Friday, February 7, 2014

Cessation of the Gifts #Debate · Steve Gregg & Calvin Keller

Cessationism (Keller) versus Continuationism (Gregg) is a theological dispute concerned with the question whether the charismatic gifts are currently in operation.

The principal reason for the Cessationist denial of the continuation of the gifts is their appeal to the closure of the canon. Implicit in their appeal is their understanding that the closure of the canon marked the end of the manifestation of charismata. However, the main Continuationist objection is that the Bible does not offer any clear (explicit) text that would support Cessationism, although some strong Cessationists, such as Robert L. Thomas and Walter J. Chantry, appeal to the text of 1 Cor 13:8-12 as a proof-text for Cessationism.Therefore, it is interesting to examine how both camps in the dispute about charismata understand 1 Cor 13:8-12. In this context, the issue is how to interpret the expression in v. 10, "then that which is perfect is come ...," which speaks about an event associated with the cessation of the gifts ("... then that which is in part shall be done away" is the second part of v. 10).

Continuationists understand the key expression "that which is perfect to come" as referring to the Second Coming of Christ, and, thus, the timing of the cessation of the gifts is associated with the eschatological event of Christ's Coming.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 NKJV

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.