Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spiritual impressions

Although this is satirical, it illustrates how many Christians who are technically cessationists operate with a charismatic paradigm of spiritual impressions.


  1. Is it your view that a "cessationist", to be consistent, ought to believe that all operations of the Holy Spirit in the world have ceased?

    That seems a bit like a semantic fallacy to me. Surely the term "cessationist" needs to be interpreted in accordance with the history of how the word is used, rather than having an unnecessary absolute imposed upon it because of its etymology.

    But having said that, it's a good video. You're not a Christian long before you find people baptising their hopefully-informed decisions with references to God which hardly seem justified.

    1. 1. I think a lot of cessationists take shortcuts that are the equivalent of charismatic strategies. Bruce Waltke wrote a good book on that years ago.

      2. In terms of direct supernatural guidance, I'd say that can take two basic forms:

      i) An audible voice

      That's the most explicit, unmistakable kind of direct supernatural guidance. I think it's rare, but I believe it's something some Christians experience on occasion.

      Of course, hearing voices can be symptomatic that a person is psychotic. One question is whether it's a veridical experience. Is there some independent, evidential confirmation?

      ii) Subliminal prompting

      God can plant in idea or suggestion in a person's mind which they act on. It seems just like their own idea.

      So long as it seems reasonable, it's okay to act on it. But because God is operating at a subconscious level, it can't be attributed to God unless there's ex post facto evidence that God was guiding them.

      To take a cliche example: out of the blue a Christian feels he ought to phone someone he hasn't spoken to for a long time. Turns out the person is in crisis.

      I think God sometimes guides Christians that way.