A Fascinating Cessationist Argument

I find cessationism intriguing. I have a great many friends who are theologically and/or functionally cessationist, and many of them are cleverer than me, but I just cannot see how it convinces them (although I continue to try; I have Dick Gaffin on my desk at the moment, for instance). So when I find new cessationist arguments, I like thinking about them, or even sharing them. This one, which is especially creative—and which comes, I should point out, in a context which is not about cessationism at all—is from the quite brilliant James Jordan:

Now, children are also nursing, not eating and drinking, when they are first born. Yet, they are not weaned until they stop nursing, which comes later then when they first start to eat and drink. If we look at covenant history, we can also see that this phase also occurs. For the sake of convenience, we shall call the time before a child begins to eat and drink the time of swaddling, and the time after he starts to eat and drink but before he stops nursing the time of weaning. Thus, there are four phases:

1. Womb, while the child is being prepared for birth.

2. Swaddling, while the child is still getting everything from his mother and needs to be held and coddled.

3. Weaning, while the child still needs to nurse, but is also eating and drinking from sources outside his mother.

4. Full separation from the womb, when the child is fully weaned and receives all his food and drink from outside his mother.

Consider that even after God moves His people fully into a new world after a swaddling time, He continues to nurse them with special “old” provisions. The exodus from Egypt provides the most obvious analogy. After exiting the womb of Egypt we were swaddled and nursed by God’s miraculous care in the wilderness and then sent into the land. But even after we entered the land, God continued to provide some miracles during the Conquest until we were fully ready to stop nursing from Him. Then the miracles ceased.

(HT: Alastair Roberts)

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