Charismatic Visions

Mark Driscoll “sees things.”  Admittedly, not like the character in the movie The Sixth Sense who sees dead people, but he does claim to see the sexually immoral acts of those he counsels along with those who attend his church, even while he’s preaching from the pulpit.  But before getting into the salacious details, I admit I’m not all that familiar with Driscoll, although I have seen a couple of short videos from him discussing the gospel that I thought were quite good. So good in fact that I passed them along to family and friends. In addition, I did attend an Acts 29 Network church here in Virginia Beach for about a year (the network of churches that Driscoll co-founded), but I guess I was unaware just how deep his fascination with the “signs and wonders” of the charismatic movement and religious mysticism in general actually went.  That is until I came across a link to a piece by Michael Horton that rhetorically asks; Reformed and Charismatic? I admit, Reformed Charismatic does sound like an oxymoron, and it is, but some of the issues raised by Horton caused me to weigh in a little on this issue on the White Horse Inn website and again here.

Horton prefaces his remarks by saying; “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.”  I think this is a rather strange position to take as men like Benjamin Warfield (see “The Cessation of the Charismata”) and Martin Luther before him were certainly “willing to die on the hill of cessationism” when confronted with the wild assertions and claims of the Enthusiasts and Anabaptists, something it seems the modern day Reformed men are unwilling to do.  Notwithstanding, and despite making some excellent arguments in defense of cessationism, Horton surrenders considerable exegetical ground when he concedes to Reformed Charismatic Wayne Grudem that the meaning of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 is “inconclusive.”  Horton argues; “Paul is most likely referring to the consummationm when there will be no need for faith and hope and all that will endure into eternity is love (v 13).”

But will faith really come to an end with Christ’s return?   To answer this question we turn to Gordon Clark’s commentary on First Corinthians:

It may be said that faith does not remain in heaven, for faith is lost in sight (II Cor. 5:7); but this, too, is the same colloquial manner of speaking.  Do we continue to believe the truth of justification and limited atonement in heaven?  However, what must be conclusive for most Christians is that love indubitably remains in heaven. (216)

However, even if we grant Horton’s argument and there will be “no need for faith” at the consummation, there can be little doubt that the coming of “the perfect” mentioned earlier in verse 10 is a reference made in anticipation of the close of the canon.  I realize this isn’t a majority position in some Reformed circles, although it was Jonathan Edward’s position, but I think the arguments in its defense soundly trump the exegetical agnosticism of Horton and Grudem.  Besides, if 1 Cor. 13:8-13 is a reference to the Parousia then it would strongly imply that ongoing prophecy, miraculous tongues, and new revelatory knowledge are all to be expected regardless of whether or not the canon is closed, assuming it is even closed at all.  On the other hand, and to focus on just one of these gifts that Paul tells us will be done away with when the perfect or complete thing comes,  will “knowledge” really be done away with when Christ returns? I don’t see why? I would hope we all would come to know more in glory than we do now. The question is; in what sense is  “knowledge”  to be understood in this context?  Returning to Clark:

The usual Protestant doctrine is that prophecy, miracles, and the gift of speaking in foreign tongues ceased at the end of the apostolic age. Second century Christian literature seems to be devoid of accounts of these gifts.

On the other hand, did knowledge cease when the apostles died? Theologians today may well know more about what the apostles wrote than the apostles themselves; and surely we know more than did Justine Martyr (whose writings cause us to wonder whether he was a Christian at all). Besides this, we shall know more in heaven than we do today.  How then can Paul say that knowledge well be abolished. Perhaps the next verse helps to answer this question. . . .

There is one other phrase, not so far mentioned: “When the completion comes,” or “when that which is perfect comes.” This raises the question: Completion of what? It could be the completion of the canon. Miracles and tongues were  for the purpose of guaranteeing the divine origin of apostolic doctrine.  They ceased when the revelation was completed.

Even the word “knowledge” is better understood this way.  Instead of comparing present-day extensive study of the New Testament with Justin’s painfully inadequate understanding of the Atonement, it would be better to take “knowledge” as the apostolic process of revealing new knowledge. This was complete and revelation ceased. (211- 213)

A little later Clark makes reference to the 149th General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod which held that “the perfect” refers to “mature manhood, seeing clearly, and understanding fully” and this, or so we’re told, will all take place when the Lord returns as opposed to when the canon is closed.  Clark replies:

However, the study committee who wrote the report are mistaken . . . In 12:28, Paul lists the gifts apostolic authority and prophecy first. Does the Synod report wish to maintain that God has appointed some to be apostles in the tenth, fifteenth, and twentieth centuries? This would be good Romanism; but Protestants think otherwise. Surely the apostleship has ceased.  Hence, the time of cessation that Paul implies is not the return of Christ, but the completion of the canon. (215)

Beyond Clark, Victor Budgen in his excellent study, The Charismatics and the Word of God,  lists more than a dozen arguments in favor of the Clark/Edwards position.   For example, Budgen favorably quotes Douglas Judisch:

Those who want ‘the complete thing’ of verse 10 to be the state of eternal glory argue that the first clause of verse 12 is referring to seeing Christ in a dim way throughout this life and that the second clause speaks of seeing Christ face to face in a literal sense in heaven. Such an interpretation is dubious, however, for two reasons. First, it takes ‘dimly’ (ainigmati) of the first clause figuratively, but takes the ‘face to face’ (prosopon pros prosopon) of the second clause literally; a more consistent approach to the intended contrast seems preferable. If we thought that the object of the verb blepomen (‘see’) where Christ, we should note that the concept of seeing Christ face to face occurs elsewhere in the Corinthian letters in a figurative sense (2 Cor. 3:19; 4:6). Second, however, supplying the object ‘Christ’ or ‘God’ or the like is a rather arbitrary procedure. Paul is talking about seeing someone in a mirror, whether dimly or face to face. And the face that one sees in a mirror is not the Lord’s, but one’s own (cf. James 1:23,24).

Budgen continues…

This is confirmed by the fact that a primary function of the completed, prefect revelation in the Scripture is to show us ourselves as we really are. It is given to explore the inner recesses of the heart: ‘The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account’ (Heb. 4:12,13). It is by the Word that we know ourselves as we are fully known to God. (81-81)

While the above hardly exhausts the arguments in favor of the view that I Corinthians 13:8-13 was written in anticipation of the close of the canon and not the consummation, I think it is enough to show that Horton was too hasty in conceding any ground on this point.

Which brings us back to Driscoll.  In his lecture, Christus Victor (linked in the Horton piece above), Driscoll tells of some extraordinary encounters that  include talking to demons, items levitating in his office, women suddenly speaking in distinctly male voices, and other spectacular scenes straight out of the movie The Exorcist. He suggests that his ability to “see things,” mostly sexual things, is “maybe the gift of discernment.”  Maybe the gift of discernment?  According to whom?   Clairvoyants make similar claims, yet I don’t think even they have the nerve to attribute their gifts to the Holy Ghost. As Horton rightly observes; “the gift he describes is nowhere exhibited even in the apostolic era.” Driscoll tells of seeing child abuse in adults who were previously oblivious to any abuse.  Then there was a time when he was counseling a married couple and he “saw” that the wife had committed adultery with a “6′ 2”  blonde-hair-blue-eyed guy” at a cheap hotel a decade earlier.  Driscoll’s vision even included their sexual position, a little post coitus snuggling, and he even knew they had sex with “the light on.”  According to Driscoll when the man asked his wife if it was true she admitted that it was.

Now, admittedly, I don’t feel comfortable even walking through one of those backscatter body imaging devises at the airport, but the idea of someone seeing visions  of me having sex (and I certainly wouldn’t want to inflict those images on anyone) is horrifying.  I have no idea why anyone would go to Driscoll for counseling, much less attend his church.  I mean, that’s just creepy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe Driscoll is telling the truth and is absolutely sincere.  But sincerity, even the confirmation that a particular “vision” is in fact correct, doesn’t make a practice either warranted or biblical. My problem with Driscoll, and with Charismatics in general, is by what method can they determine the false prophet from the imagined real deal?

By way of an example, and one that I shared with Charismatics defending Driscoll on the White Horse Inn site, not long ago I heard a preacher, one who is frequently on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), claim that the Holy Spirit told him that in order for people to get the “full blessing” (whatever that is) they needed to give $759.65 to his ministry (I don’t recall if that was the exact amount, but it was exact to the penny and it was in the hundreds of dollars that could, as I recall, be paid over time). Of course, he assured his listeners that if people give something less they would receive a “partial blessing.” Now, did the Spirit really tell this man this? What if people gave the full amount (I tried to call but the lines were busy so I’m assuming some were in fact giving) and in fact claimed to have received the “full blessing”? Or, if they gave less, claimed to be blessed in some partial way because of it nonetheless? Was the preacher telling the truth when he claimed the Holy Spirit told him to ask people for $759.65? Do we really need to be agnostic about such things?

But what about Driscoll saying that he “sees things” and then goes on to describe early sexual abuse in someone he is counseling that turns out to be correct. Of course, none of this can be tested against Scripture, at least not directly. Does the fact that it turned out to be correct mean it was the Holy Spirit that revealed these things to Driscoll? Why couldn’t it have been one of those demons he’s on speaking terms with?  How is Driscoll in his counseling sessions any different from the TBN preacher who claims to have been told to request a specific dollar amount in order for people to receive their “full blessing”?

The only immediate test I can think of is that Driscoll is stretching the meaning of biblical discernment. In my view what he represents is quite the reverse.  So, how do Charismatics propose we are to test these “signs and wonders”? Do they say if Driscoll turns out to be in error, even once, he should be put to death in accordance with Deuteronomy 18:20? In my experience most Charismatics just shrug it off as if “the prophet” (or “prophetess”) had made only a minor error, a small miscalculation, even though they claimed to be speaking the word of the Holy Spirit and in His name.

So, why believe Driscoll and not Mr. TBN?  Or, should Christians believe both and write a check?  How can Christians discern complete frauds like Mr. TBN and the Benny Hinns and Pat Robertsons of the world from the so-called legit guys like Driscoll? Is there a method? Is there even a difference between these men and their amazing claims? After all, I’m sure Mr. TBN along with the more respectable sort of Charismatic, even those calling themselves “Reformed,” have bilked untold riches from windows and others who have bought into their super-spiritual delusions.

No matter how hard I pressed, I couldn’t get one Charismatic at the White Horse Inn site to show me where or how the so-called “prophetic” word of the one is demonstrably false whereas the other is to be accepted. Why should we believe Driscoll but not Benny Hinn? Is it his haircut? I have known people who claimed that Jesus healed them though Hinn’s ministry. I have no reason to assume they were lying. And, further, I live right down the street from Pat Robertson who sees God healing all sorts of unnamed people on his TV show every day. His claims are in no way different or more amazing than Driscoll’s with the exception that Pat sees people being healed of various physical maladies whereas Driscoll sees them having sex.

Do visions of people Driscoll is counseling having sex or being molested match with Scripture? I don’t see how? I don’t see how his claims to “see things” are supported by Scripture at all?  Yet, Charismatics will claim that Driscoll’s “visions” are sound because “they lead people towards Christ.”  But leading people toward Christ is a work that God accomplishes in the lives of His elect children and through His Word, even in spite of the errant doctrines and pronouncements of some preachers, even one as seemingly hip and relevant as Driscoll. After all, the Holy Spirit was given to lead God’s children into “all truth.” Sometimes even the best preachers can be a hindrance quite apart from their own good intentions. In this case Driscoll is a hindrance and the Charismatic movement is positively hostile to the truth and opens Christ’s sheep to all sorts of superstitious deceptions and deceits, even those done in the name of Jesus Christ and by the imagined power of the Holy Ghost.

At that point one of my interlocutors accused me of being disingenuous.  He objected:

Come on, Sean. It’s not a serious question. Aren’t we in danger of straying into the realms of the ridiculous here? Isn’t that a bit of a silly comparison? Are you really saying you can’t distinguish between Driscoll and Mr TBN. If you can’t then I’d certainly recommend praying for more of the gift of discernment, but I don’t believe for one second that you, or anyone else reading this conversation can’t discern the difference immediately.

But, and as I explained to my confused brother, I am being dead serious. I cannot tell the difference between the miraculous signs and wonders Driscoll claims for himself with those of Mr. TBN. Is it because Mr. TBN put his vision in terms of dollars and cents? Since Charismatics accept ongoing prophecy, how can they presume to know the Holy Spirit didn’t tell Mr. TBN what he claims He did? What if someone coughs up the green and then finds that his failing business completely turns around and he now has more work and more money than he could ever imagine. Does this confirm Mr. TBN’s prophetic word? Or, could this be a case of merely asserting the consequent and question begging, because Mr. TBN asserts in the name of the Holy Spirit the very thing he needs to prove from the Scriptures, which I think even the most entrenched Charismatic would have to agree, is impossible. If that’s the case, and I think it is, then Mr. TBN is no different from Driscoll in the slightest. But I thought the gospel and the truths advanced by the Reformers and those who followed them, specifically the doctrine of sola scriptura, freed Christians from such superstitions? Instead, the response I got is that I should pray for more of the “gift of discernment.” Is this a method? It seems to me that their proposed “method” for telling the con from the legitimate practitioner of the miraculous gifts is just as mystical and opposed to sound reason and the light of Scripture as the one making the miraculous claims, even Mr. TBN.

Of course, the real problem with Charismatics is that they deny the biblical and Reformed doctrine of sola scriptura while pretending to uphold it. Calling some revelation “personal” doesn’t change the fact that God is said to reveal truths, even to those calling themselves Reformed, apart from and in addition to those He has revealed in Scripture; the same Scriptures which most Charimatics claim is closed. They can’t have it both ways. The historic Protestant position as stated in the Westminister Confession 1:1 under the heading “What is Revelation,” put the situation this way:

Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation: therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his Church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the holy scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.

I would hope self-professing Charismatics would notice a couple of things. First, God has used “divers manners” by which he revealed Himself and his will to the church. These different ways were no less revelation than Scripture itself. Second, with the close of the canon those “former ways” have now ceased.  Men like Driscoll, who call themselves Reformed, stand in direct opposition to the Reformed faith and take direct aim at the central doctrine on which all other doctrines rest.

In addition, and as one Charismatic was nice enough to point out, WCF 1.10 also adds:

The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the scripture.

As already mentioned, neither Mr. TBN or Driscoll have said anything that necessarily contradicts Scripture (with the exception of 1 Cor. 13 properly understood) and in both cases what they have asserted may indeed turn out to be true (i.e., the woman may have actually committed adultery with a tall blonde haired man just as Driscoll described and the poor sucker who gave $759.65 to Mr. TBN may have received the “full blessing”). According to Charismatics the “test” seems to come down to nothing more than a feeling or an intuition and whether or not the so-called “prophecy” turns out to be correct or leads someone to some imagined “greater appreciation of God,” but none of these so-called “tests” are the equivalent of, nor should they be confused with, judging truth claims against the “Holy Spirit speaking in the scripture.”

If Driscoll or any pastor were to say the Holy Spirit told him the Scriptures teach X when in fact the Scriptures do not teach X, then we could know Driscoll is in error. But the Scriptures do not say whether or not the woman sitting across from Driscoll in a counseling session had sex with a man in a hotel room that was not her husband.  On the other hand, the Scriptures do say that if someone does not speak according to the “law and the prophets,” i.e., the Scriptures, then there is “no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20).  Now there is a biblical method that no Charismatic defends.

The WCF Chapter 1 is what is meant by sola scriputra and is enough to demonstrate that Charismatics like Driscoll do not have a Reformed view of Scripture, even if he does hold to a Reformed soteriology. I’m thankful he has the latter, I just wish he had the former.  What seems to be lost on Charismatics is Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:24 (again repeated in Mark 13:22):

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Explore posts in the same categories: Heresies

21 Comments on “Charismatic Visions”

  1. Bob S Says:

    I make bold to say Driscoll will crash and burn. This is to play with fire, to dabble in the prurient, much more to try and jazz up the entirely sufficient Scripture, which in principle is but to depart from it. Sorry Charlie, but we don’t need that kind of tunafish no matter how many of the young and restless you can pack into your church.
    Furthermore who wants to go for counseling to a pastor with x ray like vision?
    A sicked and perverse generation demands signs and wonders, which – even if they are true – detract from Scripture or open the door in the future for a departure from Scripture by our most holy and blessed prophet.
    To the law and the testimony whatever the signs and wonders might say or tempt us.

  2. Are you sure this wasn’t meant to be a comedy piece? I laughed out loud at several of your observations of Driscoll’s “discernment”. Of course, Driscoll was merely fishing for information and solicited enough general information to guess that the woman had committed adultery. The other general details were just that: general details. Fortune tellers use the same technique. It’s not that they have some sort of revelation knowledge from the Spirit but that they guess, fish and fill in the gaps from what the victim is tricked into confessing. Silly!!!

  3. Hugh McCann Says:

    We do find it rather convenient for the possibly delusional Mr D. that because he cannot (and should not) disclose his counselees’ names, we cannot possibly verify or debunk his claims to being a soft-core seer…

  4. Hugh McCann Says:

    VERY tangential side note: Wouldn’t the (hyper-)preterist view be discredited by the 1st Cor. 13 passage?

    That is, IF the consummation HAD already happened, whither thence these:

    No more prophecy (proclamation)?
    No more tongues (new songs, etc.)?
    No more knowledge?
    No more imperfection?
    No more dimly seeing in a mirror?
    No more knowing in part?

  5. Hugh McCann Says:

    M.D. ‘even knew they had sex with “the light on”.’

    Of course he does! Else, how could he have properly seen his vision?
    It no doubt needed Hollywood mood lighting!

    And this guy thought that ‘Avatar’ was trash!
    What about his mental DVDs?

  6. Hugh McCann Says:

    Naming names:

    “Reformed charismatics frequently complain that it’s unfair for cessationists not to expressly exempt them when we criticize the eccentricities of the wacko fringe mainstream of the larger charismatic movement. But Reformed charismatics themselves aren’t careful to distance themselves from charismatic nuttiness. John Piper was openly intrigued with the Toronto Blessing when it was at its peak. (If he ever denounced it as a fraud, I never heard or read where he stated that fact publicly.) Wayne Grudem to this day endorses Jack Deere’s Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, despite the way Deere lionizes Paul Cain. Sam Storms aligned himself with the Kansas City Prophets’ cult for almost a decade. I can’t imagine how anyone holding Grudem’s view of modern prophecy could possibly repudiate what Driscoll insists he has experienced. Does anyone really expect a thoughtful analysis or critique of Driscoll’s view of the “gift of discernment” (much less a collective repudiation of this kind of pornographic divination) from Reformed charismatics? I certainly don’t.”

    ~ Quote from Phil Johnson @ Pyromaniacs ~

  7. Sean Gerety Says:

    And just to follow up on your naming names, Robbins wrote back in ’87:

    Already it is considered blasphemy to speak against the supernatural workings within the charismatic movement. A spirit of boastful certainty and arrogant intolerance has often been manifested by those who “have the spirit.” The preoccupation with inward experience is leading multitudes back to the religious philosophy of the Dark Ages and the medieval church. The Vatican knows the score. It reads what is to be. Many Protestants seem to be as paralyzed as Melanchthon was when he did not know whether or not to speak out against the spiritualistic fanatics who came to Wittenberg while Luther was hidden in the Wartburg Castle. It was this issue that led the great Reformer to come out of hiding and to risk his life. Cried the “spirit-filled” leaders on being granted an interview with Luther, “The Spirit! The Spirit!” The Reformer was decidedly unimpressed. “I slap your spirit on the snout,” he thundered. He saw that the great truth of justification by faith alone was diametrically opposed to these “German prophets,” as he styled them.

    I wonder if confusion over the meaning of 1 Cor 13:8ff plays into the ongoing fascination with charismatics in some “Reformed” circles?

  8. Hugh McCann Says:

    With his usual tact, charm, and proclivity for understatement, Dr Driscoll’s calls cessationism “modernistic worldliness,”

    & says, “you Reformed guys, especially you who are more Presbyterian, you tend to ignore the Holy Spirit and attribute everything the Spirit does to the gospel.”

    These leave us less than desirous to seek the spirit that’s apparently leading him.

    But we must admit that at least MD isn’t pussyfooting around like other “Reformed” continuationists who, like “friendship evangelism” Arminians, covertly build bridges in order to influence others they hope to win to their side.

  9. Hugh McCann Says:

    From Steve McCoy’s review of MD’s book, [i]Confessions of a Reformission Rev: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church[/i].

    ‘In Confessions you can’t miss the idea that God is not silent in the work of Driscoll and Mars Hill, and that He speaks in amazing ways. Driscoll speaks often of “The Ghost” (his Holy Spirit term).

    ‘He tells us why he started Mars Hill, “God had spoken to me in one of those weird charismatic moments and told me to start a church” (p 39). Before they launched their first service Driscoll had a “prophetic dream” that told him to ditch a guy who would eventually try to take over as pastor. Driscoll showed up to the first service and found the guy in the exact circumstances of his dream and told him to get lost before the service even began. Not the best way to build a welcoming atmosphere, but necessary.

    ‘Driscoll later tells the story of a demon-possessed guy who came in the service and disrupted it. God told Mark to go to the front of the church during a time of prayer just before the demon-possessed guy started acting out. The book is sprinkled with these sorts of stories, talk of spiritual attacks and “bad angels” talking to his daughter, prophetic dreams (both from God and Satan), even “words of knowledge” (p 121). Sure to be provocative.’


  10. grantrhooper Says:

    sir my name is grant hooper and i sent you a facebook request with a long story and bad grammar. i am very hurt. my friends are drifting. and i need help to show them that they dont actually believe sola scriptora. they think God is impressing them to do certain mundane tasks….like who to marry and where to work through signs and impressions. i could really use ur help. i am in anguish over this. and i am praying. and i am going to go to them with a document with a biblical argument. i need my closest brothers in Christ back. all the while i am being looked at as “struggling” i believe, for not accepting these lavish claims. please accept my facebook request sir. i dont check my email often, but if not on facebook, my email address is grantrhooperATyahooDOTcom

  11. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi Grant. I’m afraid you’re going to have to “re-friend” me as I deleted your invite before reading your note here. My apologies.

  12. Bob S Says:

    Garnett Milne’s The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Cessation of Special Revelation is a full length study of the West. divines on the question. His doctorate in historical theology supervised by Carl Trueman forms the basis for it.

    Long story short, there is no “immediate” revelation from God these days, while “mediately” in conjunction with Scripture which is primary, God may providentially confirm or give insight to somebody.

    It can be be found at RHBks.:

  13. […] ridicules the exegetical position of Edwards and Clark concerning 1 Cor. 13:8-13 and outlined in part 1 calling it interpretive “origami.” But, rather than offering a counter argument […]

  14. Hugh Says:

    In addition to the above Budgen, I recommend

    Counterfeit Miracles by Warfield ~

    & A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness by Dale Bruner ~

  15. Steve Matthews Says:

    Reymond has a good insight on cessation: the argument for a closed canon of Scripture (which presumably those who want to be called Calvinist Charismatics believe) is the same argument as that for cessation. The argumenet being that God has given us in the Bible all the revelation needed to make us complete for every good work.

    To quote Reymond, “[It must be noted that to the degree that one believes that God still speaks directly to men and women today through prophets and glosslalists, just to that same degree he is saying that he does not absolutely need the Bible for a word from God, and accordingly he has abandoned the great Reformation prinicple of sola Scriptura. (Reymond, Systematic Theology, p.59; see also n.7 p.58)

  16. Sean Gerety Says:

    Great quote. It’s amazing how charismatics say that the believe in sola scriptura. As one charismatic defending Driscoll said on the White Horse Inn site:

    “Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the final authority for the Christian when it comes to matters of faith and life. It has nothing to do with any supernatural means that God the Holy Spirit uses to interact with you.”

    By this definition the pope in Rome is a believer in sola scriptutra. Charismatics really believe in prima scriptura

  17. Jim Butler Says:

    You might be interested in Doug Wilson’s response to Phil Johnson who blogged about this very thing —


  18. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thanks Jim. Mark Driscoll has a lot more serious issues than just his seeing visions. Now he’s pairing up with Wilson and is scheduled to speak at Wilson’s “Grace Agenda.” Evidently Driscoll’s “gift of discernment” doesn’t extend to being able to recognize a false gospel.

  19. Sean Gerety Says:

    Actually, Phil Johnson and the “Pyro Team” have a problem too. They seem to think that Wilson is a minister of the gospel even if virtually every NAPARC denom thinks otherwise:

  20. Hugh Says:


    Thanks for the succinct & chilling quote of Reymond’s:

    …one [who] believes that God still speaks directly to men and women today through prophets and glosslalists… does not absolutely need the Bible for a word from God…

    Exceedingly dangerous, that!

  21. The reason that people don’t believe we’ll have faith in heaven is because they do not appreciate that true faith is knowledge of the truth. They think that by beholding Christ by sight we will be more justified in our belief than knowing he has risen because God has said so. This is why one Reformed pastor recently mused that the resurrection is not an historical fact or something as concrete as science. He said we take it “on faith” as if saving faith is something less than knowledge.

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