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Posts Tagged ‘Continuationism’

Why I Am a Cessationist

February 18, 2016 3 comments

By Thomas Schreiner

I am not writing on this topic because I have the final answer on spiritual gifts, for the matter is difficult and Christians who love God and the Bible disagree. Readers should know that Sam Storms and I are friends. We love one another, even though we differ on a secondary or tertiary issue, while at the same time upholding the importance of truth. Over the years I’ve become convinced that some of the so-called charismatic gifts are no longer given and that they aren’t a regular feature of life in the church. I am thinking particularly of the the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, tongues, healing, and miracles (and perhaps discernment of spirits).

Why would anyone think that some of the gifts have been withdrawn? I will argue that such a reading fits best with Scripture and experience. Scripture takes priority over experience, for it is the final authority, but Scripture must also correlate with life, and our experiences should provoke us to re-examine afresh whether we’ve read the Bible rightly. None of us reads the Bible in a vacuum, and hence we must return to the Scriptures repeatedly to ensure we’ve read them faithfully.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Cessationism – Proving Charismatic Gifts have Ceased

October 6, 2015 3 comments

From The Sword & Trowel 2011, issue 2 by Dr Peter Masters

Does the Bible teach definitively that the charismatic gifts have ceased? Can cessationism (the view that they have ended) be proved? Some say that the cessationism cannot be conclusively proved from Scripture.

We believe, however, that the ceasing of revelatory and sign-gifts in the time of the apostles is very plainly taught in God’s Word, so plainly, in fact, that the opposite view has only seriously appeared in the last 100 years or so.

The term cessationism comes from the great 17th-century confessions of faith, such as the Westminster and Baptist confessions. These both use the same word. Speaking about how God has revealed his will and committed it to the Scriptures, the confessions say, ‘Former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased’. This word does not actually come from the Bible, but the doctrine does.

Not only has revelation been completed and ceased, but so have the signs that revelation is in progress. Here is a brief summary of six biblical proofs that the revelatory gifts have ceased (visions, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, and prophecies), and also the sign-gifts (healings and speaking in tongues). God still heals, of course, but in answer to prayer, and not through the hands of a gifted healer.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Are there still apostles in the church today?

August 10, 2015 3 comments

At the outset, we should note that by “apostles” we do not simply mean “sent ones” in the general sense. Rather, we are speaking of those select individuals directly appointed and authorized by Jesus Christ to be His immediate representatives on earth. In this sense, we are speaking of “capital A” apostles – such as the Twelve and the apostle Paul.

It is these type of “apostles” that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11 and in 1 Corinthians 12:29–30. This is important because, especially in Ephesians 4 and in 1 Corinthians 12–14, Paul references apostleship within the context of the charismatic gifts. If “apostleship” has ceased, it gives us grounds to consider the possibility that other offices/gifts have ceased as well. If the apostles were unique, and the period in which they ministered was unique, then it follows that the gifts that characterized the apostolic age were also unique.

The question then is an important one, underscoring the basic principle of the cessationist paradigm – namely, the uniqueness of the apostolic age and the subsequent cessation of certain aspects of that age.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Don’t Put God in a Box

by Erik Raymond

When you read the NT you see the demonstration and description of miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Right away on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the people are speaking in tongues. Not long after we see the dead raised, lame healed, and people transported. It is a powerful outbreaking of the Holy Spirit in an arresting way.

When you read these things (and their corresponding descriptions, instructions, and warnings) a Christian must ask if these so-called miraculous gifts are operative today (i.e. the gifts of tongues, healing, & prophecy). Do we today see the same types of things happening as we did in the early chapters of Acts?

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Augustine and Miracle Reports in Church History

by Nathan Busenitz

Some time ago, I received the following question by email:

I was wondering what your thoughts are on Augustine’s “City of God”, book 22, chapter 8 where he records many miracles taking place in Carthage. Some sound doubtful — making the symbol of a cross over the malady. I’ve always found Augustine trustworthy but am sensing some overtones of superstition. Are there other sources that might shed some light on his testimony?

I’ve been asked similar questions before, regarding miracle and healing accounts throughout different eras of church history. Though each instance is different, Augustine’s testimony in The City of God provides an interesting case study.

From a cessationist perspective, here are a few thoughts in response to Augustine’s healing accounts:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Confessions of a Former Charismatic, Part 1: Me and Benny Hinn

February 11, 2014 2 comments

The venue was the NationalExhibitionCenter in Birmingham, England, the largest exhibition center in the UK. Five of us squeezed into a small car and drove the sixty-plus miles from Hereford to what we thought at the time was the biggest spiritual event of the year. Christ for All Nations, evangelist Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry, was hosting a conference, and one of the main attractions was Benny Hinn.

This was the late 80s—1988, I believe—and for most of the British population, television consisted of four stations. And none of them was TBN. This meant the only way we would ever hear the cream of American televangelists was on video or audio cassette tapes obtained either by mail-order subscription, or at conferences. The friend who drove us to Birmingham had obtained by one of these means a video of Benny Hinn, which he had shared with our church youth group some months previously. The presentation on the tape consisted of about thirty minutes of teaching—mainly Hinn recounting how his “Holy Spirit ministry” started, and then talking about how to relate to the Holy Spirit. He’s a gentleman, Hinn taught, and won’t come unless you ask. And don’t grieve the Spirit, otherwise He’s like a child, and you’ll lose His trust. There was no trace, as I recall, of his wackier teachings that I would later be made aware of. After the talk, there followed a solid hour or more of “slaying in the Spirit,” and people getting out of wheelchairs. Although four of us in the car were students of theology (two just starting University, and my best friend and I in our last year of A-Levels), we were all charismatic in our pneumatology, and Arminian in our soteriology. Within those parameters, we found a home for Hinn. More on that later.

The auditorium was at least two-thirds full. I don’t recall who the first speaker was that morning, or what he spoke about. I do remember a refreshment break, and then hurrying back to our seats to be sure we didn’t miss any of Benny Hinn’s presentation. He came out, he taught—I don’t remember any details of his teaching, though I daresay it was largely what we’d already heard on the video—and then the show started. The organ played, he set the mood, and then started with the “words of knowledge.” A lady over there being healed of something. A man somewhere at the back has been suffering with X and the Lord wants him to know he’ll be well before he leaves. Then he began calling people up on stage. People reported healings, people were in tears, and all of them were slain in the Spirit at the touch of Hinn’s hand.

 

Read the entire article here. Read Pt 2 here

Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron debate the question, “Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?”

December 2, 2013 3 comments

Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron had a very cordial debate on the question, “Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?” Dr. Brown’s rebuttal arguments did not appear to me to reflect an understanding of Dr. Waldron’s primary argument, the so-called Cascade Argument.

I strongly believe that it is important to a dialog that both sides understand the other. Thus, my hope is that by spelling out this argument in writing, I can clarify the argument to Dr. Brown, to those who agree with him, and more broadly to those considering the question of the gifts.

 

The Cascade Argument can be summarized thus:

1) There are no apostles of Christ on earth today.

2) Because there are no apostles of Christ, there are no prophets.

3) Because there are no prophets, there are no tonguespeakers.

4) In view of 1-3, there are no miracle workers on earth today.

 

Read the rest here.