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Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?: Four Views


3.94  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Did miraculous gifts cease after the first century? Are modern-day experiences of tongues, prophecy, and gifts of healing really from God? In an attempt to clarify the current debate for readers, leading representatives of the four major views present arguments for their beliefs and have a chance to respond to the others.

The four views are: Cessationist (Gaffin), Open but

Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 28th 1996 by Zondervan
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Jethro Wall
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
I entered this book wanting to leave with a fairly well-cemented view on what I personally thought about the spiritual gifts and their continuation today. Now I haven’t exactly left with that, but I have left with one conviction that I’m pretty certain of - I don’t think I’ll ever be a cessationist. That’s essentially the one thing that seemed clear throughout my reading of the book. Comparatively, the cessationist argument (Richard B. Gaffin) just doesn’t seem to hold up, basically because it l ...more
John Brackbill
I have never really enjoyed reading the "views" books. Why? Primarily because it seems the authors can easily talk past one another with not enough opportunity to challenge the cross examinations. I would generally rather read book long treatments on each position for various views. However, this is the best "views" book I have read (to be transparent, I have not read multitudes of them so the strengths listed here may be the norm that I have to this point not experienced). In this book an autho ...more
Simon Wartanian
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was a great book as an introduction to the discussion of the cessation or continuation of the revelatory/miraculous gifts specifically tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy.

Each author took about 50 pages to make a case for his particular position. I thought that the gentlemen were truly considered each other as brothers and the interaction was respectful.

There are good arguments on both sides obviously. Once I read Dr. Gaffin's chapter, I thought: "yep, I'm becomin
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read on a doctrinal subject that has interested me for a long time. The format of the book worked very well: each author presents a 40-50 page essay arguing for their view; then after each essay, space is given for the other three authors to critique it; then a section comprised of each author's closing remarks; and finally a concluding section by the editor (Wayne Grudem) summing up the areas of agreement and disagreement among the authors. This allowed for plenty of back-and-fort ...more
Orville Jenkins
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A volume in the Counterpoints Series. Four biblical interpreters and theologians present four differing views on the role of miraculous gifts described in New Testament documents, and their validity for today.

The essays are presented in a talk-back format, characteristic of the Counterpoint series. One writer develops his viewpoint, then each of the others critiques or responds to that viewpoint to counter, clarify, query or disagree.

This format works well here, and each writer formul
Stephen G.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the most divisive debates within the evangelical Christian church in the last century is whether the seemingly more "miraculous" spiritual gifts are for today. Sadly, these debates are often filled with misrepresentations and caricatures of the other side's position. I wanted to read this book to hear the arguments of both cessationists and continuationists in their own words. I was hoping for a back and forth dialogue that allowed the authors to constructively critique and challenge each ...more
Neil Kruger
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counterpoints
The operation and the extent of spiritual gifts in the church is a thorny subject among believers. Debates are often characterized by misrepresentation and judging by association. This book is a great example of how people with differing convictions on non-essential doctrines can still argue for their own positions forcefully and respectfully.

Although I am most closely aligned to Robert Saucy's 'open-but-cautious' perspective, I was greatly impressed by Richard Gaffin's use of a redemptive-hist
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good introduction on the subject of the continuation of the miraculous gifts in the postapostolic era. For me, Gaffin brilliantly unveils the scope of the history of redemption to reveal the main roles of the miraculous gifts. However, Storms asks good questions that aren't always answered by Gaffin or Saucy. So, on the one hand, this book brought me very good answers, on the other hand, interrogations have been updated. I recommend, because, the position taken by the reader, will be either ch ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Not an easy read, and I would have got far more out of it if I had sat with my Bible open an a pen and paper. Having said that, it gave me a very good overview of four views on the miraculous spiritual gifts, and a better understanding of the issues at stake. I've not yet come to my own conclusion though.....
Matthew Boffey
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very helpful! This book changed my mind; I was open but cautious, but now I'd consider myself in the Third Wave camp on this issue. Of course, it's an area of disagreement for good reason, but I am pretty convinced that the Spirit is still handing out the same gifts he just after Pentecost.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally done with this book! :) It was a slow read; interesting, yet I’m no sure if this format (a book) is suitable for a discussion on a topic like this. The arguments are pretty repetitive and at the end I feel slightly more educated but also slightly more confused. :)
Alexandru Croitor
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quite an interesting read - I've found the "dialogue" between these views very helpful, especially as a 'friendly' introduction to them. The biggest advantage for this kind of format is that you get to see, after each exposition, how other views interact with each other; non-polemic & balanced. ...more
Sean McGowan
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Great discussion. I enjoyed reading all of these views, even the ones I strongly disagreed with.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dry and "head-y" but informative and thought provoking. Not what I would call a quick read but well worth the time.
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a member of a Presbyterian Church, and I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding the miraculous gifts. I realized that I had never actually heard a sermon or lesson on these gifts, other than to say that "we" didn't believe in them. Given the fact that they are discussed in many places in Scripture, I thought it might be helpful to understand why "we" believed that. I did some research trying to find an impartial book that would help me understand the different viewpoints. I als ...more
Matthew Bandy
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fantastic book showing four different points of view on the spiritual gifts topic. This is one issue that I have wanted to study for sometime and I am very glad to have found this book along with the DA Carson book on 1 Cor 12-14. After reading this book I cannot accept the extreme views of either those who believe the gifts have ceased or the charismatic point of view. So I am more in line with John piper and Wayne Gruden's view on some of these topics along with some other reformed open but ...more
Matt Chapman
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Second time reading and just as helpful as the first. Good to be reminded that God's word and God's Spirit work together for the building up of the church and the spread of the gospel.
Leaves me with a renewed desire to earnestly desire the active presence of the Spirit and his gifts in the life of our church.
Also appreciated the tone of each of the four writers presenting their views on miraculous gifts - each man seeking to be both biblically faithful and to listen charitably to one another.
Danny Bennett
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology-bible
I usually read counterpoint books because I am uncertain or confused about a theological issue. However, for this book I came in knowing basically where I stood (open, but cautious; although not exactly the same brand as Saucy's), but I wanted to hear why others believed the way they did. It was helpful to understand where the other perspectives came from. For example, I was able to disregard my confusion towards cessationists by understanding their fear of the closed canon being threatened. I h ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like every other book in the Counterpoint series that I've read so far, this book excels at giving the reader the beliefs straight from the source. It is so good to hear beliefs and views from people that actually believe them and hold to them for well-meaning reasons!

I was helped so much by Saucy's biblical cautions and Oss' clearly delineated Pentecostal beliefs. If you've not wrapped your mind around the cessationist/continuationist debate, this may well be the best place to get all the view
Drew Van Gorder
Nov 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was a good insight into four different views of the more miraculous giftings seen in Scripture. All four views are not only presented, but also refuted by each of the other authors' opinions. All of the positions presented were given fairly with no bias imposed on any of the author's opinions (except of course, from the other authors with differing views). When looking for a book that carefully handles the miraculous gifts evenly, I thought this book was very good. Be prepared for some ...more
G Walker
Jun 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to say... overall, some interesting exegesis and pastoral application... When I read it initially, I was more a fan of Gaffin and his cessationist view... actually read it because Gaffin contributed... I found Storms view to be interesting, but ultimately unconvincing... I guess though, really, this book didn't pull or push me in any real direction, one way or another. Saucey seems to me to have the best "heart" in the matter... and for at least a model of Christian character ( ...more
Aaron Rice
Dec 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Contributing authors: "Look we all respect each other and we must overemphasize that because really there is a deep seeded suspicion that we really don't. We all disagree with one another."

Wayne Grudem, Editor: "Guys look even though we disagree and want to tear each other apart, we are all somehow united in faith. It makes sense, right?"

Four views. That's what it is exactly. -_- Subjectivism at its finest.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loaded with info (seriously!), and a good example of how to disagree agreeably. An excellent and thorough textbook and resource for anyone looking for succint info with which to make an informed decision regarding their views on spiritual gifts and God's power available in the present age.
Becca Rudy
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This took super long to get through, each person is technical in a different style so it is hard to adjust. One needs a compare and contrast chart to keep track of each topic drill down. Overall, a very worthwhile book and approach- I landed in an unexpected place but will go back and review.
Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone hungry for truth
Shelves: biblical-truth
This is a slow read because it's very deep but you certainly get a thorough look into the topic.
Jay D
Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
Not very interesting. All Protestant.
Jeff Boettcher
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to the four basic views of the Holy Spirit.
Luke Evans
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, theology

Very helpful. Especially the open but cautious view.
Josh Shelton
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sam Storms broke my cessationism. I ultimately still have a few quabbles with his view, but agree for the most part.
Craig Despain
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Storms and Saucy are the main guys in this book. Their interaction is helpful and thought provoking.
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