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Is The Sunday Service For Evangelism?

On our last episode of the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot discussed the words cessationism versus continuationism. Dr. Caldwell defined what these terms mean in their association with spiritual gifts. He also explained the different kinds of groupings within the gifts and what trajectory he sees the New Testament Scriptures to take regarding the group of sign gifts. Dr. Philpot believes there is more we need to know and think about regarding the continuation movement. He asks Dr. Caldwell what might be the motivating factors behind those who believe in charismatic theology and the continuation of gifts. What is behind the desire to have these sign gifts, and what drives the hype? Is there danger involved with not understanding these things correctly? How can Christians really know whether one way is right and the other is not?

As Dr. Caldwell explained in the last episode, the main thrust of the argument by continuationists is they see no verse or text of Scripture that completely rules out the operation of these gifts. Dr. Caldwell reminds us that he disagrees with their reading of Scripture on this topic. However, he also sees other possible motivations behind those who want to believe these gifts are still operational. One is the desire to not miss out on something God would have for us. In their reading of the Scriptures, they see an experience described that they haven’t experienced. For example, what they see in the Book of Acts and then wanting to repeat it. But this is a misunderstanding of a verse, verses, or even whole passages of Scripture that are descriptive and not prescriptive. The difference is important. Wrong interpretation can lead to wrong thinking and wrong behavior. We don’t need something more. If we have Christ, we have everything that we need, everything God wants us to have. Another element of that is that we have the completed canon of Scripture. There is nothing that we need to know that God wants us to know that we don’t already have in His Word. We have an all-sufficient word.

Secondly, Dr. Caldwell thinks some believe that some of these gifts would be really effective for evangelism. Behind this thinking is the belief that the purpose of these gifts was for evangelism. But that really wasn’t ever their purpose. The Scriptures are instructive when it comes to this in that they tell us that if the Word of God isn’t enough to convince someone of the truth, then there wouldn’t be any miracle ever performed that would ever convince them. Dr. Caldwell shares two passages of Scripture that help us see the truth of this. The passages he discusses are from Matthew 26 and Luke 16. He reminds us we have the Old and New Testaments, a complete Bible that instructs us in all things pertaining to life and godliness in the knowledge of Christ. We do not lack a single thing. We do not need something more, no power display for evangelism, nothing miraculous to help us overcome sin issues or anything like that. We have everything we need in Christ and the Word of God.

The danger involved when someone embraces charismatic theology and believes in the continuation of specific gifts is that they end up refusing the sufficiency that is already theirs in Christ and the Scriptures. They end up looking to some other realm for some other answer than what is already theirs. Additionally, there is inevitably going to be a lack of discernment. When we aren’t satisfied with what we are meant to be satisfied with, and we're open to things that no longer exist, we will embrace and express ourselves in ways that are contrary, even counterfeit, to how the Word of God instructs us. And this is what we often see that goes on within the continuationism movement. Dr. Caldwell tells us these things can be explained in one of three ways: it's a fleshly expression, a satanic expression, or it’s purely human and psychological – a sort of learned behavior from something a person has witnessed and desires to emulate.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 27 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE
FOUNDERS BAPTIST CHURCH
MEDIA TEAM VOLUNTEERS

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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