“Piper on Prophecy and Tongues”
a blog post by Desiring God
Piper is not a cessationist. “What?!” you say. Or maybe “What?” as in “What is cessationism?” (That exclamation point makes all the difference.) Cessationists believe that there are certain gifts, namely tongues and healing, that were reserved for the apostolic period when the early church was being built. This was to give the early church and its teachers more credibility. Now that the church has been firmly established, cessationists believe that the miraculous gifts of that time have ceased. (I confirmed my definition of cessationism via a couple sources. If you’re interested in definitions or in an explanation and apologia of cessationism, Pastors Nathan Busenitz and Phil Johnson from Grace Community Church, the church I attend, can provide those for you.)
Honestly, I’m not sure where I stand on continualism and cessationism. (“Continualism” referring to the belief the miraculous gifts have not ceased.) I haven’t seen any Scriptural evidence for cessationism–though that doesn’t mean there isn’t any; I just haven’t seen it–but if I were a continualist, I would be on the same page as Pastor John Piper. He adheres to the biblical principles of tongues (namely 1 Cor. 14:4-5, 23) and seeks to bring his beliefs in line with Scripture. I am thankful for his submission to the authority of Scripture, and though I attend a local church which believes in cessationism, I am confident–and glad!–that I can share a faith and fellowship with Pastor Piper because of his humility in submitting to Scripture, desire for unity and avoidance of division on this issue, and his devotion to the glory of God.