You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers!

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Is speaking in tongues the real evidence of the baptism in the Spirit? Can we be sure about the identity of Gog and Magog? Does the Greek word pais (servant) in Matthew 8 refer to a younger sexual partner, as some gay theologians claim? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The question is not whether someone shakes or falls or shouts or cries or laughs; the question is what kind of life are you living in obedience to the Lord?

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We can debate tongues, we can debate prophecy, we can debate gifts of the Spirit, but can we unite together to glorify Jesus in the midst of our differences?

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Other Resources:

God’s Pain; the Gun Control Debate; a Society without God?

Is Restoration Possible for All Sins? And a Listener Survey on Hot Button Topics

Is Mormonism a False, Polytheistic Religion? An Interview with Dr. James White

52 Comments
  1. Dr Brown! I just want to thank you for the debate yesterday regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You did not need much time to highlight your opponents inconsistency. Basically you trashed his arguments by using a clear biblical hermeneutic. Thank you brother!

    Sincerely Magnus Nordlund, Sweden

  2. Yes, very good debate between Michael Brown and Sam Waldron. Though I believe Sam presented the stronger arguments from what was discussed. I very much appreciated the warm demeanor between the two debaters. This is how debates should be conducted, I appreciate that very much Dr. Brown. Thank you.

  3. VERY GOOD DEBATE…. once Sam started getting some good questions in deabte ended…. MAN!!!!

    Time to listen to todays show

    Good pts on both sides

  4. Yes, speaking in tongues is absolute proof that Jesus exists, for has there ever been anyone in history that has promised that God would send the holy Spirit, telling his followers where to wait for it, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, when it came?

    Speaking in tongues is a sign to those who do not believe, that Jesus is real, that the Bible is true, and that the holy Spirit does indeed exist, for if anyone can do it, why can’t they?

    If they think you are simply making sounds by putting vowels and consonants together, why is it that they are unable to it?

    They know they can’t do it by themselves, so they don’t. We who speak in tongues don’t do it by ourselves alone for God gives us what to say as we speak it, and it flows like rivers of living water just as Jesus said he would give to those that believe on him.

    No one else in history ever promised anything like that to anyone, though some have prophesied that God would speak to his people in that kind of way.

  5. Ray,

    >> Yes, speaking in tongues is absolute proof that Jesus exists,

    Do you mean “proof” in the sense that you could use it in court?

    I think if Christians spoke in languages that they could not possibly know, it would at least prove a miracle.

    But the “speaking into the air” tongues that predominates every Pentecostal church I’ve attended really doesn’t prove anything.

    (Not that I’m against it.)

  6. The Biblical word “servant” is about one who serves his lord and isn’t much about himself.

    I’m amazed at how the Centurian cared for his servant. He must have loved him and felt responsible for his well being.

  7. Yes, speaking in tongues is absolute proof that Jesus exists, …”

    So if speaking in tongues is just people babbling incoherently then that must be proof that Jesus does not exist. Correct? How come this stuff never goes on in large mainline churches in upper-middle class neighborhoods? Why do ex-Christians who supposedly spoke in tongues tell us they weren’t really speaking in tongues? Why do they tell us it’s all just an act? If this act proves something how about inviting some scientists and psychologists and language experts to observe it and verify that it is authentic. How come Christians don’t try this stuff in public places where there are people not of their own kind around and why does this stuff only happen in certain churches and never others? And why are many modern Christians unaware that this so-called speaking in tongues even goes on? I think we all already know the answers to these questions. My observations tell me that speaking in tongues is about as legitimate as are the supposed healings performed by Benny Hinn.

  8. Van,
    If the tongues were not understood by many of the people present on that day of Pentecost in Acts 2,
    do you suppose a great many might think it to have been worthless babble, and would have been unwilling or uninterested in receiving what God had given?

    I suppose that God would have us to put our confidence in what the scriptures say about tongues rather than put all of our confidence
    in what we might initally think about something, or what some mockers might say about it.

    I suppose that not all churches are ready / willing to receive by faith all that God makes available for them to receive through faith.

    I suppose also that some Christians fall away or backslide, going back into some things they once left behind, and therefore might deny some truthful things God had revealed to them, such as speaking in tongues. Sometimes people get affected by a fallen world and the unbelief of it’s inhabitants which are of it.

  9. Van,

    Do you suppose that many of the answers to your questions above may be found in the teachings of Jesus, such as that of the parable of the sower or that of the tares? (Matt 13)

    I trust that many Christians already know the answer to most (if not all) of your questions about tongues.

  10. Van, do you suppose that I Cor 14:23 might explain why people don’t usually go out into a public place and speak in tongues?

    What people usually did in the past (from what I can testify to you) is that they told others about the Word, invited them to their church where they heard speaking in tongues with interpretation, participated in prayer, songs of worship, and heard some scripture. Then afterward, they usually asked whatever questions they had to those there.

    I trust that all the questions you could have about tongues, that might hinder you from receiving it, are given in the Bible.

  11. I have witnessed people supposedly speaking in tongues and the “interpretation.” A guy babbles for thirty seconds which is followed by a five minute interpretation. What’s up with that? The interpreter and the babbler are in two different emotional states. There is so much wrong about this stuff. I mean we all know pro wrestling is fake but at least the WWF admits it’s all for entertainment. We’ll never get that admission from the Bible believers.

  12. Dr. Brown,

    I listened to the debate via the link you posted and found myself tremendously blessed by your presentation and dialogue altogether.

    You were clear and cogent in laying out an explicite doctrinal thesis which could not be soundly refuted at all. Dr. Waldron’s argumentation coming from a focus on apostles stood on inference alone and could not hold any real basis of substantiating a clear picture of cessationism at all.

    Congratualtions, and many thanks for sharing!

  13. In the church I was in one would speak in tongues and interpret if he was asked by the one leading, or it was sometimes by invitation to whoever felt inspired to so so.

    One usually spoke in tongues for maybe less than a minute, sometimes as long as maybe two minutes or so, and then the interpretation was about as long.

    If he kept going too long with the interpretation, it was always known, for what would happen is one would begin to stumble at what to say and then if he kept going, he would be saying the jist of what he had already said, and we then would say that he went over into prophesy, for prophecy was done to edify the people present and the message was basicly the same as the interpretation of what one had first spoken in a tongue, but prophecy was spoken in the language of the people present, without speaking in a tongue.

    We experienced the manifestion of prophecy as the same basic edification as interpretation of tongues, the difference being that when one prophesied, he did not first speak in a tongue and give an interpetation. He simply spoke in the language of the people present, the edification, encouragement, and comfort.

    If you heard prophecy used in this way, you would recognize the substance and use of it as being basicly the same thing as interpretation of tongues.

  14. Bo,

    I checked out the link that you posted. You gave great responses to those who attempted to critique Dr. Brown, and your points were right on and validated Dr. Brown’s position in a sensical manner.

    Shalom

  15. Van, your mocking only makes you look bad, and attacks like this are out of place. You can drop them, or you can desist from posting, but you’ll not come here and mock. If only you knew and understood the truth!

  16. Greetings Clifford,

    Just to clarify so that we may better serve you, are you saying that when you attempted to play the Friday November 8th Line of Fire broadcast, it kept playing November 7th’s show? Is that correct in what you were asking? If it is, we have checked the November 8th’s audio player and it seems to be working fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if you run into any more issues 🙂

    Blessings,
    AskDrBrown Communications

  17. Dr. Brown,
    No Dr. Brown, if YOU only understood the truth. I can identify the tactics that your religion uses to command obedience and discourage doubt. You don’t want the people on this blog to be exposed to that knowledge because they might recognize them and reject them. I certainly understand your concern. You always brag that you went to secular college where I’m sure these tactics were exposed and yet you could not recognize them. Now I wasn’t mocking anything. I simply reported what I have seen going on in these kinds of churches. In the Bible speaking in tongues is people supposedly hearing a foreign language and then repeating it so that people who spoke that particular language could hear that message. Speaking in tongues is not what it has degenerated into today. If you don’t believe me there are plenty of preachers, Bible scholars and theologians who will tell you the exact same thing.

    Let’s make sure we clarify something. It’s perfectly fine for Dr. Sarfati to mock atheists by calling them atheopaths on your blog. It’s also okay for Dr. Sarfati to accuse someone of not being much of a Christian on your blog. Yet when I did this I got a warning that this will not be tolerated. Atheists are not allowed to mock beliefs or the people who hold them on your blog, no matter how ludicrous they really are. This is the double standard that is used to moderate this blog. So you can understand how someone might be confused on what is actually permissible and what is not. So Dr. Brown, do you think that it should be illegal to mock your religion or Jesus? What about Jewish comedians like Sarah Silverman, Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld and others who have been mocking Jesus and Christians lately? Do you think that is okay? Please don’t ignore these questions.

  18. Yes that’s what I was saying, it’s playing now. must have been a glitch. love your program, and watch your debates on youtube. I really appreciate what you are doing.

  19. Van,

    I see about 1 in 100 posts on this page, and I happened to spot some very abusive ones from you. Just look at the guidelines for posting on this site and you’ll see you’re in violation. But you’ll notice on the Creation debate I addressed you and others — so please don’t single yourself out as if you’re the innocent victim in all this.

    It is BECAUSE I welcome healthy discussion and dissent that I address controversial subjects and allow people to post dissenting views for months, and that’s also why I have a live radio show — so people can call and disagree with me.

    We do very little moderation on this blog, allowing people to post freely within our parameters, but again, I’ve seen a few posts from you that are utterly outrageous and in violation of guidelines. So, for the last time, you can post within the guidelines, or you can be blocked. TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE GUIDELINES WHICH ARE LINKED ON THE HOME PAGE HERE. Out of love for you as someone walking in ignorance of God’s love and truth, as I once did, I’ve taken the time to interact, but my schedule doesn’t allow further interaction now, and if you decide to attack and ridicule, you’ll be blocking yourself.

    I wish you God’s grace and truth!

  20. There’s nothing in Acts 2 about the apostles and whoever else spoke in tongues that day, “hearing words that were foreign to them and then speaking them.”

    When one speaks in a tongue being led by the holy Spirit, he speaks what is given him to speak. He doesn’t know what the sound is until he forms it.
    As he hears it he knows what the sound is.

    As the man speaks, God gives him what to speak by the Spirit. It’s as if our tongue is his tongue, our lips, his lips, but we decide when to move them and when not to. We are in charge of that.

    As we decide to speak, God gives us the sounds to make. We did not first hear them and then repeat them. It doesn’t work that way.

    It’s an inspirational manifestation of the Spirit.

    Because we are new in Christ, there is a new creation in us. It’s Christ in us the hope of glory.

    That’s why a man can speak in tongues without thinking about what to say, and a man can receive a vision of the Lord while driving his car and not be distracted. He sees the vision with his spiritual eyes while his physical eyes take in everything on the roadway. It need not disturb his watching the road or his concentration in any way.

    I suspect if he did get distracted, the vision would end. The visions I have had have been very short anyway.

    Two of them that I received were while driving on my way home from work. I suppose in time, they only lasted a few seconds. I was not distracted from my driving in any way whatsoever.

    I could be more distracted by listening to a radio program while driving.

    I just spoke in tongues as I used to do when called on to do so and interpret when in a small group meeting, and watched the second hand on my watch.

    A man can say a lot in 10-15 seconds, which was about how long I used to speak in tongues and then I would give the interpretation that would last about as long.

    It’s not easy to fully explain how the Spirit of God works within us, how he teaches us, how he connects to our will, our being, and the parts of our body as we are willing and act by faith.

    Sometimes he gives things to our mind in the form of information, something we didn’t know but now something is revealed, and we know. (word of knowledge)

    Sometimes things in the Bible are revealed to us in ways we did not see before, and I believe many times it is the Spirit of God showing us things, and illuminating certain things.

    Sometimes we may simply imagine something, but if it was something the Spirit of God gave us, it will be true and correct. Our imagination is nothing, while God deals in truth, wisdom, and instruction.

    He’s at work within us to lead and direct us. He’s always watching over us, caring for us as his own, for we are his children, begotten of him through Christ Jesus. Therefore he receives us, because of the work of Christ. We can call upon him and he will answer. We can wait for him in great confidence because he always gives us what we need in this world. If we lack anything, it’s so he can give it to us, whether it’s patience, hope, faith, or the very thing we asked for itself.

  21. I found this outline of Dr. Waldrons cascade argurment that he used to debate Dr Brown:

    Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron had a very cordial debate on the question, “Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?” Dr. Brown’s rebuttal arguments did not appear to me to reflect an understanding of Dr. Waldron’s primary argument, the so-called Cascade Argument.

    I strongly believe that it is important to a dialog that both sides understand the other. Thus, my hope is that by spelling out this argument in writing, I can clarify the argument to Dr. Brown, to those who agree with him, and more broadly to those considering the question of the gifts.

    The Cascade Argument can be summarized thus:

    1) There are no apostles of Christ on earth today.
    2) Because there are no apostles of Christ, there are no prophets.
    3) Because there are no prophets, there are no tonguespeakers.
    4) In view of 1-3, there are no miracle workers on earth today.

    1. There are No Apostles of Christ on Earth Today

    A) To be an Apostle of Christ was itself a gift to the church, and the foremost of the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 Ephesians 4:8-11 – Christ gave gifts to men, among them apostles.

    B) The term “apostles of Christ” is to be distinguished from missionaries, aka “apostles of the churches,” which is a different office. Only “apostles of Christ” are no longer among us.

    C) To be an apostle of Christ, there were three distinguishing marks:
    i) Directly appointed by Christ (Mark 3, Luke 6, Acts 1:2, Acts 10:41, Galatians 1:1). That’s why the lot was used.
    ii) Physical eyewitnesses of the Resurrected Jesus (Acts 1:22, Acts 10:39, 1 Corinthians 9:1)
    iii) They are able to confirm their apostlate by doing miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12).

    D) The apostles of Christ spoke authoritatively for Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 14:37).

    E) There are five reasons we know from Scripture that the Apostlate ceased:
    i) Ephesians 2:20 The church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, which alludes to Revelation 21:14. The analogy implies that the apostles and prophets were confined to the foundational period of church history.
    ii) 1 Corinthians 15:8 Paul “last of all” was the last one to see the risen Christ. And since being a physical eyewitness to the risen Christ is one of the marks of an apostle, Paul is the last apostle.
    iii) 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1 indicate that Christians cannot seek the gift of Apostle of Christ – the greatest gift they could seek was prophecy, even though apostleship was identified as a gift.
    iv) Galatians 2:7-9 Paul received the right hand of fellowship from the 12 apostles, but no one can today.
    v) Ephesians 2:20 This passage describes the form of the New Testament as “apostles and prophets.” If there were apostles and prophets today, the canon would be open, as those apostles/prophets continued to speak authoritatively. But Charismatics (nearly all) recognize that the canon is closed, therefore they ought to recognize that the apostlate is also closed.

    F. Apostolic Gift is Linked to Impartation of Other Gifts (Acts 8)
    This suggests the cessation of the miraculous gifts.

    2. There are No Prophets Today
    A) The cessation of the apostolate creates the presumption or at least possibility of cessation of other gifts.

    B) NT Prophets like the Apostles were foundational to the New Testament church. (Ephesians 2:20)

    C) Definition of Prophet in Deuteronomy 13 & 18 was never rescinded, and this requires infallibility.

    D) Just as the OT’s authority is summarized as “the prophetic word” (2 Peter 1:19-21) and its form is also described in about a dozen NT references to “the law and the prophets” or “Moses and the prophets”, so also the NT’s canon is summarized in Ephesians 2:20 as “apostles and prophets” (the prophets in question are NT prophets as seen in Ephesians 3:5; 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28).

    3. There are No Tongue-Speakers Today because Tongues was a form of prophecy.
    A) Acts 2 tongue speaking is explained by reference to Joel 2, where it is described as prophecy.

    B) 1 Corinthians 14:5 asserts the equivalence of the two gifts, if tongues is interpreted.

    C) In both tongues and prophecy, the speaker is uttering mysteries, which refers to prophetic revelation (1 Corinthians 13:2, Revelation 1:3, 1:20, and 10:7).

    4. There are No Miracle-Workers Today
    There may be miracles today, but there is a difference between miracles and miracle workers.

    The Cascade Argument was augmented by a dilemma as to the first point: if they accept the point, then they are at least cessationists in some form, since the first and greatest gift no longer exists; whereas if charismatics want to assert that there are living apostles of Christ today, then they are denying a clear New Testament teaching. Additionally, if such apostles exist today, then they have the same authority/infallibility that the original apostles had.

    -TurretinFan
    http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2013/11/waldrons-cascade-argument.html

    My response will be forthcoming below.

    Shalom

  22. My Response to TurretinFan:

    Thanks for the outline. Being able to look at it, instead of trying to remember it, helps my old and weak mind.

    I would like to try to critique the weak points in the argument delineated above. I think that there are some assumptions, interpretations and assertions that deserve to be addressed.

    1. There are No Apostles of Christ on Earth Today
    C) To be an apostle of Christ, there were three distinguishing marks:
    iii) They are able to confirm their apostlate by doing miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12).”

    Though miracles were a sign of apostleship, they were not exclusively performed by them. The miracles are independent of apostleship and thus they do not necessarily cease by reason of the death of the “Apostles of Christ.” So, though this point is instructive for determining “Apostles of Christ” it carries no weight for the cessationist argument in general. The gift of “working of miracles” was separate from the gift of “Apostle ,” whether of “Christ” or of the “Church.”

    1. There are No Apostles of Christ on Earth Today
    D) The apostles of Christ spoke authoritatively for Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 14:37).

    True, but not everything they said or wrote made it into scripture. So, this point does not have weight in and of itself for cessationism. Others spoke authoritatively for Messiah. The canon of scripture is not compromised by not having everything that they said recorded. Thus the canon is not in jeopardy of being incomplete if someone speaks authoritatively for Messiah today. Peter even commanded for those that speak in the assembly to speak “as the oracles of God.” And we do not have their words recorded in scripture. And our words, if we do this, will not be recorded in scripture either.

    1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
    11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    1. There are No Apostles of Christ on Earth Today
    E) There are five reasons we know from Scripture that the Apostlate ceased:
    i) Ephesians 2:20 The church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, which alludes to Revelation 21:14. The analogy implies that the apostles and prophets were confined to the foundational period of church history.
    v) Ephesians 2:20 This passage describes the form of the New Testament as “apostles and prophets.” If there were apostles and prophets today, the canon would be open, as those apostles/prophets continued to speak authoritatively. But Charismatics (nearly all) recognize that the canon is closed, therefore they ought to recognize that the apostlate is also closed.

    This passage does not necessarily mean the prophets of the “New Testament” times. Given the subject matter of Ephesians 2, (The joining of the gentiles into the household of YHWH) it would seem to be referring to the prophets of old that were used to write the then extant scripture. The foundation is those that spoke prophetically in the past for YHWH and those that spoke prophetically in the present for YHWH. The all-encompassing message is the foundation on which we are built. We are His workmanship…both Jew and gentile. So the passage does not imply anything about the foundational timeframe/period but the foundational truth from start to finish. So we recognize that the canon is closed, but the two points above that prove that the “apostle of Christ” is no longer with us does not bear on whether prophets and prophecy and other gifts are still present with us. Apostles and prophets were used throughout history to establish YHWH’s kingdom, but all their words are not canonical. There is no problem with a closed canon and someone having the gift of prophecy. Their prophecies will simply be like the majority of all the other prophets and apostles, and even Messiah’s words…true and left out of the canon.

    1. There are No Apostles of Christ on Earth Today
    E) There are five reasons we know from Scripture that the Apostlate ceased:
    iii) 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1 indicate that Christians cannot seek the gift of Apostle of Christ – the greatest gift they could seek was prophecy, even though apostleship was identified as a gift.

    This point is true to a point, but does not give credence to cessationism. The greatest gift that the Corinthians could seek was not a specific gift, but what was needed at the time for edification. Prophesy is of little use when someone needs to be healed of a sickness. Working of miracles does not help when we need perfect wisdom or knowledge in a situation.

    1. There are No Apostles of Christ on Earth Today
    F. Apostolic Gift is Linked to Impartation of Other Gifts (Acts 8)
    This suggests the cessation of the miraculous gifts.

    Suggestions do not count. Proof does. In Acts 9 Ananias layed hands on Paul for him to receive the Holy Spirit. Ananias was not an apostle. In Acts 10 Peter did nothing except preach and the spirit was poured pout upon the gentiles. He did not impart the gift of the Holy Spirit. The apostles were linked to getting things started…advancing the kingdom, but not directly to the impartation of the other gifts exclusively. One must prove exclusive gift imparting by the apostles to use this point for cessationism.

    So if we agree that there are no “apostles of Christ” on earth today without using the above assumptions that misconstrue passages to also mean that the canon would have to be open or that the miraculous gifts are inextricably tied to the said apostles, we have a clean/pure argument. It is bad logic, and possibly self-deceiving, to try to prove more than one point at a time. The other points must be proven by themselves or be a direct correlation of the whole argument. Thus far they are not.

    To be continued…

  23. Continued from previous post…

    2. There are No Prophets Today
    A) The cessation of the apostolate creates the presumption or at least possibility of cessation of other gifts.

    It only creates the possibility. A possibility is not a proof. It must be proved. Presumption can get us into real trouble.

    2. There are No Prophets Today
    B) NT Prophets like the Apostles were foundational to the New Testament church. (Ephesians 2:20)

    Please see my statements above concerning using this passage out of context. It is the old prophets that were used to pen the scripture that is being referred to here.

    2. There are No Prophets Today
    D) Just as the OT’s authority is summarized as “the prophetic word” (2 Peter 1:19-21) and its form is also described in about a dozen NT references to “the law and the prophets” or “Moses and the prophets”, so also the NT’s canon is summarized in Ephesians 2:20 as “apostles and prophets” (the prophets in question are NT prophets as seen in Ephesians 3:5; 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28).

    I am beginning to think that the whole argument relies upon an interpretation of Ephesians 2:20 that is only a slight possibility at best. The first part of your statement is confirmation that the “prophets” that Paul spoke of is the “Old Testament” scripture since that is the way Peter spoke of it. Paul could not be speaking of the “N[ew] T[estament]’s canon” in Ephesians. Very little of it was written yet. We are not allowed to summarize it as such retroactively for Paul. The lists of Ministry gifts that you give reference to contain more than just “apostles and prophets.” Why are pastors and teachers and evangelists not part of the cessation?

    3. There are No Tongue-Speakers Today because Tongues was a form of prophecy.
    A) Acts 2 tongue speaking is explained by reference to Joel 2, where it is described as prophecy.
    B) 1 Corinthians 14:5 asserts the equivalence of the two gifts, if tongues is interpreted.
    C) In both tongues and prophecy, the speaker is uttering mysteries, which refers to prophetic revelation (1 Corinthians 13:2, Revelation 1:3, 1:20, and 10:7).
    4. There are No Miracle-Workers Today
    There may be miracles today, but there is a difference between miracles and miracle workers.

    1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    I appreciate that it is recognized that tongues is a form of prophecy. If prophecy has not ceased, tongues have not ceased and words of knowledge and wisdom have not ceased. That which is perfect has not come! Nothing yet has proven that prophecy has ceased, though. So, the 3rd point cannot be postulated…and neither the 4th.

    You summarize:
    “The Cascade Argument was augmented by a dilemma as to the first point: if they accept the point, then they are at least cessationists in some form, since the first and greatest gift no longer exists; whereas if charismatics want to assert that there are living apostles of Christ today, then they are denying a clear New Testament teaching. Additionally, if such apostles exist today, then they have the same authority/infallibility that the original apostles had.”

    The problem is that no real proof has been offered that one must have the same authority as the original apostles had in order to prophesy or speak in tongues or to work miracles or lay hands on the sick and see them recover. Paul speaks of women prophesying…so does Luke. Did they have the same authority as the apostles? Infallibility does not assume authority, but submission to/being under authority. Those that accept the first point without all the assumptions above are not “cessationists in some form.” That is changing the definition of the word that is applied to full cessationism. There is no such thing as a partial cessationist. If one allows the first point it does not begin the cascade. The cascade has to be proven starting at the second point and further for it to be a valid argument. This cascade argument has many problems, the most glaring is the use of Ephesians 2:20 to prove almost every point. And the interpretation of Eph. 2:20 used in the argument has been shown to be subjective at best.

    Shalom

  24. The five fold ministries, in addition to their functions as gifts to the body of Christ, continue as needed. Jesus and his father sent the Promise of the Holy Spirit after appointing the 12, and appearing later to James and Paul. He promised his disciples doing the same and greater works as He. A study of the book of Acts using word root studies, historical studies, contextual-critical approaches, and literary studies show many more than the 12 and Judas’ replecement, and Paul, doing Apostolic and Prophetic administrations of these ministry gifts. Reading church history over many centuries, it is noted that new generations, nations, tribes, and kindreds received Christ, and affected change in their people groups, and other people groups. Often they were sent by local assemblies or national affiliate church structures, and set this world ablaze. “Movements” and intentional missions have documented manifestations of the Holy Spirit accompanying conversion experience to Christ…whether of individuals, groups, gatherings, and/or nations, or those simply seeking to find truth and grace as offering more to life than strictly materialistic or mechanistic cultures offer.

  25. All said, those to whom Christ appeared in the first Century, labeled in part as ‘eyewitnesses’ are those credited with the guidance of the Church, though ‘the Apostles’ teaching’, which was authoritative as a foundation of the Commission of these going into the Nations. In the eternal city presented in the Revelation we have indexed the 12 tribes and the 12 Apostles as foundations and gateways into the Kingdom. No working Apostle in our time, or since, has equal authority nor equal foundational affirmation from above. Therefore the ministry of Prophets and Apostles continues based on the functions of these ministries and gifts, rather than the historicity involved with the inner circle of Christ Jesus.

  26. I gotta say, this “Strange Fire” conference has made “Line of Fire” a better show!

    It has made Dr. Brown _for_ his own behavior rather than against other people’s behavior.

    I believe this is the way we should live our faith. We should live our Christian lives boldly while not tearing down others.

    (We exceptions, of course. We should stand against the abuse of the powerless.)

  27. And, I should add… I’m quite impressed with the gracious spirit Dr. Brown has had towards John MacArthur.

    He’s been exemplary every time I’ve heard him talk about it one the radio.

  28. Question for Van:

    What is your personal experience with Christianity? Have you been harmed by a church or Christians?

    In my experience, people who speak, as you do, are often coming from a place of pain.

    I’m sorry if that’s your case. What is your story?

  29. I wonder if there are men today who are called of God to be an apostle, but have not yet risen to the level of being called one by God.

  30. Ray,

    I had a little problem following your longer post, above.

    How are you defining an apostle?

    Do you know Greek? The literal meaning is fairly simple — “messenger” or “sent one” (I don’t have my Greek dictionary with me.)

    But, I suspect you have given it a more specific meaning or role.

  31. Here are the posting guidelines:
    1. No Profanity
    Nope, I didn’t use profanity
    2. No Attacks on an Individual
    Who did I attack? What exactly did I say?
    3. No Attacks on a Group of People
    Which group of people did I attack and how?
    4. Stay on topic with regard to the radio show being discussed.
    I’ve done that.

    Does someone want to tell me which posting guideline I broke and how?

  32. Van,

    You are here!

    I really would like to know your personal story, as it related to Christianity.

    A gather you are an atheist. But did you used to be a Christian?

  33. Greg,

    I’m not sure how I should define what an apostle is, but I think of the man that was blind from his birth,(apparently not of any particlular sin of his own nor of his parents) whose eyes the Lord opened, who washed in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent) {John 9:7}, who went as Jesus said, and washed, and came seeing.

    The man became a witness to the religious leaders, of him whom he had met face to face, but did not actually see.

    I suppose an apostle to be many things, at least one whom the Lord has opened his eyes, and sent to be a witness of him unto others, in some ways similar to the man whom Jesus healed by the clay spittle, and the washing according to his word.

  34. Ray,

    Your notion of “someone sent” would fit perfectly with the Greek. “witness” is a different word. Of course, the two can overlap.

    I spent years learning the Greek but I’m reluctant to use it very often. Obviously the Greek word for “apostle” has a literal meaning but so much of language is not the literal meaning.

    Dr. Brown touched on that last week when he was talking about the Roman centurion’s “boy.” He argued, using the Greek, that “pais” literally means “boy.” He 100% correct about that. But, no offense to Dr. Brown, he’s approaching it as a linguist and not as an historian.

    The essential question is whether the first Gospel readers would have known that Roman centurions sometimes (often?) kept boys for sexual reasons. This is an historical question — not a linguistic one.

    From what I know about back then, I think the readers would have at least wondered about the relationship. So, it’s curious that the Gospel writers didn’t feel a need to clarify the issue.

    But, I would fully agree with Dr. Brown in rejecting those who claim that this story is gay themed. Clearly, it’s not about sex at all.

    (This is an issue in Dr. Brown’s book, BTW.)

  35. Greg Allen,
    Thanks for your concern. I’ve never been a Christian, I wasn’t raised in a religious household, I have never believed in any God, I’ve never been harmed by a church, religion or religious people. I’ve met the kinds of people you are talking about though. Some ex-Christians can be very bitter. I’m just blunt. Bible believers criticize the Mormon religion, insist the Mormons ignore the evidence their religion is false but when other people criticize the Bible and how you patently ignore the evidence against it you don’t like it one bit. That’s someone who can dish it out but can’t take it. I think the Mormons are surprising gracious when people criticize them. They have the same amount of evidence to support their truth propositions as Christians do. I don’t think people who live in glass houses should throw stones.

  36. Jesus promised to send the holy Spirit, and that out of their belly would flow rivers of living water, and he did that on Pentecost. (Acts 2)

    Speaking in tongues is proof Jesus is true.

    What evidence is there that anything Joseph Smith said is true?

    Where’s the proof? All I want to see is the evidence.

  37. Jesus promised to send the holy Spirit, and that out of their belly would flow rivers of living water, and he did that on Pentecost. (Acts 2)

    > What sources independent of he Bible can verify this magic tongues of fire story? Jesus made a lot of promises that never came true. Thor promised to kill all the frost giants. I don’t see any frost giants.

    Speaking in tongues is proof Jesus is true.

    > It has never been proved scientifically that anyone actually does this. So again if this speaking in tongues is what it appears to be then that must be proof Jesus does not exist.

    What evidence is there that anything Joseph Smith said is true?

    > There is evidence that Joseph Smith actually existed. The same cannot be said about Jesus, Moses, Muhammad or Zoroaster.

    Where’s the proof? All I want to see is the evidence.

    > I have been saying that to Christians for decades now. I have never seen anything but fatally flawed arguments from them. When we ask Christians for evidence all we get are arguments and a bunch of smoke and mirrors and excuses such as Satan must have hid all the evidence. The Mormons have the exact same amount of evidence that their brand of Christianity is true as the Bible believers have that their religion is true. None.

  38. Proverbs 26:1-12…esp vs. 4 & 5…the ultimate catch 22.

    “I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn’t make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn’t be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona’s innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia’s love when it was proved: but that was too late. ‘His praise is lost who stays till all commend.’ The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn’t deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?”
    ― C.S. Lewis

  39. Van, Are we supposed to believe that Acts 2 isn’t true even though it was used as a teaching tool so that many people could receive the holy Spirit and speak in tongues, which they did, as they did receive the gift of the Spirit which Jesus said would be given?

    If it were not true, how is it that by learning from it, and believing the record as well as the things Jesus said, that many, many thousands of people speak in tongues for real?

    It seems to me that what you are saying in effect is that the proof is not in the pudding at all, but rather that is simply an old wives tale, a saying that has no bearing on reality.

    I for one believe that the proof is in the pudding. (as a manner of speaking)

    If you think speaking in tongues is simply people putting vowels and consonants together, and that it’s not spiritual at all, but simply a work of the flesh, and therefore anyone can do it, why can’t you do it?

    If you try to do it by the flesh, you will be wearing out your mind, loosing your peace, be stumbling all over yourself, and proving to yourself that tongues is a spiritual gift, if in fact it exists at all, and if you want to know if it does indeed exist at all, all you have to do is find a real Christian who speaks in tongues for real, and ask him to do so while you listen.

    I’m sure that if you looked around you could find one who would do that for you.

    And as you notice that it sounds like a language you don’t understand, and that it flows like rivers of living water, and that the Christian isn’t stumbling all over himself as he makes the sounds, but rather they flow freely as if he isn’t even thinking about what sound to make next,…well, there’s the proof.

    You don’t need a scientist. It’s a Bible study you can do on your own.

  40. Van, would it make any sense if a man did not exist, yet people wrote something that was origional, that no man ever said, (about the holy Spirit being given, and that they should wait in Jerusalem, for example) attributing it to the man, and the thing happened?

    Would that make any sense if the man never existed?

    The closest thing I can think of is Santa Clause,
    but as the story goes, he only gives out gifts in the natural world, toys and such, though I suppose if you looked you might find a Santa Clause movie, or story where something else was promised by him, but it wouldn’t rival speaking in tongues by any means.

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