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Perspectives on Pentecost de Richard B.…
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Perspectives on Pentecost (1979 original; edició 1979)

de Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. (Autor)

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328162,113 (4.26)1
Membre:Kruchkow
Títol:Perspectives on Pentecost
Autors:Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. (Autor)
Informació:Presbyterian & Reformed Pub Co (1979)
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Perspectives on Pentecost de Richard B. Gaffin (1979)

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This is a short book at only 122 pages but is packed with some very powerful theological arguments. Because of the depth of Gaffin’s arguments and his frequent references to scripture passages (which are not always included in the text) it took me longer to read this book than books twice as long normally do. This book must be read methodically and with an open Bible, it’s not a book to take to the pool for an hour’s diversion! However, it is worth the effort.

I’ve long been of the opinion that the so-called sign gifts (tongues, prophecy & healing) were not for the church after the apostolic age so I must admit to reading the book with a bias already in place for the author’s thesis. However, he does such a thorough and scriptural job of presenting his case, it seems it would be hard to disagree with him having read the book.

He begins the book by discussing in depth the events of Pentecost as recorded in Acts, making the point that “…everything said in the New Testament about the Spirit’s work looks forward to or traces back to Pentecost.” (p. 14)

He goes into much detail developing the point that the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost was a unique event in the history of redemption. Just as the resurrection of Christ was a unique event, never to be repeated, so too the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. It was not a ‘bonus’ to believers or representative of the experience all believers throughout time should expect but an event used by God to establish the church and initiate the work of the risen Christ in the world. It was not, Gaffin would say, primarily or even secondarily about the experiences of the individual believers present that day. He says: “Pentecost is nothing less than the establishment of the church as the new covenant people of God, as the body of Christ.” (p. 21)

In later chapters, Gaffin discusses specific manifestations of the Spirit such as prophecy and tongues. Here he takes a position I’d not previously considered, that prophecy and tongues are really two sides of the same coin, both being revelatory gifts. According to Gaffin, tongues, once translated for the congregation, are nothing more than prophecy. Once that connection is made, one only needs to ask if prophecy is still for today and the issue of tongues is answered as well. The author makes the point that the words of a prophet are “the words of God and are to be received and responded to as such.” (p. 72)

That being the case, the question of the cessation of prophecy (and tongues) is bound up in the question of whether or not the cannon is closed. In other words, does God still speak today in addition to His revealed word, the Scriptures? Gaffin says: “…for prophecy, correctly conceived of, to continue on into subsequent generations of the church, beyond its foundational period, would necessarily create tensions with the closed, finished character of the cannon. In fact, such a continuation would exclude a completed cannon in the strict sense.” (p. 100)

Gannon’s final premise is that prophecy and tongues were revelatory gifts given to the church temporarily during its founding apostolic era. He sees them as inseparable from the ministry of the apostles (even though they were not exercised only by apostles) and believes they have been permanently withdrawn from the church just as the office of apostle has been.

This is book is a very powerful argument for the cessation of prophecy and tongues and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this topic, regardless of his or her present understanding of this controversial issue. ( )
  lgfarlow | Jun 8, 2007 |
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