Cessation of Gifts and the “perfect”

James Cassidy has a great little article on the cessation of gifts.  The strongest argument for continuationism comes from 1 Corinthians 13:10 and hinges on what the “perfect” refers to.  If it refers to Christ’s second coming, that would seem to support continuationism.  But Cassidy references Sinclair Ferguson’s treatment.

Ferguson argues that the coming perfection is not a reference to the second coming of Christ, but to the finality of inscripturated revelation.

If “perfect” refers to the completion of Scripture then tongues and prophecies have ceased.  Frank Turk has also challenged Mark Driscoll’s continuationist stance and makes a rather interesting point.

I’ll be excited to read your book when Justin Taylor has approved it for publication as I am dying to see the historical evidence for the continuation of the gifts in the first 3 centuries of the church when it cannot be found in any of the primary sources for that period. You say elsewhere in the talk that you have it, and I’m looking forward to you showing us your evidence.  When guys like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tatian, Clement, and Tertullian don’t mention it at all, and they are framing the first post-biblical case for Christianity, and they can’t possibly have modernistic, rationalistic, individualistic Enlightenment biases because it’s 14 centuries too early for that, I hope you have something more than self-confidence and a winning smirk to carry the day.

And Dan Philips has called continuationism as self-refuting:

The very fact that “continuationists” acknowledge the need to make their case to Christians by argument is, itself, a devastating and sufficient refutation of the position.