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Featured Cessationism: Tongues, Prophecy, and the Gift of Miracles Have Ceased.

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Bible Highlighter, Jan 3, 2019.

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  1. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    You're saying that prophethood in the church was merely a chronological stage of immaturity - it's babe-style revelation - until the church reached maturity in tandem with receiving the canon. There are several problems with this argument.
    (1) The most serious objection is that it actually constitutes heresy. To insinuate that walking in prophetic revelation, prior to the NT canon, is chronologically a period of worldwide babe-level immaturity, knowledge, and revelation is to insinuate that The Prophet (Christ) was immature like the Corinthians, for lack of a NT.
    (2) To claim that we who have the NT have more knowledge - the complete knowledge - in comparison to the prophets is to suggest that the average Christian, merely in virtue of having the NT, knows more than Paul (even Christ)! And one cessationist-scholar actually made the claim we all know more than Paul! It's difficult to imagine anything more ludicrous.
    (3) The argument is too unclear - it doesn't seem to make sense. If prophetic revelation were immaturity - mere babe-like babbling - then the OT and NT, which are prophetic revelations in writing, would seem to be puerile babbling as well.
    (4) Churchwide maturity was NOT reached at the time of the canon, in 300 A.D. Far from it. Nor is the canon even mentioned in 1Cor 13. Based on such facts, it's more reasonable to claim that 1Cor 13 is not a metaphor of the corporate church as a unit, but rather a metaphor of the individual Christian maturing.
    (5) The argument backfires. If the gifts remain until churchwide maturity, the widespread existence of immaturity becomes a theological basis for continuationism.
     
  2. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Again, not interested in debating this with you. I disagree with your handling of Scripture, friend.

    So lets agree to disagree.

    May God's love shine upon you today.
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Oh I see, so you startup a thread where you post volumes of cessationist dogma and then, when I start objecting to it, you suddenly don't want to talk about it anymore? Is that supposed to shut me up?
     
  4. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    LOL. 1Cor 13 teaches, to resummarize:
    (1) Prophecy in part (ek merou), as immaturity, anticipates prophecy in full.
    (2) Spiritual maturity is therefore maturation in the gifts.
    (3) Paul depicted himself mature relative to the Corinthians, and yet still immature (relative to Christ it would seem), prophesying in part, suggesting an endless cyle of relative maturity.

    The point to be made here is that some noted cesssationist scholars already concede all three fundamental premises (prior to their back-pedaling). Examples:

    Robert Thomas says, “The [Greek] idiom ek merou" [in part] is specifically quantitative in character.”1 Along with other leading cessationists Weaver, Houghton, and Farnell,2 Robert Thomas admitted that “„in part‟ (ek merou") anticipates quantitatively increasing “degrees of revelatory understanding…This is quantitative, not qualitative.”3

    Houghton conceded:

    "In the quantitative contrast in verses 9 and 10 the partial is contrasted with the complete (or perfect)…The nature of the partial gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge…is that they are revelational in quality. Since this is so, „the perfect‟ [the mature] must also be revelational.4


    Robert Thomas asked, “By what criteria may maturity in the body of Christ be gauged?…The criterion before Paul in 1Corinthians 13...centers in knowledge, tongues, and prophecy...for special revelation and [miraculous] signs for verification of this revelation (cf. Heb 2:3-4).”5 Likewise Gentry admits that “the mature” is the quantitative escalation of “partial” prophecy, knowledge, and tongues properly defined as revelatory experiences.6

    I can also cite cessationists Thomas and Farnell specifically on the concept of 'relative maturity'.7

    Ok so I just gave you a slew of cessationist scholars who concede all my fundamental conclusions regarding 1Cor 13. Therefore I must perforce disagree with your assessment:
    If my analysis is way out of line, so is the cessationist camp.

    Footnotes:
    1 Robert L. Thomas, ―Tongues…Will Cease,‖ Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol 17:2 (1974), p. 82, Galaxie Software.

    2. Cessationists Thomas, Houghton, Farnell, Weaver, Bellshaw all admit that knowledge and prophecy at 1Cor 13:8-13 refer to direct revelations such as words of knowledge, and that the fullness of what is in part (ek merou") anticipates a quantitative escalation of this direct revelation rather than a termination (see Myron J. Houghton, A Reexamination of 1Corinthians 13:8-13,‖ Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 153:611 (1996), pp. 349-350; Gilbert Weaver,Tongues Shall Cease,‖ Grace Theological Journal, Vol 14:1 (1973), pp. 12-25; F. David Farnell,When Will the Gift of Prophecy Cease?‖ Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 150:598 (1993), pp. 192-194; Robert L. Thomas, 1Cor 13:11 Revisited: An Exegetical Update,‖ Masters Seminary Journal, Vol 4:2 (1993), pp. 187-203); William G. Bellshaw, ―The Confusion of Tongues‖ Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 120 (1963), p. 151.


    3. See Robert L. Thomas,1Cor 13:11 Revisited: An Exegetical Update,‖ Masters Seminary Journal, Vol 4:2 (1993), p. 190, Galaxie Software. ―When that which is perfect [or mature] is come, then that which is in part shall be done away‖ (1Cor 13:10, KJV). The ―in part‖ is quantitative.

    4. Myron J. Houghton, ―A Reexamination of 1Corinthians 13:8-13, Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 153:611 (1996), p. 350, Galaxie Software.

    5. Robert L. Thomas, ―Tongues…Will Cease,‖ Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol 17:2 (1974), p. 88, Galaxie Software.

    6. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy: A Reformed Response to Wayne Grudem (Memphis: Footstool, 1989), p. 54.

    7. . For instance cessationist Robert Thomas speaks of "the relative maturity that is implied in the illustration of v. 11 as well as the absolute maturity that is depicted in v. 12" (Robert L. Thomas, Tongues…Will Cease,Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol 17:2 (1974), p. 86, Galaxie Software). Twenty years later Thomas cited Robertson and Plummer as affirming that the verb kathvrghka ("I desisted childish things") is a relative maturity such that the desisting recurs with each new level of relative maturity (see Robert L. Thomas, 1Cor 13:11 Revisited: An Exegetical Update,‖ Masters Seminary Journal, Vol 4:2 (1993), pp. 187-203). Virtually quoting Thomas verbatim, cessationist Farnell postulates a "relative maturity implied by the illustration in verse 11 as well as the absolute maturity depicted in verse 12" (F. David Farnell,When Will the Gift of Prophecy Cease?‖ Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 150:598 (1993), p. 195, Galaxie Software). Again, "In verse 11, a relative maturity is signified, while verse 12 indicates an absolute maturity…[The relative maturity] is constantly changing and increasing" (ibid, p. 193). Thus, "Pauline usage of [mature] never conveys the idea of absolute perfection" (Ibid.). Cessationist Houghton sees the child analogy the same way, namely as relative maturity (relative perfection) continually in progress (Myron J. Houghton, ―A Reexamination of 1Corinthians 13:8-13,‖ Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 153:611 (1996), pp. 349-350). JFB comments on 1Cor 2:6: "Perfect‘ is used not of absolute perfection, but relatively to babes."
     
  5. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Spiritual Director

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    Prophesying will be abolished. As prophecy's content will be revealed in fulfillment, there'll then no longer be prophecy.

    Tongues will stop, since they'd a temporary significance; they lapsed and ended when their object was attained.

    Knowledge will be done away with. A time will come when this will have served its purpose and so will be abolished.
     
  6. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    It's logically incoherent to abolish knowledge. Therefore 1Cor 13 is more likely dealing with maturation of the gifts, not their abolition, as I argued at post 331.
     
  7. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Spiritual Director

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  8. NBB

    NBB Well-Known Member

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    Everything God says is the word of God, since they are words from God, at least i think that it make sense right? should be everything be added to the bible? no, in the NT times i'm sure existed a lot of prophecies that didn't make it to the bible too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  9. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    This is EXACTLY what I am talking about.

    People that don't operate in the gifts telling those who do, what they are, and how they work. Thus confirming their ignorance.

    There are at least five different kinds of tongues.
     
  10. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Please feel free to enlighten us with Scripture about this.
     
  11. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    And now you want to control the discussion about it?
     
  12. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Ok well that's a more clear way of phrasing your argument. But it's not a credible extrapolation of 1Cor 13, as I've been demonstrating since post 331.

    It's also questionable for another reason. Will there ever be a time when the things of God can be properly conceived without supernatural comprehension? 1Cor 2:14 casts considerable doubt on such a notion. I'll likely come back to this issue later, but for now a simple example will suffice. Can the joy of the Lord be comprehended exegetically, without supernatural aid? Hardly. What we need is an OUTPOURING of that EXPERIENCE from on high, which constitutes a DIRECT REVELATION of joy.

    Christians who have lived through revivals can attest to such experiences - levels of joy exceeding their wildest imaginations. As far as I can see, today's Christians have no concept of this, as there hasn't been a major revival for probably 100 years or so.
     
  13. Lost4words

    Lost4words In reality, an old dog! Supporter

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    Tongues is 'Languages'. What we see today with mass congregations uttering utter gobbledegook and falling over and writhing on the floor comes from something other than the Holy Spirit.

    When Jesus came across someone like that He cast demons out of them.

    I find it very scary about what is going on with all these churches claiming to speak in so called 'tongues' with multitudes falling over etc etc. Even the Catholic church has a Charismatic movement, of which, i am very very cautious of.

    Biblical Tongues has been twisted to accredit these different charismatic movements.
     
  14. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    You insinuate that the 'perfect' Word, once arrived, replaced the gifts, yet admit that even the law as given in the OT was already 'perfect'. If the perfect Word was already there, then why was there any gifts? You go on to say authentication was needed then, but is NOT needed now. Why not? Because the church has already accepted the written Word? Muslims would 100% agree. In their view the church (Islam) has already accepted the true written Word (the Quran).

    The point is this. Evangelism (e.g. preaching to Muslims) cannot be maximally effective unless maximally authenticated. Unless you don't care about Muslims, Hindus, Atheists (etc), please don't try to convince us that authentication is any less needed now than ever. That argument simply doesn't make sense, logically. There are multiple logical problems with cessationism. I plan to expose them as I have time.

    In my view, most exegetes work WAY TOO HARD. In many cases, a simple logical analysis - a simple attempt to remain logically consistent - is usually FAR more productive and decisive than innumerable hours spent laboring over Greek and Hebrew grammar.

    Second example of a logical problem (and I can name about a half dozen in all). The NT is a charismatically saturated document. I could probably point out 20 allusions to charismatic dynamics in the first chapter of Mark. One chapter! Cessationism, therefore, insinuates that God is an incompetent instructor. How so?

    Apparently He targets the NT for 300 A.D, but the gifts were already obsolete 200 years prior. No actually He targed the NT for 1500 A.D, because there was no printing press until then. As a result, for the first 5,500 years of church history, He failed to properly equip His people. Then, FINALLY, in 1500 A.D. the written Word achieves widespread circulation - and what do we get? A charismaticaly saturated book, rife with supernatural paraphernalia obsolete for 1400 years, and to boot, a church DEFINED in charismatic terms. Here again is Paul's definition of a church:

    28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues (1Cor 12).

    And again:

    11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4).

    Odd, he seems to persist the gifts until churchwide maturity. Also we have:

    "Follow the way of love, and eagerly desire spiritual things, especially the gift of prophecy" (1Cor 14:1).

    Strange hermenetic that would cherrypick this verse, where the first half (love) is seen as applicable today, and the second half obsolete. Why put love in the same sentence as prophecy if it was already obsolete 1400 years prior? Is God intent on trying to confuse and mislead us?

    To summarize, the logical problem here is that cessationism construes God as THE MOST INCOMPETENT INSTRUCTOR WHO EVER LIVED, because, after making us wait 5500 years to receive His instruction manual, He gives us a charismatically saturated document largely obsolete 1400 years prior.

    Now here's MY view. The prophet Abraham is depicted in the NT as the paradigm for all believers (not to mention The Prophet Christ). He is mentioned more times in the NT than anyone except the prophet Moses - and he didn't have a Bible! Maybe God was NOT a 5500-year failure as a leader. Maybe He DID in fact offer a way to equip His people during all those centuries. Maybe His INTENDED provision was the gift of prophecy:

    "Follow the way of love, and eagerly desire spiritual things, especially the gift of prophecy" (1Cor 14:1).

    Actually for me, this is far more than a Maybe, it's a logical necessity for reasons that will become clear as the discussion proceeds.
     
  15. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I am simply wanting to see if you can back up your claims with the Bible.
     
  16. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Continuationism is also problematic because of Sola Scriptura.
    One has to concede that prophecy of the future is still happening and that God's Word is not sufficient as a part of future prophecy.
     
  17. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    One of the main reasons you are ignorant about tongues, is that the Bible has very little to say about them. Any attempts by me to help you understand from a biblical perspective will likely be met with arguments about what the Bible does say about them.

    Probably 90 percent of what we know about spiritual gifts comes from 1Cor.12+14. If the Corinthian church had not been "swinging from the chandeliers" we probably wouldn't even have that much. Therefore, the best way to learn about tongues is to worship with Pentecostals or Charismatics. This involves some culture shock for those not accustomed.

    With that as an introduction, here is a list of the five different kinds of tongues that I have identified.

    Five Different kinds of tongues
    1) Personal prayer language - Speaking to/with God
    2) Intercessory prayer language - Praying for others in the Spirit
    3) Prophetic ministry language - Addressing a message to the whole congregation
    4) Singing in the Spirit - Singing in tongues/worship activity
    5) Evangelistic language - Speaking the message of God to a people in their own language (not yours)
     
  18. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Spiritual Director

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    Unbelievers reject the gifts which the Spirit wants to give them; they want nothing to do with them. They seem like foolishness to them, and they can't perceive them, for a person's grasp of them must come spiritually.

    Where there isn't spirituality, where the Spirit hasn't regenerated, there every person's judgment will insist that the Gospel is foolish.
     
  19. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    To begin with, Sola Scriptura is a joke of a doctrine easily shown self-contradictory. Moreover it isn't viable, for obvious reasons such as the following.

    (1) Due to the fallibility of exegesis, it can't provide 100% certainty of salvation. 100% certainty is a supernaturally induced state, essentially definitive of prophetic revelation (those guys needed to be sure after all), wherein it becomes impossible to question, doubt,or feel any reservations about a datum. Christ would be a pretty lame leader if He had forever doomed His apostles - as well as us - to a state of uncertainty regarding our salvation, our mission, our methods, and our doctrines.

    (2) Infallibile doctrine isn't optional as a priority. Why so? 100 billion people have lived and died since the world began. Therefore we can't afford to risk making mistakes in evangelism. Since there's too much at stake, we NEED to seek infallible guidance (prophecy) as TOP PRIORITY. Hmmm...That's funny, seems like Paul had the same priority (gee what a surprise!):

    "Follow the way of love, but eagerly desire spiritual things, ESPECIALLY the gift of prophecy" (1Cor 14:1)

    In fact, proper evangelism is prophetic utterance (as I plan to demonstrate later). And even if I'm wrong I'm still right. Why? Because even if we DON'T need infallible revelation, we still need, given the stakes (100 billiion souls), to be infallibly sure that we DON'T NEED IT. So we still need to seek infallible revelation. Hence there's no escaping this need, logically.

    Paul never commands the churches to evangelize! Instead, he commanded them to seek the gift of prophecy. Why? For the obvious reason that, where prophecy abounds, evangelism will eventually be taken care of. As Jesus said, "it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of my Father speaking through you."


    I'll say it again. Most exegetes tend to work MUCH TOO HARD. Simple common-sense logic easily leads to a much more reasonable theology than what we've seen for the last 2,000 years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  20. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member

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    Muslims also soeak in tonques. I saw a book in a SBCK bookstore called something like Charismatic Renewal. One of the chapters was Charismatic Renewal in Islam.
    Tongues are also spoken in pagan religions.
     
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