December 18, 2017

Moritz: the Case for Cessationism

The Eclectic Web

Headlining our eclectic gathering of links, Dr. Fred Moritz, FBFI board member and professor at Maranatha Baptist Seminary argues for the cessation of supernatural spiritual gifts in the Maranatha Journal, recently published. His paper begins this way:

The issue of whether revelation from God and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit have ceased is an issue of intense debate in the Christian world today. Perhaps the beginnings of the modern discussion can be traced to 1956 when Christian Life published the article “Is Evangelical Theology Changing?”[2] This article was written by the developing New Evangelical leaders to describe their new theological positions. The article identified one of the subjects that evangelicals were discussing as, “A willingness to re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit.”[3] Prior to that time Pentecostalism was seen as a “fringe” movement. At the time of the article the discus­sion was between the Evangelicals and the Pentecostals. The ensuing years have seen the rise of the Charismatic Movement and the Third Wave.

We encourage you to read it all.

Also in this edition of the Eclectic Web:

  • John Piper – answering fire with strange fire
  • John Frame – cracks in orthodoxy?
  • The Pope – brave new world?
  • Billy Graham – the quintessential new evangelical
  • Human interest – to wrap things up, a couple of stories, one tragic and the other fascinating and innovative.

John Piper: Piper Addresses Strange Fire and Charismatic Chaos – Desiring God

John Piper isn’t changing.

On each point, it is surely misguided to single out charismatics, says Piper. “Charismatic doctrinal abuses, emotional abuses, discernment abuses, financial abuses, all have their mirror image in non-charismatic churches.” Of charismatics and non-charismatics alike, “we all stand under the word of God and we all need repentance.”

But those charismatic abuses remain. So how are these excesses best policed? How are Christians today protected from the abuses of the charismatic church? Is it through attack-centered books and conferences?

“I don’t go on a warpath against charismatics. I go on a crusade to spread truth. I am spreading gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated, Calvinistic truth everywhere, and I am going to push it into the face of every charismatic I can find, because what I believe, if they embrace the biblical system of doctrine that is really there, it will bring all of their experiences into the right orbit around the sun of this truth.”

John Frame: Do All Humans Descend from Adam and Eve?

Shocking statements from a prominent evangelical scholar:

We should consider the possibility that Adam and Eve, though historical figures, were not literally the first parents of all present-day human beings.

More at the link – hard to believe this one, and it is very disappointing to say the least.

The Pope: Conservative U.S. Catholics Feel Left Out of the Pope’s Embrace

Conservative Catholics are “feeling abandoned” as the new pope seeks to gain approval from a broader base. See also our article, “Is the Pope Catholic?

Billy Graham: Billy Graham’s last crusade? At 95, revolutionary preacher’s new DVD release likely his swan song

An excerpt:

In the 1930s and 1940s, the U.S. was dotted with thousands of independent fundamentalist churches and small denominations that had little to do with one another and nothing to do with the broader culture.

The label “fundamentalist” came from their belief in the “fundamentals” of Christianity and the inerrancy of the Bible. They lived in self-imposed exile as a way of rejecting an increasingly secular culture and mainstream Protestant churches that were caving in to what they saw as the evils of liberalism.

“My preaching is that of an evangelist and I wholeheartedly believe in the fundamental teaching of the Holy Scriptures,” he said last month in an interview with Christianity Today, the magazine he helped found in 1956.

The point, though, was not to change beliefs. Rather, it was persuade sectarian churches to stop fighting with each other, to unite around what they had in common and to start connecting with the broader world. He was not opposed to the fundamentals, but wanted Christians to become evangelists so as to do the important work of saving souls from eternal damnation.

This, from a secular source, fairly summarizes exactly what Billy Graham set out to do in leading the New Evangelicalism.

Human Interest: refugees – The Impossible Refugee Boat Lift to Christmas Island – NYTimes.com

A very lengthy account of the tragic desperation of people trying to get out of troubled areas of the world.

Human Interest: fascinating innovation: Car Mechanic Dreams Up a Tool to Ease Births – NYTimes.com

This is a fascinating story about a car mechanic who got to thinking about how babies are delivered and came up with an answer that could change everything.


The Eclectic Web links are collected by Don Johnson, who writes the editorial comments.

Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Publication of links in The Eclectic Web feature does not imply endorsement of the viewpoint or contents of any of the websites linked. The links are provided as a matter of interest to Christians.


Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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