Tom Schreiner: What Is the Role of the Holy Spirit and Miracles in Missions?

Dreams and visions in the Islamic world. Miraculous healings. “Power-encounters.” What is the role of the Holy Spirit in missions? Are miracles still normative in front-lines missions—and specifically, what about the apostolic sign gifts seen throughout the Book of Acts? There’s perhaps no one better to ask than Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner, one of the leading New Testament scholars of our day, and author (most recently) of Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter and articles like “Why I Am a Cessationist.”

Thomas R. Schreiner has been a professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky since 1997 and is the James Harrison Buchanan Professor of New Testament Interpretation. He has also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University and Bethel Theological Seminary. He received a B.S. from Western Oregon University, a M.Div. and Th.M. from Western Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary. Schreiner’s writings include commentaries on Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, and 1–2 Peter and Jude, and forthcoming commentaries on 1 Corinthians and Revelation. He has also written a theology of the Apostle Paul, a New Testament theology, and a theology of the entire Bible. He is a pastor at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Schreiner is married to Diane, and they have four children and eight grandchildren. You can follow Dr. Schreiner on Twitter.

In the episode, we mentioned some helpful resources including:

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4 comments

  • You mentioned missionaries in papa New Guinea.
    Just curious are you speaking of the gibello’s?

  • Almost 11 minutes in, and I’m going to pull the plug and go to bed. My friend Andy, a guy who’s ministered in the Muslim world, was right. A lot of bobbing and weaving and dancing around Schreiner’s core conviction that Christianity is a HUMAN project, best carried out, as a rule, by HUMAN means. Cessationism, with a few weasel words to cover his behind.

    Thoroughly Baptist, in cultural perspective. Making converts is the possible dream, so let’s do that. Discipling NATIONS requires more than human charisma and salesmanship. So we’ll let that project ride.

    • Hi Tom — are you under the impression that cessationism holds that conversion is a human endeavor? If so, that is an inaccurate picture of cessationism. The Holy Spirit is abundantly active today, period — every time someone’s heart turns from darkness to light and comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, a miracle of new birth has been brought about which no amount of scholasticism or persuasion could replicate. Simply holding that certain gifts, such as tongues and healings and other signs of apostolic authority, were limited in their particular role to the generation of the apostles in no way denigrates the fact that God is a powerful, active God working today through missionaries and other gospel workers globally.

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