How Emphasizing Experience Opens the Door to Heresy

Occasionally a remarkable blind spot prevents people from seeing this point. Almost twenty years ago I rode in a car with a fellow believer who relayed to me what the Lord had ‘told’ him that morning in his quiet time. He had been reading the KJV of Matthew; and I perceived that not only had he misunderstood the archaic English, but also that the KJV at that place had unwittingly misrepresented the Greek text. I gently suggested there might be another way to understand the passage and summarized what I thought the passage was saying. The brother dismissed my view as impossible on the grounds that the Holy Spirit, who dies not lie, had told him the truth on this matter. Being young and bold, I pressed on with my explanation of grammar, context, and translation, but was brushed off by a reference to 1 Cor. 2:10b-15: spiritual things must be spiritually discerned—which left little doubt about my status. Genuinely intrigued, I asked this brother what he would say if I put forward my interpretation, not on the basis of grammar and text, but on the basis that the Lord himself had Oven me the interpretation I was advancing. He was silent a long time, and then concluded, ‘I guess that would mean the Spirit says the Bible means different things to different people.’ —D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies

One thought on “How Emphasizing Experience Opens the Door to Heresy”

  1. Josh,

    Thank you for this post and the series that you are doing concerning heresies within. These blind spots are real and are being propagated from within by sheep who do not know better. How often have I heard “the Lord told me..” or even said this myself, when it was based upon nothing but a “feeling” surrounding a text that had been taken out of context to fit my life.
    May we continue to grow to maturity in the faith through the correct application of the Word of God.


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