Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
  • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
  • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
  • Access to private conversations with other members.

We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

  1. Servent of Yeshua

    Servent of Yeshua I know I spelt Servant wrong, lol.

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Hello. I was wondering if Cessationism is the historical view of the church, I've thus far just assumed that it is lol, does anyone know if there is any evidence of this, anything I can read up on? Also, does anyone know anything good I can read about Cessationism, explaining how it's biblical?

    Thank you very much.

    Grace and Peace in Christ to God's elect.
     
  2. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran CF Ambassador

    Messages:
    7,086
    Likes Received:
    117
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    As far as I can tell from a quick web search, the opinion historically has been as it is now: divided. Many writers think gifts were temporary, though not all think it's impossible that they could be revived in specific situations. But there have always been groups that showed evidence of spiritual gifts. The Wikipedia article on cessationism gives some well-known early writers on both sides. Sometimes fringe groups showed evidence, e.g. the radicals during the Reformation, and the Quakers. Luther and Calvin are often classified as saying that gifts were temporary, but as being open to the possibility of gifts in specific situations. According to one web site Beza said that Calvin had spoken in tongues, and was worried about it. It sounds to me like part of his worry was that his tongues didn't seem to be any actual language, and his reading of Acts 2 was that the disciples were speaking in actual languages.
     
  3. Servent of Yeshua

    Servent of Yeshua I know I spelt Servant wrong, lol.

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Being open in specific situations is classical Cessationism, i.e. if a missionary brings the gospel to an unreached tribe for the first time. I'm surprised to hear that Calvin apparently spoke in 'tongues'. That probably needs to be checked up on.

    Thanks.
     
  4. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran CF Ambassador

    Messages:
    7,086
    Likes Received:
    117
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    In Google, search for "calvin beza tongues". You'll see many references to the passage. Beza seems really to have said it. I very much doubt that he made it up. It doesn't look like it was a significant part of Calvin's Christian life or ministry. In fact I believe he had trouble making sense of it. Calvin tended to be a cessationist, though not a hard-core one that denied it was possible ever.

    My position is that God normally works though normal human activity, but that in particular situations he has been known to intervene either directly or though giving people special gifts. I guess that's cessationism of a sort.
     
  5. file13

    file13 A wild boar has entered in the vineyard

    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    Some folks would call this a "soft cessationism." I.e. "the gifts died out, but God is God and so could bring them back, though I wouldn't hold my breath."

    I would personally identify with this view because I don't think it's explicitly clear from special revelation that the "supernatural gifts" died out for good and will not come back in some form. But I'm also extremely skeptical about anyone claiming supernatural gifts today.
     
  6. AMR

    AMR Presbyterian (PCA) Supporter

    Messages:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    Our Confessional basis is clearly cessationist, for many hundreds of years.... ;)

    WCF

    [FONT=&quot]I.VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men. (m) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: (n) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed. (o)

    m. 2 Tim.3:15-17; Gal. 1:8,9; 2 Thess.2:2.
    n. Jn. 6:45; 1 Cor.2:9-12.
    o. 1 Cor.11:13,14; 1 Cor. 14:26,40.[/FONT]

    See also HC, Question 21
     
  7. file13

    file13 A wild boar has entered in the vineyard

    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    True, when it comes to the specific gift of prophecy.

    However, neither confession addresses other spiritual gifts. When most folks ask the cessationist / continuationist question, they generally are asking about the whole range of spiritual gifts, not just prophecy. As you no doubt know, things like speaking in tongues were more or less off the radar of the divines, so we shouldn't be surprised to not find it discussed.
     
  8. AMR

    AMR Presbyterian (PCA) Supporter

    Messages:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    File13,

    Not quite factual. Tongues not on the radar of the Westminster divines because they clearly understood that the apostolic sign gifts closed with the NT canon.
     
  9. file13

    file13 A wild boar has entered in the vineyard

    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    That's a very reasonable assumption. But without explicit records of what some of the divines wrote on the matter we could point to them (and if you have such sources, then please, by all means share them), it remains an assumption.
     
  10. Calvinist Dark Lord

    Calvinist Dark Lord Regular Member

    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    35
    Politics:
    US-Libertarian
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    More likely the esteemed gentlemen realised that where God had kept His Holy Mouth shut, so should they.

    An argument from silence? Sorry, can't go along with it.
     
  11. Cjwinnit

    Cjwinnit Advocatus Diaboli (Retired)

    Messages:
    2,971
    Likes Received:
    35
    Faith:
    Anglican
    The Nicene Creed, when speaking about the Holy Spirit speaking through prophets, only mentions the fact in the past tense.
     
  12. file13

    file13 A wild boar has entered in the vineyard

    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    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.
     
  13. file13

    file13 A wild boar has entered in the vineyard

    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    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....
     
  14. AMR

    AMR Presbyterian (PCA) Supporter

    Messages:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
  15. ThatWhichIsnt

    ThatWhichIsnt evidence trumps all

    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Atheist
  16. Calvinist Dark Lord

    Calvinist Dark Lord Regular Member

    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    35
    Politics:
    US-Libertarian
    Faith:
    Presbyterian
    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.




     
  17. Monseigneur_Gentilhomme

    Monseigneur_Gentilhomme Newbie

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    CA-Bloc
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    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.
     
Loading...