Having laid out some various schools of thought and critiqued some particulars of the closed (or “wisdom”) approach to divine guidance, I will now move on to presenting the “missing category”. As we have seen, it is necessary to avoid charismatic methodologies which stray from Sola Scriptura, as well as the more moderate but ambiguous practice of relying on feelings and circumstances. A proper approach must also avoid the weaknesses of the closed model, while providing a Biblical framework for the reality and means of personal guidance from God.
Category: Theology & Doctrine
In the previous entry, I examined three common categories of thought regarding divine guidance, and posited the need for a fourth which is predominately “missing”. Before moving on to the propositions of this missing category, I would like to interact with some of the main arguments of the “closed” category, and give some clarity to why I believe it falls short. I will not examine the other categories in the same light, as I do believe that those defending the “closed” position establish sufficient arguments against the other views.
It’s likely that almost every Christian has sought for answers when it comes to knowing God’s will for their personal life decisions. Practically, we want to know who to marry, what vocation to pursue, what ministry is right for us, where we should live, and so on down the list of life’s important choices. Theologically, the Christian may wonder how, or perhaps if, God reveals His will to us in these matters. In the first of a series of articles I intend to write on this subject, I want to examine the common categories of thought on this subject and suggest another approach which seems to be largely missing from the discussion.
What does it mean to “know Christ”? We speak of knowledge with multiplicity in our society, and we can often take for granted the depth of which the idea is fleshed out in Scripture. Sometimes we mean simply “do you know of such and such a person?”, as if to inquire about an elementary and impersonal head knowledge. We know all about celebrities and public figures. But on the same hand, we don’t really know them. However, in the gospel of John, Jesus gives us a comparison which can help us understand what it means, even as mature Christians, to truly “know Christ”.
If most of us were asked to construct a sentence which contained “Jesus” and “blind”, we would likely produce something along the lines of “Jesus healed those who were blind” or “Jesus made the blind to see”. We characterize Christ’s earthly ministry in our minds as largely consisting of miracles of healing the sick, casting out demons, making the lame to walk, and causing the blind to see. While most would understand these miracles also as signs of His deity and symbolic demonstrations of Spiritual truths, there is another aspect to Christ’s ministry involving blindness which we are more reluctant to take to heart.