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Particulars of Christianity:
310 Pentecostalism,
the Charismatic
and Faith Movements

What Happened to the Authentic Gifts?

What Happened to the Authentic Gifts?
Comparing Theories to Historic Documentation
Comparing Theories to Scripture (Part 1)
Comparing Theories to Scripture (Part 2)
What Happened to the Gifts: Scriptural Indications (Part 1)
What Happened to the Gifts: Scriptural Indications (Part 2)

Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4
| Section 5

(NOTE: Please read our Preliminary Proof section before reading this section.)

A large portion of this series of articles has dealt with the historically documented fact that the authentic charismatic gifts had passed out of occurrence by the time of Augustine (354-430 AD) and John Chrysostom (347-407 AD) in the fourth century AD. We have dedicated most of the previous sections to discussing whether or not the modern occurrence of the charismatic gifts can be considered authentic. But, in this section, we turn our attention to the question of why the charismatic gifts passed out of existence in the first place.

The reason we are taking a look at this controversial question, is because many incorrect answers have been given in the past and are now in circulation in the modern Church. These explanations for why the gifts passed away needs to be examine in light of both scripture and history to see if they are correct. The goal of this examination is not to be dogmatic about why the gifts passed away, but merely to evaluate the legitimacy of the popular theories. Likewise, part of the purpose of this section is to discuss whether God intended that the gifts would pass away or whether God intended the gifts to remain and they passed away for some other reason.

It should be noted that the most popular theories presuppose that the gifts, to one extent or another, were intended by God to pass away as if they were on a timer or countdown. Once that countdown was complete, the gifts passed away just as they were supposed to, or so goes the theory. There have been several suggestions made as to what event may have marked the end of the countdown. The four most popular of suggestions in modern times appear to be the following.

1.) The death of the last of the 12 apostles.
2.) The close of the canon of scripture.
3.) The destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.
4.) The maturity or establishment of the Church.

We will now show that all four of these suggestions are incorrect due to a combination of the following reasons.

1.) A theory relies upon eiso-gesis, which is the reading of one's own biases into the scripture along with other concepts that are foreign to the scripture itself.
2.) A theory is incompatible with Biblical statements.
3.) A theory is incompatible with documented history.

Now, the first three of these theories can be easily disproved by documented history. The fourth, being sufficiently undefined and vague, will require further examination. But, for now, we will turn our attention to the first three.