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Is there another interpretation, which fits all the biblical data, does not depend on inference, and requires less explaining away of explicit prohibitions? Again, I appreciate these questions, because they put the burden of proof where it belongs: on the continuationist.The cessationist is often chided because he does not point to a NT text that says, “The miraculous gifts shall cease at the closing of the canon.” But, particularly where prophecy is concerned, the cessationist is simply defining prophecy as it had always been defined.#2 Prophecy Redefined In this second post, Mac Arthur began responding to the three texts Piper cited as exegetical defense for his view of fallible prophecy, which included 1 Thessalonians –21, 1 Corinthians 11:4–5, and 1 Corinthians 13:8–12.
He also revisits the implied accusation at the end of the post, showing how cessationists do not disobey these clear passages of Scripture.
Before that, though, Mac Arthur goes on to provide a sound exegesis of those texts, quoting both from his book, Strange Fire, and Thomas Edgar’s Satisfied by the Promise of the Spirit.
These posts represent valuable, rubber-meets-the-road exegetical discussion as it relates to the cessation of the miraculous gifts, and it’s happening between two lifelong students of Scripture who many in our generation consider to be fathers in the faith. I want to devote today’s post to recapping what’s been said there so far.
#1 Biblical Prophecy and Modern Confusion In the first post, Mac Arthur begins with some comments of appreciation for John Piper and his ministry, speaking of his gratitude for Piper’s friendship and partnership in the Gospel.
Several months ago, shortly after the Strange Fire Conference, notable continuationist pastor, John Piper, responded to some of the claims of the conference via his question-and-answer program, Ask Pastor John.
Over the last couple of weeks, John Mac Arthur has begun responding to Piper’s remarks over at the Grace To You blog.
It’s the continuationist who insists that a radical redefinition has taken place, and that based only on inferences.
But, as Mac Arthur says, if we can provide an alternative interpretation that strains credulity just a bit less, that interpretation should be preferred by default.
Mac Arthur goes on to offer those very interpretations in the rest of the post.