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Have the NT Charismatic Gifts Ceased? Dr. Michael Brown vs Dr. Theodore Zachariades

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by stenerson, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Interesting debate took place last Friday. There's a growing openness towards charismatic gifts among the young, restless reformed. Dr. Z bought up some new points I didn't hear in other debates on the topic. Dr. Brown of course is a renowned scholar and experienced debater. Worth a listen.

     
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  2. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    I find the whole reformed charismatic linkage rather remarkable since classic pentecostalism is indelibly linked to Wesleyan doctrine.

    So what is YOUR take on this? Are you a cessationist?
     
  3. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Yes. I'm a hardcore cessationist.
     
  4. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Are you reformed? (Calvinist?)
     
  5. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Technically not reformed, but yes I am a Calvinist.
     
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  6. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Then you might want to check out the material from a group called Presbyterian Reform Ministries International. prmi.org.
     
  7. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Will check them out thanks.
     
  8. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    At first glance it looks like they are Presbyterians embracing charismania.
     
  9. Kendawg

    Kendawg New Member

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    I actually was the second one in the audience to ask a question. Dr. Zachariades dodged it. He is a theistic determinist Calvinist who even fought James White over compatibilism. He’s on record saying God commands adultery. In his view, we are basically God’s puppets on a string. Yet, being a cessationist completely contradicts that view. If he claims the gifts have ceased (with practically no Bible evidence without reaching for argument), how does he explains the incidents that do occur amongst believers that appear to be manifestations of the gifts? If it’s not God, what are your other options? Coincidence? No, that’s impossible in Calvinism. The demonic? Even in Calvinism, the devil does not have libertarian freedom. He can only do what God tells him to do. So the devil cannot perform a counterfeit of a spiritual gift without God actually telling him to do so. Or how about man’s willpower to create a fake manifestation of the gift? In Calvinism, man doesn’t have autonomous freedom that’s incompatible with God’s decree. So, therefore, man can not operate and do things separate from God. With the determinism that Zachariades holds, God is directly controlling man. Yet, Zachariades and other Calvinists will say the manifestations of the gift today — even positive ones that edify someone and the church — are not of God because they ceased. So how can God determines all things which come to pass and the devil and man not have libertarian freedom, but then something can be not of God? It’s a massive contradiction no matter how you slice it.
     
  10. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Wow! That's cool that you were there. I'm not tracking your argument though. A determinist like Dr. Z doesn't deny that God permits and decrees all things that come to past, including false wonders, etc. I don't understand how his cessationism contradicts his determinism.
    He claims to hold to the Dort confessions.
    Personally I think compatibilism is more scriptural.
     
  11. Kendawg

    Kendawg New Member

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    Still, a cessationist would say anytime someone is given what appears to be a spiritual gift described right there in the Bible and it actually edifies someone or the church, that it’s atill not of God. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t say God determines all things which come to pass and then turn around and say something is not of God. I’m sorry, but it’s a blatant contradiction. Most Calvinists do hold to compatibilism, but Zachariades has been clear that he’s a direct determinist. (See his arguments against James White and compabilism back in late 2017). In his view, God directly controls everything. So for him to debate cessationism is rediculous, in my opinion. He affirmed that man has absolutely no free will and neither does the devil. So all of the true manifestations of the spiritual gifts, the counterfeit ones, and fake one are all brought about by God because he’s decreed it. Therefore, to say something isn’t of God is a contradiction. If a cessationist affirms that the devil and humans can cause fakes and counterfeit outside of God’s will to be “not of God,” they’ve affirmed a belief in the devil and man being capable of acting autonomously from God’s will. Again, you can’t have your cake and eat it too and claim others who see this contradiction clearly don’t know what they are talking about. There’s a reason Dr. Zachariades wouldn’t answer my question. It’s because he knew that the follow-up question would be. And he wouldn’t dare go there.
     
  12. Kendawg

    Kendawg New Member

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    Zachariades doesn’t believe God permits anything. He holds to John Calvin’s idea that to permit something is a vain refuge and and that God actually causes man to act as He wills. In a previous debate, Zachariades says God actually orders and commands people to sin.
     
  13. Kendawg

    Kendawg New Member

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    And you just now said in your comments that God permits and decree false wonders. Then why are cessationists complaining about what God has decreed? If there’s nothing man can do about it, it’s silly to speak out against what God has determined and decreed to come to pass. Is God determing that a cessationist complain about the beliefs of continuationists, even though the cessationist can’t change a single thing? Again, I think being a Calvinist and a cessationist is a affirming a flat out contradiction.
     
  14. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Yeah I know. And some of the language in scripture which Dr. Z references seems to suggest that. But I believe that the full picture of scripture is more compatible with compatibilism. :sorry:
     
  15. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Maybe you should bring this up in the "Debate with a Calvinist " forum.
    It's basically the Leighton Flowers tiresome argument. "If God predestines then why complain or debate about anything?"
     
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  16. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    By the way I'm sure we all agree that God at the very least "permits" false wonders, false miracles, false visions, etc.. Right?
     
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  17. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    Sounds like my kind of guy! Thanks.
     
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