The Slick-Waldron Debate:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (part 4)

by | Jan 27, 2016 | Uncategorized

Another topic which I want to follow up on from my debate with Matt Slick has to do with my first assertion that the apostles of Christ are the first and greatest of the gifts Christ gave to His church.  Matt’s response to this was to show that the blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit were the greatest charismatic gifts of Christ to the church.  Gotcha!

Well, of course, the blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit are greater gifts than Apostles.  But again we see here why Matt was so concerned to have that word charismatic in the title.  Anything called a charisma in the New Testament thus becomes a charismatic gift.

It is true that in Romans 5:15, 16, and 6:23 salvation and eternal life are described as charismas.  (I actually don’t think charisma is used of the blood of Christ or the Holy Spirit, but I will let that go.)  It is also true that I would concede that these things are greater than the gift of Apostles of Christ.  With qualification I would grant this.

But here I think that Matt was playing semantic games with the phrase, charismatic gifts.  I think everybody realizes that when we talk about charismatic gifts we are normally talking about gifts given for ministry and not about the gift of salvation.  Furthermore, when Paul lists the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28; 12:29; and Ephesians 4:11, he clearly and significantly lists Apostles first.  This was the basis and the sufficient basis for my claim that the Apostles of Christ are the first and greatest gift given by Christ to the church.

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