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The Lexical-Exegetical Defense Jul 2, 2008
Salvation is conditioned upon the evidences of, and the manifestation of, the gifts of the Spirit. And with the exercise of those gifts, believers accrue to themselves additional benefits, of which an increase in faith is the most notable. This is what the charismatic phenomenon believes in their appeal for a 'second blessing' theology.
'Of course, in post-biblical Church history it is true that the term took on an ecclesiastical significance. That is, it is frequently employed to speak of the lesser activity of simply proclaiming God's Word, as when a minister preaches from the Bible. He is said to be acting 'prophetically'. But we must distinguish this post-biblical use of the word from its biblical definition and function.' pg 17
This new edition is primarily updated with a response to counter the claims made by Wayne Grudem, Professor at Trinity, Deerfield Illinois. Gentry's approach to the texts which speak of the foundational offices of the apostles and prophets (Eph 2: 20; Eph 3: 5; Eph 4: 11) is richly supported by exegesis that is thoroughly biblical and has the consensus of church history as strong endorsement to back it up.
Some have unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the divine order through agendas that seek to confuse the apostolic church with our own post-apostolic time. Tied in closely to this, Paul in two specific texts stipulates the divine order as such: 'And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets...' Ephesians 4:11; 'And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets...' 1 Corinthians 12:28.
'Again, were this overly literal hermeneutic employed, Peter could be faulted for a faulty historical statement...' pg 43 Contrary to the exclusively literal hermeneutics of Grudem, we find that Scripture at various places offers differences on a specific historical context: it teaches that Jesus was crucified by the Romans, but also insists that He was crucified by the Jews. The exact same argument applies to the prophecy of Agabus, and there the variation in prophecy and fulfillment. Peter also, referring to Joel 2:28 ('And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions') could be faulted, for here he changes the meaning to 'In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh'. And where Joel stipulated that they would 'prophesy', Luke is at variance with Joel in that those present in the upper room, the Bible says, 'spoke in different tongues'. But Joel did not say they would 'speak in different tongues'. This does, however, support the implicit exegetical argument that tongues did, in fact, function as prophecy.
With the completion of the canon, follows the cessation of the apostles and prophets. Gentry's work is definitive in this regard, and content-specific as few others have been. It should be read by clergy and congregational members alike, as it affords instruction into this subject with a depth and clarity that does justice to the demands of sound, pastoral teaching.
'...partly as an experience designed to meet the church's need for revelational understanding, until the New Covenant Scriptures could be formed, these gifts of revelation at first were in abundant manifestation in the church.' (pg 77) O Palmer Robertson, The Final Word
Gentry's Geneva Perspective Apr 3, 2000
i enjoy reading material from ken gentry because it comes from a worldview that is Biblical. His reformed perspective on the foundation of prophecy as an apostalic gift helps in clarification and edification.