I haven’t done a real blog post in a while, mainly book reviews. And this post is from a book, but to include it in a formal review will make it unwieldy. Note, in saying these are false assumptions in cessationist arguments I do not imply that cessationism is necessarily false. I think it is, but that’s not the argument in question.
Deere’s most important chapter is “The Real Reason Christians Do not believe in the miraculous Gifts” and in it he undoes a number of cessationist non-arguments.
False Assumption 1: NT Healing was “Automatic,” meaning the NT Christian could heal anyone at anytime. But the NT never claims this and makes statements that are quite odd if true: “And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick” (Luke 5.17, quoted in Deere, 59). If Jesus could heal “any place, any time,” then why did Scripture mention the power of the Lord being present?
Why at some places does Jesus heal all yet at Bethesda he only heals one person? In fact, at Nazareth Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matt. 13.58).
Finally, the answer is that the NT does not see spiritual power as “automatic.” Jesus gave the apostles all authority over demons and sickness (Matt. 10.1; Luke 9.1), yet they could not heal a demonized boy (Matt 17.16). What gives? I thought healing power was automatic? Obviously, the cessationist is wrong.