Have cessationists fallen victim to modernism and rationalism?
Pastor Mark Driscoll seems to think so. In a recent talk on the 4 points of the movement, Mark Driscoll states that cessationists are traveling down the road toward modernism and rationalism. At one point, he states that cessationist believers think more like “[David] Hume than C.S. Lewis”. The fact that Driscoll considers C.S. Lewis to be a solid resource for Christian thought is questionable all by itself . . . However, the greater issue is when Pastor Driscoll tries to make the point that Christian cessationists are no better than deists like Thomas Jefferson who cut out all of the miracles in the New Testament. According to Driscoll, the progression is atheism, then deism, then cessationism, culminating in this statement:
The result of modernistic worldliness in Christian form is cessationism.
It is a little unclear as to whether Driscoll is focusing on individuals who claim that all miracles and special revelation have ceased or those who hold the position simply that special revelation has ended. Most cessationists do not deny that God continues to answer prayer and conduct miracles today, however a biblical cessationist will hold that special revelation has ended. This is the central issue because Driscoll is well known for making the claim that he has heard the audible voice of God.
Driscoll knows that his statements are not going to be well received and cites a need for a metaphorical “helmet” in order to deal with the attacks that will ensue. We hope he needs that helmet, because if there is a backlash within evangelicalism, it will be a welcome sign that there are still men willing to point out error and heresy within the American evangelical community. We noticed at least one public rebuke from @FrankTurk who tweeted:
Note to @PastorMark: your remarks on Cessationism are reductionistic and historically revisionist. Repent.
Hopefully more men will follow suit in pointing out this error.
Earlier this summer, Pastor Scott Jarrett addressed the topic of ongoing special revelation in a series entitled, “What are the implications of God speaking audibly today?” This a far bigger issue than most people realize because if God IS still speaking audibly today, Scripture gives us clear instruction as to how to treat that phenomenon. If God is NOT speaking audibly today, then Scripture has also given us clear instruction regarding those who can hear the audible voice of God. Listen and tell us what you think.
Edit on August 4:
Over on Pyromaniacs, Frank Turk has written an open letter that points out where he and Mr. Driscoll agree and disagree. There are some solid biblical points in the letter. However, we need to ask you, Mr. Turk: Driscoll has taken a stand that compares you to an atheist or deist. Are you are just going to make a few statements and hope that he will like you again? Driscoll has shown some guts and gone out on a limb. Are you going to join him – or saw it off? We think we know what John Calvin would do . . .
Here I Blog has done a nice job of compiling another instance of Mr. Driscoll’s propensity to claim prophetic visions, higher knowledge and other types of supernatural insight. We struggle to find a biblical example of a man being filled with the Holy Spirit and then seeing sin in progress or visions of crimes done in the past. Is there anything that distinguishes Mr. Driscoll’s sign gifts from Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and the like?
Can a biblical Christian be neutral on this issue? Again, we recommend Pastor Scott’s audio series on the issue of continued special revelation.