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Jon Ruthven

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Jon Ruthven is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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Articles > Charismatic Theology > Can a Charismatic Theology be Biblical?

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[1] E.g., more polemical theological works: Gary Greig and Kevin Springer (eds.), The Kingdom and the Power (Ventura: Gospel Light, 1994); my own On the Cessation of the Charismata (Sheffield: Sheffield Univ. Pr., 1993); Jack Deere's Surprised by the Power of the Spirit(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993) and his Surprised by the Voice of God  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, forthcoming); more comprehensive works: Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994); J. Rodman Williams, Renewal Theology, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988-); Recent biblical studies: Gordon Fee's God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 1993); R. P. Menzies, The Develop- ment of Early Christian Pneumatology (Sheffield: Sheffield Univ. Pr., 1993); J. Shelton, Mighty in Word and Deed: The Role of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 1992). Three main academic journals express this movement theologically: Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Journal of Pentecostal Studies and Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association. These journals and other sources are indexed in the unofficial Society for Pentecostal Studies homepage: spspage.html  An especially welcome recent development is the appearance of the Journal of Pentecostal Studies Supplement Series from Sheffield University Press.

[2] The astonishing growth of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement worldwide lays out no essential proof as to its validity. Certainly socialism claimed about one-third of the world s population at one time, as did various other "evil empires" throughout history. Islam is one of the world s fastest growing religions, as is secular humanism; but we do not make a case for the truth of these movements on the basis of their apparent "success." A presupposition of this paper is that theology ought not be based upon religious experiences or lack of them, but centrally upon the Word of God.

[3] Granted, when Luther coined this phrase, he did not intend to reject the first major expressions of post-biblical theological development, the creeds. Having been reared in Medieval Church doctrine, however, it may never have fully occurred to him that a conflict between their focus and that of the NT could exist.

[4] An early tool for measuring emphasis via content analysis involved measuring column inches of newspaper stories. Recently, TIMEhas taken to displaying charts of computer searches of the frequency of distinctive words in print media, e.g., "Exxon Valdez," "OJ," "Limbaugh," "religious right," "Newt-onisms/Newt-onian," or, "balanced budget amendment" to prove interest and focus.

[5] R. Wimmer and J. Dominick, Mass Media Research: An Introduction (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1994): 165-66. B. Berelson, Content Analysis in Communication Research (New York: Hafner, 1979): 18. For specifically biblical studies, see J. A. Baird, "Content Analysis, Computers and the Scientific Method in Biblical Studies," JBL 95/2 (1976): 255-76, repr. in Perspectives in Religious Studies 4 (Summer 1977): 112-40. This article, however, focuses more on literary correlations, e.g., when audience X is identified, then Jesus tended to say Y. The Society of Biblical Literature sponsors a section on computer analysis of literary texts. C. W. Roberts and R. Popping, "Computer-supported Content Analysis: Some Recent Developments," Social Science Computer Review 11/3 (Fall, 1993): 283-91.

[6] For example, the First Search OCLC WorldCat Catalog, a computerized search of holdings of some 13,000 cooperating libraries world-wide, showed 5,343 items, not including periodical articles, treating or using content analysis.

[7] See, e.g., Th. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed., enl. (Chicago: Univ. Chicago, 1970).

[8] Though theology involves the added fleshly resistance to exploring emotionally-threatening truth, one such being the sense of helplessness in the face of NT commands for communion with God and faith for miracles. On a personal note: when I was in seminary, a conservative Lutheran church history professor, in showing the superiority of preaching to miracle-working, insisted that the Book of Acts devoted "way more" material to the "sermons" than to the miracles. He was using a hermeneutic of emphasis to make his point, which, incidently, was incorrect: miracle stories, 27.2% vs. the speeches, 22.5%.

[9] The Works of Martin Luther (St. Louis: Concordia, 1955-): 35: 361. See the discussion in P. Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther, E.t., R. C. Schultz from the 1963 German edition (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966): 83.

[10] E.g., in Works of Martin Luther, 13a, 942-43.

[11] Though, as Stronstad has pointed out, this was never a problem for the NT writers (Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 10:11; Gal 4; 2 Tim 3:16, "All scripture . . . is useful"). Cited in F. L. Arrington, "Hermeneutics," DPCM, 386.

The problem of deriving normative theology from narrative may well be solved if we understand the concept of mimesis in the NT as well as studies on the rabbi/disciple relationship (didaskalos/mathetes) in which the disciple was not only to learn the verbal and intellectual content of his master, but to physically replicate his actions as well. Discernment of who is an appropriate role mode is clear from the NT texts: Jesus and his disciples, especially as the latter perform in the Book of Acts. Certain deeds are repeated in the text with approval, e.g., presenting the kingdom of God in power, while others may occur once and likely are not offered as acts to emulate, e.g., casting lots for a replacement apostle. A significant part of this mimesis conceptual field is expressed in the commissioning accounts of Jesus to his disciples and of Paul to his own followers. This whole issue has been well covered by C. N. Beard, "Gospel Proclamation in Word and Miracle," M.A. Thesis, Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1992, 23-50: "Ch III: The Transfer of the Mission of Jesus to His Disciples." Also, N. Drazin, A History of Jewish Education from 515 BCE to 220 CE (New York: Arno, 1979), 12, citing yBer. I, 8, 3d; III, 5, 6d; bBer. 24a-b (cf. 38b, 62a); Shab. 12b and 41a.

[12] A theory that has undergone serious challenge by Fee s recent book, God s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, above. The tradition of distorting the NT emphasis on the miraculous is illustrated in the conservative D. Guthrie s 1,056 page New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), which provides not a single reference to in the subject index to the subject. A study by a librarian of the most often used reference works in a major Evangelical seminary library, that of 87,125 pages reviewed, only 288 pages, or 0.33% were devoted to healings, miracles, signs or wonders. Power Healing (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), 9.

[13] It is no accident that the modern roots of content analysis as an academic discipline sprang from the need to set aside intense emotional responses and to understand objectively the intentions of the Nazis from their communications, particularly their offensive propaganda. F. Day, "Content Analysis in Mass Communication," in R. Nafsziger and M. Wilkerson, Journalism Research (New York: Greenwood, 1968), 87.

[14] E.g., the percentage of the exodus story (or, Pentateuch) devoted to the events at Sinai.

[15] To be quite banal, the fact that "God" (i.e., the various names) is mentioned many times certainly indicates an emphasis. But less obviously, what about "son," or, the fourth most frequent noun in the OT, "land"?

[16] Note how Ruth is repeatedly called, "the Moabitess," or "Michal, daughter of Saul" long after they both are introduced. Or the famous, "in our image and in our likeness" (Gen 1:26) and the chiastic: "created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him" (1:27). So, P. J. Stone, An Introduction to the General Inquirer: A Computer System for the Study of Spoken or Written Material (New York: The Similmatics Corp., 1966), 11.

[17] When the New Testament writers condense his ministry into a sentence or two they show Jesus in opposition to the reign of the devil which appeared as demonic possession, sickness, the disruption of nature, or sin: it was "for this purpose that Jesus appeared, to destroy the works of the Devil" (I John 3:8). Peter spelled out the result of Jesus' baptism and gave a summary of Jesus' mission on earth: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, . . . he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him" (Acts 10:38). Summary statements about Jesus' mission abound throughout the text of the Gospels with references to healing and exorcisms: Mk. 1:34//Mt. 8:16//Lk. 4:40-41; Mk. 3:10//Mt. 4:15//Lk. 6:19; Lk. 4:15; Lk. 7:21; Lk. 13:33; Lk. 9:11//Mt. 14:14; Mt. 15:30-31; Mt. 19:2; Mt. 21:14.

[18] See, e.g., K. Krippendorff, Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology (London: Sage Publications, 1980): 13-20.

[19] Eta Linnemann, for example, has used a form of content analysis to undermine some of the basic tenets of higher criticism of the Gospels. Is There a Synoptic Problem ? E.t., R. W. Yarborough (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 182-83.

Jesus,[20] God and Man, ET from the 5th German ed. by L. L. Wilkins and D. A. Priebe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976), 171. Kilian McDonnell, "The Determinative Doctrine of the Holy Spirit," Theology Today 39 (1982): 142-44. James Dunn notes the distance between biblical and traditional formulations of Pneumatology in the article in The Encyclopedia Britannica (1964, vol. II) "which confines its treatment to three subjects-Divinity, Procession and Personality of the Holy Spirit -and seems to assume that no more need be said." "Rediscovering the Spirit," The Expository Times 84/1 (October 1972): 7.

[21] E.g., those by John Owen, Pneumatologia, or A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit wherein an Account Is Given of His Name, Nature, Personality, Dispensation, Operations and Effects (London: J. Darby, 1674), reprinted somewhat disingenuously as The Holy Spirit, His Gifts and Power (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1954). Thomas Goodwin, The Work of the Holy Ghost in Our Salvation (London: John Darby, 1681, reprinted by Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA, 1979). Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit, trans., H. DeVries (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1900, reprinted, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979).

[22] This conclusion derives from an examination of each context of the terms, "ruach/pneuma" in reference to the Spirit of God. By the same method, a number of scholars have reached essentially the same conclusions, e.g ., C. A. Briggs, "The Use of ruach in the Old Testament," JBL 19 (1900): 132-45; W. R. Shoemaker, "The Use of ruach in the Old Testament and of pneuma in the New Testament," JBL 23 (1904): 13-65; E. D. Burton, Galatians ICC, 486-92; E. Schweitzer, et al.,"pneuma," TDNT, 6:332-455; D. Hill, Greek Words and Hebrew Meanings: Studies in the Semantics of Soteriological Terms, SNTS (Cambridge: The University Press, 1968), 202-93. These statistical analyses ground the results of a number of similar studies, beginning as far back as Hermann Gunkel's pioneering work (1909), recently translated, The Effects of the Holy Spirit (Fortress, 1990); E. Schweitzer, et al., "pneuma," TDNT 6:332-454; J. Dunn, NIDNTTh 3:689-707; M.M.B. Turner, "Holy Spirit," Dict. Jesus & Gospels, among many others.

[23] Typical of the classical Evangelical position is Ch. Hodge's Systematic Theology (New York: Scribners, 1871) II, 596-609. Hodge stresses that Christ as "King" in his exalted state rules over all his people "by his power in their protection and direction . . . by his Word and Spirit," but only "providentially." Hodge makes no mention of Christ's bestowal of spiritual gifts or ministries during the exaltation. The Church, not charismatic or other divine activity specifically, is the visible expression of the kingdom in this age (p. 604).

[24] J. G. D. Dunn demonstrates an almost synonymous relationship between the NT concepts of Holy Spirit and Kingdom of God. "Spirit and Kingdom," ExpT 87 (1971): 36-40.

[25] E.g., the survey of current scholarship in A. Buzzard, "The Kingdom of God in the 20th Century Discussion and in the Light of Scripture," EQ 64:4 (1992): 99-115; G.R.Beasley-Murray, "The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus," JETS 35/1 (March 1992): 19-30; Norman Perrin, The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus (London: SCM Press, 1963), 13-160; Rudolph Schnackenburg, God's Rule and Kingdom, 114-17; George Eldon Ladd, The Presence of the Future (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1974), 3-42; James Kallas, The Significance of the SynopticMiracles (Greenwich, CT: Seabury Press, 1961), 103-15; and Alan Richardson, The Miracle Stories of the Gospels (London: SCM Press, 1947), 20-37. Esp. Roy A. Harrisville, "In Search of the Meaning of The Reign of God, " Interp 47/2 (1993): 141-51 who uses, but moves beyond "numerical and syntactical analysis" by "probing for its content." The points above represent the views of these men within certain variations and minor omissions. Similarly, I. H. Marshall, "The Hope of the New Age: The Kingdom of God in the New Testament," Themelios11 (1985): 5-15; H. M. Evans, "Current Exegesis on the Kingdom of God," Perspectives in Religious Studies 14 (1987): 67-77.

[26] See also, Don Williams, Signs, Wonders and the Kingdom of God(Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1989), also B. D. Chilton, God in Strength: Jesus' Announcement of the Kingdom. Studien zum Neuen Testament und seiner Umwelt, B, 1 (Linz: SNTU, 1979); J. Kallas, The Significance of the Synoptic Miracles (Greenwich, CT: Seabury Press, 1961), 10-12. See especially, J. Jeremias, New Testament Theology: The Proclamation of Jesus, trans. John Bowden (New York: Scribners, 1971), 96-97, sec 11, i: "The as the Central Theme of the Public Proclamation of Jesus."

[27] Warfield, in, "Jesus' Mission According to His Own Testimony," PTR 13 (October 1915): 513-86, repr. WBBW II, 255-324, esp. 273 says, " Mighty works were as characteristic a feature of Jesus' ministry as His mighty word itself." But this is qualified a page later: "Jesus' mission is to preach a Gospel, the Gospel of the kingdom of God." The miracles only "accompany" or "seal" his mission as Messiah; they have no intrinsic value other than proofs validating his preaching and Messianic claims. Raymond Brown represents the consensus of modern biblical scholarship when he writes: "Jesus' miracles were not only or primarily external confirmations of his message; rather the miracle was the vehicle of the message. Side by side, word and miraculous deed gave expression to the entrance of God's kingly power into time. This understanding of the miracles as an intrinsic part of revelation, rather than merely an extrinsic criterion, is intimately associated with a theory of revelation where the emphasis on the God who acts is equal to (or even more stressed than) the emphasis on the God who speaks." Jerome Biblical Com., 787. H. vander Loos, The Miracles of Jesus (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1965): 280-86. H. Bavinck, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek, 3rd ed. (Kampen: Bos, 1918): 361. R. Schnackenburg, God's Rule and Kingdom, 121: "Miracle might be called the kingdom of God in action." P. Emile Langevin, "La Signification du Miracle dans le Message du Nouveau Testament," ScE 27 (May-September 1975): 161-86.

[28] Warfield insisted in Counterfeit Miracles (New York: Scribners, 1918), 177-78, that Jesus' healings were an "object lesson" of his "substitutionary work," which made "no promise that this relief [from sickness] is to be realized. . . in this earthly life." Disease is an expression of natural law and as such may not be "suspended in our case." Recent scholarship shows scripture takes the opposite view, e.g., Kallas, The Significance of the Synoptic Miracles (London: SPCK, 1961), chaps. 5 and 6: "The Demonic-Cosmic Motif in the New Testament" and "The Miracles Explained by This Motif," 58-102 and A. Richardson, The Miracle Stories of the Gospels (London: SCM, 1958), Chap. 3: "The Miracles and the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God," 38-58; J. Robinson, The Problem of History in Mark, SBT, First Series, 21 (London: SCM Press, 1957), 34-39; B. Bron describes the mission of Jesus in terms of its "Kampfcharakter" against the slavery of anxiety, sickness and death which was encountering "the inbreaking of the time of salvation and the eschatological new creation." Das Wunder: Das theologische Wunderverstndnis im Horizont des neuzeitlichen Natur- und Geschichtsbegriffs, zweite Auflage (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979), 236-37. "Jesus interprets his exorcisms as the beginning of the end of Satan's reign." R. H. Fuller, Interpreting the Miracles (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1963), 40. W. Kelber, The Kingdom in Mark (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974), 17: "Exorcisms and healings are the two principal approaches used to translate the kingdom program into action. In both cases Jesus intrudes upon enemy territory, challenges and subdues the forces of evil which are in the way of the fulfillment of the kingdom of God." So also, H. C. Kee, "The Terminology of Mark's Exorcism Stories," NTS 14 (January 1968), 232-46 and W. Foerster, "daimon," TDNT 2:19 and W. Schrage, "Heil und Heilung im Neuen Testament," EvTh 43/3 (1986), 197-214, who argues that the New Testament vocabulary of salvation and healing should not be subjected to a false dualism: that healing is a dimension of the eschatological salvation of the reign of God.

[29] "Without miracle the gospel is not gospel but merely word, or rather, words." J. Jervell, "The Signs of an Apostle: Paul's Miracles," in his The Unknown Paul: Essays on Luke-Acts and Early Christian History (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1984), 95. M. H. Miller describes preaching in Luke-Acts as the way to "mediate the word of power which effects the miracles which are constitutive of the kingdom." "The Character of Miracles in Luke-Acts," (Ph.D. dissertation, Berkeley: Graduate Theological Union, 1971), 193. G. Friedrich, TDNT 2, 720, has also noted that for Paul, " is not just speaking and preaching; it is proclamation with full authority and power. Signs and wonders accompany the evangelical message. They belong together." Jervell "Signs of an Apostle," 91: "Miracles assume a quite central role in Paul's preaching, almost to a greater degree than in Acts . . . . He . . . states clearly that miracles occur wherever [italics his] he preaches the gospel. This is in itself self-evident, because miraculous deeds were a part of his proclamation of the gospel, and for Paul, proclamation is inconceivable apart from deeds of power."

[30] Acts 2:33,36; 3:6,16,21; 4:7-13. G. E. Ladd, Jesus and the Kingdom, 268; D. E. H. Whitely, The Theology of St. Paul, 124-25; and G.W.H. Lampe, God as Spirit, 69. See also the important new study by L. O'Reilly, Word and Sign in the Acts of the Apostles: A Study in Lucan Theology. Analecta Gregoriana, vol. 243, B, number 82. (Rome: Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, 1987). Also, J. Marcus, "Entering into the Kingly Power of God," JBL 107, no. 4 (December 1988), 663-75, esp. 674.

The Gospel of John cannot be excluded from this seamless connection of the Spirit's activity in Jesus' earthly ministry and that of the Church (Jn. 7:39; 16:7,17). The "greater works" of those who believe in him can be performed only because Jesus goes to his Father (Jn. 14:12, cf. Acts 2:33, 36b, 38-39). W. F. Lofthouse, "The Holy Spirit in the Acts and the Fourth Gospel," ExT 52 (1940-41), 334-35. A. Richardson, Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament (London: SCM Press, 1958), 64.

The exaltation of Jesus and the resulting outflow of the charismata through his Church must be placed in the context of salvation history. The New Testament conception of the flow of history represents a modification of the fairly simple two-part schema shared by the Old Testament and the rabbis, which divided history into two major parts: this present age (from creation to the coming of the Messiah), and the age to come (from the coming of the Messiah onward). The New Testament saw the two ages as overlapping: the coming of the Messiah, Jesus, inaugurated the time of the Kingdom and Spirit in the opening victories over the kingdom of Satan. Below are diagrams of the Old and New Testament views of history which originated from a Princeton Seminary colleague of Warfield's, Gerhardus Vos.

The first coming of Jesus represented, in Oscar Cullmann's metaphor, "D-Day" the decisive battle (properly at the resurrection) which raged on, with its sufferings, victories and defeats, toward its ultimate victory at "V-Day" (the parousia). Below are diagrams of the Old and New Testament views of history.

The New Testament introduces the overlapping period of the Messianic reign, during which time the Church carries out the final commission by the power of the Spirit sent from the exalted Lord Jesus. The first descending and ascending lines represent the incarnation, inauguration of the Kingdom and ascension of the Messiah Jesus, and the third, his parousia at the end of this present age:

These diagrams are derived from Gerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1930, repr., 1961), 38. The same chart appears in an article by G.E. Ladd, "The Holy Spirit in Galatians," in Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, ed., Gerald F. Hawthorne (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 212. Ladd is "convinced that this scheme represents the core of NT theology." A similar chart appears in M.M.B. Turner, "The Significance of Spirit Endowment for Paul," Vox Evangelica 9 (1975): 56. For discussion on more nuanced rabbinic and early Christian divisions of salvation history, see W.D. Davies, Torah in the Messianic Age and/or the Age to Come (Philadelphia: John Knox, 1952), 50-94. Davies suggests that based on rabbinic analogies, Paul's schema was: 1. The lawless period from Adam to Moses (Rom. 5:12-14); 2. The period of the Law (2 Cor. 3:7ff.); 3. The period of Christ which will last until "the end" ( ). Both Paul and the rabbis see the third period as being the time of the Spirit's outpouring. Also, James Barr, Biblical Words for Time, Studies in Biblical Theology, 33 (London: SCM, 1962).

The New Testament expressly ties the presence of the charismata to the exalted Lordship of Jesus. God, through his exalted Christ in his Church, continues his earthly ministry of deliverance of people "from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13). During his earthly ministry, Jesus promises the Spirit to "those who believe in him" only after he was exalted: "Up to that time the Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified" (Jn. 7:39). Similarly, the Paraclete cannot come until Jesus has gone to the Father (16:7,17). The "greater works" of those who believe in him can be performed only becauseJesus goes to his Father (14:12). Peter continues the same theme in Acts: "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and has poured out what you now see and hear" (2:33). The same Jesus who God has made "both Lord and Christ" now, on the basis of repentance and baptism, will bestow the gift of the Holy Spirit to all (2:36b,38-39). Indeed, in the context of a discussion on spiritual gifts, Paul maintains that no one speaking via the Spirit can confess that "Jesus is [the exalted] Lord," except by his Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3). Paul describes the "body" of Christ, the Church (1 Cor. 12) as being comprised of "members/parts" which represent the various charismatic functions, all working together toward the health and well-being of the whole.

[31] See Wm. Kurz, Following Jesus: A Disciple's Guide to Luke-Acts(Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1984), "Chapter Four: Sharing Jesus' Power for Service," 57-67. Kurz implies in the introduction, 5, that these early commissions in Luke 9 and 10 were intended by Luke to apply beyond the early disciples mentioned there to Luke's readers generally. So also, Williams, Signs, Wonders and the Kingdom of God, 125; C. Kraft, Christianity with Power(Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1989), 136. However, C. Brown, "The Other Half of the Gospel," CT 33 (21 April 1989), 27, argues that because this specific commission was brief and limited to the Jews at that time, that commands to heal and exorcise demons can have no application to the later reader. This is clearly not the pattern in the Book of Acts or in the summary statements of Paul's mission to the Gentiles.

[32] A truly biblical theology of the exaltation depends upon an understanding of the nature of the interim period between the first and second comings of Christ, and its relation to the bestowal of the charismata, which is simply that God, through his exalted Christ in his Church, continues his earthly ministry of deliverance of people "from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13). During his earthly ministry, Jesus promises the Spirit to "those who believe in him" only after he was exalted: "Up to that time the Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified" (Jn. 7:39). Similarly, the Paraclete cannot come until Jesus has gone to the Father (16:7,17). The "greater works" of those who believe in him can be performed only because Jesus goes to his Father (14:12). Peter continues the same theme in Acts: "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and has poured out what you now see and hear" (2:33). The same Jesus who God has made "both Lord and Christ" now, on the basis of repentance and baptism, will bestow the gift of the Holy Spirit to all (2:36b,38-39). Indeed, in the context of a discussion on spiritual gifts, Paul maintains that no one speaking via the Spirit can confess that "Jesus is [the exalted] Lord," except by his Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3). Paul describes the "body" of Christ, the Church (1 Cor. 12) as being comprised of "members/parts" which represent the various charismatic functions, all working together toward the health and well-being of the whole.   "After Easter and Pentecost . . . . both the blessings and powers of the Kingdom were no longer limited to a historical person or place. Jesus was now glorified and had returned in the Spirit (John 14:16-18) to indwell his people. The presence of Christ--and therefore the blessings of the new age--were now available to all believers, regardless of the limitations of time and space." G.E. Ladd, Jesus and the Kingdom (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), 268

[33] The miraculous nature of the term "deed" in the above expression is confirmed in contemporary rabbinic materials according to G. Vermes, Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels(Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973), 78-82. Echoes of these summaries of how Paul "preached" the gospel appear also in other writers, e.g., in Acts 26:17-18 and Heb. 2:4, though in this latter case, as in Gal. 3:5 and 1 Cor. 1:5-8, the "confirmation" of the gospel was God working via a distribution of spiritual gifts in members of the various congregations. F. F. Bruce, "The Spirit in the Letter to the Galatians," Essays on Apostolic Themes (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1985), 37-38.

[34] D. G. McCartney, "Ecce Homo: The Coming of the Kingdom and the Restoration of Human Viceregency," WesJTh 56/1 (1994): 1-21. The exaltation/Spirit theme deserves much greater study from a charismatic point of view. Indeed, a whole section of this paper could have profitably been devoted to an analysis of the so-called "Spirit Christology," in which Jesus-as-prototypederives his power and ministry, not simply from his status as God, as traditional theology would have it, but also from the anointing of the Spirit--coming fully on him, but in the same sense as, and on a continuum with his followers, who receive the Spirit as a "guarantee," as "firstfruits," or as a "taste of the powers of the age to come." Jesus own empowering by the Spirit extends in time into his exaltation, and into the experience of those replicating his life--his disciples. The New Testament expressly ties the presence of the NT charismata to the exalted Lordship of Jesus.

[35] See note 11, above.

[36] The New Testament specifically commands its readers to "seek," "desire earnestly," "rekindle" and "employ" certain "miraculous" charismata (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1, 4, 5, and 39; 2 Tim. 1:6; 1 Pt. 4:10) and implies that their appearance can be suppressed by simple neglect (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 14:39; 1 Th. 5:19-20; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6). On the latter verse, J.N.D. Kelly affirms that "the idea that this grace operates automatically is excluded." The Pastoral Epistles, HNTC (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), 159. He compares this passage with the "quenching" of the Spirit of prophecy in 1 Th. 5:19. Biblical commands, "let us use," "strive to excel [in spiritual gifts]," "desire earnestly," "do not quench," etc., make little sense if the occurrence of the charismata bears no relation to the obedience of these commands.

[37] On repentance, Acts 2:38-39. Repentance, aggressive turning from this present world to enter the kingdom of God and its charismatic blessings, is a strong theme in the teaching of Jesus (e.g., Mt. 13:44-45).

In the synoptic gospels, almost all of the references to faith relate it to the power of God for physical needs, primarily healing. Jesus stresses the need for faith for miracles ("your faith has saved you": Mk. 5:34//Mt. 9:22//Lk. 8:48, cf. 7:50; "made you whole": 17:19; Mk. 10:52// Lk 18:42). The context shows similar connections in Mt. 8:10//Lk 7:9, cf. Jn. 4:46-54; Mk. 2:5//Mt. 9:2; Lk. 5:20; Mt. 15:28, cf. Jn. 11:40. Even for control over the elements Jesus commands faith (Mk. 4:40//Mt. 8:26//Lk. 8:25); even to walk on the water (Mt. 14:31), to uproot mountains and trees by faith (Mk. 11:20-25; Mt. 17:20-21; 21:20-22; Lk. 17:6, cf. 1 Cor. 13:2). In fact, he says, "Everything is possible to those who have faith" (Mk. 9:23)! Conversely, where there is unbelief Jesus does no miracles (Mk. 6:5-6//Mt. 13:58). This commitment is carried on in the apostolic church. The story of the healing of the lame man teaches explicitly that miracles do not derive from apostolic accreditation, but from the power of faith (in this case, that of the lame man) in the exalted Christ (Acts 3:12, 16; cf. 4:9-12; see the similar teaching in 14:9). Paul commands his readers to "prophesy according to your faith" (Rom. 12:6; cf. 12:3; Eph. 4:7,16), and connects the faith of a local congregation, not accreditation of doctrine, with the working of miracles (Gal. 3:5). C. H. Powell, in The Biblical Concept of Power (London: Epworth Press, 1963), 185-86, cites a number of similar examples in Paul and concludes, "Paul has learned that pistis [faith] is the way to God's gifts [of power]."

Scripture offers many other examples relating prayer and the appearance of miracles in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (e.g., Acts 4:30; 4:33; 8:15; 9:40; 28:8. G. W. H. Lampe, "The Holy Spirit in the Writings of St. Luke," Studies in the Gospels, ed. D.E. Nineham (Oxford: Blackwell, 1952), 169. James makes the crucial point that the appearance of miracles is not a function of accrediting prophets, but of righteous, believing and fervent prayer (5:16-17). James points to Elijah as an example for his readers to follow, not a saint to be accredited with miracles. Why cannot this principle be applied to the New Testament figures as well?

[38] Typically, among Evangelicals, the Gospel consists of: "(1) a historical proclamation of the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus, set forth as the fulfillment of prophecy and involving man s responsibility; (2) a theological evaluation of the person of Jesus as both Lord and Christ; (3) a summons to repent and receive the forgiveness of sins." R.H. Mounce, "Gospel," EDTh, 474. Also, R.V. Peirard, "Evangelicalism," EDTh, 379. In the Evangelical "Gospel" there is virtually no mention anywhere of the biblical presentation of the Gospel in the power of signs and wonders or that this same gospel is continued in the church communities. F. Barton, "Substitutionary Atonement and Resurrection Theology," Resurrection93/3 (1990): 8-10.

[39] Peder Borgen, "Miracles of Healing in the New Testament," Studia Theologica 35, no. 2 (1981): 91-106. Donald E. Gowan, "Salvation as Healing," Ex Auditu: An Annual of the Frederick Neumann Symposium on Theological Interpretation of Scripture, Princeton Theological Seminary, 5 (1989), 1-19. Michael Harper, The Healings of Jesus, (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press), 1986. Pierson Parker, "Early Christianity as a Religion of Healing," St. Luke Journal 19 (March 1976): 142-50. Martin H. Scharlemann, Healing and Redemption (St. Louis: Concordia Press, 1965). Klaus Seybold Ulrich B. Müller, Sickness and Healing, ET, Douglas W. Stott from the 1978 German edition (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1981). Daniel J. Simundson, "Health and Healing in the Bible." Word and World 2 (Fall 1982): 330-38. David Stanley, S.J., "Salvation and Healing," The Way 10 (1970): 298-317. John Wilkinson, Health and Healing: Studies in New Testament Principles and Practice (Edinburgh: The Handsel Press), 1980. D. T. Williams, "Salvation and Healing: Towards a Unified Theology," Theologia Evangelica 23 (June 1990): 15-26.

[40] Against this background, even the traditional verse regarding salvation in Romans 1:16 as being "the power (dunamis) of God unto salvation" assumes a more charismatic flavor. Of the 119 NT contexts of dunamis, 65 refer to what the Protestant tradition would designate as "extraordinary" or "miraculous" charismata. Thirty-three of the cases refer to the power of God without clear indication in the immediate context as to the exact way in which the God's power is working. Of the other 21 occurrences of dunamis which do not refer to God's power, 11 cases describe human strength, while 10 cases indicate demonic or spiritual "powers". All of these usages remind us of the way in which the terms (ruach) and (pneuma) are used. The word, dunamis and its cognates, when used of God's power, retains its primary and essential meanings, i.e., super-human and charismatic, especially in contexts relating to spiritual gifts (cf. J. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 209-10).

[41] See the summaries in James M. Lee, ed., Handbook of Faith, particularly the articles by Monika Hellwig, "1. A History of the Concept of Faith," 3-23; Carroll Stuhlmueller, "5. The Biblical View of Faith: A Catholic Perspective," 99-122; James L. Price, Jr., "6. The Biblical View of Faith: A Protestant Perspective," 123-41; Avery Dulles, "The Systematic Theology of Faith: A Catholic Perspective," 142-63; Alexander J. McKelway, "The Systematic Theology of Faith: A Protestant Perspective," 164-202.

[42] J. Calvin, Commentary on I Corinthians , 262. "Chrysostom makes a slightly different distinction, calling it the faith relating to miracles (signorum), and not to Christian teaching (dogmatorum)." C. Hodge develops Calvin's "saving/miraculous" faith distinction in his Commentary on I Corinthians (1857; repr., Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1959), 246-47: "As faith here is mentioned as a gift peculiar to some Christians, it cannot mean saving faith, which is common to all. It is generally supposed to mean the faith of miracles to which our Lord refers, Mt. 17:19,20, and also the apostle in the following chapter, Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, 13:2." Hodge here assumes that "the gift meant is a higher measure of the ordinary grace of faith." Also, A. A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology (New York: Robert Carter and Bros., 1861), 358-59.

[43] ABD II, 753, 755. O. Michel, "Faith," NIDNTT II, 599-600. Leon Morris, however, a classic conservative and anti-charismatic, maintains the traditional distinction even as late as 1993 in "Faith," Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 288.

[44] "In the Synoptic tradition [faith] is used almost exclusively in relation to miracles." R. T. France, "Faith," Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels , 223.  This association is by no means limited to the Gospels.  W. Bodine, "Power Ministry in the Epistles: A Reply to the Evangelical Cessationist Position," The Kingdom and the Power, 197-206.

[45] C. D. Marshall, Faith as a Theme in Mark's Narrative (Cambridge: Camb. Univ. Pr., 1989), 228-40.

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