This book was not at all what I expected. That is not a bad thing because it caused me to think about a concept that is outside my box. However, I must say, right up front, this book is not for everyone. By that I mean if you don’t already have a strong grasp of the Word, and believe it to be totally inerrant, this book is not for you.
Thomas R. Schreiner, the author of Spiritual Gifts, makes a strong case for nuanced (gradual) cessationism (ceasing or stopping) of said gifts. What does that mean? He makes the case that there are some gifts that are no longer necessary to the church and therefore, are no longer given to the members.
Prophecy, speaking in tongues, healing, and miracles are those Mr. Schreiner proposes have passed away. He believes prophecy was needed and necessary while the apostles were alive because the prophets were the foundation of the church. The words they spoke were directly from God. There are no prophets today because Word has been given and all that’s left is the interpretation of it which is the job of those gifted with preaching/teaching.
He makes a very strong case that speaking in tongues, as practiced by those who believe that various and spontaneous utterances constitute this gift, is not what was meant by the Word and is no longer a gift that is needed by the Church. He determines that this gift was actually the supernaturally given ability to speak in the languages of those who would be listening. With the ability to instantly translate any language using cell phones and the internet I would suggest that he’s right on target.
As for miracles and healing, he suggests that people no longer perform in this capacity. Through prayer and confidence in God’s ability to do all, they are accomplished.
In my opinion, these are the types of discussions that Paul warns us against in Titus 3:9. No matter where you stand on this issue let me say with total confidence that God is who He says He is and God can do what He says He can do.
Blessings to you and yours!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B & H Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”