Progressive revelation is defined as the understanding that God's self-disclosure is in progression from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling (1999: 96). Therefore the New Testament offers a more complete revelation. The Old Testament is to be understood in light of the fuller teaching of the New Testament. Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling (1999: 96).
Recently someone asked me in person about progressive revelation and we had a discussion. The following is a later non-exhaustive email response sent by me in answer to an email from this person. It is slightly revised for this blog.
At Columbia Bible College (Mennonite) and Canadian Baptist Seminary, I was taught that the Bible is not flat, as there is progressive revelation which ended in the apostolic age. There is no place for Islam, Latter-Day Saints, etc, continuing the Christian faith.
Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant. (Hebrews 12: 24). The law in particular was only a shadow of good things to come. (Hebrews 10). The law cannot save as in Romans 4, but persons are saved through righteousness of faith fulfilled in Christ. Galatians 2 mentions the folly of following the law as we now have Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 4-6, Jesus explains the deeper spiritual meanings of the law.
The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible is as valid as the New Testament, but it is often stated that we must interpret the Old Testament through the New Testament. Well, I can understand this since there is progressive revelation, but the Old Testament must be read in context, or else one risks reading the New Testament into the Old Testament. Christianity explains that the New Testament revelation of Christ/apostles does not contradict the previous revelation and instead adds to it explaining the plan of God. Islam is rejected for reasons such as the denial of key doctrines about Christ, including his deity, and the Latter-Day Saints theology is rejected for reasons such as holding to polytheism which is against Scriptural teaching. (Isaiah 43, 44, 45). There are various reasons why these other religions are rejected as well, but I mention those key points. If my concentration academically was on the Hebrew Bible, I would have no problem with studying Hebrew scholars for the original context, but I reason the New Testament can shed light on many of the older teachings.
GRENZ, STANLEY J., DAVID GURETZKI AND CHERITH FEE NORDLING (1999) Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Downers Grove, Ill., InterVarsity Press.
A famous guitar player, practicing.
This is not a political statement, and I enjoy Coca-Cola as a drink, but I find the parody interesting.