A Case For Cessationism -- By: Fred Moritz
MBTJ 3:2 (Fall 2013) p. 3
A Case For Cessationism
The issue of whether revelation from God and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit have ceased is an issue of intense debate in the Christian world today. Perhaps the beginnings of the modern discussion can be traced to 1956 when Christian Life published the article “Is Evangelical Theology Changing?”2 This article was written by the developing New Evangelical leaders to describe their new theological positions. The article identified one of the subjects that evangelicals were discussing as, “A willingness to re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit.”3 Prior to that time Pentecostalism was seen as a “fringe” movement. At the time of the article the discussion was between the Evangelicals and the Pentecostals. The ensuing years have seen the rise of the Charismatic Movement and the Third Wave.
Today the Charismatics are a part of mainstream evangelicalism, and some Evangelicals who embrace otherwise traditional theological positions are also identifying themselves as Charismatic. Several of these influential leaders affirm that at least some of the sign gifts of the Spirit are at work in the churches today.
We find at least two groups of continuationists. There are those, whether Roman Catholic, cults, or some who simply
MBTJ 3:2 (Fall 2013) p. 4
promote an aberrant bibliology, who advocate some sort of continuing revelation that is authoritative today. There are others who hold that the canon of Scripture is closed, but the New Testament sign gifts still operate in ministry.
Claims For Continuing Revelation
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims that “the Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.”4 Mormonism clearly asserts that the Book of Mormon is revelation that God added to his Word. This group’s “Articles of Faith” affirms a commitment to continuing revelation. The seventh statement reads, “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.”5
The Seventh-day Adventists make a similar claim.
The church of the living God is “the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15, NIV). It is the depository and citadel of truth, protecting truth from the attacks of its enemies. Truth, ho...
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