13 Comments

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    Mike, that proposed change is much less straightforward or agreeable. First, it’s longer, adds unnecessary complexity and slightly alters what was stated as the intent. Second, the verbiage is once again reverting to the same battle lines of the aformentioned debate:

    “They believe God still brings REVELATION? You mean they dont believe in the SUFFICIENCY of the Bible?!”

  2. Avatar

    How about, “Insiders do not acknowledge that the canon of the Bible is sufficient in that they believe god-given revelation can come from extra-biblical religious texts (i.e. Quran).”

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    Thanks Mike. I believe most every Christian that believes in the inerrancy of the bible would not take issue with a line being drawn around close of canon. For me, I just believe it takes “extrabiblical revelation” to get there (though I have only heard there is a solid extrabiblical case from trustworthy sources and have not studied that personally), because I think the argument that attempts to make this work from within the bible is extremely poor (wrong).

    So I would word this along the lines of what you have already thrown out as your explanation:
    Insiders do not acknowledge that the canon of the bible is complete

    Or:
    Insiders believe new Scriptures can be revealed of equal weight as the bible (i.e. Book of Morman, Quran)

  4. Avatar

    Ok, so here’s a simple solution. How would you phrase the sentence, so it doesn’t carry that connotation. I’ll see if we can edit it. :-)

  5. Avatar

    Mike, if this issue is as you say, about the close of canon, then why is it not framed along those lines instead of choosing wording that is aligned with a specific side of this same “revelation” debate that is very popular and heated today? This is why it seems much more to me about pandering to a base or declaring some litmus test that I believe is very inconsistent with Scriptures.

    I dont see any correction to the poor wording above, but simply an explanation that, frankly, doesnt make much sense. Wouldnt it make more sense and be more accurate to then say “Insiders believe Canon itself can be extended with new books that carry the authority of Scripture itself”. That is a statement that would differentiate these movements without attempting to draw substantial doctrinal lines in other areas.

    Even this revised wording would be drawing a line potentially too far for me, though it wouldnt draw much disagreement. That is, I see the “biblical” evidence for a closed canon to be extremely lacking, while recognizing that every attempt to add to the canon has been heretical. Regardless, my concern is that the current wording simply does not represent what is being claimed.

  6. Avatar

    Craig,

    This isn’t a Calvinism/Arminianism issue. The question is whether the Canon itself can be extended with new books that carry the authority of Scripture itself.

  7. Avatar

    While it is good to hear that you are a continuationist, much of the debate that has been stirred up publicly by John Macarthur this past year centers on this very issue, and yet I believe Macarthur even calls himself a continuationist (although in a very limited sense of it). I’ve been pulled into this debate on many occasions as a result of the popularity of this teaching, and so to see it work its way into this FAQ with language that mirrors that one side of this debate is very troubling to me. I see the impact of this as pandering to a particular base by dividing along the same lines that Macarthur has been promoting, and bigger picture, I see the raise of this issue as undermining of the efforts to challenge to IM / C5 heresies.

  8. Mark Stephan

    Sure, yeah I don’t think that’s what they meant. I think what they mean is that revelation can come through outside ‘biblical’ sources, i.e. the Quran. A lot of the IMers say that the Quran holds truths that are Biblical, and can be used as not only bridging, but creating commonality where a Muslim can remain Muslim, and be saved in Jesus. So that’s the revelation I think the FAQ is talking about.

    As a side note, I know many Calvinists who are Continuationists, myself included.:-) I am not a cessationist.

    Blessings!

  9. Avatar

    Cessationism and Continuationism is probably a better categorization of the issue, though I often see the discussion play out along the calvinist / arminian lines as well. Regardless, the word choice seems unnecessarily divisive. Not that its not an important debate- it very much is- but that debate seems far outside the scope of critically analyzing c5 and the heretical Insider Movement.

    Whether the cessationist believes there is no further revelation whatsoever, or you believe there can be revelation up to the point of personal revelation, or another believes that God reveals much more than this even today as long as it aligns with scripture and the Spirit bears witness and confirms it, seems outside the scope here. I am not saying these viewpoints have equal validity by any stretch, but its not an IM / C5 issue and the wording here appears seems inappropriate.

    If the purpose here is to confront IM / C5 and not enter into that debate, the qualifier should say something like “Ongoing revelation outside the canon of scripture, even if it contradicts scripture”.

  10. Mark Stephan

    Yeah I don’t think this is discussing that, in the way you’re thinking. However, being a Calvinist (preferred term Reformed) myself, I have never have seen the argument between Calvinism and Arminianism dealing with revelation. Interesting… I believe the Holy Spirit certainly can reveal personal things to individuals. Are you sure it isn’t an argument between Cessationism and Continuationism?

  11. Avatar

    While I cant speak for all forms of arminianism, certainly many of the calvinism / arminianism discussions I’ve encountered seem to focus on this particular issue.

    No revelation that is truly from God will ever contradict scripture (canon). However, to say that God does not continue to bring revelation is simply false and not something that I believe should be brought into this discussion, regardless.

  12. Mark Stephan

    Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. Are you saying arminians believe there is new revelation outside of canon?

  13. Avatar

    As a supporter of biblical missiology and opponent of C5 and IM, I am really disappointed to see this:
    “Insider movements believe that there is on-going revelation outside the canon of Scripture (i.e. the Bible).”

    This appears to me a terrible way to divide those supportive of biblical missiology along the lines of calvanism and arminianism, as it appears to lump arminians in with IM.

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