1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Modern-Day Prophets

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Polaris, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    6,408
    Ratings:
    +995
    I believe God can speak through anyone at anytime, so yes i believe in modern day prophets.

    At ancient Gnostic gatherings the group allowed God to select a prophet via the drawing of straws, they became God's voice for the group offering visions and interpretations. So from my perspective, i would have a problem with the second point above, as i don't think God would necessarily authorise only a single person to be a prophet at any one time. And, of course we see multiple prophets living side by side in the Bible, they seemed rather common back then.

    I also think sojourner brings up a valid point with his sectarianism post. I mean, considering all the different sects of Christianity in existance today, if a prophet did arise in one of those sects, all the others would not recognise him or her as such simply because of their denomination. Catholics don't recognise the LDS prophets, like i imagine the LDS would not recognise a Catholic prophet.
    Its hard to accept that modern day prophets exist, if they aren't appearing in your sect. Thats why i like the Gnostic idea of giving God the opportunity to create temporary prophets when the need arises. :)
     
  2. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Ratings:
    +60
    What's wrong with the apostasy reference that I already mentioned? Again, are you denying that Amos was entitled to receive revelation?

    I know, when did I ever indicate that it was?

    I think we need to clarify something here. Does your usage of "progressive revelation" require the establishment of new doctrines and new scripture?

    Just as declared by Amos, I don't believe that God will guide his people without revelation of some form. That doesn't always include the establishment of new doctrines and new scripture, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility of doing so.
     
  3. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Ratings:
    +60
    If numerous prophets arose in different sects that taught and supported contradicting doctrines, then both couldn't be true prophets. God is not a God of confusion. He would not send a prophet to one group of people to teach one thing, then send another prophet to a different group to teach something that contradicts the first. That makes no sense. If there were truly multiple prophets sent by God they would teach the exact same doctrinal truths.
     
  4. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Ratings:
    +60
    You're right. I did indeed ask the question with Mormon prophets in mind. However, the scope of my argument is much broader. I'm not necessarily inferring the validity of Mormon prophets any more than I am arguing that the general rejection of prophets and continuing revelation simply isn't consistant with the very foundation of Christianity.
     
  5. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Absolutely not. The Isralites weren't deviating doctrinally, but rather were falling away into sinful behaivor. I hope you see the difference.
    This sure indicated it:
    Polaris said,
    His teachings have obviously been worthy of scriptural cannonization.

    If all revelations are not directly linked to cannonization, why mention it?

    Just new doctrine. I'll believe it even if it's not written. ;)
    I don't think Amos declared what you are indicating. The primary role of a biblical prophet was quite simple, to serve as a mouthpiece for God. To them fell the unenviable task of being Israel’s conscience, of reminding the straying Israelites of their covenant obligations, of recalling for a forgetful people the real implications of being God’s chosen people. Biblical prophets are often seen as foretellers of the future. While that element frequently was part of their message, it was never the gist of it. The vast majority of time the prophets were doing as I noted above: REMINDING GOD'S PEOPLE.

    ~Victor

     
  6. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Ratings:
    +60
    The whole point of my statement was that there must have been something of unique value in Amos' writings or teachings to merit inclusion in scriptural canon. Why would it be canonized if it was simply a repeat of the same old information? Amos was faced with new and different circumstances that required continued and specific revelatory guidance from God, as was the case with each and every prophet, and the same is true today.

    What exactly am I misinterpreting here?

    "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).

    How much more plainly can this be stated?

    To a large extent I agree. Often times a prophet's main responsability is to remind the people of God's established truths. A prophet is more than that though. As the mouthpiece for God, he is their inspired leader. When new and challenging circumstances arise, it is the prophet to whom the people look for answers. He is the one authorized to receive the guiding revelation for the people. Sometimes this revelation is simply procedural in nature. Sometimes it may require the establishment of new organizational policies. And sometimes this even opens opportunities for God to reveal previously unrevealed truths to his people.

    There is nothing in scripture that indicates that we have all the information the Lord intends to give us. No where does it say that He has no further knowledge to impart to us. With all His infinite knowledge and wisdom, He has nothing left to reveal to us? The following verses seem to imply the opposite:

    "But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, line upon line... here a little and there a little" (Isaiah 28:13)
    "for whosoever hath, to him shall be given" (Luke 8:18)

    It makes perfect sense to believe that God "will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God".
     
  7. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Polaris,
    I should have done this from the getgo. I think you will find that you and I are speaking a slightly different language. Allow me to paste this article to clarify how I see revelation.

    CATHOLIC ANSWERS

    <snip>

    As one would expect, Cardinal Ratzinger points out that "the teaching of the Church distinguishes between ‘public Revelation’ and ‘private revelations.’" What might be surprising to some is what he then notes: "The two realities differ not only in degree but also in essence" (emphasis added). This tells us that the difference between public and private revelation is not simply that public revelation is given to or binding on all whereas private revelation is given to or binding on only some (restricted by time, place, or identity). More than that is involved: Public and private are two different kinds of revelation.

    In the apologetics community, it is a commonplace to think of revelation simply as information revealed by God, especially if the mode of its revelation is supernatural or if the knowledge could not have been had apart from revelation. This model, conceiving of revelation as propositional statement of fact, is a valid and even traditional understanding of the concept of revelation (cf. A. Dulles, Models of Revelation). It is not, however, the model that Cardinal Ratzinger is using in this text. That’s fine. Terms can be used in more than one way, and in this case we are encountering a non-apologetic use of the term.

    "The term ‘public Revelation’ refers to the revealing action of God directed to humanity as a whole and which finds its literary expression in the two parts of the Bible: the Old and New Testaments," writes Cardinal Ratzinger. "It is called ‘Revelation’ because in it God gradually made himself known to men, to the point of becoming man himself, in order to draw to himself the whole world and unite it with himself through his Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. It is not a matter therefore of [merely] intellectual communication, but of a life-giving process in which God comes to meet man."

    Public revelation, using this definition, embraces the fullness of God’s self-revelation to man in Christ. It reflects the full plan of revelation, which Vatican II explained "is realized by deeds and words having in inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them" (Dei Verbum 2).

    Of course, "At the same time this process naturally produces data pertaining to the mind and to the understanding of the mystery of God. It is a process which involves man in his entirety and therefore reason as well, but not reason alone" (Ratzinger, op. cit.).

    Public revelation, Cardinal Ratzinger stresses, came to an end with God’s definitive Word to mankind—Jesus Christ—and with the New Testament. It is contrasted with "the concept of ‘private revelation,’ which refers to all the visions and revelations which have taken place since the completion of the New Testament" (ibid.).

    Private revelation is different from public revelation in several important respects: "The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation. The latter demands faith; in it in fact God himself speaks to us through human words and the mediation of the living community of the Church. Faith in God and in his word is different from any other human faith, trust, or opinion. The certainty that it is God who is speaking gives me the assurance that I am in touch with truth itself. It gives me a certitude which is beyond verification by any human way of knowing" (ibid.).

    Private revelation serves as a help to this divine and Catholic faith but does not itself demand this faith: "In this regard, Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, the future Pope Benedict XIV, says in his classic treatise, which later became normative for beatifications and canonizations: ‘An assent of Catholic faith is not due to revelations approved in this way; it is not even possible. These revelations seek rather an assent of human faith in keeping with the requirements of prudence, which puts them before us as probable and credible to piety.’ The Flemish theologian E. Dhanis, an eminent scholar in this field, states succinctly that ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with prudence" (ibid., cf. E. Dhanis, La Civiltà Cattolica 104 [1953], II, 392–406).
     
  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    30,641
    Ratings:
    +6,295
    Religion:
    LDS Christian
    Victor, could you tell me please when it was first made official that public revelation had come to an end. Under what Pope or by what council was this fact made clear to the Church as a whole?
     
  9. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Sure...but before I do is this going to turn into a date issue again?
     
  10. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    There's a story (I may have told it before) a friend of mine told me about visiting a friend who teaches at a private school somewhere in South America. They had the door open to let a cool breeze in the class room and they were discussing Ecuminical Councils or something akin to that. A cat wandered into the room and the children's attention was lost to it. The teacher (trying to salvage some kind of teaching opportunity) asked the children if they could tell what the gender of the cat was. None of the children knew how until one of the boys in the back piped up and said, "I know!" "How can we tell?" asked the teacher. "We can take a vote!"

    Many assure us that doctrine cannot change (we LDS folk are accused of this more often than anyone else), but I find it truly odd that every single doctrine of the Catholic church (as far as I'm aware - and I have looked) has been arrived at by a vote. I have several books on pre-Nicene theology and post and the Latin Fathers and all kinds of church history, and doctrine is always established when a bunch of guys fight for months over who's right and then they get together and vote about it, and the loser gets exiled or excommunicated or branded an heretic or something like that. Where is the infallibility and the revelation?
     
  11. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    30,641
    Ratings:
    +6,295
    Religion:
    LDS Christian
    Undoubtedly. :D
     
  12. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Ratings:
    +60
    So if I understand correctly... God's difinitive word came to an end with Jesus Christ? So what about the revelations given to the apostles? Especially to John on the Isle of Patmos. That was definitely a revelation that contained new doctrinal truths.

    Or did revelation come to an end with the apostles? Why is no reference to such a "truth" even hinted at in the scriptures? That's a pretty considerable claim -- God has no more important knowledge to reveal to man. To the contrary Paul teaches that the foundation of Christ's church consists of "apostles and prophets", yet there's no more need for prophets?

    I would also be interested to hear when and in what setting such a declaration was made. It seems odd to me that revelation ended with Christ or the Apostles, yet some group of Bishops were still able to receive this last grand revelation and authoratively declare that revelation had ended. Do you not see the contradiction in that?
     
  13. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    30,641
    Ratings:
    +6,295
    Religion:
    LDS Christian
    Oh darn! You stole my thunder. :cool:
     
  14. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Ratings:
    +60
    Ooops, :sorry1:.
     
  15. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Although it's off topic, this is a good observation. Perhaps a look into how both our Churches arrive at decisions would be a great discussion.
     
  16. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    I'm tempted to just provide a list of writings that directly affect LDS. I will purposely only look for writings before 100 AD.
     
  17. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    Good luck! I can think of two.
     
  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    God's definitive word came to an end with the death of the last Apostle (St. John). What you quoted did mention "and with the New Testament".

    When the Church declares that [public] revelation is closed and that no further word from God is forthcoming, many people think it is saying that God clammed up in 90 AD, retired in stony silence to the utmost heaven of heavens and ceased showing himself to us mortals.

    Mark Shea

    In reality, though, the Church means that, in offering His Son Jesus and in setting forth the fullness of the gospel through Him and His Apostles, God has already given us possession of the fullness of His gift to us, the gift of Himself (and once God has given God Himself, there's not much to add.)

    If this is unclear, perhaps an illustration will help us get the hang of it. Compare, for example, the Catholic gospel with the Mormon picture of things. For the Catholic, the gospel in New Testament times was like a newborn baby. The Church has never denied the reality that baby must grow up and experience life more deeply. Indeed, the Lord Jesus assured us that He would lead the Church into all truth (John 16:13) and that the Church would deepen and grow in faith and understanding. But He said that this would happen, not via "new revelation" but via the Spirit reminding us of everything He has already said to us (John 14:26).

    And that is exactly why Councils, infallibility, etc. are held. To REMIND, CLARIFY, what is already DEFINED.
     
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    19,866
    Ratings:
    +1,395
    Religion:
    Catholic
    Dan, I consider my relationship with all LDS in this forum to be good. I didn't really appreciate your taunting tone and I ask that you reconsider your type of expression.
     
  20. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,027
    Ratings:
    +485
    What additional doctrinal truth is needed outside of the Bible? I believe the Bible contains everything that christian needs in order to go to heaven (which is the point of all of this), which means that I also believe that it contains everything that is needed in order to live righteously. So, while you may contend that God offer continual revelation through prophets in the LDS church, one of the reasons that I see that as not being true is because it is not needed in my opinion.
     
Loading...