Continuing Revelation – Gospel or Heresy?
This chapter considers the role of appeals to continuing revelation in the furthering of good and the legitimation of evil. Although continuing revelation is a central part of the Christian Gospel recovered historically by Friends, it can also become a factor of evil. Where the Divine Will is discerned authentically, the result is life producing. Where continuing revelation is inadequately discerned or employed rhetorically as a means of furthering another agenda, however, suspicion and distrust are created. This is especially the case when continuing revelation is employed to excuse or legitimate heretical teachings or sacrilegious actions. Given the high value of continuing revelation within the Quaker movement, distinguishing its flawed inferences and rhetorical appeals from authentic discernment is essential. This can be done by testing subjective leadings against Scripture, historical tradition, theological reflection, and corporate accountability. The life dedicated to minding the Divine will above all else will be willing to subject its impressions to other measures.