Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Protestant Polemic on Post-Biblical Miracles

This is often touted as the standard, indeed, "definitive," refutation of Warfield's classic monograph:

I'm not sure how long this will be freely available on the Internet.

Ruthven is at his best exposing logical tensions in Warfield's position, as well as fleshing out some historical antecedents in the runup to Warfield.

Ruthven is less capable on the exegetical side of the debate. His forceful rhetoric isn't generally matched by the force of his arguments.

Also, the revision is fairly superficial. The new stuff is mainly contained in the appendices, whereas the body of the text seems to be the same as the original edition. So his analysis hasn't kept up with the current exegetical literature.

All-in-all, I think it makes a useful contribution to the debate, but it's hardly definitive. 


  1. I agree with your comments. For some reason the pdf version you linked to does not contain the preface to the revised and expanded edition. It's only about 10 pages but he does interact a bit with more recent authors. Your assessment about his exegesis is also shared by Max Turner in his book "The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts" when he writes:
    "Ruthven appeals to a large number of other Pauline texts as evidence of expectation of charismata until the Parousia, but it must be admitted that his handling does not always show the critical acumen of the earlier chapters of his work." (pp. 296-297)

  2. I've collected most of Steve's recent posts on cessationism and continuationism in chronological order at the following blog:

    Steve Hays on Cessationism