I’d also encourage you to read my answers to questions and comments in Part II. We cover a lot of ground that’s not in the posts. And I answer objections.
That said, let me repeat three things:
- In this series, I’m merely answering a question that I’ve received numerous times from those who have read my books. So I’m not trying to convince anyone about anything. If you are happy with the classic Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (which argues that tongues is the initial evidence), you should probably skip this series because your view is going to be challenged. It doesn’t bother me at all if you wish to keep believing the Pentecostal thesis.
- I’m not a cessationist. I not only believe that all the gifts and ministries mentioned in the NT are extant (in operation) today, but I also believe in the baptism of the Spirit. I just don’t believe that it’s a second work of grace and that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence. Nor do I believe that all Christians who experience and minister God’s power speak in tongues. As I’ve said in the comments, I have functioned in all the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the beginning of 1 Corinthians 12. So I’m not challenging a doctrine because I lack the experience it promises.
- If you wish to make a comment, be sure to do your homework first. If you make unsubstantiated, inaccurate, or nonsensical remarks, expect to receive some push-back. Just a warning.
What follows are the four occasions in the New Testament where the Spirit fell on new converts in a dramatic way: Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10, and Acts 19.
People either spoke in tongues, prophesied, or exhibited some other dramatic gift.
The question is why?
The Pentecostal thesis says that it’s because speaking in tongues is the normative experience or “sign” when people are baptized in the Spirit.
I find this unconvincing because of the reasons I sketched out in my last post. The math doesn’t work. There are Scriptures that just won’t fit the thesis without bending them.[Continue Reading...]