Saturday, August 10, 2013

Steve Hays on Extra Biblical Revelation

In response to my statement that my extensive experience within the oldest Pentecostal denomination in the world places me in a unique position to comment on Pentecostal theology, Steve Hays says this:
Of course, the traffic goes both ways. Does that mean Sam Storms is uniquely qualified to speak about cessationism?
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.

Hays then comments about all the extra biblical revelation that is actually contained in Scripture itself. It is a theological howler to try to claim that the bible contains extra biblical revelation. The whole point is that this revelation is the content itself of revelation. Extra biblical means that we have revelation taking place outside of the content of Scripture itself. This argument is baffling, but more than that, it is dangerously foolish. I will show why this is the case below.
It may not occur to a careless reader to classify these revelatory dreams as extrabiblical because we read about them in Scripture. In that secondary and derivative sense, they are "biblical."
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. It would be like trying to separate the Trinity. 
Does Ed think these extrabiblical revelations were illegitimate? That's the problem for people like Ed. They pride themselves on their fidelity to Scripture, but they aren't really beginning with the witness of Scripture. Rather, they begin with their preconceive theory. 
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. Perhaps a reference to this authoritative revelation might be in order: God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Heb 1:1–2).

Finally, I never said that the Prosperity Doctrine and extra biblical revelation were logically connected. They are connected in Pentecostal theology, if not directly by statement, then indirectly by their universal view of causative faith.

Once again, Steve accuses me of being an unscrupulous critic of unscrupulous Charismatics. But what Steve calls unscrupulous, the overwhelming majority of Pentecostals call prophets and prophetesses of God. 

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 am sorry, but to argue that the content of Scripture itself is extra biblical revelation is frankly a foolish and absurd proposition. The authoritative revelation vanishes under the umbrella of a radical subjectivism that swallows it whole.

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. 

Triablogue continues to vacillate on something as basic as sola scriptura. How on earth can these men defend Sola Scriptura against the Roman Catholics, and then travel across town and defend the nonsense of extra biblical revelation in Pentecostal theology? The contradiction is obvious for all to see.

How many types of revelation are there? Natural....Special...???? God's revelation is authoritative not because it was written down, but because God said it. Hence, Pentecostal theology's idea that God is still speaking outside of Scripture necessitates that we no longer have one final authority in Scripture. We have as many final authorities as we do revelations!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about emptying Scripture of ALL its power.

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? Unless these revelations are failed prophecies, it seems we can't judge them. 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. You see, God's revelation is equal being, by nature, God's revelation. If a person has a revelation from God that Roman Catholicism is a genuine branch of Christianity, by what standard can we determine its truthfulness? You say by Scripture. The Pentecostal says that their revelation is from God, the same as Scripture. What are we to do? If you say that Scripture is all we need to determine truth, then Pentecostal revelation becomes superfluous at best. If you say that Pentecostal revelation is legitimate, then that makes it necessary since it is an act of God. And if it is necessary, then Scripture is not sufficient. You are left with a choice: If Pentecostal revelation is legitimate, then Scripture is not sufficient and sola scriptura collapses. On the other hand, if every Pentecostal revelation is measured by Scripture for its truthfulness, then that revelation is superfluous. Is it right to charge God with superfluous revelation? This debate, like it or not, takes us back to the reformation. The players may be different, but the core principle of sola scriptura is exactly what is at stake.

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