This post is written in response to some provocative thoughts brought up by Jada’s Gigi in the comments of my last post. As my answer was rather lengthy, I decided to post it out here rather than in the comments.
JG–thanks for your thoughtful and thought-provoking remarks.
May I propose some thoughts for your consideration?
I do not mean to say that we cannot experience God. We know that experiencing God is one of the most wonderful realities of being a believer. God, however, will never cause or allow us to experience Him in a way that is contradictory to the written word.
You mentioned the fact that prophets spoke what God had put in their heart. I agree with you on this point, they certainly did learn this by experience. However, they gave a written record of what they saw. Jesus Himself referred to the written record of the prophets many times. By the time the Apostle Peter wrote this epistle (I love using “apostle” and “epistle” in the same sentence), the O.T. prophets were long gone. The only “voice” of the prophets was the written record of their divine visions.
As far as God writing prophecy or anything else in our heart, Revelation 22:18,19 tells us that the book of God’s prophecy is complete and nothing should be added to it. The problem I see with people saying “God told me —–,” is that those who do so either claim God told them something that is in contradiction with the Bible, (which won’t happen) or else what God told them is already in the Bible (and thus there is no need for Him to repeat it). The alleged divine message becomes subjective to the bias of the recipient. I spoke to this in the first paragraph of my last post. We tread on a slippery slope theologically when we make man the final authority on what God says.
I definitely believe that in the context of Peter’s writing, he is referring to the written word as being superior to the experience. As great as it is to experience the glory of God, our sight and hearing can betray us. (As one who used to be a sports official, I can vouch for that.) But the Word of God is true.
Thanks again for your response. You certainly raised some good points that deserved a thoughtful answer. I hope that I have provided that.