About

This blog is a conglomeration of the thoughts of both Marvin Cotten and Scott Lencke, while we will also look to draw in articles and thoughts from various contributors.

The purpose of To Be Continued is to put forth a biblical, theological and historical case for continuationism.

What is continuationism, you may ask?

There are varying beliefs within continuationism, but mainly it is the belief that all spiritual gifts are still available today, even things like prophecy, tongues, miracles and healings. When hearing this word, many might think of Pentecostal, charismatic or Third Wave church groups. Such is fine. We have simply decided to use the more theologically accurate word of today – continuationism.

This belief is the opposite of what is known as cessationism. As with continuationism, there are varying beliefs within the cessationist framework. But, as a whole, most cessationists believe that certain gifts of the Spirit ceased with the death of John, the apostle, and with the completion of what became the New Testament Scriptures. Some more ‘soft’ cessationists hold that all spiritual gifts are available today, but the ‘sign gifts’ (i.e. tongues, miracles, healings and even prophecy) are not to be normatively expected.

Therefore, To Be Continued is here to put forth a biblical, theological and historical case for continuationism – the continuance of all gifts of the Spirit, including prophecy, tongues, healings and miracles. The articles we post will be along the lines of these various areas:

  1. Expositional-exegetical commentary on particular and relevant Bible passages.
  2. Theological considerations on varying topics related to the issues of continuationism and cessationism.
  3. Interacting with cessationist arguments.
  4. Drawing in various articles from other continuationists.
  5. Sharing solid theological resources for continuationism.
  6. Book reviews from both the continuationist and cessationist view.
  7. Sharing our own personal stories and reflections on the work of the Spirit, as well as other people’s stories.

To read more about the authors – Marv and Scott – click on our Authors page.

You can also visit Marv’s personal blog (Asphaleia) and Scott’s personal blog (The Prodigal Thought).

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13 responses to “About

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  4. Gentlemen,

    My name is Tim Snell. I am a pastor in Wisconsin. I grew up in cessationists churches (my Dad was also a pastor.) As an adult I embraced the broader role of the Spirit and my wife and I founded a ministry to help Pastors who are exploring the subject have a safe place for discussing and for helping them transition. At the same time, we have been disheartened by some of the shallower teaching within the broader charismatic movement regarding this subject. You are a breath of fresh air!

    I say that to ask two things:
    1. Can I put a link to your site on our website?
    2. Can I copy/use any of your articles in the e-newsletter we put out to Pastors? Please email me. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

    Tim Snell

  5. Tim –

    For me, yes to both questions.

    Thanks for the comment.

  6. I see from the blogroll (and Scott’s Seminary) that there is an appreciation for Reformed theology, yet also the more progressive and open thoughts of the Internet Monk and Scot McKnight. We have similar tastes. I wouldn’t call myself Reformed any longer – I called myself Reformed Charismatic about 15 years ago – but do have an appreciation and still follow up with a lot of Reformed theological thinking and blogs. The last few years I’ve been working on my charismatic side and have been impacted by people like Bill Johnson and Andrew Wommack. I attend Joseph Prince’s church in Singapore.

    I think it’s one thing to be non-cessationist and continuationist – John Piper is that. And even the Sovereign Grace Ministries (I followed them when they were PDI) are that. But both seem to be more “cautious” than open and practicing charismatics/continuationists. I think one of the main reason for many churches being non-cessationist yet still functioning like cessationists is that there are few good biblical charismatic models – in terms of teachings and practice. So many non-cessationists say, “I’m non-cessationist but I’m not like those extreme charismatic guys over there. That’s going a bit too far…”

  7. Jonathan –

    Thanks for the comment. As for your concern of why churches are non-cessationist yet function somewhat like cessationist churches – I suppose, for me, it seems more of a practical problem. Some of the people/church groups you mentioned (Sovereign Grace, John Piper, etc) are part of larger churches. The larger a church is, the harder it gets to ‘administrate’ the practical reality of the gifts of the Spirit.

    How do you allow Joe Smith on row 17 to prophesy in front of 500 (or more) people? It’s easier to weigh things in a smaller context. And I think this is why a lot of churches encourage the gifts mainly in small group settings, rather than Sunday morning gatherings. But I think that is not the best goal, especially noting the words of Paul in 1 Cor 14:26 about how to do things in their ‘main’ gatherings. The gifts are to be utilised in larger gatherings, smaller gatherings, with believers, amongst non-believers, etc.

    Thanks again. Hope to see you around here in the future.

  8. Hi Scott,

    Yes, I think what you said is one important reason too. However, I think most of such churches also don’t place much importance upon the gifts, etc., and they’d probably be the first to admit it and be proud of the fact that they are non-cessationist, yet not wanting to put too much focus on it. They end up not teaching on it much and so you don’t get many people moving in it – even in small groups. Cheers!

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  10. question: if the gifts are for today, how do they come about?

    • Hello Mickey –

      Sorry for the delayed response. Your comment went into moderation. With the question – How do they come about? – I suppose you are asking how do we function in these.

      I think there are a few things to consider:

      1) Seeking God’s work through the power of the Spirit – that’s what we are exhorted to do in 1 Cor 14:1. Early on in Acts, the group of disciples were together, with one major activity being that of prayer. Though I am still very convinced God can move how and when he says, I do believe we are called to seek.

      2) Learn & become aware. There are too many people that aren’t very clear on these gifts – what they are, what they look like, etc. Study – not just for a puffed up head, but for a full heart after God. Currently I’m reading a book on healthy and graceful communication. This stirs me to want to be a faithful and responsible communicator. The same with the gifts of the Spirit.

      3) We need to do this in community. Very rarely is this an individual situation in Scripture. And even when it is, the people of God were called to discern this in the midst of the community of God’s people.

      I think those are some good places to start.

      • So the gifts don’t come about automatically when one is converted?

      • Mickey –

        I think there is somewhat of a misnomer with our western ideas about God’s giftings. We tend to view them as abstract “things” that we are to unearth from deep within – people even find out what gifts they have through spiritual gift surveys. I’m happy to believe the Spirit gives varying deposits to varying people. But we must remember these gifts are services/ministries – meaning these gifts are ultimately functions & serving ministries. I think we can grow in our giftings and be better equipped to serve. But are they “automatic” – well, they are in the sense of the empowering of the Spirit. But I won’t limit you or I to 3 or 4 as “our giftings”. I don’t doubt that I function much in teacher, leading, serving, and maybe others. But the Spirit works as he wills and we need to seek him, grow in our awareness of these giftings, and stay connected to community to see our growth in these gifts. I hope these thoughts help some.

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