I couldn't resist! I have recently been browsing wider in the Christian blogsphere, and I came across a big debate on the gifts of the Spirit. Sadly the debate was not on "How do we best move in the spiritual gifts?" or "How should the gifts be administrated?", but the age-old "Are the gifts of the Spirit for today?" cessationist / charismatic argument.
There are still many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord who are in expressions of the church where the gifts of the Spirit do not operate, or if they do, they are ignored or suppressed. What is more, some of them actually seem to like it this way! They actually argue that the church is better off without the gifts of the Spirit, and that God never intended them to last beyond the "apostolic" age!
What I found most ironic was one site where many cessationists were patting themselves on the back for their doctrinal correctness, and bandying around the term Sola Scriptura. How sad! A term that was originally intended to restore biblical practice to the church, has now been distorted to the point where it means that God can only communicate through the scriptures! Surely, if these people want to claim "Sola Scriptura", they should base their doctrine on the gifts of the Spirit on what the scriptures actually say about the gifts, and not on their misguided notions of the implications of Sola Scriptura!
I guess the reason I stuck my oar in, and joined the debate is that I once used to attend congregations like these. I was never deliberately cessationist in my theology, but I had received no teaching on the gifts, and had no experience of their operation. I was concerned about the discrepancy between my experience and what I read in the letters and Acts, but I had no idea what to do about it. I knew people who allegedly spoke in tongues, but because in the circles I moved in at the time, it was frowned upon, they used to put their hands in front of their mouths, and all you could hear were slurping noises! The first time I properly heard someone speak in tongues, the words were coming out of my own mouth! No-one laid hands on me, no-one directed me. Just a young man earnestly praying alone in his room for God to fill him with his Spirit so he could effectively witness to his friends, who got what he asked for! I don't know if my comments have done any good, but even if they encourage one person to seek God and find out for themselves what he can do... it will have been worth it.
If you want to follow the debate, or flex your theological muscles and join in, the best place to start seems to be Adrian Warnock's blog.