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  #11  
Unread 10th May 2012, 10:05 PM
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The Nicene Creed, when speaking about the Holy Spirit speaking through prophets, only mentions the fact in the past tense.
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  #12  
Unread 11th May 2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Calvinist Dark Lord View Post
An argument from silence? Sorry, can't go along with it.
I'd hard to disagree with you here.

Don't get me wrong, I do actually agree with brother AMR's position that the traditional Presbyterian view is some form of cessationism (and here we can get into trouble--and I think AMR and I already have--if we don't define what we mean by cesationism--was it an absolute cessationism (hard) or a moderate one (soft), or either of the two?). I also hold to a cessationist view in line with my PCA church. But in any case, I still think he's overstating the case. The cited portion of the WCF relates to Sola Scriptura. It simply does not address the full range of spiritual gifts and it does not define "prophecy" as something which must introduce new doctrine--i.e. that "prophecy" is something which is always "Special Revelation" in the same sense that Scripture is, and thus, is on par with Scripture. It just does not cover the whole range of issues we find in the modern debate.

So I just don't think we can reasonably make such definitive claims regarding the bigger question of spiritual gifts (especially when it comes to a specific types of cessationism) and I certainly don't think the WCF is a good place to go to in order try to make it. I think it's better to simply refer to the Reformers as explicit examples of folks who held to a cessationist view (of some sort), then move on to Scripture. I really don't see the need to spend so much time arguing over interpretations of traditional documents and the beliefs of earlier Christians when we don't find an explicit view expressed in them, especially on this issue. I think it's safe to say that Calvin was clearly a cessationist of some sort. Yippie! We're not all bound to believe everything Calvin believes. But even if we felt the need to reconcile Calvin, this particular issue would require an explicit expression of hard cessationism (which from everything I've encountered, is either hard to come by or simply not to be found) to really show that continuationists are out of sync traditionally with Calvin (or anyone else), because showing that Calvin or the Westiminister divines were "soft cessationists" will not satisfy continuationists who will just claim, "cool, but they didn't completely rule them out and THEY'RE BACK NOW!!!" So why bother? Go to Scripture and go to the decisions of traditional and modern Presbyterian churches on the issue.

I.e. I think it's much simpler to say that Presbyterians have traditionally held to some form of cessationism as did the magisterial Reformers, and that today, most conservative Presbyterians such as the OPC and PCA hold to cessationism (as I understand it, the OPC explicitly to hard cessationism and the PCA allowing for various ranges within cessationism) while more liberal Presbyterians such as the PCUSA and EPC are open to continuationist views.

In any case, this book will probably be useful in learning more about the views of the Westminster divines view of prophecy and special revelation.
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Sola Scriptura does NOT reject tradition; it simply limits its authority.

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  #13  
Unread 11th May 2012, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Cjwinnit View Post
The Nicene Creed, when speaking about the Holy Spirit speaking through prophets, only mentions the fact in the past tense.
Yes. But this is not a claim of hard cessationism and only a claim of hard cessationism can be rightly marshaled against a continuationist. Otherwise, they can (and likely would) simply claim that this does not rule out a future return of the gifts. This is the problem with appealing to tradition with this particular issue. You can certainly find a historical cessationism, but finding explicit hard cessationism in tradition is another thing. It's like the RCC/EO claim about the Eucharist. The ECFs certainly seemed to believe that there was something going on beyond just a ceremony when they broke bread, but nailing down the specific belief just can't be done based on what we have. You can just as easily justify the Lutheran view or the Reformed view with those quotes because they're just not explicit enough.

But is it worth going to a hard cessationism just to make sure those pesky charismatics don't come around? Personally, I'm with Michael Horton on this one in that it's not a hill I feel the need to die on....
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  #14  
Unread 11th May 2012, 07:17 PM
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PCA Historical Center: PCA Pastoral Letter on the Expeience of the Holy Spirit in the Church Today
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  #15  
Unread 6th June 2012, 10:56 AM
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I see that more of a cautious continuist position more than anything. Or, as Driscoll puts it, "Charismatic with a seatbelt."
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  #16  
Unread 6th June 2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by file13 View Post
I'd hard to disagree with you here.

Don't get me wrong, I do actually agree with brother AMR's position that the traditional Presbyterian view is some form of cessationism (and here we can get into trouble--and I think AMR and I already have--if we don't define what we mean by cesationism--was it an absolute cessationism (hard) or a moderate one (soft), or either of the two?). I also hold to a cessationist view in line with my PCA church. But in any case, I still think he's overstating the case. The cited portion of the WCF relates to Sola Scriptura. It simply does not address the full range of spiritual gifts and it does not define "prophecy" as something which must introduce new doctrine--i.e. that "prophecy" is something which is always "Special Revelation" in the same sense that Scripture is, and thus, is on par with Scripture. It just does not cover the whole range of issues we find in the modern debate.

So I just don't think we can reasonably make such definitive claims regarding the bigger question of spiritual gifts (especially when it comes to a specific types of cessationism) and I certainly don't think the WCF is a good place to go to in order try to make it. I think it's better to simply refer to the Reformers as explicit examples of folks who held to a cessationist view (of some sort), then move on to Scripture. I really don't see the need to spend so much time arguing over interpretations of traditional documents and the beliefs of earlier Christians when we don't find an explicit view expressed in them, especially on this issue. I think it's safe to say that Calvin was clearly a cessationist of some sort. Yippie! We're not all bound to believe everything Calvin believes. But even if we felt the need to reconcile Calvin, this particular issue would require an explicit expression of hard cessationism (which from everything I've encountered, is either hard to come by or simply not to be found) to really show that continuationists are out of sync traditionally with Calvin (or anyone else), because showing that Calvin or the Westiminister divines were "soft cessationists" will not satisfy continuationists who will just claim, "cool, but they didn't completely rule them out and THEY'RE BACK NOW!!!" So why bother? Go to Scripture and go to the decisions of traditional and modern Presbyterian churches on the issue.

I.e. I think it's much simpler to say that Presbyterians have traditionally held to some form of cessationism as did the magisterial Reformers, and that today, most conservative Presbyterians such as the OPC and PCA hold to cessationism (as I understand it, the OPC explicitly to hard cessationism and the PCA allowing for various ranges within cessationism) while more liberal Presbyterians such as the PCUSA and EPC are open to continuationist views.

In any case, this book will probably be useful in learning more about the views of the Westminster divines view of prophecy and special revelation.
Always the details trip us up.

Perhaps it would have been best for the OP to have defined what the Charisma entailed, and what was not intended.

i can only correct that oversight for myself, and we can quibble over the details.

FIRST OFF:
Universal Special Revelation since the close of the canon does NOT exist.

That is to say, 'Revelation knowledge' as such that applies to the entire Church simply does not happen (Hebrews 1:1-2)

In this i strongly agree with AMR.

i don't believe that any Christian who believes the teaching of Sola Scriptura could disagree and maintain a consistent theology.

That said, the issue of revelation to individuals, groups, specific congregations, and even geographical areas is quite another matter.




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  #17  
Unread 8th June 2012, 03:12 PM
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Soft Cessationism is also the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. St. John of the Cross , a Doctor of the Church, argues for it in his ascent to Mt. Carmel. He argues that there is no new Revelation after the cannonisation of the New Testament.
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