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The Final Word: A Biblical Response to the Case for Tongues and Prophecy Today
by O. Palmer Robertson
Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA: 1997, reprinted.
150 Pages, Paperback
Since the Church of 21st Century Christendom is infatuated with the mystical and mysterious, their attraction to the Charismania which is permeating every corner of the world is expected. However, what should the Christian’s Biblical response be to those who believe they are engaged in the apostolic gifts of special revelation called “tongues” and “prophecy?” What do we say to those who believe these supernatural gifts of revelation are still for today’s church?
Robertson demonstrates that the church has failed to grasp the full meaning of the gifts if they believe in the gifts of tongues and prophecy today. Since that which is far better than both tongues and foretelling the future has been given to the church, why would anyone want to go back to the more beggarly elements of the gifts from apostolic times? Here Robertson meets the Charismatic and explains that the Scriptures are sufficient, and that they are God’s final Word of Revelation to the believer.
For any person to ascribe to the gifts of revelation (tongues, interpretation of tongues, and Foretelling or Prophecy (words of wisdom, knowledge etc.)) they are undermining the necessity and sufficiency of the Bible. Many times the charismatic will appeal to the fact that all their supernatural giftedness must be subject to the Bible. Where does the Bible say this? 1 Corinthians does tell us that the words spoken in these supernatural gifts are under duress of the spirit of the speaker, but to say they are to be subject to eh Word of God places them in a very strange predicament. If they are subject to the Word, and they cannot contradict what the Word says, then why do we still need them? Is not the Word sufficient? If it is not, then what is being heeded to is extra; above and beyond the Word. Here is where the contention lies.
There are 5 chapters in this small, but effective book. They cover “Prophecy Today?,” “Tongues Today?,” “Revelation Today?,” Current Advocacy of the Continuing of Revelation,” and “Conclusion.”
“The origin of the truly prophetic word is not to be found in the subjective experiences of man.”
“Therese four elements are as follows, 1) New Testament tongues were revelational; 2) New Testament tongues were foreign languages; New Testament tongues were for public consumption; New Testament tongues were a sign indicating a radical change in the direction of redemptive history.”
“To say that revelation has ceased because it has come to its end-goal in the person of Jesus Christ does not mean that God has stopped revealing himself in nature and through the works of providence.”