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Does God Still Give Revelation Today?

By Scott Lencke.

Continuationists believe God still speaks today. This happens not only through the word of God in Scripture, but even through specific words or what we might term as “revelations.” These revelations can come in various manners – prophecies, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, visions, dreams, etc. – but God still communicates and speaks today. He actually never desired anything less.

However, what can get easily leveled against continuationists, from a more cessationist camp, is the idea that such revelation would no longer be needed knowing we now have the completed revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which is, of course, summarized in the full canon of Scripture. This revelation is the final word and no other such revelation is needed. And I understand the concern, especially noting such doctrines as the sufficiency of Scripture. However, I believe there is a very balanced approach that allows for the God-breathed Scriptures to maintain their authoritative place as God’s written revelation while also maintaining that God still speaks, reveals and communicates today.

Here is what I believe we need to recognize.

We must confess there is no more needed revelation from God with respect to his redemptive purposes in Jesus Christ. No more! The work of Christ and the revelation concerning this work – summed up in his life, ministry, death and resurrection – are the final word on God’s redemptive revelation and purposes. And I believe the New Testament makes this quite clear.

Yet, I do not think it is out of bounds to believe God continues to communicate in what I might term as a non-redemptive measure. This is where continuationists part from cessationists.

Again, I reiterate that it would be quite detrimental to say there is still more for God to reveal concerning the redemption of humanity through Christ and the gospel of the kingdom. Christ remains the final word on such. But, to believe God still reveals today, in a non-redemptive sense, should not be seen as harmful to a faith that looks to be grounded in Christ, the gospel and the testimony of the canon of Scripture. Matter of fact, I would argue that, to not allow for God to still directly speak and reveal today, in all his various manners, would cut us off from something very dear to the heart of God.

In all, I want to give two pointers as to why I believe in continuing, non-redemptive revelation:

1) Even while the canon of Scripture was being formed, God was always speaking para-Scripture, meaning he was speaking alongside what would be included in the canon of Scripture.

A couple examples would be found in places such as 1 Samuel 10:10-13 and 1 Timothy 1:18-19.

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Category: Biblical Studies

About the Author: Scott Lencke, PhD (ABD), holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Memphis, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary, and two years of work toward a Doctor of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. In early 2020, he transferred his research to the University of Aberdeen to complete his PhD in Divinity there. Scott serves on the faculty of several higher education institutions, teaching theology and religious studies courses. He also currently works as a spiritual director and spiritual life coach at Kardia Collective.

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