Thursday, October 7, 2010

Closet Popery

Continuists are wrong when they refuse to accept the traditional Reformed exegesis of 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. “That which is perfect,” is an obvious reference to the completion of the New Testament canon because the whole context is about revelation being in part, and so on. Paul is looking forward to a time when revelation will be complete and we will no longer know in part. And when this time comes, tongues will peter out. That is the exact meaning of the Greek verb in middle voice which says “tongues will cease.”

People who profess to believe in the sufficiency of Scripture and yet maintain the continuing presence of the revelatory sign gifts in the Church are talking out both sides of their mouths. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It is incomprehensible to me that any proponent of Reformed theology can entertain the notion that continuism/Cessationism is adiaphora. How can the sufficiency of Scripture be a matter of indifference?

The roots of Continuism are in Popery anyway. Surely this should count for something, at least among those who profess allegiance to the Reformation! Continuism is, in fact, one of the doctrines against which the Reformers protested, thus earning the name Protestants. If continuism is true, not only should tongues and the whole slew of revelatory sign gifts be openly encouraged, but all of us should return to Rome.

Listen. If the sign gifts are revelatory, then it is theological double-talk to profess belief in the sufficiency of Scripture – because Scripture is not sufficient when we need fresh, new messages in tongues or “prophecy.” If these signs gifts are not revelatory, then they are superfluous, since all the revelation God wants to give us has already been given in Scripture. The canon of Scripture is complete. This hankering after fresh revelations is a desire to go back to the Old Testament. It is a rejection of the certain and sure Written Word of God in favor of mystical tongues, dreams, visions, etc. It is closet Popery.

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