Max Turner’s “The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts”

Posted: February 19, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Pentecost, Pentecostal/Charismatic Interests

This isn’t a review per se, but rather some of my thoughts on a single citation from Turner’s volume.

Turner, M. (1998) The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts in the New Testament and Today. Hendrickson: Peabody, MA.

The nature of the gift of the Spirit which Peter promises to all who call on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:38,39)- even to the hearers’ children’s children- is a Christianized version of Joel’s promise of the ‘Spirit of prophecy’. Prototypical to thus are gifts of revelation, wisdom, prophecy and charismatic praise. It would quite literally be nonsense to suggest the writer of Luke-Acts anticipated the cessation of these: if indeed they ceased, such a state of affairs could only have come as a considerable surprise to him. It would inevitably have seemed like a failure at the very heart of what Joel’s promise of the Spirit was all about (Turner 1998:298).

For those who advocate a cessationist position, it hardly seems plausible that Peter had in mind that the promises of Joel would only be fulfilled for his lifetime. Some would contend that Peter did not view Pentecost as the fulfillment of Joel’s promise and the initiating of the last days, but rather a foretaste of what God will do in some future millennial period with ethnic Israel. This seems very unlikely considering that Peter extends the very promise evidenced in Pentecost to the audience, their children, and those who were afar off, everyone that the Lord should call. The promise was rooted in Joel and extended to all. One could neither say that Peter had in mind a soteriological work of the Spirit that would be devoid of the promised manifestations in Joel, which would apparently cease after the death of he and his Apostolic colleagues (as is popularly espoused by cessationist theologians).

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