Cessationism, Miracles, and Tongues: Part 1

Introduction to a four-part series on cessationism, the de-emphasis of miracles, and especially how it relates to speaking in tongues.

A sample of cessationism graphic from origins until today.
Click on the image for the full version

Table of Contents

  • Part 1
    • Introduction
    • Reasons for the rise of Cessationism
  • Part 2
    • The Excess of Miracles in the Medieval world and the need for correction
    • The earlier De-Emphatics: John Chrysostom, Augustine Bishop of Hippo, Cyril of Alexandria*, and Thomas Aquinas
  • Part 3
    • The Early Protestant De-Emphatics: Martin Luther and Jean Calvin
    • The Church of England and Miracles.
      • The Puritan Influence: William Whitaker, William Perkins, James Ussher, the Westminster Confession, and later Confessions
    • The Latitudinarians
    • The Rationalists and Deists
  • Part 4
    Cessationism from the 1800s and onwards: the Baptists, Presbyterians, B. B. Warfield, Christian higher education, John MacArthur, and more.

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Origen on Knowledge

A helpful guide for anyone reading Origen and getting stumped over his semantically diverse theories of knowledge.

Many historians and academics rank the third-century Christian theologian and thinker, Origen, as one of the best earlier Christian writers. He was steeped in Greek literature, structure and thought. Not only this, but his zeal for knowledge was wrapped in sincere piety. These characteristics were reflected in his writings.

This combination is especially found in the catena ascribed to him on I Corinthians.1 One is hard-pressed to comprehend the semantics of his knowledge words. This applies to the majority of his other works as well.

As a reader and translator of Origen, one must have a precise understanding of the Greek system of knowledge. There are a number of words for knowledge in Greek and have different applications. Understanding these words in the original context is a gateway to Origen’s mind.

This article attempts to unlock the words of knowledge in order to better understand Origen’s text. The beginning is difficult and complex for the English reader to understand but the end is rather simple. Origen wanted to know things in such a way that changed his worldview and his interaction with it. Studying was not simply for the sake of knowledge but becoming a better, more complete person.

Anyways, we will get into the details of his concept of knowledge starting now.

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Antisemitism in the Ancient Church

A look into the earlier Church, its treatment of outsiders of the faith, and Jews.

If anyone begins to read ecclesiastical writings with keen interest, it will be inevitable that one has to struggle with the antisemitic remarks in ancient Christian literature. Antisemitism is an over-simplification. This was a small part of a much larger problem. The church viewed anyone outside of the Christian community as less-than-human especially Scythians (Russian type of peoples). The political and military aspirations of Christianity in some epochs sought to annihilate any person or populations that that did not embrace its message. Jews were lucky, due to their theological history, and were often spared. Although they got to live, they were second class citizens. At least they could tell their story of oppression. The many other pagans and whole unclassified communities who refused to convert have stories that will never be told.

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Is Tyrannius Rufinus a Reliable Translator?

A closer look at the reliability of Tyrannius Rufinus’ Latin translation of Gregory Nazianzus’ Greek work On Pentecost.

In a number of scholarly circles, the translations of Rufinus have been under careful scrutiny, and the consensus was that Rufinus’ translations were not reliable. However, this attitude is changing. In my case, the importance of Rufinus lies in his translation of Gregory Nazianzus Greek works, especially the section relating to Pentecost. A controversial text in the Greek, and even moreso in the Latin because of Rufinus’ translation or mistranslation into Latin. So here we go looking for clues to see if he was a reliable translator, so-so, or hit and miss.

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