Saturday, March 21, 2015

Are God-Nudges Propositional?

The most common (and probably substantial) objection to continuing spiritual gifts is that if prophecy is true, it undercuts sola scriptura and the finished canon.  We will pretend that is a good argument for the moment, but it made me wonder.  Even the most ardent cessationist will pray that God give him guidance in a specific event.  Let's say the prayer is something like, "Oh God, please give me guidance."

Here is my question:  How exactly will you know that God answered that prayer?  Will he give you a gentle nudge in the right direction?  That could work, but it seems vague.  It seems the cessationist has to say that "gentle nudges" don't threaten the sufficiency of Scripture (which seems odd, since if Scripture were sufficient on the above gloss [I do hold to the sufficiency of Scripture] you wouldn't need to ask God), but if the nudges are put in propositional form by God then God is threatening the sufficiency of Scripture.


  1. When I was a cessationist I denied that God gives such guidance and would not have prayed for it. I would have prayed for wisdom instead.

    I'm still not sure that the concept of guidance as most evangelicals and Catholics) understand it is all that helpful.

  2. I know what you mean. I've heard a few cessationists ask for wisdom instead of guidance. In some ways that's a better request, but I think my question would still apply.

    That said, most cessationists I know still (rightly) pray for guidance.

    1. I don't think your question would apply. If one is asking for some insight into whether one should do A or B, then one is asking for a private revelation. But if one is asking for wisdom to make a good decision one is simply asking for the effective and righteous application of one's mental faculties. No new revelation is requested.

      I agree with you that most Cessationists don't do this and are inconsistent in asking for 'nudges.'