Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cessasionism From Luke 20:1-8

One day, as a Baptist cessationist was teaching the people in the conference and preaching the gospel (and the superiority of Christ's written word over fleeting mystical feelings), some Pentecostals leaders who believe in the continued gift of tongues and faith healing came to the Baptist and said to him, "Tell us by what authority you do believe these things, or who it is that gave you this authority to make the claim about the Bible that gifts had stopped?"
He answered them, "I will also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the ministry of Benny Hinn from heaven or from men?"
And they discussed it with one another, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Is He a God who loves and promotes thievery, lying wonders, selfish ambition, evil, greedy hearts, idolatry, and blasphemy?' But if we say, 'From man,' all our people will disown us, condemning our ministry to death, for Hinn believes what we do in this matter, and if we condemn him we condemn ourselves."
So they answered that they did not know where it came from.
And the Baptist said to them, "Then neither will I explain these things again."

11 comments:

Rojikku said...

You're a cessationist?

Phil said...

Quite so.

Derek Ashton said...

That's funny. But I have to say a Reformed continuationist like Piper would not fall into the trap so easily.

A lot of my friends are cessationists, and have heard a lot of the arguments for it, but I haven't found any of them convincing.

But I have often said the only safe way to be charismatic is to be Reformed also. :)

Anyway, thanks for the parable!

Phil said...

Derek it's interesting you say that, because I came to the same conclusion when talking to my somewhat charismatic brother. (I mean literally he is my brother, not brother in Christ.)
Although, having said that I still think it's not as accurate as cessationism even so.

I suppose I should write about that on my next post.

Derek Ashton said...

Yes, please write more on this. I find the cessationist/continuationist issue to be one of the most intriguing "minor" disagreements among Bible believers - it's a "minor" issue with some "major" implications for Christian gatherings.

Rojikku said...

I've only been witness to one miraculous event (not counting the more subtle workings of the Spirit of course) but the person I look up to as a mentor in my spiritual life more than anyone else is has a very miraculous experience of God and his father's salvation was even triggered by a miracle. Also, it's hard to accept that miraculous gifts really ended with the Apostles when you look to the stories pouring in every day from the mission field.

Rojikku said...

Also, I'm Brett Davison. I figured I should clarify that since neither my picture not my username give the slightest hint to my identity.

Phil said...

Oh hey Brett. I have a surprising number of guys from India who read the blog. I thought you might be one of them.
As cessationist we don't believe God doesn't do miracles, or give gifts to the church - this is a straw man.
We do believe the Apostolic gifts ended with the apostles, and that once the canon of scriptures were closed there were to be no more apostles and therefore no more apostolic gifts.
We will readily believe anyone can do what Paul did and heal with his shadow, but you gotta prove it first. I too hear about how magic is being done in West Africa or the jungles of South East Asia, and I do not believe it. I say who cares? Let them rumor about their false wonders, I will meanwhile cling to the Scriptures.

Phil said...

And while I have the floor I feel a strong kindred to you Brett, I too soaked up a lot of Lewis (I actually read everything he wrote, even the crappy essays and debates that aren't worth reading) and Brennan Manning in college. Lots of liberal stuff.
So in the spirit of mentoring, wishing that someone would have come along to me when I was your age, I would urge you to get enough Lewis only to be able to think like him on your own and then transition to some other books. He was a great logical thinker, but a terrible theologian. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/
You will grow even faster from reading the Puritans, or Sproul, or Macaurthur, Carl Henry. The church library has a surprising number of good books.

Rojikku said...

Well, I've already read all of Lewis' nonfiction books except for "Letters to Malcom" and "Reflections on the Psalms" and it'll take quite a bit to convince me of his "terrible theology" (you might find that my own theology is rather unconventional in some areas too). Anyway, I'll look at them but I've already got Augustine, Chesterton, and J.P. Moreland (he's a modern author so you may not have heard of him) already lined up. As for the original topic of cessastionism I tend to hold a great respect for Third World Christians and I find it difficult to dismiss their miraculous claims in the face of the explosion of Christianity in the Third World over the past fifty or so years (read "Kingdom Triangle" by J.P. Moreland for more information there) but since I lack firsthand knowledge and even good secondary information (with the exception of the book I just mentioned) it would be imprudent of me not to suspend judgement in the arena of public discourse.

DFTBA

Phil said...

Just read the first chapter of Kingdom Triangle. It proves my point- if such prolific gifts of healing exists then surely Moreland would just touch the children and heal them. Instead God by the working of His providential arm provides for them. I'd hesitate to call that a miracle, I'd call it the power of God to do as he pleases.

Not sure what you are calling unconventional, but just keep comparing everything to scripture and if it checks it's okay.