Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Reformed Theology Confronted by Prophecy

As most people are aware, one of the five sola's of the Reformation is Sola Scriptura. (Ok, maybe not most people, but lots of people.) For a number of reasons, Reformation theology - particularly Calvinist soteriology - has been adopted by a number of groups who claim to have and use various "Charismatic" gifts: such as prophecy and prophetic tongues. It is those two gifts in particular that the present author will briefly address.

Those two gifts create a conflict with Sola Scriptura because:

- If a prophet is from God, his word would have equal authority with Scripture. (That's why one could not have Sola Scriptura during the time of inscripturation.)

- If whatever-it-is that "prophets" have is not a message from God (like prophets in the Bible), then why call whatever gift they have prophecy? God does still reveal things to his people, but no one is inspired according to the Petrine formulation, because Scripture is complete.

Holy men of God still speak, and speak powerfully.



TheoJunkie said...

Thanks TF... very interesting topic. I will engage on my blog presently.

Albert said...

I think I know who you are referring to: CJ Mahaney and his Sovereign Grace Ministries. We all know that Christians in general, and even Reformed Christians in particular are divided over the cessation/continuation of the charismatic gifts. But it is good to see these same Reformed Christians working together for the sake of the Gospel. An example would be the Together for the Gospel of Mark Dever, J .Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler, and Cj Mahaney.

Turretinfan said...

Mahaney's ministry was the spark that got the original conversation going that led to this post - but I was not trying to speak specifically to SGM - at least in part because I suspect that they may define "prophecy" as TJ does, not as I do.

I could be mistaken but I don't recall any reports of any SGM folks making the blind see, the lame walk, or raising the dead. So, I conclude (reasonably I think) that whatever gifts they have, they are not of the same class as discussed in Scripture.

On the other hand, perhaps I'm as uninformed about SGM as John the Baptist was about Jesus and his disciples.

SGM is Reformed in its soteriology but not necessarily in other areas. Surely soteriology is more important, but that does not mean that the other issues are utterly unimportant.