Saturday, April 30, 2016

Suicide-bomber cessationism

I'll make a few observations on this post and some of the ensuing comments:

i) I appreciate the fact that people like Fred expose hucksters and heretics in the charismatic movement. We need more of that. 

ii) That said, both here and in his initial post, Fred's entire objection to continuationism is an argument from experience. The experience of hucksters and heretics in the charismatic movement.

Problem is, the argument from experience cuts both ways. If an argument from experience is legitimate to falsify continuationism, then an argument from experience is legitimate to verify continuationism. 

ii) Keep in mind, too, that the burden of proof for the continuationism is infinitely lower. Cessationism denies the occurrence of a single continuationist miracle. It doesn't deny the occurrence of modern miracles, per se, but the occurrence of miracles consistent with continuationism.

Therefore, it only requires one good example of the contrary to falsify cessationism. 

edingess on April 27, 2016 at 2:52 pm said:
Hey Fred…spot on my brother! I simply ask these people to put up or shut up. When a Charismatic/Pentecostal starts talking about this nonsense, I simply say, okay then, lets go down to the hospital or the morgue. That is where this debate will take place. Show me what you’ve got or just shut up. The claims made by these people are empirical claims in my opinion. So, lets see you raise the dead, open blind eyes, empty wheelchairs, etc. Unless you are willing to show me, then please don’t waist [sic] my time. That shuts them up every time.

i) And atheists raise the mirror image of that very objection. Why doesn't God heal children with cancer? Because there is no God! If there were a God, he'd clean out the cancer ward at a children's hospital. 

ii) Apropos (i), doesn't Jesus have the ability to heal? He still exists, right? So why doesn't Jesus go down to the hospital, nursing home, or morgue, raise the dead, cure cancer patients, empty wheelchairs, &c? By Ed's logic, Jesus doesn't have what it takes. 

iii) Fact is, healing everyone has downsides as well as upsides. A person who was healed may become the father of a murderer. Atheists, as well as people like Ed, treat it like a self-contained issue. But reality isn't that compartmentalized. 

iv) Now, I don't object to calling the bluff of self-styled faith-healers. But it doesn't take a hundred miracles to prove one miracle. 

edingess on April 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm said:
Ken, your claim to having witnessed a genuine miracle needs documentation. Name, contact information, doctor certification of an illness, doctor certification of restoration, media story reporting the event, eyewitnesses, name of the healer by whom the miracle was performed, etc. Thanks for the information.

i) First of all, people like Ed demand documentation, then turn their back on the documentation. 

ii) We need to draw distinctions. If someone I know, someone whose judgment I trust, tells me about a miracle he experienced, I don't require corroboration. 

iii) That said, it's good to demand solid evidence for reported miracles. However, Ed raises the bar artificially high. He raises the bar so high that his standard discredits every miraculous healing in the Bible. This is suicide bomber cessationism. They are so fanatical that they will blow up the Bible in order to blow up continuationism. 

iv) And it won't do for Ed to hold biblical miracles to a different standard. According to cessationism, the function of biblical miracles is to attest the messenger. In that event, you can't invoke the authority of Scripture to validate the miracle. Rather, the miracle validates the authority of Scripture. That's the structure of the cessationist argument. That's how miracles figure in the argument. The messenger doesn't authenticate the miracle; rather, the miracle authenticates the messenger. 

So according to cessationism, a Scriptural miracle must be credible independent of Scripture. Yet Ed's criteria rule out every miracle in Scripture. It would really behoove cessationists to avoid suicide bomber tactics. 

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