John Macarthur's new book Strange Fire will be released on November 12th 2013, and ties in with a conference of the same name. The book raises the flag for cessationism, in a manner more forceful than anything since Walter Chantry published Signs of the Apostles.
Yes, the whole concept behind book and conference saddens me. There have always been high-profile cessationists around. Indeed, Macarthur's own cessationist views have not been secret. His rejection of biblical pentecostals, however, is, IMHO, influenced by 2 failures on the part of biblical pentecostals. 1. While seeking to be gracious in joint meetings with cessationists, and in order to find common cause, we have sought to play down our pentecostalism. By doing so, we have given the impression that we beieve our own pentecostalism to be simply an “optional extra” to biblical Christianity, rather than an essential part of biblical Christianity. 2. Related to point 1 is that we have become timid about teaching the Baptism in the Spirit. we have allowed people to think that it is not essential. We have covered for people, who quite simply don't want it. We need to become more bold in biblical teaching on pentecostalism.
We should now be taking the biblical high ground. It's like we've been saying to the cessationists – “Don't worry about us. We do a few weird things in private, but we are not like those really wacky, heretical New Apostolic Reformation people, so please, please accept us into your little club.” Instead, while not being proud, and while seeking to be as humble as possible, we need to be clear that cessationism is definitely Christianity Minus. t should be they who are seeking to be onside with us, as we should be seen to be the biblical scholars and leaders, who are clearly in tune with God.