As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Okay, so here goes.
- The apostle James uses the analogy of a mirror in the first chapter of his epistle.
- On the principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture, it would be reasonable to expect Paul to be using his imagery in the same way.
- Hence, the "perfect" is the completed canon.
- Since signs cease with the arrival of the perfect, miraculous signs are not for today.
Except that there's a couple of problems. In statement 2, the analogia fidei does not require us to suppose that the imagery is the same, although I'll grant that it is a very real possibility. There are worse problems, though, and for any who arrive at statement 3, no matter whether they buy the logic from 1 and 2.
One of the big questions that this passage asks us to work out for ourselves is this: what, or whom, is it that we see in a mirror dimly? On any reading of this partial/perfect business, I suggest that this will be Jesus. Do then the propounders of a "completed canon" view suggest that we now see Christ face-to-face in Scripture? Far more likely, to my mind, is the suggestion that we now see Christ through a glass darkly in the pages of Scripture, and that at his glorious Second Coming, we shall see him face-to-face. It is at that Second Coming that his kingdom will be consummated and finally completed, it is at that Second Coming that we shall know fully, even as we have been [are presently] fully known. Maranatha!
Incidentally, although this passage doesn't explicitly state that the signs will continue until the Second Coming, it would be a fairly tortured reading, particularly in context, which tried to make out cessation to be the case.