Friday, May 2, 2008

Charismatic Exegetical and Theological Contributions to Christian Faith

“The Charismatic movement today fails to produce any worthwhile exegetical works on the Bible. The Charismatic movement today fails to produce a comprehensive systematic theology of our faith.”
(“Wen Ti Jie Ta” CD -14 Aug 2005, translator: Yang Tuck Meng, track 4)

Has Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong not come across the works of Gordon Fee? If not, he should.

Gordon Fee

Gordon Fee is a New Testament scholar who, after teaching briefly at Wheaton College in Illinois, taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts until 1986. He then moved to Regent College in Vancouver, Canada where he is now Professor Emeritus. He also serves on the advisory board of the International Institute for Christian Studies. Fee received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Seattle Pacific University and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

Fee is one of the foremost experts in pneumatology and also the textual criticism of the New Testament of the Bible. He is also the author of books on Biblical exegesis, including the popular introductory work How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (co-authored with Douglas Stuart), the "sequel," How to Read the Bible, Book by Book, How to Choose a Translation for all its Worth (co-authored with Mark Strauss) and a major commentary on 1 Corinthians as well as numerous other commentaries on various books in the New Testament. In the 1990s he succeeded F.F. Bruce to become the editor of the notable evangelical commentary series, the New International Commentary of the New Testament.

Fee is a member of the CBT (Committee on Bible Translation) that translated the New International Version (NIV) and its revision, the Today's New International Version (TNIV). He is also a member of the "board of reference" for "Christians for Biblical Equality," a group of Evangelical Christians that believes that the Bible advocates complete equality between men and women in both home and ministry. He was a contributing editor to the key Christian egalitarian book Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without hierarchy (2004).

Fee is an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God (AG) and unabashedly identifies himself as Pentecostal, even though he has written articles disagreeing with a few of the AG's fundamental Pentecostalism-specific doctrines.

There are other theologians with academic postgraduate degrees (contra Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong's honorary degrees) who identify themselves with the Charismatic movement, such as Stanley M. Horton, Wayne Grudem, J. Rodman Williams, Charles H. Kraft, Jackie David Johns, Steven Jack Land, John Christopher Thomas, Rickie D. Moore and H. Vinson Synan, have contributed to the Christian faith. It is obvious that Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong's sweeping and uninformed remark concerning the Charismatic movement is invalid.


nepios said...

Wayne Grudem, in this book, Feminism a new way to liberalism, there a chapter showing Gorden Fee deny a verse in 1Cor 14. After reading Grudem book, I would question Gorden Fee exegetical skill and faithfulness to God's word.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Nepios,

Could you elaborate further why Grudem disagrees with Fee? Why Fee is deem denying 1 Cor 14?

grudem said...

I think it is unfair to Dr Stephen Tong, that yu scrutinize his words using scholarly methods...

i regard your analysis scholarly.

Stp tong is just a boastful guy, and he mainly revivalist, evangelist, never a scholor, he just too boastful, just ignore him.

I am very sure, no lecturers from any ATESEA affliated seminary would bother to talk about him..

nowadays, SBC seems that, dont bother about him too. but only the chinese Presby. like Yang tuck meng , still think that he is academic giant...

and I sympaty with stp tong too, because it is actually the chinese speaking churches in this region have crown him with too many unrealistic scholarly crown,making him to think himself as superb scholar and like to be boastful, and disregard many recent scholarship..

Of course he doesnt know about Gordon fee, grudem and etc...

I am veteren from chinese church, so I know such thing very well.

yu just treat him as ordinary pastor. not worth while to read his stuff too...

Sze Zeng said...

Hi grudem,

Do you mind to correspond with email? Pls drop me an email:

Thank you for your comment.

Blessings :)

Myke Chen said...


Before you criticize anyone, What are you doing to contribute to the Kingdom of God? If you are doing just as much as Dr. Stephen Tong is, and if you are just as passionate as he is in preaching and teaching the WORD then you have all the right to criticize him.

But if you are not contributing much to the Kingdom, then I would ask you to think twice before you open your mouth to pass any judgmental comment on any one.

You may not agree to a lot of things that he says but that doesn't mean you have the right to judge his work.

No hard feeling about my comment here. I am just a fellow follower of Christ. I feel sad to see people passing harsh comment on each other just because they are from a different denomination back ground.

GodFanatic said...


Funny, but when I read Wayne Grudem's book and Fee's book, I started to doubt, whether Grudem has any logical and exegetical skills for argumentation, except - because the Bible simply says so.
I'm a lawyer, and I have hardly seen a person with such a reputation, who makes so primitive arguments. If Grudem devotes himself to a scholarship, I'd rather expect him to show more knowledge in the field, also in textual criticism area..

valerian said...

could you elaborate more on these charismatic leaders and their contributions? perhaps devote a blog post on one of them about their sermons? as far as i know, among the charismatic leaders i have come across, their sermons are extremely diluted and they are more like life coaches rather than deciphering the bible in detail. this is one of stephen tong's main concern i believe. also i find it hard to accept that pastors who claim to devote their lives to the church could live such extravagant lifestyles when they are supposed to be closer to god. jesus was born in a manger after all and preached that material gains are fleeting. there is a correlation although not necessarily a connection to charismatic pastors to behave in such a manner. benny hinn, pastor kong are a few. i must admit that i don't recognise the names you mentioned but i would definitely be interested to learn more.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi valerian,

Thank you for the comment and question.

Stephen Tong dismissed other Christian tradition such as the Charismatic and Pentecostal communities for not producing good exegetical works is simply false.

That only shows he has not read any works by theologians from that tradition.

Besides Gordon Fee, another Biblical scholar who is widely recognized is Max Turner, the NT professor at London School of Theology who is also a Fellow of Britain's Royal Society of Arts.

One of his work which I find exegetically and theologically impressive is this one:

A local Pentecostal theologian is of course Prof. Simon Chan at Trinity Theological College. He is the associate editor of the 'Global Dictionary of Theology' and the 'Dictionary of Mission Theology'.

valerian said...

is it just me or are you taking one hell of a long time to moderate my previous comment on this post?

Sze Zeng said...

It's just you, valerian.

Yamint said...

Pentacotal is not the same as charismatic.