Christian Decision Making 1

What I have been reading and listening to: Greg Koukl’s podcast comments on the idea“God gives special revelation today”, and some of the lesson outlines listed on the STR website, under the title: ‘Experiencing God’. Maybe it would be easier to spring the money for the entire Bible study outline, but I’m not able to do that at the moment ( although it is not a large amount…just not in the budget right now). So I am trying to figure out 1) just what Greg is teaching, and not teaching by his own statements and 2) how Rusty appeared to be applying it to my own dilemma as I, (admitted!) sometimes obscurely recount it here on my blog. I’m going to go over the personal application here and write a more formal post for Intellectuelle. Both types of posts will be crosslinked to each other.

I also was thinking of making one of my crude podcasts this evening since that is the format Greg Koukl used ( but his are so professional and polished). I find myself in a synthesis … and I thought a podcast could better convey that.

Quickly… What Greg Koukl is advocating is that the Bible does not lead us to seek, methodically, to “hear form God” in the way that many Evangelical teachers portray it, and that the way in which it is proper to get guidance is to study the written account of the Bible. I think that is it… open to all correction as we go along in this…..

This “hearing from God” is experiential in nature, and includes things like ‘fleeces’ ( for those unfamiliar with the terminology that means seeking signs like Gideon’s fleece, or “getting peace” etc. That this is not the common everyday way God leads the typical Christian.

He also finds that people being “trained” to listen to God to be faulty, based on his study of the Bible… and then invites those interested to prove him wrong, as it were, through the text of the Bible.

I think that is a pretty fair synopsis. Feel free to add in.

Check out the links and then we will start some conversation on the topic this week.

5 thoughts on “Christian Decision Making 1”

  1. I think what you wrote is a fairly accurate summary of what Greg teaches. I would add that this does not mean that God cannot speak in a subjective fashion. It just means that it’s not normative and should not be taken as a measure for maturity in a believers life.

    Another person who talks about this is Garry Friesen. He has a 450 page book on the subject called Decision Making and the Will of God. A little less daunting is a pamphlet which summarizes his view.

    Looking forward to the conversation!

  2. Funny – I thought I saw a comment from a “Kathy” along with mine but them it disappeared. Weird.

  3. I am no longer deleting my own spam- and thus losing comments, but the Spam Karma plugin is working and I don’t know how it handles things yet. I do know that the more acceptable comments you make the higher your “karma” . I do know that I have almost no spam to delete right now.

    On the “decision making” process: I don’t believe it to be an either /or but a sandwich . I did pick up Greg’s emphasis that he is not saying what God can or cannot do, or even that He has not intervened or guided experientially at times. I’m a little slow on this because I don’t really want to argue the point, but then again, I do feel that more can be said on the subject.

  4. Hi Ilona,

    That’s a good radio broadcast to listen to… I think Greg spent about 20 minutes on the subject with a caller (I played a shortened version of it for my class at church). The From Truth to Experience teaching is similar to his Decision Making & The Will of God talk, but with a decidedly different angle. But the notes should be enough to get you through his approach.

    I’ve found that, with this study, one needs to be clear on definitions of words and phrases. For instance, when someone says that “God told me to do such-and-such” – are they stating that they heard from God as Paul did on the road to Damascus? Probably not. Yet we continue to use the phrase, typically meaning that God has impressed upon us such-and-such. However, what is the basis used to conclude such an impression was, indeed, from God? That’s one of the core points of Greg’s outline – that the use of nudges, feelings, and impressions, that we tend to attribute to God, is not a practice that is found in the Bible.

    Also, you mention that Greg teaches that the way in which it is proper to get guidance is to study the written Word. There again, what do you mean by “getting guidance”? For example, we face many decisions in life – who to marry, what job to take, where to live, etc. As part of “getting guidance” are we to expect God to tell us the answers to those questions? Or, are we to expect God to provide us with the wisdom and spiritual understanding needed to make those decisions on our own?

    There’s another resource (free!) you can check at John Piper’s website: Why the Gift of Prophecy is not the usual way of knowing God’s Will

  5. Ilona,

    I saw the same thing happen again when leaving the 2nd comment. I sent you an e-mail with more details.

    Don’t want to “argue” either but I’ll “discuss” as much as you like. 🙂

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