Thursday, October 21, 2010

Logos v. Rhema, Round Two

Continuing our discussion of rhema vs. logos, I'd like to quote the chief apostle and theologian of the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation), C. Peter Wagner.

"Pentecostal theologians have made the helpful suggestion of distinguishing the logos word of God from the rhema word of God.... The rhema is regarded as a more immediate word from God which we do not find in the 66 books of the Bible." (1)

Of course, those Pentecostal theologians would also subordinate the rhema to the logos. But Wagner is not content to allow that.

I would. God could tell me, in a still, quiet voice, or even a loud one, to share a word of testimony to the man at the filling station this evening. That's an immediate (rhema) word not found in the Bible, but one that also does not contradict the Bible. And my actions would be constrained by the bible; for instance, I should not say "repent or I will kill you." So far, so good.

Wagner's friend, "Apostle" John Eckhardt, says that apostles are "often the first to preach certain revelations that God is releasing to the church." (2) We are talking modern-day apostles here: "An apostle can come in and establish new revelation." (3)

So it appears that under the paridigm of the NAR, the rhema word is not subservient the the logos word, it actually can trump the logos word with "new revelation."

Wagner again:

"...a valid source of divine knowledge comes through what some would call extrabiblical revelation. I daresay that the standard- brand evangelical doctrine of logos only that we were taught might now find a place on an endangered doctrines list, about to become extinct." (4)
Bill Hamon is another "prophet-apostle" that runs with the Wagner crowd. According to one website, Hamon "believes God has chosen him to restore doctrines that the church lost through the ages and to reveal new doctrines and final assignments." It goes on to say "Many of Hamon’s doctrines can’t be found in the Bible — but this doesn’t concern Hamon, who teaches that modern “apostles” and “prophets” give the church new doctrines that supplement those given by the original apostles and prophets." (5)

Quoting Hamon:

"He [Paul] also reveals that this anointing for divine revelation was not just given to the prophets of old but has now been equally given to Christ’s Holy Apostles and Prophets in His Church." (6)
Reportedly Hamon believes that there are additional books of scripture yet to be written, and also that he has written one of those books. (7)

I think the battle line has been drawn. You should not remain neutral on this topic.

In closing, here's a quote from Wayne Grudem:

"At various times throughout the history of the church, and particulary in the modern charismatic movement, people have claimed that god has given revelations through them for the benefit ofthe church,. However we may evaluate such claims, we must be careful never to allow (in theory or practice) the placing of such revelations on a level equal to Scripture. We must insist that God does not require us to believe anything about himself or his work in the world that is contained in these revelations but not in scripture. The Bible contains all the words of God we need for trusting and obeying him perfectly." (8)

For further reading I would suggest this article, from which I borrowed several quotes.

Also, Grudem's "Systematic Theology" has a full chapter on the Sufficiency of Scripture and additional discussions elsewhere on the nature of prophecy for today.

It's more than I can really cover in a blog article, but it is something that we all need to think about from time to time.

(1) Wagner, C. P. (1991). Engaging the enemy: How to fight and defeat territorial spirits. Ventura, Calif: Regal Books, pp.15-16.

(2) Eckhardt, J. (1999). Moving in the apostolic. Ventura, Calif: Renew, p.45.

(3) ibid, p.56.

(4) Wagner, C. P. (1996). Confronting the powers: How the new testament church experienced the power of strategic-level spiritual warfare. The Prayer warrior series. Ventura, Calif., U.S.A: Regal Books, p.55.


(6) Hamon, B. (1997). Apostles prophets and the coming moves of God: God's end-time plans for His church and planet Earth. Santa Rosa Beach, FL: Christian International, p.140.

(7) If anyone can source this, please let me know.

(8) Grudem, W. A. (1994). Systematic theology: An introduction to biblical doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press.


  1. Eckhardt's quote reminds me of the ultimate self-serving prophecy:

    "This saith the Lord- hear the words of my servant."

    Tell me you've never heard something like this before...

  2. Hamon's statements are incredibly arrogant. They remind me of Joseph Smith.


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