Experience Versus Revelation

A clumsy denial of truth can be infinitely less dangerous than an ingenious one.

A flat rejection of scriptural affirmations is nowhere near as serious as an approach by which an assumption is implanted later to develop into a false conclusion in the heart of the one affected.

Such assumptions are being widely made today and they can lead to serious conclusions. Implant the thought that one’s Christian faith rests primarily in personal experience and it is not long before the basic importance of divine revelation is lost in the heady philosophy that one is the captain of his own soul’s salvation.

It sounds reasonable to say: “I believe this, not because the Bible says so, but because I have experienced it for myself.” But it is exceedingly dangerous because it gives first place to experience and a secondary place to revelation. It is neither human reason nor human experience that authenticates the Scriptures. God’s written Word is authentic even when reason rejects it. It is authentic even if human experience would seem to affirm otherwise. To take any other position means that the mind and experience of man has primacy over divine revelation.

To put it bluntly: God’s Word is true, regardless of whether man accepts or rejects it. The Scriptures are authentic whether human experience confirms, or otherwise.

This is not to say that reason and experience are not vital; but it is to say that truth is dependent on neither.

A tree may fall in the forest where there are no ears to hear the fall. But the sound was produced just the same. So, too, the Scriptures depend for their truthfulness and their authority, not on the will or desire of man, but on the nature of their being an inspired revelation of truths ...

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