Question: In this chapter you state that the moral will of God
is fully revealed in the Bible. But wouldn't special revelation expand the content of God's moral
will beyond what is contained in the Bible?
Answer: Yes, it would. And that did happen during the biblical era.
For example, when the Spirit directed the church at Antioch to send out Barnabas and Saul as
missionaries (Acts 13:1-2), that instruction represented an addition
to the Great Commission. And it became God's moral will for them-they were obliged to obey. Later,
the "Macedonian Vision" (Acts 16:10) did the same thing for Paul. His
travel options were reduced by special guidance that expanded God's moral will for him. So any
divine guidance to an individual by means of supernatural revelation is God's moral will for that
Is special revelation being given today? Some Bible scholars rule out that possibility. They
maintain that with the closing of the canon of Scripture, God's revelation has ceased until the
second coming of Christ. While I understand the arguments for that position, I don't see a
conclusive case in the Bible itself. It seems preferable to leave open the possibility of divine
revelation and subject specific claims to biblical tests-including supernatural means of
communication and harmony with existing Scripture. Accordingly, in the first edition of this book,
I included another category of God's will-special guidance: "In unique cases God may
supernaturally guide believers by divine voice, angel, dream, or miracle according to special
On the other hand, while special guidance is possible, it is not promised nor do most believers
have reason to expect it. When the Bible instructs us with principles for decision making (which
is what this book is about), it directs us along other lines as explained in this chapter and the
ones that follow. The theoretical possibility of special guidance concerns us less than the
concrete, practical guidance already supplied. So when Peter writes that "[God's] divine power has
given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by
his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3, NIV, italics added)," I take that to include the moral
will of God fully revealed in the Bible.
A more extended discussion of special revelation is presented in chapter 15, "Special Guidance
and Decision Making."