by Jeff Hagan
WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?
For me, all of this just brings me back around full circle. My answer to the question of whether or not the miracle gifts are operative in the church today is still “I don’t know.” If someone were to ask if I were a cessationist or a continuationist, my short answer remains “I don’t know.” But I’m not going to stop studying the issue.
It is not an essential, but it is important. There are a couple things that I know for sure. First, many continuationists, especially leaders and pastors in that camp, need to bridle their behavior and the behavior of those under their leadership. Barking, rolling on the ground, magical gold dust clouds, uncontrolled laughter, punching or kicking people, getting knocked over by breath or a white suit coat, and many other foolish actions are not biblical. These actions can in no way be supported by Scripture.
Second, many cessationists need to humble themselves in this area. Too many cessationists act superior and condescending toward those who believe differently than they do. They ridicule and demean even the most cautious, reverent, God fearing, intellectual continuationist leaders.
DO I RECOMMEND THE BOOK?
I’m going to close this out with the issue of whether or not I recommend this book. This question has already been asked of me several times. What do you think by the way I presented the information? Any guesses?
Well, in all honesty I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this book. That is probably evident to most who took the time to actually read this and truly tried to see and understand where I am coming from. Perhaps it’s not as evident to those who have preconceived ideas and were too busy thinking about how much you agreed or disagreed with something I said and how you would respond to it.
With that said, Storms is much more careful than many continuationists on how he practices these gifts and how he instructs his church to practice these gifts. If you are a continuationist and you don’t waiver on that issue at all, if you are steadfast in your position, then I think this book could be of benefit in that it may help keep you and your church from the excesses that so often accompany continuatioinist actions.
What do you think? I’d like to hear from those of you who have made it this far. Do you have any information you’d like to add pro or anti either side of this coin? Any thoughts or ideas that might get me “off the fence” one way or the other? If so, please leave them in the comments.**
*Much of the information for this article was taken or adapted from: Storms, Sam. Practicing The Power, pp.244-266, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.
**Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.