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Jon Mark Ruthven

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Sunday Quote!- Cessationism and Defining Miracles

occ-ruthven

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?

Links

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)

Source

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

SDG.

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Sunday Quote!- Charismata and Authority of Scripture

occ-ruthvenEvery 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!

Charismata and the Authority of Scripture

I have been reading through Jon Mark Ruthven’s On the Cessation of the Charismata, a book that is arguing against the position of cessationism. Cessationism is the notion that at least some spiritual gifts–things like healing, prophecy, etc.–mentioned in the New Testament did not continue beyond the New Testament era of the formative church [read more on the various views of spiritual gifts here]. One of the most controversial topics in this debate is the issue of authority. Ruthven is fairly blunt when he considers B.B. Warfield’s rejection of the spiritual gifts. The rejection was based, in part, on:

the implicit attack on the sufficiency of scriptural authority made by those claiming miracles and extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit… Such claims [of spiritual gifts]… represented a direct challenge to Protestant religious authority in that it was specifically based upon a closed canon of Scripture. (32, cited below)

Now I have not finished the book, so I’m not sure whether Ruthven would affirm this point. Indeed, he calls this a “polemical” argument against spiritual gifts, so I suspect he’s going to argue that the “continuationist” position–that which affirms spiritual gifts moving into the modern era–does not need to deny the closedness of the canon or affirm a denial of the sufficiency of Scripture. I’m looking forward to seeing how his argument proceeds, and whether he will indeed argue against this or affirm the openness of the canon.

What do you think? Do charismata–spiritual gifts–entail this position? If so, how problematic is it? What is your position? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Links

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)

Source

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

SDG.

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