Earlier, I posted in my July Goals one objective to write out a few particular doctrinal summaries. Though this was an assignment for a class, it is very important to know what we believe on specific areas of theology. When someone asks you a question about God, man, revelation, ecclesiology, etc- do you have a response? Is your response simply your opinion? Our doctrine should primary be informed by Scripture- as such I have taken measures to put specific scripture passages in parathesis for further review. So here goes- my doctrine of revelation….
Revelation is God’s personal disclosure of Himself and His will for all people (Ps 14:1, Ps 19, Acts 14:15-17, Rom 1). It is not man-made discoveries about God’s omnipotent actions, but divine self-revelation (2 Pt 1:19). In regards to the nature of the Scriptures, I affirm the supremacy, perspicuity, clarity, inerrancy, inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures. Namely, that both the divine author is inspired and all the words, syntax, and shape of the scriptures are God breathed. Ordinary men spoke from God, the divine author, written in the scriptures as they were led by the Holy Spirit. God’s purposeful speech in the scriptures are helpful for doctrine, reproof, correction and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16, Matt 5:17, 2 Pt 1:19-21). God used human language and human authorship to reveal himself, his son, and his plan of salvation through his scriptures as well as speak to us in a way that we can understand. In order to understand the Scriptures, I affirm the Lordship of knowledge and the help of the Holy Spirit for explanation. We (the church) must discipline lofty ideas and opinions raised against the knowledge of God and consult the Spirit of God to correctly understand the Scriptures (Prov. 22:12, Ps. 19, Ps. 119, 1 Cor 1-2, 2 Cor 10:4-5). Due to the fall, man’s mind is finite and possesses limited knowledge of God (Is 55:8, Rom. 11, Eph. 4; Rom. 1).
I also believe that illumination is necessary for revelation. God’s spirit helps our finite minds to see clearly and understandably that which is in the scriptures (1 Cor. 13:12, John 15:26, John 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:13). I affirm a God who has spoken (Gen 1:3, Rom. 1:19, Ps 98:2, Eph. 3:3, Heb. 1:1, Jn 17:26, 1 Cor 2). Our worship is reflective of our knowledge of God. Scripture is the primary source of revelation of God. Tradition, reason, and experience are also helpful in understanding God’s revelation.
Revelation is categorically divided into a universal general revelation (God revealing himself through nature, history and moral law) and a particular special revelation (God revealing himself progressively, personally, propositionally through Jesus Christ and the scriptures) (Deut 5:32, Ps 1). General revelation is useful for knowledge about God, humanity, evangelism, and truths outside of special revelation. Special revelation is useful for knowledge of God and his creation as complementary and supplemental to that which is revealed in the old and new testaments.
What is your doctrine of revelation?
Thanks for reading!