It occurred to me that one of my reasons for taking the view I've endorsed, which seems to have been at least closely approximated by Jollyblogger and some of the others in the discussion, has to do with my opposition to naturalistic influence on Christian thought. There are two ways this can happen.
One view is to say that God doesn't speak to people in extraordinary ways, which usually goes along with the view that extraordinary miracles don't take place today. This view usually takes some of the spiritual gifts described in the New Testament to have ceased, usually placing such a cessation at the death of the last apostle, John the son of Zebeddee. For one thing, the arguments based on scripture for that view are about some of the worst proof-texting I've ever seen, always ignoring the context and sometimes even involving torturous readings of the Greek. But perhaps even worse is the assumption involved in this view. It's basically giving in to the naturalistic worldview, not whole-hog but in any way that affects ordinary life. So I think it's important to affirm that God does do extraordinary things even today.
Then there's the view that we should expect miraculous and extraordinary interactions with God all the time. That's what my comments before had been primarily intended to address, and I get the impression that Jollyblogger also had the same purpose in mind. Some people tend to think this idea is prominent in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles but not in the rest of evangelicalism, but I think that's false. The main difference between those two groups is strictly over the issue of which miraculous gifts are prominent or even continuing today. The issue I'm looking at is whether the working of God should primarily be described as miraculous and extraordinary intervention or interfering with the laws of nature as we learn them when we study science. I think the answer is no. God's primary method of interacting with us is through his ordinary working out of all things through his sovereign ordering of the universe. This is done mostly through the natural laws he himself set up at the very beginning.
It's a little bit harder to see how the second view is influenced by naturalism, since it quite obviously involves more supernatural intervention in the natural world. However, that's the problem. It places a distinction between the natural world and the supernatural world and assumes that the presence of the supernatural involves a breaking of the natural order. It requires an assumption that the natural world continues on its own as much as possible, and then God breaks in with various things from time to time. Thus it minimizes God's role in everyday life, in ordinary events. It thus gives up too much to naturalism. The Christian view, as developed in the Bible itself, is that God ordains events even on the level we would be tempted to describe as natural. All along in this post I've been influenced by naturalism even in describing them that way and in making a distinction.
I would even argue that the ordinary method of God's work, the level that we should always be expecting God to work, is the level we'd be tempted to call natural. Given the scores of years between God's interactions with Abraham, the model of faith offered up by Paul, it's pretty clear that the so-called supernatural, miraculous, and extraordinary don't necessarily become the norm even in the lives of the people involved with the crucial events of God's revelation of himself in salvation history. However, they are most strongly focused at such events.
I conclude that it's arrogance to assume that God will speak to me, either audibly or with a subjective sensation I feel inwardly. It's good to pay heed in case there are any such sensations, but it's also good to pay heed to what the scriptures say and to submit my subjective sense to the wisdom of my brothers and sisters and the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. I've seen too many people make awful decisions on a whim, describing it as God's will revealed clearly through an inner sense. One involved a direct violation of a command in scripture. Another resulted in a highly unloving action and an unwillingness to reconcile, which amounts to the same thing.
I want to conclude by saying that every single spiritual gift mentioned in the New Testament, including those normally described as charismatic gifts (which is a serious misnomer), can be described as fitting into God's working out of all things from beforehand through what are normally called natural laws. It would mean what we call the laws of physics aren't a complete description of the natural laws (to allow things like resurrection, miraculous healings, and supernatural knowledge). Still, the model that God has to be intervening only in little bitty ways here and there is not necessary even for the strongest charismatic view that one might want to hold. So this is clearly not about issues between charismatics, non-charismatics, and anti-charismatics. I do have views on those issues, but that's not the issue here.