This post is the conclusion of my paper on the doctrine of continualism in the history of the church. I don’t think most people know what continualism means so I’ve given it a different title for this blog. Today we continue on from Calvin and Luther to the present.
Despite the experiences of some Protestants, the cessationist teachings of Calvin and Luther won the day. Miracles were understood to be for the confirmation of the Christian faith during the foundational period of the apostles. Purported miracle claims by the Catholic Church were counterfeit, designed to take people from the true faith. This understanding held for the most part until the middle of the nineteenth century. In the interim, philosophical developments would challenge the traditional understanding of miracles. The Enlightenment, in the mid-seventeenth century, created a great shift in how people thought about miraculous intervention. The supernatural began to hold less wonder, and the Protestant critique of Catholic miracle claims shifted from demonic miracles to superstition. Philosophers such as Spinoza and Hume strongly denied the possibility of miracles on logical grounds. Continue reading