Shepherds Conference – My Response to the Cessationist Challenge

Shepherds Conference – My Response to the Cessationist Challenge March 9, 2007

Over on the Pulpit blog, Nathan Busenitz — who has graciously commented over here — has asked us charismatics to add any further killer arguments to his list of the top 10 charismatic objections to cessationism. I am not sure if he will have time in his seminar itself to address those that I offer below as additions to his very helpful list, but I suspect, given his gracious demeanor, I may find myself debating this issue with him further in the future. If I have worked his comment system right, these may also be appearing over on the Pulpit blog.

  1. The argument from church history that men like Huss prophesied, men like Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones spoke of being guided by the Spirit, and dramatic healings are recorded associated with some of the reformers — including the resurrection of the dead.

  2. The argument that since Peter in Acts 2 stated that the “last days” prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled, and that this promise was for future generations and all Christians— to then argue that the gifts have ceased is to argue that we are living in days AFTER the last days! (Now where does THAT fit in anyone’s eschatology?)

  3. The claim that the goal of our salvation appears to be receiving the Spirit, who is a guarantee of our inheritance. If there is no conscious experience of the Spirit to be had today, how can He give us assurance? (cf Ephesians 1:13-14, Galatians 3:14, Philippians 3:8-11)

  4. That Jesus promises us an experience of the Spirit that would be better for us than if He Himself were to remain on earth — which of us have plumbed the depths of an experience of God to that extent that we could say we would prefer our experience to meeting Jesus in the flesh? (John 14, 16:7)

  5. The claim that biblical prophecy was not always 100 per cent accurate, nor automatically enscripturated (1 Corinthians 13:9; 2 Samuel 7; Acts 21:9; Acts 21:4,10-11, 32-33; Acts 27:10; Acts 27:22; 1 Samuel 10:5, 10, 11, 12, 19:20, 24, 28:6, 15; 1 Kings 18:4, 13, 19, 20; 1 Kings 20:35, 41, 22:6, 10; 2 Kings 2:3, 17:23, 24:2; 2 Chronicles 18:9, 20:20, 24:19; Ezra 5:1; Jeremiah 7:25; Hosea 12:10; Matthew 2:23)

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