Item description for To Be Continued?: Are the Miraculous Gifts for Today? by Samuel E. Waldron...
Overview Tongues! Signs! Wonders! Are they operative in the church today? Samuel E. Waldron builds a systematic case for the complete cessation of the miraculous gifts as well as the offices of apostle and prophet. Building an insurmountable argument step by step, he shows that the Bible is quite clear on this issue. If you are struggling to come to grips with what the Bible says on this most important and oftentimes confusing topic, then this book is essential reading
Publishers Description Tongues Signs Wonders Are they operative in the church today? Samuel E. Waldron builds a systematic case for the complete cessation of the miraculous gifts as well as the offices of apostle and prophet. Building an insurmountable argument step by step, he shows that the Bible is quite clear on this issue. If you are struggling to come to grips with what the Bible says on this most important and oftentimes confusing topic, then this book is essential reading.
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Studio: Calvary Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.86" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.26" Weight: 0.37 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2005
Publisher Calvary Press
ISBN 1879737582 ISBN13 9781879737587
Availability 0 units.
More About Samuel E. Waldron
Sam Waldron Samuel E. Waldron (born 1951) is a Reformed Baptist and professor of Systematic Theology at Midwest Center for Theological Studies (MCTS). In addition to teaching at MCTS, he is a pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky.Waldron received a B.A. from Cornerstone University (1973), an M.Div. equivalency from Trinity Ministerial Academy, a Th.M. from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (1987) and a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005. From 1977 to 2001 he was a pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids.
Samuel E. Waldron currently resides in Owensboro. Samuel E. Waldron was born in 1951.
Reviews - What do customers think about To Be Continued?: Are the Miraculous Gifts for Today??
Beating a dead horse? Mar 25, 2008
I bought this book since I wanted to comprehend why so many from the Reformed camp have a continuous go at the practices of Tongues and Miracles within the church.
From the beginning of the book, Waldron informs the reader that he will use the cascade argument, but after the first cascade, apostles, this cascade is more or less forced to fall down by creating a straw man.
In page 15 of chapter one, Waldron introduces the idea that miraculous gifts will cease after the apostles and prophets disappear from the picture. I am yet to be given a biblical verse that tells me that such gifts as tongues, are different from say, serving (Rom. 12:7), contributing, encouraging, showing mercy, etc found in the following verse. I find that Cessacionists are doing the same mistake that some Pentecostals and the Corinthians make, elevating some gifts over others. Paul goes to great pain in stating that ALL gifts have the same source, and therefore, are weighed equally, I Cor. 12:4-6 and the rest of the chapter tells us of that. Therefore, just because tongues and miracles are extraordinary gifts to some, they are no less spiritual than the gift of helping or administration, I Cor. 12:28.
Unless the Cessasionists are willing to concede that the gifts mentioned by Paul, are ALL given miracleously by God, then the real cascade argument would be to accept that those gifts that are not extraordinary, are not to be expected today. But of course, to this, this and other cessasionist books stay away from.
First chapter, the source of the cascade seems to have gotten stock somewhere in Scripture.
Chapter two, on the Apostles, I was enjoying the reading until pg. 27, where Waldron cuts down Scripture, and only wants to include certain requirements of apostleship, while denying that the one to replace Judas, had to have been with them, the apostles, during Jesus' life before the cross, Acts 1:22. This, it seems to me, is done in order to justify Paul's calling, but not even Paul tries use that to justify it, but rather acknowledges his untimely call as an apostle, I Cor. 15:8. Waldron quotes II Cor. 12:12 to show that Paul performed signs and wonders and miracles", and that's a true sing of an apostle. But Paul admits that he didn't speak tongues among the Corinthians, I Cor. 14:18. If, like Waldron contends, tongues and manifestation of that like confirms apostleship, then Paul's is not a complete apostleship, if Waldron's view is followed. Over all, a good chapter to read, and even Waldron realizes that most of us who believe in tongues and miracles today, do not necessarily attach our selves to apostles today, and Chapter 3 makes another good point.
In chapter 3, Waldron quotes Paul in I Cor. 15:9, as Paul being the last apostle. I find my self-quoting such a verse in the face of many people claiming to be apostles today. However, as with Waldron, we see that the ministry of apostleship is continued in Scripture, therefore, in a different form, the gift is continuing with us.
Chapter four introduces the argument of no continuing prophets today, by introducing the concept and ministry of the Old Testament prophet. Again, a good overlook of that office in the Old Testament. The only peculiarity that I found is his rejection of how Jesus makes the Old Testament into a three fold book, as Jesus did in Luke 24:27. Although the "Writings" may be referred in such a verse, which is most likely, Waldron seems to wish to emphasize the prophets over all, since he is talking about them.
It's in chapter 5 that Waldron makes, in my view, a big mistake in equating the office of prophet, with the gift of prophecy. The gift of prophecy, Waldron rightly says that provides a "partial character of the knowledge conveyed through the fit of prophecy", pg. 64. This, I think is what Paul is doing in defining the threefold function of the gift of prophecy, I Cor. 14:3. Waldron wishes to equate this type of prophecy, which is not at all doctrinal, but rather, practical, to the office of the prophet, as in the case of John or Paul, which if we take I Cor. 15, or I and II Thes., then he too could be considered to be a prophet. If I Cor. 14:3 is something to go by, this type of prophecy is to be given to the local church, and to present needs. This is even made more clear in I Cor. 14:24, where prophecy is used as a way to reveal the secrets of the unbeliever's heart. On page 68, Waldron touches the point that New Testament prophecy is to be considered as with the same authority as Old Testament Prophecy. To this, I can answer with a big yes. However, my yes is to the prophetic office, but can we attach this to the local gift of prophecy? Of course not, the gift is to be used in a threefold manner within the local church. Therefore, the utterances of such prophecies will not bind the church at all places at all times. I would be scandalize if a local person with the gift of prophecy would stand up and prophesy that Jesus is coming tomorrow. This is not his or her office, but only those within the office of the prophet, who had the authority to prophesy for the whole church. One lst comment, Waldron quotes and gives us an endnote on page 69, endnote 15, but it's nowhere to be found. This may be a publishing error.
Chapter 6, I enjoyed reading it, however, my issue is that only Agabus is mentioned as a prophet in the church. Prophets, along with teachers, are mentioned in Acts 13:1. I see again, that in Acts 21:9, that four young women prophesied. Notice, these last ones are not called "prophets", but are said to prophesy. I don't think that Waldron has studied all the data in order to arrive at such dogmatic conclusions.
Chapter 7, finally arrives at the crux of the issue. Tongues. With Waldron, I agree that in Acts 2 we see that the disciples spoke in other tongues, however, we don't see people understanding in Acts 10:46 or 19:6. The Biblical witness does not tells us that. Waldron continues to say that in I Cor. 13:1, Paul is speaking hyperbole, and he conclusion is based that angels have no bodies, no tongues, and therefore, no spoken language, pg. 86. All of that is true, however, we see that Michael, a spiritual being with no body, tongue and language, talk to Satan, another spiritual being, with no body, tongue or language, Jude 1:9. Again, when dealing with I Cor. 14:2, Waldron thinks we are dealing with some sort of rhetorical question, but he only cites half the verse, where we are clearly told that no one understands the one speaking in tongues, since he is uttering mysteries. But were all tongues human languages? Well, I speak Spanish, English and German, but if I don't pray in any of those, I don't think that whatever comes out of my mouth would, as Paul says in I Cor. 14:14, I will feel I understand. The power of the spirit must be present for my spirit to pray, or else what comes out of my mouth is pure gibberish. I am with Waldron on two points. In page 88, he sees that the gifts such as these, were for the edification of the assembly. In the same page, he also mentions the lack of following the rules of speaking in tongues within the congregation found in I Cor. 14. However, I am not ordination of women, but Waldron goes at great length explaining that women are not allowed to prophesy within the congregation. This I find weird, for not finding another word, since if we take what Waldron just said, that the gift of prophecy is a gift to be used for the edification of the assembly, assuming then that all prophecies are given in the congregation, Waldron suddenly makes, in my view, Paul contradict himself by citing I Cor. 14:34-35. There, women are not allowed to "laleo", but Paul allows them to "profeteoo" in I Cor. 11:5. I find this most contradictory, but that's what happens when an agenda is followed. Of most interest would be Acts 2, where all the disciples started to speak in tongues, and no one was kept quiet because they were of a different gender. I believe that women who speak at a church gathering are the targets of Paul's prohibition, and not those who are exercising either the gift of prophecy or tongues. If those gifts are exclusively meant for women to be used outside the assembly, then we need a verse that tells us that. I would like to end up this section, by mentioning that it really shocks me to see that Waldron dismisses Mark 16:17, cf. pg. 92, on similar basis as liberals dismiss II Timothy, Colossians and the other passages where women are told to submit to husbands, etc. If Waldron is willing to give in in that point, well, he shouldn't then critic the liberals for doing that very same thing.
Chapter 8, Waldron finishes his cascade argument, which has seem to me more like a rapid, going to many places, yet, not finding a straight path. I enjoy the chapter, but I see that Waldron just transfers the cessationist argument against tongues which uses I Cor. 13:10, to miracles, cf. pg. 102. The canon is not closed, therefore, no more miracles. Again, Mark 16:17-18 does not tell us that the tongues and miracles will end with the closing of the canon. Point taken, we only see Paul picking up a snake and not being killed after being beaten, and we don't see any example of anyone drinking poison and not dying. But as I have mentioned before, we can't pick and choose what we want from scripture, as we can't pick and choose which gifts are working today, and which gifts are not.
The Conclusion, chapter 9, gives a very good sermon outline!!! But I would ask my self if a first century Christian, with miracles and tongues surrounding him or her, would come to the conclusions that Waldron reaches. I think that with Waldron, our first century Christian, would affirm that Scripture is the ultimate authority to have eternal life, but why do tongues and miracles to be rejected, since they are also given by the Lord, and most of all, found in Scripture? I guess our first century Christian, would not come to the same conclusion as Waldron.
The book has really strengthen me in my belief that cessationist is not a good biblical option, since it leaves a lot of Scripture out, dismissing it as not part of the original, as in the case of Mark 16:9 to the end, or by not taking into consideration the whole of Scripture. Nevertheless, Waldron is to be commended. He has given a good and gracious critique of Continuatism. I have even bought another book by Waldron, "A Modern Exposition. The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith". However, this book, Waldron leaves too much to be desired. I understand that the book has been written for non-technical believers, but as a seminary trained theologian, I guess I was looking for a more solid take on the issue.
For Improved Prayer Life and Drama in Life, Practice Cessationism and Witness to Others Jan 25, 2008
This is one of the most excellent books on the topic of the miraculous gifts in the Bible. It is a concise book (~100 pages) and an easy one to read. I have read number of books and articles on this and related topics as I was involved for longer time with a Charismatic/ Pentecostal church that eventually moved towards the Third Wave and the Signs & Wonders movement, and this is one of the key books that helped me clearly understand this important Biblical topic. I recommend it to Continuationists who are open-minded to examine their own views, as well as Cessationists who like to be able to better understand and defend their view. Finally, I would most highly recommend this book to busy pastors, or ones who are "open but cautious", and any others who may be considering becoming Continuationists, and want to learn more about its Biblical claims.
Dr. Samuel E Waldron does a superb job of covering the key Biblical verses showing clearly and beyond a reasonable doubt how going from the most important miraculous gift of Apostles, to prophets, to tongues, to workers of miracles (including healing workers), all have ceased after the time of the 1st century Apostles of Christ. It is interesting that he states that most Continuationists are Cessationists when it comes to the first gift, the gift of Apostles (big "A", Apostles to Christ). Furthermore, he answers most of the typical objections given by Continuationists, including Scripture misunderstandings, such as the view that New Testament (NT) prophets don't have to be 100% accurate in their prophecies. This is the most amazing and very spiritually damaging view for the body of Christ and it is supported by such moderates as Wayne Grudem. The 100% accuracy rule (Deut 18:21-22) was given for our protection, and it is easy to see how false prophets have created many spin-offs to the Biblically accurate Christian faith. By supporting the removal of the 100% accuracy rule for prophecies, leaders like Wayne Grudem, possibly without fully realizing it, are opening a Pandora's box of problems. Why? Why not accept the Bible as sufficient; just as it itself claims to be (2 Tim 3:16-17)?
This leads me to the final point, and that is the emotional arguments or objections that Continuationists raise. Having been in that camp, I can tell you that these are very popular. Dr. Waldron addresses number of these at the very end of the book via the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) - "...They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them...". In my experience, many become Continuationists, because of emotional arguments, such as: we want "more power from God", improved or "deeper" prayer life, increased zeal and joy, more drama in life (as Dr. J.P. Moreland, a well-known Charismatic leader has stated) and similar claims. The problem is that they are looking for God in all the wrong places, as Hank Hanegraaff puts it well in his book: Counterfeit Revival - this one covers the more extreme cases of this movement, while Dr. Walton covers the teachings of moderate Continuationists, such as Wayne Grudem, C.J. Mahaney, and John Piper, and that makes his work a particularly strong and helpful resource.
What helped me get out of the maze of these emotional arguments was to turn to Scripture and particularly those sections that we never studied in our Charismatic circles (ex. testing miracles to see if they are from God or counterfeit), then study it seriously, and apply it to my life. In order to solve the emotional arguments that Continuationists bring forth, but in a Biblical way, I suggest that you consider repenting from your sins and turning to God, then putting your full trust in Jesus Christ and his word (the Bible). Let God's Word transform you. Once you do that, you will have zeal to help others and share your faith. Witnessing to others will improve your prayer life, bring more joy, and much more drama than any modern-day "prophet" or "healing service"! Just try speaking to others about sin, self-control, and judgment of God to come (i.e. Hell) as Paul did (Acts 24:25), then preach repentance from sins as Jesus did ("...The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" - Mark 1:15) and just like the rest of the Bible does.
For other excellent resources on Cessationism, see "Signs and Wonders: Healings, Miracles, and Unusual Events : Which Are Real? Which Are Supernormal? Which Are Counterfeit?" by Dr. Norman Geisler and Miracles Around Us: How to Recognize God at Work Today by Ron Rhodes. Also, you may like to consider using Dr. Geisler's Systematic Theology works (Systematic Theology, Vol. 1: Introduction/Bible and the other 3 volumes) instead of Dr. Grudem's Systematic Theology.
Finally, to learn how to share your faith and how to do it regularly - see: The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (The Way of the Master), as well as Thanks a Million! An Adventure in biblical evangelism (Thanks a Million!) by the same authors from the Way of the Master ministry.
To Be Continued? . . . Aug 15, 2007
The previous two reviewers did an excellent job summarizing the purpose, content, and line of argumentation of the book. Therefore, I will not belabor those points. Dr. Waldron uses the cascade argument quite effectively to prove his main point: the miraculous gifts ceased with the end of the apostolic age and close of the biblical canon.
In this review, I want to stress the importance and usefulness of the book. I am concerned about the growing influx of the charismatic movement in evangelical theology, especially in light of the "third wave" theology promoted by some evangelical pastors and scholars. My concern becomes particularly acute as I see the charismatic movement making inroads in my own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. I believe the charismatic movement has a divisive influence when it penetrates local churches and denominations that are not historically charismatic. I can name local churches that are right now being torn apart over divisions caused by members who adopt charismatic beliefs and practices.
The main problem is that too many evangelical pastors and theologians have never wrestled with the main claims of the charismatics. Thus, they do not have a clear response when their fellow pastors and parishoners begin to dabble with charismatic theology. These pastors and theologians tend to "ride the fence" when asked about these issues. Many of them may have a gut-level feeling that the movement is wrong, but they do not have a good biblical foundation to support their feelings.
Dr. Waldron has provided a valuable solution to the problem. "To Be Continued?" is a brief, effective treatise that provides evangelicals with a firm biblical foundation to respond to the charismatic movement. This book helps us to become clear-headed in our thinking in this area. It is also written in a style that is accessible to the layman and brief enough that it can be read in one sitting. (I took this book with me on vacation, settled down in a lawn chair, and finished it in a couple of hours.)
I especially liked two things about this book. First, his handling of the question of modern-day Apostles is devastating to the opposition. He proves beyond any doubt that there can be no "big A" Apostles after the close of the biblical canon. Therefore, the third wave movement and its relatives are destroyed at the foundation. Second, he ends the book on a very inspiring note. Chapter 9, "Has the Glory Departed?" provides an excellent discussion of one of the parables of Jesus. Dr. Waldron leaves no doubt: the glory has not departed! even if the miraculous gifts have ceased.
I commend this book to any evangelicals who wish to think more clearly and more biblically about the charismatic movement. I especially commend it to those pastors and churches who are even now being divided by charismatic influences.
Very well done Apr 24, 2006
There are few subjects more debated and more hotly debated in the church today than whether or not the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to this day. We have recently seen a great deal of discussion about this issue in the blogosphere. It is an issue which leaves many believers confused, unsure as to what they believe and what they should believe. Cessationists, who believe that the miraculous gifts have ceased, often point to the excesses of the charismatic movement as proof that God surely could not stand behind such manifestations of His Spirit. Many continuationists, who believe the gifts continue to be poured out on the church, suggest that it is unfair to rely on the extremes of the movement and point instead to the more biblical, moderate charismatics, among whom are often cited Sam Storms, John Piper, Wayne Grudem and C.J. Mahaney.
In an attempt to bring clarity to this issue I recently conducted interviews with Dr. Wayne Grudem and Dr. Sam Waldron. Dr. Waldron discussed a defense of cessationism he outlined in his new book To Be Continued.
Dr. Waldron's argument is simple. If it can be proven that the gift of Apostle is no longer operative in the church today, and this is something that even many continuationists believe, that provides the opportunity to discuss the possibility that other gifts have also ceased. And so he argues from the greater to the lesser. If the gift of Apostle has ceased, so too can it be proven that the other miraculous gifts have ceased - gifts that include speaking in tongues, miracle working and prophecy. His argument naturally cascades from one point to the next.
This is how Dr. Waldron summarized the argument of his book during the interview I conducted with him:
That we must begin as cessationists with what is most clear in Scripture and it is also admitted by many continuationists, and that is that there are no longer "big A" Apostles, or what I might call, strictly speaking, Apostles of Christ or the church. But what I argue is that that is a great or even fatal admission for continuationists to make, and it is also something that's made plain in the Scriptures. If there are no Apostles of Christ that creates the precedent for saying that, at least in certain respects, the apostolic period and the church today are distinctly different because the absence of Apostles of Christ is a great difference between the apostolic period and today. The first gift, the most important gift, is now missing in the church. I think that exposes a fundamental flaw in continuationist argument and in the mockery of cessationism that you meet in some circles.
Then I argue that if Apostles are no longer in the church that creates a precedent for discussing the issue of whether prophets are in the church. And then I bring, on the basis of the absence of the Apostolic gift, arguments for the absence of the prophetic gift. And then on the basis of those two things I argue that tongues-speaking was a form of prophecy and on the basis of the precedent set by the absence of Apostles and prophets, we may also argue the absence of tongues-speakers. And with those three arguments set and clear I then proceed to say that we can also argue that miracle workers are no longer given to the church. And therefore you have a kind of cascade from Apostles to prophets to tongues-speakers to miracle workers.
I found Dr. Waldron's argument both compelling and forceful. It is infused with Scripture and whether a person agrees or disagrees with it, he will not be able to say that the author has not attempted to be faithful to Scripture. Finally, the book is generous. Dr. Waldron does not argue against worst-case scenarios and does not argue against some of the more bizarre and patently-unbiblical manifestations of the charismatic movement. Instead he seeks to answer the Grudems and Pipers - moderate charismatics who are known more for their love of and respect for Scripture than for believing in the continuing gifts.
It is telling that this book is endorsed by such notable cessationists as John MacArthur, Tom Nettles, and Al Mohler. This is clearly a book that cessationists feel puts forth a convincing argument.
To Be Continued is quite a short book and one does not require a degree in theology to read and understand it. It is adequately supported by Scripture and not merely theological but also deeply practical. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to understand whether or not the miraculous gifts continue to be operative in the church today.
Gets right to the point!! Short and sweet... Jan 13, 2006
In "To Be Continued" Sam Waldron presents an excellent case for the cessation of the New Testament miracle gifts. And not only does he present a compelling case, but he does so from a reformed perspective. Contrary to other works on the subject, Waldron builds his case on the foundation of the Apostles. In other words, if there are no Apostles alive today, then there is no prophecy, no miracle-workers, and no tongue speaking.
The first few chapters dealt with the issue of the Apostles. Waldron brilliantly demonstrated that there can be no Apostles alive today. He did this in a number of ways;
1. The church was founded upon the apostles 2. Apostles were eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ 3. The Apostles were chosen personally by Christ
These were a few of the many criteria that Waldron based his claim on. There is no way any man today can claim to be an Apostle because he simply would not be able to fulfill these claims.
Another interesting concept was modern-day prophecy. Are there prophets alive today? Is God still giving divine revelation? These questions and many more were answered by Waldron as he refuted many of the latest objections to the cessation of modern prophecy. Personally, I've encountered more than a few alleged modern prophecies. And I can now say with certainty that these were false prophets. How do I know? Because if even one prophecy is found to be false, then the prophet is false. This is the one area of Pentecostalism that I find most disturbing. When anyone claims a "thus saith the Lord" they are claiming that the Bible is not complete and sufficient. They may not claim this or agree, but there is no way else to put it. Does the Bible not contain all the revelation and prophecy that we will ever need to live our lives? 2 Timothy 3:16-17 seem to say so! So why are Pentecostals continuing to give modern prophecy? Why isn't the Word of God enough?
One thing that I found to be extremely helpful was the discussion of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. Until I read Waldron's work, I used this passage as evidence that prophecy and tongues had ceased with the completion of the canon ("that which is perfect"). I was honestly awestruck to find that Waldron didn't agree with this interpretation. He claimed that both the cessationists and continuationists were wrong. The passage had nothing to do with the gifts themselves, but rather the knowledge that was given through the gifts. But fortunately, the case against continuationism is so compelling that we are not dependent on such passages to refute the assertions of Pentecostals.
Overall, I found Waldron's work to be short and to the point. It wasn't filled with hundreds of quotes and long discussions. In fact, "To Be Continued" is only a little over a hundred pages long. But the discussions were very in depth. However, I feel that Waldron should have made a slightly lengthier book simply because it wasn't as enjoyable to read as I had hoped. However, I gained much insight and I highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking to understand more about this important topic that is pervading the church today.