INCLUSIVA SCRIPTURA [in-kloo’-siv-uh] [skriptər’ uh]

[inclusiva: c.1600, from M.L. inclusivus, from L. inclus-, pp. stem of includere (see include); equivalent to Latin inclūs (us) (see incluse) + -īvus -ive] [Scriptura: 1250–1300; Middle English and Latin scrīptūra writing. See script, -ure]

  1. Belief in an open canon, as opposed to a closed canon, as the word of God. The canonical biblical text plus anything else. See Plura Scriptura.
  2. Disbelief in, disavowal, disregard, discounting, disparagement of, and deconstruction of the Bible on the one hand, while on the other, investing alternative “sacred texts,” “inspired” stories and/or personal revelations with divine authority.
  3. Supplementing the Bible with “sacred” writings considered to be of equal or superior spiritual value to the Holy Bible. Genres of writings invested with divine authority include: apocryphal, pseudepigraphical and Gnostic writings; ancient mythologies, folklore and legends; astrological and zodiacal imagery; science fiction (UFOs, alien visitations, etc.); magical and alchemical writings; psychological (Jungian), anthropological, sociological and philosophical writings; scientific and pseudo-scientific theories; the writings of various mystics; oracles and ghost stories of spiritualism; the Mayan calendar; Masonic lore; inspirational literature; modern speculative writings including fairy tales, poetry and fiction, and other quasi-spiritual sources.
  4. For reason of making the Bible culturally relevant, revising, altering, adding to and deleting from the biblical text by incorporating new language and terminology into new translations thus redefining and confusing the plain meaning of Holy Scripture. See Nebula Scriptura.
  5. A belief in the evolution of human spirituality necessitating that the biblical text (Truth) must also change by incorporating evolving human discoveries of “spirituality.”
  6. Downgrading the supremacy of the canonical-biblical text in all matters that pertain to life and godliness (1 Peter 1:3), while deriving spiritual inspiration from alternative sources of “spirituality.”
  7. Downgrading the necessity of obedience to the canonical-biblical text (1 Pet. 4:17), while investing with divine authority other sources of spirituality and novelly applying their ideas to the Christian faith.
  8. Belief in open and inclusive rule of faith which sends the understanding of the traditional canon into chaos. The canon in chaos.
  9. The development of new doctrines, theories and practices based upon the teachings of extra-canonical sources.

Synonyms: Open Scripture; Inclusive Canonicity.

Cognate Influences: New Revelations, Syncretic Faith, Experiences in the Occult.

Extra-biblical revelation
  “Some object to the notion that God communicates directly with us, supposing that everything that God wanted to reveal He revealed in the Bible. This cannot be true, however, because there is nothing in the Bible that says it has 66 books. It actually took God a couple of hundred years to reveal to the church which writings should be included in the Bible and which should not. That is extra-biblical revelation. Even so, Catholics and Protestants still disagree on the number. Beyond that, I believe that prayer is two way, we speak to God and expect Him to speak with us. We can hear God’s voice. He also reveals new things to prophets as we have seen. The one major rule governing any new revelation from God is that it cannot contradict what has already been written in the Bible. It may supplement it, however.”
(C. Peter Wagner, letter dated August 19, 2011)

Dead religion
“All religions, at one point or another in their evolution tried to proclaim their single, inerrant consistency. All religions even the most liberal, were tempted by the reactionary impulse to freeze faith in place. Because as jesus teaches, it’s easy to be threatened by the reality of the complicated, messy, syncretic, God-bearing truth that becomes incarnate among us and makes things new. We’d rather have a dead religion than a living God.”

(Sarah Miles, Jesus Freak. MINemergent: A Daily Communique, The Emergent Village, February, 2, 2012)
Adapted from
NOTE: This post is authored by several members of the Discernment Research Group, including Pastor Larry DeBruyn and Sarah Leslie, along with Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries. This is part of a joint project to develop a descriptive vocabulary for the new doctrines, practices and heresies of the emerging evangelical church.
See also: