Systematic Theology

. A Working Group Writing a Fundamental and Biblical Systematic Theology for the 21st Century

Advanced Systematic Theology III TH803 Written Report

Written By: Pastor Rice - Mar• 31•14

Published at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/th803report.epub or .pdf or .odt

ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY III TH803

WRITTEN REPORT

A Written Report Presented to the Faculty

of Louisiana Baptist University

In Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for

Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies

By

Edward Rice

March, 2014

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

TH 803 Notes on the Writing Assignment 1

Critique of Chafer’s Volume III Soteriology Introduction 2

Dallas Theological Seminary President successor Praises Chafer’s Work 3

Troublesome Independent Fundamental Baptist’s Leaning Toward Chafer 5

Dr. DaveT’s Comments & Response 7

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. II 10

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. III – VII 13

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. VIII – XX 15

Calvinism and Reformed Theology is the Gateway to Diabolical Error 18

Critique of Arthur W. Pink’s “Present Day Evangelism” 21

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Conclusion 22

Soteriology Draft – Systematic Theology for the 21st Century 24

SOTERIOLOGY 24

Msg #1352 The Rip-Tide of Sin 25

Msg #1411 Christ is the Answer, 4 Good, Bad & Ugly 26

Msg #1412 Compromise NOT, Confederate NEVER 27

Appendix – Previous Report for inclusion in a systematic Soteriology 30

Understanding The Biblical New Birth Clarifies Doctrines about Sacraments, Election, and Perseverance of Saints. 30

Chapter I Introduction 31

Purpose 32

Approach 33

Chapter II A Biblical Model of the New Birth 33

CHAPTER III The Instantaneous Transaction of Conversion 38

Chapter IV The Instantaneous Transaction of Regeneration 44

Chapter V The Instantaneous Transaction of Justification 45

CHAPTER VI The Instantaneous Baptism Into Christ 45

CHAPTER VII The Instantaneous Indwelling of The Holy Spirit 46

CHAPTER VIII The conflict with our philosophy and doctrines 46

Soteriology#404 Report Bibliography 50

BIBLIOGRAPHY 51

TH 803 Notes on the Writing Assignment

Assignment Sheet

TH803 ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY – III

TEXT:Systematic Theology (Vol. 3), by Lewis Sperry Chafer, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications),1976. ISBN: 0-8254-2340-6

NOTICE Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary makes every effort to utilize the best available textbooks for each course offered. However, this does not mean that LBTS endorses the entire content of every textbook used.

SUPPLEMENTARY TEXT: Select two other conservative systematic Theology works of the student’s choice for reading and comparison on the subjects covered in the course.

COURSE OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this course is to challenge the student to launch into an advanced study of theological definitions, terms and concepts as required in the ten disciplines of systematic theology and specifically in this course the study of Soteriology.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

(1) Read Lewis S. Chafer’s volume 3 p.3-396 for “Soteriology” and also read carefully the corresponding sections in the two supplemental textbooks you have chosen for understanding, marking listings, Scriptures, and helpful information in each book which you might wish to quickly locate for completing the following requirements for this course.

  1. From each chapter of Chafer’s book and merging the corresponding material from your two supplemental books, prepare a detailed outline or discussion on each chapter with a full explanation of the terms involved. Show the page number and inclusive Scriptures for each point as appropriate. Always feel free to disagree with the authors, but be sure you verify from Scripture why you believe your position has more merit. Your chapter outlines will be graded as if they were to be used for training others. You should have a minimum of twenty-five pages of notes for this course.

  2. After completing the assignments of this course forward your course materials to LBTS.

SEND ALL CORRESPONDENSE TO: spettey@lbu.edu

or Louisiana Baptist University, 6301 Westport Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana 71129.

I have used the following supplemental theology textbooks for this course:

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977.

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954.

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940.

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993.

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949.

Critique of Chafer’s Volume III Soteriology Introduction

It is distressing to lay Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s third volume of Systematic Theology, entitled Soteriology, on my desk beside Dr. Cambron’s single volume of “Bible Doctrine”, or beside Dr. Bancroft’s volume of “Elementary Theology”. Both Baptists capture the heart of Soteriology in pages while Chafer does not even present a shadow the subject in his whole volume. Cambron uses 23 pages in a thorough coverage, and Bancroft uses 50 in an unabridged coverage, while Chafer has 396 pages, that is 33 pages a week for a twelve week college quarter, wherein he never addresses justification, never describes conversion, never mentions quickening, writes not one paragraph on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and carefully steers clear of ones Baptism (that is complete immersion) into the Lord Jesus Christ. These five essentials to So-Great-Salvation, all expounded clearly, continually and completely in Scripture, Cambron, and Bancroft are not even or ever addressed in 396 pages of a volume called Soteriology by neo-evangelicalism. Analysis of how such an incompetent 396 communique could seep from Dallas Theological Seminary is crucial, and unfortunately it is herein ground breaking. The hypercritical content of this work is centric to comprehending that Evangelicalism, which has not strayed far from Rome and Reformed Theology, is a caustic leaven which has permeated Christendom.

Many strongly disagree with this assessment. Christian Book Distributors (consider that their motivation is to sell books) says that Chafer has “an unabridged systematic theology of unparalleled scope.1” Reporting that Chafer defines systematic theology as “the collecting, systematically arranging, comparing, exhibiting and defending of all facts concerning God and His works from any and every source.2” They report that Walter Elwell calls Chafer’s work “the definitive statement of dispensational theology.” and Charles Ryrie says “Though scholarly in the true sense of the word, this work can also be read and understood by those not formally trained in theology. 3“ Such comments make one suspect a massive evangelical coverup is in place. Chafer’s own definition of systematic theology reveals his purposeful departure from The Holy Bible as theology’s sole source, or even its primary source! What he ends up with in considering every source is not “unabridged” it is diabolical.

Dallas Theological Seminary President successor Praises Chafer’s Work

Of course Dr. John F. Walvoord, (1910-2002) Dr. Chafer’s successor at Dallas Theological Seminary, showered his predecessor’s work with great praise. He says of Chafer’s eight volume work, “Never before has a work similar in content purpose, and scope been produced.”… it is “Remarkably Biblical… appeal is constantly to Biblical authority rather than to philosophy, tradition or creed.” Dr. Walvoord, himself considered the worlds foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy and a most prominent evangelical scholar of his generation4, said of Dr. Chafer’s third volume “The contribution of President Chafer in the field of Soteriology has been hailed as the most important of all his theological works.”5

There is little doubt of Dr. Walvoord’s sincerity or integrity in this declaration, but it needs to be highlighted again that when Chafer writes four hundred pages on Soteriology and never addresses a soul’s justification, a soul’s quickening, a soul’s conversion, and/or a soul’s indwelling and baptism into Christ, then the most important theological work of the Protestant/Evangelical community is bankrupt of all Biblical doctrine.

Dr. Walvoord himself confesses to the fault, when he acknowledges Chafer’s first section on Soteriology deals with Christ’s offices, his sonship, his hypostatic union and his sufferings. Therein we find no mention of Christ’s substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection. Second and third sections deal with the doctrine of election, not the doctrine of salvation. Forth and fifth sections concern the work of God and ones eternal security not the So-Great-Salvation referenced in the Epistle to the Hebrews. And the last section covers the terms of salvation, “a section which is most practical and helpful”, says Dr. Walvoord. In reality this last section only deals with four terms of salvation 1) Repent and Believe, 2) Believe and Confess, 3) Believe and be Baptized, and 4) Believe and Surrender. Nowhere in 400 pages does Dr. Chafer spell out what the Bible says must be ‘believed’, nowhere does he spell out what the Bible calls the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Yet for all its hollowed emptiness Dr. Walvoord still says “The volume on Soteriology, if it stood alone, would in itself assure the author a place among notable writers of Christian Doctrine.6” That is inconceivable. Chafer never writes about justification, conversion, quickening, indwelling or baptism into Christ! And yet this Evangelical continues “There is no volume in the field of Systematic Theology which approaches (Chafer’s Third Volume) in Biblical insight , spiritual comprehension of the saving work of god, and unabridged treatment of the great work of God in salvation.7

Was it emphasized enough that Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Third Volume entitled “Soteriology” never addresses justification, never describes conversion, never mentions quickening, writes not one paragraph on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and carefully steers clear of one’s baptism, i.e. complete immersion, into the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet the whole of the Protestant/Evangelical world cries out that this is the very best they could ever attain. Ergo it is cried out here that the Protestant/Evangelical world is completely bankrupt when it comes to describing and defending or contending for and comprehending God’s So-Great-Salvation. Reformed Theology, Scholarly Philosophy and Modernist Liberal Apostasy has rendered the whole of the Evangelical World completely bankrupt when it comes to Preaching, Comprehending, and Contending for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is indeed 1) Conversion, by Repentance and Faith, 2) Justification, Declared, 3) Quickening, where once I was dead, 4) Indwelling wherein we are the tabernacle of God, and 5) Compete Immersion in Christ, whereby we forever have a position in Christ.

Troublesome Independent Fundamental Baptist’s Leaning Toward Chafer

As troubling as the Evangelical failures are they were well predicted. Indeed the whole point of the Fundamental departure of the last century was one of separation from such an apostate condition. Neo-Evangelicalism refused the fundamentalist position and had as its premise that separation from the reformers apostasy and their Reformed Theology was to drastic a measure, choosing rather a coexistence in their apostate circles. There was never any doubt about where such compromise would land the neoevangelical. Like “Christian Rock Music” their lyrics were carefully chosen but there was never any question about where their melody came from. If one dare call such stuff a melody at all. What then, might be the position of the Fundamentalist who 100 years ago avowed separation from such apostasy?

Dr. Cambron, Theologian of Tennessee Temple Baptist Seminary, staunchly affirmed that the doctrine of Salvation is captured in the five ingredients fore mentioned. Dr. Bancroft, Theologian of Bible Baptist Theological Seminary, affirmed exactly the same. Neither frittered away a single paragraph of their Soteriology trying to figure out what God had decreed, or who was elect for what before the foundation of the world. They captured the doctrine of salvation very Biblically, very exactly, and very succinctly. But look where we have sunk in the last 50 years of that Fundamental century.

An Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor with a Masters from Pensacola Christian College, and a Doctorate from Bethany Theological Seminary, revels that “Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology is the single greatest Systematic Theology ever written.8” This self acclaimed “Doctrinal Expositor” wrote of Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology, “(Chafer’s) desire to be ‘Biblical’ in his Systematic Theology requires (that) he surround his system to the text of Scripture. He is to be highly commended for that.” This well trained Independent Fundamental Baptist Preacher further heaps ten paragraphs of praise onto Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology because it tears the “L” right out of T.U.L.I.P.9Any Baptist praise for even T.U.I.P should be disconcerting. The whole Presbyterian, Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology, Replacement Theology is fraught with diabolical error and T.U.L.I.P. Is only the ugly “tip of the iceberg.” Taking the “L” out to T.U.L.I.P. Is like taking Purgatory out of Catholicism. It might deliver a crippling blow to an errant system, but the lie still limps along without major effect. An Independent Fundamental Baptist praising Chafer’s 400 pages of Soteriology which does not even address a soul’s conversion, justification, or quickening is a powerful indicator of a serious compromise and dangerous blindness. The giant of Neoevangelicalism defies the Salvation of God, and it needs to be reiterated: “Is there not a cause?”

Correspondence with Dr. DaveT is included here:

Dr. DaveT’s Comments & Response

Subject: Pastor Ed Rice is forwarding an email to you

From: Pastor Ed Rice <PastorRice@GSBaptistChurch.com>

Date: Thu, February 06, 2014 2:06 pm

To: Dr. Dave T. <email@gmail.com>

Dave, I talked about you and your love for Dr. Chafer’s work in this report and wanted to ensure you got a courtesy copy. It will be published in Systematic Theology, and in my written report for credit at LBTS.

Theology Working Group,

 

Subject: RE: Pastor Ed Rice is forwarding an email to you

From: “Dr. David Txxxxxxx” <dave@xxxxxxx>

Date:2/6/2014 3:28 PM

To: “Pastor Ed Rice” <PastorRice@GSBaptistChurch.com>

 

Hi, Pastor Rice,

Thanks for the note. A couple of errors you may want to correct:

1) you have misspelled my name

2) Chafer includes an entire article on Justification in Vol 7

3) Chafer includes multiple chapters on Election in Vol 3

4) a search on the word “quicken” returned 30 results in the Chafer systematic theology

You should fact check other faulty assumptions. If your grade depends on the accuracy of your statements, you will be glad you did. Thanks for including me with a giant like Walvoord. That is very flattering indeed, although I will confess I do not belong in such rarified air.

Dave

Dr. David Txxxxxxx

 

Dear Dr. Dave T.,

When Pilgrim wandered from the straight and narrow path he was assigned, and it was pointed out how far off he strayed, how awful the mire, and how deep the upcoming pit, his first and natural tendency was to justify his error.

I have quite well fact checked my declaration. Your hero might well have written of justification in his final volume titled “Doctrinal Summarization” but in so doing he violates good organization by including in summary something that is found nowhere else in the body of his work. The fact is his whole volume on Soteriology never addresses justification, and I have quite clearly declared the fact.

John Calvin’s 1536 magnum opus, “The Institutes of the Christian Religion10”, the Presbyterian’s 1618 Synod of Dort11, and Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 volume on Soteriology inexplicably tie salvation to election and predestination. The fact is the Holy Bible does not. The fact is I have well introduced this momentous blunder, even labeling it a diabolical error, and the body of my critique of Chafer’s Soteriology provides ample proof of such an introductory declaration. Chafer’s multiple chapters on Election in Vol 3 fully support my argument, and your announcing it as important does not justify your error, it only muddies the mire.

There are no faulty assumptions in this introduction to my critique of Chafer’s Soteriology. The fact that he speaks of ‘quickening’ somewhere in the bowels of his Systematic Theology, cannot justify his bankrupt volume on Soteriology that does not bring it up. When it is pointed out that the Neo-Evangelical giant, Dr. Walvoord and an Independent Fundamental Baptist, Dr. Dave T. are wallowing around in the same pit of diabolical error it is not flattery. It is presented here as an alarming manifestation of the grossest compromise. Prayerfully, I trust you will see how far you are strayed from the straight and narrow and get back in the battle for truth.

The fact that your name was misspelled is the only error left standing. Because of my embarrassment for you I shall not fix that error, I will eliminate its reference all together. I trust this correspondence finds you turning back from Chafer’s winding path and making your way back to the Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pastor Edward Rice

 

The breakout of Chafer’s emphasis in Volume III on Soteriology is shown as follows:

Chap 1 Introduction to Soteriology 3-10 2% of vol 3

Chap 2 The Person of Christ 11-34 6%

Chap 3 Introduction to the Sufferings of Christ 35-54 5%

Chap 4 Things Accomplished by Christ in His Sufferings and Death 55-115 15%

Chap 5 The Sufferings and Death of Christ in Types 116-126 3%

Chap 6 Biblical Terminology Related to Christ’s Sufferings and Death 127-130 1%

Chap 7 Theories False and True of the Value of Christ’s Death 131-164 9%

Chap 8 The Fact of Divine Election 165-177 3%

Chap 9 The Order of Elective Decrees 178-182 1%

Chap 10 For Whom Did Christ Die? 183-205 6%

Chap 11 The Finished Work of Christ 206-209 1%

Chap 12 The Convicting Work of The Spirit 210-224 4%

Chap 13 The Riches of Divine Grace 225-266 11%

Chap 14 Introduction to the Doctrine of Security 267-272 2%

Chap 15 The Armenian View of Security 273-312 10%

Chap 16 The Calvinistic Doctrine of Security 313-339 7%

Chap 17 The Consummating Scripture 340-354 4%

Chap 18 Deliverance From Reigning Power of Sin and Human Limitations 355-363 2%

Chap 19 The Believer Presented Faultless 364-370 2%

Chap 20 The Terms of Salvation 371-395 6%

 

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. II

For all that has been said about what Chafer did not include in a volume on Soteriology, something needs to be said in critique of what he did include. The heart of what Chafer has to offer any discussion of Soteriology is found in his fourth chapter entitled; “Things accomplished by Christ in his Sufferings and Death.” As was stated previous, Dr. Chafer has no skeleton, i.e. no structured organization, to add meat to, but any miniscule pickings of “meat” are found in this chapter.

Chafer’s chapter 2 is completely misplaced. Parts of this chapter might find outline space in Christology, but even there, Chafer’s trite outlining methods and his verbosity makes the chapter very undesirable. It is disquieting to say that a chapter on the person of the Savior could be totally discarded. It is indeed totally misplaced. But it is also observed that the first sentence of the letters to The Hebrews has more about the Saviour than does the misplaced chapter by Chafer. He tries to use catchy outlines, like; “Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David and Son of Abraham,” but such preachable outlines can not excuse the responsibility levied on the Systematic Theologian. Chafer is not systematic in any sense of the word. He has displayed no ability to outline a topic in a logically structured manner. He displays no talent here for separating a “system” like Christology or Soteriology in a confining border and then dealing with each “subsystem” separately. In this volume Chafer has so intermixed other “subsystems” of information that he did not include any “Soteriology” at all. Chapter 2 exemplifies this blunder. It should be in his Christology.

Stepping thus away from the subject of Soteriology to critique what Dr. Chafer calls “The Person of the Saviour” we can only establish his purpose late in this chapter. It is not in his verbose introduction, but in his third section, with the catchy title “The Sonships of Christ”, his lead sentence intimates this purpose. “As a further step in the general investigation into who the Saviour is…” Upon discovering this purpose, twenty pages into the chapter, it was disturbing to find only three marginal notes that this author had scratched into the margins of Chafer’s twenty pages. They were (1) “Not on topic, (2) “trite play on words” and (3) “Bla,Bla,Bla.” This was disturbing because on the topic “general investigation of who the Saviour is,” nothing whatsoever should be labeled “Bla.” And yet, there you have it Despite a noble effort to pull out a specific sentence that illustrates Chafer’s profundity of wordiness in capturing bla,bla,bla. All examples examined were, well, excuse the pun, rather bla.

Dr. Chafer herein again demonstrates a propensity for verbose, passive, run on sentences, but struggling to look past this communication flaw, struggling to come up with the gist of what he may be driving at, the total bankruptcy of Evangelical Theology is all the more manifest. This founder of Dallas Theological Seminary broke from the Fundamentalist concept of Separation and waded right into the middle of 70 plus denominations. There he worded and worded and worded 8 volumes that captured what all 70 believed. He worded and worded and worded to ensure not one old bird got their feathers ruffled. He worded and worded and worded some more, until precious few could even comprehend what his main point was. He mixed in a lot of Greek but no exegesis. In this chapter he had to include the “Hypostatic Union” of Christ to be recognized as “most scholarly.” Eight volumes containing over 2000 pages is labeled as unabridged Systematic Theology. This author calls it very wordy, passively written, tip-toeing. It is truly awful.

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. III – VII

For all that has been covered in this critique of Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology, most has thus far centered on his total lack of content. He has manifest the total bankrupt condition of the Neo–Evangelical movement concerning the subject of So – Great -Salvation. In these next chapters, however, Chafer leaves off his demonstration of bankruptcy and goes headlong out avenues of spurious error.

The Roman Catholic basis of Soteriology can be framed in suffering. Your sin is only purged, and your own righteousness is only secured in penance and in suffering. They allege that their Latin Vulgate Bible, the corrupted Latin translation from the 4th century, states their concept clearly, “Except ye ‘do penance’ ye shall all likewise perish.” If you, with your beads, and penance perhaps suffer enough in this life you go to heaven. If not, you go to purgatory, where you or your loved one may suffer sufficiently to get your soul to heaven.

Jesus’ sufferings are our superb example, they say. He attained perfect righteousness because of his great sufferings, they say. If you suffer and sacrament enough in this life you might attain eternal life in heaven, they say. If someone obviously excelled in suffering and sacrament, excelled by so much that a Roman Pope recognizes the excess, he can declare that person a saint. These declared Roman Catholic Saints surely have some handmade righteousness left over and they may use some of the excess righteousness for your needs if you just pray to them. With that doctrine embedded deep in this author’s Italian blood, one can not imagine how quickly or vehemently his blood boils when Dr. Chafer, the neoevangelical theologian, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, which caters to 70+ denominations, spends 33% of his volume of Soteriology covering the importance of Christ’s Sufferings and 0% of the volume talking about justification by faith. When the 70+ denominations broke away from Roman Catholic Soteriology , they did not make a clean break. It is repulsive that Dr. Chafer kept an exaggerated emphasis on the sufferings of Christ in order to appease those denominations which carried that theme from their Roman Catholic heritage. Dr. Chafer’s exaggerated, verbose explanations never rebuke the analogy that we must likewise suffer to attain righteousness.

One must ask, why does Chafer fail to speak against this Roman Catholic doctrine about suffering? And one must answer that it is related to his desire to appeal to 70+ denominations that sprang from the “Holy Roman Church”. Chafer dare not admit that it is an apostate “Holy Roman Church”, and those denominations which carry forth her doctrine are also apostate.

When Dr. Chafer does interweave some remarkable truths about Christ into such a brazen compromise of Soteriology, it is too little too late. His verbose-run on- passive style makes it obvious that one would be far better off reading the book of Hebrews from their Holy Bible and gleaning these truths from God himself. In chapter VII, “Theories False and True of the Value of Christ’s Death”, Chafer adds a capstone to his arch of folly. The false concept that the scientific method can be used to determine valid theology seeps from Protestant Systematic Theology books. Here Chafer tries to present ‘theories’ wherein after much testing and philosophy, the truth may be found. After testing one’s hypothesis it becomes a theory, after years of testing and evaluation a theory becomes a law. When in time, no one can debunk or refute the “law”, it is presumed to be the truth. Such a method is fine for Kepler determining the laws of planetary motion, but for Chafer to resort to some listed theories in a scientific method for determining the truths is utter folly. There is no value in Chafer’s theories, when one holds in their lap the inspired, inerrant Word of God. His use of theories only enables Chafer to continue to tip toe in and out of the 70+ denominations he must appease.

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. VIII – XX

As distressing as it is that 33% of Dr. Chafer’s Volume on Soteriology rambles on and on about the sufferings of Christ, his dedication of 58% to “The Fact of Divine Election”, makes this volume completely apostate. Divine Election is the king pin of Presbyterian error, the big Kahuna of John Calvin’s theological blunder, and the staple for the Roman Catholic’s Replacement Theology which John Calvin Reformed into covenant Theology. It is not surprising that a neoevangelical, who refused the turn of the century Fundamentalist position on separation from apostasy and desires to appease 70+denominations gravitating to Dallas Theological Seminary, would herein dedicate over half his volume on Soteriology to “The Fact of Divine Election.” What is surprising is that any Fundamentalist would waste his time reading it and expecting to glean any valuable truth whatsoever. It is even more appalling that a self defined Independent Fundamental Baptist would give Chafer’s work his “Best of Class Award” and ascribe it as “the best pre-millenial Systematic Theology ever published,” and then personally add “I consider it the single best Systematic Theology ever written regardless of Theological perspective.” Fundamentalism is now visiting the bankruptcy found in Chafer’s neoevangelical theology. This authors whole book “The Biblical Doctrine of Election and Predestination12” might well be repeated here to refute Dr. Chafer’s staunch position. Half of the author’s Master Thesis entitled “Reformed Theology’s Reformations Are Not Producing a Biblical Systematic Theology13” would equally expose Chafer’s error. It will suffice here to explore the a priori, i.e. Presumed without analysis, bias which locks one into Calvinistic error. Chafer puts it this way, ”God has by Election chosen Some to Salvation, but not all. This truth, to often resisted for want of an understanding of the nature of God, or of the position He occupies in relation to his Creatures, is reasonable; but it is distinctly revelation.14” When one is this locked into “The Fact of Divine Election,” they will not see another “whosoever will” in God’s Holy Scripture. Instead he sees only that individuals were chosen in the Lord (Rom. 16:13), chosen to salvation. (2Thess. 2:13), chosen in Him before the foundation of the World (Eph.1:4); predestined to the adoption of sons (Eph. 1:5), elect according to the foreknowledge of God (1Pet. 1:2),vessels of mercy which He hath before prepared into glory (Rom. 9:23). The fore mentioned books demonstrate how each of these six texts are taken out of context to support the Calvinists presupposition that God elects individual souls for salvation. As Dr. Chafer puts it, “There can be no question raised but that these passages contemplate an act of God by which some are chosen, but not all…… This suggests …. that predestination points either to election or retribution, and that election can not be understood in any other light.15” Does it bother anyone that the theologian who can only word theories about Christ’s substitutionary death, can accept no questions concerning “The Fact of Divine Election.” It is disconcerting that Dr. Chafer is so emphatically locked in on John Calvin’s doctrine of Divine Election and yet so cavalier about Salvation’s Doctrine about salvation’s conversion, salvation’s Justification, salvation’s Quickening, salvation’s Indwelling and salvation’s Baptism into Christ. This theological blunder is substantial.

Examine, for a moment, the entrapment of John Calvin’s Doctrine of Divine Election. According to his preface, Dr. Chafer originally set out to write a systematic theology which documents Biblical dispensational doctrine. Such a dispensational view is in direct contrast to John Calvin’s Covenant Theology.

This latter errant theology has its roots in Roman Catholic Replacement Theology, and in both Roman Catholic error and John Calvin’s Covenant Theology, Christians are the new elect of God and replace the Jew as God’s chosen and Elect. John Calvin read and taught all Scriptures with this dogma firmly embedded in his soul and spirit. Every time he saw the word ‘elect’, ‘chosen’, or ‘predestinated’, there was no other consideration driving his interpretation. John Calvin’s preoccupation and predisposition with Rome’s Replacement Theology caused his construction of the doctrine of Divine Election. Along comes Dr. Chafer, realizing the Biblical teaching of Dispensational Theology but not having the intestinal fortitude to reject Covenant Theology or Replacement Theology. Ergo Dr. Chafer remains in lock step blindness with John Calvin’s Doctrine of Divine Election. It is a scholarly blindness; it is a majority opinion blindness, which appeals to the 70+ denominations that sprang from Mother Rome; and it is a blindness which causes one to see all Scripture through the fatalistic spectacles of John Calvin. It is a robust entrapment indeed.

Just as one can get a better delineation of Christ from Hebrews, one can get a better delineation of Calvinism from John Calvin. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer is very talented with a verbose passive run-on soft shoe. The latter adequately defined as “a speech, explanation, sales pitch, or other set of remarks delivered in a restrained or conciliatory manner in order to persuade, distract, or otherwise influence someone.”16 This author has always failed at “soft-shoeing”, and consequently holds a low esteem of those who do it well. It is curious, yeah, even disturbing, that Dr. Chafer waxes firm on this “Fact of Divine Election”, yet “soft shoed” on the substitutionary propitiation of Christ’s death. The latter just called “theories”, the former called “fact.” It is illuminating, and yet still disturbing, that a verbose neo-evangelical theologian spends well over half his page count of Volume III, “SOTERIOLOGY,” on John Calvin’s doctrine of Divine Election, and none on God’s doctrine of Justification.

Calvinism and Reformed Theology is the Gateway to Diabolical Error

Another response pertinent to this report:

If you will excuse the vulgar vernacular, Calvinism is a “Gateway Drug” to Covenant Theology, and Covenant Theology is the “Home Turf” of the diabolical Replacement Theology. A gateway drug is not glaringly horrid, nor even apparently harmful. Once through the gate, more obnoxious, addictive and powerful mind altering concoctions are available. And so it goes, Calvinism and TULIPs are portrayed as Biblical and reasonable. Look inside the gate and you see Covenant/Replacement Theology. Be sure that Replacement Theology sprang from the Gates of Hell via the Roman Catholic Church. It declares that Israel and Hebrews are no longer the elect of God, because now the Roman Catholic Church and Christendom are the true Elect of God. The reformers attempted to grasp the truth that salvation is by faith alone, but they would not let go of all the “Mother Church” mentality and doctrine. Reformed Theology is still rampant with Covenant Theology, a Catholic Church, and their Election before the foundation of the world.

John Calvin’s 1536 magnum opus, “The Institutes of the Christian Religion17”, the Presbyterian’s 1618 Synod of Dort18, and Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 volume on Soteriology inexplicably tie salvation to election and predestination. The fact is the Holy Bible does not. In the Bible “So Great Salvation” is inexplicably tied to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without a breath about election. The Calvinist/Reformed Theology nowhere has a Gospel of Jesus Christ separate from their Doctrine of Election and Predestination. The Holy Bible nowhere has the Gospel of Jesus Christ touching any doctrine of election. Israel was not elect for salvation but for service in God’s purposes. In the New Testament economy, souls are not elect for salvation, but saints are elect for service in God’s purposes. All Calvinism, all TULIPs no matter what points are ripped out, and all Reformed Theology are laced with enough Bible to deceive and the diabolical purpose is to wedge one away from the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In his article “TULIPs or ROSES” Iain D. Campbell regurgitates the concepts of a leading Reformation scholar, Dr. Timothy George and his book Theology of the Reformers. He gives Dr. George’s purpose: “He is concerned to bring the mainstream Baptist churches to a deeper appreciation of sovereign grace, but is also concerned to note that we are no longer in the seventeenth century, and therefore that the conclusions of Dort require reformulation.”19 Reformed Theologians want to infiltrate mainstream Baptist doctrine because its core is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their core is not.

I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, Reformed Theologians, Calvinists, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

To read more about the Reformers attack on the Gospel it is highly recommended that you download and read the two books:

The Biblical Doctrine of Election and Predestination By Edward G. Rice Paperback: $18.95 The Author is a USAF retired systems engineer turned Baptist Preacher who brings a fresh Biblical look at this doctrine and all our systematic theology.

Free at http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/elect/election_predest_man.pdf

Reformed Theology’s Reformations Are Not Producing a Biblical Systematic Theology By Pastor Edward Rice Hardcover: $24.05 Reformed Augustinian Theology is, as its name so aptly captures, a reformation of bad Augustinian Theology that previously framed up the belief system of Roman Catholic Theology.

Free at http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/seminary/master_thesis/thesis_reformed.pdf

Keep up the good fight,

Pastor Ed Rice

Critique of Arthur W. Pink’s “Present Day Evangelism”

Arthur Pinks pre 1952 book “Present Day Evangelism”20 has as its thesis that present day evangelism has overstepped his doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, his doctrine of God’s Sovereign Election, his doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man, and his doctrine of Christ’s Limited Atonement. (cf pg 20 1. The Grand Design of God.) Pink totally misses God’s assertion that we (born again believers) are the “special and immediate intervention of God” (pg 22) He misses that God’s Holy Spirit indwells us, and that God’s command to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” is not limited by the Old Testament verse “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts “ (Zech 4:6)

Pink’s contention that the untrained (i.e. non-Clergy) novice witnesses (ch 3 pg 40-42) are mucking up evangelism by believing and repeating Acts 16:31 reveals his true reformed, reformationist heart beat. Only Clergy (and priests?) can interpret these clear gospel Scriptures properly. They must be “weighed, interpreted, and applied in accord with their context, and that calls for prayerful consideration, careful meditation, and prolonged study.”(pg 45) By Clergy? Really? Arthur here contends that only Clergy should be expounding his carefully sculpted Sovereign Grace, and salvation by the election of souls. Pink perceives that the misled “present day evangelists”… “tells his hearers that salvation is by grace and is received as a free gift, that Christ has done everything for the sinner, and that nothing remains but for him to ‘believe’, to trust in the infinite merits of His blood. “ For Arthur Pink this is cardinal error, and this simple gospel message is strongly contested by this staunchly Calvinist, Puritan, Covenant Theologian who calls Dispensationalism “modern pernicious error.”

Pink accuses that such a simple gospel message is tarnishing the holiness and sovereignty of God. Although Dr. Pink brings to bear a needed emphasis on repentance and the Lordship of Christ, his staunch rejection is that people, possibly people not even chosen before the foundation of the world, are being told to “receive Christ as personal Saviour”, and this reacts negatively to all that Arthur Pink holds dear in his misguided Covenant Theology. Curious book. Curious entrapment to Reformed Theology’s errors. Incidentally, rat poison is 99% good stuff.

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Conclusion

In light of this present distress, it is worthy, at this point in a critique to abandon criticisms of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s work and pursue an actual systematic theology about soteriology. This tactic is recommended even for those more interested in John Calvin’s errant theology of Divine Election. This author has two books that delineate that error, and they contain no soft-shoe, just a straight forward presentation of the facts. An effective Systematic Theology Volume on So-Great-Salvation might still be written, but it will not be found in any Protestant library, and never found in a neo-evangelical pen. The next section of this critique holds a reasonable draft/beginning-outline for such a worthy endeavor.

Recall from this author’s criticisms of previous Systematic Theologies that such must first be “Systematic”. Systematic does not mean thorough nor, as Chafer supposes, unabridged. Chafer, Geisler, even Strong, Hodge, Shedd, and sometimes Thiessen, tried to capture unabridged every thing that man has ever believed about God. Their definition of “Systematic” treated theology as a science. Theology is revelation. And systematic means having a planned effective strategy for exploring every fiber of that Revelation. A retired Systems Engineer’s approach to “Systematic Theology” is far more effective than the theologian who attempts to use the scientific method, with its hypothesis tested into some theory that still needs to be somehow proven. Systematic has always implied the breaking down of the whole into understandable systems for a more thorough analysis. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer epitomizes the building up of hypothesized theory into a voluminous unabridged run-on consideration. Examine briefly a better tack.

 

Soteriology Draft – Systematic Theology for the 21st Century

A 1st draft opening for a more perfected volume on Soteriology follows:

SOTERIOLOGY

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? Heb 2:3-4

 

There is no greater theme extending from Genesis to Revelation, in the Holy Bible, than that of Soteriology. “Soterio” is the Greek word for “Salvation”, and “ology” is a most thorough consideration of, a most thorough analysis of, a most thorough communication about a topic. When one considers the salvation of man as the overspreading theme of the whole Bible, one finds every chapter, every verse and every line somehow interrelated to that theme. Such a task need not be daunting; it needs to be thorough, and it is a joyous revelation of God’s grandest purpose.

Salvation necessitates three ingredients, a lost estate, a helplessness of/in restoring that estate, and a savior who can restore the estate. Holy Scripture employs such a salvation on/in three perspectives, the lost estate of corporate mankind, the lost estate of a nation, Israel, and the lost estate of the individual. Consequently, salvation must needs be explored in all three ingredients, in all three perspectives. Thirdly, one must consider that the last estate, that of the individual, is not always in relation to man’s lost eternal soul. King David, for example, asked for the salvation of his integrity, the salvation of his peace of mind, and the salvation of his kingdom, et.al. An estate, thus, may be a condition, status or rank. An estate may be ones fortune, one prosperity, or ones possessions. The word estate is often in relation to an interest or ownership in land or property. Considering salvation will find our main focus on mans lost estate with God; there are other lost estates that need a savior, it is marvelous that there may be many lost estates under consideration, but there is only one Saviour.

Consider the following short essay on the need of salvation:

Msg #1352 The Rip-Tide of Sin

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, … “ (Heb 2:3a) Along the east coast of America there are places where powerful rip-tides flow rapidly out into the ocean. A rip-tide is formed when high tide draws water into lowland areas, and low tide funnels them back through subtle valleys in the sand. An unaware swimmer captured in a rip-tide is helpless to get back to shore. No matter how gallant his effort he is carried further and further out into the ocean depths. Without a savior that will pluck them out of their plight and set their feet back on solid ground, all hope is gone. The swimmer does not initially realize his dilemma. Cries from shore go unheeded. When they suspect their situation may be worsening they swim harder until their whole focus is getting back to the shore. They are certain they can swim the distance because they do not know the power of a rip-tide. The theme of the whole Bible is Salvation. Salvation defines a lost estate, a helpless condition, and a savior who can restore that estate. With Christmas behind us, and a new year before us, it is important to know that no religion, no mass, no penance, and no new-leaf can save us from the rip-tide of sin; you need a Saviour. Those already saved from that rip-tide, rejoice in, and openly worship our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. Those still dabbling in sin, and not understanding the power of a rip-tide put their strength in religion, mass, penance, peace on earth, and turning over new leaves. Cries from the shore go unheeded. What a loved one needs are cries from the knees. Salvation is of the Lord.

An Essay for week #52 Sun, Dec 29, 13

The Reformed Theologian, and those entangled in their doctrines and/or denominations, thoroughly muck up Soteriology, the Doctrine of So-Great-Salvation, and thus cannot discern Scripture which describe corporate salvation, Israel’s salvation, and salvation from enemy or circumstance. Their singular focus on John Calvin’s Covenant Theology, his single Covenant of Grace, his Roman rooted Replacement Theology, whereby he, and his chosen definition, replaces Israel as God’s elect. Thereby he discredits and dismisses all language of the salvation of Israel, all language of the corporate in salvation, and all consideration of ones salvation from enemy and circumstance. These dismissals and shortcomings so permeate Protestant thinking that they regularly leaven into Baptist thinking, even though Baptists are to be people of the Book, not people of the reformation.

Consider God’s warning and illustration about compromising Israel, that went confederate with Syria, as detailed in these two essays:

Msg #1411 Christ is the Answer, 4 Good, Bad & Ugly

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

When I was a lad the mayor of Corning was ushering a visiting dignitary into town. Who seeing a sign which read “Christ is the Answer”, above the city, asked “So what is the question?” The agnostic mayor stammered, then stuttered, then started a campaign to get that sign down. Fifty years later, the sign is there. God’s written record through his prophet Isaiah brings that answer to four leading questions. Chapter seven starts with an account involving the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the days of Ahaz the good king of Judah, Rezin the bad king of Syria, is confederate with Pekah the ugly king of Israel. The latter is so ugly that God and Isaiah never refer to this son of Remaliah by name again. This confederacy against good unites the enemy of God with a nation called Israel. Now Israel, the ugly, was the union of ten sons of Jacob, who 1,000 year previous, had a name change. Judah the good, slanderously called “Jew”, was the outcast favored of God dwelling in the favored city of God, Jerusalem. Now these are all sure enough real characters in a real scenario, as it were, chosen brother against brothers who leagued with the world and enemy of God. The answer to this ugly mess is Christ, and he shows up in verse 14, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” God does not just tell what happened in history; in His-Story he tells us what happens. Sure enough, the ugly neo-evangelical is confederate with the progressive-liberal world, in an effort to stamp out and replace the Bible believing remnant who dwell in their 1611 King James Holy Bible. Christ is still the answer, and he is coming soon.

An Essay for week #11 03/16/2014

In audio at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/audio/gs140316.mp3

In paperback at www.lulu.com/spotlight/GSBaptistChurch

Msg #1412 Compromise NOT, Confederate NEVER

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

Christianity has made ugly compromises with worldliness. It is confederate with progressive-liberals. The believing remnant should now pay careful attention to Isaiah 8. The theme is Maher-shalal-hash-baz, wherein the enemy goes quickly to the spoil and makes haste to the prey. When the compromise and confederacy is made, a generation will not pass before the destruction is wrought, vr4. Here, the grass roots refused the Living water, and rejoiced in Rezin, the bad King of Syria, and Remaliah’s Son, the ugly, compromised, confederated, King of Israel, vr6. This chapter places emphasis on “a great roll and the writing on it with a mans pen,” vr1. When judgment arrives like an overwhelming flood the remnant of uncompromised believers are given five pieces of advice, when the LORD spake with a strong hand. (1) Make no association, compromise, or confederacy with the compromising majority, vr11-12. (2) Sanctify the Lord of hosts and let him be your fear, vr13-15. (3) Hold tight to your King James Bible, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples … to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” vr16, 20. (4) Wait on the Lord, vr17. (5) Be a peculiar people, be a sign and a wonder unto them, vr18. I would rather be mocked and persecuted as a King James Onlyite, than use a Vatican bible that rips out 1John 5:7 and more. The doom of the compromiser is sealed and rushing in hastily; i.e. Maher-shalal-hash-baz. God illustrates through Israel the horrid consequence of the neo-evangelical compromise. Dr. Kean once said, Three words should be removed from a Baptist’s vocabulary “can’t”, “quit”, and “compromise.” They all start with “K” so you can just strike them from your dictionary.

An Essay for week #12 03/23/2014

In audio at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/audio/gs140323.mp3

In paperback at www.lulu.com/spotlight/GSBaptistChurch

These considerations make a Systematic Theology’s volume on Soteriology, the doctrine of So-Great-Salvation a crucial element of a holistic Systematic Theology. There is no greater theme in the Holy Bible.

 

 

Appendix – Previous Report for inclusion in a systematic Soteriology

Understanding The Biblical New Birth Clarifies Doctrines about Sacraments, Election, and Perseverance of Saints.

By

Edward G. Rice

Dec 30 2000

Submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements

for the course “Soteriology” #404

Video Studies Program (based on spring semester 94),

Professor Warren Vanhetloo

Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

Chapter I Introduction

Within Christendom there are many divides of doctrine normally falling along denominational lines. There have been efforts to break down the lines and in the words of some, to “not let doctrine divide us and let the spirit unite us.” Many have said that we are all Christians we just do things differently; all the same but with different ideas or doctrines, about how to do what we do. In this article, it will be demonstrated that there is a hinge pin where these doctrinal lines divide in their many directions. That hinge-pin is the view and understanding of the new birth or salvation experience as presented in the Bible. It is important to focus on this dividing point (and it is that) because it sets a crucial difference between denominations, between Churches, and between movements that entangle our Churches in the 21st century. Standing between Christendom and non-Christendom21 there exists another dividing line based upon the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. An incorrect doctrine of who Christ is, his deity, his human-ness, his virgin birth, his equality with God, neatly separates away those which are non-Christian. Plainly many of these concede that they are not Christian and call themselves, latter day saints (Mormons), J. witnesses (Russelites) or other religions. Some, however infiltrate the ranks of Christendom and call themselves Christians. They try to follow the teachings of Christ while rejecting the person of Jesus Christ. The departure from this doctrine of “who Jesus was” makes them infidels to Christendom just the same. Those who do not accept completely the deity of the man Christ Jesus are plainly infidels to the faith. This is not the hinge-pin we will focus on in this paper.

When we are fastened on the hinge-pin of who Jesus Christ was; and we call ourselves Christian; and accept the orthodox Christian doctrines as true; a second hinge-pin exists that separates the many doctrinal avenues that are still open. This second hinge-pin is clearly to be found in the doctrine of the new birth, the understanding of what happens when one is born again. Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Brethren, even Charismatic and non-denominationals all divide neatly when we consider the ‘who’ , the ‘how’, and the ‘how long’ of salvation. These differences find an epicenter in what happens when one is “born again”. Thus this makes a hing-pin for clearly distinguishing between ‘Christian faiths’, between denominations and within ‘Christian movements’. Biblically evaluating what takes place when a person is saved, and contrasting that with the teaching of a denomination can bring into focus many of the other differences which are often debated in ignorance. Establishing and understanding this root difference clarifies both intra-denominational and inter-denominational squabbling and misunderstandings about the exact syntax of other doctrinal issues. Particularly here, it will help clarify and solidify the Biblical doctrines of sacraments (the ‘how’ salvation is obtained question), election (the ‘who’ can be saved question) and perseverance of saints (the ‘how long’ one stays saved question). Clarifying these questions through a look at what happens when one is born-again, will bring into focus a majority of denominational differences within Christendom.

Purpose

A Biblical understanding of the new birth can bring into focus doctrinal errors about 1) how one gets saved, 2) who can be saved, and 3) how one stays saved. In this article the we will model the salvation experience and then examine the effect of this model on the doctrines of sacraments, the doctrines of election, and the doctrines of perseverance of saints.

Approach

The approach in examining this thesis shall be to use Scriptures to construct a model of salvation which includes regeneration, conversion, justification, union with Christ, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to briefly examine some Christian doctrines about sacraments as they relate to this Biblical model, to briefly examine some Christian doctrines about election as they fit with the model, then to briefly examine some Christian doctrines about perseverance of saints as they pertain to a Biblical model of the salvation experience. This examination will not be an exhaustive treaty of these doctrines, but will present aspects of each which conflict with a well developed Scriptural model of salvation.

 

Chapter II A Biblical Model of the New Birth

There are two ways of developing a systematic model that captures what Jesus called “being born again”, or “being saved”, or “receiving eternal life.” The first is to consider 1) the preponderance of Scripture, 2) the orthodox teaching of the past and 3) the logic and philosophy of human reasoning then develop a model, choose the supporting verses and stick with the model. It will be shown that this method has been widely used and the results take on the names of their prominent developers such as Calvinism, or Arminianism. Such models will often be defended to the death, even when their developments begin to contradict a majority of Scripture. A second approach is to consider the preponderance of Scripture alone, develop a systematic model then contrast the model with the orthodox teaching of the past (as a sanity check and completeness check), and to then consider the logic and philosophy of human reasoning to comprehend the model. We use our deductive reasoning to comprehend Scripture, but we also have a tendency to use our reasoning to twist Scripture and make it fit into our realm of reason. Thus, where this systematic model does not fit our finite comprehension, we do not tweak the Biblically based model, but we compensate our finite understanding with the knowledge that God’s thoughts are not mans thoughts. ISA 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Let us therefore build our model faithful to the Scriptures and let the misunderstandings not be a misrepresentation of so great salvation.

There are five aspects that seem to capture completely what happens to an individual when they are “born again”. These are 1) Conversion, 2) Regeneration, 3) Justification, 4) Baptism into Christ, and 5) Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are shown figuratively as a gold ring in Figure 1. Notice here that, like a ring there is no starting place nor stopping place, it is continuous unit. The new birth is quite like the placing of the ring upon a finger, there is no time delayed sequence of events, no process over time, but 5 immediate transactions that occur when one is born-again.

This immediacy of the new-birth, that all five partitions occur at one instant in time, is vital to the comprehension of Biblical salvation, and is key to distinguishing between denominations and doctrines. Understanding the new-birth as just that, an event in time, for an individual, where all five of these ingredients come together and take place simultaneously, clarifies and distinguishes the Biblical teaching from most doctrinal error and denominational differences. The hinge-pin that distinguishes most clearly between denominations is how far they will separate any of these 5 events from one another and take them out of a distinct, individual, personal salvation experience. An example developed later but given here for illustration, is the timing of the occurrence of regeneration within the reformed & Presbyterian doctrine. Many holding to individual soul election contend that a soul in sin is totally depraved, so depraved he is incapable of turning one fiber of his being towards the redeeming act of salvation. Thus before that person could start down a path that would lead to conversion, he must be regenerated. Regeneration, then is separated from the ring above, and made an event that precedes the new birth. We should, then, carefully develop the timing of these five and demonstrate that in Scripture they all must occur simultaneously. Then we will just stick tenaciously to the Scriptures as a Biblicist, or Fideist as some have labeled this approach.

With this as our basic model of the new birth, we should define each of these five ingredients of the new birth. In the next chapter we will take each and show how they systematically fall out of the Scriptures and how they are tied together in time as a single event.

Conversion is the turning from sin to Christ. This is the human part in the salvation transaction. It equally involves turning from sin and turning to Christ, you cannot have one side without the other and have this transaction complete. It involves a completeness in turning from sin and a completeness in turning to Christ in faith. God is not interested in making any new or special deals here; so one must wholly repent and turn from sin (singular) and wholly grasp Christ in faith, letting go of all else for the security of his soul.

Regeneration is the “that act of God by which new, spiritual life is implanted in man whereby the governing disposition of the soul is made holy by the Holy Spirit through truth as the means.”22 Dr. W. Vanhetloo gave here the best one sentence definition of regeneration that this author has seen.

Justification is best defined by Scripture in IICor 5:21 For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Being saved from the condemnation of sin involves coming under the umbrella of what Christ did for us. Justification, then, is a heavenly judicial declaration of 1) remission of sin and of 2) restoration to God.

Baptism into Christ often called the union with Christ, this is simply being united with Christ. Again probably best defined by Scripture in Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the actual literal moving into our bodies by the Holy Spirit of God whereby he now permanently indwells us. Again Scripture pictures this superbly in I Cor 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Also Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. When one is saved, the Holy Spirit of God takes up residence inside them, he indwells them.

The purpose of this paper is not to define and develop these five transactions that occur at salvation, but to demonstrate that Biblically they all occur at an instant in time, the instant one is ‘born-again’. We shall develop more fully these five transactions in the next chapter. Again with our emphasis on the marvelous revelation that all five of them are instantaneous and united transactions. Making this tie, that all five are tied in time to conversion, is what will allow us to clearly differentiate various denominational differences. We can use this understanding of conversion as the hinge-pin to evaluate and bring into focus all other ‘Christian’ doctrines and differences.

 

CHAPTER III The Instantaneous Transaction of Conversion

We said previously that:

Conversion is the turning from sin to Christ. This is the human part in the salvation transaction. It equally involves turning from sin and turning to Christ, you cannot have one side without the other and have this transaction complete. It involves a completeness in turning from sin and a completeness in turning to Christ in faith. God is not interested in making any new or special deals here; so one must wholly repent and turn from sin (singular) and wholly grasp Christ in faith, letting go of all else for the security of his soul.

Examining conversion as one of the five instantaneous entities that make up salvation is somewhat of a challenge because it is, in our mind, the act that sets off the whole event, and is viewed more as a process than an event. Thus, as we examine it, we shall attempt to separate it from all the events, process’s and circumstances that leads a soul to the place where he would turn from sin and turn to Christ. And separate it from the after-math of the changes that begin to happen, changes which demonstrate that there was genuine conversion.

This turning from sin to Christ is the hall mark of salvation. Conversion, in various forms occurs in 37 verses23 of the Bible. It is clearly described in Scripture as an event that happens in an instant of time. A works salvation is very attractive to man. A works salvation is what surrounds and encapsulates ‘religion’. This ever present teaching of works salvation is what makes it difficult, but necessary, to look at this conversion as an event that happens in an instant of time. In examining the Scriptures that pinpoint this as an event, we shall examine the aspects of conversion as 1) A new birth, 2) turning (from sin and to Christ) and 3) belief on Christ.

In John 3 there is a record of a religious man asking about his prospects of getting to heaven. In the course of Jesus’ addressing the shortfalls of religion he states “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:5-7)

Thus we speak of being ‘born again’ as an event, and can ask an individual if they are a born again believer. In this explanation, given by Jesus Christ himself, he brings out that being born of the spirit, being converted, being saved from ones sin debt is a voluntary operation or act of belief by an individual. However, it is likened to a birth. Does one voluntarily choose birth, no. What initiates birth? Certainly conception and coming to full term has a role, but even as I write this we wait for twin grand kids to be born. Labor started 6 weeks early then stopped, and we now wait. We have tried lots of things to help but we often hear that “they will come when they are ready”. What initiates the birthing event? God does. In our spiritual life what initiates the spiritual new birth? God does. Can we force it or fake it? Many have, but God is in charge of genuine spiritual birth. We have overlooked several aspects of this powerful illustration let me list a few for your consideration:

  1. Birth takes place at a time, thus we end up with a birthday.
  2. Birth is a miracle, not just conception and development but birth itself.
  3. Birth is initiated.
  4. Birth may be labored.
  5. Birth is completed.
  6. The infant is not in control.
  7. It marks the entry of a new independent life into the world

 

Jesus used this as an illustration of what Nicodemus needed. Not the only illustration he gave him, but a powerful one just the same. We should be careful not to over weight any of these aspects of birth to the conversion of the soul, but so to we should not discard those that fit so well.

Anyone that is born in the flesh24 can be born in the spirit. It is thus been said by some “If you are born once, you must die twice, but if you are born twice you may25 die only once.” Clearly this new birth is not a process over years, but an event in ones life. Clearly an infant has little control during this birthing process but lets look at an individuals involvement in the spiritual birth.

Jesus further clarified this new birth with the illustration from Numbers 26 that looking to a brazen serpent saved the life of a judged snake bite victim. As much as an Israelite had only to look at the brazen serpent to be saved from his snake-bite, so one has only to turn and look to Christ to be saved from his sin sentence. (John 3:14-16) What was mans part? To believe and to look. Belief alone was inadequate. There must be an application of the belief, but that application had no physical requirement, no gauze or ointment, no water washing or need of someone else to dunk them in magical water. In the word’s of the songwriter one had but to “look and live, my brother live, look to Jesus now and live, it’s recorded in in His word, halleluiah, it is only that you look and live.” Marvelous simplicity. Marvelous availability. Marvelous attainability to all who would believe.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. The word ‘believe’ has lost it’s effectiveness today. We say “I believe it will be a nice day.” We say “I believe the world is round.” Believe has been distanced from trust. To capture the intent of Biblical belief on Christ, we must tie the word back to trust, to letting go of other securities and placing the full trust of our soul in Christ. “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Both the turning to the brazen serpent and the turning loose of all else for a belief in Christ, alone, show two inseparable parts of conversion. Repentance, is turning from, and Faith is believing in.

The best illustration of conversion then is in a two sided coin containing faith and repentance. Accepting the whole coin is as easy as reaching out and receiving. Dividing the two is as difficult as cutting a coin without defacing either side. When your done you don’t have a complete coin.

 

Comprehending conversion as an act of an individual that takes place in their volition at an instant in time leads to several clarifications that should be stated.

  1. One can know they have done this as sure as one can know that they got married.
  2. There is more than a ‘head knowledge’ involved in believing faith.
  3. There is no work to be done to deserve conversion, it is an act of faith alone.
  4. There is nothing that can be done externally by the individual, his family or a Church to accomplish a souls conversion.
  5. There are no sacraments (mystical physical acts with spiritual consequences) involved in conversion.
  6. The Church cannot issue salvation via sacraments.
  7. An infant cannot be converted.

Let’s emphasize a couple of verses again and recognize that conversion is this new birth and new birth is conversion.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Matt 18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

American society is filled with individuals who were never converted yet think themselves Christian. There is no time or place in their life where they verbally called on Christ for their salvation and realized it a completed transaction. They often have spent their lives acting Christian without the new life and assurance that conversion brings. If you are one of these please realize now that “Except ye be converted, . . . ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Keeping these things in mind, one goes on in the exploration of events that accompany salvation. Recall that all five of these events, Conversion, Regeneration, Justification, Baptism into Christ, and Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, occur simultaneously and in an instant of time in an individuals life.

 

Chapter IV The Instantaneous Transaction of Regeneration

We said previously that:

Regeneration is the “that act of God by which new, spiritual life is implanted in man whereby the governing disposition of the soul is made holy by the Holy Spirit through truth as the means.”26

Once again we are not covering all aspects of this tremendous miracle in this chapter, only establishing the Scriptural basis that it occurs at an instant in time in an individuals life, that it occurs simultaneously with the new birth, and that this new birth also includes the other four ingredients of Conversion, Justification, Baptism into Christ, and Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The word regeneration appears only twice in the Bible, in Matt 19:28 and Tit 3:5.

Matt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

So here the part of regeneration we are interested in might be better conceived with the word quickened. The word quickened, meaning made alive, is used 25 times in the Bible, 10 in the NT and 15 times in Psalms. The fact that the new birth described in John 3 is tied with new spiritual life, quickening or regeneration is indisputable. The descriptions of the new life being just that, a “new” life, where one once was dead and now is made alive are throughout the epistles.

 

Chapter V The Instantaneous Transaction of Justification

Justification is best defined by Scripture in IICor 5:21 For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Being saved from the condemnation of sin is coming under the umbrella of what Christ did for us. Justification, then, is a heavenly judicial declaration of 1) remission of sin and of 2) restoration to God.

 

CHAPTER VI The Instantaneous Baptism Into Christ

Baptism into Christ often called the union with Christ, this is simply being united with Christ. Again probably best defined by Scripture in Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

 

CHAPTER VII The Instantaneous Indwelling of The Holy Spirit

Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the actual literal moving into our bodies by the Holy Spirit of God whereby he now permanently indwells us. Again Scripture pictures this superbly in I Cor 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Also Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. When one is saved, the Holy Spirit of God takes up residence inside them, he indwells them.

 

CHAPTER VIII The conflict with our philosophy and doctrines

CALVINISM–a definition and explanation

The essential parts of this Calvinistic system are the well-known five points of Calvinism, namely, total depravity in distinction from partial; unconditional election in distinction from conditional; irresistible regenerating grace in distinction from resistible; limited redemption (not atonement) in distinction from universal; the certain perseverance of the regenerate in distinction from their possible apostasy. No one of these points can be rejected without impairing the integrity of Calvinism . . .

[William G. T. Shedd. Calvinism: Pure and Mixed. p. 147].

The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches Article X states that:

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a

new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new

birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and

receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our

sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy

Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the

gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and

newness of life [General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. Literature Item 1. p. 6].

The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647, Chapter VIII and Section VIII says:

To all those for whom Christ has purchased redemption He does certainly and

effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them, and

revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually

persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey [emphasis added–aal]; and governing

their hearts by His Word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by His almighty

power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful

and unsearchable dispensation [Schaff. op. cit. p. 622].

The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England in Article XVII states:

Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the

foundations of the world were laid) He has constantly decreed by His counsel secret to

us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He has chosen in Christ to

everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor [emphasis added –aal]. Wherefore, those

who are endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God’s

purpose by His Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they

are justified freely: they are made sons of God by adoption: they are made like the

image of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and

at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting happiness [Ibid. p. 497].

Table of Truths Established for Each Aspect of Salvation

Conversion

Regeneration

Justification

Baptism Into Christ

Indwelling of Holy Spirit

One can know they did this as sure as marriage vows. One can know this happened, know there is now new life. One can read and understand this promise. One can read and understand this promise. One can know when someone moves into their life.
Involves both mental assent and willful trust. New life is imparted by God.      
Wholly Independent of Works The new life is eternal, it cannot die.      
No external, physical act done, or to be done by another. The new life CANNOT sin.      
Independent of Reformation The new life can see spiritual things.      
Independent of Church Sacraments The new life responds with the Holy Spirit.      
Not done by/to infants.        

Table of Conflicts Between Systematic Doctrines and Each Aspect of Salvation

The Bible Model Sacramental Salvation (Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian) Calvinism (Reformed, Presbyterian) Arminianism (Methodist, Pentecostal) Charismatic (Feelings usurp Scriptural Authority)
Conversion the act of turning from sin, repentance; and turning to Christ, in faith. More than a mental persuasion, The act of letting go of all else and trusting Christ with your soul. The Church hands out physical mystical sacraments used to attain Salvation. Conversion is coming into the Church not into the Kingdom of God. Impossible unless one is first chosen of God and then already regenerated, man is totally depraved spiritually unable to make a decision for Salvation. The use of the awakening of the Will to claim  
Regeneration act of God whereby a new spiritual life is implanted in man whereby the governing disposition of the soul is made holy by the Holy Spirit through truth. Salvation is not a new life implanted but a process of feeding ones soul with sacraments, thus administration of Communion and Last Rights.      
Justification a heavenly judicial declaration of 1) remission of sin and of 2) restoration to God, accomplished at Calvary, but applied at conversion.        
Baptism into Christ as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: . . And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:        
Indwelling of Holy Spirit the actual literal moving into our bodies by the Holy Spirit of God whereby he now permanently indwells us. your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,        

Soteriology#404 Report Bibliography

Shedd, William Greenough Thayer. Calvinism: Pure and Mixed, A Defense of the Westminster Standards. 1893, reprint, Edinburgh, UK: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1986.

———-. Commentary on Romans. 1879, reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980.

———-. Dogmatic Theology. Three volumes, New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, volumes I and II third edition, 1891, volume III Supplement, 1894.

Schaff, Philip. The Creeds of Christendom. Three volumes, 1877, reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977.

———-. History of the Christian Church. Third edition, revised in eight volumes, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1910.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Holy Bible

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977, [In 1932 Emery H. Bancroft became the first Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, NY and published his text for his course Elemental Theology. In 1968 the Seminary relocated to Clark Summit PA. In 1970 this author attended Practical Bible Training School on the Johnson City campus and studied Bancroft's text. In 1999 – 2000 this author attended Baptist Bible Seminary to take Greek (NT502 and NT503) via a 3 hour commute from Hammondsport NY to Clark Summit PA, and was reintroduced to Bancroft's exceptional work.]

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, [Independent Baptist, Professor, Tennessee Temple Bible School, 1954].

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.[Lewis Sperry Chafer was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential founding member of modern Christian Dispensationalism. Born: February 27, 1871, Rock Creek, Died: August 22, 1952, Seattle, Education: Oberlin College, Wheaton College. For my Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies through LBTS, I was tasked to analyze all six volumes of his Systematic Theology]

Satan, 1909, Free ebooks – Project Gutenberg,2004, http://www.gutenberg.org accessed 06/01/2013

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985.

Gaussen, L. Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science. David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840.

Geisler, Norman L, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11 [Geisler, also a neoevangelical, sharply contrasts with Lewis Sperry Chafer in that Geisler 1) admits what he is, neoevangelical, 2) admits what he is attempting, a compilation of evangelical theologies, 3) shows superb organization and structure of thought, 4) contains depth, and 5) is a masterful communicator. This author cannot endorse all that Geisler believes to be true, but can endorse that he seems to capture all that has been believed by conservative evangelicals.]

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org, public domain. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01hodg], [Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Presbyterian Minister, Princeton Theologian].

Larkin, Clarence. The Spirit World, Published by the Clarence Larkin Estate, 1921, Cosimo, 2005

Miley, John. Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2. The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01mile, [John Miley (1813-1895, Methodist Theologian].

Ryrie, Charles C.. Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.

Schofield, C. I.. Prophecy Made Plain. Photolithoprinted by Grand Rapids Book Manufacturers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.

Shedd, William G. T.. Dogmatic Theology. Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/dogmatictheology01sheduoft], [William G.T. Shedd, 1820-1894, Old School Presbyterian & Reformed Theologian].

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993. [Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, American Baptist Pastor & Theologian].

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949. [Henry Clarence Thiessen, ? -1947, President of Los Angles Baptist Theological Seminary, later renamed John MacArthur's The Master's College].

Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 2006.

Waite, D.A.. Defending the King James Bible. The Bible For Today Press, 2002.

1From www.ChristianBook.com accessed Dec 2013

2In making such a brash definition Chafer unwittingly puts Aristotle Saint Augustine and Saint Aquinas on equal ground with Holy Scriptures and in writing his seven volume work he actually does. Woe!

3Ibid.

4From www.wolvoord.com accessed Dec 2013

5Ibid.

6Ibid.

7Ibid.

8David Txxxxxxx‘s www.DoctorDaveT.com/Chafer_Systematic_Review.html accessed 12/14/2013

9Total Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perseverance of the Saints

10Freely available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes/

11See Darby’s extensive development of history in R.L. Dabney “The Five Points of Calvinism”

12 http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/elect/election_predest_man.pdf

13 http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/seminary/master_thesis/thesis_reformed.pdf

14Chafer, Systematic Theology Volume 3, 172

15Ibid. 172

16www.wiktionary.org/wiki/softshoe accessed 28 March 2014

17Freely available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes/

18See Darby’s extensive development of history in R.L. Dabney “The Five Points of Calvinism”

19From http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH01/07d.html accessed 12 February 2014

21Non-Christendom here generally referring to cults, hedonism or non-Christian religions.

22Dr. W. Vanhetloo’s Syllabus of Soteriology #404 Spr 94, Page 42, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

23Josh 8:35 1Sam 25:15 Psal 19:7 Psal 37:14 Psal 50:23 Psal 51:13 Isai 1:27 Isai 6:10 Isai 60:5 Matt 13:15 Matt 18:3 Mark 4:12 Luke 22:32 John 12:40 Acts 3:19 Acts 15:3 Acts 28:27 2Cor 1:12 Gala 1:13 Ephe 2:3 Ephe 4:22 Phil 1:27 Phil 3:20 1Tim 4:12 Hebr 13:5 Hebr 13:7 Jame 3:13 Jame 5:19 20 1Pet 1:15 1Pet 1:18 1Pet 2:12 1Pet 3:1 2 1Pet 3:16 2Pet 2:7 2Pet 3:11

24Note here that there has been much disparity about exactly what is meant by Christ when he said “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit” The very simplest, literal and logical reading is that this is speaking of ones physical birth. To see the kingdom of God, one must of necessity be born first physically. This reading fits into both the argument of Nicodemus who asked if he necessarily had to enter into his mothers womb again, and into the parallel clarification that follows about being born of flesh. Some like to make this ‘born of water’ phrase mean touched, anointed, cleansed or born-of the Word of God, (because some times the Word is pictured figuratively as water). They argue that if is was physical birth Jesus was speaking of, he would be requiring Nicodemus to be born physically again. No they say, he is requiring that he be touched with the gospel, to hear the Word of truth as part of the new birth. Although, in a system of theology it is the preaching of the Gospel that precedes the new birth, it is a rough and forced fit to make this ‘born of water’ fit that requirement. Clearly, in context, it is talking about physical birth. Others will muck this portion up further by requiring that ‘born of water’ has something to do with water baptism. Again, they are guilty of making the Scriptures imply something that they believe rather than taking a good hermeneutical approach to a literal interpretation of this passage. There are ample references to the power and need of the word of God, without stretching this one to go there. There are ample references to the correct teaching of baptism without making this one capture something it is not intended for. To be ‘born of water’ is simply equivalent to being born of the womb.

25The term ‘may’ is used here because Jesus himself said “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11:25-26

26Dr. W. Vanhetloo’s Syllabus of Soteriology #404 Spr 94, Page 42, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

Calvinism is the Gateway to Diabolical Error

Written By: Pastor Rice - Feb• 12•14

Tim,
Thanks for asking.  I expect all is well there.  We are doing exceptionally well despite our Governor asking all Christians to get out of his state.  Salt and light seem to be bothersome in this world.  All is well with Shane in Peru as well, perhaps less hostility toward Christ there than here.  The Lord will soon return.
The one year Biblical Hebrew Study Group went exceptionally well but alas I was its last remaining participant. It finished in January but got me to a 2nd grade reading level.  I love the Hebrew language and read my Hebrew Bible daily, … at a second grade level mind you.
We know some of the trials going on for you there, and are praying for your situation.
I framed my response to your questions as a blog post and introduction to my two books on the subject, I hope they are helpful.
Ed
Both of my books support the thesis that:

Calvinism and Reformed Theology is the Gateway to Diabolical Error

If you will excuse the vulgar vernacular, Calvinism is a “Gateway Drug” to Covenant Theology, and Covenant Theology is the “Home Turf” of the diabolical Replacement Theology. A gateway drug is not glaringly horrid, nor even apparently harmful. Once through the gate, more obnoxious, addictive and powerful mind altering concoctions are available. And so it goes, Calvinism and TULIPs are portrayed as Biblical and reasonable. Look inside the gate and you see Covenant/Replacement Theology. Be sure that Replacement Theology sprang from the Gates of Hell via the Roman Catholic Church. It declares that Israel and Hebrews are no longer the elect of God, because now the Roman Catholic Church and Christendom are the true Elect of God. The reformers attempted to grasp the truth that salvation is by faith alone, but they would not let go of all the “Mother Church” mentality and doctrine. Reformed Theology is still rampant with Covenant Theology, a Catholic Church, and their Election before the foundation of the world.

John Calvin’s 1536 magnum opus, “The Institutes of the Christian Religion1”, the Presbyterian’s 1618 Synod of Dort2, and Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 volume on Soteriology inexplicably tie salvation to election and predestination. The fact is the Holy Bible does not. In the Bible “So Great Salvation” is inexplicably tied to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without a breath about election. The Calvinist/Reformed Theology nowhere has a Gospel of Jesus Christ separate from their Doctrine of Election and Predestination. The Holy Bible nowhere has the Gospel of Jesus Christ touching any doctrine of election. Israel was not elect for salvation but for service in God’s purposes. In the New Testament economy, souls are not elect for salvation, but saints are elect for service in God’s purposes. All Calvinism, all TULIPs no matter what points are ripped out, and all Reformed Theology are laced with enough Bible to deceive and the diabolical purpose is to wedge one away from the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In his article “TULIPs or ROSES” Iain D. Campbell regurgitates the concepts of a leading Reformation scholar, Dr. Timothy George and his book Theology of the Reformers. He gives Dr. George’s purpose: “He is concerned to bring the mainstream Baptist churches to a deeper appreciation of sovereign grace, but is also concerned to note that we are no longer in the seventeenth century, and therefore that the conclusions of Dort require reformulation.”3 Reformed Theologians want to infiltrate mainstream Baptist doctrine because its core is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their core is not.

I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, Reformed Theologians, Calvinists, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

To read more about the Reformers attack on the Gospel it is highly recommended that you download and read the two books:

The Biblical Doctrine of Election and Predestination By Edward G. Rice Paperback: $18.95 The Author is a USAF retired systems engineer turned Baptist Preacher who brings a fresh Biblical look at this doctrine and all our systematic theology.

Free at http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/elect/election_predest_man.pdf

Reformed Theology’s Reformations Are Not Producing a Biblical Systematic Theology By Pastor Edward Rice Hardcover: $24.05 Reformed Augustinian Theology is, as its name so aptly captures, a reformation of bad Augustinian Theology that previously framed up the belief system of Roman Catholic Theology.

Free at http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/seminary/master_thesis/thesis_reformed.pdf

 

Keep up the good fight,

Pastor Ed Rice

1Freely available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes/

2See Darby’s extensive development of history in R.L. Dabney “The Five Points of Calvinism”

3From http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH01/07d.html accessed 12 February 2014

Critiquing Chafer’s Soteriology a TH803 Excerpt

Written By: Pastor Rice - Feb• 01•14

Critique of Chafer’s Volume 3 – Soteriology

It is distressing to lay Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s third volume of Systematic Theology, entitled Soteriology, on my desk beside Dr. Cambron’s single volume of “Bible Doctrine”, or beside Dr. Bancroft’s volume of “Elementary Theology”. Both Baptists capture the heart of Soteriology in pages while Chafer does not even present a shadow the subject in his whole volume. Cambron uses 23 pages in a thorough coverage, and Bancroft uses 50 in an unabridged coverage, while Chafer has 396 pages, that is 33 pages a week for a twelve week college quarter, wherein he never addresses justification, never describes conversion, never mentions quickening, writes not one paragraph on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and carefully steers clear of ones Baptism (that is complete immersion) into the Lord Jesus Christ. These five essentials to So-Great-Salvation, all expounded clearly, continually and completely in Scripture, Cambron, and Bancroft are not even or ever addressed in 396 pages of a volume called Soteriology by neo-evangelicalism. Analysis of how such an incompetent 396 communique could seep from Dallas Theological Seminary is crucial, and unfortunately is it herein ground breaking. The hypercritical content of this work is centric to comprehending that Evangelicalism, which has not strayed far from Rome and Reformed Theology, is a caustic leaven which has permeated Christendom.

Many strongly disagree with this assessment. Christian Book Distributors (consider that their motivation is to sell books) says that Chafer has “an unabridged systematic theology of unparalleled scope.1” Reporting that Chafer defines systematic theology as “the collecting, systematically arranging, comparing, exhibiting and defending of all facts concerning God and His works from any and every source.2” They report that Walter Elwell calls Chafer’s work “the definitive statement of dispensational theology.” and Charles Ryrie says “Though scholarly in the true sense of the word, this work can also be read and understood by those not formally trained in theology. 3“ Such comments make one suspect a massive evangelical coverup is in place. Chafer’s own definition of systematic theology reveals his purposeful departure from The Holy Bible as theology’s sole source, or even its a primary source! What he ends up with in considering every source is not “unabridged” it is diabolical.

Of course Dr. John F. Walwoord, (1910-2002) Dr. Chafer’s successor at Dallas Theological Seminary, showered his predecessor’s work with great praise. He says of Chafer’s eight volume work, “Never before has a work similar in content purpose, and scope been produced.”… it is “Remarkably Biblical… appeal is constantly to Biblical authority rather than to philosophy, tradition or creed.” Dr. Walwoord, himself considered the worlds foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy and a most prominent evangelical scholar of his generation4, said of Dr. Chafer’s third volume “The contribution of President Chafer in the field of Soteriology has been hailed as the most important of all his theological works.”5

There is little doubt of Dr. Walvoord’s sincerity or integrity in this declaration, but it needs to be highlighted again that when Chafer writes four hundred pages on Soteriology and never addresses a soul’s justification, a soul’s quickening, a soul’s conversion, and/or a soul’s indwelling and baptism into Christ, then the most important theological work of the Protestant/Evangelical community is bankrupt of all Biblical doctrine.

Dr. Walvoord himself confesses to the fault, when he acknowledges Chafer’s first section on Soteriology deals with Christ’s offices, his sonship, his hypostatic union and his sufferings. Therein we find no mention of Christ’s substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection. Second and third sections deal with the doctrine of election, not the doctrine of salvation. Forth and fifth sections concern the work of God and ones eternal security not the So-Great-Salvation referenced in the Epistle to the Hebrews. And the last section covers the terms of salvation, “a section which is most practical and helpful”, says Dr. Walvoord. In reality this last section only deals with four terms of salvation 1) Repent and Believe, 2) Believe and Confess, 3) Believe and be Baptized, and 4) Believe and Surrender. Nowhere in 400 pages does Dr. Chafer spell out what the Bible says must be ‘believed’, nowhere does he spell out what the Bible calls the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Yet for all its hollowed emptiness Dr. Walvoord still says “The volume on Soteriology, if it stood alone, would in itself assure the author a place among notable writers of Christian Doctrine.6” That is inconceivable. Chafer never writes about justification, conversion, quickening, indwelling or baptism into Christ! And yet this Evangelical continues “There is no volume in the field of Systematic Theology which approaches (Chafer’s Third Volume) in Biblical insight , spiritual comprehension of the saving work of god, and unabridged treatment of the great work of God in salvation.7

Was it emphasized enough that Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Third Volume entitled “Soteriology” never addresses justification, never describes conversion, never mentions quickening, writes not one paragraph on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and carefully steers clear of one’s baptism, i.e. complete immersion, into the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet the whole of the Protestant/Evangelical world cries out that this is the very best they could ever attain. Ergo it is cried out here that the Protestant/Evangelical world is completely bankrupt when it comes to describing and defending or contending for and comprehending of God’s So-Great-Salvation. Reformed Theology, Scholarly Philosophy and Modernist Liberal Apostasy has rendered the whole of the Evangelical World completely bankrupt when it come to Preaching, Comprehending, and Contending for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is indeed 1) Conversion, by Repentance and Faith, 2) Justification, Declared, 3) Quickening, 4) Indwelling and 5) Compete Immersion in Christ.

Troublesome Independent Fundamental Baptists Leaning Toward Chafer

As troubling as the Evangelical failures are they were well predicted. Indeed the whole point of the Fundamental departure of the last century was one of separation from such an apostate condition. Neo Evangelicalism refused the fundamentalist position and had as its premise that separation from the reformers apostasy and their Reformed Theology was to drastic a measure, choosing rather a coexistence in their circles. There was never any doubt about where such compromise would land the neoevangelical. Like “Christian Rock Music” their lyrics were carefully chosen but there was never any question about where their melody came from. If one dare call such a melody at all. What then might be the position of the Fundamentalist who 100 years ago avowed separation from such apostasy?

Dr. Cambron, Theologian of Tennessee Temple Baptist Seminary, staunchly affirmed that the doctrine of Salvation is captured in the five ingredients fore mentioned. Dr. Bancroft, Theologian of Bible Baptist Theological Seminary, affirmed exactly the same. Neither frittered away a single paragraph of their Soteriology trying to figure out what God had decreed, or who was elect for what before the foundation of the world. They captured the doctrine of salvation very Biblically, very exactly, and very succinctly. But look where we have sunk in the last 50 years of that Fundamental century.

An Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor with a Masters from Pensacola Christian College, and a Doctorate from Bethany Theological Seminary, revels that “Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology is the single greatest Systematic Theology ever written.8” This self acclaimed “Doctrinal Expositor” wrote of Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology, “(Chafer’s) desire to be ‘Biblical’ in his Systematic Theology requires (that) he surround his system to the text of Scripture. He is to be highly commended for that.” This well trained Independent Fundamental Baptist Preacher further heaps ten paragraphs of praise onto Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology because it tears the “L” right out of T.U.L.I.P.9 Any Baptist praise for even T.U.I.P should be disconcerting. The whole Presbyterian, Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology, Replacement Theology is fraught with diabolical error and T.U.L.I.P. Is only the ugly “tip of the iceberg.” Taking the “L” out to T.U.L.I.P. Is like taking Purgatory out of Catholicism. It might deliver a crippling blow to the errant system, but the systematic lie limps along without major effect. An Independent Fundamental Baptist praising Chafer’s 400 pages of Soteriology which does not even address a soul’s conversion, justification, or quickening is a powerful indicator of a serious compromise and dangerous blindness. The giant of Neoevangelicalism defies the Salvation of God, and it needs to be reiterated: “Is there not a cause?

A 1st draft opening for a more perfected volume on Soteriology follows:

SOTERIOLOGY

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? Heb 2:3-4

 

There is no greater theme extending from Genesis to Revelation, in the Holy Bible, than that of Soteriology. “Soterio” is the Greek word for “Salvation”I, and “ology” is a most thorough consideration of, a most thorough analysis of, a most thorough communication about a topic. When one considers the salvation of man as the overspreading theme of the whole Bible, one finds every chapter , every verse and every line somehow interrelated to that theme. Such a task need not be daunting, it needs to be thorough and it is a joyous revelation of God’s grandest purpose.

Salvation necessitates three ingredients, a lost estate, a helplessness of/in restoring that estate, and a savior who can restore the estate. Holy Scripture employs such a salvation on/in three perspectives, the lost estate of corporate mankind, the lost estate of a nation, Israel, and the lost estate of the individual soul. Consequently, salvation must needs be explored in all three ingredients, in all three perspectives. Thirdly, one must consider that the last estate, that of the individual, is not always in relation to mans lost eternal soul. King David, for example, asked for the salvation of his integrity, the salvation of his peace of mind, and the salvation of his kingdom. An estate may be a condition, status or rank. An estate may be ones fortune, one prosperity, or ones possessions. The word estate is often in relation to an interest or ownership in land or property. Considering salvation will find find our main focus on mans lost estate with God; there are other lost estates that need a savior, it is marvelous that there may be many lost estates under consideration, but there is only on Saviour.

Consider the following short essay on the need of salvation:

Msg #1352 The Rip-Tide of Sin

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, … “ (Heb 2:3a) Along the east coast of America there are places where powerful rip-tides flow rapidly out into the ocean. A rip-tide is formed when high tide draws water into lowland areas, and low tide funnels them back through subtle valleys in the sand. An unaware swimmer captured in a rip-tide is helpless to get back to shore. No matter how gallant his effort he is carried further and further out into the ocean depths. Without a savior that will pluck them out of their plight and set their feet back on solid ground, all hope is gone. The swimmer does not initially realize his dilemma. Cries from shore go unheeded. When they suspect their situation may be worsening they swim harder until their whole focus is getting back to the shore. They are certain they can swim the distance because they do not know the power of a rip-tide. The theme of the whole Bible is Salvation. Salvation defines a lost estate, a helpless condition, and a savior who can restore that estate. With Christmas behind us, and a new year before us, it is important to know that no religion, no mass, no penance, and no new leaf can save us from the rip-tide of sin; you need a Saviour. Those already saved from that rip-tide, rejoice in, and openly worship our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. Those still dabbling in sin, and not understanding the power of a rip-tide put their strength in religion, mass, penance, peace on earth, and turning over new leaves. Cries from the shore go unheeded. What your loved one needs are cries from our knees. Salvation is of the Lord.

An Essay for week #52 Sun, Dec 29, 13

The Reformed Theologian, and those entangled in their doctrines and/or denominations, thoroughly muck up …

Critique of Arthur W. Pink’s “Present Day Evangelism”

Arthur Pinks pre 1952 book “Present Day Evangelism”10 has as its thesis that present day evangelism has overstepped his doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, his doctrine of God’s Sovereign Election, his doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man, and his doctrine of Christ’s Limited Atonement. (cf pg 20 1. The Grand Design of God.) Pink totally misses God’s assertion that we (born again believers) are the “special and immediate intervention of God” (pg 22) He misses that God’s Holy Spirit indwells us, and that God’s command to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” is not limited by the Old Testament verse “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts “ (Zech 4:6)

Pink’s contention that the untrained (i.e. non-Clergy) novice witnesses (ch 3 pg 40-42) are mucking up evangelism by believing and repeating Acts 16:31 reveals his true reformed, reformationist heart beat. Only Clergy (and priests?) can interpret these clear gospel scriptures properly. They must be “weighed, interpreted, and applied in accord with their context, and that calls for prayerful consideration, careful meditation, and prolonged study.”(pg 45) By Clergy? Really? Arthur here contends that only Clergy should be expounding his carefully sculpted Sovereign Grace, and salvation by the election of souls. Pink perceives that the misled “present day evangelists”… “tells his hearers that salvation is by grace and is received as a free gift, that Christ has done everything for the sinner, and that nothing remains but for him to ‘believe’, to trust in the infinite merits of His blood. “ For Arthur Pink this is cardinal error, and this simple gospel message is strongly contested by this staunchly Calvinist, Puritan, Covenant Theologian who calls Dispensationalism “modern pernicious error.”

Pink accuses that such a simple gospel message is tarnishing the holiness and sovereignty of God. Although Dr. Pink brings to bear a needed emphasis on repentance and the Lordship of Christ, his staunch rejection is that people, possibly people not even chosen before the foundation of the world, are being told to “receive Christ as personal Saviour”, and this reacts negatively to all that Arthur Pink holds dear in his misguided Covenant Theology. Curious book. Curious entrapment to Reformed Theology’s errors. Incidentally, rat poison is 99% good stuff.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Holy Bible

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977, [In 1932 Emery H. Bancroft became the first Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, NY and published his text for his course Elemental Theology. In 1968 the Seminary relocated to Clark Summit PA. In 1970 this author attended Practical Bible Training School on the Johnson City campus and studied Bancroft's text. In 1999 – 2000 this author attended Baptist Bible Seminary to take Greek (NT502 and NT503) via a 3 hour commute from Hammondsport NY to Clark Summit PA, and was reintroduced to Bancroft's exceptional work.]

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, [Independent Baptist, Professor, Tennessee Temple Bible School, 1954].

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.[Lewis Sperry Chafer was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential founding member of modern Christian Dispensationalism. Born: February 27, 1871, Rock Creek, Died: August 22, 1952, Seattle, Education: Oberlin College, Wheaton College. For my Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies through LBTS, I was tasked to analyze all six volumes of his Systematic Theology]

Satan, 1909, Free ebooks – Project Gutenberg,2004, http://www.gutenberg.org accessed 06/01/2013

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985.

Gaussen, L. Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science. David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840.

Geisler, Norman L, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11 [Geisler, also a neoevangelical, sharply contrasts with Lewis Sperry Chafer in that Geisler 1) admits what he is, neoevangelical, 2) admits what he is attempting, a compilation of evangelical theologies, 3) shows superb organization and structure of thought, 4) contains depth, and 5) is a masterful communicator. This author cannot endorse all that Geisler believes to be true, but can endorse that he seems to capture all that has been believed by conservative evangelicals.]

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org, public domain. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01hodg], [Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Presbyterian Minister, Princeton Theologian].

Larkin, Clarence. The Spirit World, Published by the Clarence Larkin Estate, 1921, Cosimo, 2005

Miley, John. Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2. The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01mile, [John Miley (1813-1895, Methodist Theologian].

Ryrie, Charles C.. Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.

Schofield, C. I.. Prophecy Made Plain. Photolithoprinted by Grand Rapids Book Manufacturers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.

Shedd, William G. T.. Dogmatic Theology. Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/dogmatictheology01sheduoft], [William G.T. Shedd, 1820-1894, Old School Presbyterian & Reformed Theologian].

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993. [Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, American Baptist Pastor & Theologian].

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949. [Henry Clarence Thiessen, ? -1947, President of Los Angles Baptist Theological Seminary, later renamed John MacArthur's The Master's College].

Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 2006.

Waite, D.A.. Defending the King James Bible. The Bible For Today Press, 2002.

1From www.ChristianBook.com accessed Dec 2013

2In making such a brash definition Chafer unwittingly puts Aristotle Saint Augustine and Saint Aquinas on equal ground with Holy Scriptures and in writing his seven volume work he actually does. Woe!

3Ibid.

4From www.wolvoord.com accessed Dec 2013

5Ibid.

6Ibid.

7Ibid.

8David Txxx’s www.DoctorDaveT.com/Chafer_Systematic_Review.html accessed 12/14/2013

9Total Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perseverance of the Saints

Advanced Systematic Theology TH801 Report

Written By: Pastor Rice - Dec• 20•13

Published at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/th801report.epub or .pdf or .odt

ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY TH801

WRITTEN REPORT

A Written Report Presented to the Faculty

of Louisiana Baptist University

In Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for

Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies

By

Edward Rice

August, 2013

 

 

 

 

TH 801 Notes on the Writing Assignment

The Assignment for Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary’s TH 801 – Advanced Systematic Theology I, was to “Read Lewis S. Chafer’s volume 11 p.21-125 for “Bibliology” and p.129-414 for “Theology Proper” and also read carefully the corresponding sections in the two supplemental textbooks.” I have included comparisons to several ‘supplemental textbooks.’ Systematic Theology, has been a deep seated interest of this author who spent 20 years as a systems engineer in the USAF, ergo systematic analysis and modeling are seen as crucial to understanding the bigger pictures of things, especially ones theology. Of particular interest are the works of Charles Hodge (1797-1878), the oldest systematic theology, albeit Presbyterian, found in my library; the works of Augustus H. Strong (1836-1921), the only Baptist systematic theology found in my library; and the works of Henry C. Thiessen (?-1947), his “Lectures in Systematic Theology” being most recently added to my library, and that because of my LBTS studies towards my masters of theological studies. Although Thiessen was president of the Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary2, my studies of his doctrine caused me to paint him more as a neoevangelical, reformed theologian than as a Baptist. Dr. Robert L. Sumner, Editor of THE BIBLICAL EVANGELIST paper, who knew Dr. Thiessen personally, however, strongly contested such a categorization3. Other textbooks, I compared, with authors to timid to call their works Systematic Theology, include Charles C. Ryrie’s “Basic Theology”, Millard J. Erickson’s “Christian Theology” and a revered and distinctively Independent Baptist’s 1954 work “Bible Doctrines” by Mark G. Cambron, a professor at Tennessee Temple Bible School. Occasional, comparison was made to the intellectual but very Calvinist and Reformed Theology work “Dogmatic Theology” by William G. T. Shedd (1820–1894) It is a vintage work of an Old School Presbyterian who held fast to the Westminster Standards. Unfortunately these Reformed Theology Calvinist Standards have gotten their fingers into every Systematic Theology this author has studied. The jury is still out on Chafer, who wrote his Systematic Theology only fifty some years after Shedd’s , the oldest of these type of works. Notable works not consulted in this research would include both Johnathan Edwards (1703-1758) who was more of a philosophical theologian than a systematic theologian, and John Calvin’s (1509-1564) magnum opus “Institutes of Christian Religion.” Both Edwards, and Calvin’s reformed theology are systematically captured in Charles Hodge’s Presbyterian systematic theology. Additionally this effort includes analysis of Chafer’s preface and chapter 1 on Prolegomena. Although not assigned, these are crucial to an analysis of his systematic theology as a whole.

The assignment included this tasking: “From each chapter of Chafer’s book, … prepare a detailed outline or discussion on each chapter with a full explanation of the terms involved. … chapter outlines (or discussion?) will be graded as if they were to be used for training others.” Chapter outlines are already created in the extensive table of contents that Chafer’s work entailed. Consequently a thorough ‘discussion’ and full critique for each chapter is presented herein. I did not intend that these essays be used to regurgitate all the information of each chapter, rather that they be a constructive criticism of Chafer’s work as well criticizing the whole current field of systematic theology.

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Preface and Chapter 1 Prolegomena (3-16)

Chafer’s Preface

The preface by Chafer is essential reading if one is to comprehending the purpose of yet another voluminous systematic theology. Therein he clarifies how all previous volumes are lacking. He makes this clarification “A lifelong investigation into works on Systematic Theology has resulted in the discovery that in the field of doctrine a least seven major themes are consistently neglected.”4 Chafer points out that few readers would pick up an unabridged work of Hodge or Strong and detect what is left out of such an extensive systematic theology. His list of seven all attach to the fact that all previous systematic theologies are biased with reformed theology. Indeed Covenant Theology, springs from a well dug by John Calvin, seeps from the bitter water of the Roman Catholic Theologian, and then taints every previous Systematic Theology.

Chafer mentions his survey of 20 Systematic Theology works5, giving never so many citations of them, ergo his work will exceed this analysis of few. A survey of previous Systematic Theology efforts begins with Shedd’s 1888 short work which includes in its preface: “The general type of doctrine is the Augustino-Calvinistic. Upon a few points, the elder Calvinism has been followed in preference to the later. This, probably, is the principal difference between this treatise and contemporary ones of the Calvinistic class.6” When William Shedd thus classifies only 500 pages his whole systematic theology, one expects to find little worth from it compared to Charles Hodge’s massive effort. Hodge has an expansive 4 volumes, is a Presbyterian Minister and Princeton Theologian, and published his systematic theology seventeen years earlier, in 1871. Hodge shall be the worthy spokesman for the prominent features of Protestant theology, i.e. Covenant Theology, sometimes called Federal Theology.

Consider that Covenant Theology is exactly opposite to Dispensational Theology which Chafer is going to espouse. It taints Bibliology, because it requires that promises made to Israel be allegorical gobbledygook; it taints election because in Covenant Theology Christians are the new-elect, replacing the Jew; Covenant Theology taints the Church, because the it must be Catholic, not local, because it is to completely replace Israel; the Covenant Theology card is played over and over again getting a bias into every major doctrine of the Bible. Chafer is purposed to lower his head, grit his teeth and charge headlong into this biasing. One has got to expect some theological excitement in his outcome.

Consider the seven omissions that Chafer details.

  1. The divine program of the ages: Chafer will present and defend various dispensations, rightly divided, accurately discerned to reveal a comprehensive divine program. This aspect of Chafer’s work is completely untouched by any previous Systematic Theology work.
  2. The Church, the Body of Christ: When a retired systems engineer picks up another eight volumes of systematic theology expect some profound critiques. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer steps back from all previous theologians and profoundly presents a view he labels “The Church, the Body of Christ.” When one accepts the dispensational truth of Scripture, and then rightly divides the Word of Truth, the Church, being the body of Christ, occupies a central role of this dispensation, but not all dispensations. When the Covenant Theology of John Calvin and Roman Catholicism exalts the Catholic Church to occupy the central theme of all ages and all time, insisting that it swallow and replace Israel, as God’s chosen and elect, insisting that it swallow and replace all the promises made to Israel, to Jerusalem, to Zion, to their regathering, to the literal throne of David, and to their 12 tribes and 144 thousand witnesses, it places an unpardonable strain on not only Biblical prophecy, but on the whole Bible, from Genesis to maps, and especially on the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Now, they say, only a few spiritually enlightened ‘clergy’ can see and interpret this allegorical, hidden and secret meaning of Scripture. That such nonsense, springing from Roman Catholic Church Fathers, Saint Clement of Alexandria, and Saint Origin of Alexandria, made it intact through the Protestant Reformation, and got grounded into John Calvin’s Institutes, is downright diabolical. Chafer steps away from this bias to write a dispensational systematic theology that presents what the Bible actually intimates about the Church, the Body of Christ. It is unfortunate that Baptists, and even Baptist Preachers do not spend significant time studying theology, the greatest of the sciences. Only a little such study would keep Baptists well distanced from the Calvinistic TULIPS and their Reformed Theology that never really got reformed.
  3. Human conduct: Again previous lack of a dispensational theology, and the total swallowing of covenant theology, necessitates that Chafer revisit an area totally overlooked by previous systematic theologies. Everything about human conduct during this dispensation of grace needed to be revisited. And, consequentially, human conduct during other dispensations is brought into clearer focus. Ergo Chafer’s preface contains remarkable insight to previous lack in theology books, and that shows up particularly well in his discussion of the peculiar walk and daily life of the Christian. For such a peculiar walk he observes that there is a list of nine differences:
    1. Motive – walking worthy of the calling wherewith he is called
    2. Standards of living – a new commandment I give unto you
    3. Method in his warfare – becoming spiritual in spite of the flesh
    4. Character and Cure of the Christians sin- its prevention via the Word of God, the indwelling of the Spirit, and the interceding of Christ in heaven, and its effect of loss of fellowship with God, loss of peace with God and loss of power with God.
    5. Relationships – to God the Father, to God the Son, and to God the Holy Spirit, plus a different relationship “to Satan, to the world-system, to himself, to human governments, to the body of Christ, to the unregenerate, to ecclesiastical authorities, husbands to wives, wives to husbands, parents to children, children to parents, masters to servants, servants to masters, the strong to the weak, the weak to the strong.”7
    6. Capacity as a witness – pilgrim, stranger, ambassador, the word of reconciliation.
    7. Suffering and sacrifice – if you do right you might suffer wrong for it, the godly will suffer persecution.
    8. Efficacious faith and prevailing prayer – whatsoever ye ask in my name …
    9. Rewards – more than a mere systems of ethics – He is coming, bringing your reward with him.
  4. Angelology: Chafer calls previous coverage of Angelology very restrictive because it did not consider dispensationalism. One must expect his development will bear that out more than his preface did. Previous developments of Angelology have been very thorough, and it is a systematic sidebar more than a mainstay.
  5. Typology: Intimated as the most neglected department of theological science, Typology will need a complete development by Chafer. When previous Systematic Theologies did not recognize the changes in dispensations, their was little need for typologies to be explored. Chafer presents great promise to remedy that dilemma.
  6. Prophecy: Predictive prophecy is another area in which errant Covenant Theology completely allegorized away using Roman Catholic Saint Origen’s defunct hermeneutics. Chafer’s Systematic Theology is to be the first which is completely independent of both errant practices.
  7. The present session of Christ in heaven: Previous works of Systematic Theology did not differentiate dispensations, and thus the present role of Christ in heaven during this age of grace called the Church age has been left largely unexplored. Again, Chafer’s preface presents great promise to remedy that dilemma.

 

The Preface of Chafer’s book, yeah any book, is there to be read. In it he lays out his grand purpose and direction, distinguishing his Systematic Theology from all previous works. It is an exceptional study. Charles Hodge had no preface. His purpose and tack8 must be gleaned from his first few chapters. Augustus H. Strong lays out a purpose apropos to his day and his conflict with Ritschl and Kantian, whose relativism created a practical denial of Christ’s deity.9 Ergo, Strong powerfully presents “That Christ is the one and only Revealer of God, in nature, in humanity, in history, in science, in Scripture, is in my judgment the key to theology.”10 But Augustus Strong, indeed a Baptist, swallows Reformed Theology almost completely, never clarifying different dispensations, or differentiating the election of Israel from the election of Gentile believers. Both elections are an election to service, neither being an election to salvation. When one reads Strong’s Systematic Theology after grounding himself in his preface, you find Strong’s purpose is thoroughly accomplished, albeit his purpose was not lofty enough to repair the breaches in systematic theology, breaches made via Covenant Theology and well secured in Reformed Theology.

To be fair Charles Ryrie, with an excellent handle on the dispensations, never attempted a Systematic Theology but titled his work “Basic Theology.” His preface, which he calls, ‘Who should read theology”, depicts his purpose: “Theology is for everyone. Indeed, everyone needs to be a theologian. In reality, everyone is a theologian of one sort or another. … Theology simply means thinking about God and expressing those thoughts in some way. ”11 Such a shallow definition assures us that Ryrie will not herein attain a Systematic Theology and his profound understanding and expression of Dispensational Theology will not significantly come to bare on the previous shortfalls of that discipline. The onus for such responsibility rests on Chafer, and his preface takes full charge of the challenge.

Millard J. Erickson’s “Christian Theology” has an extensive preface. Erickson, having taught Systematic Theology for 22 years, holds to what is called classical orthodoxy, and his 3 volumes of Systematic Theology is intended to present an “evangelical perspective” that was missing from previous works. He carefully tip toes through Reformed Theology and Covenant Theology upsetting no apple carts, while there are many apple carts of bad apples that need to be overturned. There is little value added with his ‘everybody-is-right’ and ‘nobody-is-wrong’, avoidance of confrontation. He does not readily contend for the faith in his work.

Chafer, then, has the baton in the race to secure a sound systematic theology which conforms completely to Scripture. In his own words it will take years of review before it could be determine what is omitted; primarily, one must review only what is presented. The purpose of these pages is to accomplish such a thorough review. The finite human attempting the impossible task of capturing an infinite God in a Systematic Theology is indeed the call of man. Solomon says “And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. … I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.” (Ecc 1:13, 3:10)

 

Chafer’s Prolegomena

A Prolegomena is a preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay, introducing a work of considerable size and complexity. In Chafer’s essay, he provides 12 general classifications of theology ending with Systematic Theology. The thoroughly developed definition he provides is: “Systematic Theology may be defined as the collecting, scientifically arranging, comparing, exhibiting, and defending of all facts from any and every source concerning God and His works. It is thetic in that it follows a humanly devised thesis form and presents and verifies truth as truth.12 This definition is a thorough incorporation of all previous attempts, many of which are recited in his introduction. The only lack in Chafer’s definition may be that it misses some charge that systematic theology is the duty and travail of every man. (cf Ecc 1:13, 3:10)

Dr. Chafer develops seven essential requirements for systematic theology which need recognition and comment. The first essential is that “the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures are assumed.”13 Although he does finally state that the theologian is a Biblicist who regards the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice, and the only dependable source of information, and he does clarify that systematic theology must proceed upon the certitude that the Scriptures are the Oracles of God, and he contends that modern, rationalists cast doubts as to verbal inspiration, revelation, and Biblical authority, Dr. Chafer does not here assert that believing in an inspired, infallible, inerrant Bible is the essential. The modern, rationalists who cast their doubts lead with one which states ‘only the original manuscripts were inspired, and they are all lost.’ Dr. Chafer does buy into that doubt and his inability to clearly state that a plenary verbally inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved Bible is an essential requirement for a truthful systematic theology is a fissure from that doubt. His wordy, sidestepping, tip toeing, 300 word paragraph which does not clarify this truth is shameful.

A second essential to a thorough and accurate systematic theology are some laws of methodology. Dr. Chafer delineates a scientism, an exegete of original languages, and an induction to outline good methodology. He seems to level a charge onto the previous reformed and covenant theologians. A charge of misrepresenting the truths of Scripture with a disproportionate emphasis which misrepresents and changes the truth committed to him. He then calls out scientism, which must refer to the therein undefined scientific method, 14 as the entity which repels untruth, part truth, and every form of unfounded prejudice or preconceived notion. Again Chafer emphasizes “the importance of ascertaining and holding the truth in its absolute purity and right proportions” and then assigns this task to a scientific method, a scientific attitude, and extended labor.

When it comes to learning the Biblical languages the old high school teenager question comes to mind: Why do I need to learn this? Lewis Sperry Chafer writes:

As the meaning of the truths of Scripture is best expressed in the original languages, it is essential that the theologian shall be an exegete in these languages and thus informed as fully as possible concerning the precise character of the message of God with which he is to deal. It is irrational for any scientist to disregard or underestimate the essential value of any portion of the material with which his science is concerned. In like manner, the science of Systematic Theology will be incomplete and misleading to the extent that it disregards or misinterprets any portion of the divine revelation. The worthy student of Systematic Theology, were he not qualified for the higher and more inclusive title of theologian, would be entitled to recognition as super-scientist, which he is.15

 

Perhaps there should be some squares under this paragraph; squares which say like, dislike, agree, disagree. Even so, one must agree there is some truth here, and some value in studying the Hebrew language. After studying the King James Bible in English for 50 years, and relying on the unparalleled, if not perfect, translation effort of 57 genius linguists, organized into 6 groups, laboring for 7 years and finishing their labor in 1611,16 however, and after struggling to even grasp the pure use of any Hebrew script, this author cannot see added value in the realm of Biblical exegesis from the original languages. Learning Hebrew will add an awe to the miracle of Scripture’s writing and preservation, and it will add some linguistic tools that help in communicating Biblical truths, but little more. Any and all effective exegesis will be accomplished with a King James English Bible, and that has been reliable truth since 1611 A.D. It is unfortunate, that Chafer has missed that important fact.

Chafer’s laws of methodology essential to systematic theology conclude with an excellent differentiation between deduction and induction. He calls these two methods of dealing with the truth of God’s Word. Deduction is the marvelous ability of the thinking man to draw a conclusion by reason. One who does this well can prepare a sermon well and reach the conclusion of a matter. Its relation to truth depends on whether the conclusion of the matter aligns with God’s conclusion of the matter. But Chafer deduces that induction is taking these various conclusions and reducing them to one harmonious and all-inclusive statement. In actuality, and more concretely, induction is the process of deriving general principles from particular facts or instances, and the conclusion reached by this process.17 This is something a theologian does, the former, deduction, something a preacher does. The statement “A preacher should never preach theology, but a preacher should never preach without theology. “ rings with clarified truth in this analysis.

Consider now that “perfect induction is formed when all the teachings of the Scripture, according to their precise meaning, are made the basis of a doctrinal statement.”18 The finite trying to grasp the infinite in a systematic theology, i.e. a systematic induction, will ideally strive to that perfection. Know that taking all the ‘whosoever will may come’ situations out of consideration will result in an imperfect induction and a doctrine of election and predestination which is flawed. The sincerity or genius of the founders is not herein the flaw. Consider then what is the flaw. Systematically favoring some outcomes over others is called bias. When orthodoxy is carried into our systematic theology there is a bias and there is error. A naked slate, an open infallible Bible, and an inductive methodology are essential to a theologian. Consider the challenge of each. Then, and only then, consider the seven essentials which Chafer lists.

The essentials to developing a right systematic theology are:

    1. The inspiration and authority of the Scriptures are assumed.
    2. The laws of methodology are as essential.
    3. Finite limitations must be recognized.
    4. Spiritual illumination is necessary.
    5. Patient and tireless study is required.
    6. Faith.
    7. Systematic theology must be unabridged.

The induction method, the process of deriving general principles from particular facts or instances, that builds a systematic theology requires an empty slate, an inerrant, infallible source, and careful adherence to this inductive method. Each of Chafer’s listed essentials relates to these three necessities. His lack in this chapter is an inadequate consideration of the empty slate. Development must be an iterative process, and every iteration must consider bias error added by previous orthodoxy. That is profound.

 

Review & Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 2-9 Bibliology (21-124)

Bibliology is the the thorough systematic study of the doctrine of the Holy Bible. Not the doctrines of the Holy Bible; but the doctrine of the Holy Bible. Exactly what does one have in their mind when they hold the sixty six books of the Holy Bible, written by forty authors over a period of 1592 years?19 Chafer claims that such a study “falls naturally into seven divisions, namely”:20

  1. Revelation, chapter 11, detailed in 13 pages, 48-60
  2. Inspiration, chapter 12, detailed in 28 pages, 61-88
  3. Canonicity, chapter 13, detailed in 16 pages, 89-104
  4. Illumination, chapter 14, detailed in 9 pages, 105-113
  5. Interpretation, chapter 15, detailed in 5 ½ pages, 114-119
  6. Animation, chapter 16, detailed in 3 ¼ pages, 120-123
  7. Preservation, chapter 17, detailed in 1 ¼ pages, 124-125

Consider 1) that these are not natural divisions by any means, 2) that there is a total dismissal (and omission) of the preservation of the plenary verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, and 3) the “proof or disproof that the Bible is God’s inerrant message to man”21 is dismissed from systematic theology, dismissed from Bibliology, and placed into the hands of the Biblical Critic.

Chafer’s Bibliology’s Natural Divisions Are Not Natural

That Chafer has improperly organized his outline for Bibliology is obvious because Illumination and Preservation should be subcategories of Inspiration, and Interpretation and Animation have no part in Bibliology at all. The science of interpretation, called hermeneutics, has more to do with how we use Scripture than it does Bibliology, which is how we got, and what we have as Scripture. Such a doctrine is important, of coarse, but would find better organization in theology’s consideration of how we properly build a systematic theology.

Charles Hodge, a most organized and systematic of theologians, does not even include a section called Bibliology. But he expertly words one in “The Protestant Rule of Faith”22 Therein he organizes his Bibliology as follows:

    1. The statement of the doctrine and Canon, 2pgs, 151-152.
    2. The Scriptures given by Inspiration of God, 20pgs, 153-171.
    3. Adverse Theories (Rationalistic, Gracious Inspiration, Partial Inspiration) 10pgs 172-181.
    4. Completeness of Scripture 6pgs 182-187.
    5. Perspicuity of Scripture (clearly expressed and presented) 1pg 188.
    6. Rules of Interpretation 1pg 199.

Another Presbyterian/Reformed Theologian, William Shedd organized his Systematic Theology with a section on Bibliology which was structured with:

  1. Revelation and Inspiration; 51 pages.
  2. Authenticity of Scripture; 5 pages.
  3. Credibility of Scripture; 27 pages and
  4. Canonicity of Scripture; 1 page.

Even John Miley, a nineteenth century Methodist Theologian, organized a thorough Bibliology in his Systematic Theology. His structure included:

  1. Threefold operation of the Spirit, 2 pages.
  2. Erroneous Theories of Inspiration, 4 pages.
  3. The Dynamical Theory, 1 page.
  4. Inspiration and the Scriptures, 2 pages.

These hundred year old systematic theologies present a concise, clear, direct and authoritative presentation of Bibliology which centers solely on a solid Biblical explanation of Inspiration. Chafer has none of that.

Reasonable consideration is due to Dr. Chafer. His preface made it clear that his driving purpose was to set the record straight concerning dispensational theology. However, when the authority and inspiration of Scripture is under direct attack, when modernist contend that there is no inspired Bible in existence, all was lost with the demise of those original manuscripts. Dr. Chafer presents a wholly unorganized Bibliology, an indefinite, excessively wordy, pointless verbiage, and then He sings all four verses of the modernists theme song.. This lack of Bibliology effort by Chafer was such a frustration that a cleaned up and concise chapter needs to be worded in his stead. Appendix one of this effort shall constitute a draft of that Bibliology need.

Detailing the shortfalls of this crucial section called Bibliology must begin with Dr. Chafer’s unclear introduction and side stepped responsibility. He begins with a staunch and accurate declaration that “Systematic Theology must proceed on the bases of belief that the Bible is, in all its parts, God’s own Word to man.”23 And again, “the theologian must be a ‘Biblicist’ – one who is not only a Biblical scholar but also a believer in the divine character of each and every portion of the text of the Bible.”24 And again, “the theologian is appointed to systematize the truth contained in the Bible and to view it as the divinely inspired Word which God has addressed to man.”25

Chafer’s Bibliology Is Fractured Badly

Despite the apparent directness of each of Dr. Chafer’s charges here there is a fracture in each context which exposes his error. “The Bible is, in all its parts God’s own Word to man.” The description “the plenary verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God” became the most complete, most thorough capture of the doctrine of Bibliology, and this description would be perfectly fitting in Dr. Chafer’s concluding sentence; Dr. Chafer avoids its use entirely in this chapter. Why? This omission is symptomatic of a systematic failure in his Bibliology. In his preface Dr. Chafer establishes the challenge and value of detecting and exposing grand omissions from flawed systematic theologies. His detection of the completely omitted dispensational periods was his theme in that preface but in his Bibliology chapter he has completely omitted the defense of the plenary, (i.e. completely all) verbal, (i.e. every word) inspired, (i.e. God breathed) inerrant, (i.e. incapable of holding to error) infallible, (i.e. Incapable of ever failing) Word of God. (Scripture made up of words and these words are, every one, part and parcel, the words belonging to, and coming from, Jehovah God.) Let alone that Dr. Chafer never defined or defended this description, he never even addressed it: His omission is a slander to those who so gallantly defended it in years gone by, and a condoning of the modernist’s allegation that “nobody today has an inspired Bible,” and the world’s allegation that “there are three hundred versions and nobody knows what the Bible says.”

Secondly Dr. Chafer declares that “the theologian must be a Biblicist,”26 but then in the same breath, he completely dismisses the theologian’s responsibility to be that. Examine if you will, this very wordy, subtle and round about dismissing sentence pair:

Primarily, the theologian is appointed to systematize the truth contained in the Bible and to view it as the divinely inspired Word which God has addressed to man. Therefore, such investigations as men may conduct in the field of proof or disproof that the Bible is God’s inerrant message to man are, for the most part, extra theological and to be classified as pertaining to Biblical criticism rather than Systematic Theology.27

 

There is an old double negative adage that comes to mind here: “Don’t waist your time not diagramming this sentence.” It is appropriate here because it takes analytical effort to comprehend what is said by Dr. Chafer. (This problem with Chafer’s writing style will be the subject in a later paragraph.)

Chafer here states that the theologian does not need to do Bibliology because he can trust the Biblical Critic to do it for him. All post modern Christendom is jeopardized when the president of Dallas Theological Seminary surrenders all Bibliology over to to the ecumenical modernist Bible critics in this fashion. It is appalling to read this declaration even when it is so verbose and carefully categorized with a guarded pen. First off, the theologian can not surrender their Bibliology to anybody and retain the position of theologian, especially when he is embarked on a calling to be systematic. But then to surrender to the Bible critic who vocally contends that there is no inspired Bible in existence, and if there ever was it went extinct the day its ink dried. Such surrender is worse than oversight, it is preposterous.

The modernist scholars vehemently deny this analogy but a Bible critic is first a critic. A movie critic picks apart a movie to find every flaw and shortcoming. A literary critic picks apart a prose to find every inadequate expression and faulty clause. A Bible critic, whether practicing higher criticism or lower criticism does not start out with a Bible founded belief in the plenary verbal inspiration of inerrant infallible Scripture. The job description of a critic is to find and expose the flaws and short comings. To trust the infallible Scriptures to such a job description is incorrigible. One cannot hold to plenary verbal inspiration while blessing the critic who is casting aside all the verbs that Catholic Saint Origin dropped out of his Alexandrian manuscripts28. It seems that Origen carelessly omitted sections from his Bible, but Alexandria was man sanctioned as the international wisdom center of the world, and the corruptions may not be just careless. It is obvious that they sanctioned Origen’s corrupted text and that corrupted text is passed on in the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, the manuscripts inordinately preferred by W&H and all modernist textual critics.

The responsibility of Bibliology, the thorough study of how we got our Bible, and of what we are ever holding as our final authority, is squarely centered on the shoulders of the theologian who is compiling a systematic theology. Dr. Chafer did not do an adequate exploration of this very crucial doctrine.

In his third declaration Chafer says the theologian is “to view (the truth of the Bible) as the divinely inspired word which God has addressed to man.” Again, this sounds solid enough at first, but it fractures horribly as his explanation progresses. What is omitted here is, again, the doctrine of the plenary, (each and every ) verbal, (down to the individual word) inspiration (God breathes) of Scripture (all sixty-six books penned by forty authors over 1,592 years) Here Chafer only admits to the truths being inspired. Chafer lists four objections to verbal plenary inspiration, and, unfortunately, he leaves the last one unrefuted. Chafer’s listed objection to the doctrine of inspiration is stated: “The claim for verbal, plenary inspiration is made only for the original writings and does not extend to any transcriptions or translations,”29 That false objection continues: “It is also true that no original manuscript is now available.” Chafer admits these two statements as indisputable facts. Shame on him.

And then Chafer quotes Westcott and Hort, the textual critics who set aside all other manuscripts in favor of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus manuscripts from Alexandria, Egypt, and Dr. Phillip Schaff, the chairman of the American Committee of the Revisers, but who state that their deletions won’t really effect any major doctrines. Their omissions and or changing of 100,000 or 150,000 words, by Dr. Schaff’s own count, does indeed effect a Biblical Doctrine, it effects the Biblical Doctrine of plenary verbal inspiration. They are changing those 100,000 words based on what Roman Catholic Saint Origen of Alexandria Egypt, Father of Textual Criticism, and Father of the Roman Catholic Allegorical Method, placed in his library copy. None of these modernist ecumenical infidels even stop to consider that maybe the Alexandrian family of texts were all (i.e. both) corrupt! Only a little investigation by one believing in plenary verbal inspiration of inerrant, infallible, Scripture, demonstrates that these two outliers, which contradict thousands of Byzantine texts, are indeed the corrupted ones. Chafer backs away from this obvious solution and bows to majority opinions. Again, Shame on Dr. Chafer.

A second shortfall of Chafer’s Bibliology section is his lack of systematic organization and structure of the section. Acknowledging Bibliology even before covering Theism, i.e. God’s Existence, which is the more traditional first coverage of a Systematic Theology, is a strength, not a shortfall of Chafer, but his organization within this section itself is not adequate.

In his introduction to Bibliology there is an extensive introduction to the works of God, i.e. the seven dispensations of God and the twelve covenants of God; an introduction to the trinity; an introduction to types and anti-types; and an introduction to the structure of the Bible; but there is no introduction to Bibliology. Bibliology is not a study of all that the Bible says, it is a study of the Bible itself, i.e. the Scriptures, what they are, and how we got them. Chafer’s Bibliology does have a wealth of information in it: all of it has a place in a systematic theology, but none of it, per se, belongs in a Bibliology introduction. A good introduction to Bibliology must include a definition of the study, a justification of the study, a preview of the doctrine, and a preview of the opposition to the doctrine In other words an introduction needs to contain all that is to be in the body of the section . Chafer’s introduction has none of that.

With no introduction to provide his direction or purpose in this section it can still be stated that thirteen pages of ramblings about revelation is not a proper start for Bibliology. Very little of this information has place in a Bibliology section. Some of it might find a place in Prolegomena, intimating how information for systematic theology was initiated, but in the Bibliology section the infallible Scripture as the sole source for our Systematic Theology is the theme; ergo, revelation may be discussed in its role of providing Scripture, without expending significant effort on revelation as an entity in itself.

Further structural and organization problems with Chafer’s Bibliology section are seen in his chapter divisions. Inspiration should be central with his chapters titled “Revelation”, and “Illumination” as only subtitles. His “Preservation” is gutless and hollow. It should be greatly expanded to debunk the autograph tom-foolery, and his “Cannonicity and Authority” chapter should be bolstered with Biblical truths. Finally, his “Interpretation” and his “Animation” chapters have no place in a Bibliology section. It is likely that Dr. Chafer was trying for seven significant chapters to represent a completeness of the coverage, seven being God’s number of completeness. Chafer often tries this tack. It was a folly here. This whole section needs to be thought out again, and given a suitable organization and coverage.

Lastly, in the critique of Dr. Chafer’s Bibliology section, something must be said about his elaborated use of the English language. A politician often fails as a statesman because he applies the art of rambling on and answering not. A theologian is not systematic unless he can summarize concisely the symptoms, overview, source and use of mis-truth and/or half truth. “Listen” to his three concluding sentences on Bibliology – Scriptures Preservation:

The Scriptures are the legal instrument by which God obligates Himself to execute every detail of His eternal covenants and to fulfill every prediction His prophets have made. The legal instrument which secures this vast consummation must continue, and shall continue, until the last promise, for which it stands as surety, has been realized. Not one jot or tittle of the divine disposition can pass until all is fulfilled.30

 

Does it not bother anyone else that some editor, perhaps secretary or typist, allowed these seventy words to be strung together and typed when, after analysis, they say nothing at all? Especially nothing about the preservation of God’s verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, words!

Granted, Dr. Chafer wanted this chapter on preservation to pass without providing any doctrinal clarification, and this verbose wording does the job. He has already surrendered authority to Westcott and Hort and their follow on teams of Bible critics, who took 1John 5:7 out of the Words of God. Not to mention taking their penknife out to cut out and throw away Mathew 17:21, 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44, and 46; 11:26; 15:28. So too Luke 17:36; 23:17 and John 5:4. They trashed Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Rom 16:24; as well. Bible Critics Westcott and Hort, followed by all ecumenical modernist translators actually did that! They also ripped out most of Matt 5:44 and Luke 9:56 and in Col 1:14 cut out the phrase “Through His Blood!” Chafer would find it pretty challenging to write an exposition on preservation or on Psalm 119:89 “LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven,” or to detail what Christ meant about jot and tittle preservation when you let the textual critics, who do not believe in an inerrant, infallible, inspired Bible, toss aside 349 words from these twenty verses alone!

In this chapter Dr. Chafer has taken an ability to say nothing concrete in his very long sentences, to a whole new level. It is good English, but bad writing and faulty Systematic Theology.

L. Gaussen worded the seriousness of this subject thus:

I do not think that, after we have come to know that Christianity is divine, there can be presented to our mind any question bearing more essentially on the vitality of our faith that this: ‘Does the Bible come from God? is it altogether from God? or may it not be true, as some have maintained, that there occurs in it maxims purely human, statements not exactly true, exhibitions of Vulgar ignorance and ill-sustained reasoning? in a word, books, or portions of books, foreign to the interest of the faith, subject to the natural weakness of the writers judgment, and alloyed with error?’ Here we have a question that admits on no compromise, a fundamental question, a question of life! It is the first that confronts you on opening the Scriptures, and with it your religion ought to commence.31

 

Still, Dr. Chafer and Dr. Thiessen contend that Westcott and Hort were perfectly justified in removing these 349 words from our Bible, and indeed many many more in their total criticism. They contend that ripping these verses out of the Bible, i.e. all of Mathew 17:21, 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44, and 46; 11:26; 15:28, Luke 17:36; 23:17, John 5:4, Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7, 28:29, Rom 16:24, will not modify or detract from our faith at all. This grotesque compromise of faith and fidelity has rendered Dr. Chafer incapable of defining a doctrine of inspiration, canonization, and preservation. and has indeed rendered his whole section entitled “Bibliology” feckless.

 

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 10-13 Theology Proper (129-180)

A common failure of our documented systematic theologies is their propensity to systematically explore orthodox and/or traditional doctrines which have no scriptural bases whatsoever. Naturalistic Theism encompasses exactly such a feckless exercise.

For one whole chapter of twenty five pages Dr. Chafer waxes very philosophical and very, very verbose in trying to decipher what mankind could know about the existence of God, without the presence of God’s revelation to man. This theologian’s immediate response; “Who cares?” Our more pressing reaction should be “What does God’s written Word tell us of man’s intrinsic knowledge about God, and man’s standing before Him?” A discussion of ontological arguments logically assembled by philosophers of yesteryear has no place whatsoever in a systematic theology. Arguing for or against the existence of reality, categorizing universal characteristics of existence and explaining “I think therefore I am,” is a sophomoric exercise for a philosophy student, or cultist’s ground for Mary Baker Glover Eddy’s Christian-Science reading room, but not the sacred ground for the theologian with a Holy Bible in his lap.

Likewise twenty two wordy paragraphs defining a teleological aposterior argument which proves the existence of God is nothing more than philosophical fodder with no founded place in a systematic theology. Supposing a power which produces intelligence and rational thought might somehow lack intelligence and rational thought is such a profound tom-foolery that it should not even be named theological, let alone find seven whole pages in a systematic theology book. In his own conclusion Dr. Chafer admits that such “abstract speculations” are completely unnecessary.32

Dr. Chafer does include two necessary arguments about man’s intrinsic knowledge of God; the cosmological argument and the anthropological argument. But even in these his development is wholly philosophical and completely lacking for the theologian, even categorically incompetent for a systematic theologian. A competent cosmological argument and a competent anthropological argument must start where the Word of God starts, and not where the vain logical philosophies of mere men starts. The theologian must, as heretofore stated by all parties, begin with an infallible, inerrant source and unravel what has been revealed about Naturalistic Theism. Such a volume must first cast off all of Hodge, Strong, Thiessen and Chafer’s Ontological-Teleological arguments as vain philosophy. There are two and only two pertinent books that fill their pages with philosophy; Job and Ecclesiastes. Neither of them contain ontological or teleological considerations. Why? Both of these philosophy dissertations begin and revolve around what Scripture reveals as man’s intrinsic knowledge about God. Ergo a systematic theology presenting Naturalistic Theism must begin with nothing more and should venture through none of the rationalistic mud of unregenerate philosophers. Chafer’s whole chapter needs to be reorganized and rewritten. Just such a venture is begun in the appendix of this report.

 

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 14 The Attributes of God (187-224)

Chapter 14 of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology disqualifies him as a candidate for writing a theology book, and it thoroughly and completely disqualifies him for writing a systematic theology. In this chapter, titled “The Attributes of God”, a crescendo of improper, unsystematic organization crosses a line of incompetence where his scattered ramblings cannot be rationally comprehended. In this chapter needing concise conclusions about our God and Father, passive communication methods cross a threshold in ones ability to comprehend his subject, his verb and the possible existence of indirect objects. In this Chapter where the heart of theology resides one cannot find sound Biblical Doctrine, Biblical research methods or Biblical hermeneutics. These observations make Chafer’s six volume set uncomfortable in an independent Baptist theologians library.

There three glaring failures in Chafer’s systematic theology; his failure to organize a presentation of doctrine, his failure to communicate anything in an active voice and a concise English sentence, and his failure to comprehend and capture a purely Biblical theology, necessitate the review of more competent systematic works, and makes obvious the dire need of a purely Biblical systematic theology work captured in something less than six volumes.

Three more competent systematic works capture a profound insight to the attributes of God and surely capture a more thoroughly organized systematic theology. Dr. Chafer’s lack genders a new respect of Augustus H. Strong. A strong attraction is in his Baptist heritage; Baptist historically being people of the Book, i.e. people with the Holy Bible as a final authority and the being a sole authority of all faith and practice, ergo, people who defy creeds, traditions, and human founders, to rest solely on this one authority. Augustus Strong exhibits genius in organizing and communicating Bible doctrine and systematic theology. His organization captures the attributes of God as the first chapter of Part IV of his first volume. That part entitled “The nature, decrees, and works of God.”33

Chafer’s whole section titled Bibliology, needed to be re-written to incorporate a Biblical view of inspiration; his whole chapter of “Naturalistic Theism,” needed to be re-written to capture any Biblical view at all; and now, his chapter on the attributes, personality and works of God is found to be in such unorganized, excessively passive and verbose conglomeration that it too needs to be re-written. Such a re-write, following Augustus Strong’s superb example is begun in Appendix 3 of this report.

Henry Clarence Thiessen is the other Baptist author of a Systematic Theology. His organization and writing is far superior to Chafer’s. His one volume called “Introductory Lectures In Systematic Theology” incorporates a very concise and careful wording of doctrine, where Chafer exhibits six volumes of verbose imprecise wording of the same. Both seem to equally capture evangelical error, with an un-Biblical doctrine of inspiration, naturalistic theology, and of the decrees of God, but Thiessen is greatly preferred to the excessively passive and verbose mannerisms of Dr. Chafer.

Dr. Thiessen divided his Theism from his Theology, as did Strong, and he organized the latter as: 1) The Nature of God- Essence and Attributes, 2) The Nature of God- The Unity and Trinity, 3) The Decrees of God, 4) The Works of God in Sovereignty. Such a work mimics the organization structure and content of Strong and makes a worthy outline for a re-write of Chafer’s vain attempt.

Charles Hodge,(1797-1878) in a perfectly thorough systematic theology, by a perfectly thorough, albeit Presbyterian, theologian, organized his Theology Proper as: 1) Origin of the idea of God, 2) Theism, 3) Anti-Theistic theories, 4) knowledge of God, 5) The Nature of God and His Attributes, 6) the Trinity, 7) The Divinity of Christ, 8) The Holy Spirit, 9) The Decrees of God, 10) Creation, 11) Providence, and 12) Miracles. For the area of Theology Proper it would be hard to improve on Hodges Systematic approach. Strong seems to be the first to separate Theism from Theology and that separation is artificial and unnecessary. Where each theologian should have expounded the Bibles Dispensationology, under the works of God, alas none have. A special disappointment is hailed for Chafer, who started with a burning desire to word dispensationalism but had no depth to include it under the works of God. Instead all these theologians spent exorbitant time defending the Westminster confession and its fatalistic heresy; that decrees everything that happens and knew who you’d marry before the foundation of the earth!34 that God knows every soul that shall be saved and decreed it before the foundation of the earth!35 and that God knows every soul headed to hell and predestined them to go there before the foundation of the earth!36

Hodge, the Presbyterian, worshiper of John Calvin, made his Systematic Theology systematically Westminster, and loyal to Roman diabolical philosophies. Strong, bolstered the deity of Christ in his, but retained the Westminster confession without correction, and would not depart from vain philosophy. Thiessen departed from inspiration of Scripture, but not from the Westminster Confession or philosophical viewpoints. And Chafer added unmitigated wordiness to Thiessen, bolstered the denial of plenary verbal inspiration, infallibility and inerrancy, while bowing the more loyally to the Westminster as he spinelessly regurgitated the philosophical perspectives; perspectives incorporated by Roman Catholics and carried on by Protestants who did nor protest enough. It is high time that someone with a systems background and a solid grasp on an infallible inerrant sole authority, defy the Westminster Confession of 1646, defy the philosopher and define a Biblical Systematic Theology. Alas Chafer is not that man.

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 15 Divine Decrees (pg. 225-259)

A supposition about Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s competence in writing a Systematic Theology is worded previously but a comment on his thirty five pages defending the Westminster Confession’s divine decrees is in order here. He starts by asserting that anyone who would disagree with the Westminster’s interpretation is “dishonoring and misleading.”37 He contends that since both the Westminster Confession of 1646 and the Bible assert the decree, the purpose, the determinate counsel, the foreknowledge, the fore ordination, and the election by which God is said to act, therefore the Westminster Confession of 1646 is the truth. Incidentally, it reports as truth that God decrees everything that happens and knew who you’d marry before the foundation of the earth!38 that God knows every soul that shall be saved and decreed it before the foundation of the earth!39 and that God knows every soul headed to hell and predestined them to go there before the foundation of the earth!40

Dr. Chafer then rambles on and on for thirty three pages before he allows a Rev. Alex Brown to write his misguided conclusion.41 Dr. Chafer is provided a perfect convenience for writing out his dispensational theology in a section about the works of God, instead of writing about the actual works of God he expands and justifies the Roman Catholic myth, worded by John Calvin, codified in the Westminster Confession of 1646, perpetuated by Presbyterians, certified by Reformed Theologians, and presently creeping in to non-Protestant (i.e. Baptists) theology, the myth of divine decrees. Someone needs to accentuate the old relevant story and declare in no uncertain terms, “The Emperor has NO clothes.”42

I hold in my hands a Bible that declares, Prayer changes things, and they hold in their systematic theologies that, All is foreknown, nothing can change. One is wrong. I hold in my hands a Bible that says, “It repented God that He had made man”, that God repented of what he was going to do to Nineveh, and that God and I can change the eternal destiny of my neighbor, and they write a systematic theology that says “nay, nay.” I hold in my lap a book that says Sarah gave Hagar to Abram and mucked up a situation with obtuse consequences; they say God planned it that way from the foundation of the world. I hold a book that says Abraham intervened for Lot and caused his salvation, they say God would have done it that way anyhow. My Bile says Moses intervened to prevent God from destroying the Sons of Israel, they say God was just pulling Moses’ leg with false threats. My Bible says Joash only had three victories because he only struck his arrows three times, their decrees say God didn’t rearrange his plan he just deceived old Elisha and Joash. My book says God changed his minded, God changed his Word, and God changed his message just to give Hezekiah thirteen more years of life; they say he was just messing with Elisha and Hezekiah’s head. It is high time somebody stood up to these dishonoring deceivers and plainly declared that the Westminster Confession is WRONG! One is responsible for their own actions, decisions, and rejections, and God does pay attention to the whosoevers of the Bible. Again, Dr. Chafer proved not to be that man.

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 16 The Names of Deity (260-271)

Chafer worded an excellent chapter on The Names of Deity. There is a distinct break from his very wordy, excessively philosophical style previously displayed. He emphasized in this chapter that the Scriptures were his main source. This had not been mentioned or practiced previous. It made all the difference in the world. The concise wording seems to be accomplished by citing other works heavily, but it was a joy to read a concise well worded chapter. Evidently he wrote his own conclusion, that is the only portion that reminded me of his disturbing style.

 

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 17-19 Trinitarianism (272-317)

Chafer’s Trinitarianism was reviewed. It was disturbing that Chafer worded this thirty nine word sentence, “The fact that men of equal sincerity disagree relative to the possibility of reason serving in the field of this doctrine is evidence that unaided human minds fail in their attempts to search the deep things of God,” which highlights his insufficiency to word a concise definitive section on the trinitarian doctrine. Again Strong is far more capable as a theologian in this area. Chafer outlines his section as follows:

Chapter 17 Introduction to Trinitarianism

Chapter 18 Proof of the Trinitarian Doctrine

Chapter 19 God the Father

Chapter 20-26 God the Son

    1. His Preexistence
    2. His Names
    3. His Deity
    4. His Incarnation
    5. His Humanity
    6. The Kenosis
    7. The Hypostatic Union

Chapter 27 God the Holy Spirit

While Strong has this detailed and clarified presentation of the doctrine:

Chapter II. Doctrine op the Trinity, 304-352

I. In Scripture there are Three who are recognized as God, 305-322

1. Proofs from the New Testament, 305-317

A. The Father is recognized as God, 305

B. Jesus Christ is recognized as God, 305-315

C. The Holy Spirit is recognized as God, 315-317

2. Intimations of the Old Testament, 317-322

A. Passages which seem to teach Plurality of some sort in the Godhead, 317-819

B. Passages relating to the Angel of Jehovah, . . . 319-320

C. Descriptions of the Divine Wisdom and Word, 320-321

D. Descriptions of the Messiah, 321-322

II. These Three are so described in Scripture, that we are compelled to conceive them as distinct Persons, 322-326

1. The Father and the Son are Persons distinct from each other, 322

2. The Father and the Son are Persons distinct from the Spirit, 322-323

3. The Holy Spirit is a Person, 323 326

III. This Tri-personality of the Divine Nature is not merely economic and temporal, but is immanent and eternal, 326-330

1. Scripture Proof that these distinctions of Pesonality are eternal, 326

2. Errors refuted by the Scripture Passages, . . . 327-330

A. The Sabellian, 827-328

B. The Arian, 328-330

VI While there are three Persons, there is but one Essence, 330-334

V. These three Persons are Equal, 334-343

1. These Titles belong to the Persons, 834-336

2. Qualified Sense of these Titles, 335-340

3. Generation and Procession consistent with Equality, 340-343

VI. The Doctrine of the Trinity inscrutable, yet not self contradictory, but the Key to all other Doctrines, 344-352

1. The Mode of this Triune Existence is inscrutable, 344-345

2. The Doctrine of the Trinity is not self-contradictory, 345-347

3. The Doctrine of the Trinity has important relations to other Doctrines, 347-352

 

Dr. Chafer’s extremely wordy, improperly organized section on the trinity is dwarfed by existing systematic theology works.

 

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 20-26 God The Son (318-395)

Dr. Chafer’s extremely wordy, improperly organized section on the Christology is dwarfed by existing systematic theology works.

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Chapter 27 God the Holy Spirit (397-413)

Dr. Chafer’s extremely wordy, improperly organized section on the The Holy Spirit is dwarfed by existing systematic theology works.

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Volume 1 Conclusion

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1 A Proper Bibliology (First Draft)

The word Bibliology is derived from two Greek words, Biblios and logos. The former, of coarse, is a book, a scroll, and/or a written document and the latter a word, a discourse, a doctrine, a teaching, a matter under discussion, a thing spoken of or talked about, also the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, or reasoning about Others have limited this suffix by equating it to the English word science, which is “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”43 There really is no English equivalent that can capture the depth of ology in Bibliology. This, of course, is true for theology, soteriology and all the other ologies. that are encountered in a Systematic Theology. Ergo, a Bibliology shall be thorough.

Such a thorough study is pertinent. Plenary, verbal inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture has been under continual and diabolical attack since God first uttered Word to man. Good men, with powerful pens have well defined the doctrine of inspiration and preservation, and have staunchly rebuked the diabolical attacks that have reared up in their day. The definitions and defenses which they put forth are to be recited here. In our present day, however, there has been a new and overwhelming falling away from the doctrine of inspiration and preservation. The compromise has engulfed all of Dallas Theological Seminary, and impacted all of Evangelical Christendom. The compromise has been swallowed up by Los Angeles Baptist Bible Seminary, (now become Masters College) and has invaded every Baptist Church. The compromise is this: “Only the Original Manuscripts, called Autographs, were inspired, inerrant, and infallible,” they say. “The autographs are long gone and there is no inspired, inerrant, infallible copy of the Bible in existence,” they say. Good Christians have been persuaded by artful, but gainsaying salesman to set aside the Words of God and pick up a bible cut and assembled, crafted and copyright by international ecumenical modernists who never did believe in the doctrine of inspiration and preservation.

A new chapter of Bibliology needs to be penned. The Bible colleges and seminaries of our day are swallowed in this compromise and will not write it. A significant portion of this work is used to expose the diabolical compromise which in these last of the last days is engulfing Christendom and leading honest God fearing Christians down the dangerous path of compromise.

INSPIRATION

The inspiration of Scripture is the very heart of Bibliology, but in the larger sense it is the kingpin of all theology, yeah all Christianity. In the 1800′s L. Gaussen, Professor of Systematic Theology, Geneva Switzerland, worded this truth thus:

I do not think that, after we have come to know that Christianity is divine, there can be presented to our mind any question bearing more essentiality on the vitality of our faith that this: ‘Does the Bible come from God? is it altogether from God? or may it not be true, as some have maintained, that there occurs in it maxims purely human, statements not exactly true, exhibitions of Vulgar ignorance and ill-sustained reasoning? in a word, books, or portions of books, foreign to the interest of the faith, subject to the natural weakness of the writers judgment, and alloyed with error?’ Here we have a question that admits on no compromise, a fundamental question, a question of life! It is the first that confronts you on opening the Scriptures, and with it your religion ought to commence.44

With an uncompromised answer to these questions our whole theology ought to commence.

Inspiration Defined

pasa grafh’ qeo’pneustos

It is worth exploring the original Bible languages to full comprehend why the seventy seven highly skilled linguists employed and paid by King James from 1603 through 1611 translated this Greek phrase “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The English word inspiration carefully avoided by each ecumenical modernist bible translator, incorporates in its definition breath of life, influence and stimulation of mind, feeling emotion to produce an activity, as well as incorporating the word spirit. Indeed the English word inspiration is formed and framed around the concept contained in the Greek theopneustia. There is no better English capture of this concept. God created and breathed out the very wording of every sentence of what is written down as Scripture.

Although there is only one use of the Greek word for inspiration found in the Bible, the teams of translators funded by King James found another exact match in the Hebrew of the Old Testament Scripture. It is insightful to this argument. The Scripture is Job 32:8 , “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration(Strong# 05397, Hebrew hmvn nesh-aw-maw) of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” In context this is the opening argument of the younger Elihu, clarifying that despite his junior status, he has some pertinent insights from God about the status of Job. He goes on to expound this unrefuted understanding for 165 verses in six chapters of the book of Job. The Hebrew word nesh-aw-maw, translated breath, 17 times, blast, thrice, and spirit, twice, is here translated inspiration. The English word, the Hebrew linguistic and present context, incorporates both breath and spirit: the breath of God and the spirit of man. This remarkable insight, of the KJVV translators and first use of the English word inspiration is completely eliminated by all ecumenical modernist English bibles, despite the fact that the word inspiration was invented for this very purpose. One mus ask, “Why? the very word designed to fit into 2Timothy 3:16, was rejected by the English translators of the RSV, NIV, ASV, NASV, NEV, RNEV et.al.? Such investigation will reveal that these translators were more concerned about securing lucrative copyrights than they were about clarity and exactness of their ecumenical translation.

Thus far we have entertained the linguistics of the word inspiration, and its avoidance by copyright conscious translators, but have not given it a thorough definition. Inspiration is a miracle and its definition must entail explanation of what and how the miracle unfolds. Such a definition is beyond the scope of the knowledge of the finite and no one better captures this conundrum than does Gaussen.

This miraculous operation of the Holy Ghost had not the sacred writers themselves for its object – for these were only his instruments, and were soon to pass away; but that its objects were the holy books themselves, which were destined to reveal from age to age, to the Church, the counsels of God, and which were never to pass away.

The power then put forth on those men of God, and of which they themselves were sensible only in very different degrees, has not been precisely defined to us. Nothing authorizes us to explain it. Scripture has never presented either its manner or its measure as an object of study. What it offers to our faith is solely the inspiration of what they say – the divinity of the book they have written. In this respect it recognizes no difference among them. What they say, they tell us, is theopneustic: their book is from God. Whether they recite the mysteries of a past more ancient than the creation, or those of a future more remote than the coming again of the Son of man, or the eternal counsels of the Most High, or the secrets of man’s heart, or the deep things of God – whether they describe their own emotions, or relate what they remember, or repeat contemporary narratives, or copy over genealogies, or make extracts from uninspired documents – their writing is inspired, their narratives are directed from above; it is always God who speaks, who relates, who ordains or reveals by their mouth, and who, in order to this, employs their personality in different measures: for “the Spirit of God has been upon them,” it is written, “and his word has been upon their tongue.” And though it be always the word of man, since they are always men who utter it, it is always, too, the word of God, seeing that it is God who superintends, employs, and guides them. They give their narratives, their doctrines, or their commandments, “not with the words of man’s wisdom, but with the words taught by the Holy Ghost;” and thus it is that God himself has not only put his seal to all these facts, and constituted himself the author of all these commands, and the revealer of all these truths, but that, further, he has caused them to be given to his Church in the order, and in the measure, and in the terms which he has deemed most suitable to his heavenly purpose.

Were we asked, then, how this work of divine inspiration has been accomplished in the men of God, we should reply, that we do not know; that it does not behove us to know; and that it is in the same ignorance, and with a faith quite of the same kind, that we receive the doctrine of the new birth and sanctification of a soul by the Holy Ghost. We believe that the Spirit enlightens that soul, cleanses it, raises it, comforts it, softens it. We perceive all these effects; we admire and we adore the cause; but we have found it our duty to be content never to know the means by which this is done. Be it the same, then, with regard to divine inspiration.45

There is little more to be said about what inspiration is, and if more is desired, Gaussen has an additional and thorough 360, 150 year old, public domain pages on the doctrine of inspiration alone. This amount of definition is fully adequate for the completion of a systematic theology which hangs on the verbal plenary, inerrant, infallible, inspired word of God for its sole authority.

To fully satisfy the need, however, allow Gaussen to express some additional and insightful thoughts on what the inspired authors experienced:

And were we, further, called to say at least what the men of God experienced in their bodily organs, in their will, or in their understandings, while engaged in tracing the pages of the sacred book, we should reply, that the powers of inspiration, were not felt by all to the same degree, and that their experiences were not at all uniform; but we might add, that the knowledge of such a fact bears very little on the interests of our faith, seeing that, as respects that faith, we have to do with the book, and not with the man. It is the book that is inspired, and altogether inspired: to be assured of this ought to satisfy us.46

Inspiration of ALL SCRIPTURE

Several things are cleared up and nailed down in this single sentence of Scripture. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim 3:16-17) Consider two things about “all Scripture.” A lawyer, Dr. Gipp, once clarified that “All means all and that’s all all means.” Ergo there is not a verse, thought, concept or phrase tat is left out of the all. Dr. Thiessen, a Baptist theologian, committed sacrilege when he said that 1Thes 5:2347 was only Paul’s opinion48. He was trying to defend his unbiblical belief that the human is only made up of the material and the immaterial. That is what excellent philosophers had taught the Roman Catholic clergy and Dr. Thiessen would not let go of that doctrine no matter what the Bible said about body, soul, and spirit. Indeed, contending that sometimes Paul only added his opinions in his writings is a categorical denial of the “all” in “all Scripture.”

Second, consider that this “all Scripture,” must include the writings of Moses, who penned the Pentateuch, collected in the 5 books the Hebrews called the Torah49, Job who previously penned the spic Hebrew poetry book bearing his name, collected in the 13 books the Hebrews called the Writings50, and Isaiah, who penned his prophetic book 750 years after Moses and 750 years before Christ. His book, Isaiah, is collected in the 21 books the Hebrews called the Prophets51. Young Timothy who was the recipient of the instruction penned in 2Tim 3:16, had no access to the original manuscripts, or autographs, of these Scriptures. All young Timothy could have had were copies of copies of copies; none were 1,492 years old, as were the Torah and Writings, none were 750 years old, as were the Prophets, none, other than possibly the letter he held in his hand, were autographs, and yet all were inspired, all were profitable for doctrine, all were profitable for reproof, all were profitable for correction, all were profitable for instruction in righteousness. It defies good logic or sound reason that just in the last hundred years, scholars, so called, have convinced Christians, so called, that only autographs were inspired, only autographs were infallible, and only autographs were inerrant. Shame on Dr. Chafer and Dallas Theological Seminary for accepting such a position. Shame on Dr. Thiessen for promoting such a position in Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary. It is just as well that they dropped the Baptist title and became Dr. John MacArthur’s Master’s Seminary52. This brazen compromise on what inspiration is all about, has opened a flood gate of compromised Bible copyright mongers who have perverted His Words in every conceivable way, and yet they find general acceptance in Evangelical Christianity. They have even infiltrated Independent Baptist Churches with their evil compromise.

(blue comp book 3rd section pg 11)

 

 

Appendix 2 A Proper Naturalistic Theism (First Draft)

What does man know about God with no exposure to the Scriptures wherein God reveals himself? The study and analysis of that question is called naturalistic theism because man by his nature knows of the existence of God. I times past otherwise genius theologians have left their Biblical mooring and ventured into rationalistic thinking and philosophical journals and made naturalistic theism some sort of rational proof of the existence of God. A wise theologian assembling a valid systematic theology must be ever vigilant and circumspect to stay secured in his Biblical moorings and answer naturalistic theism by analyzing, “What does the Bible say about mans natural and intrinsic knowledge of God?” That analysis will always be all sufficient for the systematic theologian.

In that other works of systematic theology have invested great effort in a rationalistic approach to naturalistic theism, their arguments are herein introduced, found baseless and philosophical and then found more adequately answered in Scripture. It is caprice that any theologian, Hodge, pg 204-207, Chafer, pg. 158-168, and particularly a Baptist theologian, Strong, pg 85-89, Thiessen, pg. 55-63, would spend effort analyzing an ontological argument for the existence of God. Ontology is the branch of philosophy, or metaphysics,which deals with the nature of being and the existence of reality. When Moses was nervous about the existence of God, God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exod 3:14) God spends no time, effort or word in proving the existence of His being or the existence of reality, and it is caprice for a theologian to pursue the vain philosophies of man down the vein of ontology.

It is equally vain to incorporate a teleological philosophy lecture in a systematic theology. Supposing that an ultimate purpose and design proves the existence of God is trite. God does not use their verbose volumes but presents His teleological argument in four redundant questions: “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?” (Psalm 94:9-10) This, God’s profound acknowledgment of their whole teleological argument, is not given to the saint or theologian! The verses preceding says “Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?” (vr. 7-8) For the systematic theologian to set aside his task of systematizing truth, and pursue a proof of the existence of God to a group of unregenerate vain philosophers is worse than vain, it is unadulterated foolishness. The whole point to this teleological proof text (i.e. Psalm 94:7-11) is the “The LORD knoweth the thought of man, that they are vanity.” (vr. 11) Ergo the theologian has no business wandering in the corridors of vain philosophy, nor attempting the proof of God’s existence. If God himself dos not dabble in the proof, neither will the wise.

This teleological proof text (Psalm 94:7-11) rests in this context; “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.” (Psa 94:12-13) God’s law, our pure source text for theology is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2Tim 3:16-17) and the brutish philosophers have the ear, the eye, the chastisement, and the teaching of knowledge (Psa 94:9-10) The parallels are not coincidental but the theologian should stay in his own camp.

Hodge, Strong, and Chafer also appeal to an anthropological argument and a cosmological argument in their effort to provide the vain, brutish philosopher a proof of the existence of God. Indeed analyzing the constitution of man may reveal some characteristics of God, for man is after all made in His image, and analyzing the constitution of the universe will reveal the glory of God and can reveal his handiwork, exactly as Psalm 19 points out. However, again, the theologian that uses these entities to make a proof for the existence of God is not wise, and is not following a Biblical Systematic Theology. Just as Psalm 94 point the wise theologian to the perfect law of the LORD for his source of truth, so to does Psalm 19. It opens with a profound cosmological argument, but it has for its theme:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)

 

To determine what natural man knows about God naturally the theologian should set aside all his philosophy books and look only into that perfect, sure, right, and pure sole source of theology: God’s plenary, verbally inspired, infallible, inerrant Word.

Naturalistic Theism, what man knows about God naturally, what man intrinsically understands about God, is spelled out in God’s Word. God’s Word was already declared as the sole authority of all faith and practice, ergo the supreme source for our naturalistic theism. It says… (blue composition book section II pg10)

Appendix 3 A Proper Theology Proper (First Draft)

A systematic theology section titled “Theology Proper” is want to be written. One which captures all the organization of Charles Hodge and all the detail of Augustus Strong, while avoiding, yeah even exposing all the error of Westminster decrees. One which instead details the dispensations in the works of God. One which exposes the evolutionary blunder and glorifies him in detailing his wondrous work of creation. A systematic theology that has Holy Scripture as its soul authority and exposes the vain philosophies of man. Such a work is want to be made.

Excellent organizations of theologies have gone before. Hodge, is best organized, Strong is most detailed. Both are shown here and should be merged for completeness in a thorough and sound work.

Charles Hodge organized his Theology Proper thus: 1) Origin of the idea of God, 2) Theism, 3) Anti-Theistic theories, 4) knowledge of God, 5) The Nature of God and His Attributes, 6) the Trinity, 7) The Divinity of Christ, 8) The Holy Spirit, 9) The Decrees of God, 10) Creation, 11) Providence, and 12) Miracles.

Augustus Strong had a more detailed and slightly variant organization of his theology proper. It is in the block quote below:

PART IV. ”THE NATURE, DECREES, AND WORKS OF GOD, 243-370

Chapter I. The Attributes of God, 243-303

I. Definition of the term Attributes, 244

II. Relation of the Divine Attributes to the Divine Essence, 244-246

III. Methods of Determining the Divine Attributes, 246-247

IV. Classification of the Attributes, 247-249

V. Absolute or Immanent Attributes, 249-275

First Division. Spirituality, and Attributes therein involved, 249-254

1. Life, 251-252

2. Personality, 252-254

Second Division. Infinity, and Attributes therein involved, 254-260

1. Self-existence, 256-257

2. Immutability, 257-259

3. Unity, 259-260

Third Division. Perfection, and Attributes therein involved, 260-275

1. Truth, 260-262

2. Love, 263-268

3. Holiness, 268-275

VI. Relative or Transitive Attributes, 275-295

First Division. Attributes having relation to Time and Space, 275-279

1. Eternity, 275-278

2. Immensity, 278-279

Second Division. Attributes having relation to Creation 279-288

1. Omnipresence, 279-282

2. Omniscience, 282-286

3. Omnipotence, 286-288

Third Division. Attributes having relation to Moral Beings, 288-295

1. Veracity and Faithfulness, or Transitive Truth, 288-289

2. Mercy and Goodness, or Transitive Love, . . 289-290

3. Justice and Righteousness, or Transitive Holiness, 290-295

VII. Rank and Relations of the several Attributes, 295-303

1. Holiness the Fundamental Attribute in God, 296-298

2. The Holiness of God the Ground of Moral Obligation, 298-303

 

Chapter II. Doctrine op the Trinity, 304-352

I. In Scripture there are Three who are recognized as God, 305-322

1. Proofs from the New Testament, 305-317

A. The Father is recognized as God, 305

B. Jesus Christ is recognized as God, 305-315

C. The Holy Spirit is recognized as God, 315-317

2. Intimations of the Old Testament, 317-322

A. Passages which seem to teach Plurality of some sort in the Godhead, 317-819

B. Passages relating to the Angel of Jehovah, . . . 319-320

C. Descriptions of the Divine Wisdom and Word, 320-321

D. Descriptions of the Messiah, 321-322

II. These Three are so described in Scripture, that we are compelled to conceive them as distinct Persons, 322-326

1. The Father and the Son are Persons distinct from each other, 322

2. The Father and the Son are Persons distinct from the Spirit, 322-323

3. The Holy Spirit is a Person, 323 326

III. This Tri-personality of the Divine Nature is not merely economic and temporal, but is immanent and eternal, 326-330

1. Scripture Proof that these distinctions of Personality are eternal, 326

2. Errors refuted by the Scripture Passages, . . . 327-330

A. The Sabellian, 827-328

B. The Arian, 328-330

VI While there are three Persons, there is but one Essence, 330-334

V. These three Persons are Equal, 334-343

1. These Titles belong to the Persons, 834-336

2. Qualified Sense of these Titles, 335-340

3. Generation and Procession consistent with Equality, 340-343

VI. The Doctrine of the Trinity inscrutable, yet not self contradictory, but the Key to all other Doctrines, 344-352

1. The Mode of this Triune Existence is inscrutable, 344-345

2. The Doctrine of the Trinity is not self-contradictory, 345-347

3. The Doctrine of the Trinity has important relations to other Doctrines, 347-352

Chapter III The Decrees of God, 353-370

I. Definition of Decrees, 353-355

II. Proof of the Doctrine of Decrees, 355-359

1. From Scripture, 355-356

2. From Beason, 356-359

A. From the Divine Foreknowledge, 356-358

B. From the Divine Wisdom, 358

C. From the Divine Immutability, 358-559

D. From the Divine Benevolence, 359

III. Objections to the Doctrine of Decrees, 359-368

1. That they are inconsistent with the Free Agency of Man, , 359-362

2. That they take away all Motive for Human Exertion, 363-364

3. That they make God the Author of Sin, 365-368

IV. Concluding Remarks, 368-370

1. Practical Uses of the Doctrine of Decrees, 368-369

2. True Method of Preaching the Doctrine 369-370

 

These two outlines need to be molded into one thorough Theology Proper section in a new 21st century Systematic Theology work.

 

Appendix 4 Covenant Theology Burkenshaw’s Unsolicited Input

Have you noticed that the reformed theology of the covenant theologian has been very aggressive in attacking the dispensationalist on the net lately. Its Roman roots are showing more and more as the day approaches. Perhaps you should take it past the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647). To Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), in his humanistic work, The City of God, where he clearly taught the outlines of what would become central elements in the classic Reformed theology, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. The major development in medieval covenant theology was the proposition by a Franciscan theologian, William of Ockham (1285-1347) and later by Gabriel Biel (1420-95). This is known as the Franciscan Pactum theology. Their slogan was, “To the one who does what he can, God will not deny grace.” You know this teaching as, “God helps those who help themselves! That is simply the doctrine of Salvation by good works.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Just as the current Jesuit (liberation theology) (Replacement theology) Hopeless Pope Frances (probably the queer) Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too! “Just do good” was his challenge, “and we’ll find a meeting point.”

Ac 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Holy Bible

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, [Independent Baptist, Professor, Tennessee Temple Bible School, 1954].

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985.

Gaussen, L. Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science. David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840.

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01hodg], [Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Presbyterian Minister, Princeton Theologian].

Miley, John. Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2. The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01mile, [John Miley (1813-1895, Methodist Theologian].

Ryrie, Charles C.. Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.

Scofield, C. I.. Prophecy Made Plain. Photolithoprinted by Grand Rapids Book Manufacturers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.

Shedd, William G. T.. Dogmatic Theology. Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/dogmatictheology01sheduoft], [William G.T. Shedd, 1820-1894, Old School Presbyterian & Reformed Theologian].

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993. [Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, American Baptist Pastor & Theologian].

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949. [Henery Clarence Thiessen, ? -1947, President of Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary, later renamed John MacArthur's The Master's College].

Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 2006.

Waite, D.A.. Defending the King James Bible. The Bible For Today Press, 2002.

1Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, (Dallas Seminary Press, 1948).

2 The Master’s College was founded as Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary on May 25, 1927 to meet the need for a fundamentalist Baptist school on the West Coast. The intention was to provide a biblical and Christcentered education consistent with those doctrines of the historic Christian faith. Dr. William A. Matthews, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church of Los Angeles, became the founder and first president. The seminary was extended an invitation to be temporarily housed at Calvary Baptist Church in the Los Angeles area. Several more moves followed until the seminary moved onto its own property in Los Angeles in 1942. Dr. Mathews died at his home on August 18, 1943. He was succeeded by presidents C. Gordon Evanson, Floyd Burton Boice, and Henry C. Thiessen. In 1946, the seminary became a graduate-level school and initiated a separate undergraduate and liberal arts program. Following Dr. Thiessen’s death in 1947, Dr. Herbert V. Hotchkiss and Dr. Milton E. Fish, a Harvard graduate, strengthened the school scholastically and spiritually. August 14, 1959 marked a change, as Dr. John R. Dunkin became president, succeeding Dr. Carl M. Sweazy, who returned to full-time evangelism. The new president continued the scriptural position of the school’s leadership. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master’s_College, although wikipedia is not a trusted source for citing one’s research it was the only available source that revealed Dr. Thiessen

as a past president of Master’s College.

3Dear friend, How many mistakes can you make in one sentence? Are you going for a Guinness World Record? I refer to your opening one: “In my Theology 504 class I am required to read the Reformed Augustinian Theology book of Thiessen, a neoevangelical and past president of MacArthur’s Master’s College, and write and answer questions about his ecclesiology.”

Note the errors:

1. Thiessen was not Reformed. He was a Baptist.

2. Thiessen was not Augustinian. He was a moderate Calvinist who denied unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace.

3. Thiessen was not a neoevangelical. He was a Fundamentalist and a separationist.

4. Thiessen was not a past president of MacArthur’s Master’s College. He was a past president of the Los Angeles Baptist College and Seminary and went to Heaven long before the school was divided, the Seminary going north to Tacoma and becoming the Northwest Baptist Theological Seminary and the college taken over by MacArthur. Mac renamed it Master’s College, but Thiessen had nothing to do with that, of course.

I knew Thiessen personally. He was a good man. I heard him teach the entire Book of Revelation in one sermon one night (he was pretrib and premil) when he had just become president of L.A.B.C & S.

The chapter you reference in Thiessen’s book is titled “The Ordinances of the Church” (not sacraments, a term he did not use for reasons with which both of us fundamental Baptists are familiar. And he limited the ordinances to two, just like you and I do: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Please do not malign good, noble dead men by giving them titles and positions theologically they never dreamed in their wildest imaginations of holding.

Dr. Robert L. Sumner, Editor, THE BIBLICAL EVANGELIST, 134 Salisbury Circle, Lynchburg,VA 24502-5056 (via my email 3/5/2011)

4 Ibid., xi.

5Ibid, xxx.

6William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology (Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888), v.

7Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, xxv.

8American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. “tack” - 4.a. A course of action meant to minimize opposition to the attainment of a goal. b. An approach, especially one of a series of changing approaches.

9Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology: Three Volumes in 1 (Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907), ix.

10Ibid., vii.

11Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology (Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981), 9.

12Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 6.

13Ibid., 7.

14 The scientific method has four steps 1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. 2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation. 3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations. 4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments. If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature. If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. (from http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu/phy_labs/ accessed 06/20/2013).

15Ibid., 8.

16D.A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, (The Bible For Today Press, 2002), 66.

17American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. “Induction.”

18Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 8.

19Moses came to Mount Sinai and John the last of the Apostles penned his last epistle in the close of the 1st century.

20Ibid., 47.

21Ibid., 21, para 1.

22Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV (Charles Scribner & Company, 1871), (Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940), 151.

23Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 21.

24Ibid.

25Ibid.

26Ibid.

27Ibid.

28The Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus are manuscripts that came directly from Alexandria Egypt, where Origen (182-254 A.D.) was Father of Biblical Criticism, and Father of the Allegorical Method.

29Ibid., 87.

30Ibid., 125.

31L. Gaussen, Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science (David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840), 5-6.

32Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 161.

33Strong’s Volume is organized in four parts; 1) Prolegomena, 2) The Existence of God, 3) The Scriptures A Revelation From God, 4) The Nature, Decrees and Works of God.

34Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chap III, Article 1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass …

35Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chap III, Article 3-4, III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

36Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chap III, Article 3-4, Previously quoted from http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/wcf.htm accessed 09/05/2013.

37Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 225.

38Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chap III, Article 1, Previously quoted from http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/wcf.htm accessed 09/05/2013.

39Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chap III, Article 3-4, III,Previously quoted from http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/wcf.htm accessed 09/05/2013.

40Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chap III, Article 3-4, Previously quoted from http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/wcf.htm accessed 09/05/2013.

41Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 257-259.

42Reference to short story Emperor’s New Clothes, 1837, by Hans Christian Anderson.

43American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. “Science.”

44Gaussen, Theopneustia, 5-6

45Ibid., 24-26

46Ibid., 26

47 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

48Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology (Eerdmans, 1949), 227, “In the second place, Paul seems to think of body, soul, and spirit as three distinct parts of man’s nature (1Thes 5:23)”

49The Hebrew Torah containing the 5 books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

50The Hebrew Writings containing the 13 books – 1Chronicles, 2Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah.

51The Hebrew Prophets containing the 21 books – Joshua, Judges, 1Samuel, 2Samuel, 1Kings, 2Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

52 The Master’s College was founded as Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary on May 25, 1927 to meet the need for a fundamentalist Baptist school on the West Coast. The intention was to provide a biblical and Christcentered education consistent with those doctrines of the historic Christian faith. Dr. William A. Matthews, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church of Los Angeles, became the founder and first president. The seminary was extended an invitation to be temporarily housed at Calvary Baptist Church in the Los Angeles area. Several more moves followed until the seminary moved onto its own property in Los Angeles in 1942. Dr. Mathews died at his home on August 18, 1943. He was succeeded by presidents C. Gordon Evanson, Floyd Burton Boice, and Henry C. Thiessen. In 1946, the seminary became a graduate-level school and initiated a separate undergraduate and liberal arts program. Following Dr. Thiessen’s death in 1947, Dr. Herbert V. Hotchkiss and Dr. Milton E. Fish, a Harvard graduate, strengthened the school scholastically and spiritually. August 14, 1959 marked a change, as Dr. John R. Dunkin became president, succeeding Dr. Carl M. Sweazy, who returned to full-time evangelism. The new president continued the scriptural position of the school’s leadership. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master’s_College, although wikipedia is not a trusted source for citing one’s research it was the only available source that revealed Dr. Thiessen

as a past president of Master’s College.

ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II TH802 WRITTEN REPORT

Written By: Pastor Rice - Dec• 20•13

Published at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/th802report.epub or .pdf or .odt

ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II TH802

WRITTEN REPORT

A Written Report Presented to the Faculty

of Louisiana Baptist University

In Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for

Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies

By

Edward Rice

December, 2013

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

TH 802 Notes on the Writing Assignment

Assignment Sheet

TEXT: Systematic Theology (Vol. 2), by Lewis Sperry Chafer, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications),1976. ISBN: 0-8254-2340-6

SUPPLEMENTARY TEXT:

(2) Select two other conservative systematic Theology works of the student’s choice for reading and comparison on the subjects covered in the course.

COURSE OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this course is to challenge the student to launch into an advanced study of theological definitions, terms and concepts as required in the ten disciplines of systematic theology and specifically in this course the study of Angelology, Satanology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

(1) Read Lewis S. Chafer’s volume 2 p.3-121 for “Angelology/Satanology,” p.125-373 and for “Anthropology/Hamartiology” and also read carefully the corresponding sections in the two supplemental textbooks you have chosen for understanding, marking listings, Scriptures, and helpful information in each book which you might wish to quickly locate for completing the following requirements for this course.

(2) From each chapter of Chafer’s book and merging the corresponding material from your two supplemental books, prepare a detailed outline or discussion on each chapter with a full explanation of the terms involved. Show the page number and inclusive Scriptures for each point as appropriate. Always feel free to disagree with the authors, but be sure you verify from Scripture why you believe your position has more merit. Your chapter outlines will be graded as if they were to be used for training others. You should have a minimum of twenty-five pages of notes for this course.

(3) After completing the assignments of this course forward your course materials to LBTS.

I have used the following supplemental theology textbooks for this course:

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977.

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954.

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940.

Miley, John. Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2. The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01mile .

Ryrie, Charles C.. Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.

Shedd, William G. T.. Dogmatic Theology. Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/dogmatictheology01sheduoft].

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993.

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949.

Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company.

Assignment Notes

The Assignment for Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary’s TH 801 – Advanced Systematic Theology I, was to “Read Lewis S. Chafer’s volume 21 p.3-121 for “Angelology/Satanology,” p.125-373 and for “Anthropology/Hamartiology” and also read carefully the corresponding sections in the two supplemental textbooks.” I have included comparisons to several ‘supplemental textbooks.’ This the second volume of Dr. Chafer that is thus critiqued. These critiques are not intended to be judgmental, but are indeed very stern. Dr. Chafer, as the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, has written a very neoevangelical systematic theology. Of particular interest in my review are the works of Charles Hodge (1797-1878), the oldest systematic theology, albeit Presbyterian, found in my library; the works of Augustus H. Strong (1836-1921), the only Baptist systematic theology found in my library; and the works of Henry C. Thiessen (?-1947), his “Lectures in Systematic Theology” being most recently added to my library, and that because of my LBTS studies towards my masters of theological studies. Other textbooks, I compared, with authors to timid to call their works Systematic Theology, include Charles C. Ryrie’s “Basic Theology”, Millard J. Erickson’s “Christian Theology” and a revered and distinctively Independent Baptist’s 1954 work “Bible Doctrines” by Mark G. Cambron, a professor at Tennessee Temple Bible School. Occasional, comparison was made to the intellectual but very Calvinist and Reformed Theology work “Dogmatic Theology” by William G. T. Shedd (1820–1894) It is a vintage work of an Old School Presbyterian who held fast to the Westminster Standards. Unfortunately these Reformed Theology Calvinist Standards have gotten their fingers into every Systematic Theology this author has studied. Notable works not consulted in this research would include both Johnathan Edwards (1703-1758) who was more of a philosophical theologian than a systematic theologian, and John Calvin’s (1509-1564) magnum opus “Institutes of Christian Religion.” Both Edwards, and Calvin’s reformed theology are systematically captured in Charles Hodge’s Presbyterian systematic theology.

The assignment included the task to prepare a detailed discussion on each chapter with a full explanation of the terms involved. A thorough ‘discussion’ and full critique for each chapter is presented herein. The need for a Baptist/Biblical Systematic Theology was evidenced in the critique of Chafer’s previous volume. Construction of a ‘straw-man’ work by that title is being constructed in conjunction with these reports.

 

Review and Critique of Chafer’s Angelology (32% of Vol 2)

The critique of Chafer’s volume one concluded overwhelmingly that Lewis Sperry Chafer does not have an adequate stand on the plenary verbal inspiration of an inerrant, infallible, Holy Bible, not the organizational skills, nor the robust communication and writing aptitude, to write a thorough, accurate systematic theology. This critique of the first section of his second volume must continue with a criticism of his organization.

This critique differs significantly from another Dallas Theological Seminary President, John F. Walvoord who says:

“The appearance of the eight-volume work in Systematic Theology by President Lewis Sperry Chafer of Dallas Theological Seminary is without question an epoch in the history of Christian doctrine. Never before has a work similar in content, purpose, and scope been produced. Its appearance in a day when liberal interpretation and unbelief have riddled the Biblical basis for theological study is in itself highly significant.2

It is also set apart from DoctorDaveT (DR. DAVID S. THOMASON ) who, as a reviewer, gives Dr. Chafer this “Best of Class” award:

“Chafer was the first dispensationalist to write an entire Systematic Theology. Sixty plus years later, it is still universally considered to be the best premillennial Systematic ever published. I consider it the single best Systematic Theology ever written regardless of theological perspective.3

 

Critique of Chap 1 Introduction to Angelology (3-5) 2%

Angelology is such a minor consideration in a systematic theology that it needs to be moved further back in our consideration. Even though man is a little lower than the angels, in the perspective of the Bible, he is much greater in significance. A systematic theology which has the Holy Bible as its sole authority for doctrine should proportion its study as the final authority proportions its revelation. When the Word of God is silent about a subject, it behooves the theologian to be as silent, when reserved, just as reserved. By Chafer’s own admission: “The Bible is not addressed to the angels, nor does it enter upon an exhaustive description of their estate or interrelationships.”4 Again, where the Bible is silent or reserved, one should not approach with a diatribe of verbiage.

Dr. Chafer was likely following the precedent set by Augustus Strong in moving angels to the forefront of ones systematic theology. Such a prioritization of a sidebar consideration is unwarranted. Just the same, Angelology should not be removed or dismissed lightly from such a study. It carries important insight to God and man and their relationship.

Chafer’s inadequate organization is completely manifest in his categorization of angels. Previously Augustus Strong carefully categorizes angels into a careful order of created things. He contends that created beings break rationally into five groupings: 1) the inanimate, i.e. rocks, 2) living plants, 3) breathing animals, 4) rational living souls, i.e. humans, and 5) spiritual beings, i.e. angels. This is a well thought out insightful structure, wherein we can analyze ascending spheres of creation.

Chafer, on the other hand, mimics, perhaps mocks, the five with his own creation. His organization has 1) good angels, 2) bad angels, 3) Jews, 4) Gentiles, and 5) Christians.5 Groupings, categories, and classifications are important tools for dividing a great wealth of knowledge into workable subdivisions or spheres of understanding. Scientists categorize the living into seven natural divisions of Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. The divide visible light into seven natural and distinct groups of wavelength: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. They divide the elements by density into seven rows with distinctively different characteristics. These divisions in creation are not arbitrary nor made up on a whim, they are natural structures in God’s creation, structures that were discovered by the exploring rational mind. Chafer’s categorizing of good angels, bad angels, Jews, Gentiles and Christians, has none of that nature or rational. It is such a worthless categorization that he himself, thankfully, abandons its use in the next chapter where he resorts back to the spheres Augustus Strong keenly recognized. So why does Chafer even include his categorization? It is supposed that a theologian wants, and needs to demonstrate an independence of thought that breaks him away from the traditional and orthodoxical paths. Such a break needs to be very rational and better, be more Biblical. Previous systematic theologies have repeatedly followed after philosophies and creeds which are not borne out by Biblical Revelation, i.e. the dichotomy of man vs his trichotomy, the Westminster doctrine of decrees vs the Bible’s whosoever wills, Roman allegorical Eschatology vs Biblical Dispensational Eschatology. Breaking away from these and gravitating to Biblical moorings is important and essential. Dr. Chafer has demonstrated none of that departure, and in this instance, trying to re-categorize Strong’s categories , he has shown genuine folly.

Grouping Jews and Gentiles against good angels, and bad angels, and then drawing a separate group called Christian, is unnatural, unnecessary, unwise, and, thankfully, undeveloped any further.

Critique of Chap 2 General Facts About Angels (6-27) 18%

In Chapter Two, Section IX, Chafer addresses the classification of angels. He first recognizes the five Biblical groupings of angels as:

    1. Thrones: those who sit on thrones,
    2. Dominions: those who rule,
    3. Principalities: those who govern,
    4. Powers: those who exercise supremacy, and
    5. Authorities: those invested with imperial responsibility

It behooves one to go back and carefully examine these categories with an open Bible. The implication here is that in categorizing angels we find them in each of these positions. This list is taken from Colossians chapter one:

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Col 1:12-17)(Bold emphasis added by author.)

 

Here, Chafer may be confused, and is at least conflicted, by ecumenical modernist bibles and textual critics. The bibles which left out the redemption “THROUGH HIS BLOOD” in verse 14, also changed these categories around, doubtless rewording them to account for their new copy right on their efforts. The ecumenical modernist bibles include thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities here eliminating dominions and principalities from their vocabulary entirely. In reality, and in a Bible using God’s Words the Greek kurioths shows up four times in the Holy Bible and should be different from the word dunamis that the NIV6 here tries to substitute for God’s word. Likewise God’s word uses principalities or arch, and the ecumenical modernists substitute uexonsia or authorities. Chafer’s use of these four classifications for angels is misleading up front, but his dependence on Bible critics, textual critics and modern translations (Chafer used the RSV7) greatly compounds his confusion. Using Bible exegesis with an accurate English Bible Col 1:16 is a division of four entities of all the created things, both visible and invisible. This would likely divide our list of four between man (visible) and angel (invisible), man holding the thrones and dominions, angels holding the principalities and the powers. This combined with 1Pet 3:22, “Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him”, as well as the other places previously used (Rom 8:38, Eph 1:21, 3:13, 6:12, Col 2:10,15)8 show us that these classifications do not categorize angels specifically, they classify only hierarchies of control. In that Chafer did not do his exegetical homework well, and that what he did was done with a compromised ecumenical modernist bible, I would sooner trust the genius of Charles Hodge and Augustus Strong in classifying angels, and most readily trust them over Chafer in exploring the ministry, discipline, and even speculations about angels.

Strong makes these… Scripture Statements and Intimations … As to the nature and attributes of angels9.

( a ) They are created beings. (Ps. 148:2-5, Col. 1:16, 1Pet. 3:32, 1Tim. 6:16)

(b) They are incorporeal beings. (Heb. 1:14, Eph. 6:12, Eph. 1:3; 2:6, Ps. 78:25, Mat. 22:30, Luke 20:36, Rev. 18:13, Mat. 12:43 ; 8:31) In Gen. 6:2, “sons of God ” =, not angels, but descendants of Seth and worshipers of the true God (see Murphy, Com., in loco)10

( c ) They are personal ” that is, intelligent and voluntary ” agents. (2Sam. 14:20, Luke 4:34, 2Tim. 2:26, Rev. 22:9, Rev. 12:12)

( d ) They are possessed of superhuman intelligence and power, yet an intelligence and power that has its fixed limits. (Mat. 24:36, 1Pet, 1:12, Ps. 103:20, 2Thess. 1:7, 2Pet. 2:11, Rev. 20:2, 10, Ps. 72:18, Job 4:18; 15:15; 25:5, Col. 1:16, Mat. 28:4 ,Luke 22:43 ; cf. Dan. 10:19, 1 Tim. 6:15)

( e ) They are an order of intelligences distinct from man and older than man. (1Cor 6:3, Heb 1:14, 2:16)

Strong then covers some Scriptures … As to their number and organization.

(a) They are of great multitude. (Deut. 33:2, Ps. 68:17, Dan. 7:10, Rev. 5:11)

( b ) They constitute a company, as distinguished from a race. (Mat. 22:30, Luke 20:36, Heb. 2:16, Eph. 3:14, 15)

( c ) They are of various ranks and endowments. (Col 1:16 , 1Thess. 4:16, Jude 1:9, Acts 7:38, 53; GaL 3;19; Heb. 2:2; 15:5, 3), (Jude 9 “Michael the archangel.” Michael ( = who is like God ? ) is the only one expressly called an archangel in Scripture, although Gabriel (= God’s hero ) has been called an archangel by Milton.)

( d) They have an organization. (1Sam. 1:11, 1Kings. 22:19, Mat. 26:53, 25:41, Eph. 2:2, Rev. 2:13, 16:10, Dent. 4:19 ; 17:3 ; Acts 7:42, Gen. 32:2, 2Chron. 18:18 ; Luke 2: 13; Rev. 19:14),(In Neh. 9:6 and Ps. 33:6 the word “host” seems to include both angels and stars.)

Allow here Chafer’s completely missing and Strong’s careful coverage… As to their moral character.

(a) They were all created holy. (Gen. 1:31, Jude 1:6)

( b ) They had a probation. (1Tim. 5:21, 1Pet. 1:1, 2, 1Tim. 5:21, Gen. 3:14)

( c ) Some preserved their integrity. (Ps. 89:7, Mark 8:38)

( d ) Some fell from their state of innocence. (John 8:44, 2 Pet. 2: 4)

( e ) The good are confirmed in good. (Mat. 6:10, 18:10, 2Cor. 11:14)

(f) The evil are confirmed in evil. (Mat. 13:19, 1John 5:18, 19, John 8:44, Mat. 6:13)

Strong’s insight and dependence on Scripture trumps Chafer’s speculations repeatedly.

 

Critique of Chap 3 Angelic Participation in the Moral Problem (28-32) 4%

This chapter Angelic Participation in the Moral Problem, seems to be manufactured as an unorganized compilation of consideration better covered in a more organized systematic theology. The creation of angels, the fall of angels, and the cause of this fall is certainly better treated in other sections of angelology, even as accomplished by Cambron, Bancroft11, Strong, and Hodge.

Critique of Chapter 4 Satonology:Introduction (33-38) 5%

Lewis Sperry Chafer begins this section with an opinion about a proper translation and then by regurgitating an error mouthed by Hodge (1797-1878). Charles Hodge was wrong to disagree with the seventy seven highly skilled linguists, employed and paid by King James from 1603 through 1611, who only transliterated words when there was no English equivalent, i.e. to baptize, there was no English word for “to completely immerse into, within, and under” and so they transliterated the Greek baptizo. Speaking of devils Hodge says “The most common designation given to them is daimones, or more commonly daimonia, which our translators unfortunately render devils.12” The translators used the proper English word in this instance and Hodge, Thiessen and Chafer voice contention that they should have transliterated the Greek word instead. Hodge, because he was most familiar with Latin, Chafer and Thiessen, evidently, only because their neoevangelical training had made them dissatisfied with the Authorized version of the Holy Bible.

Devils is indeed the proper English translation for the various Greek forms of diamon, a word should only be transliterated when there is no English equivalent. The English word devil(s) is correctly and consistently translated 106 times in the Holy Bible. The Greek word diablos (Strn#1228) used 38 times in the Holy Bible, first occurred in Matthew 4:24 and is translated devil 35 times, false accuser twice, and slanderer once. Transliterating this Greek word, as promoted by Hodge, Chafer, and Thiessen, would be improper. The Greek word daimonizomai (Strn#1139) was used 38 times in the Holy Bible, first occurred in Matthew 4:24, and is translated possessed 8 times, of the, vexed with, have a devil 2,1,1 times respectively. It would be improper to transliterate this Greek word as promoted by Hodge, Chafer, and Thiessen. The Greek word daimonion (Strng#1140) was used 60 times in the Holy Bible, first occurred in Matthew 7:22, and is translated devil 59 times, and god once. Transliterating this Greek word, as promoted by Hodge, Chafer, and Thiessen, would be improper. The Greek word daimwn (Strng#1142), used 5 times in the Holy Bible, first occurred in Matthew 8:31, and is translated devils 4 times, and devil once. Transliterating these Greek words throughout, as Hodge and Chafer propose, would be wholly improper and would breed confusion in the normal English student. Incidentally, the Greek aggelos is used 186 times as angels 179 times, messenger 7 times, and it is properly a transliteration of the Greek.

It is unfortunate that Chafer uses his introduction on such an interesting topic as Satanology for exegesis of the Devil and his devils. Such an introduction does not capture a reader, and the whole section then proceeds with an excessively wordy diatribe which seems to be his practice for a Systematic Theology. Strangely, his book “Satan”, published forty years earlier than his Systematic Theology, is organized, thorough, and concise. C.I. Scofield extols its virtues. It seems Chafer’s founding of Dallas Theological Seminary turned him into a very verbose fellow. Rereading his introduction of his previous book makes me curious about what in the world happened to Chafer’s writing style in those 40 years. They should have improved, not worsened.

Critique of Chap 5 Satanology: The Career of Satan (39-61) 19%

There are two reasons why reading Chafer’s Chapter 5 through 9 were of little value and warrant here no further comment. (Chap 6 Satanology: Satan’s Evil Character (62-75) 12%; Chap 7 Satanology: The Satanic Cosmos (76-90) 12%; Chap 8 Satanology: Satan’s Motive (91-98) 7%; Chap 9 Satanology: Satan’s Method (99-112) 12%) First, I had previously read his 1909 work “Satan” and found it organized, thorough, and concise. Some how, when Chafer transformed that excellent work into a section for his systematic theology, a section entitled Satanology, he lost all organization and abandoned the ability to come to the point. It seems to be a sad forty year transition brought on by excessive education. Chafer’s outline for his previous book is shown below.

 

SATAN By LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER, 1909

I. The Career of Satan

II. The Ages

III. The Course of This Age

IV. This Age and the Satanic System

V. The Satanic Host

VI. Satan’s Motive

VII. Satan’s Methods

VIII. The Man of Sin

IX. The Fatal Omission

X. Modern Devices

XI. The Believer’s Present Position

XII. The Believer’s Present Victory13

 

The second, and primary reason that little comment or value is made on this disappointing section is that Charles Hodge has profoundly and systematically written a thorough section on Angelology that concisely contains all the pertinent information of Chafer’s section on both Angelology and here on Satanology.

In that the whole section by Hodge is currently public domain14 it is included in its entirety in my Systematic Theology. Dr. Chafer’s tainted view of the KJV and Bible inspiration, his poor organization, and incorrigible writing style has prompted the writing of a Systematic Theology for the 21st Century. The draft of that work includes Hodge’s Angelology and discards Chafer’s Angelology entirely.

Critique of Chap 10 Demonology (113-121) 7%

In this chapter Dr. Chafer entertains a very lengthy quote form Clarence Larkin’s book The Spirit World15. It is interesting that Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952) was a contemporary of two giants of dispensationalism’s defense, Clarence Larkin (1850-1924) and C.I. Scofield (1843-1921), indeed as a young man Chafer was a founding member of Modern Christian Dispensationalism of the Niagara Bible Conference of 1883-1897. Also Dr. Chafer was not just a president of Dallas Theological Seminary, in 1924 he was the founder of that seminary. These two insights did not much change my critiques of his systematic errors, but my attitude toward his genius may need adjustments. I do not mean to be demeaning to his character or integrity here, only to recognize his departures from Bible doctrines and the tentacles into neoevangelicalism.

In this chapter Dr. Chafer also brings up an ugly exegetical exercise wherein private interpretation introduces into society a half man – half angel, mongrel mutant. The introduction of this idea is ugly because it has no place in any other systematic view of the Bible. Bible principle deals primarily with man’s situation in sin and only secondarily with angels. Angels are ministering spirits in this primary application, and nowhere does it deal with the existence of half angel-half man creatures that Larkin introduces in his book The Spirit World. Although Larkin admits he is not the first to suppose that fallen angels have sex and procreate with women, producing, some mongrel mutant race, he is the first to lend such a conundrum exegetical credence.

The credence given to this idea that mongrel mutant angelic humanoids were created and referenced in Genesis chapter six is ugly because it is only discerned by skillfully reading things between the lines of Revealed Scripture. When the genius of intense scholarship exposes such a subterranean concept a three act play is set in place. Act one, knowledge puffeth up. The subterranean idea is taught and published as dogma and those rejecting or correcting their personal dogma are mocked and villainized.

Act two, other rational geniuses search other subterranean dogma to exonerate their genius. Before long there is a dogma about a subterranean gap hidden between Genesis 1:1 and 1:216; a dogma about the Bible’s subterranean revelation that Adam had not blood, but grape juice pulsing through his veins17; or a dogma about the Bible’s subterranean revelation that UFO’s and aliens from outer space invaded and altered our world, black aliens with green blood, most certainly!18 The quest for subterranean themes hidden between the lines of the Bible departs radically from the plain truths that the Bible reveals. The plain truth is that the Bible has no secret hidden messages that only certain clergy, scholars, or genius can discover or uncover19. The Bible is clear: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)

An associate Pastor on Long Island, Sean Jacobs, eloquently contrasted Martha’s service to Mary’s devotion. Martha said unto Jesus, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21) Her tone was one of correcting. Mary, on the other hand, fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying unto him, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:32) In the Greek, and consequently, in the King James Bible, their wording is identical. Martha’s words brought correction and reproof from the Master; Mary’s words caused empathy, even to the point where Jesus wept. (John 11.35)

When a servant takes a staunch stand, position or dogma and a peer reacts to that stance negatively, the servant will experience a Mary or a Martha reaction. If they react with anger, frustration, or hostility, it is because they have not first fallen at the feet of Jesus. One need not doubt the sincerity or loyalty of a Martha, but one dare not dismiss Jesus’ rebuke, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42) In act two of this supposed screen play, actors react badly when their hypothesis is corrected, they exhibit the worst of the Martha syndrome.

In Act Three of this unscripted play, none of these uncovered subterranean dogma’s lie dormant as an idle curiosity. Since they already lie outside of systematic Bible principle, they grow and migrate into ideologies which leaven, invade and infect other Bible doctrine. This third act plays into Larkin’s expose’ on mongrel mutant angelic humanoids; Judas, called the son of perdition (John 17:21), and the anti-Christ called the same (2Thes 2:3) are now half human and half demon in this wild interpretation. And likewise the Jews which desired to kill Jesus are fathered by the Devil (John 8:44) and a new vein of Antisemitism is born and bred, where killing off those halfbreeds is justified and pursued. The hypothesis, and Bible gymnastics necessary to support it, have only ill effects and no positive value. They are pursued in this vain exaltation of egotistical puffed up knowledge.

Mongrel Mutant Demonic Humanoids

The argument for mongrel mutants as angelic humanoids is: 1) When God reverences sons of God in Job he obviously means angels, ergo Genesis 6:2 and 4 must therefore mean angels. As they state it “Every time the Bible says sons of God, in the Old Testament, it refers to angels.” These angels obviously kept not their first estate and are in chains until the judgment. (Jude 1:6) Obviously, “sons of God” might mean something different in the New Testament, but in the Old, they say, it always means angels. 2) When God references Satan’s seed as a “he”, in Genesis 3:15, it must be taken just as literal as his reference to the woman’s seed which it refers to as an “it” The legends of humans copulating with the gods are prevalent throughout all cultures; some have even implied that is what Jehovah God did with Mary in Luke 1:35. Obviously, then, Satan and his fallen devils can copulate with women. But these devils must have a literal seed, so they contend thirdly, 3) since God gives every grain a body, and to every seed of grain has a body, angels as celestial bodies, they reason, must have seed. (1 Cor. 15:38) They make a leap in this Scripture, that since every seed has a body, every body has a seed, and the verses declare that there are celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial, (vr. 40) so it stands to reason that celestial bodies have seed. (Note that in context this Scripture is not dealing with angels at all, but is dealing with our resurrection body.) They use crafty twisted exegesis here to support their hypothesis that these mongrel mutants are possible because “the Bible teaches that celestial bodies have seed,” in their mind it does, in context it does not.

With this hypothesis now “proven” by Scripture they begin a journey wherein the anti-Christ is one of these mongrel mutant half man half demon creatures, that is why he is called a “beast” in Revelation. It is supposed from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that the ten toes of the image, toes that were part of iron and part of clay, are “they that shall mingle themselves with the seed of man.” (Dan 2:43) These must indeed be fallen angels which copulate with humans. The seed of beast “mingled” with the seed of man; certainly God clarifies it in Jer 31:2720, they say. This mingled seed is what caused the giants after the flood; logically, if that is where they came from in the days of Noah, that must be where they came from after the days of Noah. It is what caused Judas as the son of perdition, to betray Christ. (John 17:12) It is what caused the Jews, who were also fathered by the devil (John 8:44) to seek his death. And surely the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Christ is one of these mongrel mutant half man half beast creatures.

At the turn of the last century Clarence Larkin bolstered the hypothesis that fallen angels procreated with humans to produce a mongrel mutant man. He used this same line of reasoning and the same out of context Scriptures; 1) that Satan has a literal seed, Genesis 3:15; 2) That Old Testament sons of God are always angelic, Genesis 6:2, 4, Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; and 3) That celestial bodies must have seed because grain seeds have bodies, 1Cor 15:38. He then extended the hypothesis to the same idea, that the abomination of desolation of Matthew 24, the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8, the king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8, is called a beast in Rev 11, where the dragon is credited with giving this living creature his power, and it must, therefore, be one of these mongrels. Of late, with the concept of DNA, it is suspected that “the number of the beast,” being “the number of a man” is secret Bible code talk for DNA.

This ill conceived hypothesis with its ill conceived, often dangerous exegesis, becomes dogma. The man of sin, that son of perdition (2Thes 2:3, and Judas of John 17:12) must certainly be a physical and literal child of the devil, a mongrel mutant, half human, half spirit world fallen angel. When such teaching becomes dogma the three act play alluded to previously begins to play out. There are presently those who take this dogma and consider the Jews, whom Christ revealed to be “Fathered by the Devil” (John 8:44), if there is a literal mongrel mutant from the devil(s) procreating with women, then surely, they say, those Jews are it. Such antisemitism readily springs from this hypothesis. It is always dangerous to interweave ones own theories through Scripture.

Hypothesizing about how God is going to do things is natural and generally errant. Making and bolstering ones hypothesis with exotic exegesis and private interpretation are natural, and always wrong. Salem and Kirby, authors of the 1960s Prophecy Bible, KNEW that the locust of Rev 9, with faces of men, teeth of lions, wings sounding like horses, and stingers in their tails,… they KNEW these were Apache Helicopters. It became their dogma. They KNEW HOW God was going to do everything. They were wrong. Harold Camping KNEW HOW and when, Jesus was going to return. It became his dogma. He was wrong. Published in 2013, Eric E. Stahl KNOWS from the Bible that the ozone and hydrogen layers of the atmosphere will be set on fire and burn up like a scroll when the nuclear bomb explodes over Israel. It is his published dogma. Europe cooks and America freezes, He KNOWS HOW God is going to do everything. If one believes in mongrel mutants of half human, half demon creatures, understand that it is a hypothesis. Some consider it a wild hypothesis. Holding this hypothesis as fact they KNOW HOW God or Satan is going to do things. Don’t allow it to become dogma, taught as fact in a Bible Institute. Clearly delineate it as hypothesis. Don’t build camps or break fellowships over a hypothesis.

I mean no disrespect to Dr. Peter S. Ruckman in this analysis, but it must be noted that he fulfills all three acts of this hypothetical play. Be is said that there is no greater genius of the 20th century who single-handedly placed the perfect purity of the King James Bible into the conversations of millions of Bible believers and every Bible remodeler. Be it said that there is no more fervent influence of that century who so filled our streets and mission fields with impassioned preachers of the Gospel of Christ. Be it said that no theologian of his century dug deeper into the inerrant infallible words of this verbally inspired Book to bring to his students hidden treasures of depth and beauty. But be it also said that no theologian has attempted to expose and defend more secret, hidden-to-all-others, covert ‘revelations’ than he, no theologian has resorted to greater derogatory vitriol than he, and no theologian has so interwoven his private interpretation through so many otherwise good doctrines than he. Thank you Dr. Ruckman for the example.

Another word about the inerrancy of Scripture is in order here. Inerrancy means that the Bible will not lead one into error. It does not mean that sinne and Saviour will be spelled exactly the same in every copy of the Bible21. Since the Bible is inerrant, i.e. it will not lead one into error, it is wholly truthful in its revelation. Not only is it wholly truthful, but being the perfect revelation of God to man, it does not conceal or hide its intended revelation. There are no secret codes or hidden messages, or covert revelations that cannot be readily detected by the Holy Spirit enlightened mind with a literal, grammatical, historical rendering of the communication. Note, again, that it is the Holy Spirit of God who quickens, and enlightens our minds to comprehend God’s truth, but that quickening and enlightening is given to every believer. Note, again, that the allegorical method of hermeneutics, wherein the revelation of God is written in secret, disguised, metaphorical prose which can only be readily discerned by a Roman priestly profession, or a Scholarly Protestant Clergy profession, is rejected in its principle and in its entirety. It is the Holy Spirit of God which reveals his His truth and not the pious or scholarly pursuits of man, reading things between the lines. Man has always enjoyed and employed the prideful arrogant taunting line, “I know something you don’t know.” Man, in his old nature, is always alert and digging around for subliminal messages and secret unintended revelations. A definition of inerrancy must include not only that the Bible will not lead one into error, but that the Bible will not side step or overpass an intended revelation of truth, it will not submerge an intended revelation between the lines and thus cause error in those who do not catch the concealed sublime. The Holy Bible is thus wholly inerrant.

Stated more bluntly, there is no subliminal geological 100 thousand year, plus, gap nestled covertly between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2; no testing and fall of angels is wedged into such a concealed covert gap in revelation; no prehistoric cataclysmic catastrophe should be imagined in such a subliminal gap in God’s revelation, in fact if God’s word is truth, the word prehistoric should be banished from the believers vocabulary. Be it said here that this author loves, honors and respects the unique genius and superb scholarship of C.I. Scofield, and loves, honors and respects the unique genius and superb scholarship of Clarence Larkin, however, they error when they contend that there is a subliminal revelation about mongrel mutant angelic humanoids submerged in the text of the Holy Bible. This author loves, honors and respects the unique genius and superb scholarship of Peter S. Ruckman, however, he was in error when he contends that there is a subliminal revelation about grapes of Eshcol in Adam’s veins, or black aliens with green blood meddling in mans affairs. An inerrant Bible does not lead one into error, but neither does it conceal the truth in such a way that only certain gifted ones are able to stumble onto it. Stated another way:

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law”.(Deut 29:29) For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. (Mark 4:22)

Attributing all this into a definition of inerrancy must necessitate that three things be herein clarified. Are no believers led into error by the words of an inerrant Bible? Are there now mysteries yet concealed in the pages of this inerrant Bible? And what is the function of the Holy Spirit of God, our guidon into all truth22, in keeping one from all error, especially in keeping one from routing out, or believing in, some new subliminal truth, that is “discovered”?

Anyone who know of Dr. Harold Camping know that professed believers can still take their Bible, route out, develop and teach, to very large audience, grandly discovered subliminal revelations which are wholly false. The Lord did not return on October 21st, 2011, and years of Dr. Camping’s research and teaching were proven false witness and scoffed around the world. When it is said that the Bible is inerrant, in that it will not lead one into error, it needs to be clarified that professed believer, with their inerrant Bibles opened wide, may still be led into error. The emphasis must be that there is not error in its presentation of spiritual truths, no error in its representation of physical and geographical dogma, no error in its dictation of history or genealogy. Believing what you read in an acceptable literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation, will not lead one into error. When using the Bible to discover secret subliminal messages, principles, and concepts, there is no end of the error which might be routed out. The whole concept behind the allegorical method23 of hermeneutics is that all of the Bible principles are buried in these subliminal hidden messages which can only be routed out by a gallant, pious scholarship, by a gallant, charismatic scholars, trained, if you will, by the Roman Catholic mother of all churches. Such allegorical method was largely carried into the Protestant Reformation wherein only ordained Protestant Clergy could rightly divide the truth of Scripture. It is errant.

The comprehension of inerrancy must include a venue where the Bible does not conceal any truths between the lines, hidden in gaps between verses, or buried in allegorical and/or hidden interpretations. Ergo the Bible is a distinct revelation of all the truth God perfectly intended to communicate to man and that revelation requires a literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation. In that manner the Bible is inerrant. In that way the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. In that way one will not be lead into error.

Critique of Chap XI & XII Introduction to Anthropology (125-129) & The Origin of Man (130-159)

If Chafer had made his last paragraph his first paragraph he could have cut out fourteen pages of add-nausea. None of this chapter recites God’s aspect, and actually represses His revelation about the origin of man. It is apologetic to the evolutionist, apologetic to the humanist, apologetic to the philosopher; it is apologetic to the archeologist and the geologist; for crying out loud, it is even apologetic to the philologist,24 because that philologist, the historical linguist, “knows” it has taken a hundred thousand years to evolve the human language to where it is today!

There is a need for apologetics and some small amount of apologetic might find its way into a systematic theology, but it should not be the focus of a systematic theology in any arena, and especially not as concerning the origins of man. Dr. Chafer is writing a text that will appeal to 70+ denominations, all of which Dallas Theological Seminary strives to appease and accommodate. Here he does it well, by saying nothing of significance in a chapter that should be very fundamental, very straightforward and very enlightening.

The whole flavor of a neoevangelical readily seeps from Dr. Chafer’s chapter on the origin of man. The series of Bible conferences springing from Niagara, New York at the close of the 19th century (1833-1897) brought both Fundamentalism and Biblical Dispensationalism into the lime light in America. The Fundamentalist became known for separating, holding anti-denominational (independent autonomous local churches), anticlerical (no clergy) and anti-creedal (no creed but the Bible) stances and defending five fundamentals of faith.25 Any departure from a fundamental tenant would constitute apostasy and result in separation. There was a distinct movement away from such staunch separation, neoevangelicals proposed that the apostate and unbelieving cultures must be constructively engaged. Rather than publicly confronting Church apostasy and separating from it, the neoevangelical advanced repairing it with inclusiveness. They supposed that social acceptance and intellectual respectability would be more effective on the perverse generation in need of correction. Fundamentalists soon dubbed them as the neoevangelicals26.

Dr. Chafer is wholly neoevangelical and his writing about the origins of man strives for intellectual respectability and social acceptance in a perverse world of infidelity and Church apostasy. Dallas Theological Seminary is founded on such neoevangelical principle and is, thus, pandering to 70+ denominations in its outreach. Consequently they must be very careful, never confrontational, in their declaration of truth, which never reaches a state implied in the term declaration. A Baptist is a fundamentalist, even if they retired the phrase, and need not exercise such careful avoidance of confrontation.

Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary is on the brink. It may at any moment forsake its Baptist Fundamental and Separatist heritage and embrace intellectual elitism, wherein it begins an irrecoverable slide down the steep slope of neoevangelicalism. Its assignment of a thoroughly neoevangelical systematic theology in its theological studies is an indicator of its inclination. Its disclaimer, that LBTS does not endorse the entire content of every text book used, cannot disengage this Baptist Theological Seminary from that dangerous slippery slope. Forces at play in its desire for intellectual respectability have already stepped over the brink and threaten to drag (or have indeed already dragged) the whole university and seminary over an irrecoverable line. Neoevangelicalism has swallowed the majority of Baptist Universities and all previous Baptist Seminaries. Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7 has application for institutions as well as for the souls of men: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” In a university sense, few there be that stay on a straight, fundamental, Baptist way. LBTS shows signs of veering from the straight.

Dr. Chafer’s neoevangelicalism aside, his “introduction to anthropology” and his “origin of man” cannot hold a candle to Baptist theologian Emery H. Bancroft’s Elemental Theology, Doctrinal and Conservative27 Bancroft’s work is adequately positive completely Biblical and very fundamental. His first sentence on creation contains a negative lead in “There is no trustworthy evidence that man came from beneath as a product of life forces or potencies of the material universe.”28 But Bancroft presents the fact of creation rather than the theory of creation. The latter track is Chafer’s neoevangelical approach and mimics Augustus Strong’s previous approach29. Strong published prior to the birth of fundamentalism and neoevangelicalism, but his flavor is in general neoevangelical, i.e. tiptoeing through apostasy, being careful not to ruffle any apostate or evolutionist’s feathers. Bancroft has no apologetics for the truth and a clearly separatist flavor of the fundamentalist. His work, however, is closer to a Bible Doctrines work than a Systematic Theology work. This is the state of all Baptist theology efforts. A truly Biblical, i.e. Baptist, Systematic Theology is still lacking in publication. If such an effort would be undertaken it would be more than Emery H. Bancroft included in his 1932, Elemental Theology. It is indeed, most exceptional, but alas elemental, rather than systematic. To extend Bancroft’s work from a 1932 Elemental effort to a Systematic Theology for the 21st Century, one which overpowers the neoevangelical works of Chafer and Geisler, one would start with Bancroft’s format and add pertinent systematic endeavor. (see appendix Prolegomena for a better description of that challenge)

The basic outline for a Systematic Theologies Anthropology section must start with a robustness found in Bancroft’s: The Doctrine of Man (Anthropology).30 That outline is recited below:

  1. Creation
    1. The Fact of Creation
      1. Mans Creation Decreed
      2. Mans Creation Declared
    2. The Method of Creation
      1. Negatively Considered
      2. Positively Considered
  2. Original Condition
    1. Possessed the Image of God
      1. Does not denote physical likeness
      2. May mean a formal likeness, a likeness in form
      3. It could refer to a triune likeness- tripartite being, vs Triune Being
      4. It doubtless includes the personal image
      5. It must involve endless being with which God has endowed man
      6. It certainly means intellectual and moral likeness:
    2. Possessed Intellectual Faculties
    3. Possessed a Holy Moral Nature
  3. Probation
    1. The Meaning of Probation
    2. The Fact of Probation
    3. The Period of Probation
  4. The Fall
    1. The Fact of the Fall
    2. The Manner of the Fall
      1. The Tempter
      2. The Temptation
        1. Woman, unprotected and near the forbidden
        2. Insinuating question implied doubt of God’s Word
        3. Woman replying to and parleying with the slanderer
        4. Woman tampering with the Word of God
        5. Serpent’s open denial of punishment for sin and accusing God of lying, selfishness, jealousy, degrading and lording over.
        6. Woman believing the tempter lust of eye, lust of flesh, pride of life
        7. Obeying the tempter
        8. Becoming a tempter to her husband who yielded undeceived.
    3. The Results of the Fall
      1. To Adam and Eve in particular
        1. Consciousness of nakedness and sense of shame
        2. A craven fear of God
        3. Expulsion from the garden
      2. To the race in general
        1. Ground cursed to not yield good alone
        2. Sorrow and pain to woman in childbearing
        3. All men are sinners and resting under condemnation
        4. Physical and spiritual death and threatened penalty of eternal death
        5. Unredeemed men are in helpless captivity to sin and Satan

 

Depicting the difference in a Biblical Doctrines work and a Biblical Systematic Theology work is the necessary work of a Prolegomena. That effort is begun in the draft Prolegomena in the appendix of this effort. Dr. John F. Walwoord, who succeeded Dr. Chafer as President of Dallas Theological Seminary, described Dr. Chafer’s Systematic Theology as “without question an epoch in the history of Christian Doctrine… a complete and unabridged Systematic Theology.”31 This author disagrees with that assessment and contends that a truly Biblical Systematic Theology is still want to be published.

Critique of Chap XIII-XIV The Material/Immaterial Part of Man (144-197)

Lewis Sperry Chafer’s poor coverage of mans origin and inadequate organization of his Anthropology section takes a turn for the worse in this chapter. Infidel, Philosopher, and Roman Catholic have decreed that man is made up of a material part and an immaterial part; God’s revelation makes no such simplistic distinction. If man is made in the image and likeness means anything, and if trinity means anything, then man is more than material and immaterial, he is body, soul, and spirit. The Roman Catholic doctrine that man has a material part to be dealt with and a immaterial part to be considered separately, has overwhelmed Chafer’s neoevangelical leanings. His Systematic Theology has now become a book of Roman Catholic Doctrine.

Chafer’s propensity to teach Roman Catholic Doctrine in these two chapters makes this section all the more feckless. How the human body actually produces an immaterial part, traducian theory, various elements, capacities and faculties of an immaterial part of man carries such insignificance that it hardly matters that his three key sources are the Encyclopedia Britannica32, Presbyterian Theologian Hodge33 and Presbyterian Theologian Shedd34. The whole differentiation and characterization of this artificial material and immaterial parts of man is extra-Biblical. Chafer is taking neoevangelicalism even further than it is want to go.

Critique of Chap XV The State of Innocence (198-214)

It does not bode well for a Systematic Theology being systematic or theology when Lewis Sperry Chafer starts the State of Innocence with a philosophical poem by Hollands greatest 17th century poet. Once again Dr. Chafer is allowing his quest for scholarly philosophy to trump his communication of truth. His approach does not herein improve.

A single sentence from the Responsibility of the First Man reveals, again, that Chafer’s work is wholly unworthy. “That the Christian may walk and talk with God, that the guiding and teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit is vouchsafed to him, and that the enabling power to realize God’s perfect will and plan is freely bestowed, illustrated, to some measure, the high privilege and responsibility of the first man when no cloud intervened between his Creator and himself.”35 Sixty such words of brazen run on passivity, might be found somewhere in poor English prose, but may it never be found in a Systematic Theology book. Our subject is complicated enough, the prose we use must be riddled with simplicity, not with gobbledygook. But Chafer does get worse.

From this point on in his diatribe of verbiage Dr. Chafer makes his whole focus, not the Biblical representation of the state of innocence, as would be proper, but those who consider the whole book of Genesis to be allegorical. Certainly there is a whole tribe of Evangelicals who are such infidels, but a Systematic Theology which has as its sole authority the infallible, inerrant, plenary, verbally inspired word of God, has little cause to address such an audience. In such an exorbitant waste Dr. Chafer has frittered away another fourteen pages of his six volumes of work.

Critique of Chap XVI The Fall (215-223)

There is little purpose in reading Chafer’s wordy opinion on the fall of man. One need only take note that he first sites Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, followed by the Presbyterian, Dr. Shedd, followed by the Westminster Confession. The overbearing error of all of this is best worded in my draft Prolegomena in the appendix of this paper. It details how theologians with a theology in their heart have failed to follow a basic systematic methodology to get that theology onto paper, systematically. Here Chafer does exactly what is condemned in that essay. He uses a scientific method wherein he hypothesizes about the fall of man, then experiments a path through multiple ancient opinions to bring hypothesis up to theory, and using the same empirical process, to bring theory up to “gospel truth”.

Theology is not a science, and in treating it as such, Dr. Chafer abandons the inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible as his sole source of truth about the fall of man. He follows the outline of Charles Hodge. He follows the scheme of Augustus Strong. Both equally failed on this same level. It is curious that Geisler36, a whole generation removed from the neoevangelical start up that engulfed Chafer, does no less. His genius in organizing and communicating his neoevangelical theology in one volume (1680 pages) dwarfs Dr. Chafer’s effort in six volumes. (2,700+ pages!) But alas, Norman Geisler has the same failure. These Theologians considered theology a science, and expected if they could “lasso” everything that was ever believed about God, and here the Fall, they would be able to draw the noose tight enough to end up with all the truth and nothing but the truth. Unfortunately this method, effective for science, is wholly inadequate for theology, wherein, at the start, there is an inerrant, infallible plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible which is the sole source for the gospel truth.

Dr. Chafer has “lassoed” a great many sources to frame up his “theory” about the fall of man; unfortunately his noble effort is not really Biblical in nature or in analysis.

Critique of Dr. Chafer’s Hamartiology Chapters XVII – XXIV (224 – 373)

Shall one suppose that a fundamentalist reading the doctrine of sin (Hamartiology) as written by a neoevangelical will learn because the “neo” is camped much closer to the edge? I trow not. Again two major camps came out of the turn of the last century; the fundamentalist is very much personified in C. I. Scofield, and the neoevangelical is very much personified in Lewis Sperry Chafer.

The fundamentalist wanted to bar the gate and close the door on the apostasy found in the modernist, liberal leaning Church. The neoevangelical thought that a reasonable inclusiveness could sway those modernist leanings and reform the apostate beliefs.

A solid understanding of where Dr. Chafer is coming from, and a firm conviction that his methodology for theology development is fatally flawed, should not lessen that his approach to Hamartiology is novel.

His outline is: Hamartiology by Chafer (149 pages)37

Introduction to Hamartiology ch 17 pg 224 (7%)

Personal Sin and Its Remedy ch 18 pg 235 (32%)

The Transmitted Sin Nature And Its Remedy ch 19 pg 283 (9%)

Imputed Sin and Its Remedy ch 20 pg 296 (13%)

Man’s Estate “Under Sin” and His Relation to Satan ch 21 pg 316 (6%)

The Christians Sin and Its Remedy ch 22 pg 325 (23%)

Punishment ch 23 pg 360 (3%)

The Final Triumph Over All Sin ch 24 pg 365-373 (5%)

Such a unique approach to Hamartiology might be expected from one who, early in his life, wrote an eloquent thesis on Satan and his dominion38 Dr. Chafer saw a failure of previous systematic theologies to properly capture the whole realm of the doctrine of sin , just as they failed to capture dispensationalism. He has thus far failed to remedy the latter shortfall, but herein attempts the remedy of the former.

Unfortunately Dr. Chafer still uses a flawed inclusive, hypothesis based methodology, and a verbose passive communication mannerism. His flawed method is so animated and his verbose manner so annoying, (for one who enjoys getting to the main point, highly annoying) that Chafer’s novel outline shall be extracted and then beefed up with a good Bible Doctrines Book; Chafer’s work being more of a verbose philosophy book. Both Cambron and Bancroft will be used to expand Chafer’s outline for Hamartiology and a reasonable draft Hamartiology section for a Biblical Systematic Theology is found in the appendix of this report.

The scientific method is so much a wrong method for developing a theology, and Chafer so brazenly uses it in this section, that some of its malefactors should be herein pointed out. Chafer begins his analysis of personal sin by first collecting multiple opinions of Philosophers and by-gone Christian Theologians. He specifically quotes Mani, a third century philosopher, before he quotes Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, first century purveyors of absolute truth. Chafer spends pages developing this philosophical understanding of dualism, extensively quoting Dr. Miller who discusses the “inner variance of evil.”39 Really? Dr. Chafer then, wishing to capture “another truth which must not be overlooked,” extensively quotes “The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.” After fourteen pages of development, he finally does bring a few Scriptures to bear on his subject. Now after gathering together a whole room full of witnesses about the sinfulness of sin, one witness, the Holy Bible, being left to stand in a back corner, as it were, now, Chafer draws the cord to secure the hypothesis. In Section III, pg 252, he presents his “proof” in Section IV, pg 254, he talks of advancing it to a theory and in Section V, pg 267, he gives general terms and classifies his hypothesis as law, i.e. the truth. Chafer is using the scientific method to develop truth. It is blatant. It is brazen. It is error. Theology is not a science. One cannot develop theological truth like Kepler developed the laws of planetary motion. There is an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired sole source of theological truth. I needs to be the final authority, Chafer uses it as a last resort authority. The scientific method does not produce theology.

It is curious that theologians who want to use profound philosophies as source of wisdom, never use God’s chosen philosophers. They will reference Socrates (469-399 B.C.), Plato (428-348 B.C.), Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), even Mani40 (216-274 A.D.), but God included tow exceptional philosophy books in his 66 book communication, Job and Ecclesiastes. Philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom by purely intellectual means. This emphasis on logical reasoning rather than the empirical reasoning, done in science, is not more capable of deducing theological truth than is science. Both negate the inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Word of God as the sole source of theological truth. Indeed it is the exclusion of phenomenological observation (science) and rationalism (philosophy) which drives the theological student to require his sole source in the first place. Although philosophy will not achieve a theology, ones theology should not be void of logical reasoning. God’s philosopher Job, spends forty two chapters philosophizing about man being justified before a Holy God. God’s philosopher, Solomon, spends twelve chapters philosophizing about the vanity of man. Both are clearly philosophy books. Both are frustrated in finding truth, until God steps in; in Job with staunch rebuke, in Ecclesiastes with a plan for life. Such is the sole value of philosophy in developing theology. Man is totally reliant on God to lead us into truth. Jesus said it thus: “I am the truth, no man cometh to the Fathers but by me.”

Chafer, using a scientific method and a verbose, passive communication mannerism is not a good source for documented Hamartiology. If one is satisfied with a neoevangelical perspective Geisler’s one volume is far superior to Chafer’s six volumes. If one desire just the facts Cameron and Bancroft provide excellent coverage of the doctrine of Hamartiology. A systematic theology which does not rely on philosophy or science to secure a theology of Hamartiology is not presently available.

 

 

 

Appendix Prolegomena Draft

Part 01 Prolegomena

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith…. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow…. I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl 1:12,17-18, 3:10-11)

The Systematic Theology for the 21st century needs a Prolegomena. Prolegomena is a preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity. Prolegomena comes from the Greek, “Prolegein” – meaning to say before hand41. Such an introduction essay to a systematic theology, is necessary here to set some pre-conditions, to scope out the formidable task, and, in this instance especially, to redefine the system in systematic and differentiate this effort from the many other works of this nature.

Theology is the compounding of two words, “theos” for God, and “ology” for a verbose, exhaustively researched, consideration of, a meditation on, a discussion about, and a communication of, its topic. Theology is thus an exhaustively covered presentation of everything that could be known about God and everything that God has done. Knowing everything under the sun is a pretty daunting task.

The travail given to man by God is to seek and search out all things that are done under heaven. (Eccl. 1:13, 3:10). All rational minds are to be exercised in this travail. By God’s grace and his wisdom this impossible travail turns into joy, when our relationship with him is made right. A systematic theology is a supreme culmination of that joy. The systematic gathering, categorizing, and analyzing of everything that God has revealed to man could indeed be a great travail. It is a task that can naught be completed, and, because it is the finite grappling with the infinite, it can not be successful. It is, however, the sore travail given to the sons of men, and one dare not slack from its calling. Every effort is herein made to cause this exhaustive task to be less of a “sore travail” and more of a “no greater joy.” “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men, to be exercised in it. He hath made everything beautiful in his time: Also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end… I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (Ecc. 3:10, 3John 1:4)

Theology is for Everyone

Every rational thinking human is developing a theology. God created humans with that inborn propensity. In its basest form theology is man’s musing about God. God implanted that in every rational mind. What think ye of God the creator? What think ye of Christ? What think ye of sin? What think ye of the fall of Lucifer? What think ye of “So great Salvation”? “Hear , O Israel; the LORD our God is one LORD; and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children, and shalt talk of them when thou settist in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way: and when thou liest down and when thou risest up.” (Deut. 6:4-7) What think ye of God? What think ye of His Words? In a less raw form, theology must be more than mussing about God, it must take on a more organized pattern and a more thorough consideration of God centered things.

A Christian, being one who has individually confessed and accepted the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, for their saving, has now a quickened, corrected, and personal relationship with their God and Creator. They also have a charge from him that they carefully develop a theology. A theology, again, is a musing about, a consideration of, and even an analysis of, (ology) everything that can be known of God (Theos), and of everything that God has done in this his universe. An unregenerate mind is self centered, rebellious, Christ less, and ergo, God less. His pursuit of theology will turn to self worship, (i.e. evolution as it promotes the self made man) and/or creature worship, (worshiping the creature, i.e. stars, images, idols, animals, humans, angels, et.al.) more than Creator worship. (Rom 1:10) The quickened mind of the born again believer, however, is enlightened and guided away from a self centered theology, into a God centered, Holy Spirit directed theology. But, theology is still the travail assigned to every rational mind. Carefully organizing ones musing about God, when done carefully, with method and thoroughness, might be called systematic.

Why Systematic?

Systematic actually speaks toward the organizational method for the development of a theology. A systematic theology will be systematic in three particulars. First, it must be systematically holistic. There is to be nothing in particular left out. There is to be a stepping back and a consideration of the larger picture, as it were, and this review is to ask, “Is there anything not fully considered?” Second, for a theology to be systematic, it needs a systematic method of consideration for each of its parts. A Bible doctrine work provides due consideration of every major theme taught in the Bible. Systematic theology must exceed Bible doctrine in that it must also methodically give due consideration to what the Bible does not teach, even what God has not revealed. Man has developed some beliefs about God which are not found nor supported in the Bible. Rational philosophy and irrational religions have come to bare on what one believes about God, man, and the Bible. These sources insert deception in ones theology; deception which must be systematically routed out.

Lastly, for a theology to be systematic, it needs to pursue a systematic analytical method, rather than the scientific method which cannot fulfill such a systematic purpose. In such a truly systematic method a circle or sphere encompasses the whole system to be considered. Parts, participants, and other systems outside of this sphere of consideration, are only interconnected via inputs to, or outputs from the system under consideration. Ergo, for a systematic theology, the sphere is to contain everything one can know about God and his works. To produce a Biblical theology that sphere need only contain everything revealed to man by God in the Holy Bible: distinctly clarified that is God’s written word and NOT the vision of a 500 foot high Jesus that Oral Roberts saw, nor the Golden Tables of law that Joseph Smith allegedly received from an angel in Palmyra, N.Y. Notice in drawing a border around a system, certain things are purposely, and consciously left out. It will be seen that this last particular of a systematic theology, that of defining the system under consideration, is crucial, and recognizing the pieces which must fall outside of the system has been the downfall of previous works called systematic theology. A good theology will thus be holistic, methodical and focused on a bordered system, making a good theology a systematic theology, and a truly systematic theology a good theology.

This Systematic Theology for the 21st Century is undertaken because it is unprecedented. In this author’s fifty three years as a born again believer, (1960 – 2013), and thirty years as a theologian, there has not been found a systematic theology work that has been thoroughly Biblical, thoroughly Baptist and thoroughly systematic. A thoroughly Biblical systematic theology not only contends for an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible, it discards confessions, orthodoxies, and traditions which over step that Bible as sole authority. A thoroughly Baptist Systematic Theology contends for the perpetuity of a right and righteous remnant. This remnant holds the rightly divided word of truth, understood in a historical, grammatical, literal manner, a word of truth which reveals God’s dispensational truths. It also contends that Roman Catholic doctrine has always been wrong and the tentacles of Roman Catholic error have rooted in the whole of Protestant doctrine like leaven. Baptists are not, and never have been Protestant42. A thoroughly systematic, systematic theology is holistic, methodical, and carefully bounded in a system of truth. There are other tremendous works of systematic theology and thorough coverages of Bible doctrines. This one is meant to stand alone in these three hallmarks, Biblical, Baptist, and Systematic. Careful definition of the latter will ensure the previous two hallmarks.

Theology is not a Science and has not been Systematic

A thorough analysis is systematic only because it has thoroughly analyzed a system. This truth has been so maligned by theologians, and is so crucial for a successful systematic theology, that it needs to be given a thorough clarification in a Prolegomena. Any analysis and especially one so crucial as a theology, must needs be systematic to be effective and thorough. A theology can only be systematic when there is a defined system under consideration. Failure to perceive this fact has been the downfall of previous “systematic” theologies.

Charles Hodge (1797-1878), from Princeton Theological Seminary, may be considered the Father of the Published Systematic Theologies. He was very genius, a very gifted communicator, and very Presbyterian. Such a Father of the Published Systematic Theologies made two glaring errors in his Prolegomena, and consequently in his published work. Charles Hodge considered theology a science which must follow a scientific method, just like the other sciences. Charles Hodge also loosely compassed a border around his theology, i.e. his system under consideration, which attempted to capture everything ever known, ever observed, and ever believed about God, and all His works. Consider why these are indeed untenable error for an effective and efficient systematic theology.

Theology is long considered a science, like Biology, Archeology, Astronomy and Physics, and oftentimes, by those wishing to more ennoble it, it is called the Queen of the Sciences. But theology is not a science at all, and dare not follow a scientific method. There is no science or scientific method which allows for an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired, authoritative source as a final authority, yeah, its sole authority, Biblical theology does, indeed it must. The scientific method and any resulting science which is framed by its tenants is based on hypothesizing about observations and then extensively testing your hypothesis. This scientific method, actually formalized on Charles Hodge’s 50th birthday, involves five steps: 1) Formulation of the question about an observed phenomena, 2) Formulating a hypothesis which conjectures its answer, 3) Predicting the logical consequences of the hypothesis, 4) Testing to see if the real world behaves as predicted by the hypothesis and, finally, 5) Analyzing the results of the real world experiment in order to refine the hypothesis. Now after a hypothesis has been extensively tested and widely and generally accepted, with no evidence to dispute it, it may be generalized and summarized into a theory, and after a theory has been extensively tested and widely and generally accepted, with no evidence to dispute it, and no exceptions to be found, it may be generalized and summarized as a law. Does this seem like a sound way to determine theology? I trow not.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, used this very method for constituting the laws of planetary motion, but what we know about God, in our theology, has absolutely nothing to do with observing, questioning, hypothesizing, theorizing and constituting laws. Charles Hodge erred when he attempted to fit the scientific method into his theology development, and that glaring error has found root in systematic theologies right up to Geisler’s 2002 extensive publication43 The error is manifest in Hodge’s first serious topic of consideration;44 Hodge makes his first argument the proof of the existence of God. The Holy Bible, which he has conjectured to be his sole source and sole authority for theology, is herein set aside; it takes one on no such adventure. It is Charles Hodge’s treatment of theology as just another of the natural sciences which causes him to employ techniques found in the scientific method. Likewise, following the Father of Published Systematic Theologies, this ‘proof of the existence of God’ is the first coverage of Augustus Strong’s 1907 Baptist work of Systematic Theology45, as does Henry Clarence Thiessen’s 1949 Baptist work of systematic theology.46 It is given coverage in Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 verbose six volumes of neoevangelical work of Systematic Theology,47 and even in Geisler’s 21st century evangelical effort.48

The Holy Bible extends no effort towards the proof of God’s existence. He is the “I AM.” Further, it is revealed in inerrant, infallible language that every human born into this world knows of his eternal Godhead, and is without excuse. (Romans 1) Even further, it is revealed in that inerrant, infallible communique that His Only Begotten Son, his Anointed One, the Christ, is the light that lighteth every man. There is no scientific hypothesis about His existence, a hypothesis which is carefully brought to the fruition and proof by a scientific method, because theology is not a science. Science and its methods support mans groping for greater knowledge, theology dare not do that groping like other sciences must. Theology is a process of collaborating and organizing declared truth, not a science of exploring, on a quest for confirmed truth.

Charles Hodge, genius and communications master, opened a course of study which laid aside the inerrant, infallible sole source of theology and picked up the philosophy book. He, and all systematic theology books which followed his outline, pursue the ontological argument for the existence of God. “I think therefore I am,” as a profound statement, may find a sound home in a philosophy book, but it and its presumed author, have no place in a theology book. Likewise a teleological a posterior argument which proves the existence of God is nothing more than philosophical fodder for scholars showing how knowledge puffeth up. It has no place in a Biblical systematic theology book. Supposing a power which produces intelligence and rational thought might lack an intelligence and rational thinking is such a profound tom-foolery that it should not even be considered in a good philosophy book.49 Hodge, and those following his theological footsteps, give this teleological argument due consideration in a systematic theology book which they suppose should follow a scientific method, because they suppose that theology is just another of the sciences. Theology is not a science, and should never stoop to a scientific method to try to prove the existence of God, or to “prove” anything else that has been revealed to man by an infallible inerrant source.

Science is50 “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena” and a theologian dare not call the study of his God and Creator anything resembling such a definition. Science is “Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena,” and a theologian dare not call his supernatural God nothing more than a natural phenomena. Science is “such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study,” and a theologian dare not call his infinite God and Creator just an object nor employ “such activities” in his travail to know/understand all things under heaven. Science is “methodological activity, discipline, or study: An activity that appears to require study and method: and knowledge, especially that gained through experience,” and the theologian dare not lean on any of these secondary definitions to capture what he must capture from an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired written revelation authored by his infinite Creator. Theology is not a science, and it cannot be captured in its entrapments.

The scientific method is “The principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis.”51 Their method is excellently suited for mans comprehension of all of God’s creation, (Would that it were followed by the humanists with their wild hypothesis that breeding dogs together long enough will produce a Clydesdale horse, or that copulating lizards eventually hatch out a bald eagle!) but the scientific method has no place in theology. Theology must needs be exploring, categorizing, comprehending and understanding the God who reveals himself, and in so doing it is far above the natural phenomena that mere science explores. When the theologian resorts to science and scientific method in his task, he does theology a great disservice; as has Hodge, Strong, Thiessen, Chafer and Geisler. When one has an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired sole source of truth, which these theologians affirm, (Thiessen and Chafer only affirm that we once upon a time had it, but lost it due to incompetent copyists, Geisler affirms that we only have 90% of the text left52 but should trust what we have anyway, while modernist textual critics try to reassemble the rest) there is little need for a scientific method which strives to deduce what truth is, and no justification for categorizing theology as a science which must rely on such methods.

Consider the System in Systematic

An insurmountable disservice has been done to theology by those who have not properly enveloped the system under consideration. Systematic, in the sense of a systematic theology, must include more than a planned ordered procedure of investigation, it needs to include a definition of the system which is to be considered. Charles Hodge, the Father of the Published Systematic Theologies thought to use the methods of science to explore and reason out all that could be known about God. It has been seen that the methods of science are suited for exploring all natural phenomena of God’s creation, but are not at all suited for exploring the uncaused cause of all that phenomena. It must now be considered that Hodge’s definition of exactly what was to be explored was far to broad and inclusive. Hodge attempted to document everything that has ever been believed about God since the coming of Christ, the manifestation of God. In this broad sweeping gesture, for it never was a clear definition, Hodge must include all the philosophies of man, all the teachings of the Mother of Churches, all the humanist and atheist perspectives and discussion about how many angels might dance on the head of a pin. This failure to scope his systematic theology, to narrow down and accurately define his approach to so daunting a task, is what has given theology a daunting shudder for most Christians, and caused systematic theology to leave a bad taste in even the preachers mouth.

Conventional theologians have tried to compensate for this failure by inappropriately dividing a “Practical Theology” and a “Biblical Theology” from this more foreboding “Systematic Theology.” Such divisions are artificial and damaging. They imply that practical theology is not Biblical theology, that Biblical theology is not practical, and that neither can be systematic. Properly, yeah, even systematically considering the errors in Hodges approach can embolden a far better approach. A systems analysis approach to theology must replace the failed scientific method’s approach. Such an analytical method can restore theology to a valid position of being practical, Biblical and systematic.

Truly Systematic is Accomplished with Actual Systems

With a system analyst an overwhelmingly complex system53 is subdivided into smaller systems. The analyst draws a line, or border around each system, and explores the interacting interdependence of just this one system under his consideration. This is a powerful and versatile tool for analysis of very complex systems, and the complexity of this one, theology, is infinite, ergo there is no more suited methodology for its comprehension. Consider some finite illustrations of its success.

The automobile is a reasonably complex system and its complexity has advanced annually in recent years. The exhaust system is a tiny element of the more complex engine system, part of the drive system which is an integral part to the automobile. The exhaust system has a muffler which is an element in a sound muffling system and a catalytic converter which is part of an emissions control system. Each group of interacting, interrelated or interdependent elements forming a complex whole is a system in itself and these systems combine and interact to from a system called the automobile. The automobile is part of a larger system called the transportation system. To use an automobile you do not need to know that platinum is a catalyst for the chemical reaction which breaks down engine emissions. That may only be consoling knowledge when you have to open you wallet so wide to replace a catalytic converter, or when you want to know why it is against the law to buy a used one. The latter law being part of a crime prevention system. On a very physical level one can comprehend what a system is and how a systematic analysis is necessary for comprehension, design, and troubleshooting of an automobile. Rational beings are rational because they can take another step towards abstraction. Let us therefore do just that.

Biology is the study of all living things. Plants are living things and the study of plants is called Botany. Entomology is the study of insects. There are certain defined boundaries for when a living thing is considered a plant and when it is categorized as an insect. A mosquito is an insect with an intricately designed system for extracting blood from a mammal when plant liquids are not satisfying. A mammal is a class of warm blooded vertebrate animals characterized by a covering of hair on the skin and the production of milk to nourish its young. One need not labor the fact that although they may be called “ologies”, these are all systems with interacting inter-related or inter-dependent elements forming a complex whole. Biology is a defined bordered system which fits into an even larger system of study. Biology, the study of living things, is not really the study of all living things. It has a border or restriction which prevents the study of angels under this category. borders and restrictions are good and necessary in categorizing the studies of our interacting systems with that much understanding in place one can approach theology with a system analysis methodology and redefine the whole realm of Systematic Theology. That re-definition is prudent and necessary. Charles Hodge, opened an overwhelming flood gate when he included in his systematic theology, input from Orpheus and Homer because they were called Greek Theologians54, and when he referenced the genius of Aristotle just because he classed the sciences as physics, mathematics and theology and wrote about nature, number and that which concerns God.55

It is necessary that Biblical theology consider the Holy Bible as its sole authority and sole source for truth. Draw a circle around Aristotle and other genius’ and call it Philosophical theology, encircle Saint Augustine and his Roman Catholic Church and call it Roman Catholic theology, encircle John Calvin and the Westminster confession and call it Presbyterian Theology, encircle Charles Darwin and the humanist manifesto and call it humanist theology. et.al., all separate systems with borders interconnections and interactions.

Each of these circles must be considered systems in themselves. They are purposely separated from each other like the insect is separated from the plant and the mammal. They may each undergo their own systematic analysis, and they each have various interacting, interrelated and interdependent elements. Carefully defining these separate systems is essential for understanding the effect they might have on a truly Biblical Systematic Theology. Charles Hodge as a Father of Published Systematic Theologies set a precedence for considering theology as a science, and for incorporating all that was ever believed about God. His use of Philosophy, introduced the immaterial and material dichotomy of man, instead of the Bible’s Trichotomy, his use of Saint Augustine introduced the Catholicness of the Church instead of the Bibles emphasis on the local church, his use of Roman theology introduced penance, priest, and clergy, the Westminster Confession, decrees, predestination of souls, and fatalism; indeed all who followed in his footsteps, Strong, Thiessen, Chafer, and Geisler, gave inclusiveness greater consideration than Biblical exclusiveness. When Geisler wrote his 21st century systematic theology his goal was to systematically capture all that is believed by evangelicals; Nicene Creed, neoevangelicalism, theistic- evolution and all. Such an all encompassing theme takes up every bit of 1664 pages and advances Hodges’ myth that a systematic theology must incorporate everything that reasonable minds have ever believed about God.

A systematic theology which uses the Holy Bible for its sole source and uses a system analysis approach instead of a scientific method can isolate itself from the effects of philosophy, Catholicism, Reformed theology, evangelicalism, theistic evolutionist, et.al. Such a task is accomplished by using great care in how the systems are bounded. Where in time past it was considered that all these systems overlapped, certainly reformed theology and Roman theology both had some Bible theology, and perhaps Reformer had more than Rome, it was not deemed essential to make each a wholly separated system. All interactions and interrelationships between these systems need to be interfaced as inputs or outputs and system borders need to be kept secure. This isolation of separate systems is an essential key for this type of systematic analysis. In times past a huge system of Christian belief was captured by encircling a myriad of overlapping belief systems and truth was supposedly captured by testing various hypothesis by a scientific method. Such a process was flawed and is failed. It was ever testing and hypothesizing and never coming to the truth. Using a system analysis methodology isolates each system of belief behind clear borders, allows only guarded and understood interrelations, and allows our focus on any of the individual systems. The system which shall capture that focus will be called Biblical Theology.

A system called Biblical Theology, with a function of generating its very name, is isolated from all other systems of theology and contains, enveloped in a sphere, as it were, the 66 books56 written by forty Hebrew authors over a period of 159257 years, and called the Holy Bible, the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the Scripture, the Word of God and the Words of God. Consider, for a moment, what else should be in this system. Eliminating the obvious, the teachings of Aristotle, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Westminster Confession of Faith will not be herein found. One need not slander any of these, but one needs to isolate them from our Biblical Theology. These may be isolated into their own separated systems, systems with controlled, supervised interfaces.

Should an infinite God be enclosed in this system called Biblical Theology? The system is indeed finite and cannot contain the infinite. But consider the desire to capture all of God that the finite mind can possibly grasp, and consider that that whole realm of possibility is already in this system, it is all captured in the Holy Bible. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)

Should the influence of the Holy Spirit of God be in our system called Biblical Theology? No. Consider carefully this answer. In a system analysis methodology elements recognized in the system must be isolated as a separate operating system, i.e. a subsystem, which performs a function pertinent to the larger system.

Consider, for example, the automobile exhaust system. It performs three functions, it conducts exhaust gas to the rear, it muffles the sound of the engine exhaust, and it cleans up some exhausted emissions. Certainly the piping system in charge of conducting gas does some muffling. Certainly the catalytic converter muffles some as well, but each subsystem in this system has a separate function to perform and gets isolated into its own system. Their interrelationship and interactions are marked by defined and controlled interfaces. There are indeed three separate functions in the exhaust system.

In our system called Biblical Theology, there is only one function, organizing revealed truth. If the Holy Spirit or more specifically the influence of the Holy Spirit is considered an element in this system he must be recognized as a separate subsystem which comes to bear on that revealed truth. In doing so one must consider that, allegedly, the Holy Spirit revealed a 500 foot image of Jesus to Oral Roberts. It is thus obvious that the Holy Spirit shall not be considered as a separate system operating within the system of Biblical Theology. Any work and influence that the Holy Spirit of God does must be done within the 66 books of the Words of God. And thus saith the Scripture: “ Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:31) For the revelation of truth which belongs in a Biblical Theology, the Holy Spirit of God must not be a separate operating agency. He shall only work in the confines of the revealed Word of God.

Should the rational mind of man be an element, i.e. a subsystem, inside of our system called Biblical Theology? If one carefully followed the reasoning just developed about the Holy Spirit the easy answer is, No. And thus saith the Scripture: “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim 2:15) For the revelation of truth which belongs in a Biblical Theology, the rational mind of man must not be a separate operating agency, it shall only work in the confines of the revealed Word of God.

It is curious that theologians who want to use profound philosophies as source of wisdom, never use God’s chosen philosophers. They will reference Socrates (469-399 B.C.), Plato (428-348 B.C.), Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), even Mani58 (216-274 A.D.), but God included tow exceptional philosophy books in his 66 book communication, Job and Ecclesiastes. Philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom by purely intellectual means. This emphasis on logical reasoning rather than the empirical reasoning, done in science, is not more capable of deducing theological truth than is science. Both negate the inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Word of God as the sole source of theological truth. Indeed it is the exclusion of phenomenological observation (science) and rationalism (philosophy) which drives the theological student to require his sole source in the first place. Although philosophy will not achieve a theology, ones theology should not be void of logical reasoning. God’s philosopher Job, spends forty two chapters philosophizing about man being justified before a Holy God. God’s philosopher, Solomon, spends twelve chapters philosophizing about the vanity of man. Both are clearly philosophy books. Both are frustrated in finding truth, until God steps in; in Job with staunch rebuke, in Ecclesiastes with a plan for life. Such is the sole value of philosophy in developing theology. Man is totally reliant on God to lead us into truth. Jesus said it thus: “I am the truth, no man cometh to the Fathers but by me.”

It is clarified then that there is only one element operating inside of our system called Biblical Theology, and that element is the Holy Bible. The function of our system is to organize every thing that can be known about God and about all His works. The beauty of this Systematic Theology is that it is to develop a theology which has the inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible as its sole source. The strength of this Systematic Theology is that it purports an ability to separate itself from the influences of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the Westminster Confession, Saint Augustine of Hippo, Saint Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, the Humanist Manifesto, et.al.

Two weakness of this Systematic Theology come to mind. First, as just clarified, the Holy Spirit of God and the rational mind of man must be functionally operating inside of the system, but they have been refused a position as an operating subsystem of the system. This may be more of a necessary analytical decision than a weakness, but it will require some consideration during the development of theology. A second weakness of this Systematic Theology is that it is very foreign to all previous methodologies for building what has come to be called systematic theology. This too is more of a necessary analytical decision than a weakness, but it will require a redefining of how one does theology, and that redefining will not be accepted by some traditionalists.

One final consideration about this improved systematic methodology has to do with the interacting, interrelating and inner dependency of the systems it defines, there is a necessary output and input interface defined between the systems that function within the larger system. For this consideration the larger system will be all that is believed by “Christians.” Some included systems considered for this interface illustration are, 1) this system of Biblical Theology, a system called 2) Roman Catholic Theology, a system called 3) Reformed Theology, and a system called 4) Evangelical Theology. (included just to recognize the extensive documentation effort of Norman L. Geisler) As minimal as it might be, there is an output from Biblical Theology which is input to Roman Catholic Theology. Is there an output from Roman Catholic Theology which serves as an input to Biblical Theology? I trow not! The purpose of this systematic development is to keep our Biblical Theology separate from all influences of the Roman Catholic Church. Likewise there is an output from Biblical Theology which is input to Reformed Theology, perhaps noticeably larger than the one to Rome. Is there an output from Reformed Theology which is input to Biblical Theology? Again, No. Such a connection is purposely severed. Likewise, again, Biblical Theology outputs to Evangelical Theology. Likewise its input from Biblical Theology is perceptibly larger than Reformed Theology’s similar input. But, alas, again, output from Evangelical Theology must not find its way to be input to Biblical Theology. Ergo, all output from other systems which might act as input to Biblical Theology are purposely and conscientiously severed.

Consider that there is an output from Roman Catholic Theology that serves as input to Reformed Theology, and another inputting stuff into Evangelical Theology. Consider also that Roman Catholic Theology has mutated because of input from Reformed Theology, and likewise, from the output of Evangelical Theology. It is adequate to be conscious of all this dynamic while being wholly focused on the system called Biblical Theology.

Also consider that there is a sound rule in Bible Hermeneutics (the Art of Bible Interpretation) which states that each interpretation should be compared with what man has always believed about a text. It is called the Rule of Orthodoxy. This is still a sound rule and is fitting for ones development of theology, when it is limited to being a rule of reasonableness and not a rule of absolutes. In this context of a systematic development of a Biblical Theology a Rule of Orthodoxy is not to be elevated to a position where it might supply input to our system. A Rule of Orthodoxy might, however, find some application in the rational mind which is studying to show itself approved unto God. Even in that application great care must be exercised that such “orthodoxy” not find an input avenue into Biblical Theology. It is still essential that Biblical Theology have a sole source in Holy Scripture.

The New Improved Systematic Methodology

This premise, this systematic methodology, is the basis for the development, documentation, and publication of this Systematic Theology for the 21st Century. It will unite Biblical Theology and Practical Theology with a true Systematic Theology. It is a different approach than has ere been documented for theology. It hails from the halls of the systems engineer and systems analyst. It is holistic. It is prudent that it be the premise for every theology.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Holy Bible

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977, [In 1932 Emery H. Bancroft became the first Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, NY and published his text for his course Elemental Theology. In 1968 the Seminary relocated to Clark Summit PA. In 1970 this author attended Practical Bible Training School on the Johnson City campus and studied Bancroft's text. In 1999 – 2000 this author attended Baptist Bible Seminary to take Greek (NT502 and NT503) via a 3 hour commute from Hammondsport NY to Clark Summit PA, and was reintroduced to Bancroft's exceptional work.]

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, [Independent Baptist, Professor, Tennessee Temple Bible School, 1954].

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.[Lewis Sperry Chafer was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential founding member of modern Christian Dispensationalism. Born: February 27, 1871, Rock Creek, Died: August 22, 1952, Seattle, Education: Oberlin College, Wheaton College. For my Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies through LBTS, I was tasked to analyze all six volumes of his Systematic Theology]

Satan, 1909, Free ebooks – Project Gutenberg,2004, http://www.gutenberg.org accessed 06/01/2013

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985.

Gaussen, L. Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science. David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840.

Geisler, Norman L, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11 [Geisler, also a neoevangelical, sharply contrasts with Lewis Sperry Chafer in that Geisler 1) admits what he is, neoevangelical, 2) admits what he is attempting, a compilation of evangelical theologies, 3) shows superb organization and structure of thought, 4) contains depth, and 5) is a masterful communicator. This author cannot endorse all that Geisler believes to be true, but can endorse that he seems to capture all that has been believed by conservative evangelicals.]

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org, public domain. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01hodg], [Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Presbyterian Minister, Princeton Theologian].

Larkin, Clarence. The Spirit World, Published by the Clarence Larkin Estate, 1921, Cosimo, 2005

Miley, John. Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2. The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01mile, [John Miley (1813-1895, Methodist Theologian].

Ryrie, Charles C.. Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.

Schofield, C. I.. Prophecy Made Plain. Photolithoprinted by Grand Rapids Book Manufacturers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.

Shedd, William G. T.. Dogmatic Theology. Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/dogmatictheology01sheduoft], [William G.T. Shedd, 1820-1894, Old School Presbyterian & Reformed Theologian].

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993. [Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, American Baptist Pastor & Theologian].

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949. [Henry Clarence Thiessen, ? -1947, President of Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary, later renamed John MacArthur's The Master's College].

Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 2006.

Waite, D.A.. Defending the King James Bible. The Bible For Today Press, 2002.

1Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol. 2, Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.

2Article contributed by www.walvoord.com, John F. Walvoord, long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.

4Ibid., 7.

5Ibid., 4.

6NIV as a Trademark stands for New International Version, trademark, name, and their text is copyright by the New York Bible Society International, 1973 and then the New York International Bible Society, 1978, and are used here without their permission.

7RSV as a Trademark stands for Revised Standard Version, the trademark, name, and their text is copyright by Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, 1946 and later by The World Publishing Company, Cleveland Ohio, 1952, and are used here without their permission.

8Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,… Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:… 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,… Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. … Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: … 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

9Strong, Systematic Theology Vol 2, 444.

10See section titled “Mongrel Mutant Demonic Humanoids” of this report, 17.

11Emery H. Bancroft, Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 60, Zondervan 1977, 315-345.

12Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Charles Scribner and Company, 1871, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org, public domain, 643.

13Lewis Sperry Chafer, Satan, 1909, Free ebooks – Project Gutenberg, 2004, http://www.gutenberg.org accessed 06/01/2013.

14 As a general rule a copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first; for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. As a result of the 1976 Copyright Act, any of the works with expired copyright have entered the public domain. from http://www.copyright.gov faq accessed 10/9/2013.

15Clarence Larkin, The Spirit World, Published by the Clarence Larkin Estate, 1921, Cosimo, 2005

16C.I. Scofield, The Scofield Reference Bible,1909, Oxford University Press, Inc. 1917, 1937, 1945, pg3 Note 3 .

17Peter Ruckman, Earth’s Earliest Ages, and The Ruckman Study Bible.

18Peter Ruckman, Black is Beautiful, Peter S. Ruckman, 1996.

19See definition of Allegorical Method provided in this work pg ?

20Jer 31:27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

21Neil R. Lightfoot, as recorded in his book How We Got Our Bible, 1963, Baker, in 500 manuscripts found a word spelled differently from the standard text and counted it as 500 variants. By this counting grammatical differences as variants textual critics have so exaggerated their importance that their count of variants in Bible manuscripts has exceeded 200,000. Ref Norman L. Geisler, Sep 2013 Article. Updating the Manuscript Evidence For The New Testament, http://www.normgeisler.com, accessed 10/23/2013. It is not accuracy but copyright law that fuels the critics quest for exaggerated variant counts. Never trust a Bible Critic, especially when he subtly calls himself a Textual Critic.

22Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Ps 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Ps 43:3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

23The allegorical method was founded by Roman Catholic Saint Origen of Alexandria, and exploited by Rome in the formation of the Roman Catholic religion.

24Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol 2, 141.

25“The twentieth century began with a tumultuous conservative uproar over the infiltration of numerous denominations by liberalism. The severity of the situation demanded immediate action. Heretical teachings were captivating and corrupting entire churches, schools and related organizations within multiplied denominations. Therefore, a coalition of interdenominational brethren, following a number of conferences, united around the five ‘fundamentals’ of the faith. They were:

1. The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture

2. The deity of Jesus Christ

3. The virgin birth of Christ

4. The substitutionary, atoning work of Christ on the cross

5. The physical resurrection and the personal bodily return of Christ to the earth.

“The adherents to these five ‘fundamental’ truths were naturally labeled ‘fundamentalists.’ Those opposing them were called ‘liberals.’ “The men joining together around these five points (commonly called ‘the doctrine of Christ’) were from varied and diversified religious backgrounds. Thus, this amalgamation of ‘first generation fundamentalists’ included Presbyterians, Baptists, Reformers, Reformed Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, Congregationalists, and Wesleyan Holiness brothers. The astounding thing about the members of this interdenominational movement was their love for one another.” (Dr. Jack Van Impe, Heart Disease in Christ’s Body, pp. 127-128).

26The term neoevangelical was popularized by one Harold Ockenga in 1947, neoevangelicals were then embarrassed to be called fundamentalists. (From www.theopedia.com accessed 18 Nov 2013).

27Emery H. Bancroft, Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 60, Zondervan 1977, 231-244.

28ibid., 231.

29Although Strong was consistently orthodox, he did use the results of modem critical scholarship more than, for example, his near Presbyterian contemporary Charles Hodge. Also, unlike Hodge, Strong was comfortable with the idea that God may have created the world through the processes of evolution. In the 1907 edition of his theology, Strong summarized his views on modern thought: “Neither evolution nor the higher criticism has any terrors to one who regards them as part of Christ’s creating and education process.” from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/strong accessed 2 Aug 2010

30Emery H. Bancroft, Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 60, Zondervan 1977, 231-244.

31Article contributed by www.walvoord.com, accessed 15 Dec 2013

32Chafer, Systematic Theology, 191,195.

33Ibid., 175.

34Ibid., 177.

35Ibid., 202.

36Norman L. Geisler, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11

37Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol 2, 234.

38Chafer, Satan, 1909.

39Chafer, Systematic Theology, 240.

40Ibid., 236.

41The American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd edition 1994 Soft Key International, s.v. , Prolegomena

42John Christian, Baptist History Vol 1

43Normal L. Geisler, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11

44Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology: Volume I, Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, 1

45Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1, Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907

46Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949

47Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol 1-6, Dallas Seminary Press, 1948

48Geisler, Systematic Theology in One Volume.

49No critique of Hodge’s use of philosophical cosmological argument or philosophical moral argument need be considered here, his careful following of scientific method for these arguments is assured and still errant.

50American Heritage Dictionary, s.v. science

51American Heritage Dictionary, s.v. scientific method

52Geisler, Systematic Theology, 177

53American Heritage Dictionary, s.v. system, A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.

54Hodge, Systematic Theology Vol 1, 34 (of 682 pages soft copy)

55 Hodge, Systematic Theology Vol 1, 34 of 682 in A5softcopy

56There will follow a full justification for the allowance of these 66 books.

57The Pentateuch was written at Sinai in 1492 B.C. (memorable date) and Revelation of Jesus Christ in 100 A.D.

58Ibid., 236.

Part 10 Angelology

Written By: Pastor Rice - Dec• 02•13

Part 10 Angelology

download at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/angelology.pdf

The following section is taken from Charles Hodge’s Angelology1 section in its entirety2. Foot notes are added where corrections are wanting.

ANGELS.

So much is said in the Scriptures of good and evil angels, and such important functions are ascribed to them both in the providence of God over the world, and especially in the experience of his people and of his Church, that the doctrine of the Bible concerning them should not be overlooked. That there are intelligent creatures higher than man, has been a general belief. It is so consonant with the analogy of nature as to be in the highest degree probable, apart from any direct revelation on the subject. In all departments of nature there is a regular gradation from the lower to the higher forms of life; from the almost invisible vegetable fungus in plants to the cedar of Lebanon; from the minutest animalcule to the gigantic mammoth. In man we meet with the first, and to all appearances the lowest of rational creatures. That he should be the only creature of his order is, à priori, as improbable as that insects should be the only class of irrational animals. There is every reason to presume that the scale of being among rational creatures is as extensive as that in the animal world. The modern philosophy which deifies man leaves no room for any order of beings above him. But if the distance between God and man be infinite, all analogy would prove that the orders of rational creatures between us and God must be inconceivably numerous. As this is in itself probable, it is clearly revealed in the Bible to be true. __________________________________________________________________

§ 1. Their Nature.

As to the nature of angels, they are described, (1.) As pure spirits, i.e., immaterial and incorporeal beings. The Scriptures do not attribute bodies of any kind to them. On the assumption that spirit unconnected with matter cannot act out of itself, that it can neither communicate with other spirits nor operate on the external world, it was maintained by many, and so decided in the council held at Nice, A.D. 784, that angels had bodies composed of ether or light; an opinion which was thought to be favoured by such passages as Matt. xxviii. 8, Luke ii. 9, and other passages in which their luminous appearance and the glory attending their presence are spoken of. The Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215, decided that they were incorporeal, and this has been the common opinion in the Church3. They are declared to be “substantiæ spirituales, omnis corporeæ molis expertes.” As such, therefore, they are invisible, incorruptible, and immortal. Their relation to space is described as an illocalitas; not ubiquity or omnipresence, as they are always somewhere and not everywhere at any given moment, but they are not confined to space circumscriptively as bodies are, and can move from one portion of space to another. As spirits they are possessed of intelligence, will, and power. With regard to their knowledge, whether as to its modes or objects, nothing special is revealed. All that is clear is that in their intellectual faculties and in the extent of their knowledge they are far superior to man. Their power also is very great, and extends over mind and matter. They have the power to communicate one with another and with other minds, and to produce effects in the natural world. The greatness of their power is manifest, (a.) From the names and titles given to them, as principalities, powers, dominions, and world-rulers. (b.) From the direct assertions of Scripture, as they are said to “excel in strength;” and (c.) From the effects attributed to their agency. However great their power may be, it is nevertheless subject to all the limitations which belong to creatures. Angels, therefore, cannot create, they cannot change substances, they cannot alter the laws of nature, they cannot perform miracles, they cannot act without means, and they cannot search the heart; for all these are, in Scripture, declared to be prerogatives peculiar to God. The power of angels is, therefore, (1.) Dependent and derived. (2.) It must be exercised in accordance with the laws of the material and spiritual world. (3.) Their intervention is not optional, but permitted or commanded by God, and at his pleasure, and, so far as the external world is concerned, it would seem to be only occasional and exceptional. These limitations are of the greatest practical importance. We are not to regard angels as intervening between us and God, or to attribute to them the effects which the Bible everywhere refers to the providential agency of God.

Wrong Views on the Subject.

This Scriptural doctrine, universally received in the Church, stands opposed, (1.) To the theory that they were transient emanations from the Deity. (2.) To the Gnostic view that they were permanent emanations or æons: and (3.) To the rationalistic view, which denies them any real existence, and refers the Scriptural statements either to popular superstitions adopted by the sacred writers in accommodation to the opinions of the age, or to poetical personifications of the powers of nature. The grounds on which the modern philosophy denies the existence of angels have no force in opposition to the explicit statements of the Bible, which cannot be rejected without rejecting the authority of Scripture altogether, or adopting such principles of interpretation as destroys its value as a rule of faith. __________________________________________________________________

§ 2. Their State.

As to the state of the angels, it is clearly taught that they were all originally holy. It is also plainly to be inferred from the statements of the Bible that they were subjected to a period of probation, and that some kept and some did not keep their first estate. Those who maintained their integrity are represented as confirmed in a state of holiness and glory. This condition, although one of complete security, is one of perfect liberty; for the most absolute freedom in action is, according to the Bible, consistent with absolute certainty as to the character of that action. These holy angels are evidently not all of the same rank. This appears from the terms by which they are designated; terms which imply diversity of order and authority. Some are princes, others potentates, others rulers of the world. Beyond this the Scriptures reveal nothing, and the speculations of schoolmen and theologians as to the hierarchy of the angelic hosts, have neither authority nor value. __________________________________________________________________

§ 3. Their Employments.

The Scriptures teach that the holy angels are employed, (1.) In the worship of God. (2.) In executing the will of God. (3.) And especially in ministering to the heirs of salvation. They are represented as surrounding Christ, and as ever ready to perform any service in the advancement of his kingdom that may be assigned tc them. Under the Old Testament they repeatedly appeared to the servants of God to reveal to them his will. They smote the Egyptians; were employed in the giving of the law at Mount Sinai; attended the Israelites during their journey; destroyed their enemies; and encamped around the people of God as a defence in hours of danger. They predicted and celebrated the birth of Christ (Matt. i. 20; Luke i. ii); they ministered to Him in his temptation and sufferings (Matt. iv. 11; Luke xxii. 43); and they announced his resurrection and ascension (Matt. xxviii. 2: John xx. 12; Acts i. 10, 11). They are still ministering spirits to believers (Heb. i. 14); they delivered Peter from prison; they watch over children (Matt. xviii. 10); they bear the souls of the departed to Abraham’s bosom (Luke xvi. 22); they are to attend Christ at his second coming, and gather his people into his kingdom (Matt. xiii. 39; xvi. 27; xxiv. 31). Such are the general statements of the Scriptures on this subject, and with these we should be content. We know that they are the messengers of God; that they are now and ever have been employed in executing his commissions, but further than this nothing is positively revealed. Whether each individual believer has a guardian angel is not declared with any clearness in the Bible. The expression used in Matt. xviii. 10, in reference to the little children, “whose angels” are said to behold the face of God in heaven, is understood by many to favour this assumption. So also is the passage in Acts xii. 7, where Peter’s angel is spoken of (verse 15). This latter passage, however, no more proves that Peter had a guardian angel than if the servant maid had said it was Peter’s ghost it would prove the popular superstition on that subject. The language recorded is not of an inspired person, but of an uneducated servant, and can have no didactic authority. It only goes to prove that the Jews of that day believed in spiritual apparitions. The passage in Matthew has more pertinency. It does teach that children have guardian angels; that is, that angels watch over their welfare. But it does not prove that each child, or each believer, has his own guardian angel. In Daniel, ch. x., mention is made of the Prince of Persia, the Prince of Grecia, and, speaking to the Hebrews, of Michael your Prince, in such a way as to lead the great majority of commentators and theologians in all ages of the Church to adopt the opinion that certain angels are intrusted with the special oversight of particular kingdoms. As Michael, who is called the Prince of the Hebrews, was not the uncreated angel of the covenant, nor a human prince, but an archangel, the inference seems natural that the Prince of Persia and the Prince of Grecia were also angels. This opinion, however, has been controverted on various grounds. (1.) On the silence of Scripture elsewhere on the subject. Neither in the Old nor in the New Testament do we find any intimation that the heathen nations have or had either a guardian angel or an evil spirit set over them. (2.) In verse 13 of of the tenth chapter of Daniel the powers who were arrayed against Michael the angel who appeared to the prophet, are called “the kings of Persia;” at least, according to one interpretation of that passage. (3.) In the following chapter earthly sovereigns are introduced in such a way as to show that they, and not angels good or bad, are the contending powers indicated by the prophet. [606] It is certainly unadvisabie to adopt on the authority of a doubtful passage in a single book of Scripture a doctrine unsupported by other parts of the Word of God. While this must be admitted, yet it is nevertheless true that the ordinary interpretation of the language of the prophet is altogether the most natural one; and that there is nothing in the doctrine thus taught out of analogy with the clear teaching of the Scriptures. It is plain from what is elsewhere taught that spiritual beings higher than man, both good and evil, do exist; that they are exceedingly numerous; that they are very powerful; that they have access to our world, and are occupied in its affairs; that they are of different ranks or orders; and that their names and titles indicate that they exercise dominion and act as rulers. This is true of evil, as well as of good angels; and, being true, there is nothing in the opinion that one particular angel should have special control over one nation, and another over another nation, that is in conflict with the analogy of Scripture.

So far, however, as the good angels are concerned, it is clear, –

1. That they can and do produce effects in the natural or external world. The Scriptures everywhere assume that matter and mind are two distinct substances, and that the one can act upon the other. We know that our minds act upon our bodies, and that our minds are acted upon by material causes. There is nothing, therefore, beyond even the teaching of experience, in the doctrine that spirits may act on the material world. The extent of their agency is limited by the principles above stated; and yet from their exalted nature the effects which they are able to produce may far exceed our comprehension. An angel slew all the first-born of the Egyptians in a single night; the thunder and lightning attending the giving of the law on Mount Sinai were produced by angelic agency. The ancient theologians, in many cases, drew from the admitted fact that angels do thus operate in the external world, the conclusion that all natural effects were produced by their agency, and that the stars were moved in their courses by the power of angels. But this is in violation of two obvious and important principles: First, that no cause for an effect should be assumed without evidence; and Second, that no more causes should be assumed than are necessary to account for the effect. We are not authorized, therefore, to attribute any event to angelic interference except on the authority of Scripture, nor when other causes are adequate to account for it.

2. The angels not only execute the will of God in the natural world, but they also act on the minds of men. They have access to our minds and can influence them for good in accordance with the laws of our nature and in the use of appropriate means. They do not act by that direct operation, which is the peculiar prerogative of God and his Spirit, but by the suggestion of truth and guidance of thought and feeling, much as one man may act upon another. If the angels may communicate one with another, there is no reason why they may not, in like manner, communicate with our spirits. In the Scriptures, therefore, the angels are represented as not only affording general guidance and protection, but also as giving inward strength and consolation. If an angel strengthened our Lord himself after his agony in the garden, his people also may experience the support of angels; and if evil angels tempt to sin, good angels may allure to holiness. Certain it is that a wide influence and operation are attributed to them in Scripture in furthering the welfare of the children of God, and in protecting them from evil and defending them from their enemies. The use which our Lord makes of the promise, “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Ps. xci. 11, 12), shows that it is not to be taken as a mere poetic form of promising divine protection. They watch over infants (Matt. xviii. 10); they aid those of mature age (Ps. xxxiv. 7), and are present with the dying (Luke xvi. 22).

3. A special agency is also attributed to them as the servants of Carist in the advancement of his Church. As the law was given through their ministry, as they had charge of the theocratic people under the old economy, so they are spoken of as being still present in the assembly of the saints (1 Cor. xi. 10), and as constantly warring against the dragon and his angels.

This Scriptural doctrine of the ministry of angels is full of consolation fbr the people of God. They may rejoice in the assurance that these holy beings encamp round about them; defending them day and night from unseen enemies and unapprehended dangers. At the same time they must not come between us and God. We are not to look to them nor to invoke their aid. They are in the hands of God and exercise his will; He uses them as He does the winds and the lightning (Heb. i. 7), and we are not to look to the instruments in the one case more than in the other. __________________________________________________________________

[606] See Hävernick on Daniel x. 13. __________________________________________________________________

§ 4. Evil Angels.

The Scriptures inform us that certain of the angels kept not their first estate. They are spoken of as the angels that sinned. They are called evil, or unclean spirits; principalities; powers; rulers of this world; and spiritual wickednesses (i.e., wicked spirits) in high places. The most common designation given to them is daimones, or more commonly daimonia, which our translators unfortunately render devils. The Scriptures make a distinction between diabolos and daimon, which is not observed in the English version. In the spiritual world there is only one diabolos (devil), but there are many daimonia (demons). These evil spirits are represented as belonging to the same order of beings as the good angels. All the names and titles, expressive of their nature and powers, given to the one are also given to the others. Their original condition was holy. When they fell or what was the nature of their sin is not revealed. The general opinion is that it was pride, founded on 1 Tim. iii. 6. A bishop, the Apostle says, must not be “a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil;” which is commonly understood to mean the condemnation which the devil incurred for the same sin. Some have conjectured that Satan was moved to rebel against God and to seduce our race from its allegiance, by the desire to rule over our globe and the race of man. Of this, however, there is no intimation in Scripture. His first appearance in the sacred history is in the character of an apostate angel. That there is one fallen angel exalted in rank and power above all his associates is clearly taught in the Bible. He is called Satan (the adversary), diabolos, the traducer, ho poneros, he evil one; the prince of the power of the air; the prince of darkness; the God of this world; Beelzebub; Belial the tempter; the old serpent, and the dragon. These, and simlar titles set him forth as the great enemy of God and man, the opposer of all that is good and the promoter of all that is evil. He is so constantly represented as a personal being, that the rationalistic notion that he is only a personification of evil, is irreconcilable with the authority of Scripture and inconsistent with the faith of the Church. The opinion that the doctrine of Satan was introduced among the Hebrews after the Exile, and from a heathen source, is no less contrary to the plain teachings of the Bible. He is represented as the tempter of our first parents, and is distinctly mentioned in the book of Job written long before the Babylonish captivity. Besides this representation of Satan in general terms as the enemy of God, he is specially set forth in Scripture, as the head of the kingdom of darkness, which embraces all evil beings. Man by his apostasy fell under the dominion of Satan, and his salvation consists in his being translated from Satan’s kingdom into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. That the daimo,nia who are represented as subject to Satan, are not the spirits of wicked men who have departed this life, as some have maintained, is clear. (1.) Because they are distinguished from the elect angels. (2.) From its being said that they kept not their first state (Jude 6). (3.) From the language of 2 Pet. ii 4. where it is said God spared not the angels that sinned. (4.) From the application to them of the titles “principalities” and “powers,” which are appropriate only to beings belonging to the order of angels.

Power and Agency of Evil Spirits.

As to the power and agency of these evil spirits, they are represented as being exceedingly numerous, as everywhere efficient, as having access to our world, and as operating in nature and in the minds of men. The same limitations, of course, belong to their agency as belong to that of the holy angels. (1.) They are dependent on God, and can act only under his control and by his permission. (2.) Their operations must be according to the laws of nature, and, (3.) They cannot interfere with the freedom and responsibility of men. Augustine says of Satan: “Consentientes tenet, non invitos cogit.” Nevertheless, his power is very great. Men are said to be led captive by him, evil spirits are said to work in the hearts of the disobedient. Christians are warned against their devices, and called upon to resist them, not in their own strength, but in the strength of the Lord and armed with the whole panoply of God.

Great evils, however, have arisen from exaggerated views of the agency of evil spirits. To them have been referred, not only all natural calamities, as storms, conflagrations, pestilences, etc., but what was far more lamentable, they have been regarded as entering into covenant with men. It was thought that any person could enter into a contract with Satan and be invested for a season with supernatural power upon condition that the person thus endowed yielded his soul to perdition. On this foundation rested the numerous prosecutions for witchcraft and sorcery which disgraced the annals of all Christian nations during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The most enlightened men of Europe yielded themselves to this delusion, under which thousands of men and women, and even children, were put to the most cruel deaths. It is not necessary to go to the opposite extreme and deny all agency of evil spirits in nature or over the bodies and minds of men, in order to free ourselves from such evils. It is enough to adhere to the plain teaching of the Bible. These spirits can only act, as before stated, in accordance with the laws of nature and the free agency of man; and their influence and operations can no more be detected and judicially proved than the influence and operations of holy angels for good. Both classes are efficient; we are to be thankful to God for the unseen and unknowable ministry of the angels of light, and be on our guard and seek divine protection from the machinations of the spirits of evil. But of neither are we directly conscious, and to the agency of neither can we with certainty refer any specific effect, if its occurrence admits of any other explanation.

Demoniacal Possessions.

The most marked exhibition of the power of evil spirits over the bodies and minds of men, is afforded by the demoniacs so often mentioned in the evangelical history. These demoniacal possessions were of two kinds. First, those in which the soul alone was the subject of the diabolic influence, as in the case of the “damsel possessed with a spirit of divination,” mentioned in Acts xvi. 16. Perhaps in some instances false prophets and magicians were examples of the same kind of possession. Secondly, those in which the bodies alone, or as was more frequently the case, both the body and mind were the subjects of this spiritual influence. By possession is meant the inhabitation of an evil spirit in such relation to the body and soul as to exert a controlling influence, producing violent agitations and great suffering, both mental and corporeal. That the demoniacs mentioned in the New Testament were not mere lunatics or the subjects of epilepsy or other analogous diseases, but cases of real possession, is plain, First, because this was the prevailing belief of the Jews at that time; and secondly, because Christ and his Apostles evidently adopted and sanctioned that belief. They not only called those thus affected demoniacs, but addressed the spirits as persons, commanded them, disposed of them, and in every way spoke and acted as they would have done had the popular belief been well founded. It is certain that all who heard Christ thus speak would and did conclude that he regarded the demoniacs as really possessed by evil spirits.

This conclusion he nowhere contradicts; but on the contrary, in his most private conferences with the disciples abundantly confirmed. He promised to give them power to cast out demons; and referred to his possession of this power, and his ability to delegate its exercise to his disciples as one of the most convincing proofs of his Messiahship and divinity. He came to destroy the works of the devil; and that He did thus triumph over him and his angels, proved that He was what He claimed to be, the promised almighty king and conqueror, who was to found that kingdom of God of which there is to be no end. To explain all this on the principle of accommodation would destroy the authority of Scripture. On the same principle the doctrine of atonement, inspiration, divine influence, and every other distinctive doctrine of the Bible, may be, and has been explained away. We must take the Scriptures in their plain historical sense — in that sense in which they were designed to be understood by those to whom they were addressed, or we do thereby reject them as a rule of faith.

There is no special improbability in the doctrine of demoniacal possessions. Evil spirits do exist. They have access to the minds and bodies of men. Why should we refuse to believe, on the authority of Christ, that they were allowed to have special power over some men? The world, since the apostasy, belongs to the kingdom of Satan; and to redeem it from his dominion was the special object of the mission of the Son of God. It is not surprising, therefore, that the time of his advent, was Satan’s hour; the time when, to a greater degree than before or after, he manifested his power, thus making the fact of his overthrow the more conspicuous and glorious.

The objections to the common doctrine on this subject are, –

1. That calling certain persons demoniacs no more proves that they were possessed by evil spirits, than calling others lunatics, proves that they were under the influence of the moon. This is true; and if the argument rested only on the use of the word demoniac, it would be altogether insufficient to establish the doctrine. But this is only a collateral and subordinate argument, without force in itself, but deriving force from other sources. If the sacred writers, besides designating the deranged as lunatics, had spoken of the moon as the source of their derangement, and had referred to its different phases as increasing or lessening the force of their mental disorder, there would be some analogy between the cases. It is readily admitted that the use of a word is often very different from its primary signification, and therefore that its meaning can not always be determined by its etymology. But when its signification is the same with its usage; when those called demoniacs are said to be possessed with evil spirits; when those spirits are addressed as persons, and commnanded to depart; and when this power over them is appealed to as proof of Christ’s power over Satan, the prince of these fallen angels; then it is unreasonable to deny that the word is to be understood in its literal and proper sense.

2. A second objection is that the phenomena exhibited by those called demoniacs are those of known bodily or mental diseases, and therefore that no other cause can rationally be assumed to account for them. It is not, however, true that all the phenomena in question can be thus accounted for. Some of the symptoms are those of lunacy and epilepsy, but others are of a different character. These demoniacs often exhibited supernatural power or knowledge. Besides this, the Scriptures teach that evil spirits have power to produce bodily disease. And therefore the presence of such disease is no proof that the agency of evil spirits was not active in its production and its consequences.

3. It is further objected that such cases do not now occur. This is by no means certain. The evil spirits do now work in the children of disobedience, and for what we know they may now work in some men as effectually as in the ancient demoniacs. But admitting the fact to be as assumed, it would prove nothing to the point. There may have been special reasons for allowing such displays of Satanic power when Christ was on earth, which no longer exist. That miracles are not wrought in the Church now, is no proof that they were not wrought during the apostolic age.

We are not to deny what are plainly recorded in the Scriptures as facts on this subject; we have no right to assert that Satan and his angels do not now in any cases produce similar effects; but we should abstain from asserting the fact of Satanic or demoniacal influence or possession in any case where the phenomena can be otherwise accounted for. The difference between believing whatever is possible, and believing only what is certain is strikingly illustrated in the case of Luther and Calvin. The former was disposed to refer all evil to the spirits of darkness; the latter referred nothing to their agency that could not be proved to be actually their work. Luther [607] says:

“Die Heiden wissen nicht, woher das Unglück so plötzlich kommt; aber wir wissen es, dass es eitel Teufels Arbeit ist, der hat solche Helleparten, Bleikugeln und Büchsen, solche Spiesse und Schwerter, damit er unter uns schiesst, wirft und sticht, wenn Gott es ihm erlaubt. Darum zweifle nur Niemand dran, wo ein Feuer aufgehet, dass ein Dorf oder ein Haus abbrennet, da sitzt allewege ein Teufelein dabei, das bläset immer in das Feuer, dass es soll grosser werden.” “Ein Christ soll das wissen, dass er mitten unter den Teufeln sitze, und dass ihm der Teufel näher sei denn sein Rock oder Hemde, ja näher denn seine eigene Haut, dass er rings um uns her sei, und wir also stets mit ihm zu Haare liegen und uns mit ihm schlagen müssen.” [608] “The heathen know not whence evil so suddenly comes. But we know. It is the pure work of the devil; who has fire-brands, bullets, torches, spears, and swords, with which he shoots, casts, or pierces, when God permits. Therefore let no man doubt when a fire breaks out which consumes a village or a house, that a little devil is sitting there blowing the fire to make it greater.” Again, “Let a Christian know that he sits among devils: that the devil is nearer to him than his coat or his shirt, or even his skin; that he is all about us, and that we must always grapple with and fight him.” Calvin’s view of tbe subject is, [609] “Quæ de diabolis Scriptura tradit, eo fere tendunt omnia, ut solliciti simus ad præcavendas corum insidias et molitiones: tum iis armis nos instruamus, quæ ad propulsandos potentissimos hostes satis firma sint ac valida.” And he asks, [610] “Quid nostra refert vel plura, vel in alium finem de diabolis scire?” __________________________________________________________________

[607] Werke. edit. Walch, vol. xiii. p. 2850. (?)

[608] Edit. Walch, vol. x. p. 1234, edit. Erlangen, 1823, vol. xvii. p. 178.

[609] Institutio, I. xii. 13.

[610] Ibid. 16.

Hodge’s thorough coverage of Angelology aside, more must be said of development since he wrote his excellent work.

In this chapter Dr. Chafer entertains a very lengthy quote form Clarence Larkin’s book The Spirit World. It is interesting that Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952) was a contemporary of two giants of dispensationalism’s defense, Clarence Larkin (1850-1924) and C.I. Scofield (1843-1921), indeed as a young man Chafer was a founding member of Modern Christian Dispensationalism of the Niagara Bible Conference of 1883-1897. Also Dr. Chafer was not just a president of Dallas Theological Seminary, in 1924 he was the founder of that seminary. These two insights did not much change my critiques of his systematic errors, but my attitude toward his genius may need adjustments. I do not mean to be demeaning to his character or integrity here, only to recognize his departures from Bible doctrines and the tentacles into neoevangelicalism.

In this chapter Dr. Chafer also brings up an ugly exegetical exercise wherein private interpretation introduces into society a half man – half angel, mongrel mutant. The introduction of this idea is ugly because it has no place in any other systematic view of the Bible. Bible principle deals primarily with man’s situation in sin and only secondarily with angels. Angels are ministering spirits in this primary application, and nowhere does it deal with the existence of half angel-half man creatures that Larkin introduces in his book The Spirit World. Although Larkin admits he is not the first to suppose that fallen angels have sex and procreate with women, producing some mongrel mutant race, he is the first to lend such a conundrum exegetical credence.

The credence given to this idea that mongrel mutant angelic humanoids were created and referenced in Genesis chapter six is ugly because it is only discerned by skillfully reading things between the lines of Revealed Scripture. When the genius of intense scholarship exposes such a subterranean concept a three act play is set in place. Act one, knowledge puffeth up. The subterranean idea is taught and published as dogma and those rejecting or correcting their personal dogma are mocked and villainized.

Act two, other rational geniuses search other subterranean dogma to exonerate their genius. Before long there is a dogma about a subterranean gap hidden between Genesis 1:1 and 1:24; a dogma about the Bible’s subterranean revelation that Adam had not blood but grape juice pulsing through his veins5; or a dogma about the Bible’s subterranean revelation that UFO’s and aliens from outer space invaded and altered our world, black aliens with green blood, most certainly!6 The quest for subterranean themes hidden between the lines of the Bible departs radically from the plain truths that the Bible reveals. The plain truth is that the Bible has no secret hidden messages that only certain clergy, scholars, or genius can discover or uncover7. The Bible is clear: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)

An associate Pastor on Long Island, Sean Jacobs, eloquently contrasted Martha’s service to Mary’s devotion. Martha said unto Jesus, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21) Her tone was one of correcting. Mary, on the other hand, fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying unto him, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:32) In the Greek, and consequently, in the King James Bible, their wording is identical. Martha’s words brought correction and reproof from the Master; Mary’s words caused empathy, even to the point where Jesus wept. (John 11.35)

When a servant takes a staunch stand, position or dogma and a peer reacts to that stance negatively, the servant will experience a Mary or a Martha reaction. If they react with anger, frustration, or hostility, it is because they have not first fallen at the feet of Jesus. One need not doubt the sincerity or loyalty of a Martha, but one dare not dismiss Jesus’ rebuke, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42)

In Act Three of this unscripted play, none of these uncovered subterranean dogma’s lie dormant as an idle curiosity. Since they already lie outside of systematic Bible principle, they grow and migrate into ideologies which leaven, invade and infect other Bible doctrine. This third act plays into Larkins expose’ on mongrel mutant angelic humanoids; Judas, called the son of perdition (John 17:21), and the anti-Christ called the same (2Thes 2:3) are now half human and half demon in this wild interpretation. And likewise the Jews which desired to kill Jesus are fathered by the Devil (John 8:44) and a new vein of Antisemitism is born and bred, where killing off those halfbreeds is justified and pursued. The hypothesis, and Bible gymnastics necessary to support it, have only ill effects and no positive value. They are pursued in this vain exaltation of egotistical puffed up knowledge.

Mongrel Mutant Demonic Humanoids

The argument for mongrel mutants as angelic humanoids is: 1) When God reverences sons of God in Job he obviously means angels, ergo Genesis 6:2 and 4 must therefore mean angels. As they state it “Every time the Bible says sons of God, in the Old Testament, it refers to angels.” These angels obviously kept not their first estate and are in chains until the judgment. (Jude 1:6) Obviously, “sons of God” might mean something different in the New Testament, but in the Old, they say, it always means angels. 2) When God references Satan’s seed as a “he”, in Genesis 3:15, it must be taken just as literal as his reference to the woman’s seed which it refers to as an “it” The legends of humans copulating with the gods are prevalent throughout all cultures; some have even implied that is what Jehovah God did with Mary in Luke 1:35. Obviously, then, Satan and his fallen devils can copulate with women. But these devils must have a literal seed, so they contend thirdly, 3) since God gives every grain a body, and to every seed of grain has a body, angels as celestial bodies, they reason, must have seed. (1 Cor. 15:38) They make a leap in this Scripture, that since every seed has a body, every body has a seed, and the verses declare that there are celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial, (vr. 40) so it stands to reason that celestial bodies have seed. (Note that in context this Scripture is not dealing with angels at all, but is dealing with our resurrection body.) They use crafty twisted exegesis here to support their hypothesis that these mongrel mutants are possible because “the Bible teaches that celestial bodies have seed,” in their mind it does, in context it does not.

With this hypothesis now “proven” by Scripture they begin a journey wherein the anti-Christ is one of these mongrel mutant half man half demon creatures, that is why he is called a “beast” in Revelation. It is supposed from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that the ten toes of the image, toes that were part of iron and part of clay, are “they that shall mingle themselves with the seed of man.” (Dan 2:43) These must indeed be fallen angels which copulate with humans. The seed of beast “mingled” with the seed of man; certainly God clarifies it in Jer 31:278, they say. This mingled seed is what caused the giants after the flood; logically, if that is where they cam from in the days of Noah, that must be where they came from after the days of Noah. It is what caused Judas as the son of perdition, to betray Christ. (John 17:12) It is what caused the Jews, who were also fathered by the devil (John 8:44) to seek his death. And surely the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Christ is one of these mongrel mutant half man half beast creatures.

At the turn of the last century Clarence Larkin bolstered the hypothesis that fallen angels procreated with humans to produce a mongrel mutant man. He used this same line of reasoning and the same out of context Scriptures; 1) that Satan has a literal seed, Genesis 3:15; 2) That Old Testament sons of God are always angelic, Genesis 6:2, 4, Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; and 3) That celestial bodies must have seed because grain seeds have bodies, 1Cor 15:38. He then extended the hypothesis to the same idea, that the abomination of desolation of Matthew 24, the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8, the king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8, is called a beast in Rev 11, where the dragon is credited with giving this living creature his power, and it must, therefore, be one of these mongrels. Of late, with the concept of DNA, it is suspected that “the number of the beast,” being “the number of a man” is secret Bible code talk for DNA.

This ill conceived hypothesis with its ill conceived, often dangerous exegesis, becomes dogma. The man of sin, that son of perdition (2Thes 2:3, and Judas of John 17:12) must certainly be a physical and literal children of the devil, a mongrel mutant, half human, half spirit world fallen angel. When such teaching becomes dogma the three act play illuded to previously begins to play out. There are presently those who take this dogma and consider the Jews, whom Christ revealed to be “Fathered by the Devil” (John 8:44), if there is a literal mongrel mutant from the devil(s) procreating with women, then surely, they say, those Jews are it. Such anti-Semitism readily springs from this hypothesis. It is always dangerous to interweave ones own theories through Scripture.

Hypothosizing about how God is going to do things is natural and generally errant. Making and bolstering ones hypothesis with exotic exegesis and private interpretation are natural, and always wrong. Salem and Kirby, authors of the 1960s Prophecy Bible, KNEW that the locust of Rev 9, with faces of men, teeth of lions, wings sounding like horses, and stingers in their tails, they KNEW these were Apache Helicopters. It became their dogma. They knew HOW God was going to do everything. They were wrong. Harold Camping KNEW HOW and when, Jesus was going to return. It became his dogma. He was wrong. Published in 2013, Eric E. Stahl KNOWS from the Bible that the ozone and hydrogen layers of the atmosphere will be set on fire and burn up like a scroll when the nuclear bomb explodes over Israel. It is his published dogma. Europe cooks and America freezes, He knows HOW God is going to do everything. If one believe in mongrel mutants of half human, half demon creatures, understand that it is a hypothesis. Some consider it a wild hypothesis. Holding this hypothesis as fact they know HOW God or Satan is going to do things. Don’t allow it to become dogma, taught as fact in a Bible Institute. Clearly delineate it as hypothesis. Don’t build camps or break fellowships over a hypothesis.

I mean no disrespect to Dr. Peter S. Ruckman in this analysis, but it must be noted that he fulfills all three acts of this hypothetical play. Be is said that there is no greater genius of the 20th century who single-handedly placed the perfect purity of the King James Bible into the conversations of millions of Bible believers and every Bible remodeler. Be it said that there is no more fervent influence of that century who so filled our streets and mission fields with impassioned preachers of the Gospel of Christ. Be it said that no theologian of his century dug deeper into the inerrant infallible words of this verbally inspired Book to bring to his students hidden treasures of depth and beauty. But be it also said that no theologian has attempted to expose and defend more secret, hidden-to-all-others, covert ‘revelations’ than he, no theologian has resorted to greater derogatory vitriol than he, and no theologian has so interwoven his private interpretation through so many otherwise good doctrines than he. Thank you Dr. Ruckman for the example.

1Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Charles Scribner and Company, 1871, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org, public domain, 636-648

2 As a general rule a copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first; for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. As a result of the 1976 Copyright Act, any of the works with expired copyright have entered the public domain. from http://www.copyright.gov faq accessed 10/9/2013

3As a Presbyterian Charles Hodge puts to much emphasis on the Catholic (Universal) Church and its “Ecumenical Councils”. (Nicaea, and Lateran are mentioned here.) He puts no emphasis on a local Church. Local Churchs who held to individual soul liberty and the baptism of believers-only were called by various names, (now called Baptists) and these never accepted the leadership of Rome, Constantine, or any ecumenical councils.

4C.I. Scofield, The Scofield Reference Bible,1909, Oxford University Press, Inc. 1917, 1937, 1945, pg3 Note 3

5Peter Ruckman, Earth’s Earliest Ages, and The Ruckman Study Bible.

6Peter Ruckman, Black is Beautiful, Peter S. Ruckman, 1996

7See definition of Allegorical Method provided in this work pg ?

8Jer 31:27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

Part 01 Prolegomena

Written By: Pastor Rice - Dec• 02•13

Part 01 Prolegomena

Downlaod at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/prolegomena.pdf or

www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/21cent_syst_theo.epub

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith…. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow…. I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl 1:12,17-18, 3:10-11)

The Systematic Theology for the 21st century needs a Prolegomena. Prolegomena is a preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity. Prolegomena comes from the Greek, “Prolegein” – meaning to say before hand1. Such an introduction essay to a systematic theology, is necessary here to set some pre-conditions, to scope out the formidable task, and, in this instance especially, to redefine the system in systematic and differentiate this effort from the many other works of this nature.

Theology is the compounding of two words, “theos” for God, and “ology” for a verbose, exhaustively researched, consideration of, a meditation on, a discussion about, and a communication of, its topic. Theology is thus an exhaustively covered presentation of everything that could be known about God and everything that God has done. Knowing everything under the sun is a pretty daunting task.

The travail given to man by God is to seek and search out all things that are done under heaven. (Eccl. 1:13, 3:10). All rational minds are to be exercised in this travail. By God’s grace and his wisdom this impossible travail turns into joy, when our relationship with him is made right. A systematic theology is a supreme culmination of that joy. The systematic gathering, categorizing, and analyzing of everything that God has revealed to man could indeed be a great travail. It is a task that can naught be be completed, and, because it is the finite grappling with the infinite, it can not be successful. It is, however, the sore travail given to the sons of men, and one dare not slack from its calling. Every effort is herein made to cause this exhaustive task to be less of a “sore travail” and more of a “no greater joy.” “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men, to be exercised in it. He hath made everything beautiful in his time: Also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end… I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (Ecc. 3:10, 3John 1:4)

Theology is for Everyone

Every rational thinking human is developing a theology. God created humans with that inborn propensity. In its basest form theology is man’s musing about God. God implanted that in every rational mind. What think ye of God the creator? What think ye of Christ? What think ye of sin? What think ye of the fall of Lucifer? What think ye of “So great Salvation”? “Hear , O Israel; the LORD our God is one LORD; and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children, and shalt talk of them when thou settist in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way: and when thou liest down and when thou risest up.” (Deut. 6:4-7) What think ye of God? What think ye of His Words? In a less raw form, theology must be more than mussing about God, it must take on a more organized pattern and a more thorough consideration of God centered things.

A Christian, being one who has individually confessed and accepted the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, for their saving, has now a quickened, corrected, and personal relationship with their God and Creator. They also have a charge from him that they carefully develop a theology. A theology, again, is a musing about, a consideration of, and even an analysis of, (ology) everything that can be known of God (Theos), and of everything that God has done in this his universe. An unregenerate mind is self centered, rebellious, Christ less, and ergo, God less. His pursuit of theology will turn to self worship, (i.e. evolution as it promotes the self made man) and/or creature worship, (worshiping the creature, i.e. stars, images, idols, animals, humans, angels, et.al.) more than Creator worship. (Rom 1:10) The quickened mind of the born again believer, however, is enlightened and guided away from a self centered theology, into a God centered, Holy Spirit directed theology. But, theology is still the travail assigned to every rational mind. Carefully organizing ones musing about God, when done carefully, with method and thoroughness, might be called systematic.

Why Systematic?

Systematic actually speaks toward the organizational method for the development of a theology. A systematic theology will be systematic in three particulars. First, it must be systematically holistic. There is to be nothing in particular left out. There is to be a stepping back and a consideration of the larger picture, as it were, and this review is to ask, “Is there anything not fully considered?” Second, for a theology to be systematic, it needs a systematic method of consideration for each of its parts. A Bible doctrine work provides due consideration of every major theme taught in the Bible. Systematic theology must exceed Bible doctrine in that it must also methodically give due consideration to what the Bible does not teach, even what God has not revealed. Man has developed some beliefs about God which are not found nor supported in the Bible. Rational philosophy and irrational religions have come to bare on what one believes about God, man, and the Bible. These sources insert deception in ones theology; deception which must be systematically routed out.

Lastly, for a theology to be systematic, it needs to pursue a systematic analytical method, rather than the scientific method which cannot fulfill such a systematic purpose. In such a truly systematic method a circle or sphere encompasses the whole system to be considered. Parts, participants, and other systems outside of this sphere of consideration, are only interconnected via inputs to, or outputs from the system under consideration. Ergo, for a systematic theology, the sphere is to contain everything one can know about God and his works. To produce a Biblical theology that sphere need only contain everything revealed to man by God in the Holy Bible: distinctly clarified that is God’s written word and NOT the vision of a 500 foot high Jesus that Oral Roberts saw, nor the Golden Tables of law that Joseph Smith allegedly received from an angel in Palmyra, N.Y. Notice in drawing a border around a system, certain things are purposely, and consciously left out. It will be seen that this last particular of a systematic theology, that of defining the system under consideration, is crucial, and recognizing the pieces which must fall outside of the system has been the downfall of previous works called systematic theology. A good theology will thus be holistic, methodical and focused on a bordered system, making a good theology a systematic theology, and a truly systematic theology a good theology.

This Systematic Theology for the 21st Century is undertaken because it is unprecedented. In this author’s fifty three years as a born again believer, (1960 – 2013), and thirty years as a theologian, there has not been found a systematic theology work that has been thoroughly Biblical, thoroughly Baptist and thoroughly systematic. A thoroughly Biblical systematic theology not only contends for an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible, it discards confessions, orthodoxies, and traditions which over step that Bible as sole authority. A thoroughly Baptist Systematic Theology contends for the perpetuity of a right and righteous remnant. This remnant holds the rightly divided word of truth, understood in a historical, grammatical, literal manner, a word of truth which reveals God’s dispensational truths. It also contends that Roman Catholic doctrine has always been wrong and the tentacles of Roman Catholic error have rooted in the whole of Protestant doctrine like leaven. Baptists are not, and never have been Protestant2. A thoroughly systematic, systematic theology is holistic, methodical, and carefully bounded in a system of truth. There are other tremendous works of systematic theology and thorough coverages of Bible doctrines. This one is meant to stand alone in these three hallmarks, Biblical, Baptist, and Systematic. Careful definition of the latter will ensure the previous two hallmarks.

Theology is not a Science and has not been Systematic

A thorough analysis is systematic only because it has thoroughly analyzed a system. This truth has been so maligned by theologians, and is so crucial for a successful systematic theology, that it needs to be given a thorough clarification in a Prolegomena. Any analysis and especially one so crucial as a theology, must needs be systematic to be effective and thorough. A theology can only be systematic when there is a defined system under consideration. Failure to perceive this fact has been the downfall of previous “systematic” theologies.

Charles Hodge (1797-1878), from Princeton Theological Seminary, may be considered the Father of the Published Systematic Theologies. He was very genius, a very gifted communicator, and very Presbyterian. Such a Father of the Published Systematic Theologies made two glaring erors in his Prolegomena, and consequently in his published work. Charles Hodge considered theology a science which must follow a scientific method, just like the other sciences. Charles Hodge also loosely compassed a border around his theology, i.e. his system under consideration, which attempted to capture everything ever known, ever observed, and ever believed about God, and all His works. Consider why these are indeed untenable error for an effective and efficient systematic theology.

Theology is long considered a science, like Biology, Archeology, Astronomy and Physics, and oftentimes, by those wishing to more ennoble it, it is called the Queen of the Sciences. But theology is not a science at all, and dare not follow a scientific method. There is no science or scientific method which allows for an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired, authoritative source as a final authority, yeah, its sole authority, Biblical theology does, indeed it must. The scientific method and any resulting science which is framed by its tenants is based on hypothesizing about observations and then extensively testing your hypothesis. This scientific method, actually formalized on Charles Hodge’s 50th birthday, involves five steps: 1) Formulation of the question about an observed phenomena, 2) Formulating a hypothesis which conjectures its answer, 3) Predicting the logical consequences of the hypothesis, 4) Testing to see if the real world behaves as predicted by the hypothesis and, finally, 5) Analyzing the results of the real world experiment in order to refine the hypothesis. Now after a hypothesis has been extensively tested and widely and generally accepted, with no evidence to dispute it, it may be generalized and summarized into a theory, and after a theory has been extensively tested and widely and generally accepted, with no evidence to dispute it, and no exceptions to be found, it may be generalized and summarized as a law. Does this seem like a sound way to determine theology? I trow not.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, used this very method for constituting the laws of planetary motion, but what we know about God, in our theology, has absolutely nothing to do with observing, questioning, hypothesizing, theorizing and constituting laws. Charles Hodge erred when he attempted to fit the scientific method into his theology development, and that glaring error has found root in systematic theologies right up to Geisler’s 2002 extensive publication3 The error is manifest in Hodge’s first serious topic of consideration;4 Hodge makes his first argument the proof of the existence of God. The Holy Bible, which he has conjectured to be his sole source and sole authority for theology, is herein set aside; it takes one on no such adventure. It is Charles Hodge’s treatment of theology as just another of the natural sciences which causes him to employ techniques found in the scientific method. Likewise, following the Father of Published Systematic Theologies, this ‘proof of the existence of God’ is the first coverage of Augustus Strong’s 1907 Baptist work of Systematic Theology5, as does Henry Clarence Thiessen’s 1949 Baptist work of systematic theology.6 It is given coverage in Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 verbose six volumes of neoevangelical work of Systematic Theology,7 and even in Geisler’s 21st century evangelical effort.8

The Holy Bible extends no effort towards the proof of God’s existence. He is the “I AM.” Further, it is revealed in inerrant, infallible language that every human born into this world knows of his eternal Godhead, and is without excuse. (Romans 1) Even further, it is revealed in that inerrant, infallible communique that His Only Begotten Son, his Anointed One, the Christ, is the light that lighteth every man. There is no scientific hypothesis about His existence, a hypothesis which is carefully brought to the fruition and proof by a scientific method, because theology is not a science. Science and its methods support mans groping for greater knowledge, theology dare not do that groping like other sciences must. Theology is a process of collaborating and organizing declared truth, not a science of exploring, on a quest for confirmed truth.

Charles Hodge, genius and communications master, opened a course of study which laid aside the inerrant, infallible sole source of theology and picked up the philosophy book. He, and all systematic theology books which followed his outline, pursue the ontological argument for the existence of God. “I think therefore I am,” as a profound statement, may find a sound home in a philosophy book, but it and its presumed author, have no place in a theology book. Likewise a teleological aposterior argument which proves the existence of God is nothing more than philosophical fodder for scholars showing how knowledge puffeth up. It has no place in a Biblical systematic theology book. Supposing a power which produces intelligence and rational thought might lack an intelligence and rational thinking is such a profound tom-foolery that it should not even be considered in a good philosophy book.9 Hodge, and those following his theological footsteps, give this teleological argument due consideration in a systematic theology book which they suppose should follow a scientific method, because they suppose that theology is just another of the sciences. Theology is not a science, and should never stoop to a scientific method to try to prove the existence of God, or to “prove” anything else that has been revealed to man by an infallible inerrant source.

Science is10 “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena” and a theologian dare not call the study of his God and Creator anything resembling such a definition. Science is “Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena,” and a theologian dare not call his supernatural God nothing more than a natural phenomena. Science is “such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study,” and a theologian dare not call his infinite God and Creator just an object nor employ “such activities” in his travail to know/understand all things under heaven. Science is “methodological activity, discipline, or study: An activity that appears to require study and method: and knowledge, especially that gained through experience,” and the theologian dare not lean on any of these secondary definitions to capture what he must capture from an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired written revelation authored by his infinite Creator. Theology is not a science, and it cannot be captured in its entrapments.

The scientific method is “The principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis.”11 Their method is excellently suited for mans comprehension of all of God’s creation, (Would that it were followed by the humanists with their wild hypothesis that breeding dogs together long enough will produce a Clydesdale horse, or that copulating lizards eventually hatch out a bald eagle!) but the scientific method has no place in theology. Theology must needs be exploring, categorizing, comprehending and understanding the God who reveals himself, and in so doing it is far above the natural phenomena that mere science explores. When the theologian resorts to science and scientific method in his task, he does theology a great disservice; as has Hodge, Strong, Thiessen, Chafer and Geisler. When one has an inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired sole source of truth, which these theologians affirm, (Thiessen and Chafer only affirm that we once upon a time had it, but lost it due to incompetent copyists, Geisler affirms that we only have 90% of the text left12 but should trust what we have anyway, while modernist textual critics try to reassemble the rest) there is little need for a scientific method which strives to deduce what truth is, and no justification for categorizing theology as a science which must rely on such methods.

Consider the System in Systematic

An insurmountable disservice has been done to theology by those who have not properly enveloped the system under consideration. Systematic, in the sense of a systematic theology, must include more than a planned ordered procedure of investigation, it needs to include a definition of the system which is to be considered. Charles Hodge, the Father of the Published Systematic Theologies thought to use the methods of science to explore and reason out all that could be known about God. It has been seen that the methods of science are suited for exploring all natural phenomena of God’s creation, but are not at all suited for exploring the uncaused cause of all that phenomena. It must now be considered that Hodge’s definition of exactly what was to be explored was far to broad and inclusive. Hodge attempted to document everything that has ever been believed about God since the coming of Christ, the manifestation of God. In this broad sweeping gesture, for it never was a clear definition, Hodge must include all the philosophies of man, all the teachings of the Mother of Churches, all the humanist and atheist perspectives and discussion about how many angels might dance on the head of a pin. This failure to scope his systematic theology, to narrow down and accurately define his approach to so daunting a task, is what has given theology a daunting shudder for most Christians, and caused systematic theology to leave a bad taste in even the preachers mouth.

Conventional theologians have tried to compensate for this failure by inappropriately dividing a “Practical Theology” and a “Biblical Theology” from this more foreboding “Systematic Theology.” Such divisions are artificial and damaging. They imply that practical theology is not Biblical theology, that Biblical theology is not practical, and that neither can be systematic. Properly, yeah, even systematically considering the errors in Hodges approach can embolden a far better approach. A systems analysis approach to theology must replace the failed scientific method’s approach. Such an analytical method can restore theology to a valid position of being practical, Biblical and systematic.

Truly Systematic is Accomplished with Actual Systems

With a system analyst an overwhelmingly complex system13 is subdivided into smaller systems. The analyst draws a line, or border around each system, and explores the interacting interdependence of just this one system under his consideration. This is a powerful and versatile tool for analysis of very complex systems, and the complexity of this one, theology, is infinite, ergo there is no more suited methodology for its comprehension. Consider some finite illustrations of its success.

The automobile is a reasonably complex system and its complexity has advanced annually in recent years. The exhaust system is a tiny element of the more complex engine system, part of the drive system which is an integral part to the automobile. The exhaust system has a muffler which is an element in a sound muffling system and a catalytic converter which is part of an emissions control system. Each group of interacting, interrelated or interdependent elements forming a complex whole is a system in itself and these systems combine and interact to from a system called the automobile. The automobile is part of a larger system called the transportation system. To use an automobile you do not need to know that platinum is a catalyst for the chemical reaction which breaks down engine emissions. That may only be consoling knowledge when you have to open you wallet so wide to replace a catalytic converter, or when you want to know why it is against the law to buy a used one. The latter law being part of a crime prevention system. On a very physical level one can comprehend what a system is and how a systematic analysis is necessary for comprehension, design, and troubleshooting of an automobile. Rational beings are rational because they can take another step towards abstraction. Let us therefore do just that.

Biology is the study of all living things. Plants are living things and the study of plants is called Botany. Entomology is the study of insects. There are certain defined boundaries for when a living thing is considered a plant and when it is categorized as an insect. A mosquito is an insect with an intricately designed system for extracting blood from a mammal when plant liquids are not satisfying. A mammal is a class of warm blooded vertebrate animals characterized by a covering of hair on the skin and the production of milk to nourish its young. One need not labor the fact that although they may be called “ologies”, these are all systems with interacting inter-related or inter-dependent elements forming a complex whole. Biology is a defined bordered system which fits into an even larger system of study. Biology, the study of living things, is not really the study of all living things. It has a border or restriction which prevents the study of angels under this category. borders and restrictions are good and necessary in categorizing the studies of our interacting systems with that much understanding in place one can approach theology with a system analysis methodology and redefine the whole realm of Systematic Theology. That re-definition is prudent and necessary. Charles Hodge, opened an overwhelming flood gate when he included in his systematic theology, input from Orpheus and Homer because they were called Greek Theologians14, and when he referenced the genius of Aristotle just because he classed the sciences as physics, mathematics and theology and wrote about nature, number and that which concerns God.15

It is necessary that Biblical theology consider the Holy Bible as its sole authority and sole source for truth. Draw a circle around Aristotle and other genius’ and call it Philosophical theology, encircle Saint Augustine and his Roman Catholic Church and call it Roman Catholic theology, encircle John Calvin and the Westminster confession and call it Presbyterian Theology, encircle Charles Darwin and the humanist manifesto and call it humanist theology. et.al., all separate systems with borders interconnections and interactions.

Each of these circles must be considered systems in themselves. They are purposely separated from each other like the insect is separated from the plant and the mammal. They may each undergo their own systematic analysis, and they each have various interacting, innerrelated and interdependent elements. Carefully defining these separate systems is essential for understanding the effect they might have on a truly Biblical Systematic Theology. Charles Hodge as a Father of Published Systematic Theologies set a precedence for considering theology as a science, and for incorporating all that was ever believed about God. His use of Philosophy, introduced the immaterial and material dichotomy of man, instead of the Bible’s Trichotomy, his use of Saint Augustine introduced the Catholicness of the Church instead of the Bibles emphasis on the local church, his use of Roman theology introduced penance, priest, and clergy, the Westminster Confession, decrees, predestination of souls, and fatalism; indeed all who followed in his footsteps, Strong, Thiessen, Chafer, and Geisler, gave inclusiveness greater consideration than Biblical exclusiveness. When Geisler wrote his 21st century systematic theology his goal was to systematically capture all that is believed by evangelicals; Nicene Creed, neoevangelicalism, theistic- evolution and all. Such an all encompassing theme takes up every bit of 1664 pages and advances Hodges’ myth that a systematic theology must incorporate everything that reasonable minds have ever believed about God.

A systematic theology which uses the Holy Bible for its sole source and uses a system analysis approach instead of a scientific method can isolate itself from the effects of philosophy, Catholicism, Reformed theology, neoevangelacism, theistic evolutionist, et.al. Such a task is accomplished by using great care in how the systems are bounded. Where in time past it was considered that all these systems overlapped, certainly reformed theology and Roman theology both had some Bible theology, and perhaps Reformer had more than Rome, it was not deemed essential to make each a wholly separated system. All interactions and interrelationships between these systems need to be interfaced as inputs or outputs and system borders need to be kept secure. This isolation of separate systems is an essential key for this type of systematic analysis. In times past a huge system of Christian belief was captured by encircling a myriad of overlapping belief systems and truth was supposedly captured by testing various hypothesis by a scientific method. Such a process was flawed and is failed. It was ever testing and hypothesizing and never coming to the truth. Using a system analysis methodology isolates each system of belief behind clear borders, allows only guarded and understood interrelations, and allows our focus on any of the individual systems. The system which shall capture that focus will be called Biblical Theology.

A system called Biblical Theology, with a function of generating its very name, is isolated from all other systems of theology and contains, enveloped in a sphere, as it were, the 66 books16 written by forty Hebrew authors over a period of 159217 years, and called the Holy Bible, the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the Scripture, the Word of God and the Words of God. Consider, for a moment, what else should be in this system. Eliminating the obvious, the teachings of Aristotle, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Westminster Confession of Faith will not be herein found. One need not slander any of these, but one needs to isolate them from our Biblical Theology. These may be isolated into their own separated systems, systems with controlled, supervised interfaces.

Should an infinite God be enclosed in this system called Biblical Theology? The system is indeed finite and cannot contain the infinite. But consider the desire to capture all of God that the finite mind can possibly grasp, and consider that that whole realm of possibility is already in this system, it is all captured in the Holy Bible. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)

Should the influence of the Holy Spirit of God be in our system called Biblical Theology? No. Consider carefully this answer. In a system analysis methodology elements recognized in the system must be isolated as a separate operating system, i.e. a subsystem, which performs a function pertinent to the larger system.

Consider, for example, the automobile exhaust system. It performs three functions, it conducts exhaust gas to the rear, it muffles the sound of the engine exhaust, and it cleans up some exhausted emissions. Certainly the piping system in charge of conducting gas does some muffling. Certainly the catalytic converter muffles some as well, but each subsystem in this system has a separate function to perform and gets isolated into its own system. Their interrelationship and interactions are marked by defined and controlled interfaces. There are indeed three separate functions in the exhaust system.

In our system called Biblical Theology, there is only one function, organizing revealed truth. If the Holy Spirit or more specifically the influence of the Holy Spirit is considered an element in this system he must be recognized as a separate subsystem which comes to bear on that revealed truth. In doing so one must consider that, allegedly, the Holy Spirit revealed a 500 foot image of Jesus to Oral Roberts. It is thus obvious that the Holy Spirit shall not be considered as a separate system operating within the system of Biblical Theology. Any work and influence that the Holy Spirit of God does must be done within the 66 books of the Words of God. And thus saith the Scripture: “ Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:31) For the revelation of truth which belongs in a Biblical Theology, the Holy Spirit of God must not be a separate operating agency. He shall only work in the confines of the revealed Word of God.

Should the rational mind of man be an element, i.e. a subsystem, inside of our system called Biblical Theology? If one carefully followed the reasoning just developed about the Holy Spirit the easy answer is, No. And thus saith the Scripture: “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim 2:15) For the revelation of truth which belongs in a Biblical Theology, the rational mind of man must not be a separate operating agency, it shall only work in the confines of the revealed Word of God.

It is clarified then that there is only one element operating inside of our system called Biblical Theology, and that element is the Holy Bible. The function of our system is to organize every thing that can be known about God and about all His works. The beauty of this Systematic Theology is that it is to develop a theology which has the inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible as its sole source. The strength of this Systematic Theology is that it purports an ability to separate itself from the influences of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the Westminster Confession, Saint Augustine of Hippo, Saint Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, the Humanist Manifesto, et.al.

Two weakness of this Systematic Theology come to mind. First, as just clarified, the Holy Spirit of God and the rational mind of man must be functionally operating inside of the system, but they have been refused a position as an operating subsystem of the system. This may be more of a necessary analytical decision than a weakness, but it will require some consideration during the development of theology. A second weakness of this Systematic Theology is that it is very foreign to all previous methodologies for building what has come to be called systematic theology. This too is more of a necessary analytical decision than a weakness, but it will require a redefining of how one does theology, and that redefining will not be accepted by some traditionalists.

One final consideration about this improved systematic methodology has to do with the interacting, interrelating and inner dependency of the systems it defines, there is a necessary output and input interface defined between the systems that function within the larger system. For this consideration the larger system will be all that is believed by “Christians.” Some included systems considered for this interface illustration are, 1) this system of Biblical Theology, a system called 2) Roman Catholic Theology, a system called 3) Reformed Theology, and a system called 4) Evangelical Theology. (included just to recognize the extensive documentation effort of Norman L. Geisler) As minimal as it might be, there is an output from Biblical Theology which is input to Roman Catholic Theology. Is there an output from Roman Catholic Theology which serves as an input to Biblical Theology? I trow not! The purpose of this systematic development is to keep our Biblical Theology separate from all influences of the Roman Catholic Church. Likewise there is an output from Biblical Theology which is input to Reformed Theology, perhaps noticeably larger than the one to Rome. Is there an output from Reformed Theology which is input to Biblical Theology? Again, No. Such a connection is purposely severed. Likewise, again, Biblical Theology outputs to Evangelical Theology. Likewise its input from Biblical Theology is perceptibly larger than Reformed Theology’s similar input. But, alas, again, output from Evangelical Theology must not find its way to be input to Biblical Theology. Ergo, all output from other systems which might act as input to Biblical Theology are purposely and conscientiously severed.

Consider that there is an output from Roman Catholic Theology that serves as input to Reformed Theology, and another inputting stuff into Evangelical Theology. Consider also that Roman Catholic Theology has mutated because of input from Reformed Theology, and likewise, from the output of Evangelical Theology. It is adequate to be conscious of all this dynamic while being wholly focused on the system called Biblical Theology.

Also consider that there is a sound rule in Bible Hermeneutics (the Art of Bible Interpretation) which states that each interpretation should be compared with what man has always believed about a text. It is called the Rule of Orthodoxy. This is still a sound rule and is fitting for ones development of theology, when it is limited to being a rule of reasonableness and not a rule of absolutes. In this context of a systematic development of a Biblical Theology a Rule of Orthodoxy is not to be elevated to a position where it might supply input to our system. A Rule of Orthodoxy might, however, find some application in the rational mind which is studying to show itself approved unto God. Even in that application great care must be exercised that such “orthodoxy” not find an input avenue into Biblical Theology. It is still essential that Biblical Theology have a sole source in Holy Scripture.

The New Improved Systematic Methodology

This premise, this systematic methodology, is the basis for the development, documentation, and publication of this Systematic Theology for the 21st Century. It will unite Biblical Theology and Practical Theology with a true Systematic Theology. It is a different approach than has ere been documented for theology. It hails from the halls of the systems engineer and systems analyst. It is holistic. It is prudent that it be the premise for every theology.

1The American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd edition 1994 Soft Key International, s.v. , Prolegomena

2John Christian, Baptist History Vol 1

3Normal L. Geisler, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11

4Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology: Volume I, Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, 1

5Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1, Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907

6Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949

7Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol 1-6, Dallas Seminary Press, 1948

8Geisler, Systematic Theology in One Volume.

9No critique of Hodge’s use of philosophical cosmological argument or philosophical moral argument need be considered here, his careful following of scientific method for these arguments is assured and still errant.

10American Heritage Dictionary, s.v. science

11American Heritige Dictionary, s.v. scientific method

12Geisler, Systematic Theology, 177

13American Heritage Dictionary, s.v. system, A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.

14Hodge, Systematic Theology Vol 1, 34 (of 682 pgs soft copy)

15 Hodge, Systematic Theology Vol 1, 34 of 682 in A5softcopy

16There will follow a full justification for the allowance of these 66 books.

17The Pentateuch was written at Sinai in 1492 B.C. (memorable date) and Revelation of Jesus Christ in 100 A.D.

Part 02 Bibliology

Written By: Pastor Rice - Oct• 05•13

Part 02 Bibliology

download at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology/bibliology.pdf

The word Bibliology is derived from two Greek words, Biblios and logos. The former, of coarse, is a book, and/or a written document and the latter a word, a discourse, a doctrine, a teaching, a matter under discussion, a thing spoken of or talked about, also the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, or reasoning about Others have limited this suffix by equating it to the English word science, which is “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”1 There really is no English equivalent that can capture the depth of ology in Bibliology. This, of course, is true for theology, soteriology and all the other ologies. that are encountered in a Systematic Theology. Ergo, a Bibliology shall be thorough.

Such a thorough study is pertinent. Plenary, verbal inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture has been under continual and diabolical attack since God first uttered Word to man. Good men, with powerful pens have well defined the doctrine of inspiration and preservation, and have staunchly rebuked the diabolical attacks that have reared up in their day. The definitions and defenses which they put forth are to be recited here. In our present day, however, there has been a new and overwhelming falling away from the doctrine of inspiration and preservation. The compromise has engulfed all of Dallas Theological Seminary, and impacted all of Evangelical Christendom. The compromise was swallowed up by Los Angeles Baptist Bible Seminary, (now become Masters College) and has to some extent invaded every Baptist Church. The compromise is this: “Only the Original Manuscripts, called Autographs, were inspired, inerrant, and infallible,” they say. “The autographs are long gone and there is no inspired, inerrant, infallible copy of the Bible in existence,” they say. Good Christians have been persuaded by artful, but gainsaying salesman to set aside the Words of God and pick up corrupted bibles cut and assembled, crafted and copyright by international ecumenical modernists who never did believe in the doctrine of inspiration and preservation.

A new chapter of Bibliology needs to be penned. The Bible colleges and seminaries of our day are swallowed in this compromise and will not write it. A significant portion of this work is used to expose the diabolical compromise which in these last of the last days is engulfing Christendom and leading honest God fearing Christians down the dangerous path wherein they voluntarily surrender their Holy Bible and begin using a corrupted ecumenical bible.

A fourfold acid test for the authenticity of a Bible is easily accomplished. If it fails these simple tests it is a corrupted bible and needs to be treated as if it comes from the very deceiver who always corrupts God’s words. First is it copyright? If the words of the bible itself are copyright words, then they are mans words and not God’s words. Second, turn to Daniel 3:25, if the bible in question does not know the forth man in the fire to be “like the Son of God,” it is attempting a deceit about the Son of God. Third, turn to Isaiah 14:12 if the the bible in question supposes that it was a morning star or a day star that was fallen from heaven and it does not identify Lucifer, it is attempting a deceit about the person of Satan. We worship the Morning Star. We worship the Day Star. Lucifer has something to hide in this verse, and if he used subject translators to do it, whose side do you suppose they are on? Forth and last, open the subject bible to 1John 5:7. If its wording does not closely follow that of a King James Bible, it is attempting to remove words of God and they purposely used a corrupted text as their source. It will also be missing these verses: Matt 17:21 18:11, 23:14, Mark 7:16, 9:44 & 46, 11:26, 15:28, Luke 17:36, 23:17, John 5:4, Acts 8:37, 15:34, 24:7, 28:29, Rom 16:24, and 1 John 5:7, then they take Col 1:14 and cut out the clause “Through His Blood” because they think God did not mean to say that.

When Paul wrote epistles he warned that there were present those who would corrupt the words of God. The corrupted text that Constantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874) pulled from the Roman Convent of St. Catherine, near Mount Sinai, and the corrupted text found lying in the locked up Vatican Library were each laid aside as corrupted texts. They are presently the basis for modern English translations, their use accommodates copyright restrictions, and their use introduces these corruptions into every modern English bible.

The Compromise of the Doctrine

The compromise advanced by Bible critics and modernist translators is not even subtle. They change God’s words to argue that the bible was inspired, but it is not now. God’s word is explicit; all scripture IS inspired. Altering the tense of inspiration eases our understanding of what WAS accomplished, but it does not deal honestly with this Scripture. The concern in this exact tense has to do with the preservation of Scripture.

Dr. Thomas M. Strouse, Dean of Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, in Newington, CT., wrote an article on preservation entitled “Charity…Rejoiceth in the Truth: A Critique of Schnaiter and Tagliapietra’s Bible Preservation and the Providence of God2” In this critique Dr. Strouse captures five driving forces of this compromise on Bible inspiration and preservation. On compromise itself Dr. Strouse writes:

David Beale, in observing the inherent weakness of soft conservatives’ capitulation to Neo-Liberalism in their churches in the 1930’s, states, “The tolerant conservatives were quite willing to accept peaceful coexistence, though most did not realize that it would mean gradual extinction for them.” (In Pursuit of Purity [Greenville, SC:  Unusual Publication, 1986], p. 245).  Peaceful coexistence with those who deny the Biblical doctrine of verbal plenary preservation of the Words of God is certainly not what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he warned Timothy, stating,

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:   from such withdraw thyself  [all bold the reviewer’s] (I Tim. 6:3-5)3

On the compromise to the doctrine of the inerrant, infallible, verbal inspiration and preservation of Scriptures Dr. Strouse delineates five subtle venues:

Exemplary of the capitulation to theological error is the recent book entitled Bible Preservation and the Providence of God (Philadelphia:  Xlibris Corp., 2002, 349 pp.) by Bob Jones University professor Sam Schnaiter and Bob Jones University writer Ron Tagliapietra.  These authors, holding to different textual views, give an informative and perhaps helpful survey of seven textual theories, including representative proponents and translations, in the field of the transmission of the Bible text. However, this volume is both revealing and alarming as it purports to discuss Bible preservation and the transmission of the text.  It is revealing in that it demonstrates the apparent need that Bob Jones University has to give the final warning (“Christians espousing the KJV Only view should protect themselves against the charge of heresy by not majoring on minor issues,” p. 165) and the last word (“Is there not a place for charitability amongst Christians…We submit this book with the hope that God will be glorified for inspiration, preservation, and providence, and that God’s people will focus on obeying His Word instead of arguing over trivia,” pp. 280-281) on the subject of Bible texts and translations.  It also reveals the desire for BJU to target fundamental churches that use the KJV and reassure them concerning the supposed orthodoxy of their faculty in Bibliology.  This book alarms by exposing several weaknesses of the Bible faculty of BJU and other Bible schools of their textual ilk.  The readers of the book should be alarmed because it manifests the deficiency of the Critical Text advocates to exegete Scripture for their Bibliological arguments.   Second, it reveals the obdurate attitude of the Critical Text devotees toward the TR/KJV proponents who do exegete Scripture for their position (i. e., E. Hills, D. Waite, and D. Cloud).  Third, it emphasizes the limits of human scholarship in restoring the Words of God since only three (conservative eclecticism, majority text, independent text) of the seven textual theories (the remaining four are radical eclecticism, critical eclecticism, textus receptus, and King James Version Only) may be “offered to the readers for mature consideration” (p. 182).  Fourth, it suggests that the allies of the position of the book are moving further into the Neo-Orthodox practice of “term changing” while pleading for charity (p. 120).  Fifth, the authors attribute to the Lord Jesus Christ a cavalier attitude toward the Biblical doctrine of inerrancy by alleging that “he (sic) called the extant copies inspired in spite of any ‘typos’ in them” (p. 26)4

Lest one think this pressure to compromise the doctrine of an inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired and preserved Holy Bible is something new, or an artificial KJV-Only fabrication, examine the warnings of Louis Gaussen (1790-1863), author of “Theopneustia: The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.”

Whether of the two suppositions which follow is the more reasonable:

First, ” the Gospel according to S. Mark, as it left the hands of its inspired Author, was in this imperfect or unfinished state; ending abruptly at (what we call now) the 8th verse of the last chapter: ” which solemn circumstance, at the end of eighteen centuries, Cod. B and Cod. × are the alone surviving Manuscript witnesses?… or,

Secondly, ” certain copies of S. Mark’s Gospel having suffered mutilation in respect of their Twelve concluding Verses in the post-Apostolic age, Cod. B and Cod. × are the only examples of MSS. so mutilated which are known to exist at the present day?

I. Editors who adopt the former hypothesis, are observed (a) to sever the Verses in question from their context:(462) ” to introduce after ver. 8, the subscription ” to shut up verses 9-20 within brackets.(464) Regarding them as integral part of the Gospel ” an authentic anonymous addition to what Mark himself wrote down, ” Fragment, as a completion of the Gospel in very early times; ” consider themselves at liberty to go on to suggest that Evangelist may have been interrupted in his work: at any rate, that may have occurred, (as the death of S. Peter,) to cause him to leave it unfinished. But most probable suppositionâ (we are assured) that the last leaf of the original Gospel was torn away.

We listen with astonishment; contenting ourselves with modestly suggesting that surely it will be time to conjecture why S. Mark’s Gospel was left by its Divinely inspired Author in an unfinished state, when the fact has been established that it probably was so left. In the meantime, we request to be furnished with some evidence of that fact.

But not a particle of Evidence is forthcoming. It is not even pretended that any such evidence exists. Instead, we are magisterially informed by first Biblical Critic in Europe, ” desire to speak of him with gratitude and respect, but S. Mark’s Gospel is a vast deal more precious to me than Dr. Tischendorf’s reputation,) ” healthy piety reclaims against the endeavours of those who are for palming off as Mark’s what the Evangelist is so plainly shewn [where?] to have known nothing at all about. In the meanwhile, it is assumed to be a more reasonable supposition, I. That S. Mark published an imperfect Gospel; and that the Twelve Verses with which his Gospel concludes were the fabrication of a subsequent age; than, II. That some ancient Scribe having with design or by accident left out these Twelve concluding Verses, copies of the second Gospel so mutilated become multiplied, and in the beginning of the IVth century existed in considerable numbers.

And yet it is notorious that very soon after the Apostolic age, liberties precisely of this kind were freely taken with the text of the New Testament. Origen (A.D. 185-254) complains of the licentious tampering with the Scriptures which prevailed in his day. add to them, (he says) leave out, ” seems good to themselves. Dionysius of Corinth, yet earlier, (A.D. 168-176) remarks that it was no wonder his own writings were added to and taken from, seeing that men presumed to deprave the Word of GOD in the same manner.(472) Iren’s his contemporary, (living within seventy years of S. John’s death,) complains of a corrupted Text.(473) We are able to go back yet half a century, and the depravations of Holy Writ become avowed and flagrant.(474) A competent authority has declared it less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has been ever subjected originated within a hundred years after it was composed. Above all, it is demonstrable that Cod. B and Cod. × abound in unwarrantable omissions very like the present;(476) omissions which only do not provoke the same amount of attention because they are of less moment. One such extraordinary depravation of the Text, in which they also stand alone among MSS. and to which their patrons are observed to appeal with triumphant complacency, has been already made the subject of distinct investigation. I am much mistaken if it has not been shewn in my VIIth chapter, that the omission of the words ³ from Ephes. i. 1, is just as unauthorized, ” as serious a blemish, ” the suppression of S. Mark xvi. 9-20.5

 

A remnant of believers rejected the use of these corrupted texts from the very onset of this drive to substitute “Scripture was inspired” for God’s words “Scripture is inspired.”

INSPIRATION

The inspiration of Scripture is the very heart of Bibliology, but in the larger sense it is the kingpin of all theology, yeah all Christianity. In the 1800′s L. Gaussen, Professor of Systematic Theology, Geneva Switzerland, worded this truth thus:

I do not think that, after we have come to know that Christianity is divine, there can be presented to our mind any question bearing more essentiality on the vitality of our faith than this: ‘Does the Bible come from God? is it altogether from God? or may it not be true, as some have maintained, that there occurs in it maxims purely human, statements not exactly true, exhibitions of Vulgar ignorance and ill-sustained reasoning? in a word, books, or portions of books, foreign to the interest of the faith, subject to the natural weakness of the writers judgment, and alloyed with error?’ Here we have a question that admits one of compromise, a fundamental question, a question of life! It is the first that confronts you on opening the Scriptures, and with it your religion ought to commence.6

Indeed, with an uncompromised answer to these questions our whole theology ought to commence. Is the Holy Bible preserved as verbally inspired, inerrant, and infallible? or Is such a Bible, lost to multiple scribal additions to the text, additions which must be edited out in copyrighted versions made by arguing modern scholars and Bible critics? It is herein systematically contended that if a bible is copyrighted, the words are the words of, and property of, men, and not the words of God. Such a simplicity behooves us in a systematic theology which must hang on every word of our sole authority.

I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Inspiration Defined

pasa grafh’ qeo’pneustos

It is worth exploring the original Bible languages to fully comprehend why the seventy seven highly skilled linguists, employed and paid by King James from 1603 through 1611, translated this Greek phrase “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The English word inspiration, carefully avoided by each ecumenical and modern bible translator, incorporates in its definition breath of life, influence and stimulation of mind, feeling, and emotion, to produce an activity. It was also specifically crafted incorporating the word spirit. Indeed the English word inspiration is formed and framed around the concept contained in the Greek theopneustia. There is no better English capture of this concept. God created and breathed out the very wording of every sentence of what is written down as Scripture.

Although there is only one use of the Greek word for inspiration found in the Bible, the teams of translators funded by King James found another exact match in the Hebrew of the Old Testament Scripture. Its use is insightful to this argument. The Scripture is Job 32:8 , “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration (Strong#05397, Hebrew hmvn nesh-aw-maw) of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” In context this is the opening argument of the younger Elihu, clarifying, that despite his junior status, he has some pertinent insights from God about the status of Job. He goes on to expound this unrefuted understanding for 165 verses in six chapters of the book of Job. The Hebrew word nesh-aw-maw, translated breath, 17 times, blast, thrice, and spirit, twice, is here translated here inspiration. The English word, the Hebrew linguistic, and this present context, incorporates both breath and spirit: the breath of God and the spirit of man. This remarkable insight of the KJV translators, and the first use of the English word inspiration, is completely eliminated by all ecumenical modern English bibles. That, despite the fact, that the word inspiration was invented for this very purpose. One must ask, “Why? Why was this very word, designed to fit into 2Timothy 3:16, rejected by the modern English translators of the RSV, NIV, ASV, NASV, NEV, RNEV et.al.? Such investigation reveals that these translators were more concerned about securing lucrative copyrights than they were about clarity and exactness of their ecumenical translation. This is not immature trivia, as claimed by Schnaiter and Tagliapietra7, this is careful compromise avoidance. The copyright bibles are not adequate for a sole source of a Biblical Systematic Theology.

Plenary Verbal Inspiration of SCRIPTURE

Plenary means all, complete in all respects, unlimited, or full. Verbal means the very words are inspired. Therefore, all the words of Scripture are inspired.

Several things are cleared up and nailed down in this single sentence of Scripture. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim 3:16-17) Consider two things about “all Scripture.” A lawyer, Dr. Gipp, once clarified that “All means all and that’s all all means.” Ergo there is not a verse, not a thought, not a concept and/or not a phrase that is left out of the all. Dr. Thiessen, a Baptist theologian, committed sacrilege when he said that 1Thes 5:238 was only Paul’s opinion9. He was trying to defend his unbiblical belief that the human is only made up of the material and the immaterial. That is what excellent philosophers had taught the Roman Catholic clergy and Dr. Thiessen would not let go of that doctrine no matter what the Bible said about body, soul, and spirit. Indeed, contending that sometimes Paul only added his opinions in his writings is a categorical denial of the “all” in “all Scripture,” a categorical denial of inerrancy and infallibility, and a syndication of his previous stance that “there is no inspired Holy Bible in existence.10

Second, consider that this “all Scripture,” must include the writings of Moses, who penned the Pentateuch, collected in the 5 books the Hebrews called the Torah11, Job who previously penned the epic Hebrew poetry book bearing his name, collected in the 13 books the Hebrews called the Writings12, and Isaiah, who penned his prophetic book 750 years after Moses and 750 years before Christ. His book, Isaiah, is collected in the 21 books the Hebrews called the Prophets13. Young Timothy who was the recipient of the instruction penned in 2Tim 3:16, had no access to the original manuscripts, or autographs, of these Scriptures. All young Timothy could possibly have had, were copies of copies of copies; none were 1,492 years old, as were the Torah and Writings, none were 750 years old, as were the Prophets, none, other than possibly the letter he held in his hand, were autographs, and yet all were inspired, all were profitable for doctrine, all were profitable for reproof, all were profitable for correction, all were profitable for instruction in righteousness. It defies good logic or sound reason that just in the last hundred years, scholars-so-called, have convinced Christians, so called, that only autographs were inspired, only autographs were infallible, and only autographs were inerrant. But evangelicals led by Dr. Chafer and Dallas Theological Seminary have accepting such a position. Dr. Thiessen promoted such a position in Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary. It is fitting that they dropped the Baptist title and became Dr. John MacArthur’s Master’s Seminary14. This brazen compromise on what inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy is all about, has opened a flood gate of compromised Bible copyright mongers who have perverted His Words in every conceivable way, and yet they find general acceptance in Evangelical Christianity. They have even infiltrated Independent Baptist Churches with this evil compromise.

(blue comp book 3rd section pg 11)

Inerrancy of ALL SCRIPTURE

A consideration about the inerrancy of Scripture is in order here. Inerrancy means that the Bible will not lead one into error. It does not mean that sinne and Saviour will be spelled exactly the same in every copy of the Bible15. Since the Bible is inerrant, i.e. it will not lead one into error, it is wholly truthful in its revelation. Not only is it wholly truthful, but being the perfect revelation of God to man, it does not conceal or hide its intended revelation. There are no secret codes or hidden messages, or covert revelations that cannot be readily detected by the Holy Spirit enlightened mind with a literal, grammatical, historical rendering of the communication. Note, again, that it is the Holy Spirit of God who quickens, and enlightens our minds to comprehend God’s truth, but that quickening and enlightening is given to every believer. Note, again, that the allegorical method of hermeneutics, wherein the revelation of God is written in secret, disguised, metaphorical prose which can only be readily discerned by a Roman priestly profession, or a Scholarly Protestant Clergy profession, is rejected in its principle and in its entirety. It is the Holy Spirit of God which reveals his His truth and not the pious or scholarly pursuits of man, reading things between the lines. Man has always enjoyed and employed the prideful arrogant taunting line, “I know something you don’t know.” Man, in his old nature, is always alert and digging around for subliminal messages and secret unintended revelations. A definition of inerrancy must include not only that the Bible will not lead one into error, but that the Bible will not side step or overpass an intended revelation of truth, it will not submerge an intended revelation between the lines and thus cause error in those who do not catch the concealed sublime. The Holy Bible is thus wholly inerrant.

Stated more bluntly, there is no subliminal geological 100 thousand year, plus, gap nestled covertly between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2; no testing and fall of angels is wedged into such a concealed covert gap in revelation; no prehistoric cataclysmic catastrophe should be imagined in such a subliminal gap in God’s revelation, in fact if God’s word is truth, the word prehistoric should be banished from the believers vocabulary. Be it said here that this author loves, honors and respects the unique genius and superb scholarship of C.I. Scofield, and loves, honors and respects the unique genius and superb scholarship of Clarence Larkin, however, they error when they contend that there is a subliminal revelation about mongrel mutant angelic humanoids submerged in the text of the Holy Bible. This author loves, honors and respects the unique genius and superb scholarship of Peter S. Ruckman, however, he was in error when he contends that there is a subliminal revelation about grapes of Eshcol in Adam’s veins, or black aliens with green blood meddling in mans affairs. An inerrant Bible does not lead one into error, but neither does it conceal the truth in such a way that only certain gifted ones are able to stumble onto it. Stated another way:

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law”.(Deut 29:29) For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. (Mark 4:22)

Attributing all this into a definition of inerrancy must necessitate that three things be herein clarified. Are no believer led into error by the words of an inerrant Bible? Are there now mysteries yet concealed in the pages of this inerrant Bible? And what is the function of the Holy Spirit of God, our guidon into all truth16, in keeping one from all error, especially in keeping one from routing out, or believing in, some new subliminal truth, that is discovered?

Anyone who know of Dr. Harold Camping know that professed elievers can still take their Bible, route out, develop and teach, to very large audience, grandly discovered subliminal revelations which are wholly false. The Lord did not return on October 21st, 2012, and years of Dr. Camping’s research and teaching were proven false witness and scoffed around the world. When it is said that the Bible is inerrant in that it will not lead one inot error, it needs to be clarified that professed believer, with their inerrant Bibles opened wide, may still be led into error. The emphasis must be that there is not error in its presentation of spiritual truths, no error in its representation of physical and geographical dogma, no error in its dictation of history or genealogy. Believing what you read in an acceptable literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation, will not lead one into error. When using the Bible to discover secret subliminal messages, principles, and concepts, there is no end of the error which might be routed out. The whole concept behind the allegorical method17, of hermeneutics is that all of the Bible principles are burred in these subliminal hidden messages which can only be routed out by a gallant, pious scholarship, by a gallant, charismatic scholars, trained, if you will, by the Roman Catholic mother of all churches. Such allegorical method was largely carried on in the Protestant Reformation wherein only ordained Protestant Clergy could rightly divide the truth of Scripture.

The comprehension of inerrancy must include a venue where the Bible does not conceal any truths between the lines, hidden in gaps between verses, or buried in allegorical and/or hidden interpretations. Ergo the Bible is a distinct revelation of all the truth God perfectly intended to communicate to man and that revelation requires a literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation. In that manner the Bible is inerrant. In that way the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. In that way one will not be lead into error.

Infallibility of ALL SCRIPTURE

Several things need to be said about infallibility of Scripture.

1American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. “Science.”

2Thomas M. Strouse, “Charity…Rejoiceth in the Truth”, Published at http://www.biblefortoday.org accessed 1/22/2008

3Ibid.

4Ibid.

5John W. Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According To S. Mark, 1871, Oxford and London, James Parker and Co., Second Printing May 2002, 244-245

6Gaussen, Theopneustia, 5-6

7 Schnaiter and Tagliapietra, Bible Preservation and the Providence of God, (Xlibris Corp, 2003), 182

8 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

9Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology (Eerdmans, 1949), 227, “In the second place, Paul seems to think of body, soul, and spirit as three distinct parts of man’s nature (1Thes 5:23)”

10Ibid., Thiessen, p 107, “Inspiration is affirmed only of the autographs of the Scriptures, not of any of the versions, whether ancient or modern, nor of any of the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts in existence, nor of any critical texts known. All these are either known to be faulty in some particulars, or are not certainly known to be free from all error. Some one will remark, but the autographs are all lost! True, but textual critics tell us that the number of words that are still in doubt, whether in the Old Testament or in the New, is very small, and that no doctrine is affected by this situation.”

11The Hebrew Torah containing the 5 books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

12The Hebrew Writings containing the 13 books – 1Chronicles, 2Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah.

13The Hebrew Prophets containing the 21 books – Joshua, Judges, 1Samuel, 2Samuel, 1Kings, 2Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Exekiel, Hosea, Joel Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

14 The Master’s College was founded as Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary on May 25, 1927 to meet the need for a fundamentalist Baptist school on the West Coast. The intention was to provide a biblical and Christcentered education consistent with those doctrines of the historic Christian faith. Dr. William A. Matthews, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church of Los Angeles, became the founder and first president. The seminary was extended an invitation to be temporarily housed at Calvary Baptist Church in the Los Angeles area. Several more moves followed until the seminary moved onto its own property in Los Angeles in 1942. Dr. Mathews died at his home on August 18, 1943. He was succeeded by presidents C. Gordon Evanson, Floyd Burton Boice, and Henry C. Thiessen. In 1946, the seminary became a graduate-level school and initiated a separate undergraduate and liberal arts program. Following Dr. Thiessen’s death in 1947, Dr. Herbert V. Hotchkiss and Dr. Milton E. Fish, a Harvard graduate, strengthened the school scholastically and spiritually. August 14, 1959 marked a change, as Dr. John R. Dunkin became president, succeeding Dr. Carl M. Sweazy, who returned to full-time evangelism. The new president continued the scriptural position of the school’s leadership. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master’s_College, (all bold added by author) although wikipedia is not a trusted source for citing one’s research, it was the only available source that so revealed Dr. Thiessen, as a past president of Master’s College.

15Neil R. Lightfoot, as recorded in his book How We Got Our Bible, 1963, Baker, in 500 manuscripts found a word spelled differently from the standard text and counted it as 500 variants. By this counting grammatical differences as variants textual critics have so exaggerated their importance that their count of variants in Bible manuscripts has exceeded 200,000. Ref Norman L. Geisler, Sep 2013 Article Updating the Manuscript Evidence For The New Testament, http://www.normgeisler.com, accessed 10/23/2013. It is not accuracy but copyright law that fuels the critics quest for exaggerated variant counts. Never trust a Bible Critic, especially when he subtly calls himself a Textual Critic.

16Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Ps 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Ps 43:3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

17The allegorical method was founded by Roman Catholic Saint Origen of Alexandria, and exploited by Rome in the formation of the Roman Catholic religion,

Opening Letter

Written By: Pastor Rice - Oct• 04•13

On Sep 30, 2013, at 7:13 PM, Pastor Ed Rice <PastorRice@GSBaptistChurch.com> wrote:

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no Baptist Systematic Theology work in print today, i.e. there is no Systematic Theology work that has the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired word of God as its sole authority, even like Baptists, by definition, have it as their sole authority for all faith and practice.  There ought to be.  There is a cause.
You are solicited to join in a five year theological journey which will end with a “Systematic Theology for the 21st  Century.”  The only fare is that you review the work as it is being assembled monthly. All critiques will be welcomed and any born again believer is fully qualified to construct, and certainly to critique, such a work. A systematic theology is simply drawing a circle around the Holy Bible, and then rationally considering every principle, concept and thought that has been revealed to man by God. It shall be exhaustive, but in this venue, with your help, it need not be exhausting.
The reward for your participation will be a copy of the completed work.  But that will barely compare with the benefit we each will gain in assembling such a work.

The Cause
As a systems engineer for thirty years (since 1972), I focused on systems analysis. Systematic theology has  intrigued me ever since my first Bible institute course in 1975.  I have amassed multiple systematic theology books and never found one that is wholly Biblical.  This year, Seminary work assigned me to read and analyze six volumes of Systematic Theology by Lewis Sperry Chafer, a previous president of Dallas Theological Seminary.  Initial critique of this neo-evangelical, voluminous, wordy, often unintelligible, more often unorganized work1, answered the question, Is there not a cause? A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century is indeed a valid need.  It cries out to be written and it is a work that I must needs endeavor.
Immediately there are three principle flaws that need to be overhauled in previous works. Previous systematic theologies spend effort systematizing creeds rather than the systematizing Bible revelation.  For example, the Westminster confession of faith establishes that God unchangeablly decreed every thing that comes to pass… EVERYTHING!,  and that He decreed it all before the foundation of the world.  The Bible is emphatic that Abraham with his bargaining , Moses with his intercession, Nineveh with its repentance,  Joash with his arrows, Hezekiah with his prayer, and Jesus with his whosoever(s),   each directly changed what God was going to do. Also, IF prayer changes things, so can we; so can God.  One would expect Charles Hodge (1797-1878) to bow to such a Westminster creed, he was a Presbyterian. But when Augustus Strong (1836-1921), an American Baptist minister and Theologian, supports Westminster over the Bible, and Henry C. Thiessen  (? -1947), 1947 President of  Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary2, resoundingly supported Westminster over the Bible, and finally when Lewis Sperry Chafer, followed suit, it is time to re-write a systematic theology that presents what the Bible reveals over what the creeds state. Present systematic theology works are marred by what the Holy Catholic Church declared as truth.  A Biblical one is direly needed.
Secondly, previous systematic theologies spend effort defending philosophies of man and rationality of man rather than systematizing Bible revelation.  All the previous listed theologians spend undo time and effort wrestling with the ontological and teleological proof that there is a God. The Bible spends no effort in such vain philosophies of man.  Also, Thiessen, particularly, expends great effort defending the philosophical and Roman Catholic argument that man is only material and immaterial and NOT body, soul and spirit, i.e. a trichotomy in the image of God.  In this error, he even calls Holy Scripture, “just Paul’s opinion.”  Chafer also makes reference to the dichotomy of man, but then later references his trichotomy; again Chafer has thus far proven remarkably wordy, unclear, and inconsistent.
Lastly Thiessen and Chafer, by their own insistence, have no access to a verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible Holy Bible. They insist that nowhere in the world does such a Bible exist.   Both base their systematic theologies on what textual critics, modernist translators, and modernist scholars thought God meant to say.  A true theologian must base all theology on an inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Holy Bible; it is our sole authority. For Baptists it is the sole authority for all faith and practice, and we have no reliably written Systematic Theology in print. With your help we will get one in print, at least in eprint.
Your Help
There are currently several chapters of a Systematic Theology for the 21st Century in draft, an organizing Table of Contents in the works, and other chapters in rough draft.  These will be more complete as this semester progresses, and I expect to put-out one short section for review at the end of each month.  I am asking that you make a critical review of the sections that I email each month.  Critique content, organization, structure and good English.  I am taking some writing courses, but the latter is still my weakest asset. (Keeping it third person, complete sentences, and active vs passive, have been special challenges of mine.)   A systematic theology must be clear, accurate, and concise. Your help is appreciated. If you do not have time to get to a section, don’t fret; you are in no way obligated; there are other recipients who can pick up the slack.
The construction and availability of the work will take place on our web page at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology An accompanying Systematic Theology blog will be a helpful dragnet for comment, content, and feedback, but your inputs and your efforts to solicit inputs from other ‘theologians’ will be crucial to a quality product, published in 2018.
Thank you for this consideration.  Expect a drafted chapter on Bibliology on October 31st.
Pastor Ed Rice

PS Your critiquing can start with this message, email any feedback, correction, and/or contention. Thank you.
PS2 Several works are already up on the web page, if you have time and interest in getting me feedback before Oct.