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Convince me of Continuationism.

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Bible Highlighter, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yes, but we aren't talking about sequels. The Continuationist argument depends on there having been no break in the continuity. None.

    The claim is that the absence of any gaps proves a Biblical point. The claim about there being a promise in Scripture is debatable, but the Continuationist argument says just that.
     
  2. Bible Highlighter

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

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    I understand that. I am just saying it would not be a contradiction to mention the other terms I mentioned before if one man later in time had the sign gifts. But that is just speculation and not a thing based on Scripture. The gifts in the early church were for all.
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Essential? You're saying any subsiding of the gifts in church history proves cessation? So for example if Noah was in the ark for five months and lived a few days without performing a miracle, this proves cessationism? I guess Moses didn't perform any miracles, then, since the gifts had already ceased in Noah's day.

    How can cessationists expect us to take them seriously when they put forth such "arguments" ?

    Continuationism is solidly rooted in exegesis. It doesn't need absolute continuity in history.
     
  4. Jesus is YHWH

    Jesus is YHWH my Lord and my God ! Supporter

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    Do you think miracles are the exception or the rule in scripture from Genesis through Acts ?

    besides these few people below over a 4000 year period where are the miracles ?

    1-God used Moses to perform the miracles to have His people released from bondage to Pharaoh.

    2- God used a few prophets after Moses like Elijah and Elisha to perform miracles.

    3- Then a huge gap in miracles until Jesus comes on the scene.

    4- Then we see the Apostles performing miracles.

    In each of these cases the Miracles validated their message that they were Gods mouthpiece and God uses those miracles, signs and wonders to authenticate the message came from God.

    One thing that is often overlooked in discussions about signs and miracles is the timing and placement of them in the Scriptures. Contrary to popular belief, people in Bible times did not see miracles all the time. In fact, the miracles of the Bible are generally grouped around special events in God's dealing with mankind. Israel's deliverance from Egypt and entrance into the Promised Land were accompanied by many miracles, but the miracles faded away soon afterward. During the late kingdom years, when God was about to place the people in exile, He allowed some of His prophets to do miracles. When Jesus came to live among us, He did miracles, and in the early ministry of the apostles, they did miracles, but outside of those times, we see very few miracles or signs in the Bible. The vast majority of people who lived in Bible times never saw signs and wonders with their own eyes. They had to live by faith in what God had already revealed to them.

    In the early church, the signs and wonders were primarily centered around the first presentation of the gospel among various people groups. On the day of Pentecost, we read that there were “Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5). It was to these Jews, who had been raised in other lands, and spoke those foreign languages (v. 6-11), that the sign of tongues was first given. They acknowledged that they were hearing in their native tongues about the wonderful works of God, and Peter told them that the only appropriate response was to repent of their sins (v. 38). When the gospel was first presented among the Samaritans, we read that Philip did signs and wonders (Acts 8:13).

    Again, when Peter was sent to Cornelius, a gentile, God gave a miraculous sign to confirm His work. “And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God” (Acts 10:45-46). When Peter was questioned by the other apostles, he gave this as evidence of God's leading, and the others “glorified God, saying, ‘Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life’” (Acts 11:18).

    In every instance, the sign gifts were a confirmation of God's message and messenger, in order that people might hear and believe. Once the message was confirmed, the signs faded away. We typically don't have a need for those signs to be repeated in our lives, but we do need to receive the same gospel message. got ?

    hope this helps !!!
     
  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    "any subsiding?"

    This looks like one more exercise in tinkering with the meaning of Cessationism or Continuationism in order to find some slender leg to stand upon and hopefully make the Continuationist claim seem viable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  6. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    The Inward Witness (Direct Revelation) can authenticate without recourse to external signs and wonders. One therefore has to ask, Why does God leverage signs and wonders? Personal preference! That's what Yahweh PREFERS (they glorify Him) - and He does not change. Therefore any lack of signs and wonders in the Christian community is evidence of a problem - evidence that we have not attained to walking in full favor with Him. Jesus "hinted" (cough) at it like this:

    "I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27And there were many in Israel with leprosy g in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

    The lack of signs and wonders indicated a problem. The community of believers were actually under judgment.
     
  7. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps Continuationists scholars unanimously insist on unbroken continuity (can't go one milisecond without a miracle). I dunno. I certainly don't remember that question arising in the articles I read. I certainly don't hold to such a strict requirement.

    Can you cite any Continuationists on this point? Do they really claim that any discontinuity would shatter their own doctrine of Continuationism?
     
  8. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    That's not what I said. In reply to another person's hypothetical scenario, I wrote:

     
  9. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    I don't understand. Are you backpedaling now? Here's what you said earlier:

    "The Continuationist argument depends on there having been no break in the continuity. None."
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I don't see the problem. The statement you quoted seems right.
     
  11. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Well it is what I have heard from every Continuationist of my acquaintance.

    And the word itself--which no Continuationist seems unwilling to use when debating on this subject--says it unequivocally.

    If the granting of the gifts ceased during the Middle Ages or at some other time, but some Christians later on decided to start them up again, or even if the HS chose to grant them in large numbers for some purpose or revivalism or whatever...that would not be Continuationism, strictly speaking.

    AND the argument that the modern version is real because, you see, the Bible promised that the gifts would not stop coming, ever, or that history shows, or something else of that sort, would be useless as a proof.
     
  12. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Strawman argument. Misextrapolation of Continuationism. When the 120 prophesied (in other languages) on Pentecost, Peter it classified it as a fulfillment of Joel's promise, "They shall prophesy". Several types of Promised Land will always remain available:

    "The promise [of Joel] is to you, and to your children, to all who are far off, to all whom the Lord your God shall call" (Acts 2:39).

    Discontinuity does not impugn Continuationism but rather indicts the church of failing to go up and possess the Promised Land.
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Nothing about that conflicts with cessationism. Indeed, it's basically what we've said several times already.
     
  14. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Actually I was just reinforcing that discontinuity proves nothing. On the other hand, since you mention it, I personally think Acts 2:39 does weigh somewhat against a cessationist hermeneutic. Joel's promised Spirit of prophecy appears to be intended for all believers.
     
  15. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    Do you think I am clairvoyant or something? All I can comment on are the posts that I see. All I have seen from you on that subject was the one I replied to. It's not my fault if you never expressed your opinion properly.

    There is nothing wrong with my assertion. God certainly did give prophecy in abundance to the spiritually immature Corinthians. And that was true direct-revelation prophecy, not todays fake 'prophecy' from feelings. There was so much prophesying at their meetings that they were interrupting each other. So Paul had to limit them to 2 or 3 per meeting speaking in turn. That means there must have been considerably more prophets than that in the congregation, let's say 6. When you consider the size of their congregation was only around 30 (enough to fit into a house), that means 20% of the church were prophets. Considering that was more prophets in a church than probably any time in history, and infinitely more than today, I think that qualifies for the term 'in abundance'.

    Um....my point was not whether you meant it or not. I was defending myself against your false allegation that I lied in stating you said "Christ is the foundation".


    Perhaps there's something wrong with your memory. I told you I have already addressed your wacky theory on 1 Cor 13:8-12 in another thread which I linked to.

    We've all seen what your "extrapolations" really are. Twisting someone's words to say something that never said, nor meant to say.
     
  16. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have a bee in your bonnet about Robert Thomas. I don't agree with Thomas's view, but I hate seeing people misrepresented so I dusted off my copy of his book. Let's see if he said 'prophecy is immature' as you claimed...

    Understanding Spiritual Gifts - Robert L Thomas
    An illustration derived from the writer's personal development-one that closely parallels the church's growth to maturity-tells of an alternate method by which maturity could come. "Child" in verse 11 and "mature" in verse 10 make up the same combination as is found in a companion passage, Ephesians 4:13-14. The whole design is to furnish an analogy of the collective body's growth from immaturity to maturity, that is, from childhood to adulthood, and the intermediate stages that characterize that growth.
    ...
    A third approach to verses 8-13 sees to teleion as referring to "the mature body," rather than "the complete canon" view 1) or "the perfect state" view 2). The gifts of verses 8-9 experienced a gradual cessation with increasing maturity of the body of Christ. Various criteria measure a growing maturity, one of them being completion of the whole New Testament. Paul illustrates progressive growth of the church through the critical period of her history by his own personal development from childhood to adulthood (13:11).
    ...
    It is not a matter of maturity being absent from the context; it is rather a question of the maturity of what, individuals or the corporate body? Verse 11 most naturally refers to corporate maturity because of the singular number used in the analogy of verse 11 compared to the plurals in verses 9, 12.
    ...
    The view looks at the immaturity of the total body during its earlier years, not explicitly that of individuals. It was these gifts'temporary nature that marked the infancy of the body of Christ, not of single members of that body. Maturity is also implied in the emphasis on edification of the body in 1 Corinthians 14:12, 26 (cf. 12:7
    ...
    Based on such factors, he could confidently assert that the body of Christ, about which he had written so extensively in 1 Corinthians 12, would reach a point of maturity where these initial phenomena would no longer be a part of the body's growth. It was gradually approaching a point where the features of its infancy would be dispensable. In amplification of this line of possibility, Paul compared the body's growth to his own personal growth in 1 Corinthians 13:11. It was a gradual growth from childhood or infancy into adulthood. As a developing human being, he had passed through stages of preadolescence, adolescence, and others before he became an adult. The characteristics of his childhood had dropped by the wayside one by one and disappeared completely by the time he became a man. He envisioned a similar development for the body of Christ. One of the characteristics of childhood was the continuing need of direct input from the heavenly Father to get the body of Christ started. Once that input had become a sufficient, self-contained entity, the body was at a stage that it did not require such direct revelation and confirmatory gifts to continue its growth.
    ...
    In light of the total perspective, it is the author's conclusion that viewpoint 3, which makes to teleion a reference to the mature body of Christ, has the most to be said in its favor with the least amount of objection. In looking to the future and speaking of the coming of "the mature," Paul saw its arrival in stages. If the church of Paul's time matured substantially enough to have its own completed body of revelation before Christ's return (which it did), maturity would reach a significant point at which gifts of revelation and confirmation would no longer be necessary. Beyond that, the growth of the body has continued and will continue until the time of the parousia, at which moment maturity will be complete, with the body of Christ collectively mature and conformed to His image.

    Well Gee, what a surprise. It turns out you were telling fibs. He says it was the EARLY CHURCH that was immature, and subsequently matured. Nowhere does he say prophecy was immature as you dishonestly claimed.

    If you have any decency shouldn't you now retract your misrepresentations and apologize for slandering the man?
     
  17. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Again nobody cares about your standards of charismatic abundance. And nobody cares about mine. It's Paul's standards that matter, as I dealt with in a six-part series. Again, here's the comparison:

    (1) My claim. Paul gauged spiritual maturity by charismatic abundance. For example in 1Cor 13, the gauge was prophecy, knowledge, and tongues.
    (2) Now a quote from cessationist Robert Thomas (confirming my position).
    “By what criteria may maturity in the body of Christ be gauged?…The criterion before Paul in 1Corinthians 13, however, centers in knowledge, tongues, and prophecy...for special revelation and [miraculous] signs for verification of this revelation (cf. Heb 2:3-4).” (Robert L. Thomas, "Tongues…Will Cease", Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol 17:2 (1974), p 88).

    Being immature, obviously, the Corintians were NOT charismatically abundant by Paul's standards.
    Gotcha. Your cessationist friend Robert Thomas is quite the wacky theologian.

    Obviously he backpedals later to rehabillitate his devastated cessationism, but that's no concern of mine.
     
  18. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Uh..Duh! Care to tell us something we don't know? I never denied that's PART of what he said. In fact I myself INSISTED on it (read my posts again if you don't believe me). Now deal with my specific points of question and objection showing that his view LEADS to the conclusion that the gifts are immature embodiments of spirituality.
    If you have any decency you'd stop evading the specific questions and objections about Robert Thomas position that I leveled in your direction.
    That would entail post 483 and post 505, and post 533, and post 565 (most of which are redundant because you keep ignoring and evading the challenge). I literally BEGGED you to make some sense of his position in light of those questions and objections.

    I'll grant that Thomas starts off on the right foot. He ADMITS that Paul guaged spiritual maturity by charismatic abundance. But then he backpedals - and that's where my questions and objections begin.

    So please desist with your strawman comments regarding what we already know, and agree on, about Robert Thomas and start dealing with the questions and objections. That's the nature of a real debate.
     
  19. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    It is a bit difficult for me to be an advocate for Robert Thomas when I don't agree with his view, but I am quite sure he is not saying the gifts are immature, nor can it be implied. If I were to ask "By what criteria can we tell if a infant has matured?....Is he still being breastfed, is he still wearing diapers, does he still use a carseat". That doesn't mean any of those things themselves are immature and childish. They are in fact very sensible and essential for the well-being of a child.

    Unlike Thomas I do not think 'teleios' should be translated 'maturity' (not do any bible translations). Nor do I put undue emphasis on 1 Cor 13:11. That was just an analogy Paul uses, just like the analogy of the dim mirror in the next verse. Paul is not saying the early church was childish, any more that he is saying they were dim. His point with the analogies is that things changed for the better.

    No it doesn't lead to that conclusion. That is you "extrapolating" (twisting) - putting words into someone's mouth that they never said, nor meant. Actually it is worse than that. In post #505 you said "Thomas was clear" that prophecy was immature and done away. That was an outright lie, he said nothing of the sort. So yes you should apologize for slandering him.
     
  20. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yes. Except that it is essential to the Continuationist argument.

    No continuation, no Continuationism. In that case, what's left is "The Holy Spirit gifts whomever he chooses, whenever he chooses" and there is no dispute separating Continuers from Cessationists.
     
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