God’s plan of salvation to get the church explosively launched and founded clearly included the empowering of the Holy Spirit for both the individual and his church. While no one doubts the special move of God in the early church with miraculous signs and wonders, including the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, for hundreds of years and even today many in the church have believed that those gifts ceased to be normal practice with the completion of the New Testament scriptures. Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Since the canon of the scripture has been completed, and the Christian Church fully founded and established, these extraordinary gifts have ceased” (Charity and its Fruits).
Normally I don’t give cessationism much thought. Rather than guarding the Bible, cessationism is logically inconsistent with the practice of the early church, Jesus’ instructions to his disciples, and scripture itself. But, since our church’s (Destination Church, Jacksonville, FL) current message series is on the Holy Spirit, I thought it would be interesting to post some of the articles I’ve read recently in response to author John MacArthur. MacArthur, a cessationist, recently released a book entitled “Strange Fire” and hosted a widely advertised conference of the same name. Enjoy.