Posted On July 20, 2018

Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter – Thomas Schreiner

by | Jul 20, 2018 | Theology, Featured

The subject of spiritual gifts is an ongoing topic in the church that often times generates more heat than light. The matter of the sign gifts, in particular, is especially controversial. Continuationists set forth arguments in favor of the sign gifts. And advocates of cessationism do the same, marshaling arguments in the opposite direction. It is not unusual for the two sides to polarize, leading brothers and sisters in Christ in opposite directions.

Thomas R. Schreiner’s book, Spiritual Gifts: What They Are & Why They Matter offers a different approach, which seeks to unify continuationists and cessationists. Alert readers will notice that Dr. Schreiner dedicates the book to three well-known continuationists: Wayne Grudem, John Piper, and Sam Storms. They are referred to as “Beloved friends and coworkers in the gospel of Christ.” So immediately, it is apparent that Schreiner has motives which are virtuous and seek to unify.

The author begins by noting the general strengths and weaknesses of the charismatic movement. This delicate task is done in a humble, tasteful manner. After establishing the pros and cons of the charismatic movement, Schreiner launches into a discussion that concerns the spiritual gifts. He defines these gifts and offers ten foundational truths that help establish their importance.

The sign gifts are discussed in general as Schreiner presents the nature and significance of the gift of tongues in particular. Additionally, the author familiarizes readers with some erroneous arguments for cessationism. But the book concludes with the central argument for cessationism. Schreiner writes, “The basis for cessationism is the claim that the church was ‘built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets’ (Eph. 2:20). This argument is developed and convincingly presented.

Whether readers agree or disagree with the presentation and conclusions of the author, all will appreciate his careful exegesis, humility, and desire to build bridges with brothers and sisters whose hearts yearn to please the Lord.

Related Posts

Naked and Unashamed

Naked and Unashamed

Genesis 2:24-25, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” As Moses concludes his narrative on the creation of Adam and Eve, he...

How to Study Scripture to Show Yourself Approved to God

How to Study Scripture to Show Yourself Approved to God

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “How can we study Scripture to show ourselves approved?” What You'll Hear on this Episode The Context of 2 Timothy 2:15. What 2 Timothy 2:15 means. Whether 2 Timothy 2:15 means we can earn our way into heaven....

Taken Out of Man

Taken Out of Man

Genesis 2:21-23, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the...

Our Greatest Need

Our Greatest Need

On today’s For Life and Godliness show, Drew considers knowing our great need of Christ, how to be sure you are known by God, and availing yourself of the means of grace. What you’ll hear in this episode Critically assessing our needs versus our ultimate need for...



  1. Weekly Roundup 7/16/2018-7/21/2018 - Servants of Grace - […] Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter – Thomas Schreiner reviewed by David Steele […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.