Flashcards in Exam 4 - part 1 Deck (49):
What is special revelation?
"God's manifestation of Himself to particular persons at definite times and places, enabling those persons to enter into a redemptive relationship with Him" (Erickson, p. 144).
Why was special revelation necessary?
"Humans had lost the relationship of favor that they had with God prior to the fall" (Erickson, p. 144).
What was the objective of special revelation? Why were some details about Jesus' appearance and interests left out of the Bible?
The objective was relation. Knowledge about God was for the purpose of knowing Him personally, not academically.
What indicates that special revelation may not be purely remedial, or necessitated by the fall of man?
Gen. 3:8-9 implies that God visited Adam and Eve several times before the fateful encounter regarding their sin. Also, in Gen. 1:28, God directly instructed His human creation, suggesting that special revelation preceded the fall.
What did the fall of man necessitate regarding special revelation?
It needed to become remedial, providing a means of atonement, redemption, and reconciliation for man.
True or false: Special revelation is superior, therefore does not need general revelation at all.
False. General revelation is inferior, but "special revelation builds on general revelation." General revelation provides the concepts for humans to "understand the God of the special revelation" (Erickson, p. 146).
How is special revelation personal?
"A personal God presents Himself to persons" (Erickson, p. 146). He has a name, enters into covenants with people, and the Psalms record testimonies of personal experiences with God.
How is God's special revelation anthropic?
Humans can't go up to God to try to understand Him, so revelation must involve his condescension: His "coming in human language and human categories of thought and action" (Erickson, p. 147).
What is an example Erickson gives of God using a human language?
Koine Greek was the vernacular, or native language of the region where the apostles ministered, and idioms of the day appeared in the Scripture.
How is special revelation analogical?
Whenever God revealed Himself, He chose to use elements that are univocal, or analogous, in both our universe and His. The difference may be in degree, such as His power and our power. His power is obviously much more than ours, but we both possess power.
Why do humans fumble when attempting to make meaningful analogies to God's attributes, and how must we receive Scriptural analogies?
Humans don't understand God's realm, so we always come up with conundrums. God understands both sides of the analogy. We have to take what He says to be true by faith.
What are the modes of special revelation according to Erickson?
Historical events, divine speech, the incarnation, and Scripture. (Dreams and visions may be another mode that Erickson discusses under Divine Speech.)
What does it mean when Erickson says God revealed Himself through historical events?
"God has been at work in concrete historical ways within our world, affecting what occurs" (Erickson, p. 149).
What are the three views concerning the relationship of revelation to history that Erickson discusses?
Revelation in history, through history, and as history.
What are the views of G. Ernest Wright concerning the view of "revelation in history?"
The Bible is not the Word of God but a historical recital, a written record of God acting and humans responding. Doctrine can be inferred from this.
What difficulty arises from restating the Biblical concepts found in history in a modern way?
It's bad practice to "allow a 20th-century presupposition to control the interpretation of biblical events" (Erickson, p. 150).
What popular view demonstrates the concept of "revelation through history" and what is it about?
Neo-orthodoxy, which teaches that "God has worked within history, manifesting Himself to humans" (Erickson, p. 150). His revelation comes as a personal encounter with humans.
In neo-orthodoxy, what purpose do events in history serve?
"They are merely the means through which revelation came" (Erickson, p. 150).
True or false. According to neo-orthodoxy, God is not completely sovereign in revelation.
False. (Erickson, p. 151)
When neo-orthodox people speak of revelation, what do they have in mind?
Process as opposed to product. Revealing as opposed to revealed. It is a direct connection to God and not historical events that can be researched.
The men of the "Pannenberg circle" saw revelation in what way?
Revelation as history, or in other words,"God has acted in history in such a way that the events actually were and are revelation of himself" (Erickson, p. 152).
What incorrect view does Wolfhart Pannenberg and his circle hold?
"All of history, not simply or exclusively the events recorded in Scripture, [is] a revelation of God" (Erickson, p. 152).
What is the most Biblical of the three views concerning the relationship of revelation to history that Erickson presents?
"Historical events do not merely promise or contain or become revelation, but actually are revelation" (Erickson, p. 152).
What forms does divine speech take according to Erickson?
Audible speaking; silent, inward hearing of God's message; or "concursive" inspiration where revelation and inspiration are given together, like when the Scripture writers wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
How was revelation shown in the perfection of Jesus' character?
"Here God was actually living among humans and displaying His attributes to them" (Erickson, p. 157).
What was a very common expression in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, that gives evidence of God divinely speaking to people in Bible times?
"The word of the LORD came to me..." The prophets and apostles had a consciousness that their message came from God.
Does God's use of language make His divine speech direct revelation?
No, it's mediated, not direct. God presumably does not have a particular language, but speaks to us in our own.
What was quite frequently the purpose of the spoken Word of God?
The interpretation or prediction of an event.
What did James Barr conclude regarding the status of direct communication from God versus revelation in actual historical events such as the crucifixion?
The Biblical position is that direct communication of truth from God is just as valid as, or even goes beyond His recorded acts in history.
What is the most complete modality of revelation according to Erickson and why?
The incarnation, because the life of Jesus contains "the pinnacle of God's acts" in redemptive history as well as "revelation as divine speech" (Erickson, p. 156).
Is Christ's humanity direct revelation from God, or God fully present with us, according to Erickson?
No, because God does not have a human form. According to Erickson, "Christ's humanity must represent a mediation of the divine revelation" (Erickson, p. 156).
How is revelation seen in the perfection of Jesus' character?
"God was living among humans and displaying His attributes to them" (Erickson, p. 157).
What is the primary result of special revelation?
Knowledge of God - His person, His acts, His creation, the human condition and God's relationship to us. "This is real, objective, rational information communicated from God to humanity" (Erickson, p. 157).
What is the 20th century view that God's revelation is not the communication of propositional truths, but is personal?
The view that revelation is God's presentation of Himself. In this view, "theology is not a revealed set of doctrines, [but rather] the church's attempt to express what it has found in God's revelation of Himself" (Erickson, p. 157).
What is a person's object of faith according to the personal and propositional views of revelation?
Personal - one's self, a father image, or a superego
Propositional - belief in affirmations about God such as His omnipotence, omnipresence, and perfect love, and placing trust in the God so described.
According to the neo-orthodox view, how does one learn about God?
Not from revealed information, but from an encounter with Him.
Why is Scripture also revelation?
It includes propositional truths, therefore it can be preserved in written form. Revelation is also the product, the revealed truth (Erickson, p. 163).
How is the revelation of the Bible progressive?
Liberal scholars believed that parts of the Old Testament were obsolete and annulled. This is not what is meant by Erickson's use of the term "progressive." It means "revelation builds on earlier revelation, complementing and supplementing, rather than contradicting it" (Erickson, p. 163).
What are the avenues of special revelation according to Ryrie?
The urim and thummim
What was a lot?
It was like modern dice or drawing straws, but God was in control of the outcome.
What was the umim and thummim?
Possibly two precious stones placed in the pouch of the breastplate worn by the high preist in the Old Testament. These stones were also used like dice, but God was in control of the outcome.
How were dreams used as God's avenue of special revelation?
Dreams were used by God to reveal truth to both believers and nonbelievers. He will use this method again at the second coming of Christ.
How were visions used as God's avenue of special revelation?
The human took a more active role in receiving a vision (Isa. 1:1, 6:1; Ezek. 1:3). The emphasis was more on what was heard than what was seen however.
What was a theophany?
Before the incarnation of Christ, a theophany was an appearance of the Angel of the Lord for the purpose of communicating God's message to man.
How are angels related to special revelation?
"God ... used created angels to carry His message to people" (Ryrie, p. 72).
What was the purpose of prophets in relation to special revelation?
The prophets of the Old and New Testaments spoke God's message to people with authority. But modern preachers are not prophets because they are explaining the Word of God already given.
How are historical events related to special revelation?
God's activity in history constitutes a channel of revelation, but they need to be interpreted through divine inspiration if we are to understand their meaning (Ryrie, p. 72).
How does Ryrie say that Jesus Christ was a major avenue of special revelation? Give Bible references.
"[Jesus] exegeted the Father (Jn. 1:14), revealing the nature of God (14:9), the power of God (3:2), the wisdom of God (7:46), the glory of God (1:14), the life of God (1 Jn. 1:1-3), and the love of God (Rom. 5:8)" through His actions and words (Ryrie, p. 73).