Some Thoughts and a Reader Request…

Seeing that my blogging is almost nonexistent these days, I don’t know if this will be read by anyone.  Either way,  I was talking with several pastor friends and was noticing that the idea of ‘hearing the voice of God’ was a common confusion among their members and a common question in pastoral counselling.  I’ve written about one person who’s peddling the whole “you can (and should) hear God’s voice as a regular part of your Christian experience” idea, and on the weekend I picked up 3 books (at a thrift shop) that are pretty popular treatments of the issue.

I’d like to find some more of the popular books on “hearing God’s voice” because I’d like to make this a theological project for the next while (not that I have any promises to make regarding how fast I’ll be doing any writing and whatnot).  Either way, this is an issue that is all over the place and few people that I’m aware of are producing solid, biblical refutations of this idea (in its various manifestations).

If any of my readers could refer any books on the subject, I’d be quite thankful.

What have you been told to read on this issue?  What books have been recommended to you regarding “hearing God’s voice”?

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Armchair Listener” Unger

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8 thoughts on “Some Thoughts and a Reader Request…

  1. 1. “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackabby – One of the more well known books on the issue (or so I’m told).

    2. “Is that Really You, God?” by Loren Cunningham – One of the older books on the issue (It’s from 1984).

    3.”Hearing God’s Voice” by Vern Heidebrecht – One of the local books on the issue. Heidebrecht will only be a name known in very local (i.e. Vancouver area) circles, since he was the pastor of a large church in the greater Vancouver area. Heiderbrecht, and Brad Jersak would be two of the prominent popularizers of the idea in the Vancouver.

    I’d like to grab a few dozen books on the topic and hit as broad a field as possible by addressing the argumentation and proof-texts that are common among the literature, though I’ll likely also do some specific interactions with specific books along the way.

  2. I admit, this is kind of out of my area. I was going to suggest Experiencing God” by Henry Blackabby , never read it but I would like to hear what you think of it. I heard a negative critique of it in a theology seminar sometime last fall.
    Sounds like a neat project you are embarking on. Looking forward to your assessment.

  3. How about “Discerning the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer. I am currently into my second week at a Bible Study at my church. Many things in the study trouble me. Looking forward to your work.

    • Well, I checked out that book a little bit here:

      http://books.google.ca/books?id=JBIEGDYGqzoC&pg=PT15&lpg=PT15&dq=%22Priscilla+Shirer%22++Discerning+the+Voice+of+God&source=bl&ots=jY3hnsM-PQ&sig=vAXd5tFcsIeLnhl5x2-tBTCXqIw&hl=en&ei=scJ7TterG4jniALgsYnNBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

      It’s got a 48 page preview that is quite frightening.

      Kim, I’d suggest looking up her references and asking yourself “is this talking about what Priscilla is saying or something else?” She regularly twists scripture to fit her desired meaning.

      Secondly, you must understand that many of the quotes are twisted as well. People like Spurgeon talk about God “speaking”, but they’re not talking about propositional revelation about details of their lives; they’re talking about simply reading and believing the Bible, or they’re talking about the general providential guidance of the Lord. When Spurgeon talks about “hearing God’s voice”, he means “reading the bible, having it read/preached to you”.

      The big issues that breed confusion with this topic are the nature of God’s providential guidance (which is leading, but NOT speaking), and the nature of prophesy (which deals with a majority of the scriptural citations that authors like Shirer use to make their case.)

      God spoke through his prophets. Scripture was written by his prophets. God didn’t propositionally “speak” to everyone in Israel, or everyone in the church (individually); God always spoke through his prophets.

      Pardon a little rant:

      It SURE seems like the reason that Paul wrote his epistles to all the churches is because God spoke through Paul to them; i.e. there wasn’t ANYONE in Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, etc. through whom God chose to authoritatively deliver the contents of Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, etc. That means that God wasn’t “speaking” to anyone in Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, etc. like he was speaking to Paul. Does Shirer or anyone else in the “hearing God’s voice” movement think that God speaks MORE to one person above another? They all consistently put the fault of “not hearing” with the listener, not God.

      So if Shirer is correct, nobody in those churches knew how to hear God’s voice and Paul doesn’t instruct any of them how to do so. When they needed an authoritative word from God, Paul basically didn’t teach them how to hear from God for themselves and kept them enslaved to his pen.

      Why would he do that?

      Didn’t he want them to share in his divine experience of God?

      Didn’t he know he would die one day and leave all the churches spiritually floundering?

      Wouldn’t it seem logical to think that Paul, who’s travelling all over the known world, would have sent a short letter to everyone saying:

      “Grace and Peace be with you. I write to you to tell you of the wonderful voice of God that our great God and Father desires for you to hear. It seems like you constantly seek to hear from God through my pen, but it seems pressing to my soul to teach you to hear from God for yourselves since one day, beloved, I will be with you no longer. You have had milk, but now it is time to move on to the meat of the voice of God himself…”

      Why did Paul not say that to ANYONE?

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