The Three Modes of God’s Speaking

From Restoration Living:

You describe the three forms of God’s voice as Torah-speaking, prophetic-speaking and wisdom-speaking (pg. 20). Similarly you described three spiritual conversation styles: Quoter, Charismatic and Pragmatic (pgs. 46-54). These descriptions line up exactly with the three spiritual emphases we have identified (and are working to merge) of goodness (wisdom-speaking, pragmatic), truth (Torah-speaking, quoter) and beauty (prophetic-speaking, Charismatic). What do you believe caused the development and division between the three strands? How can we work to weave them together both personally and in the Church? 

Frank Viola: Part of the cause, I believe, is in allowing the human soul to be divided up and govern the things of the Spirit. Many students of the Bible have discovered that there are three basic parts of the human soul: mind, will, and emotion.

Emoters gravitate toward a certain form of Christianity (the Pentecostals are an example). Intellectuals gravitate toward another (the Anglicans are an example). And those who live in the will are drawn to another (the Baptists are an example). 

So in the body of Christ, there are feelers, thinkers, and doers. Every Christian denomination tilts hard toward one of these. Christian movements and Christian youth-oriented organizations tend to combine two of them (typically, mind and will or emotion and will).

These three parts of the soul also account for the communication styles that Christians are inclined to unconsciously use when discussing spiritual and theological things.

I observe a lot of spiritual/theological conversations on Facebook, blogs, and forums. And I’m always amazed that much of the disagreements are not really rooted in substantive differences, but in the varying conversational styles that the participants are unconsciously using. (I explore the matter of spiritual conversation styles in one of the chapters in the book.)

In Jesus, we can see all three aspects coming together and being governed by the Holy Spirit. The same is supposed to be true in the local assembly as I try to demonstrate in the book.

In sum, I believe we need the feelers, thinkers, and doers all working together, giving and receiving from each other, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and govern. Today, they tend to segregate from each other and form their own isolated camps.


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