A Review Article -- By: Gary Johnson

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 04:1 (Winter 1995)
Article: A Review Article
Author: Gary Johnson


A Review Article

Gary Johnson

Quenching the Spirit: Examining Centuries of Opposition to the Moving of the Holy Spirit, William DeArteaga. Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House (1992). 300 pages, cloth, $14.99.

Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: A Former Dallas Seminary Professor Discovers That God Speaks and Heals Today, Jack Deere. Grand Rapids: Zondervan (1993). 299 pages, cloth, $21.95.

Sir Henry Wotten (1568–1639), an English poet and statesman, who is perhaps best known for his remark that an ambassador was an honest man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country, had engraved on his tombstone a line taken from his book A Panegyric to King Charles, which read: disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies—”an itch for disputation is the mange of the churches.” I regretfully confess that this review was brought on by a severe case of this dreadful disease. The itch is not, however, due to the controversial nature of subject matter of the volumes under consideration. As can be seen in the respective titles, both books take up the highly volatile issue of charismatic claims. It is not my intention to even directly address that issue. My own scabie laborare has to do with how the two authors interact with and depict their cessationist opponents, especially B.B. Warfield.1

Quenching the Spirit

Mr. DeArteaga’s work, as evidenced by his ambitious title,

attempts a historical analysis which is not comprehensive in scope and is misleading (and revealing at the same time) in two respects:

1. Charismatic manifestations and claims are not necessarily the same thing as the work of the Holy Spirit. I do not think that DeArteaga would call the same type of phenomena in groups like the Mormons or the Children of God “the moving of the Holy Spirit,” but he nonetheless equates all charismatic manifestations with the work of the Spirit.

2. The book deals with only one area of the Spirit’s work and is myopic in that regard. DeArteaga follows a fairly typical Pentecostal-charismatic line which has an overt tendency to make all of theology into pneumatology and makes the charismata the focus of pneumatology.

The premise for the book is found on the inside flap of the dust jacket: “The greatest threat to a move of the Spirit does not come from the atheists or humanists. It comes from within the church.” As the book unfolds we are astonished to discover that the Spirit’s arch-foes are none other than the Reformers, the Puritans, the Princetonians, and other like-minded evangeli...

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