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Speaking in Tongues: The New Testament Evidence in Context (Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement) Hardcover – 31 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. (31 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841273163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136390145
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 1.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,936,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Gerald Hovenden is team Rector of St Peter's with Christ Church and St Matthew's, Southborough

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Amazon.com: 1 review
Not a convincing argument for the Pentecostal doctrine 4 Oct 2014
By A. SMITH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Hovenden published this book back in 2002. He attempts by going back in history to make the reader understand "tongues" as in unintelligible utterances. He traces back to the OT and then to the NT and then to the church after the apostolic age his argument. His method is questionable, but it seems that is what most writers on this subject do in this age.

The arguments that we should be able to relate to is:
1) What does the new testament and in particular the promise made by Jesus as to the "comforter" and guide that is promised as well as Acts and the epistles.
2) Secondly does the modern day experience make us accept the veracity of this sign gift as a tangible and verifiable (reliable) fact?

The first argument does not deliver as Hovenden seems to interpret Luke as seeing Pentecost in Acts as an "outburst of praise" at receiving the Holy Spirit's outpouring. This is in contrast as to the obvious "other tongues" which imply that these were in fact languages that were not learned (but in existence and spoken by people from another geographic location). This method of communication was what surprised the crowd and added to the miraculous that followed this outpouring. This trend is a sign to the Jews and acceptable and biblical. The interpretation of Paul's letter to the Corinthians is an act of torturing the Scripture to fit with a possible bias towards Pentecostal doctrine. Hovenden does not agree with tongues as being a sign of being filled with the Spirit at water baptism. This he seems to get right, but then he says that there should be a doctrine that neither the cessationists or continualists subscribe to? It is rather an eye opener and adds to the confusion of the charismatics, rather than support it. He fails to address the silence of the epistles ( Corinthians excluded) as to the issue of tongues.

His second argument is on very shaky ground as no explanation why unintelligible utterances (which are not imparted as the Pentecostal/Charismatic teaching at water baptism) are to be seen as a sacramental appreciation of tongues.

He believes that tongues, for Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal alike, are an outward and visible sign of an inward grace. The fact that his view of tongues neither fits the cessationists or continuationists is "another confusion".

It is an intellectual exercise that opens the argument against the sign gifts rather than embed it into mainline Christianity. Neither mainline Pentecostals?Charismatics nor cessationists will accept this, although it does suggest that "speaking in tongues" as in unintelligible utterances is indeed on shaky ground.

At least he is correct as far as it (speaking in tongues) is not spontaneous at water baptism.

A difficult book to say the least. One wonders if the author understands fully his own arguments. A lot of work for nothing?
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