Reformed and Charismatic?





Dr. Michael Horton addresses the issue of being Reformed and Charismatic. He puts it well that the stakes are high for someone who holds to Reformed theology with charismatic emphases. Here are excerpts:

I’ve never been willing to die on the hill of cessationism: that is, the belief that the miraculous gifts such as prophecy, healing, and tongues have ceased.  I’m still not.  Nevertheless, I am convinced that non-cessationism is neither exegetically sound nor historically compatible with Reformed theology. Furthermore, the surprisingly widespread popularity of more radical views of ongoing sign-gifts, coupled with political ambition, pushes me into the unpleasant position of challenging the views even of far sounder brothers with whom I agree on so many important points.

There are many well meaning Reformed Charismatic brothers but we cannot ignore the danger their renewal theology places on the “ordinary ministry” and the new covenant canon of Scripture. In his conclusion on the matter Dr. Horton writes:

[T]he canon that witnesses to Jesus is the covenant that he ratified in his self-sacrifice.  In its appeal to this canon and its practice of its stipulated rites, the church participates in the heavenly reality as servant rather than Lord of the covenant.  Just as Jesus-history is qualitatively distinct from our own, the apostolic canon is qualitatively distinct from the subsequent tradition (or preaching) that interprets it.  One is magisterial, the other ministerial.  Just as the church does not extend or complete the work of redemption but receives, interprets, and proclaims it, the church does not extent or complete revelation.  The interim between Christ’s advents is not an era of writing new chapters in the history of redemption.  Rather, it is a period in which the Spirit equips us for the mission between Acts and the Apocalypse—right in the middle of the era of the ordinary ministry with its new covenant canon.  Just as the church cannot extend the incarnation or complete Christ’s atoning work, it cannot repeat Pentecost or prolong the extraordinary ministry of the apostles, but must instead receive this same word and Spirit for its ordinary ministry in this time between the times.

Read full article here


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About B.M. Kasera

Basilius M. Kasera is Academic Dean and lecturer at the Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary (NETS) in Windhoek, Namibia and is the administrator of Savouring the Gospel (STG). View all posts by B.M. Kasera

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