09 June 2009

Book review — Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung

by Dan Phillips

Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung
(Moody: 2008; 128 pages)

I read this not long after reading and writing about the disaster that is the Blackabys' chapter on chasing after nonexistent wispy voices — and what a tonic it was!

DeYoung writes with a fresh, engaging voice that is pastoral in every good sense of the word. He's friendly and caring, yet exhortative and bracing. For instance.
Now, I know there are lots of good reasons why someone may still be in school past thirty. ...Just because you've been on the planet for one-fourth to one-third of your life and still haven't completed '"the transition" to adulthood doesn't mean you're automatically a moocher, a lazy bum, or a self-indulgent vagabond.

But it could mean that. (13)
Yow! And there's a lot of that: in a friendly, pastoral tone, DeYoung leans right in, looks you in the eye, and suggests you get moving on what you know you should do.

This is a really good book.

How good?
When I was well into my first read-through, I started sharing some of it with my dear wife. After a minute, with a smile, she put a couple of fingers on my lips. Why? Too convicting! And of course, I was bubbling over with it because it had singed me first, in a good way. (And far worse than it did her.)

Even more: what is the highest compliment one writer can pay another? "I wish I'd written that."

Well, I wish I'd written Just Do Something. With a very few reservations.

Tell us more
Glad you asked. It was such a pleasure to get and read this book, after having to groan my way through the disastrous article by the Blackabys. As I've confessed, OTBE I don't like giving a negative review, and reading DeYoung's book was like a fresh minty rinse.

DeYoung sounds a Biblical wake-up-grow-up-and-get-moving call to an over-introspective, hyper-spiritualized, omen-seeking, vapor-locked, pseudo-spiritual, choice-overloaded generation. He rightly exposes the mania to seek, know, and do "God's personal will for me" as un-Biblical, and opposes it with the Bible's vision of a God who has given a sufficient, full, written revelation of Himself, has every detail in our lives (and everything else) under His sovereign control, and wants us to get moving in the path of obedience and wisdom.

It's theologically solid, and packed with Biblical grounding from start to finish.

Honestly, if I were to quote the striking, excellent passages in the book, we'd be here a long, long time. But here is just a selection:
...our search for the will of God has become an accomplice in the postponement of growing up, a convenient out for the young (or old) Christian floating through life without direction or purpose. Too many of us have passed off our instability, inconsistency, and endless self-exploration as "looking for God's will," as if not making up our minds and meandering through life were marks of spiritual sensitivity." (15)

Trusting in God's will of decree is good. Following His will of desire is obedient. Waiting for God's will of direction is a mess. It is bad for your life, harmful to your sanctification, and allows too many Christians to be passive tinkerers who strangely feel more spiritual the less they actually do. (26)

God is not a Magic 8-Ball we shake up and peer into whenever we have a decision to make. He is a good God who gives us brains, shows us the way of obedience, and invites us to take risks for Him. (26)
I'm pretty sure most of us would be more fulfilled if we didn't fixate on fulfillment quite so much (32)

Because we have confidence in God's will of decree, we can radically commit ourselves to His will of desire, without fretting over a hidden will of direction.
In other words, God doesn't take risks, so we can. (41)
I could literally go on and on. DeYoung writes very crisply and memorably. He both critiques what he sees (correctly) as the wrong approaches (chapter-titles: "The Long Road to Nowhere," "Directionally Challenged," "Our Magic 8-Ball God"), and constructs a more Biblical approach ("A Better Way," "The Way of Wisdom"). Nor does DeYoung stick with the theoretical. He constantly swings right into application ("Tools of the Trade," "Work, Wedlock, and God's Will").

The book brims with Biblical wisdom, solid theology, a pastor's heart, and a lively mind and sense of humor. There's some very deft parody of the absurdities of the specific-will, God-told-me mythology, even extending to playing the God-card as a dodge to evade taking responsibility for your choices. And with the criticisms, Pastor DeYoung always provides the God-honoring, wise, Biblical alternative.

You said "But"?
There are a couple of things in it that caused a raised eyebrow, but they're far from deal-killers. They all amount to DeYoung leaving the door open, sometimes by ambiguity, to some sort of direct, extra-Biblical revelation in our day.

For instance, he talks about God being able to "speak to His people in many different ways," by His actual voice (65-66). But in the context, I'm not sure he's saying this is for our day, so much as one of the features of guidance in the book of Hebrews (65-69). More clarity would have been helpful.

But then DeYoung does say straight-up that he believes God can still speak, give visions, the whole nine (70-74). However he says it would be exceptional and rare, and shouldn't be sought nor expected (70-71). DeYoung wants to be sure "that you don't think I am suspicious every time someone claims to have heard from the Lord" (74). But he also states that he is "just not blown away" by such claims.

Well, as you know, I am suspicious of such claims, totally and without apology. I just don't see God looking at us and saying, "You know, you kids have done such a terrific, bang-up, faithful job learning and doing and preaching the 66 books full of inerrant revelation I've already given you... what you need is just one more little special touch!" Just Do Not See it. Can't say "can't" — like I can't say it can't snow in the Sahara. But I can say "unlikely enough not to be looking for it," and bring your own water.

I don't think DeYoung would disagree with me.

Given that, how can I enthusiastically recommend the book? Because to my mind all the rest of the book effectively moots those four or five pages. I could wish he'd just leave them out in a future edition, but I expect to continue heartily to commend the book regardless.

Wrap-up
And for you who've said you wished there was a book like Friesen's, only far briefer, far more readable, far more pastoral, far more accessible? Here it is.

Get it. Read it. Get another. Give it to someone.

You'll thank me.

But you'll thank Kevin DeYoung more.

Dan Phillips's signature

49 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Haven't read it, but will read it.

I really like Pastor Kevin DeYoung too. I read his two free downloadable pdf chapters from his first book "Why we're not emergent" and I was already strikingly impressed by his remarkable insights.

God bless Kevin DeYoung.

And I highly recommend his blog post "Death by Dialogue" on his blog site. It totally captures how the liberal revisionists use process to parasitically eviscerate biblical orthodoxy.

Kim said...

Also read the book and liked it very much. The article "Death by Dialogue" that Truth Unites mentions is excellent as well.

deekdubberly said...

Thanks for the review. Was considering getting this book. Now I'm sold on it. In fact, my church is promoting it as the book of the month (June) and selling it for only $6. I certainly benefited from DeYoung and Kluck's, Why We're Not Emergent. Hopefully, Just Do Something, will not disappoint.

Strong Tower said...

"He is a good God who gives us brains..."

Well, that pretty much sums it.

donsands said...

Thanks for the review. Have to get that book, at some later date. I'll make a mental note. I have way too many books to read right now.

I appreciate the post. And even in the review there's encouragement and edification.

What do you think about the way the Muslims are having dreams about Christ, and seems a revival is breaking out? http://www.partnersinternational.org/news/article.php?id=220

I'm skeptical, but God certainly could do such a thing.

Jugulum said...

Dan,

Thanks! Got the book in my Amazon wishlist. It'll be part of my next purchase.

"I just don't see God looking at us and saying, "You know, you kids have done such a terrific, bang-up, faithful job learning and doing and preaching the 66 books full of inerrant revelation I've already given you... what you need is just one more little special touch!""

Agreed here: A good chunk of "walking by the Spirit"/"being filled with the Spirit" would be that kind of learning & doing & preaching, by prayerful dependence on the Spirit's work.

But I don't see:
1.) God viewing something like His instruction to Philip in Acts 8 ("Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza") as "one more little special touch" on the revelation He had already given. (i.e., applying that terminology seems odd.)
2.) God basing that kind of instruction on a threshold of faithful walking-by-the-Spirit so high that mature believers of today don't pass it. (Though it's immature to be obsessed with visions, and especially to neglect the Scriptures!)

And if you're basing your view on the sufficiency of Scripture, too, then I don't see:
3.) Any additional revelation in the New Testament that would lead God to say, "OK, I filled in the missing piece that required me to give Philip his instruction--now I don't need to do that anymore."

Meaning, I don't follow the idea that there's a relevant difference in the sufficiency of the OT versus the sufficiency of the OT+NT.

Meaning, I can't see how God gave that kind of instruction in the early church based on an insufficiency of the revelation He'd already given.

Citizen Grim said...

I've read half of it before my wife took it to read. :) It's very short, one could probably easily read it in a few hours.

I'm in total agreement with you on "can't say can't." Sure, God *can* still speak, give visions, etc, but I don't think He does except in (as DeYoung noted) very rare circumstances. Like snow in the Sahara.

However, (like you) I am definitely suspicious when people make these claims.

I suppose I would call myself "open, but skeptical."

DJP said...

Yep. Simply no need, and no proven stewardship with what we already have. The contents and boundaries of the Gospel are clear, as are the guidelines for Christian living.

David said...

Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the review.

Sir Aaron said...

I've had this book on my wishlist predating its actual publication. I guess I now just need to move it to the cart on Amazon.

Father of Eleven said...

Good review and good book. After having read it, it has moved to the required reading list for my teenagers.

~Mark said...

It sounds like he has a very rational, solid view of serving God. God COULD have a specific will for your life but the way to find it isn't by waiting and doing nothing, it's by moving forward in what is already known.

God sometimes DOES communicate directly with His children but that shouldn't be sought or expected, merely not ruled out and dealt with Biblically if it happens.

I appreciated "Why We're Not Emergent..." and I think I'll read this one too.

DJP said...

No, that's not quite it. God DOES have a personal will for your life that goes down to the life and death of every molecule in your body.

But He doesn't expect or want for you to find out that will in advance. That's His business.

What He wants you to do is use His book and your brains, and get going.

Emily said...

I have this book, and I'm glad I do! It's short, and it is written in such a personable way that you can't put it down. It's definitely not dry. I especially enjoyed the chapter on getting married, it's to-the-point and I think will clear up a ton of confusion for young people trying to discern "the one". I am tempted to say the book is geared more toward the "younger" crowd (20's), but honestly the principles apply throughout life and are based on scripture. It's very very helpful if you struggle with decision-making (like me), or agonizing with "what is God's will and The Perfectly Right Decision in my situation.. I MUST KNOW!"

~Mark said...

No, that's not quite it. God DOES have a personal will for your life that goes down to the life and death of every molecule in your body.

But He doesn't expect or want for you to find out that will in advance. That's His business.

What He wants you to do is use His book and your brains, and get going.



I can dig that!

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Hmmm..excellent review, wish I had written it. I heard about the book from Kim Shay and Rebecca Stark, followed Kim's lead and gave them as graduation gifts.

Like you, I agreed with most of what he said and was put off by the same parts you were. So, liver shivers are okay sometimes?

It certainly was convicting. I am amazed at how easily I fall into the mentality of "God must not want me to..." when I know better and really just need to work harder at the task in question.

BTW, MacArthur also treats of the subject of knowing God's will in the usual thorough and delightful manner we expect of him here.

olan strickland said...

I was saved in 1994 at the age of 31. Four years later on February 2, 1998 the Lord spoke to me through this message preached by Warren Wiersbe. This was the message God used to call me into the pastoral ministry and in it and through it He promised that no man would stand before me all the days of my life and that He would be with me. Little did I know at the time what all of this meant - I just knew that it was the Lord speaking and that it was for me.

I began Bible College in the Fall of 2001 and began my first and so far only pastorate in September 2001. It turned out that my task was to turn around an unrestrained and largely unbiblical church. So I began preaching straight through books of the Bible and raising God's standards for leadership back to biblical revelation.

Only a year or so into the process there was great opposition from and a large departure of many church members. I had been "doing something" - working on a comparison between a false preacher and a true preacher. However after completing the list of characteristics for the false preacher, I felt as though I was operating in the flesh and shouldn't do it. To my utter surprise one Tuesday night as my wife and I were in bed and reading, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, "Get up and go finish the comparison you have been working on." So I looked over at my wife and told her what had just happened, I got up, turned on my computer, finished the comparison, printed it off, and put it in my Bible to share it with the church Wednesday evening.

During that Wednesday evening session I shared the comparison which had as column headings "Pastor #1 and Pastor #2." I asked those there to read the characteristics of each pastor and tell me which one they would choose if they had to choose another pastor. They all chose pastor #1 which was Jim Jones. Many there were so angry that I don't think that they could see straight. I wondered why they were so angry when all I was trying to do was show them that they couldn't judge by appearance but must make a righteous judgment based on God's Word.

The following Sunday morning we had a Deacon's meeting in which I found out the reason many were so mad - my son-in-law was our youth minister and many in the church had decided that they would judge him by his personality and performance in order to get me to quit preaching "so hard." As Sovereign Providence would have it, I was preaching 2 Timothy 4:1-5 that morning :)

That was in no way an extra-biblical revelation or a means by which to determine God's will. It was only God fulfilling His promise. I had no idea what was working under the table but God did and He dealt with it.

I am totally against extra-biblical revelation and unbiblical mysticism but I am not against God speaking in accord to His revealed Word. I do not look for God to speak to me this way but I do not and cannot rule it out - because He has.

DJP said...

That's a very interesting story, Olan. I'm glad you preached the Word, and didn't let men intimidate you. That was the right thing to do.

I am wondering why you shared the story here, though.

Let's see if I'm following you:

1. It happened to you.
2. Everything turned out OK.
3. Therefore, you know it's true.

Do I have that right?

And if you're "totally against extra-biblical revelation," what are you meaning when you say "the Lord spoke to my heart and said, 'Get up and go finish the comparison you have been working on'"?

You are presenting that as an exact quotation of God. I can't find that in any verse of Scripture. Is that exactly what God said?

Is there a chance you got one of the words wrong? Did you write it down? WOuldn't it be a serious thing to misquote God?

Has God spoken to you, quotably, many times? Have you written them all down? If so, are your quotations 100% accurate?

Are you a prophet?

olan strickland said...

I am wondering why you shared the story here, though.

God told me to :) - just kidding!

I like your syllogism but it is inaccurate. I could say the same about you:

1. It has never happened to you
2. Everything turns out OK.
3. Therefore you know that it is not true.

What the Lord said to me was not a new revelation but was in accord with what He has already revealed and what He promised through personal application of His Word to me.

I in no way see this as extra-biblical but only as God doing exactly what He said He would do - "For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper" (Psalm 91:3) and this because I believe in the sufficiency of Scripture and the sufficiency of the God of Scripture.

We are guided by the Bible alone but the guiding Bible is not alone!

Sir Aaron said...

What He wants you to do is use His book and your brains, and get going.

Amen.

Doug Hibbard said...

Glad to see the good review. I had ordered a few copies already, based on pre-release buzz and reading other things by DeYoung, and was going to get some of the deacons and other leaders in this church to read it. I was hoping it would accomplish the purpose of illuminating what Scripture says about decision making.

Now, if someone at Lifeway will either see the signs in the heavens or hear the voices, or perhaps just do something and ship the order, I'll be in good shape.

Strong Tower said...

After Olan, you gies gotsta listen to this Whitehorse Inn

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks for the review, Dan.

I had heard a bit about the book... sounds like a good one to have in the "tool kit" as a parent.

Julie

Marie said...

Many thanks for the review. This sounds like a great antidote to "how do I know it's God's will" angst. Conveniently, I have a birthday coming up later this month and am running low on books. This should be a good one to con my husband into buying for me! :)

Brad Williams said...

I've heard at least two good reviews of this book now. I think I'll pick up a copy. Thanks, Dan.

Jon said...

Funny you're recommending this book Dan. I was just perusing through Tim Challies' book reviews over at Amazon.com and I came upon his review for this exact book. He gave it a glowing review as well. That it was one of those "change your life" books that he would recommend for anyone.

It'll probably be the next book I read, since I already bought it for my trusty iTouch with Kindle app!

DJP said...

I think you'll all be glad. Let me know what you think. It's one of those books I'd like to re-read periodically, it's that good (and, more's the pity, I need it that much, even though I'm probably not in the target age-group).

DJP said...

Olan:

First: this is sad. I wrote this whole thing yesterday, and never posted it. sigh.

1. Shoulda seen that coming.

2.
I could say the same about you:

1. It has never happened to you
2. Everything turns out OK.
3. Therefore you know that it is not true
.

Well, you could say that, and equally you could say that you're a green parrot, but it wouldn't make you one. First, you'd have to find me making that argument. To save you valuable time: you can't.

Next?

3.
What the Lord said to me was not a new revelation but was in accord with what He has already revealed and what He promised through personal application of His Word to me.

Now, let's not play with words, O. You emphatically said you did not believe in extra-Biblical revelation. Then you made as if to quote God speaking, extra-Biblically, and verbatim. What "He said" was not in the Bible.

That is the very definition of extra-Biblical revelation.

You are claiming that God bypassed Scripture to say something to you, and you are claiming to quote Him verbatim. Staggering claim; wonder whether you can possibly have thought it through?

Meanwhile, you did not answer my other questions, either.

Gary said...

If God audibly quotes scripture to you, is that extra-biblical revelation?

DJP said...

Now Gary, behave.

Gary said...

I think it's a legit question. I grew up in a pentacostal church, and 19 out of 20 prophecies, tongues/interpretations, word-of-encouragement, whateveryouwanttocallthem were essentially just scripture. Many times they were directly quoted, sometimes they were paraphrased, but the core of the message was usually easily found in Scripture.

DJP said...

I thought you was joking.

So you're asking me how I feel about quoting Scripture? In context?

I feel really good about it.

You're asking how I feel about claiming prophetic guidance as to which Scripture to quote?

Not as good.

Do I think the Holy Spirit's way of speaking to us is through Scripture?

Yes, exclusively. I believe I've mentioned that a time or 47000.

youthofeternity said...

I finished this book the same day you posted your review and I agree with you completely. I agreed with most of what Kevin said on a basic level even before I read the book, but it's completely blown away my preconceptions on some things, such as marriage(I'm young and single). I always believed in the "One" that God has prepared for ME from the beginning of time to be married to ME. Of course, after I realized that that wasn't the case, I also realized how selfish such a view was (everything works together for ME and MY good). The book was an eye-opener in this regard and in a few others. I will be recommending this book to many, many people. Big thanks to my dad (Fatherof11, comment #11) for getting me to read this book.

DJP said...

That is a great testimonial; thanks for sharing it.

Yep, I wish I'd committed it to memory at about age 20.

BTW: did you love his story about his roommate and the girl whom "the Holy Spirit told" not to go out with him?

JTW said...

BTW: did you love his story about his roommate and the girl whom "the Holy Spirit told" not to go out with him?



Rejected by the girl and God. That story was both sad and funny at the same time. This was a very good book, and it thumped me a bit - which is a good thing.

I grew up in a Charismatic/Pentecostal tradition where people regularly "heard from God". But those things never seemed to happen to me which caused many questions in my mind - was I saved, were the people around me disingenuous or were they super saints? That kind of thinking does cause a great deal of needless frustration and confusion.

MacArthur also gave a great message on this topic. Like Augustine (I think it was Augustine), MacArthur concluded his message by saying in effect, "Love God and do as you please."

Boaly said...

Yeh, it is a great book.
A chapter per week discussion is beginning about the book (http://garyboalnireland.blogspot.com/2009/06/just-do-something-on-the12th-of-june.html) if anyone is interested, i'm sure their input will be far more helpful than my own.

I think this is a book that can radically reshape our thinking concerning the will of God.

Kevin's seminar at the NEXT conference is a great summary of the book

http://sgm.edgeboss.net/download/sgm/next/2009/next09.m_deyoung.mp3

youthofeternity said...

"BTW: did you love his story about his roommate and the girl whom "the Holy Spirit told" not to go out with him?"

I actually did not find it the slightest bit amusing, since almost every person I know in my age range would have no problem with such a statement and has probably done so at some point. I found it a saddeningly accurate representation of the way things are done in our culture today.

DJP said...

Kevin's seminar at the NEXT conference is a great summary of the book .

Wow. Some people liked my NEXT! posts so much, they made a conference out of it?

Cool!

You'd think I'd've been invited, though....

|)c:

DJP said...

Well, youth, I loved it, and found it hysterical, because it was so rich to see someone finally giving that high and sacred cow the lancing that he deserved. That particular dodge-card deserved to die a painful and humiliating death, and I was delighted to see DeYoung deal it so deftly.

Jugulum said...

Dan,
"You're asking how I feel about claiming prophetic guidance as to which Scripture to quote?

Not as good.
"

Hmm... Some people would take that in a way that I suspect you didn't intend.

Are you saying, "I don't believe the Holy Spirit ever brings to mind particular passages of Scripture, in order for us to quote them to other people"?

Or, "He may do that, but not in a way that lets us claim, 'God told me to say this', or 'God brought this to my mind for me to say'"?

I assume it's the latter.

DJP said...

Your comment is proof that "assume" doesn't always make a... you know.

You're basically right. I'd say (as I've said 2039845 times, in one way or another) that I absolutely believe the Spirit speaks to us through His Word. But not in such a way that, if my dear wife asks me to load the dish washer, I can say "Sorry, honey, God told me Exodus 14:15 — 'Why are you crying out to me?'"

Jugulum said...

"Your comment is proof that "assume" doesn't always make a... you know."

Doesn't make always both of us look foolish?

"I'd say (as I've said 2039845 times, in one way or another) that I absolutely believe the Spirit speaks to us through His Word. But not in such a way that, if my dear wife asks me to load the dish washer, I can say "Sorry, honey, God told me Exodus 14:15 — 'Why are you crying out to me?'""

I can't tell if you're saying it that way to make a distinction from what I said.

You're at least saying this: When the Spirit speaks through the Word, it's always a message that was there before you were born. (Never, "God spoke Gen. 12:1 to me, to tell me to move to Africa.")

But when you say "the Spirit speaks to us through His Word", are you specifically limiting that to, "When you are reading or hearing the Word, God is speaking to you"?

Meaning, do you actually deny the idea of the Spirit bringing to mind particular passages we already know, in order to remind us of what the Bible already says? (I understand that you're saying that we don't have warrant to claim, "God reminded me of this verse.")

Basically, that just means that the Spirit sometimes takes the initiative to get us to think about particular passages & truths we already know.

olan strickland said...

Dan, I meant no harm by answering your curiosity - I am wondering why you shared the story here, though – with “God told me to :) - just kidding!” You really should have seen that coming even without a specific verse to go to.

Concerning my using your own logic and your own syllogism on you, you said,
Well, you could say that, and equally you could say that you're a green parrot, but it wouldn't make you one. First, you'd have to find me making that argument. To save you valuable time: you can't.

Actually I neither have to look very far nor have to waste much time to find that you are indeed making that argument. You said: Well, as you know, I am suspicious of such claims, totally and without apology. I just don't see God looking at us and saying, "You know, you kids have done such a terrific, bang-up, faithful job learning and doing and preaching the 66 books full of inerrant revelation I've already given you... what you need is just one more little special touch!" Just Do Not See it. Can't say "can't" — like I can't say it can't snow in the Sahara. But I can say "unlikely enough not to be looking for it," and bring your own water.

Your own reasoning here is not that God has revealed to you from His Word with a specific verse that He never speaks this way but that you don’t believe that He does and if He does then it must be based on some supposed spiritual superiority.

Next?

And actually my argument is not what you deduced. What I am establishing is this:
1. God made a promise to me from His Word and made personal application of that promise to me through His Holy Spirit.
2. God kept His promise
3. Therefore God’s Word is sufficient because God is sufficient

You said: Now, let's not play with words, O. You emphatically said you did not believe in extra-Biblical revelation. Then you made as if to quote God speaking, extra-Biblically, and verbatim. What "He said" was not in the Bible.

I'm not playing with words Dan, let me explain:

I emphatically do not believe in extra-Biblical revelation. The problem that you are having is realizing that what God said to me was not extra-Biblical but within the bounds of Biblical revelation. Do you have a problem with God keeping His promise in a way that is so unlikely (to you) that you are not looking for it?

You said: What "He said" was not in the Bible…That is the very definition of extra-Biblical revelation.

1. The promise God made to me was in the Bible – you might want to listen to Wiersbe’s message.
2. God kept His promise so He didn’t violate what He said in the Bible and what He said was in the Bible (see #1).
3. “How” God kept His promise is what you are having problems with and you are confusing the “how” with the “what He said.” “How” God kept His promise (speaking to me that night) fulfilled “what He said” (the promise that He made in His Word and applied by His Spirit) so that there is absolutely nothing extra-Biblical about it.

You said: You are claiming that God bypassed Scripture to say something to you, and you are claiming to quote Him verbatim. Staggering claim; wonder whether you can possibly have thought it through?

Nope! I am claiming that God kept His promise by saying something to me and what He said was based on His promise as found in His Word.

You said: Meanwhile, you did not answer my other questions, either.

If you still want me too I will but I’ll leave that up to you.

DJP said...

Very disappointing response, Olan.

Your "example" from me isn't even close. Perhaps you haven't read my past posts. I have many times made the Biblical case for the sufficiency of Scripture, for the nature of actual prophecy as the Bible describes it, and for the resultant wild irresponsibility of saying "the Lord told me" while meaning anything less. I hold claims up to that standard, and they invariably fail.

Surely you don't expect me to reproduce every post on a subject, every time I comment on it.

Your examples cited stands at a disappointing (but expected) zero.

Next: it is also disappointing that you refuse to take responsibility for your astonishing claim.

In spite of no promise from Scripture, and no evidence that it is to be expected by any Christian, you claim that God broke two thousand years of silence just to speak, in quotable words, to you.

And then you won't take responsibility for it.

You do not get to make up definitions to protect a personal fantasy, Olan. "Extra-biblical revelation" isn't a new phrase, and it's very simple. If you claim to be quoting God, but you are not quoting a verse from Scripture, you are claiming to have received, and to be imparting, extra-Biblical revelation.

You are making a staggering, historical claim. You are claiming that God set Scripture aside, just so He could talk to you, in a way He is speaking to no one else.

Please: take responsibility for it, or renounce it.

Next: of course, if you are going to persist in your claim to have received extra-Biblical verbal revelation, you need to answer all of the other questions.

And that's just for starters.

olan strickland said...

Your "example" from me isn't even close. LOL!

My answers to your questions:

1. And if you're "totally against extra-biblical revelation," what are you meaning when you say "the Lord spoke to my heart and said, 'Get up and go finish the comparison you have been working on'"?

Already answered: see 8:33 pm. June, 10

2. You are presenting that as an exact quotation of God. I can't find that in any verse of Scripture. Is that exactly what God said?

Yes! You'll never make the connection though because you are confusing categories - a very serious mistake in the laws of logic!

3. Is there a chance you got one of the words wrong? Did you write it down? WOuldn't it be a serious thing to misquote God?

No! No! Yes!

4. Has God spoken to you, quotably, many times? Have you written them all down? If so, are your quotations 100% accurate?

Not applicable to the argument because if I said God spoke to me 1000 times and yet He didn't wouldn't make it true and if I said that God spoke to me one time and He did wouldn't make it untrue. However I will answer - more than once and less than five. No I haven't written any of them down. Yes I can give a 100% accurate recount of what God said.

5. Are you a prophet?

No! I'm neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. But I'll give you a clue - everything the Lord has spoken to me has been a direct result of His keeping His Word and nothing that He has said has been a new revelation.

Next: In spite of no promise from Scripture, and no evidence that it is to be expected by any Christian, you claim that God broke two thousand years of silence just to speak, in quotable words, to you.

You're confusing categories again!

Just so you'll know Dan, I don't believe this because it happened to me - I would believe it even if it never happened to me as long as someone could show me that what God said (or did for that matter) was not a new revelation but was in fulfillment of a promise that He had already revealed in His Word.

Can you live by your rules? Do you have a promise from Scripture and evidence that God working this way is never to be expected by any Christian?

DJP said...

Absolutely I live by my rules, as far as God enables me.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 tels me that God-breathed Scripture contains everything God holds me accountable to know, everything I need to know, fully to equip me to serve Him. God-breathed Scripture alone is universally authoritative and binding, and when I say it is sufficient, I am not mouthing platitudes.

Your position is a gravely-erroneous position, Olan, and it grieves me to see you tossing it out so flippantly. You make a claim that neither Knox, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Machen, Warfield, Whitefield, Edwards, nor any other man of God for 1900+ years has claimed, to the best of my knowledge.

You are claiming that God sets His word aside to speak verbally and directly to you.

Except for the grace of God holding you back, it is a disastrous stance.

Have you told the people under your care? Do they know that you think God talks to you, tells you things nobody else has access to nor can verify nor falsify, things that are not in the Bible? Do they know that you think you receive direct verbal revelation from God apart from Scripture, that you credit it with authority equal to Scripture, that you can quote God verbatim and have it not be Scripture? That the total corpus of verbal inerrant revelation from God is 66 books + what God tells Olan?

If not, I believe you are morally obliged to tell them that they are listening to a man who thinks God tells him things He tells no one else.

Jugulum said...

olan,

"No! I'm neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. But I'll give you a clue - everything the Lord has spoken to me has been a direct result of His keeping His Word and nothing that He has said has been a new revelation."

Are you talking about general promises in Scripture that are applicable to all believers? (Or perhaps "all people"?) Something like James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him"?

In other words, are you saying that God reminded you (somehow) of a promise that is in Scripture for all? (I think you can legitimately say, "That's not new revelation.")

Or is it more along the lines of, "God spoke Gen. 12:1 to me, to tell me to move to Africa"? (That would be new revelation.)

Or is it even something like this: "God told my wife to start mentoring Jill--a teen at my church--to fulfill Titus 2:4." (That would also be new revelation.)

Gary said...

How is God audibly speaking a command to someone (e.g., preach the gospel to your neighbor now) different than the Holy Spirit pricking your conscience to do that same action, to the point where it is disobedience if you were not to obey?

olan strickland said...

Dan, thanks for your genuine and heartfelt concern. We are only going round and round and neither you nor I have the time to waste.

Contrary to what you are accusing me of claiming I still have a lot of work to do on Sunday's message - God doesn't set His Word aside and speak verbally and directly to me.

I preach systematic exposition of the Scriptures because I believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, that they are inspired, true, and dependable from Genesis to Revelation; that they are profitable for teaching what is right, for reproving what is straying, for correcting what is wrong, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.