The audio is available for Dr. Russell Moore’s debate with Dwight McKissic on the Jerry Johnson Live radio show. The debate is well done and well-spirited. Three deficiencies are clear in McKissic’s views on the issue:
- He prooftexts 1 Cor. 14:2, with no consideration for its context, as the primary support for his view in the same way a Jehovah’s Witness prooftexts Col. 1:15 to deny the deity of Christ. One verse in isolation from its context cannot be foundational to an argument.
- He resists any interaction with historical perspectives on the issue in an effort to just stick to his prooftext.
- He engages in what I have dubbed ‘charismatic fundamentalism.’ In fact, he goes as far as to say that anyone who does not share his view on this issue is not an inerrantist. Wow!
Private prayer languages are not a modern day manifestation of the biblical gift of tongues. There are several reasons this is true:
- The biblical gift of tongues is prophetic in nature–it was for the purpose of inspired revelation. Once God provided a written body of inspired literature to the early church, this oral transmission phased out.
- The biblical gift of tongues, like all other spiritual gifts, is for the building up of the body of Christ; not for the building up of individual Christians.
- The biblical gift of tongues marked the initial advance of the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria and the ends of the earth.
- The biblical gift of tongues occurred in known languages in contrast to much of what goes on today in ‘ecstatic’ speech.
The bottom line is that, since the purpose of tongues (as a form of prophetic revelation of divine inspiration) has now been fulfilled, the spiritual gift of tongues has now been fulfilled. While it may be possible for a believer to practice something they consider a private prayer language, this is not the biblical gift of tongues. We must not call it what it isn’t, and we must recognize the potential danger of it.