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According to Cessationists, is it possible to make a case for the doctrine of Cessationism through logical argumentation based on deductive reasoning and Scripture alone (i.e. without appealing to history or other extra-biblical sources)?

In other words, I'm looking for examples of more or less "formal" deductive arguments, consisting of premises and conclusions that logically follow from the premises (and/or previous conclusions), in which the final conclusion is that the doctrine of Cessationism is true and the premises are defended by appealing to Scripture alone. Something like this:

  • Premise 1 (based on passage X)
  • Premise 2 (based on passage Y)
  • Conclusion 1 (from Premises 1 and 2)
  • Premise 3 (based on passage Z)
    [...]
  • Final conclusion: Cessationism is true.

Note: the counterpart question about Continuationism can be found at Can the doctrine of Continuationism be logically deduced from Scripture via deductive reasoning?

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  • Lots of the answers to What is the basis for Cessationism? don't reference church history.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 10, 2021 at 23:57
  • @curiousdanni - right, but it would be helpful if those answers were rewritten as formal deductive arguments.
    – user50422
    Aug 11, 2021 at 0:23
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    @curiousdannii the only answer on that link using scripture alone is the one using 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, and the poster offers a paper that thoroughly treats the text and arrives at an anti-cessationist conclusion.
    – jaredad7
    Aug 12, 2021 at 15:13
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    I know longer have his book. However, I recall Norman Geisler attempting to make a logical deductive case for strict Cessationism in his book, "Signs and Wonders" (Tyndale, 1988).
    – Jess
    Aug 20, 2021 at 19:59

1 Answer 1

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+100

No. The main passage people use to argue for cessationism is 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

This is clearly referring to a different era beyond the apostolic one and even the current one. If you say the gifts no longer exist, you also have to say that knowledge no longer exists. Those who argue for cessationism say that the gifts ceased after the apostolic age. Since the NT was written by and about the apostles, you can't expect to find support for cessationism there. You would have to agree that the Bible misleads people into thinking that God will continue to show his power through his people until the harvest of evangelism on earth is completed.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

You will also have to deny biblical prophecy which referred to the last days as quoted by Peter for example in Acts 2:17.

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

So even if someone could come up with some "logical deduction" regarding cessationism, it would be vain human reasoning in contradiction to scripture.

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    I would even argue that 1 Cor 13:8-10 supports the opposite conclusion :-)
    – user50422
    Aug 25, 2021 at 19:31
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    Absolutely. The conclusion is supported by scripture, logic, and experience. There is no good reason for trying to limit the power of God to show himself powerful among his people and confirm the truth of his offer of salvation. Aug 25, 2021 at 19:52
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator I agree with that and feel it’s important point.
    – Al Brown
    Aug 26, 2021 at 3:29
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    Cessationism is a very damaging modern heresy. To me it has a hidden atheism in it. Cessationism aside for a sec, I consciously notice it more every year that people often subtly view their Christianity as a philosophical, theoretical game or framework or method of team identifying, and not actual information about a real God and how to find/love Him. Cessationism is a nod to that imo. Makes it seem more palatable as a personal/psychological ideology of life, not actually believing (let alone having any kind of spiritual knowing and/or connecting)
    – Al Brown
    Aug 26, 2021 at 3:48

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