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The article is splitted[edit]

Because of the length of the article, the article is splitted. The part dealing with the main issues in the dispute is moved to the WP article Cessationism versus Continuationism. The former article "Cessation-continuation debate" is moved to the new formed WP page Cessationism versus Continuationism. Theophilius (talk) 16:42, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


Catholicism or Orthodoxy are not mentioned once in the article, albeit they are whence the view derives, and have a numerical strong majority of all Christians alive (1.2 billion Catholics, 350 million Orthodox, 750 million Protestants). All of the traditional communions and denominations - Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed/Calvinist, Anglican, and Lutheran - hold to a view of cessationism, yet none of those except for the Calvinists are mentioned herein. The article is written from a solely Protestant perspective, liberally sprinkled with and based on the doctrine of sola scriptura (as opposed to the Catholic/Orthodox/Anglican prima scriptura), as if sola scriptura was the only way to derive a view of cessationism. Needs a major rewrite from the bottom up. JohnChrysostom (talk) 12:59, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I think that the article does not need "a major rewrite from the bottom up", but only additional sections that would provide an account of cessationism not based upon Sola Scriptura. The article would be richer if there is additional sections providing cessationist perpsectives from Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. I think that the problem with the article is not its neutrality, but completeness. I have, therefore, removed POV-template and replaced it with missing-information-template. Theophilius (talk) 02:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I have also changed the 1st heading, so that the reader is informed that the account of types of cessationism is within Protestantism. Theophilius (talk) 03:00, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I fail to see that there is an articulated formulation of cessationism in Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Moreover, both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches are nowadays open for the occurences of charismatic gifts, such as the gift of healing, miracles, visions among the saints. I think that Cessationism never made much sense to Catholic or Orthodox Christians who continued to expect the saints to work miracles. We do see that among Roman Catholics there is a strong Charismatic movement, and certain Eastern Orthodox theologians are proContinuitionists (see Charismatic Movement in Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodoxy and the Charismatic Movement, Charismatic Movement in Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Charismatic Renewal).

In Early Church, there were present both Cessationist and Continuationist groups. Therefore, historical arguments pro contra charismatic gifts are not conclusive. During Reformation, John Calvin turned the cessationist polemic against Roman Catholicism and the radical reformation, undercutting their claims to religious authority they based on miracles and revelations (see Benjamin Warfield’s Counterfeit Miracles). Calvin popularized the restriction of miracles to the accreditation of the apostles and specifically to their gospel, though he was less rigid about cessationism than most of his followers.

In the section Historical Evidence, there is a list of Cessationist explanations about why gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased. Those explanation are not based upon Sola Scriptura. Thus, we see, that the article covers all forms of Cessationism. Therefore, I have removed the missing-information-template. Theophilius (talk) 16:02, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Removing the heading "Original Purpose"[edit]

The heading "Original Purpose" was dealing with the purpose of the charismatic gifts, arguing that the purpose of the gifts were fullfilled with the completion of the Canon. In other words, it gives one of the main reasons for Cessationism. However, not all cessationists would agree with such rationale, e.g., empirical cessationism. We are more interested in all forms of cessationism. For this reason, the heading is not appropriate as a general account of Cessationism. (It is better to have it in an article which particularly deals with the dispute between Cessationists and Continuationists, such as Cessationism versus Continuationism, where one gives account of various reasons for Cessationism.) Therefore, it was removed. Theophilius (talk) 19:23, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Based on the discussion below, I have no objections. Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:26, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I dissent,Theophil789 you have relegated important sourced references to the end and also completely removed the central argument used by widely cited and early users of the term 'cessationist'. Reference to the original purpose of the sign and revelatory gifts is an important part of the article, it ought to have a prominent place here. Many of the moderate or empirical 'cessationists' don't actually believe the gifts have 'ceased' at all, and have historically been reticent even to describe themselves as cessationist. This is not clarifying the issue, it has, inadvertently, lead to obfuscation. I have reverted material aspects of your edit of this section, and brought up some material from the end to the section on 'strong' cessationism, though I doubt the historical utility of the label. Cpsoper (talk) 21:14, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Cpsoper9 for adding back this important point under the heading of Strong Cessationism. That was a good solution!
However, I disagree with your view about moderate cessationism. A moderate cessationist would insist that the gifts have ceased precisely because the canon is now closed. Moderate cessationists put a great weight to the principle of sola scriptura, something that empirical cessationists do not. In some sense, a moderate cessationist could agree that the gifts have fulfilled their purpose at the completion of the canon, but with a strong qualification: The gifts have fulfilled their purpose, but only in this dispensation or in this age before the Great Tribulation. As said in the article, strong and moderate cessationists agree with each other in practical terms. Their disagreement is in eschatology.
You raise some valid point about empirical cessationism. It is actually a semi-continuationist view, since their view can allow for a reemergence of gifts at any time. However, I think that their view should be mentioned when dealing with cessationism in its generality, especially when we are interested in the rationale for cessationism. Empirical cessationism is interesting as a contrast to traditional forms, which are grounded on the principle. It was mentioned not to obfuscate the matter. Theophilius (talk) 00:11, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Major restructure of the article[edit]

Restructuring to the original structure[edit]

For some reason, someone removed the original structure and divided the first heading "Types" with this division:

  • Total cessationists
  • Moderate cessationists
  • Theoretical basis

In the original article, the first heading had the title "Types of Cessationism." Changing the title to a mere "Types" is not a proper title (one might ask "types of what?"). In the original article, the different versions of Cessationism were explained, i.e., explaining on what criteria Cessationists can disagree. However, this was removed without giving good reasons. Fortunately, I have kept saved the original article, which helped me to restore some of the material that was removed, while at the same time not removing additions that were put by other editors.

Now, in the previous version (right before the current one), the previous structure (with the above division) is not a good one.

First, the classification of cessationists on the question of whether miracles/healings are allowed is completely missing. This is a serious omission. There are cessationists, such as Classical Cessationists, that believe that God can occasionally perform miracles/healings as a result of a prayer, but deny that God operates through special prophets and healers, i.e., deny the operation of charismatic gifts. This kind of cessationists should be, therefore, mentioned. (The part dealing with Classical Cessationists/Full Cessationists was not my contribution, but I think that it is a very good one. I am surprised that this part was removed in previous editions.)

Second, the division of the types of cessationism into (1) "total cessationists," (2) "moderate cessationist" and (3) "theoretical basis" is very confusing. It is not consistent. (Why suddenly "theoretical basis" after mentioning two versions of cessationism? One would expect a third kind of cessationists in the list of types of cessationism in accordance to the first two items of the list of headings.) Moreover, it was not explained that "total cessationism" is related to "moderated cessationism" in the question of reemergence of the gifts. This was not very well explained.

Third, the titles of the headings are not correct, as explained in the next section ("Change of headings")

In this structure of the article, I have given an account of the major differences among Cessationists. If you do not agree with this present structure, please do not edit it before discussing it on this Talk Page. Theophilius (talk) 00:13, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Changing "Types of Cessationism" to "Types" is completely correct as we're reading an article on Cessationism. It is also supported by MOS:HEADINGS, that makes it clear, "Headings should not refer redundantly to the subject of the article, or to higher-level headings, unless doing so is shorter or clearer."
I agree Theophilius (talk) 16:56, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I have no problems to returning to the headings and formatting you suggest, provided that the content and naming is supported by reliable sources.
It would also be useful for you to read Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout.
One final thing, Cessationists are people, so grammatically speaking it would be better if you used "Cessationists who" rather than "Cessationists that". Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:35, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for noticing this. It is edited. Theophilius (talk) 16:56, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Change of headings[edit]

I have changed the titles of headings: "Strong Cessationism" (instead of "Total cessationism") and "Cessationism with regard to its justification" (instead of "Theoretical basis").

With regard to the first title, many philosophical or scientific theories are differentiated with respect to their scope in terms of strength, e.g., "strong", "moderate" (cf. the epistemological theory of Foundationalism, where we differentiate between strong and moderate versions of Foundationlism). Therefore, in this context, it is more appropriate to use "strong cessationism" rather than "total cessationism."

With regards to the second title, in the original Wikipedia article, there was a heading with the title "Types of Cessationism by types of justification," which was later changed into "Theoretical basis." The given editorial reason was that "this has nothing to do with justification." There was no further explanation given that would clarify why arguing for Cessationism on the grounds of principle or on empirical evidence is not regarded as a form of justification. I am at loss here, since the term "justification" is usually understood as an action of showing something to be right or reasonable. (Consulting any dictionary would show this. This sense of the term is usually used in philosophy and science.) I believe that the new title is better for obvious reason that arguing from an accepted principle or empirical evidence is per definition a justification. Theophilius (talk) 19:00, 6 September 2016 (UTC)