyard supporter does not stock anything much from Broadman and Holman or Lifeway. Vineyard material and the 3rd Wave line predominates here in Australia.
Now I'm not saying this from envy, its just a reality. Imagine oif you will a place where you cannot buy from a shop anything published by SBC pastors. Or that only plugs the Pentecostal line. that's been us for 20 years.
To say that there is no aggressive movement to make conservative churches capitulate to Pentecostalism in its various forms is pure nonsense. Why, for some years I was mistakenly sent literature for pentecostal pastors congratulating those who had infiltrated other denominational churches to split them to form pentecostal churches.
Their reward for subverting a church was to be ordained into that denomination and transferred to a wealthier more lucrative pastoral position.
I remember once meeting a Moderate leader in the USA. I shook hands with him, drew my hand back and inadvertantly counted my fingers to make sure they were all there!
Here in Australia the charismatic guys are not so slick. They come right out and say that their intention is domination.
Hey, I got no grief with you in KL, Todd. :)
Steve

TruthOfActs said...

Lug,
You answer very well. Your tone is humble, kind, apologetic—so much so, I think you would make a good Baptist if were not for the fact that you have accepted the teachings that Paul talked against in Galatians 1:8. “Let God’s curses fall on anyone who preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you about.” Paul and Peter said salvation was a gift. Paul wrote almost 100 Scriptures saying our salvation was a result of our, belief, trust, or faith in Jesus. People trying to work their way to heaven should heed Galatians 1:6 “I am amazed that you are turning away so soon from God who, in his love and mercy, invited you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ; you are following a different ‘way to heaven,’ which really doesn’t go to heaven at all.”

You say you refer to Brad as “Dr.” as a sign of respect. That’s a man-thing you know. There was no Dr. Jesus, or Dr. Paul. When Christ said to call no man “Father”, I believe we were not to put praise and glory on a person because of his ‘education.’ My father who had a Masters in the 1930’s, said all a degree did was put a little more curl in the pig’s tail. Some people work hard to be called Dr. to help their low self esteem, and usually they still have what they started with.

Lug, one reason I got on your case, you said you would not adopt certain beliefs or doctrines to win a few more souls. The topic of Brad’s post is: 'should PPL be accepted or not.' The PPL people are winning more souls, but the IMB has declared PPL people will NOT be allowed as missionaries. Our president of the IMB is a PPL person. How ridiculous can our IMB get? It’s people like Brad that have figured out (in their minds) that at present, the Bible teaches that PPL may be from the devil. That makes him a teacher of religion. Right? Do you recall what Jesus said about teachers of religion in Mark 12:38 and Luke 11:52? “BEWARE OF TEACHERS OF RELIGION.”
My prayer for you, Lug, is to teach your wife to be a good Baptist and follow her example.

Bubba,
Who said I was a pastor? Today, I put in 8 hours of volunteer painting and measuring ceiling tiles to go in the kids department at church. I was alone as usual. Yesterday, I installed insulation. The day before, I drove 170 miles with 50# of air in my tires to get the tiles. Monday, I was a messenger to the BGCT convention where most of the ‘talk’ was about us getting suckered out of 1.3 million dollars because our leaders had been too trusting about giving money to start ‘fake’ churches. If we don’t get more people working, I’ll literally have a life-long job of getting our new church finished. I was using a hand saw in decking our old church when I was 15 and a charter member in 1944. Sounds like I’m gripping, but I still love ever minute. I’ve worked on churches from Mexico to Alaska and 18 overseas projects for the SBC.
Yea, I can spot those PPL people in our church. They raise their hands in the air on the songs. Makes me feel uncomfortable, or should I say guilty? Do you feel guilty, Bubba? I notice they’re more involved in church than most. Some have a prison ministry for many years.
Hey! Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee, but I’ve crawled on the bottom. Even swam 4 miles across when I was 65. Designed the tool for the space shuttle nose-cone. There—I’m sure I told you more answers than you wanted to hear.

Brad,
How about a favor? Don’t mean to high-jack your post with off topic stuff but maybe someone out there might identify this person.

STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET
(Retold by Rex Ray 11-16-06)
Denton, Texas 1978: a young black man asked an older man (Hez) if a house was for rent.
“No, it’s for sale. Where’re you from?
“No one has heard of my town, Yellow Knife, Canada.”
“I spent two weeks there. “How come you’re so far from home?
“I was on a high school hockey team that won a gold medal in the first Artic Winter Games in 1968. They gave us a four year scholarship and now I’m working on a PHD. I almost didn’t get to play as there was a fuss if I was eligible or not. They called some American to decide. If it hadn’t been for him, I’d be working in the gold mines now.”
Hez said, “So you got to play even thought you’d been in that school only 5 weeks.”
“How’d you know that?”
“I’m that American.”
After a hug, Hez explained his two weeks in Yellow Knife helping to organize the games. At the time, he was Parks and Recreation Director of Fairbanks, Alaska and had been selected by the governor to explain to Canada why Alaska was not going to participate as they didn’t have the money. Canada planned for only adults to participate. Hez told the authorities he wouldn’t walk across the street to see adults play, but he’d work hard to help kids play, and others would too. They complained that’d cost too much money. Hez said Alaska was out if they didn’t include kids, and they finally agreed. The Alaska governor threw a fit, but Hez organized a benefit drive and they had the games.
Today, 27 countries are in the Artic Winter Games. The present authorities want to celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2008 with Hez meeting the hockey player again, but no one remembers the player’s name. Does anyone know where he is?
Hez is my 74 year-old twin brother.

Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Though I do agree with the great majority of the things he stood for, and have been greatly, greatly impacted by his life and ministry, I have never claimed my own views to be 100% in agreement with those of my Dad. On the issue of tongues, my father, as I understand it, was not a true "cessationist" but rather held a more "open but cautious" view. I believe he also tended to think biblical tongues to be known human languages. However, I disagree with you that he would in any way be "disappointed" in me for my understanding of Scripture and the views I have voiced. That was part of the greatness of my father. Although he held very strong convictions, and was never afraid to take a stand for the truth, he was also a very magnanimous man, who knew how to divide first, second, and third-tier issues. We often had very good discussions on theological issues, some of which we did not agree on 100%. But I never felt that he respected me any less for that.

I do think it is significant, however, that my father was not loath to collaborate together in various ministry projects with several who would be known proponents of "PPL". Not that he was necessarily in favor. Just that he apparently did not see this as a barrier to either Christian fellowship or collaboration in preaching the Gospel. And, as I have mentioned on other occasions, from first-hand reports of others who talked to my father shortly before he died, he did not think the new policy at the IMB on "PPL" was a good idea.

You are correct that George Verwer (as well as many others) has had an impact on my life and way of thinking. On the particular issue of tongues, however (to whatever degree I am able to truly be objective), I would say my main influence has been my personal study of Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Rex,
This is the anonymous missionary - and while I do not always agree with your ideas (especially on PPL) - I enjoy reading them. Nevertheless - your post caught my attention - because apparently your twin brother Hez - he was my 9th grade PE teacher - he was a great guy and I loved him to death. I was in a new place and a new school and I could not have had a better teacher than Hez Ray. I have often thought about him and knew somewhat about him through my good friend and colleague - and anothe rrelative of yours - Mark. Anyway when you see him tell him he made a difference not jsut in this young man's life but many of that time in Fairbanks.

brad reynolds said...

Rex

There seem to be many who are using the equality of all men to excuse their lack of manners. I feel certain you are not encouraging such. I could care less if someone calls me Brad; Dr. Reynolds; Brother Brad; Reverend Reynolds; Pastor Brad; Mr. Reynolds or what. Nevertheless, my son will call you Mr. Ray unless you have a doctorate and then he and I both will call you Dr. Ray. To me it is common courtesy, by giving credit to whom credit is due.

God Bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

David

I too would and have cooperated with charismatics. That is different from paying them.
BR

Anonymous said...

Dr. Reynolds: I use to address you as Brad, and I may again in the future, but having read the absolute clarity and diplomacy in which you have answered all these comments, I have to bow to your most earned title at this moment.

I have stated before that I'm no theologian. The debates on grace are the most perplexing to me. But tongues has always been a subject of interest since I was saved in 1976. For a while I thought I wasn't saved because I didn't have that "gift". This is definitely a topic others must be interested in, too--by the amount of traffic you have seen.

In this sea of comments, I may have missed it, but did anyone who actually speaks in tongues comment?
Just wondering...selahV

volfan007 said...

i have to agree with brad. i too have cooperated with charismatics. it is indeed different than paying them.

volfan007

TruthOfActs said...

Brad,
Thank you for posting my comment about my brother. Until we were 21, we’d never been apart more than 3 days. He went to Alaska to finish college and stayed about 20 years. I felt like I’d lost my right arm. We see each other about ever 3 years.
My wife complains all I want to do is talk to people about my brother. I think if I’d been James, the New Testament would be twice as thick.

I don’t know if the anonymous missionary was along or not when Hez had a group of high school boys who were going to remove the snow from top of a large aircraft hanger the city had bought for a dollar from the government to move 150 miles by volunteers to Fairbanks for a youth recreation building. One boy fell through a hole covered with snow. His foot caught in some bracing and the kids lowered Hez down by his ankles to retrieve the boy who was dangling and screaming 50 feet above the floor. Many years later they named the sport complex after Hez and a man asked if he recognized him. Hez said no, but called the man’s name after he heard, “You grabbed my leg.”

Mark, who the missionary mentioned, has a father that is a retired missionary from Korea, and a grandfather (I’m named after) who was a missionary to China 30 years and then Korea for 7 years.
This is proof that it was good that Christians didn’t take Paul’s advice about it being better not to marry.

Brad, my daughter-in-law will get her PHD next month, but I will still call her Beth. Once my father was told by his teacher to rub his nose against a horse’s nose and MAYBE some ‘horse sense’ would rub off on him. I think ‘horse sense’ should be the highest degree of all, but better than that—who is the greatest? Luke 9:48 “Whoever is least among you is the greatest.” That Scripture bothered me for it seemed no ‘great’ men would have a chance to be “least”. I believe the (old) Living Bible has a better interpretation with, “Your care of others is the measure of your greatness.”
Rex Ray

brad reynolds said...

Selah

Good question. I think perhaps 2 commenting here speak in tongues based on what they have said.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Rex

Your brother must be an amazing man. And he is blessed to have a loyal brother like you.

I agree with your comment on horse sense. Sadly I have met men who have plenty of “book smarts” but are lacking in horse sense. I would much rather have the latter. Nevertheless, I still feel strongly about manners and calling people by their titles. However, I could honestly care less if someone calls me Dr, for I am full aware all that is good about me is a result of Christ and Christ alone.

Be Blessed
BR

Anonymous said...

Rex,
i was not with the group that went to Tanacross I beleve it was to get the building and move it to Fairbanks - but I know of the gorup - some were my classmates. ANyway Hez was well respected and loved among Fairbanks Baptists and I have never forgotten him. When I therefore got to Dallas Baptist and met Mark I was amazed at what a small worl it is - and Mark and I have bene friends now for 30 plus years - I recently stayed with he and his wife while visiting in the country where they serve. I believe tht he is maybe a 4th generation misisonary so I know that your family has a great and godly heritage. Have a great day and when you see or talk to Hez again - give him my best.

TruthOfActs said...

Dear Mark’s friend,
Didn’t mean to ignore your replies. It’s nice of Brad to let us get off topic that some won’t allow. We lived across the lake from you when you and Mark were at DBU. We were there looking for the BGCT annual meeting last week, but the meeting was at the Dallas convention center. The campus has grown a lot.

Hez asked what your name was. They have moved to Arizona and he has had the “valley fever” for two weeks now. He finally started taking some medicine today. I told him if he wasn’t careful, I’d be writing on his tombstone, “Get me out of here—there’s nothing wrong with me.”

Just talked to Mark’s parents. They said they would get your name from him. I appreciate your work for the Lord and your friendship to people I love.
Tell Mark I remember our last conversation. He didn’t want to hear anything about the SBC controversies, but I listened for a long time his side of what was going on. I drove 2,000 miles to vote for Frank Page. I hope the differences can be set aside as Wade Burleson said, “What holds us together is bigger than what separates us.”
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

I was curious as to why the older comments appear first and the more recent comments need to be scrolled down (way down) to.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the issue of tongues is so misunderstood by many. It is so uncomplicated that it takes "Theologians" to make it complicated. The cart and the horse are all turned around in every direction in the blogs and writings I have seen on the subject. Speaking in tongues seems to catch all the attention when actually it is subsequent to something else that doesn't even seem to get discussed.

I was in the Southern Baptist Church for about 40 years of my life and still am at heart at 65. I am glad they were there for me from the time I was kept in a nursery and far into my adulthood. They imparted into me much of what I still have today. The Baptist domination is dear to my heart and will continue to hold it there. It grieves me to see a schism in the SBC about anything. If indeed much of it is over Spiritual Gifts it is evident from the blogs and all I have read elsewhere that there is a gross Biblical ignorance about Spiritual Gifts, speaking in tongues, etc. I know, because I was ignorant about it myself at one time and am still learning. When taught under an anointed teacher it is so simple that it really does take a theologian to come in and make it complicated. Now, I am also amazed why anyone would not want ALL that God has to offer that was paid for and is freely given by Christ. Why would anyone take out their spiritual erasers and use them on God's Word except that they are sorely confused.

I see all the labels of Calvinist and so on being used in the SBC discussions and wonder where the Bibleist are in all this. Why will some people just not embrace all of the New Testament as God's Word and Covenant for us today? Then they wonder why they are having problems trying to explain away and or trying to understand a further step in the Christian life clearly laid out in the New Testament and prophesied in the Old Testament. That being the "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" that is subsequent to salvation to empower us to better walk the Christian walk and witness. I am still wondering how Romans 8:26, that is often used, is a base for any argument by itself. How anyone could think that God is not still the same yesterday, today and tomorrow as He has said He is. How or why did anything God has for us would go away with the Apostles or anything else?

First and foremost, without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit there is no one who is going to receive a personal prayer language. It is not the only evidence, but it is an evidence of the "In-filling" of the Holy Spirit. That comes after the "Indwelling" that is received at salvation. John the Baptist made this plain in Matthew 3:11 - I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire. Then later the Apostle Paul ran into some Baptist boys (disciples of John the Baptist) and ask them a question in Acts 19:1-6... While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The same Spirit Jesus said he would send in John 14:16 (AMP) "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever--"

If it was needed then......how much more do we need it now!!! Especially in these times. God said He was going to pour out His Spirit on all flesh at the end of this age and He is going to do it. Yes, and it is going to cause problems between those who receive the in-filling, that comes with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit that happened for the first time in the Upper Room at Pentecost as Jesus said it would when He sent the Holy Spirit, and those who don't believe it is for us today or just for some people and not others for some weird reasons I cannot find in scripture. They try to base that, I think, on 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 that is listed with other Spiritual Gifts and is talking about the special Spiritual Gift of Tongues which is when God speaks to a congregation through a person and must be interpreted by someone with the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues. It says that not all will not have that Gift and they won't, but that doesn't have anything to do with the way they are trying to use it to prove something. Taking it out of context. This "Gift of Tongues" is not given to every believer who is Baptized with the Holy Spirit. It can operate in them if the Holy Spirit wants it to at some time, but is not always a permanent Gift. THIS IS NOT the personal prayer language that is given to anyone Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Anyone can have that baptism who is "born again" and wants it. They will get a "personal prayer language" at that time, but not necessarily the special Gift of Tongues I have already explained.

It is easy to understand why there is so much confusion. It happens when you are not where it is not believed, taught or preached by all. Or taught by people who are not anointed to teach in those areas and the result is confusion and discord. The Holy Spirit cannot function in an atmosphere of discord. That is why when I was Baptized with the Holy Spirit I had to find a place that could explain what had happened to me and had helped me to grow in the grace God had given me during one of my "head prayer" times when I really did not know how to pray or what to pray for. I have not and will not look back since that day. My Christian walk exploded to a new level on that day. The Bible seemed to become a new book after that. Revelation then and now just jump of the pages at me that previously after many years of in-depth Bible study I had never seen before.

I often wonder why Christians who are interested in these matters will go to a minister or anyone else who not been Baptized in the Holy Spirit and ask them what they think. What of value could they possibly tell them about something they have never experienced? Can we explain the spiritual results of salvation to someone who has never experienced it? Can we reduce a spiritual experience to carnal understanding? Poorly at best. That is the reason the Holy Spirit has to speak to the person we are speaking to about about God's salvation for us or there is no result. The Holy Spirit must draw them. It is the same thing with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the resulting speaking in tongues as a personal prayer language, the Gift of Speaking in Tongues and all the other Spiritual Gifts that the Holy Spirit gives as He wills to each. I can also tell you that anyone who is Baptized in the Holy Spirit will never grow in it and will eventually dry up if they do not find a place where it is practiced and has an anointed teacher to help them. I have personally seen this happen time and again to people who were Baptized in the Holy Spirit. You cannot keep that experience active when you stay in a place where the Holy Spirit is not always in charge. ie, You might not be able to set your watch by what is usually suppose to happen next in a service. The agenda is always subject to change
when the Holy Spirit is in charge. However, "But all things must be done properly and in order."
( I Corinthians 14:40)

You shouldn't care what I think. I don't even care what I think or what anybody else thinks, but we all should care what God thinks. It is amazing that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was prevalent in denominational churches, including Baptist Churches, up until early in the last century. Where did it go? No church or person has it "just right" anywhere today. We are all a work in progress. God is pouring His Spirit out on all flesh at the end of the age just like He said He would on anyone that would receive it and walk in it. He is going to have His way in the end. Pick and choose Cafeteria Bible Christians with spiritual erasers at work in God's Word are going to remain weak and confused. That is exactly what "the adversary" wants. He loves a good fuss in the churches anywhere.

Here is an article I think you will find interesting. Especially the comment a Chinese gentleman made about the American churches he visited in Kevin Turner's article "Why Isn't The American Church Growing". I hope you will read every word of it as I did. Sobering to say the least.

http://www.swi.org/KevinsEyes.aspx?Page=3&ID=5

I wish you all to be blessed In Him and that The Truth in all things that are of Christ will prevail in all of us.

In His Love,
Wayne