"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
If we truly believe the Bible is the Supreme, final, and adequate authority in faith and life, what role, if any do subjective experiences and revelations have for Christians?
Within this well posted discussion question is perhaps some additional rationales for the many Christians who started within the Christian church only to leave the church due to its inability to answer the many difficult questions that they faced within ever-changing culture.
Let me first state that only the souls that were spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God could firmly believe that the Bible is Supreme, final and adequate authority in faith and life. This very statement for a believer is what may be considered a Spiritual objective truth that is affirmed by experienced within the believer’s intuition. As noted by the Merrian-Webster dictionary [http://www.merrian-webster.com/dictionary], the term objective is defined as: b: of relating to; or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers: having reality independent of the mind [as in Faith, a by-product of the Holy Spirit]. Emphasis mine. Or, 3 a): Expressing or dealing with facts [as in absolute truth that are found only in the Holy Spirit] emphasis mine, or conditions as perceived without distortions by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.
Pastor Ken Hornok’s article entitled, Does God Give subjective revelation today? The place of Mysticism in Christian Decision Making did an exceptional job discussing the dangers of subjectivism within the Body of Christ and for the millions who are endangered within many non-Christian beliefs. One portion of his article that I wish to highlight for this discussion is how Hornok chronicled God’s objective revelations of Himself to humankind. It was noted in the article that God’s [written scriptures, through epiphanies- dreams, visions, Christophanies, angles, the use of prophets and apostles]. The greatest revelation from God to humankind is Jesus as Immanuel [God with us] and as The Messiah for all nations of peoples worldwide. Amen! As Hornok stated, “revelation did not result from self-stimulated existential or emotional experiences. In every case where God gave information to mankind, He communicated to his mind, not through his emotions (1 Cor. 2: 10,13). What has happened within all of Christendom that now humans must rely upon human sense in a means to navigate through an insane, godless culture? Author James D. Hunter writes an impressive article that attempts to answer this question.
Hunter’s assertion is that there are two major forces that are driving modern-day subjectivism. Note: the following is a very brief summation of my analysis:
The German social philosopher Arnold Gehlen (1957,1980) and other social scientists have argued that one of the distinguishing features of modern society is the process of deinstitutionalization. [Hunter, 39]. A consequence of the intense convergence of the processes of functional rationalization, cultural pluralism, social and geographic mobility and institutional differentiation, [deinstitutionalization is the process whereby stable and well defined patterns of individual conduct, social relationship, and thought loss their-taken for-granted plausibility]. Institutions [the church included], those structures that act as a background to human experience, giving it a sense of intelligibility and continuity, are under these conditions Receding.
The key observation by Hunter in respect to the process of deinstitutionalization is that “in modern America, it is not the public sphere of massive bureaucracies but rather the Private Spheres of Family and primary social relations which evidence more deinstitutionalization. Courtship and marriage, child rearing, sexuality, religious belief and practice, consuming patters, leisure, vocation, and identity in general have all been profoundly challenged. 
Subjectivization is an orientation distinguished by the abiding absorption with the “complexities” of individuality, good or bad, as it may be perceived. Thus, the structural process directing one into the self leads to the preoccupation with the self. All of this, as stated by Hunter has a particular bearing on RELIGION and ONE’S RELIGIOUS worldview . Religion in modern society is under pressure to remain sequestered in the private sphere, institutionally and symbolically. While this is so, the complexities of experience in the private sphere have, at the same time, grown. Religion is confronted with more difficulties to reconcile its votaries [followers or devotees]. THIS IS WHERE THE BALL IS DROPPED.
The New Evangelical Theodicy [Theodicy-the defense of God’s goodness/omnipotence in view of the existence of evil]
The problem currently is that of subjectivism. A religious theodicy in modern situation is presented with the task of accounting for and addressing the new and uncharted complexities of the self and all other problems contained under the rubric; The New Mental health. Hunter points that modern day Evangelism has accommodated to the cultural pull of subjectivity so much that the church’s worldview has largely come ensnared in the labyrinth of intra-subjectivity. He supports his assertion by reviewing the educational literature that emerged in the 1960’s and 70’s. His brief findings includes:
The oblivious dangers that was revealed in this research, points to an increase of souls drifting from Christianity or practices such as mysticism in an attempt to make sense of the world and their lives. Doctrine, theology nor religions will ever address the paradoxes of this life. Only by the regeneration of the soul: rebirth by the power of the Holy Spirit and the illumination of the Holy Scriptures will be the answer.
In Hunter’s article, it is easy to detect that subjectivism has largely displaced the traditional ascetism as the dominant attitude within theologically conservative Protestant culture.
And lastly, even though contemporary American Evangelicalism maintains at the doctrinal level of immutability in the face of modernity, the data presented by Hunter indicates at least partial adjustment at the cultural level.