Baptist Theologian Roger E. Olson on Whether God Speaks to People Through Dreams

George W. Truett Theological Seminary – Faculty Environmental Portraits – 10/21/2009

A prominent Baptist theologian has offered advice on how Christians can discern if God is speaking to them in dreams.

Roger E. Olson, professor of Christian Theology of Ethics at George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, shared a past personal experience in which he said God spoke to him and encouraged him to expose an influential pastor who was living a double-life.

Olson said he has encountered many stories of people saying God spoke to them in dreams over his years of teaching Christian theology at four universities, and has spoken with African church leaders who attest that millions of believers around the world have had such experiences.

“Apparently, from what I am told, this phenomenon is almost universally believed as real and even normal by Christians in Africa,” he wrote on his blog recently.

“The influential African Christian leader, the leader of thousands of churches even outside of Africa, throughout the world, strongly affirmed his belief in the reality of this form of continuing personal revelation — while emphasizing that it can be a source of confusion and needs pastoral care and discernment,” he added, without naming the leader.

Olson noted that the Bible supports many instances of God speaking to people through dreams, and revealed one instance when he experienced this firsthand.

“At a certain point in my life I was wrestling with whether to reveal something I knew about a very influential pastor. So far as I knew, I was the only person who knew the secret. He had successfully kept it from his family, his church, his friends, and his denomination,” the theologian explained, without naming the pastor.

“He was living a double life, including a secret life that was extremely dangerous — not only to him but also to his family and his church. I knew that if I revealed what I knew he would probably not only be de-frocked (his ministerial credentials and status revoked) and fired from his ministry, but he very well might go to prison,” Olson continued.

“And his family would be very seriously damaged. I actually had a piece of proof of his secret immoral and criminal life that I knew, if I showed it to anyone with authority, would substantiate everything else I knew which was very much.”

Olson said he was warned by a Christian counselor that revealing the information could cause him and many others involved great difficulties, and so he had to wrestle with what to do.

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Source: Christian Post