Thursday, November 16, 2017

Composite revelation

Beginning around the 42 min. mark, Matt Chandler has an interesting anecdote: 

He describes a vision he had of a stranger.  He saw a man with black pants and a blue shirt at a local burger joint. In addition, he sees pigtails in his vision.

He says Bob Hamp was with him at the time. This is Hamp's account of the same incident:

In addition, Chandler says the man he saw in the vision later gave a testimony at church about the same incident. 

So there are three witnesses to this ostensible vision. In addition, the vision was corroborated by what actually happened–according to them. So this strikes me as a credible report.

(Incidentally, notice minor discrepancies in the way Hamp and Chandler remember the incident. That's natural.)

What I want to comment on is that, initially, the vision didn't seem to fully correspond to events. They met a man who fit the description, but he didn't have pigtails. So up to that point, you might write it off as a coincidence. But it turns out the person with pigtails had been his daughter, when she was young. And that family had a history with Bob Hamp. 

Assuming this is true, Chandler had a composite vision. The vision corresponded, not to one thing, but to two different, but related things. 

Suppose some Bible prophecies, based on visionary revelation, are like that. They seem to be almost right, but they don't quite correspond to events. Except, maybe they do correspond to events, but a combination of two (or more) events. 

When unbelievers point to "failed" Bible prophecies, we should make allowance for the possibility that these are based on composite visions. Visions which point to more than one thing or event. The oracle does match reality, but in terms of one thing in combination with another thing. 

My point is not to vouch for the theology of Bob Hamp or Matt Chandler on modern-day prophecy. I think their story is credible, but the main thing is how it illustrates something that critics of Bible prophecy might overlook. 

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