An Outline on Speaking in Tongues by Danny Andre’ Dixon

Speaking in tongues has been seen as an identifying mark of charismatic groups for a long while. Some see the practice as completely unauthentic. Others are certain that speaking in tongues is an/the evidence by which one knows that someone is a recipient of God’s holy spirit/Holy Spirit. There is a lot that can be said about speaking in tongues based on the biblical evidence. Subjective or experiential proof regarding it is not something I want to address. If the Scripture says that Christians can speak in tongues today–that it is not an extinct ability–then it is something that can legitimately be sought by believers.

This position paper/outline challenges the cessationist position that tongues are not available today. It is the present writer’s understanding that Scripture indicates that the gift is available; that its presence in God’s church should be a witness to unbelievers that God is present; that although it is present, it is often abused (but that fact, in and of itself, does not invalidate the practice); that while it is something that God gives it should not be said that every believer speaks in tongues; that the practice in the New Testament seems to center around praise of God and his works as compared with claims of it being prophetic in the sense of being a directive agent to others when interpreted or translated; that there are a number of purposes and uses of tongues besides simply confirming the Christian message, including the positive elements of self-edification and personal prayer; that even if one cannot interpret the tongues that he speaks or if someone else does not do so, that the practice is not immediately harmful or counterproductive to Christian purposes.

If Paul could say that he wanted everyone at the Corinthian church to speak in tongues, despite the problems associated with it in that congregation, believers today should see the manifestation as a boon and not a bane to the church.

Interaction with these ideas is welcome for those who wish to comment or on or challenge them.

Click here to read An Outline on Speaking in Tongues

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