Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Quakers talk about continuing revelation. I think it's important to define your terms if you are going to have a serious discussion on a topic. The following scripture involves what I understand a revelation to be:
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven
Notice that Jesus tells Peter that he didn't come to this conclusion on his own. It wasn't an opinion based on brain (flesh and blood) power but an opinion based on faith(the evidence of things unseen).
What passes for much of today's "continuous revelation" is nothing more than opinions based upon study not faith. The early church was limited in interpreting the inspired words they received from God by their understanding of the universe. Yet much of the Bible contains information that is verified by modern science. The Quaker Process is ideal for continuous revelation if Quakers trusted God and relied upon Him, but too often they are afraid that their own point of view will not be confirmed by continuing revelation without their persuasiveness. This fear of being wrong and its consequences, whatever they might be, results in decisions made on opinions based on flesh and blood and not faith. In this way Quakers are like the men who are given talents to invest for their Master in his absence What Quakers do with those talents determines their future. One course of action leads to life and one to death. One benefit of not having a creed is we don't have to admit our creed was wrong when we do get an actual revelation. I don't believe a continuing revelation ever eliminates a truth but simply illuminates it so truth is clearer, just as black contains all the colors of the universe, continuing revelations of God's inspired words as preserved in the Bible allows us to see more of the individual colors contained within. This is what Paul refers to when he states that now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Cor 13:12).