A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance
By Fred Zaspel
The topic of spiritual gifts is always of interest, particularly when the discussion turns to the miraculous gifts and the question of cessationism vs. continuationism. Tom Schreiner was not always a cessationist, but he is now. And he lays out his reasons in his new book. His Spiritual Gifts: What they Are and Why they Matter is not about the “miraculous” gifts only, and he provides a wealth of understanding in his treatment of spiritual gifts more broadly also. But the focus finally becomes the question of cessationism, and he stakes his case on the meaning and significance of the New Testament gifts of prophecy. He argues that this gift is not, as commonly held today, that of speaking for God fallibly. The gift, as in the Old Testament, is marked by infallible revelation. And he argues on the basis of Ephesians 2:20 (et al) that the gift is limited to those early years of the church.
Schreiner’s discussion – a model of Christian engagement in controversial questions, by the way – is somewhat distinctive in its contemporary focus, and as we have come to expect from Schreiner, it is both very well-informed and strikingly clear. It is popular level and easily accessible for all readers, but it is also substantive and a genuine contribution to the discussion. Students of the subject will not want to overlook this resource, and preachers and teachers will find it a gold mine of help in their preparations.
In my interview with Dr. Schreiner, he provides a good taste of what you’ll find in the book – I think you’ll find it profitable. You can check it out here.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Charismatic Movement
Chapter Two: Defining Spiritual Gifts
Chapter Three: Five Truths about Spiritual Gifts
Chapter Four: Five More Truths about Spiritual Gifts
Chapter Five: Questions and Answers
Chapter Six: What Is the Gift of Prophecy?
Chapter Seven: Is New Testament Prophecy Mixed with Error?
Chapter Eight: The Nature of the Gift of Tongues
Chapter Nine: Understanding the Significance of the Gift of Tongues
Chapter Ten: Unconvincing Arguments for Cessation of the Gifts
Chapter Eleven: An Argument for Cessationism
Buy the books
SPIRITUAL GIFTS: WHAT THEY ARE & WHY THEY MATTER, by Thomas R. Schreiner