Saturday, August 10, 2013

Primary and secondary sources

I'm going to comment on a few more of Ed's characteristically irrational remarks:
Would Hays deny that a person reared in the Muslim faith is in a unique position to comment on Muslim theology? Would he deny that a Mormon practitioner is also uniquely qualified to comment on Mormon theology? He can if he wants but he would be foolish to do so.

So, by his own logic, it would be foolish for Ed to deny that Sam Storms is uniquely qualified to comment on cessationism.

Hays then creates some artificial categories in hopes of showing that his reasoning is valid and sound. There is nothing secondary about the revelation that is Scripture. To separate the revelation in Scripture from the revelation of Scripture is utterly ridiculous and impossible. 
I reject the classification of these revelations as extra biblical. You see, extra biblical has a very specific meaning in our context. Surely Steve knows this. By extra biblical, we mean revelations from God apart from the authoritative revelation of Scripture. 
I am sorry, but to argue that the content of Scripture itself is extra biblical revelation is frankly a foolish and absurd proposition. 

Ed pay's lip-service to Scripture, but he disregards the specifics. God gave Abimelech a dream "apart" from Scripture. God gave Pilate's wife a dream "apart" from Scripture. The Biblical record wasn't the source of the dream. Rather, the dream was the source of Biblical record. Those revelatory dreams have their origin outside of Scripture. They were causally and originally extrabiblical revelations. 

To take a comparison, there's nothing outlandish in pointing out that Luke consulted extrabiblical sources when composing his gospel. He himself indicates as much in the prologue to his Gospel. His Gospel is a secondary source in relation to those primary sources. To some extent, his Gospel incorporates information which originated elsewhere. Those are factual categories, not "artificial" categories. 

ROFL. So what then is Steve's basis for current, modern, Pentecostal "revelations" NOT being included in Scripture? If revelation continues, why is the canon closed? If all revelations are equal, what about my revelation that says that canon should remain open? Essentially, we should still be writing the Bible. The canon expands with each new generation and their own respective revelations. 

i) I'm not vouching for "modern Pentecostal revelations." However, Ed's objection proves too much. Scripture is very selective. Even during the age of public revelation, Bible writers didn't commit all "revelations" to writing. Take John's disclaimer:

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (Jn 20:30-31).
ii) Ed also fails to distinguish between private and public revelation. 

Finally, to compare the genuine revelation of Scripture and in Scripture with modern Pentecostal revelation might make for stimulating conversation to some people, the fact is that it is just plain ridiculous. 

How is comparing the dream of Abimelech or the dream of Pilate's wife to a Christian who says he had a premonitory dream inherently "ridiculous"? If you assume at the outset that God no longer does what he did in the case of Abimelech or Pilate's wife, then the comparison won't hold. But that assumption begs the very issue in dispute. 

By what standard do we judge these supposed revelations? Well, we cannot judge them! They are the words of God. Who are we to judge God's word?

i) By what standard was Abimelech or Pilate's wife supposed to judge their dreams? What does Ed think they should have done in that situation? 

ii) There's an obvious distinction between personal experience and reported experience. 

iii) Notice how Ed fails to distinguish between verbal and visionary revelation. 

iv) Luke treats Agabus as a genuine prophet, yet Paul feels free to disregard his advice. 

In addition, we may not be able even to judge failed prophecies because God may have changed His mind. In Pentecostal theology, God is allowed to do that you know. The understanding of human free will is far worse than you could imagine in that system.

Since some charismatics are Calvinists, that's demonstrably false. 

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