There are 4 reasons why I cannot consider supposed cessation of miracles to be the criteria that closed the canon.
- If the Authorized agents are marked by their ability to do signs, wonders and miracles then I am bound to believe when I see a miracle, sign or wonder, thus making me susceptible to being led astray by false miracles. (You do agree that false miracles can occur today do you not)?
- If I say that miracles, signs and wonders ceased then I would then have to deny the spiritual gifts taught in the New Testament (specifically Romans and the Corinthian epistles). And this is the main point we are arguing. I believe it is very clear that the Spirit in the New Testament churches should be in play today (I Corinthians 1:7, II Corinthians 11:4; Romans 8:15). If we say that the Spirit is different now then it was then are we not in danger of losing EVERYTHING (i.e. communion)?
- If that canon is closed when the apostles died and only the apostles were able to do miracles then what is Jesus talking about in John 14:12 when he says that those who believe in him will do greater things (miracles)? Does “anyone who has faith” mean “Any APOSTLE who has faith”?
- (This one is just for echo;-) What about these personal experiences? Am I to believe they are all works of Satan or self? Am I not supposed to allow for some type of “leading by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18)? What of all believers who have at some point prayed for direction? Does that direction exclusively and entirely come through the Bible? I think we all agree that the Spirit does SOMETHING, to lead us and to convict us and to teach us and to gift us. If at any point that something occurs outside of the Bible (dream, counsel, seminary class) then are we advocating an open canon?
My friends I think the best way, the biblical way, is to practice all these things the way they are prescribed and described in the Bible.
This comment of Daniel B’s earned Echo’s highest praise: “lucid, mature, well thought out, plausible, sensible, and even logical. Bravo!” Echo responded to each of the questions here (and as the first comment to this post, I will forge a reproduction of that comment, as if it were from Echo (echoing himself)), and Daniel B challenged back thusly:
I have a reply to all of your counter points to my 4 questions but I am wondering if you would perhaps do me a favor for the purpose of advancing this discussion to a deeper level. Would you be willing to play devil’s advocate; to argue from my position against your counter points? I could at least know for sure that you saw where I was coming from if you could recognize the flaws of your arguments (that I am going to exploit) before I do so. If you don’t want to, that’s fine I totally understand. Your post is number 111 and I don’t wish to discuss anything but your replies to my questions.
I can’t answer for Echo, whether he wants to play Daniel B’s devil’s advocate, but either way, this post provides a fresh thread to contain this deeper-level discussion.
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