Cessationism Resources

Does anyone know of trusted sources on the issue of Cessationism/Continuationism? Justin Peters and people around him have tons of sources, but sometimes I feel he goes a little too far if I am being honest.

Just for reference, I have no issue believing stories that I hear from missionaries about them or someone they know miraculously being able to speak in a native language without previously knowing how to speak it, but I do not believe that God grants an individual the gift of healing or gives them the ability to raise the dead today. I believe that God can do what He pleases, and He can use normal people to accomplish His plan. I don’t want to find myself in a position where I am saying for certain what God can and cannot do. The first time realizing that I was beginning to do this was at the Shepherds Conference last year when Pastor Bayly discussed this issue briefly. It was a hard smack to my conscience.

I did check out Warhorn but did not see anything unless I was missing it. Thanks in advance!

Hi Dillon, I will see what I can find on this.

Disclosure: I am from a continuationist background, and am of this view. With that in mind, may I suggest that the view we call “continuationist”, is actually much more nuanced in practice than it is sometimes presented; and there is at least one group in the UK which is both Charismatic and Reformed - an interesting combination!

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Check out Robert Letham’s book The Holy Spirit. He has a chapter on New Testament Gifts as well as Pentecostalism/Charismatic Renewal. He does a lot of heavy lifting for the layman, interacting with a lot of other works so you don’t have to. I only skimmed these chapters but he seems fair and balanced. Seems to me you’ll get the most bang for your buck with this book.

Also, you could do worse than spend time with Calvin’s commentary on 1 Corinthians 12-14.

I too have often found myself uncomfortable with cessationists like Peters. I’m thankful for their fight against cooky heretics, but it seems they have overreacted with a desire to eliminate all ambiguity from Scripture.

Also: check out Tim’s sermons on 1 Corinthians. I’m sure they will be helpful on this.

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(coming back to this). Also have a look at anything by Jack Deere, who was with the Vineyard movement for some time. Along the way, he was also an OT assistant prof at Dallas Theological Seminary - before, obviously, parting company with them - which means that he does bring some academic rigour to the matter.

By nuance: while I think God can and does move miraculously, as in healing, I think it is also by exception. It is not that miracles advance the Kingdom; more that as the Kingdom advances, through the preaching of the Gospel, we are more likely to see the miraculous. Signs and wonders, works of mercy, works of justice accompany the Gospel - but they are not the Gospel itself.

Likewise, when we talk about the power of God in the life of a believer, the priority is, “power to live a holy life” much more than it is, “power to do the stuff”. Pentecost is one of the Holiness traditions, but it has also learnt the hard way what happens when people have the gifts, but don’t have the character stuff nailed down first.

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Dillon, this is a thought-provoking article by Vern Poythress.

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Many of these study papers are helpful, and here is
1974_Pastoral_Letter_Holy_Spirit.pdf (895.4 KB)
on spiritual gifts:

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I read ‘Surprised by the Power of the Spirit’ a number of years ago when wrestling through these issues. What actually surprised me was that Deere’s exegesis on the relevant passages was almost as bad as John MacArthur’s.

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