The Toronto Phenomenon (Part 2 of 2) -- By: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
CTSJ 2:2 (Fall 1996) p. 9
The Toronto Phenomenon
(Part 2 of 2)
Chafer Theological Seminary
[*Editor's note: Arnold Fruchtenbaum received a B.A. degree from Cedarville College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is the founder and co-director of Ariel Ministries, Tustin, CA, a ministry to Jewish people around the world. Arnold is also an adjunct professor at Chafer Theological Seminary. He holds Bible conferences around the globe. Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s bi-annual five-week study of Israel is accepted for credit at CTS.]
In Part 1 of this two part series, Dr. Fruchtenbaum pointed out that he is not dealing with a Pentecostal/Charismatic vs. Non-Pentecostal/non-Charismatic issue because the so-called Toronto Phenomenon causes division even within Pentecostal and Charismatic circles.
He then revealed two of the chief characteristics of the Toronto Phenomenon: uncontrollable laughter and animal noises. With that background, Arnold turned to Scripture. The heart of his discussion is “The Holy Scriptures: The Only Authority to Validate Biblical and Spiritual Truth.” Part one concluded with insightful passages from the Old Testament, particularly Isaiah, that show how far the Toronto experience departs from God’s Word. He now turns to the New Testament.
The Book of Acts
The thing you find Scripture emphasizing is that the final authority must be the Scriptures, the written Word of God, and not anyone’s experience. Certainly, the Apostles could have related many of their experiences with Jesus in trying to defend their preaching about Jesus. One thing the Book of Acts keeps re-emphasizing is that Paul, Silas and the others always made their final authority the Word of God and not their own experiences, as incredible as those experiences were by God’s grace.
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his custom was, went in unto them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the scriptures, opening and alleging that it behooved the Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom, said he, I proclaim unto you, is the Christ. And some of them were persuaded, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few (Acts 17:1–4).
By and large, one does not find Paul using his personal experiences, especially his key experience on Damascus Road, as a tool for evangelizing. For Paul, the final authority had to be the Scriptures and not his own experience or ...
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