"Phonity. noun: superficial unity for which fundamental differences are ignored."

“As long as Reformed—which I assume to be cessationist*—and Charismatic Christians continue to pretend the differences between them are minor and sweep them under the couch, their unity is fake, false, phony, fraudulent, and fraught with failure.” Phonity

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Mark_Smith's picture

is spelled P-I-P-E-R, with a dose of G-R-U-D-E-M on the side. Piper is the uber-leader of the young and reformed crowd. He is so fashionable. Well, he believes in Charismata Lite...not too much, but just enough to get you going in the morning. A little prophecy (hey, its not scripture, it must be "judged"), a little Spanish tongues to help you if you get lost in Monterrey for some reason, etc. But, certainly not a full-blown Charismatic. Healing gifts? Why not...but not like Kenneth Hagin or Copeland or Benny Hinn. Add a little CCM and its all good! On top of that, he is a theologian turned "Pastor for Preaching and Vision" (whatever that means...I guess it means don't call me at 2am if you're sick in the hospital...or if you need a funeral service), and now a retiree. So, he is legitimate.

Surprisingly, he has even drawn so called young fundamentalists his way.

Anne Sokol's picture

rambling thoughts here, as I have now gained a bit of real life experience with charismatics ...

They are our brothers and sisters.

Yes, I have met several who are terribly ungrounded in Scripture and who tend to be unstable and even unethical/immoral as a result.  (There is one particular church here that is huge and this seems fairly pandemic. But they are very evangelistic. The pastor.)

I have met several who are very grounded in Scripture and wonderfully stable and godly.

They have a very high regard for pastors.

They have women pastors--although I don't know if they are actually ordained women pastors here--they just have a lot of "pastors" it seems.

I try to be gracious and not judge them because I assume that I also have glaring faults in some beliefs about God that I don't see.

I don't like the way fundamentalists respond to charismatics by acting as God's gatekeepers in how He is or is not allowed to communicate to us or work among us. I think there are normative ways God communicates to us and works, and we should not search for nor expect "ecstatic" things, but I don't think we should say God is not allowed nor will ever do certain personal things. I think that may even be blasphemous of us in a sense.

GregH's picture

Anne Sokol wrote:

I don't like the way fundamentalists respond to charismatics by acting as God's gatekeepers in how He is or is not allowed to communicate to us or work among us. I think there are normative ways God communicates to us and works, and we should not search for nor expect "ecstatic" things, but I don't think we should say God is not allowed nor will ever do certain personal things. I think that may even be blasphemous of us in a sense.

Absolutely true Anne. My entire life I have struggled with the fundamentalist dogmatism about the ceasing of sign gifts when the Bible is not dogmatic about it at all.

Dan B.'s picture

Mark, is your sarcasm justified? How about fair?

he is a theologian turned "Pastor for Preaching and Vision" (whatever that means...I guess it means don't call me at 2am if you're sick in the hospital...or if you need a funeral service), and now a retiree.

I happen to agree with the basic point that Piper (and Grudem) helped to legitimize this (unfortunate) marriage between Charismaticism and Reformed theology. But I can appreciate some of his other contributions without resorting to the kind of vinegar you're sprinkling about here.

Does that make me one of those "so-called young fundamentalists"?

Mark_Smith's picture

Have you ever seen a sign gift in operation? I am NOT asking if you have ever heard of an answer to prayer for healing, for example. I am asking if you have ever observed the "gift of healing" where a person laid on hands and a physical disability immediately was healed? Or, some other dramatic miracle that can be attributed to a gift of the Spirit in operation in an individual?

Greg Long's picture

Mark, how do you know John Piper has never been called at 2am for a hospital call? Are you suggesting he never does funerals?

Even if these two things were rare, are you suggesting it is wrong for a senior pastor to delegate some aspects of pastoral ministry? Or should each pastor do everything in the church for everyone?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Mark_Smith's picture

The side comment was meant to figure out what "Pastor of Preaching and Vision" means. Do you know?

 

Nonetheless, focus on the thread, which is the connection between Charismatics and Calvinists. Clearly, as a Calvinist who is a continuationist he has been responsible to a significant degree for the relationship between the two.

Mark_Smith's picture

To me...

Pastor means I do it all.

Senior Pastor means I do the administration plus some of the personal ministry but I delegate to others under as well

Pastor of Teaching and Vision means I preach...and dream up new things to do, but don't bother me with the administration or personal ministry.

jcoleman's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

The side comment was meant to figure out what "Pastor of Preaching and Vision" means. Do you know?

If you were reading the title with as much charity as you'd expect your own words to be read, I don't think there's even anything worth explaining. It's self-explanatory. But I'll take a shot anyway: first, you're dealing with a plurality of elders, so there's no "senior pastor." And in that plurality the work is going to be divided up by gifting (which only makes sense.) So one is going to naturally carry more administrative workload, one more counseling workload, etc. (obviously this doesn't mean exclusivity, but a larger portion.) And so the one gifted most strongly for teaching is going to shoulder the majority of the teaching load. Vision just means that by virtue of the fact that you're shouldering the bulk of the teaching load you're going to naturally have the most practical influence on setting the vision for what the church is going to look like (as you're the one doing most of the communicating of that vision to the congregation as a whole.)

Larry's picture

The side comment was meant to figure out what "Pastor of Preaching and Vision" means. Do you know?

If that was what you wanted to know, then why the s[n]ide comment? Why not just ask? Or better yet, use Google.

The first thing that comes up when you Google "Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor of preaching and vision" is this: http://www.hopeingod.org/job-description-pastor-preaching-and-vision

You will be able to find an answer to your question there.

In a church that large, someone in Piper's position doesn't do much hospital visitation, funerals, or the like. I listened to him recently where he lamented that fact. But it's probably reality in a large congregation where priorities have to be drawn up and tasks delegated. My guess is that most people were not at Bethlehem because Piper had a great bedside manner in the hospital, or knew just the right words to say as the dirt was hitting the casket. They were there for his preaching.

But let's not detract from this any further.

Piper's popularity is not due to his continuationism. It is due to his preaching and writing. Grudem's popularity is likely due to his systematic theology which is very usable in many ways. I doubt anyone likes either one primarily because of their view on the gifts. Other things are far more prominent.

What does that matter? In this particular article, I think there is a good point, that many overlook significant things for the sake of a faux unity. And that is wrong, not to mention dangerous. However, that does not mean that these men or others like them have nothing of value.

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

They like his preaching and teaching. They then see he is a continuationist. They then start to move in that direction.

Jay's picture

Let me encourage everyone here to review Mark Smith's posting history - especially his emphasis on CCM and glossalalia - and decide for themselves whether or not this is a discussion that is worth pursuing.

It seems pretty clear to me that Mark is not really here to discuss - just to gore his particular oxen.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Mark_Smith's picture

Type cast me...I see. 

 

ONCE AGAIN this thread is about the connection between Calvinism and Charismatics. I mentioned the popularity of it comes from Piper/Grudem...and you try to type cast me. That is very low of you sir. Jay...has Piper had a major role to play in the cozy relationship between Calvinists and Charismatics?

 

Imagine, a fundamentalist against tongues...and he's castigated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark_Smith's picture

doesn't believe in "gibberish" tongues, but the "human" language variety. Correct?

 

Edit-- As Larry suggested, I googled "Piper tongues" and found this

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/piper-on-prophecy-and-tongues

 

I didn't realize Piper was that far into continuationism. I was under the impression he was a little shallower. 

 

 

Anne Sokol's picture

M_S, I don't think anyone is promoting tongues speaking here. I think they are just more concerned with your lack of discussion/argumentation skills.

 

I just wanted to clarify that what I said about fundamentalists setting themselves up as God's communication gatekeepers: I'm not necessarily talking about sign gifts themselves. I just have observed that we tend to go overboard in limiting how God, through the Spirit, works in us, communicates to us, etc., generally.

Mark_Smith's picture

to be about Calvinism and its connection to Charismatics.

Anne Sokol's picture

because one guy in our church brought this up with our international singles group. they advertise on social media, so it's a mix of baptists, pentacostals, charismatics.

And he was saying, why do we allow this when they have such serious doctrinal fallacies--believe in apostleship, revelation, etc.

It's made me wonder if there are systematic theology books by charismatics that spell all this out, b/c it's kind of a hodge-podge of understanding it, from what I've experienced.

Like most of them don't think their daily "visions" or revelations are on the level of Scripture revelation, if you press them, I don't think. Though they might act on it with that level of surety for a time.

I was in a directors meeting once, and the head guy had us all close our eyes for several minutes to see what visions God would give about a particular issue. then they went around and shared them, trying to observe how they were related to the issue at hand. 

They tend to pray very loudly; I haven't yet figured out the significance of this. Some, when they speak in tongues, it's just a clicking sound. Others, it sounds more like language. I have never seen it where it's obviously a work of the Spirit though.

Anyway ...

I have wondered if it will come a time in the US  when protestants will work together more because there will be so few. I have only had contact with them because of my pro-life work. But I'm glad for the experience. I've never really been in a conflict-of-interest with them doctrinally really. Our work together has a different focus.

Mark_Smith's picture

I generally consider myself a pretty lenient fundamental Baptist. I use non-KJV bibles. I happen to like Petra, the CCM rock band, though I would never use it in church and I rarely listen to them today, etc...I am certainly not a Calvinist though. And I am no longer a Charismatic and I try to fight against that error when I can.

 

But compared to the POSTERS at Sharper Iron I sound like Jack Hyles.

Jay's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Anne, I want this thread to be about Calvinism and its connection to Charismatics.

Which is why your posting history is germane.  Pointing that out is not an attack, a typecast, or being castigated.  You want me to stop pointing it out?  Then don't post repeatedly on one topic.

Mark, you can attack me all you want.  If you want to start a thread about Calvinism and Charismatics, stop hijacking other threads and go start your own.  This thread is about false unity, not Calvinism/Charismaticism bashing. 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Mark_Smith's picture

This thread IS about Calvinism and Charismatics!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I suggested the false unity comes from Piper/Grudem. Other people then started drifting from that attacking me.

I didn't start it.

 

Am I wrong?

Larry's picture

They like his preaching and teaching. They then see he is a continuationist. They then start to move in that direction.

Maybe, maybe not.

I want this thread to be about Calvinism and its connection to Charismatics.

But Calvinism is not connected to Charismatics, and this thread is about the article linked to above which is about ignoring differences in important issues.

Am I wrong?

Yes.

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

I'll leave. The thread issue is being ignored. Have a nice day. 

 

I NEVER hijacked the thread. This thread is about the connection between Charismatics and Calvinists. The starting link sought to remind people of the difference. I suggested Piper was a cause of the false unity. That is all I'll say since the topic has degenerated.

Dan B.'s picture

Larry: I don't see how Charismaticism & Calvinism are irrelevant to this discussion. The quote in the OP includes both (considering the obvious connection between Calvinism and Reformed theology).

Larry's picture

Mark_Smith: This thread is about the connection between Charismatics and Calvinists.

Dan B.: I don't see how Charismaticism & Calvinism are irrelevant to this discussion. The quote in the OP includes both (considering the obvious connection between Calvinism and Reformed theology).

 

Did you read the article? It is about cessationism and continuatism. The Reformed bit only comes when he defines them by the line "which I assume to be cessationist." Everything in the article is about cessationism, not about Calvinism. Every instance of "Reformed" is a substitute for "Cessationist." In fact, I just did a quick search (that didn't even need Google), and found that he doesn't use "Calvinist" or any derivative anywhere, not even in the "quote in the OP."

The issue in the article is that cessationists and continuationists are sweeping major differencesunder the rug when they should not, and he even describes them, none of which have to do with Calvinism. There is no mention in the article of Calvinism or any of its distinctives or beliefs. The issue is cessationism vs. continuationism.

Dave Doran's picture

Mark,

I don't think that Piper has been all that influential on the specific issue connected to continuationism. I say that mainly because more people than not have been surprised when I have told them that he is a continuationist. Clearly he is, but it is also clear that he has not made that a dominant note of his public ministry (aka outside of BBC).

Grudem has been more influential in attempting to lay a foundation for continuationism--in fact, Piper had him in to lead one of their pastor's conferences years ago as Piper was becoming more open about this matter. I'm not certain, though, that many people have even read Grudem's work on prophecy.

In reality, it was probably more works like Carson's Showing the Spirit and a load of other works in the 80s and early 90s that paved the way. Long before I had heard of Piper or Grudem, exegetical defenses were being made by those who were wrestling with the Third Wave movement. the cumulative effect of those defenses did more to create an openness toward the gifts than any particular popular preacher.

I think, too, that this is not a Calvinistic issue--there have been defections from the cessationist position across the board. It probably seems more significant mainly because the Calvinists were so vocally cessationist during the Pentecostal and Charismatic aspects of the movement. The Third Wave forced a number of younger Calvinist exegetes to engage the issue in the 80s and many of them came away less convinced of their forefathers' defenses.

As an aside, but I think a pertinent one, the shift toward a more Kingdom now theology in evangelicalism (already-not yet/realized eschatology) probably has more to do with this than is often recognized. John Wimber, a chief figure of the Third Wave, openly said that his views were the outgrowth of what he learned re: inauguarated eschatology/kingdom theology under Ladd. He thought that a cessationist view of inaugurated eschatology was unfaithful to the text. Personally, I'm inclined to agree with him--I have never understood the halfway house that wants the presence of the kingdom without the signs of the kingdom. Wimber, I think, was right to say you have to choose one or the other. I think he chose wrongly, though.

DMD

Dan B.'s picture

Larry, point taken that this is not the focus of the article. And, yes, of course I read the article.

The Reformed bit only comes when he defines them by the line "which I assume to be cessationist."

I find that bit to be intriguing, that's all. Did you notice that the text you quoted has an asterisk which points to this article? That's why I thought this wasn't totally irrelevant to the article.

Mark_Smith's picture

The  blog starter is the Thirsty Theologian. He is clearly a Calvinist. I was using Calvinist as a synonym for Reformed. He uses the "sola gratia...semper reformanda" in his title. The man is a Calvinist. OK.

The actual text has near the beginning "As long as Reformed—which I assume to be cessationist*—and Charismatic Christians continue to pretend the differences between them are minor and sweep them under the couch, their unity is fake, false, phony, fraudulent, and fraught with failure." He assumes all Reformed believers are cessationist. That is his point. He provides a link to another article making the same assertion. In that article there is a picture that features none other than Grudem, Piper and Mark Driscoll. Clearly though, not all Reformed believers are cessationist. Some have drifted over into continuationism.

 

The author is speaking to Reformed believers, asking them to reconsider the fashionable connection among some of them with Charismatics. I addressed that by suggesting that one reason for the appeal between Reformed believers (i.e. Calvinists) and Charismatics is continuationist leaders like Piper and Grudem.

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