4 Dulles, Models of Revelation, 5 Cf., Dulles, Models of Revelation, viii-ix, xix, 4. 3 The author, Avery Cardinal Dulles, being a Roman Catholic cardinal of. A Book Review of Avery Dulles, S. J.’s Models of Revelation. Reviewed by David J Keys, PhD. About the Fr. Dulles: Avery Dulles, S. J. is one of the most noted. Avery Dulles’ book, Models of Revelation, presents what Dulles believes to be five different models of divine revelation. In this blog post, Dulles’.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. It will be aver that Dulles too narrowly defines Evangelicalism and thereby limits his understanding of the evangelical view of revelation.

Further it will be demonstrated that Dulles presents several of the proposed models, particularly the propositional model, as caricatures of themselves, hardly recognizable as self-functional models of revelation, but rather as ones in need of reconciliation through his proposed meta-model. A detailed discourse on his proposed meta-model is dules the scope of this study, however.

Dulles takes much space to outline generally the history and significance of the role of revelation, while withstanding the draw to ancient sources, but generally utilizes sources beginning with the Enlightenment,5 although at times he makes argument for patristic sources for one or another model in his discourse.

Presuppositions and Definitions The difficulty in defining an evangelical view of revelation if in first defining the term evangelical.


There is little immediately useful in the way to evaluate lf such claims. As such is the case, Dulles relies heavily in his arguments for the church presumably the Roman Catholic Church as the mediator of revelation. God exists, God is personal, God is communicative, God is self-revelator as all who are communicative are also self-revelatory, and any revelation made by God is knowable by humanity. Thus, a doctrine of revelation is the foundational basis for faith and practice. Revelation is circularly self-referential; however, from an epistemological standpoint there is a difference between phenomenal avert noumenal understanding of revelation.


Further, citing transcendence alone as the source of revelation is not enough, as transcendence is a quality of the divine, not its replacement.

Models of Revelation by Avery Dulles

Dulles, Models of Revelation, 9, The Role of the Spirit in Biblical Hermeneutics, One must be particular in describing the phenomenon of revelation as separate from modles noumenon of revelation. Each of which will be examined in the following subsections.

Oddly, Dulles examines Barthian and its derivative, that of Pannenberg, apart from the evangelical, with which the present writer would agree, but with which many other self-proclaiming evangelicals would disagree. There is no singular evangelical view of revelation, but merely some points on which many evangelicals agree, and others on which there is little, if any, consensus.

Dulles commits his error in full knowledge of doing so, and admits the same in the statement: Is it meant chronologically as the last given, hierarchically as the ultimate judgeor both?

Reve,ation of his reason for doing so is to establish others, who would also be considered part of the broader evangelical community, under his other models, thereby establishing need for a meta-model to reconcile the other models.

Dulles does correctly apprehend the basis of revelation from an evangelical position, even more broadly defined than he has: But because of the transcendence of God and the devastating effects of original sin, human beings do not in fact succeed in attaining a sure and saving knowledge of God by natural revelation or natural theology.

The Models of Revelation

This supernatural revelation was imparted in early biblical times by theophanic phenomena and prophetic visions. In his incarnate life he sulles the appearance of God par excellence, and in that sense a divine epiphany.


Revelation, he asserted, comes to us with a profession of infallibility; otherwise it would not be the word of God. But God would not give a historical revelation addressed to humanity as a whole unless He intended it to remain accessible.

Unless it were guarded by a divinely equipped authority, believers would be thrown back on their own resources to ascertain and interpret what had originally be given. Orbis Books, But we find and have God when He so undoubtedly touches and seizes us, that we are compelled to submit ourselves entirely to Him.

Dulles relies on sources for the experiential model who reduce it to mere feelings of indwelling, perhaps captured in the term Emotionalism. Further, through exposition of the dialectic model, Dulles gives voice to the continuationist view within Evangelicalism: Imperatives are not true or false propositions, but can be translated into propositions from which a cognitive inference can be drawn e.

Survey of Avery Dulles’s Models of Revelation « A Pilgrim’s Theology

Further, Dulles fails to articulate the correct view of the ddulles model, which is that doctrine is the result or outcome of understanding revelation and is not the revelation itself. In quoting Dodd, Dulles states the necessity of propositional, historical, and experiential modes: Henry, Carl F H.

The Role of the Spirit in Biblical Hermeneutics.

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