Verbal Diarrhea

Jim’s post was fine for the most part but apparently he had a bout of verbal diarrhea and just couldn’t stop himself from typing that last paragraph, a paragraph that one might expect from the likes of a dilettante like Jessica Simpson but certainly not one who possesses the ability to actually engage in exegesis.  I thought perhaps I’d see this posted in the ‘humor’ or ‘sarcasm’ category but sadly it’s only marked ‘biblical studies’ and ‘theology.’  I welcome any defense of this indefensible position that Jim might care to offer.

B”H

22 thoughts on “Verbal Diarrhea

  1. I read Jim’s post right before I read yours, this ought to be interesting…

    (For the record, I am not a cessationist and have spoken in tongues several times.)

  2. I have heard that argument based on the 1 Cor 13:8 passage, though I do not know if that is where Jim is coming from. In regards to this passage, since cease is middle, some have then argued that the tongues cease because of some inherent property in them.

  3. the whole claim that “the perfect” refers to the closed canon is pretty unsubstanitated really – just no support there at all. It’s just one hinge to hang the argument one and one hinge doesn’t hold a lot really. Better is the notion that “the perfect” is in reference to the second advent, it has better contextual support.

  4. Nick, we might not agree on much, but I do not believe that speaking in tongues ceased. There is too much in the Church Fathers to prove otherwise. I linked here.

  5. Peter: Not too interesting. As far as I’m concerned it’s a moot point since cessationists have no exegetical or historical legs to stand on.

    Jeremiah: Yeah, 1Cor. 13:8 is a foundational cessationist text. The problem is that it doesn’t say when tongues will cease and what cessationists read into the passage simply can’t be taken from it.

    Jim: I have to conclude that the verbal diarrhea continued given the twice posted comment. I pray you’ve taken some Pepto by now and have gone back to normal. ;-)

    Brian: Not pretty unsubstantiated, TOTALLY unsubstantiated!

  6. Nick: I’m in the uncomfortable position of not being convinced by cessationist arguments and also having witnessed charismatic theatrics that make me cringe. If speaking in tongues is still around, I have never seen it in my adult life. I have seen a local AoG church “teach” people how to speak in tongues by getting them to spout gibberish. I think I’ll just stick to being a non-SBC Baptist and avoid the whole issue. :D

  7. Polycarp: Indeed…

    Jeremiah: We’ve all witnessed charismatic theatrics that make us cringe. I witness it on a weekly basis! But that’s not a good enough reason for me to deny something that is so obviously still in practice.

  8. I didn’t necessarily mean “interesting” as in interesting, just “interesting” as in fun. Spiritual gifts comment threads always bring out the best and/or worst in people.

  9. Peter: Gotcha.

    Jeremiah: Well I guess it’s good then that I do know how obvious it is since I’ve seen plenty to convince me. Out of curiosity, what would convince you?

  10. Jeremiah:
    I think Nick brings up an interesting question concerning what would convince you that tongues have not ceased. I imagine it would either be you speaking in tongues or someone you really trust speaking in tongues. That’s what it took for me. I believed that it was possible because my mom experienced it in a context where cessationism was taught and then I experienced it later on. Until you experience it a lot of it does seem like theatrics, especially if you come across the teaching people how to speak in tongues (I had that happen at an AoG conference and it really turned me off).

    Ultimately the side people fall on in the debate generally has to do with their experience or lack of one, however I think it is interesting that someone would deny that God gifts people with the ability to speak in tongues just because they haven’t personally experienced it.

    Bryan L

  11. If you didn’t say “diarrhea”, Jim would have found some other excuse not to answer you.

    Jim has banned me from his blog, because I complained (elsewhere) that he doesn’t allow comments that are difficult for him to answer.

    I’d like Jim to explain where he gets the notion that tongues is a “sign” gift, or even that there is such a thing as a “sign” gift. This whole notion was invented in order to facilitate the cessationist argument. (Indeed, it pretty much *is* the cessationist argument.) But where is it in Scripture? When the NT refers (in 2 Corinthians 12) to miracles, etc. as “signs”, they are the “signs of an apostle”. By contrast, glossolalia is plainly something that many, many more than just the apostles practiced, so they plainly cannot be the “signs of an apostle”. (I realize, of course, that Paul uses the term “sign” in 1 Corinthians 14:22-25, but there he is deflating the Corinthian view [which is that glossolalia is a sign to the unbeliever], and showing [by noting the unbeliever’s reaction] that glossolalia is really *not* a sign at all.)

    But even logically prior to this issue is the misguided notion that the purpose of the apostles was to bring the church through the period leading up to the canonization of the New Testament. This is a common cessationist argument, but no credible scholar believes it, because it’s purely fantasy. (Am I wrong? Can anyone name me a reputable scholar who *does* believe it?) The reason there was only one generation of apostles is that the lifetime of an apostle, by definition, had to overlap (temporally) the earthly career of Jesus, and only one generation could do that. It had nothing to do with the creation of the New Testament, and there still would have been apostles even if there were no New Testament. (Where do cessationists get the idea that the apostles have something to do with the canonization of Scripture? What scriptural evidence is there for that?)

    I suggest that, if Jim wants to discuss pneumatology, he should study up on it, using real scholarship, and not the Sunday School level arguments he’s been buying into.

  12. Nick: Apologies, brother, if my comment came across as snide or rude. I would probably need to hear someone speak in a language in which I knew they had no prior experience. For the record I am not a cessationist, and grew up in a charismatic non-denominational church. I just do not find compelling evidence that tongues is occurring in the present, at least in the Western church.

  13. Bryan: It’s funny that you mention experience or lack thereof because over on polycarp’s blog I said:

    The irony here is that Charismatics base their beliefs about speaking in tongues on experience AND Scripture (more specifically an experience that’s actually rooted in Scripture). Cessationists on the other hand base their beliefs on experience (or lack thereof) ALONE!

    John: But of course. I never actually expected an answer (since none actually exists). Funnily enough, I was pondering the whole ‘sign gift’ thing earlier today. It seems very ad hoc to me.

    Jeremiah: No apology necessary. It didn’t come across like that at all. I was just being somewhat sarcastic in saying the exact opposite in my response. But just so I understand you, is your belief that ‘tongues’ = ‘known languages’? If so then what led you to this conclusion?

  14. Nick: That is my standard based mostly on what I see actually occurring in Acts. That and it would be the only way for us to tell if the person is making it up or having a genuine experience.

  15. Jeremiah: Two questions: (1) Aside from Acts 2 where in Acts do you see known languages being spoken? and (2) What of Paul’s statement in 1Cor. 14:2 that the person who speaks in tongues speaks in a language that nobody understands?

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