CSFF Blog Tour – The Resurrection by Mike Duran, Day 1

The Resurrection (Strang), the debut novel by friend and blogger extraordinaire Mike Duran, is this month’s CSFF Blog Tour feature. As you might guess by the title, this one falls in the supernatural category.

Which brings up some interesting questions, much as Frank Peretti‘s This Present Darkness did years ago. The premise of that book might be, Spiritual warfare is real and far more influential in the daily affairs of men than most people realize.

The Resurrection doesn’t camp on the warfare side of the supernatural but more on its actual existence and the varying reactions of believers and skeptics to an indisputable miracle.

Bringing me back to those interesting questions. Do miracles happen today? Are demons real? Do they work through people? inhabit people? And what about the “ecstatic gifts of the Spirit” — speaking in tongues, prophesying, and such?

I come from a branch of evangelical Christianity that says those kinds of gifts “ceased” after the first church. The thinking is that once the Bible was completed, there was no need for God to speak via visions and prophetic utterances. I’m not clear why this included tongues and the interpretation, which seems more an expression of praise, though there is also instruction about it’s use indicating that edification of the church is part of its function.

The thing is, the Bible which these evangelicals hold to be authoritative, gives these instructions for proper inclusion of “ecstatic gifts” in the worship service. I asked a friend once what Scripture supports the secession idea. She named I Corinthians 13:8-10 that speaks of tongues ceasing and prophecy being incomplete. The capper is “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away” (v. 10). The thinking is that “the perfect” refers to the Bible.

I find that to be a stretch. How could you call the Bible “perfect” if it contains chapters of instruction about the use of gifts that have ceased? Further, Paul goes on to say that now we see through a glass darkly, “but then face to face, now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known” (v. 12b).

I don’t think the Bible, though inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and complete, lets me know God or the things of God as I am known by God. There’s still the “glass darkly” part of now.

And finally, I’ve been taught not to interpret Scripture based on an unclear passage. It is unclear, to me at least, that the “perfect” mentioned in verse ten actually means the Bible. On the other hand, it is abundantly clear in I Corinthians that Paul is giving instructions for the use of “ecstatic” spiritual gifts in the church.

Interestingly, it seems that “ecstatic gifts” has become somewhat of a dividing line among evangelicals, in part because we tend toward all or nothing positions. I’ll freely admit, I believe God has not brought an end to these gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe He can heal. I believe He can give discernment, prophecy, tongues, or visions.

At the same time, I believe a lot of false teaching and fakery can stem from those who claim to have spiritual gifts when in fact they do not. I also believe Satan can imitate these gifts (think of Pharaoh’s magicians turning staffs into snakes and water into blood or the witch of Endor actually calling up Samuel’s spirit from the dead).

Where does that leave me? Believing and skeptical. What about you? What would your reaction be if you went to a funeral and the person in the coffin sat up?

See what CSFF tour participants have to say about this topic and the book itself. A check mark in front of a name links you to a specific article that has been posted.

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 11:18 am  Comments (23)  
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