STL header
Partial or Perfect? by Raymond H. Saxe
£8.50

PARTIAL OR PERFECT?

THE CESSATION OF SIGNS AND COMPLETENESS OF SCRIPTURE

This book was first published in 1975 as The Battle for the Bible. It has lost none of its relevance in the intervening years, for the attack on the supremacy and sufficiency of Scripture, addressed so clearly in these pages, still continues unabated. Much false teaching concerning the continued validity of the sign gifts is still propagated, and much confusion still exists about their role in the twenty-first century. This book provides a clear and scriptural antidote to this confusion, simply and coherently laying out the teaching of Scripture concerning the purpose of the sign gifts, and the proofs of their cessation. Partial or Perfect encourages us to go back to the Bible, to rejoice afresh in the sufficiency of God's Word and its unique value as the only guide for God's people.
About the author:

Raymond H. Saxe

Book Reviews:

Partial Or Perfect? - By Raymond H. Saxe

This small format book of 168 pages is a worthwhile read for anyone wanting to gain a clear understanding of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. This book supplements the teaching in Frank McConnell's book The Holy Spirit, but adds significant details that are essential to a complete understanding of the truth.

The first eight chapters deal with the completeness of Scripture and give a detailed explanation of 'When that which is perfect is come' 1 Cor.13:10. Dr Saxe argues convincingly for the 66 books as the completed Scriptures; he also shows that since the Word of God is complete, there is now no place for further revelation in prophecy or knowledge.

The last eight chapters deal specifically with the question of tongues. The author shows, in easy to follow arguments, that since the Bible is the final revelation of God to men there is no need for tongues. They were a special gift given at the commencement of the dispensation and have now ceased to function. The book is written in a lucid and engaging style. It defends the Bible as being the compete revelation from God and thus a firm foundation for our faith.

Dr Saxe has been retired from active ministry for some years now and lives in the USA.

Reviewed by Walter A. Boyd
Partial Or Perfect? - By Raymond H. Saxe

This is a short book of sixteen concise chapters, totalling 168 pages, and could comfortably be read at one sitting. The author will not be well known to many, but he has pedigree, completing his formal theological training at Dallas Theological Seminary and serving as a missionary in Africa for fifteen years.

The Preface suggests that the book grew out of a rising tide of Charismatic, neo-Pentecostalism in the author’s locality of Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, rather than setting out to directly combat the error propagated by such movements, the book seeks to re-affirm the Bible as ‘God’s single and only objective revelation’. This it does with admirable ease in a highly readable manner.

Notwithstanding the emphasis throughout on the complete revelation of Scripture, the book divides simply into two parts. The first eight chapters consider the Bible’s teaching in relation to the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, with particular focus on the Day of Pentecost and its ‘horizontal extension’ to the Samaritans (Acts 8), Gentiles (Acts 10) and Ephesian disciples (Acts 19). The final eight chapters of the book focus on the nature and cessation of the revelatory gifts of tongues and prophecy.

In this reviewer’s opinion, the second half of the book is better than the first. In the first eight chapters, Saxe treats well of the Day of Pentecost, the Keys of the Kingdom and the Crusade at Samaria emphasising the importance of a dispensational view of Scripture. ‘The Bible is a closed book to those who fail to see it dispensationally.’

Unfortunately, the chapter on ‘Baptism with the Holy Spirit’ makes some less than satisfactory statements. Saxe feels that both the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the baptisers ‘with the Spirit’ and that whilst this event took place on the Day of Pentecost, it was ‘the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of baptising’. He thus sees Spirit baptism as an on-going occurrence during the present age. As with a number of expositors linked to the Dallas Theological Seminary, he also advocates Spirit and not water baptism in Romans 6.1–4, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 2:12 and Ephesians 4.5. Nevertheless, the tone and flow of the argument against Spirit baptism as a ‘second blessing’ is not unduly affected.

In the second half of the book there are very useful summaries of the teaching of First Corinthians on the nature and use of tongues and prophecy. There is a solid and very readable defence of the completed canon of Scripture as the coming of that which is perfect. The book closes with an appeal to its readers to make the choice between the Charismatic emphasis on experience or the final authority of the word of God.

Overall, this book provides a helpful, intermediate level introduction to the study of the cessation of sign gifts and ultimate authority of the Word of God. As is accurately stated in the preface, the writing is clear, coherent and a plainly scriptural antidote to Charismatic confusion today. The editorial committee of Scripture Teaching Library have thus done the saints a good service in obtaining and reprinting this timely book. Recommended.

Reviewed by Dan Rudge
© 2022 Scripture Teaching Library (Distribution) Ltd.