Identifying, Interpreting, and Certifying Revelation
Philosophers usually base their arguments most directly on considerations other than alleged revelation. However, the author discusses alleged revelation first because he thinks that beliefs about revelation often play a significant role in the belief systems of traditional theists. Richard Swinburne's approach assumes something like Mavrodes's communication model of revelation and is evidentialist: that is, it uses what is written in the Bible as evidence for propositions about God. Throughout the history of Christianity, the Bible has played a central role as a norm for ecclesiastical pronouncements, for doctrinal formulations and debates, and for moral guidance, along with providing a basis for preaching and a resource for devotional activity. Swinburne says that the Bible contains passages whose most natural interpretation is inconsistent with other passages and with central Christian doctrines. Swinburne advocates reinterpreting passages whose most natural interpretation implies an unorthodox position.