Phil Johnson has been trying to discuss sign gifts for quite some time. And each time he writes something, the posts have generated quite a few comments.
In general, I've been frustrated with the response, because it seems like those on the Charismatic side want to argue with Phil before he's ever made any definitive statement of his own position.
I'm not going to give you all the links. I don't have the time right now, nor the energy. Plus, they should be easy enough to find.
I'm interested in clear-headed discussion of this issue (and I think Phil is, too), but so far it seems that most of what's out there has been an emotional response to a perceived threat from Phil. But I do want to give you just a sample of what's out there, along with reiterating my questions on my own blog.
Phil's latest post has generated 138 comments (as of this time), although many of them are just variations on what people have already said in previous comments.
Here is a slightly modified version of my recent comments:
You keep ignoring my basic question. More importantly, though, you seem to be ignoring the basic premise of Scripture that prophets are reliable 100% of the time.
"And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 19-21, ESV).
Where does this verse say prophecy comes from? From fallible man, or infallible God? The Scripture says that prophecy comes from God, not man. If that's true (and I think it is) then there's only two conclusions about inaccurate prophecy: either God was wrong, or the prophecy wasn't from God. And if a person proclaims a prophecy is from God and it's not from God, why would you follow him?
You replied: Your statement says nothing not already agreed to.
But you really haven't. What you're saying is that true prophecy is true 100% of the time. What I'm saying is that true prophets prophesy truthfully 100% of the time.
If prophecy is from God (which you say you agree with), then it must be true, always. It is not, nor has it never been OK, for true prophets to prophesy falsely. Even once. The definition of a false prophet is that they give false prophecies. Why can't you accept that?
To anyone who is interested in a civil discussion, I pose this question: If we can't even agree that true prophets must always prophesy truthfully, and false prophets are those who prophesy falsely (things about which Scripture is completely UNambiguous), how can we ever get to a genuine discussion of what (if any) miraculous gifts are still operative and why?