Sunday Quote

Sunday Quote!- Cessationism and Defining Miracles


Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Cessationism and Defining Miracles

Jon Mark Ruthven’s  On the Cessation of the Charismata was recommended to me as one of the premier arguments against the cessationist position–the position which asserts that the spiritual gifts like healing, speaking in tongues, and the like have ended. Having read the book, I’d have to say I found it largely convincing and very thought provoking. I’ve shared a different quote from it elsewhere, but here I want to focus one part of Ruthven’s argument. He notes that:

The validity of cessationism depends upon a clearly discernible and internally consistent model of miracle which can be applied transparently and uniformly to all candidate cases as they appear throughout history, both in the biblical accounts and afterward. (44, cited below)

Then, he argues–I think rightly–that the cessationist has yet to provide just such a model. It seems instead that there is a kind of arbitrary cut-off point at which miracles are said to be untrustworthy occurrences. Ruthven spends a lengthy portion of the book arguing that the cessationist models have failed this consistency test.

What do you think? Have you seen a model that can consistently affirm the miracles in the Bible but then uniformly and without qualification deny those which are extrabiblical and/or modern? What stance do you take on the issue of miraculous gifts?


Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

“Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?”- A look at four views in Christian Theology– I provide a look at four positions on miraculous/spiritual gifts in contemporary theology.

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)


Jon Mark Ruthven, On the Cessation of the Charismata (Tulsa, OK: Word & Spirit Press, 2011).



About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


3 thoughts on “Sunday Quote!- Cessationism and Defining Miracles

  1. Yes, cessationists are wrong to define miracles by time period. They are also ignoring historical and contemporary facts about miraculous occurrences. They should visit Africa where miracles are much more common, in the face of tremendous suffering and danger.

    Posted by rigadoon | April 26, 2015, 2:15 PM
  2. I agree with Rigadoon that those who don’t believe in signs and wonders need to get out of the West more! As a missionary kid I spent a number of years living with my family on a remote island in the East China Sea. I once witnessed an exorcism and also had the experience of someone spontaneously begin speaking in tongues in a missionary prayer meeting, with interpretation This last one completely surprised my mother, as she was the one who began speaking in another language! And we were weren’t even Pentecostal 🙂 Friends serving in Indonesia and Burma had more extreme tales to share, even of a resurrection. Seeing sometimes IS believing. I’m a believer!

    Posted by gailwallace55 | April 27, 2015, 1:45 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,864 other subscribers


Like me on Facebook: Always Have a Reason
%d bloggers like this: