Thursday, January 17, 2013

John Piper on the Gifts of Tongues and Prophecy

On the subject of spiritual gifts, John Piper would fall in the continualist camp. He has stated as much from the pulpit:
Virtually all the great pastors and teachers of history that I admire and that have fed me over the years belong to the first group who believe that signs and wonders were only for the apostolic age (John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Benjamin Warfield, my own father). But I am not fully persuaded by their case. On the other hand, there does seem to be something unique about the way God did signs and wonders in the ministries of Jesus and the apostles.

So what I think I can say for our guidance is this.

  1. On the one hand, we ought to honor the uniqueness of Jesus and the apostles and of that revelatory moment in history that gave us the foundational doctrines of faith and life in the New Testament.

  2. On the other hand we ought to be open to the real possibility that this too might be a unique moment in history, and in this moment it may well be God's purpose to pour out his Spirit in unprecedented revival—revival of love to Christ and zeal for worship and compassion for lost people and a missionary thrust with signs and wonders.
I want to have my keel deep and stable in the once-for-all biblical revelation of God, and I want to have my sails unfurled to every movement of God's Spirit upon the deeps.
Here, he discusses his views on speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy in the New Covenant:

I have greatly appreciated my time at Bethlehem Baptist Church under the teaching of John Piper. While I may not agree with his position on every issue, I don't think I've ever met a man more humble and more biblically oriented when tackling controversial issues.

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