Saturday, June 17, 2006

Convergence

Sam Storms: Convergence
(2006, Kingsway, UK Edition)


Pro's
  • Charismatic Calvinism rocks - how can you take the Bible seriously and not be both?
  • Good interaction with Ian Stackhouse' The Gospel-Driven Church - some critical but mostly positive
  • Finding the best in Charismaticism and Calvinism!
  • Lessons from Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections
  • Sam Storms: Christian Hedonist
  • Better than Jack Deere's Surprised by the Power of the Spirit; both in argument and readability.
  • Warmth of affections and seriousness about Scripture
  • Helpful teaching about impressions from God, and very clear on testing by Scripture
  • Don't respond to abuses by prohibition but rather by right Biblical use

Con's
  • Several of typos, at least in the UK edition... e.g. Psalm 19 that should say 119, Joy "expressible" that should be inexpressible...
  • Will the cessationists Storms is writing to read this book? And are there all that many cessationists around these days?
  • Mostly deals with opposed stereotypes - maybe too much caricature?
  • Its more of a letter to Orlando than to Anaheim, that is Storms seems more concerned to make Calvinists charismatic, not to show charismatics that they should be Calvinist - and that would be a very helpful book to have - particularly since in the UK outside of Newfrontiers most Charismatics appear to be Arminian - it could be argued however that One Thing would lead Charismatics to Calvinism.
This book has the potential to be very helpful to the UK church, much as his One Thing (Desiring God made easy to read) has.

See Enjoying God Ministries for more information. Finally, remember that the man who wrote the doctrine of Romans also spoke in tongues more than anyone at Corinth.

22 comments:

  1. Charismatic Calvinism rocks - how can you take the Bible seriously and not be both?

    Um, because I believe that God loves the world (John 3:16) and not just some select people in it.

    Because Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

    Because God created all things for his pleasure (Rev. 4:11) and he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23), so why would he want to create people with no chance of being saved?

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  2. And with those four verses the case for Calvinism collapses...

    Millions will change their theology when they read your comment

    Thank you for teaching us

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  3. *sigh* You could have responded to my comment, since you only had four verses to explain.

    Or I s'pose you could call me silly for responding to a rhetorical question... or maybe demonstrate that the only people who take the Bible seriously are Charismatic Calvinists...

    I guess a sarcastic comment serves very well to make yourself look witty without actually having to express an opinion. I shan't bother you again, Doctor.

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  4. I thought it a little strange to pick a fight over a brief book plug.

    I'm not charismatic but why take Dave to task for his enthusiasm on that one?

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  5. Doctor Fundamentalis,

    So, do you think it is strange to pick a fight over a book plug, but not over a comment about a book plug? It seems strange that you are picking a petit fight yourself, because you don't like petit fights? I'm glad that makes sense to you.

    Me thinks Doctor Fundamentalis is telling porky pies!

    Proverbs 24:26
    An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

    Logicum Bonum Ipso Fatso

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  6. Who me?

    Yes I thought that the first was strange and the second wasn't.

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  7. It was an ad hominem argument anonymous.

    Isn't there a proverb about answering a fool according to their folly?

    xxx

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  8. Man, I go away for a couple of days and this explodes.

    Helen Louise,

    The question was rhetorical, enthusiastic and I suppose a little provacative. Not a problem for you to respond to it!

    I don't think Calvinism fails on the basis of the verses you cite. As Storms says, when asked if he's a Calvinist, "it depends what you mean".

    Calvinism isn't supreme of course, the Bible's teaching is. So when I talk about Calvinism I'm meaning many things none of which can avoid or contradict the verses you quote.

    Cheifly both Storms and myself are referring to the supreme role of God in saving people... to the intent of God for us to glorify and enjoy him... rather than our faith being self-acquired and self-centred... and also a high view of God's word.

    I have a few days worth of emails to wade through now but I'll see what I can do to respond to the questions you raise.

    dave

    PS: No idea who this Doctor Fundamentalis is.... I'd request his identity? And that he stop speaking in tongues, without interpretation. Thanks!

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  9. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for responding. I'm sorry if my remark seemed a little out of turn, I guess it was just the phrase "how can you take the bible seriously" that got under my theological skin, although I don't for one moment imagine you typing it and thinking, "Haha, that'll challenge those cessationist non-Calvinists! Them and their Bible-ignoring ways!"

    Peace,
    Helen.

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  10. Hello everyone. I'm a cessationist, though I have to say "It depends what you mean", but if you mean what I think you mean then I am a cessationist.

    So there's at least one! And I am willing to put my hand up and say I am one because I think the Bible teaches it.

    For example, why did Paul prescribe a little wine for Timothy's tummy troubles rather than send him a handkerchief? (Acts 19:11-12 and 1 Timothy 5:23)

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  11. Hi Alan,

    Welcome - having read your blog at times its nice to have you here.

    Not entirely sure how your argument proves the point. Believing that God does heal miraculously surely never means that he wont use medicine, or that he will always heal? Though, what on earth is that hankerchiefs thing about??!!

    It appears my cheeky quip is attracting attention. On the one hand I was merely reflecting my delight in God's word and its teaching... however, I'm entirely prepared to be argued out of my charismatic theology by scripture.

    I confess that I was firstly a theological charismatic, and any experience only follows... and not vice versa.

    dave

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  12. Yes. Of course God heals through the NHS. (no NHS jokes please!) All healing comes from God.

    But early on in Paul's apostolic career healing was widespread, common, spectacular, amazing, even perplexing (what's all that hanky stuff about? as you so aptly comment)

    Later on he doesn't even try sending Timothy a hanky for his gippy tummy. He goes straight for the solution that we would go for today - it's that dodgy water. Drink a bit of wine with it and it'll help no end. (Does, too, apparently. Kills off the bugs).

    Something was changing even in the lifetime of the apostles, even in the decades of the New Testament which meant that the spectacular "sign gifts" were passing away: the prophecies were ceasing, the tongues were being stilled, the knowledge was passing away.

    That something was the writing of the New Testament, "the word of the prophets made more certain" 2 Peter 1:19. (2 Peter is an important book for this, too - Peter's last will and testament where he tells them he is bequeathing Mark's gospel to them!)

    Anyway, I've had my say, and thank you for your welcome. I started my Christian life a calvinist; a convert as stubborn as me had to! I tried subsequently to become a charismatic but never managed it. Then the New Testament convinced me that I shouldn't have tried and made me that "rare beast" - a happy calvinist! (Can't do dour, either... :-)

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  13. Oh - and God does heal miraculously today, but not in those crazy crusades where people are healed of their money worries by being made to fall on the floor while cripples hobble home untouched (I'll never forget that visit of the apostle X to Cardiff!). God heals in response to prayer, and sometimes just spontaneously because he loves to, and sometimes through a doctor's skill. And sometimes he doesn't heal at all in that way, but gives help and strength and grace and character and finally takes people to be with himself, whole and holy at last, with no regrets.

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  14. Hi Alan

    I think we know each other

    The Doctor

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  15. Dear Doctor Fundamentalis,

    There is no such thing as an ad hominem argument. There is however such a thing as an ad hominem fallacy, or an argument that commits the ad hominem fallacy.

    You were certainly attacking the person (through sarcasm = humour for thickos with fast tongues) rather than the ideas, and in that you are correct.

    My name is not Anonymous it is Logicum Bonum Ipso Fatso

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  16. "Yes I thought that the first was strange and the second wasn't."

    Since we are on the subject of errors of reasoning and Doctor Fundamentalis seems to been keeping us well stocked up can anyone name this fallacy in the DF quote above?




    (hint : Appeal to strangeness / Appeal to motive or other non-sequitur in place of support)

    Logicum Bonum Ipso Fatso

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  17. Dear Alan,

    You have also made a dodgy leap of logic. What are you guys like? You need to improve your thinking and not depend on so much of your own confidence that you are correct.

    You argued that because of the hanky vs. wine event this therefore indicated that...

    "Something was changing even in the lifetime of the apostles, even in the decades of the New Testament which meant that the spectacular "sign gifts" were passing away: the prophecies were ceasing, the tongues were being stilled, the knowledge was passing away."

    Not content with inserting stuff (fallacy of equivocation in putting hankerchiefs = sign gifts) in there that you haven't argued for you continued on...

    "That something was the writing of the New Testament, "the word of the prophets made more certain" 2 Peter 1:19. (2 Peter is an important book for this, too - Peter's last will and testament where he tells them he is bequeathing Mark's gospel to them!)"

    And bang, we are in 1 Corinthians 13.

    Let's press the logic of that passage seeing as that is where you are headed.

    Have you seen perfection face to face then? Do you know as you are known?

    It's not the canon Alan. The thaw is coming, Aslan himself is in Narnia. Aslan is coming.

    Logicum Bonum Ipso Fatso

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  18. Are you sure we know each other? I may be old, but I would have thought that I would certainly remember that surname.

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  19. Anonymous,

    You make me smile

    "Since we are on the subject of errors of reasoning"

    and I thought it was just you alone on that subject. I'll await your pulling of that comment to bits.

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  20. I'm not sure that your arguement of a lessening of healing and more medical care follows Alan.

    Surely all the exmamples show is that on some evangelistic occasions God healed many, even with hankies... And on other occasions he appealed to medical care...

    Seems like an anecdotal argument from a timeline. All it shows is that there was healing early on, and medical later. It doesn't show that there was no medicine earlier, or no healing later.

    Neither does it really explain why the church is taught what it is taught in 1 Cor 12-14... in terms of healing, but also other gifts.

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  21. OK.

    I am sure I could not PROVE this to anyone's satisfaction, even my own (so much for my self-confidence!),

    and self-confessed cessationists are not the only people convinced that they are right, I guess,

    and "a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument", as they say,

    but even if you simply read the one book of Acts quickly (and reading Bible books quickly in one sitting is a really good thing to do) there is a perceptible change in the work of the Spirit in the church from Pentecost through to the later chapters.

    Similar changes happen elsewhere in the Bible. Think of the ministry of Moses and just a little later in the OT.

    On the why of 1 Cor 12 - 14, does Paul want to press on the accelerator or on the brake, or does he want to turn the steering wheel?

    Or change gear?

    I have to bow out of this conversation for the time being - I have to preach "in an unknown tongue" for the first time this Sunday, and I am behind in la préparation. But thanks for your welcome folks, and I'll be back soon. This is great.

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  22. Hope you'll be back Alan. I am interested in your changing-ministry idea. Will look into that. I wonder how that works in that we're in a different situation - whilst we ought not read ourselves into Moses' story... is it reasonable to say we're in Actsa 29 and thus the decline continues?

    I'm not sure I want to read Acts as all that normative for anything - seems Luke's intent is really to show the spread of the gospel more than what phenomena accompany it.

    Corinth seems more compelling. Paul takes Corinth up a gear - eagerly go for tongues & prophecy... and they were real charismaniacs... and Paul is a cessationist - but only when Jesus returns... gifts are then required until the end comes. Then we'll have heaven on earth, til then gifts show how much we lack - they show how incomplete our relationship with God is.

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