What about Cessationists vs. Continualists?

Cessationists believe the Word of God is the only means whereby God communicates to humanity. All the former means of God’s doing so have ceased. Their line of argumentation is as follows:

  • Prophets, through various means, communicated God’s special revelation.
  • Prophets were to be tested and proven. (7:22-23; 9:1-6; John 3:2; 10:25; 20:30-31; Acts 2:43; 4:16; 5:12; 14:3; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 15:17-19; Hebrews 2:3-4)
  • Prophets were to be 100% accurate.
  • Prophets were to be 100% in conformity with the rest of God’s revelation.
  • Prophets who were false were evicted, excommunicated, and/or executed. (Deuteronomy 18; Galatians 1:8)
  • Prophecies, tongues, and words of knowledge will go away one day. (1 Corinthians 13:8-12)
  • These expressions became extinct with the “perfect” completion of the Canon. (James 1:22-25)
  • Personal experiences are not grounds for truth.  (Matthew 7:21-23)

Continualists believe the Word of God is the supreme judge of all the other ways in which God continues to communicate to his people. Their line of argumentation is as follows:

  • In both the OT and the NT, God utilized the written Word and other means.
  • There is no specific declaration that the sign gifts have passed with the original Apostles.
  • There are instructions for how to use the sign gifts properly
  • There is even admittance of Paul and his private prayer language.
  • Personal experience ought not be dismissed.