We Speak…in the Words…Which the Holy Ghost Teacheth -- By: Francis I. Andersen

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 22:2 (May 1960)
Article: We Speak…in the Words…Which the Holy Ghost Teacheth
Author: Francis I. Andersen


We Speak…in the Words…Which the Holy Ghost Teacheth

Francis I. Andersen

Prominent in current theological discussion are deep probings into the nature of revelation. The most influential writers are almost unanimous in their enunciation of a principle which is taken as axiomatic for all subsequent discussion; the discussion, in fact, often amounts to a defence of this dictum and an exposition of its consequences. The following representative quotations should give a fair idea of the emphasis involved in this pervasive thesis.

“It has become a commonplace in modern theology that the Biblical revelation is not a system of abstract propositional truths, but, both in form and in substance, a history of the acts of God.”1

Revelation…is primarily God’s activity, not certain eternal ideas or certain divinely authenticated or dictated doctrines.”2

“The Bible…is not centered in a series of moral, spiritual and liturgical teachings, but in the story of a people who lived at a certain time and place.”3

“Divine revelation is not a book or a doctrine; the Revelation is God Himself in His self-manifestation within history.”4

“God does not give us information by communication; He gives us Himself in communion.”5

It is a “wrong meaning” when revelation is “understood as the verbal or conceptual communication of truth by divine authority.”6

“In the last resort it is not information about God that is revealed, but very God Himself incarnate in Jesus Christ our Lord.”7

“The revelation is Jesus Christ Himself, not a doctrine about Jesus Christ. In true faith we have to do with Jesus Christ Himself, not with a doctrine about Him.”8

“What is proclaimed in this Gospel is not a true doctrine or a sound principle, but a Person who is himself the Truth.”9

“In revelation it is God who reveals, and it is God who is revealed. Revelation is not doctrine.”10

“ Revelation…comes in the form of vision, not of information.”

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