Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Heroes Profile ... Dr Sam Storms.

I realised this morning that it has been some time since I have written about Dr Sam Storms. He makes the short list of living heroes that I have and there is strict criteria that enables entry to that list! I have only heard Dr Storms once at the Life in the Spirit conference last year. He was absolutely superb - speaking three times on "Divine Election" and once on the Gift of Prophecy. He will be speaking again at Life in the Spirit next year and I cannot recommend him enough! While he has a high profile in the USA, recently lecturing at Wheaton College, Illinois, he still does not have (to my mind) a significantly high enough profile in the United Kingdom - so this is a plea from me. This man is solid gold! Hear him! Why so? Aside from Terry Virgo, I have not seen a servant of God (since Ern Baxter) who absolutely encapsulates the passions of Reformed Doctrine and Charismatic Experience.

To give a taster of his outstanding minstry I want to present a Spurgeon-esque "Smooth Stones from Ancient Brooks" method of what Sam Storms has to say on various key issues. I hope that this stirs an interest in the ministry of this extrodinary man of God. These quotes are all taken from his excellent website, "Enjoying God Ministries".

On Apostles Today

"Does Scripture teach that apostleship was restricted to the first century church? No. Are there apostles today? I certainly believe that it is the agenda of the Holy Spirit to bring them forth before the coming of the Lord".

On Prophets Today

"Paul anticipated that every time Christians gathered for worship that, at least potentially, "each" believer would come with or contribute, among other things, a "revelation" (1 Cor. 14:26). He anticipated that a normal part of Christian experience was receiving revelatory data or insight from God.

It is difficult to read his instruction for corporate worship and conclude that he viewed all revelatory, and thus prophetic, ministry as foundational for the universal church. There must have been thousands upon thousands of revelations and prophetic utterances throughout the hundreds of churches over the course of the years between Pentecost and the close of the NT canon. Are we to believe that this multitude of people and their even greater multitude of prophetic words constituted the once-for-all foundation of the church?"

On the Baptism with the Holy Spirit

"The fact remains that the principal concern of the Son after his resurrection is the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church for the perpetuation of the divine mission He initiated ... The Spirit who was once given and now indwells each believer is continually given to enhance and intensify our relationship with Christ and to empower our efforts in ministry".

On Being Filled With the Holy Spirit

"To be filled with the Spirit is to come under progressively more intense and intimate influence of the Spirit. Results:

· power
· purity
· proclamation
· praise".

On Spiritual Gifts in Church History

"As much as I respect the giants of the Reformation and of other periods in church history, I intend to emulate the giants of the NT who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I admire John Calvin, but I obey the apostle Paul.

In sum, neither the failure nor success of Christians in days past is the ultimate standard by which we determine what God wants for us today. We can learn from their mistakes as well as their achievements. But the only question of ultimate relevance for us and for this issue is: “What saith the Scripture?”

On Legalists

"There are people, professing Christian people, who are determined to bring you under their religious thumb. They are bent on making you a slave of their conscience. They have built a tidy religious box, without biblical justification, and strive to stuff you inside and make you conform to its dimensions. They are legalists, and their tools are guilt, fear, intimidation, and self-righteousness. They proclaim God’s unconditional love for you, but insist on certain conditions before including you among the accepted, among the approved elite, among God’s favored few.

I’m talking about Christian legalists whose goal is to enforce conformity among other Christians in accordance with their personal preferences. These are life-style legalists. They threaten to rob you of joy and to squeeze the intimacy out of your relationship with Jesus. They may even lead you to doubt your salvation. They heap condemnation and contempt on your head so that your life is controlled and energized by fear rather than freedom and joy and delight in God".

On Postmillenialism

"The gospel will also sustain a positive influence in every sphere of society: the economic, political, and cultural life of mankind will be vastly improved. Therefore, this triumph or victory of the Church in the present age is not simply the spiritual/invisible victories in the Christian’s heart or the internal blessings privately experienced by the Church. The prosperity is such as will be visibly and publicly acknowledged. Every domain of human activity will be renewed according to Christian principles and thus brought into service for the glory of Jesus Christ".

On Revival

"1. True revival is a sovereign work of God (Zech. 4:6). In other words, revival is always a miracle. Revival is not "in our pocket." We can neither command revival nor predict it.

2. True revival is a surprising work of God. This is because revival is a gracious work of God. No one deserves revival. One may never expect what one does not deserve.

2. True revival is a sudden work of God. It frequently comes without preparation or planning. Revival is like the sudden spring thunderstorm that bursts from the sky when only moments before the sun shown brightly".

On the Ultimate Aim of Theology

"The ultimate goal of theology is not knowledge, but worship. If our learning and knowledge of God do not lead to the joyful praise of God, we have failed. We learn only that we might laud. Another way of putting it is to say that theology without doxology is idolatry. The only theology worth studying is a theology that can be sung".

On the Perseverance of the Saints

"We are eternally secure because God is eternally committed to keeping and sustaining us in that faith in Jesus apart from which there is no hope for life. My ultimate confidence is not in the power of my will to believe but in the promise of God to graciously cause me to persevere in faith in Jesus.

Do I believe in the “eternal security” of the elect? I most certainly do".


James B said...

Excellent quotes! Wow ... I must admit I had bypassed Dr Storms ministry. I think I had heard of him but not such good stuff! Thank you again for getting me into him! I shall visit that website! I am curious ... you mention a short list of heroes - who's on it then!? ;)

James B said...

Oh and what is the criteria!? :)

Baxter's Boy said...

Well ... since you asked ...

My living heroes:

1. Terry Virgo.
2. Dr Stanley Jebb.
3. Dr Sam Storms.
4. Dr R T Kendall.
5. David Holden.
6. Dr John Piper.
7. Prof Wayne Grudem.
8. Dr John R W Stott.
9. Prof D A Carson.
10. Dave Devenish.
11. Greg Haslam.

My heroes in glory:

1. Dr Ern Baxter (of course!).
2. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
3. Dr John Owen.
4. C H Spurgeon.
5. Don Basham.
6. John Flavel.
7. Richard Sibbes ('A Broken Reed' saved my life).
8. Thomas Goodwin ('Sue God for the Spirit' - I love it).

The criteria?

1. They must be men of Word and Spirit. Or in other words men who exemplify Reformed Doctrine in their preaching and writing. And they must be men who honour the Spirit and welcome His Presence in their lives.

2. They must have an anointing on their ministry that is just tangibly evident through their writing and preaching - that is capable of arresting me as they unfold God's Word.

3. They must be men of prayer. I LOVE men of prayer because I am finding more and more that I can learn so much of God through my heroes as they pray and intercede and talk to their Father.

4. They must be men who read. I love men with big libraries!

PS: I realise that there are many men who fulfill these criterion and who aren't on my list of heroes. R J Rushdoony's personal library was 30, 000 books! But this is just my list of heroes - the men who have profoundly impacted my life by their ministry whether it be written or verbal.

APBWD said...

Thanks for these "Quick Quotes" ... an extremely useful resource for accessing Storm's ministry. I am interested to hear that he will be coming over to the United Kingdom next year. I wonder if he will be visiting any churches? We need men like him to come and bring vision and depth back to the UK.

Hugh Griffiths said...

Thanks for gathering these superb excerpts from Sam Storm's ministry. I had not come across his website and love the resource, showing similar generosity of ministry as John Piper. I was very curious about the quote above regarding apostleship - it isn't clear whether he is seeing it today or whether it is simply on the future agenda. Thanks again

Baxter's Boy said...

Yes I was intrigued by that. I suspect Storms is cautiously open to apostles today ... but doesn't quite want to make the step that many have. Yet what I love about him is that he is true to the Word of God and sees that the door is most definately open for them. Indeed they are vital to the maturing of the body of Christ.