God is the proper subject of revelation, God’s self in God’s being and works. In revelation, God reveals God’s self and we are dependent on God’s revelation of God’s self for our knowledge of God. All human efforts to gain knowledge of God by independent inquiry are fruitless (1 Cor. 1:21: “The world did not know God through wisdom”); such pretend knowledge of God is to God’s own self-disclosure as chaff to the wheat (Jer. 23:28). God is not an object accessible to our observation in the world. God is not an in-the-world being, who exists alongside other beings and is perceptibly distinguishable from them as they are from one another. God is the One in whom the world has its being, the One from whom all things come and to whom all things return, the Alpha and the Omega. The knowledge of God must be granted us by God.
– Clark Williamson, Way of Blessing, Way of Life: A Christian Theology, pp. 46-47
Revelation, according to Williamson, is always particular, not revelation “in general”; it occurs by means of particular media (e.g., historical events) through which God’s identity is disclosed. The content of revelation is primarily personal–God’s nature, will, and purpose–rather than a set of propositions or doctrines to be believed. Thus, the proper faith-response is primarily trust–trust in God’s promise and God’s command–rather than assent to a set of statements. Revelation is better thought of on the model of personal disclosure than the revelation of propositional truths. Revelation has both an “objective” and a “subjective” pole–the revelatory event and the human reception (and interpretation) of it. There is no revelation without interpretation. For an event to be a purported case of revelation is for it already to have undergone interpretation. (This also opens the door to an ongoing revisiting and refinement of our understanding of revleation.)
Further, Williamson doesn’t deny that revelation occurs outside the boundaries of Christianity. “God reveals God’s self freely and to whom God pleases” (p. 46), and other religions can be media of revelation. But that doesn’t mean that Christians can never criticize other traditions (even as they should enter into conversation with and learn from them). Ultimately, the criteria of revelation, for Christians, is “the love of God freely offered to God’s people and the command of God that they in turn love God and one another” (p. 60). This provides a guide for interacting with people of other faiths (or no faith): because revelation is fundamentally about love, it does not impose itself on others. “Definitive revelation does not impose itself in an authoritarian, oppressive way on anyone” (p. 67).