Cessationism and straw men

There is no subject I’ve touched upon here at Steak and a Bible that has gotten more pushback than cessationism. It seems whenever I bring up the subject that I get a string of comments, including personal attacks that I consider unfit for publication because they try to judge my relationship with Jesus. In argumentation, ad hominem attacks are the weakest form of argument. With the goal of trying to elevate this discussion above such personal criticisms and straw men caricatures of either side I share this article with you all.

The Cripplegate posted this piece from Nathan Busenitz entitled: What Cessationism is Not.

Busenitz wrote: “Over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed investigating the historical record regarding the charismatic gifts, especially the gift of tongues. And I can only hope that the above pastor, and his co-author, will treat the material responsibly in their upcoming work on the subject. (Who knows, maybe they’d be open to a two-views book?) I would also hope that, in the process of critiquing the cessationist position, the authors do not create a straw man version of cessationism. (I’ll admit that, based on what I’ve read so far, I’m afraid the straw man is already under construction.)”

Busenitz goes on to explain four things that cessationism is not: 1) Cessationism is not anti-supernatural, nor does it deny the possibility for miracles. 2) Cessationism is not founded on one’s interpretation of “the perfect” 1 Corinthians 13:10. 3) Cessationism is not an attack on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. 4) Cessationism is not a product of the Enlightenment.

I found this explanation very helpful, although I admit the second point was a bit out of my depth and I’m going to need to reread it. I urge you, whether you are a cessationist or a continuationist, to check out this clarifying article from Busenitz at The Cripplegate and let’s leave the straw men behind.

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1 Response to Cessationism and straw men

  1. Cessationism is the only reasonable choice.

    How are we to “test” anything except through God’s Written Word?

    We cannot rely on experiential, feeling-based testing. That is capriciousness, at best. Also, we cannot rely on our thought life as it, too, is faulty (stinkin’ thinkin’).

    I believe cessationism has somehow become synonymous with Deism when that is simply not the case.

    Great post!


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