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Has ever a cessationist Christian become a continuationist for first-hand experiential reasons? Are there published testimonies from ex cessationists who became continuationists after they had a first-hand experience with a sign gift or witnessed someone else exercising a sign gift?

If possible, I'd be especially interested in reading testimonies published by reputable former cessationists, say, a renowned cessationist Baptist pastor who had an experience that turned him into a continuationist, etc.


The counterpart question to this one can be found here.

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  • Truth does not become untruth just because some holders of truth are persuaded to relinquish truth.
    – Nigel J
    May 18 at 4:46
  • @NigelJ - I fully agree, as long as we can show that what was relinquished was truth and not untruth. Keep in mind also that untruth does not become truth just because some holders of untruth are not persuaded to relinquish untruth. May 18 at 16:08
  • Please clarify or define cessationist. I have heard the term primarily referring to the gift of speaking in tongues. Likewise, please define the term continuationist. Also, some context- in my experience and knowledge, the vast majority of Christians either believe apostles, tongues, miracles and healings exist today or believe mostly that none of them are valid today.
    – nickalh
    May 20 at 6:50
  • @nickalh - I just added two links with definitions of the terms May 20 at 13:01
  • Muchisimas gracias = much thanks.
    – nickalh
    May 21 at 13:56
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Jack Deere has at least two books which relate to your question. He was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, which is a cessationist seminary. Some of his books which deal with the question are Why I am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit:Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today and Surprised by the Voice of God:How God Speaks Today Through Prophecies, Dreams and Visions. He wrote multiple other books on related topics. He includes Biblical support and his own experience of conversion to speaking in tongues.
He includes personal experiences of reasons for his conversion to continuationist. One example from the first edition is ongoing challenges with a specific student. God prompts Jack to ask about pornography. Normally, in that seminary, at the time this would be considered an extremely inappropriate question, even risking censure from the seminary. However, the student confesses looking at pornography and that this was contributing to academic problems. This was the beginning of the student getting free of sin with pornography.

https://wellspringdfw.libsyn.com/speaking-in-tongues-part-2-jack-deere His sermon here speaks to the topic in general.

Also, Dennis Bennett, an Episcopal priest describes his journey from cessationist to continuationist in his book, Nine O'Clock in the Morning. Although it was written in the 1970's, he describes many experiences of congregants converting from cessationist to speaking in tongues. Many of them based their decisions or desire on seeing the joy, freedom or healing in friends who spoke in tongues. He mentions other evidences which meet the biblical criteria, "You will know them by their fruits" from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207%3A15-20&version=NKJV

https://www.amazon.com/Nine-OClock-Morning-Episcopal-Discovers-ebook/dp/B08HKGFNSH

Bennett's book focuses more on the topic of baptism in the spirit, but clearly addresses the cessationist question.

Both of these books were instrumental in my personal conversion from from cessationist to speaking in tongues.

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  • Excellent references. I did a quick search and it turns out that in April 2020 Jack Deere published a more up-to-date version of his previous book, titled Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today May 20 at 12:40
  • What else are you looking for before you give the bounty?
    – nickalh
    May 21 at 13:56
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator What else are you looking for before you give the bounty?
    – nickalh
    May 22 at 21:43
  • I'm just waiting for the bounty's expiration date, after which I'll award the bounty to the answer that I deem most complete at the moment. May 22 at 22:02
  • Excellent. On another personal note, I didn't know it at the time, but he was pastoring New Church which renamed to Wellspring church and which I attended in that season.
    – nickalh
    May 22 at 22:06
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I'm not endorsing Mark Driscoll. However, in Confessions of a Refornission Rev (2006) he says that he abandoned cessationism after personal experiences that he describes in his book.

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