"Although there is nothing inherently cessationist about reformed theology, given its emphasis on God's sovereignty it's easier for charismatic apathy and functional cessationism to set in ... it is easier for functional cessationism to co-exist with reformed theology than with others (i.e. Armenian)".
I said on his site that I like the term "Functional Cessationism". When I was growing up, my home church moved resolutely away from it's charismatic heritage and became in essence cessationist. In other words, the gifts of the Holy Spirit were not welcome in corporate gatherings. However there was no sermon or published booklet outlining the Scriptural rationale for this revised position on the charismatic gifts. If anyone was to ask the leaders, "Are you cessationist", they would be told "No - God is sovereign and He can do what He wants". But the gifts were not modelled, taught or welcome. Therefore we were "Functional Cessationists".
Jesse goes on to say;
"We can become complacent though certain gifts cease, assuming that if God wanted certain gifts to be given he would provide some sort of sovereign jump-start apart from any human initiative ... but it is certainly easier for this sort of charismatic fatalism to creep in where sovereignty is emphasized. Reformed charismatics must fight for faith so that we do not become apathetic and too quickly credit the absence of certain gifts strictly to God's sovereignty".
I liked and noted two phrases there which are extremely important. "Sovereign jump-start". Very often in theology I hear until I am weary the phrase, "God is sovereign". Indeed He is! But is His sovereignty an excuse not to pray for revival as I have been told? Is His sovereignty an excuse not to step out into a new area of gifting - such as Terry Virgo has been doing with healing? Is His sovereignty an excuse to become functional cessationists because one is not hearing the type of prophetic utterance that was expressed in the Bible? I do think our danger as charismatic calvinists is to wait for this "sovereign jump-start" - which may not actually be coming! God has poured out His Holy Spirit and has given His gifts. There is nothing more coming from heaven to help us complete the mission we are on!
The second phrase I liked but I found chilled me was "charismatic fatalism". I have seen this attitude happen again and again as I have grown up. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones saw exactly the same thing as Jesse has pointed out - he called it "Fear of excess". As a church we heard warnings against all types of charismatic "excess" - a list can probably be found in John MacArthur's "Charismatic Chaos". The illogical thought process was reached that if God was sovereign, surely He would not allow these excessive and shameful things to happen therefore maybe He hasn't given the gifts at all. Surely an honest reading of the New Testament shows that is ridiculous. Paul COMMENDS the Corinthians for the fact that they "came behind in no gift"! I wonder what church today can be commended in that same way? Yet of course he went on to "not command no use instead of abuse but right use" (as Professor Gordon Fee put it).
He closed by quoting from a lecture on the danger of the Third Wave position:
"Given the significance of Acts in recording the first 30 years of the church, if you read it as though it has no application for us today, you end up becoming a functional cessationist and dispensationalists. You may believe that the gifts are available in theory, but that everything supernatural in Acts is unique and has no relevance to us."
To all charismatic calvinists - let us beware! There is no need to downgrade the strength of doctrinal beliefs or the awesome heritage of our forefathers. But surely the call to the Church is to wake up and read the Word of God as it should be read! Or as Brent Detweiler put it:
“This is what we need and this is what we can experience in our day. God, may we see the book of Acts rewritten at the end of the age!”