The WCF and the Cessation of Special Revelation

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Stephen Steele | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Aug 7 2014 1:27 PM

Subtitle: The Majority Puritan Viewpoint on Whether Extra-Biblical Prophecy is Still Possible

I've come across references to this book a few times now - it looks important to have. Here's the blurb:

"In the opening chapter of the Confession, the divines of Westminster included a clause that implied that there would no longer be any special immediate revelation from God. Means by which God had once communicated the divine will, such as dreams, visions, and the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, were said to be no longer available. However, many of the authors of the WCF accepted that "prophecy" continued in their time, and a number of them apparently believed that disclosure of God's will through dreams, visions, and angelic communication remained possible. How is the "cessationist" clause of WCF 1:1 to be read in the light of these claims? This book reconciles this paradox in a detailed study of the writings of the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith."

From the Forward by Joel Beeke: ""Garnet Milne presents us with a much-needed study. . . . He builds his case by presenting judicious and thorough evidence from a large number of both primary and secondary sources. It is a fascinating and groundbreaking book . . . and clarifies a remarkable amount of profound, theological detail."

"Connecting the past to the present is always a difficult but necessary task for the responsible Christian theologian. Dr. Milne's work is a good example of how modern questions can be sensitively engaged in a manner which gives due respect to the great formulations of the past without either imposing Procrustean criteria on such historic discussions or simply historicizing such to the point of irrelevance." - Carl Trueman

There don't seem to be any ebook versions of it currently available, and it would be great to have it in Logos!

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 7 2014 1:57 PM

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 7 2014 3:15 PM

Perhaps I shouldn't say anything regarding this, but it seems to me that the idea of a continuing of revelation rests on the idea that it is simply a transmission of information to the recipient which adds to that which has already been received.  If Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God's revelation then we must accept that it is now complete in Jesus Christ.  We have the witness of the early church.  Any supposed revelation today would be the witness of today's church.  Are we to assume that it was formerly incomplete?

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יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 8 2014 2:17 AM

George Somsel:

Perhaps I shouldn't say anything regarding this, but it seems to me that the idea of a continuing of revelation rests on the idea that it is simply a transmission of information to the recipient which adds to that which has already been received. 

George, it seems to me that the idea of prophecy has nothing to do with adding to the revelation that is complete in Christ - there was prophecy after the incarnation (see early chapters of Luke) and after Christ's death, resurrection and ascension (see prophets in Acts) - but that this is a discussion better to be had on http://christiandiscourse.com .

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

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