Part 06 Anthropology
A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century
Part 06 Anthropology
Table of Contents
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-271
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:7-8
Having thoroughly considered the nature of God, we now consider the nature of man. Anthropology is the doctrine of man, or a discourse on human nature2, specifically taken from the Greek “Anthropos,” for man “ology” for a discourse of/on. (It has been well stated previous that “ology” is so much bigger than study, discourse, or doctrine of, that it might need its own consideration whenever it is used.) In a Biblical systematic theology the discourse will focus on everything God has revealed to us about man in his inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired holy Scriptures. By definition that is adequate coverage of all that needs to be considered about man. The Father of Systematic Theologies, Charles Hodge (1797-1878) develops an idea that God’s thorough coverage of anthropology is the complete truth as follows:
All that the Scriptures teach concerning the external world accords with the facts of experience. They do not teach that the earth is a plane; that it is stationary in space; that the sun revolves around it. On the other hand, they do teach that God made all plants and animals, each after its own kind; and, accordingly, all experience shows that species are immutable. All the anthropological doctrines of the Bible agree with what we know of man from consciousness and observation. The Bible teaches that God made of one blood all nations which dwell on the face of the earth. We accordingly find that all the varieties of our race have the same anatomical structure; the same physical nature; the same rational and moral faculties. The Bible teaches that man is a free, accountable agent; that all men are sinners; that all need redemption, and that no man can redeem himself or find a ransom for his brother. With these teachings the consciousness of all men agrees. All that the Scriptures reveal concerning the nature and attributes of God corresponds with our religious nature, satisfying, elevating, and sanctifying all our powers and meeting all our necessities. If the contents of the Bible did not correspond with the truths which God has revealed in his external works and the constitution of our nature, it could not be received as coming from Him, for God cannot contradict himself. Nothing, therefore, can be more derogatory to the Bible than the assertion that its doctrines are contrary to reason.3
Charles Hodge was a genius with great depth but in his anthropology section he fails to stand by his own assertion here that God’s Word can be our sole authority for what we understand about man. Instead he spends all his effort defying what we do not believe and then even defending the Roman philosophical teachings of dualism against the Bible’s endorsement of man’s trichotomy, i.e. body, soul and spirit. Certainly there are many things about humans that can be explored and studied outside of the Bible, just as there are things to be learned about earth’s orbit around the sun in a galaxy called the Milky Way. But in a truly systematic theology our focus in an anthropology section need only be what God has revealed about man in his inerrant, infallible word. The very best basis of anthropology then comes first from consideration of the very best Biblical Doctrines book.
There is no truer, or more thorough, published, Baptist, and Biblical doctrine than that of Dr. Mark G. Cambron.4 His teachings on Bible Doctrine at Tennessee Temple Bible School thoroughly lay the foundation for this present work of systematic theology. His book, Bible Doctrines5 will, with the permission of the Cambron Institute6, be given in block quotes throughout this effort. The book is readily available through http://www.thecambroninstitute.org, and it forms the foundation for this systematic theology.7
Believing in the verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures and believing that every single word is directly chosen by God, it is prudent here to preserve and defend the doctrines extracted from Scripture and presented by Dr. Cambron. Below, in a block quote of his book, is his extensive analysis of Anthropology: [block quote of Dr. Cambron’s Bible Doctrines page 116-134 (Zondervan 155-174)]
Anthropology – The Doctrine of Man
ANTHROPOLOGY (The Doctrine of Man)
OUTLINE FOR CHAPTER IV
I. Man in His State of Integrity.
A. His Origin.
B. His Nature.
C. His Constitution.
D. His Condition.
E. His Headship.
II. Man in His State of Sin.
F. The Fall of Man.
G. The Fallen Sons of Adam.
III. Man in His State of Grace.
A. His Standing.
B. His State.
C. His Two Natures.
Anthropology comes from the Greek word “anthropos,” meaning “man.” Anthropology is the doctrine of man. There are many different definitions of man, some comical, some tragic. In this study of anthropology we shall go to the true source — the Scriptures. Man has always wanted to know who he is, where he came from, and where he is going. God’s Holy Word gives the only complete account.
By this we mean man in his original state of purity, his uprightness.
A. His Origin.
a. Not by Abiogenesis or Spontaneous Generation. This theory holds to the belief that there was no creator of man, but that man simply came into being without a cause and began to exist, fulfilling the nursery rhyme, which reads:
Where did you come from, Baby dear?
Out of the nowhere, into here!
This argument needs no answer, but in order to forestall criticism, we simply state that if such a thing as abiogenesis were possible, there would be no power to keep it from happening again. There is no record of a second occurrence, and, of course, it never happened in the first place.
b. Not by Evolution or Natural Developments. A short definition of evolution is: “That process by which, through some kind of aggregation of matter through many ages and species, by chance or by law, man appears.” This concept has held sway for many years, but its adherents are on the decline. Modern science, such as anthropology, is refuting all of its claims. The Bible declares that man is a separate creation of God, and that the animals were created at a different time, completely apart from man. Evolution teaches that man and animals have a common origin, which branched out into the different species. In refuting this we use the Scriptures and human reasoning as follows:
(1) It is Opposed to Scripture. The Scriptures state: “After his kind” (Gen. 1:24). This pins the species down to themselves, forbidding them to evolve into a completely new species.
(2) There is No Record of Animal Becoming Man. Surely, in six thousand years, if 121 evolution were true, there would be living examples of it today.
(3) There is No Evidence that the Missing Link Has Been Found. Many so-called history books show pictures of the creature they term as the missing link. These pictures are photographs of drawings, and not photographs of real creatures, as none of these exist. The “missing link,” we are told, is that creature between man and the ape. Its picture is wholly the imagination of the artist who took a piece of a bone or tooth and built a man around it. It is the same as a man taking a key hole and building a house around it. We would like to quote William Jennings Bryan concerning the “missing link”: “If the missing link has been found, why are they still looking for it?”
(4) There is No Evidence that Primitive Man Differed From Man Today.
(5) There Is Proof that Human Blood is One Blood. (Acts 17:26). World War II has proved this. The blood of a white man can be placed into the veins of a black man, and vice versa, and give life. Blood transfusions have only been in practice during the last hundred years, but God revealed this to us several thousand years ago.
(6) There is a Great Difference Between the Constitution of Man and Animal.
(a) Physically. Man is an upright being, while animals are on all fours.
(b) Mentally. Man has intellect, while animals have instinct.
(c) Morally. Man is the only creature of God that has moral qualities.
(d) Spiritually. Man alone has been created with spiritual concepts. He alone of all the creatures can worship God.
2. Positive. Man is a direct creation of God. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27).
B. His Nature.
1. Original Image of Man. “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26a). “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Gen. 9:6). See also I Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9.
a. Seen in Man’s Triunity. “The LORD God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). “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” (I Thess. 5:23).
b. Seen in Man’s Intellectual and Moral Nature. “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:9, 10). See also Ephesians 4:24.
c. Seen in Physical Likeness. It is true that God is a Spirit (John 4:24); God is invisible (Col. 1:15). Yet God has always had a form in which He manifests Himself: “As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with beholding thy form” (Ps. 17:15, R.V.). See also Philippians 2:6,7; Mark 15:12; John 5:37, R.V. 122
Christ was not made in the form or image of Adam, but Adam was made in the form, or image of Christ, who was to come: “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (Rom. 5:14).
2. Original Innocence of Man. Some declare that Adam was created in holiness, or righteousness. This is not quite correct. Man was created perfect, yes, but he was created in innocence. There is a vast difference between innocence and righteousness. Innocence is sinlessness that has never faced trial. Righteousness is innocence that has been tested and tried, and has come out victorious.
C. His Constitution.
As we shall see, man is composed of earthly (Gen. 2:7) and spiritual elements (I Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12).
1. Body. His body was made from the earth. This was the first part of man that was formed. “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). The body is set forth in Scripture as the house of the inner man. “How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is the dust, which are crushed before the moth?” (Job 4:19). See also II Corinthians 5:1, 3, 4. The process by which God made man is not known; we leave that up to God. Men give their opinions and speculations, but they remain as such. The word “dust” does not mean clay, or old dirty dirt, but the finest materials of the earth.
a. Analysis Proves Man’s Source. Modern chemical analysis detects in the body the same elements that are in the earth beneath man’s feet; such elements as sodium, carbon, iron, and the like.
b. Earth Sustains Man’s Existence. The body is sustained by that which grows out of the earth. It is man’s body and not his spirit that is sustained. Famine in our modern day has proved that if vegetation is taken away, life is taken away. Kill vegetation and you kill man.
c. Death Substantiates Man’s Elements. At death corruption sets in, and man’s body soon returns to the dust from which it was formed. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19).
2. Soul. “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). See also I Corinthians 15:45. The soul is the seat of the emotions and appetites. Plants, animals and man have bodies; only animals and man have a soul; but only man has a spirit. The soul is that conscious life which is in man and animal. Plants have life, but it is unconscious life. There is a difference between the souls of men and the souls of animals. The animal’s soul is connected with his body, while man’s soul is connected with his spirit. The soul of an animal dies with the animal, but man’s soul never dies, for he was made a “living soul” — a soul that would never die. 123
As stated, the soul of man is the seat of his emotions and appetites, and the following Scriptures will bring out the degrees of same: Appetites: “Thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart” (Deut. 12:15). Desires: “If any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force” (I Sam. 2:16). See also Deuteronomy 12:20; Psalm 107:18; Proverbs 6:30; Isaiah 29:8; I Samuel 18:1. Hates: “David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house” (II Sam. 5:8). Mourns: “His flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn” (Job 14:22). Is Vexed: “The man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me” (II Kings 4:27b). Rejoices: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Suffers: “They said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us” (Gen. 42:21). Sorrows: “He said unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch” (Mark 14:34).
Where does man get his soul?
a. Pre-existence. This theory teaches that all souls that have ever been in the world, or shall ever be in the world, were created in the beginning. At time of conception, they are united with the body. This was taught by Plato, but it was never accepted by the church, as it is without Scriptural foundation.
b. Creationism. This belief holds that after forty days of conception the soul unites with the body. Roman Catholicism proposes this. If this belief is true, then God is the creator of sinful souls.
c. Traducianism. This is the truth which holds that both soul and body are derived from the parents. “Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” (Gen. 5:3). See also Acts 17:24-26.
3. Spirit. Here is where man differs from all creatures. In Hebrews 12:9 God is said to be “Father of spirits.” This does not mean the Father of angels, but of the spirits of men made perfect. God is never said to be the Father of souls.
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (Jas. 2:26). When a body dies, the soul departs with the spirit of man. The soul and spirit can be separated “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). However, there is no Scriptural proof that they are ever separated. The rich man of Luke 16 goes to Hades upon death, and he has both soul and spirit with him. See also Matthew 10:28. 124
The spirit of man is the seat of his intelligence. “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 2:11). Animals do not possess intelligence. “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee” (Ps. 32:9).
The word “spirit,” both in the Hebrew and Greek, is sometimes translated as “breath,” and “wind.” The context determines the translation.
The materialists say that the word for spirit should be “breath,” and that when man dies he is gone forever.
Some people say that man lost his spirit at the Fall and regains his spirit at conversion. This would make him a dual being however, and this conception has no Scriptural grounds.
4. Heart. When we speak of the heart, we do not mean the muscle in the body, but rather the seat of conscience. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:22). See also I John 3:19,20; Acts 2:26; 5:3, 5; Matthew 22:37. There is a warning that there may be a profession without a possession, a head knowledge without a heart trust. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of the Father which is in heaven” See also Matthew 7:22, 23.
D. His Condition.
By this we mean man’s condition in his state of integrity before he fell.
1. His Knowledge. He had immediate knowledge, intuitive knowledge. He was not an adult infant. He named all animals that came from the hand of God; It would take an intelligent man to do this. “Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:20).
2. His Fellowship. He was able to commune with God. “The LORD God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat” (Gen. 2:16). “God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (Gen. 1:29).
3. His Home. It was located in a garden. “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Gen. 2:8). Some men claim that primitive man was a cave man, but this was not so, for he was a garden man. The first records we have of men living in caves are of the persecuted: “Of whom the world 125 was not worthy; they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11:38), and of the insane: “when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit” (Mark 5:2).
This garden is not called Eden, but rather, the Garden in Eden. “Eden” means plains, or plateau. Armenia, no doubt, is the place where man began.
4. His Companion. “For Adam there was not found an help meet for him. . . . And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man” (Gen. 2:20, 22). The words “help meet” are not a compound word, but two separate ones, meaning “fit for.” Eve was “fit for” Adam. Some who laugh at this “rib story” cannot tell us where woman did come from. Why do you suppose God did not make woman from the dust? For the simple reason that God did not want to have two origins of man.
God can make a human being in four ways:
Without the aid of a woman, as Eve.
Without a man or woman, as Adam.
Without a man, by a woman, as Christ.
5. His Work. “God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen.
1:28). “The LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15). There was employment in the garden, but no toil. There was work, but not the kind that wears one out. The word “keep” in Genesis 2:15 is best translated “guard.” Against whom was Adam to guard the garden? Against wild animals?
No, there were none. Against wild men? No, for Adam was the only man. He was put on his guard against the possible appearance of the Devil. Whenever man is placed in a position of trust, God always gives ample warning.
6. His Food. “God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (Gen. 1:29). The first man and beast of the field were vegetarians. Their diets included no meat. Man was not carnivorous as evolutionists claim.
7. His Responsibility.
a. To Replenish the Earth With a New Order — Man. “God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). Adam was the first man: “The first man Adam was made a living soul” (I Cor. 15:45). Eve is the mother of all human beings. “Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20). 126
b. To Abstain from Eating of the Fruit. This fruit was of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. “The LORD God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2: 16, 17).
They were allowed to eat freely, as there was plenty. There was only one tree forbidden them. We do not know what kind of fruit it was. Nothing was wrong with the fruit; there was just God’s prohibition behind it. God wanted Adam and Eve to have knowledge, but he did not want them to gain it by disobedience. Re-member, man had been placed on his guard; he had been warned of the enemy; Satan did not come in unawares. This being true, why did God allow Adam and Eve to be subjected to the attack of the Devil? Testing always comes before a blessing. Man always has to be tried before he is promoted.
E. His Leadership. (Headship)
The entire human race comes from that one man, Adam. As is the head, so are the descendants.
1. Ethnography. This is the branch of anthropology that considers man geographically and descriptively, treating of the subdivision of races, the causes of migration, and related matters. This science points to a common homeland — Armenia.
2. Comparative Philology. This is the science of language, and it considers that men all come from the same origin.
3. Psychology. This is the science of the mind, and it also indicates that man comes from one origin.
4. Physiology. This is the science that deals with the organic structure of the body, and it declares that all men come from the same source, a common origin.
A. The Fall of Man.
Some may say that the fall of man is an old Babylonian fable, but we have only to look upon man and see him toil for his bread, weaken in his diseases, and die in his misery, to realize that he has had a fall. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). 127
1. The Source of Sin. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen. 3: 1). “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3). God is not speaking about a beast when He mentions the serpent, but a person. Notice that the Scripture does not say, “more subtle than any other beast of the field,” but leaves out the word “other,” stating only that he is more subtle than any beast. This is merely a statement of what God thinks of the Devil.
Nowhere in Scripture does it state that the Devil was in the serpent, but it does say that the serpent was the Devil. “He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:2).
2. The Nature of Sin. “The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:4-6). Now the fruit was all right; it was good fruit, with only the prohibition of God behind it. Some people may contend that it was a small thing to bring about man’s downfall, but we ask the question, “How many steps does it take to fall off a bluff?”
a. He Doubted God’s Love. In doubting God’s love, man denied God’s goodness, and acted apart from God and became a sinner. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). See also Isaiah 55:6.
b. He Doubted God’s Word. In doubting God’s Word, man denied His Truth; denying His Truth, he acted in spite of God and became a criminal. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4).
c. He Doubted God’s Authority. In doubting God’s authority, man denied God’s deity; denying His deity, he became contrary to God. Thus, he became God’s enemy and a rebel in God’s universe. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7, 8).
The testing was given to see if man would stay true to God. He failed because he wanted to be a god. The Devil himself fell (Is. 14), because he wanted to be like the Most High God. This brought about his downfall, so he planted the same seed of false ambition in Adam and Eve to see if it would bring about their downfall, and it did.
Some may ask, “Was this fair to them?” They were warned and placed on guard against Satan. There was only one prohibition in the garden. They did not need the fruit; they lacked nothing. 128
3. The Effects of Sin.
a. Immediate Effects Upon Eve.
(1) Shame. “They both were naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 2:25; 3:7). God himself is clothed with a garment of light (Ps. 104:2); and when He made man, he made him in His own image and likeness. Thus, we believe that man also was clothed with a garment of light. When man sinned, that clothing of light was lost, and he made himself a fig leaf covering to take the place of that which was lost. Ever since, man has tried to put on what God once gave him, but he has nothing but filthy rags.
(2) Fear. “He said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen. 3:10). Man still tries to hide from God.
(3) Separation from God. There is no doubt that man lost his perfect nature and ended his fellowship with God. There is no such thing as the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man of the natural man, the unsaved man.
(4) Expulsion from the Garden. “The LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the end of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life” (Gen. 3:23, 24). Man was driven out.
(5) Lost Lordship Over Creation. In the beginning Adam was indeed the ruler of all earthly creatures: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beast of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea” (Ps. 8:6-8). This is not true of man today. He has lost that lordship. Christ will return it to man when He comes again (Heb. 2 and Is. 11).
b. Remote Effects Upon Adam’s Posterity.
(1) The Spirit is Darkened. “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:17, 18). The darkened room of understanding will remain darkened until the Holy Spirit comes in to illuminate.
(2) The Soul Is Debased arid Corrupt. Unbelievers, “being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph.
4:19). See also Jeremiah 17:9.
(3) The Body Is Subjected to Disease and Death. “The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
4. The Effects on Sin.
a. The Immediate Expression of God’s Judgment.
(1) On the Serpent. “The LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:14, 15). Satan, in all of his majesty, is considered nothing but a serpent. This is a figure of speech, for we know that snakes do not eat dust. 129 God’s decree unto the serpent that he should eat dust all the days of his life, showed the contempt in which He held the Devil.
(2) On the Woman. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16).
(3) On Creation. “Unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field” (Gen. 3:17, 18).
(4) On Man. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19). See also Genesis 5:29.
b. The Future Expression of God’s Judgment. “The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
5. The Provision for the Sinner. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). In the hour that man sinned, God promised a Redeemer. The Seed of the woman is no one else but Jesus Christ. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skin, and clothe them” (Gen. 3:21). When they realized their nakedness, they covered themselves with aprons of fig leaves. God clothed them with animal skins instead. As far as covering their nakedness was concerned, fig leaves were as good as animal skins; however, blood had to be spilt — “For without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” They had to be covered with that which was slain for their sins. Likewise, the sinner today has to be clothed with the righteousness of Him who died for them.
B. The Fallen Sons of Adam.
1. Their Standing.
a. In Adam. “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor. 15:21, 22).
See also I Corinthians 15:45, 47; Romans 5:12-21. There are only two representative men in the world: the first man and the second man; the first Adam and the last Adam. All men are born in Adam; all born-again men are in Christ.
b. Of Sin and Guilt. “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin, as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:9, 10). See also Romans 3:19.
2. Their State. By their state we mean their spiritual condition; that is, the absence of righteousness in their spiritual life.
a. Sinful in Nature. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). See also Ephesians 2:3; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 130 8:7; Galatians 5:19-21.
b. Sinful in Practice. “We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). See also Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:21; Psalm 14:1-3.
c. Lost in Sin. “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). See also Isaiah 53:6; II Corinthians 4:3, 4.
d. Spiritually Dead. “You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins…Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace are ye saved” (Eph. 2: 1, 5). God’s picture of a sinner is a dead man, a man with all of the organs of movement, but no motion. Likewise, the sinner cannot move in the things of God.
e. Under God’s Wrath. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). See also John 3:36.
f. Waits for Death. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27).
g. Sure of Hell. “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15). See also Revelation 21:8.
A. His Standing.
1. In Christ. As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor. 15:22). See also I Corinthians 15:21, 45, 47; Romans 5:12-21.
2. Of Perfection. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. . . . To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:4, 6). There are no charges against the Head; and, as that is so, there can be no charges against the Body.
B. His State.
By this we mean his spiritual condition. This differs from the life of the unbeliever. In the believer’s life righteousness is present — the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. A New Creature. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). See also 11 Peter 1:4; Galatians 6:15; John 3:16. Regeneration is a re-creation. Only God can create; only God can re-create.
2. Saved. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (Il Tim. 1:9). See also Ephesians 2:8,9. 131
3. Dead Unto Sin. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11). “Who his ownself bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24).
4. Child of God. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26).
5. Under God’s Favor. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). See also Romans 5:2.
6. Waits for God and Glory. “Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:20,21).
7. Sure of Heaven. “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (II Tim. 4:18). See also I Peter 1:4.
C. His Two Natures.
“The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).
The above Scriptures could not describe anyone but a saved man. The sinner has but one nature; the child of God has two natures. Every true believer has experienced the warfare of which Paul speaks. This warfare is best demonstrated by the household of Abraham. He had two sons — Ishmael, the older; and Isaac, the younger. Ishmael stands for that born of the flesh, while Isaac stands for that born of the Spirit. The trouble started when Isaac came into the household. Trouble comes into a Christian’s life when Christ enters in.
1. The Description of the Old Nature.
a. Names and Characteristics.
(1) The Flesh. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). See also Romans 7:18, 23; 8:9. By “the flesh” we do not mean “muscles and sinews,” which are part of the human body, but rather the carnal nature, which all possess at birth. There is no such thing as our being in the flesh; the flesh is in us. No man has ever begotten an unfallen man. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18a). See also John 6:63; Romans 8:8. There is no such thing as a person being born with a “divine spark” within them.
(2) The Natural Man. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:14). This is what man is by nature, by his natural birth. 132
(3) The Old Man. “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom. 6:6). See also Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9. This is the man of old — what we once were: corrupt, full of evil desires and lusts.
(4) The Outward Man. “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16).
(5) The Heart. “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23). We hear so much of man having a change of heart, but this is impossible, for only God can give a new heart.
(6) The Carnal Mind. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).
(7) Sin. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). The word “sin” refers to the fallen nature of man, while “sins” refer to the actions of this nature.
b. The Character and End.
(1) It Is an Adam’s Nature. This means that Adam fell, and his children are, therefore, fallen children of a fallen father.
(2) It Is an Inherited Nature. We receive our fallen nature from Adam.
(3) It Is an Evil Nature. The eighth chapter of Romans is a commentary on this point.
(4) It Is an Unchangeable Nature. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6a). As long as man lives, that fallen nature remains in him. It will be eradicated only at the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the transformation of those alive in Christ, at His second appearing.
(5) Its End Is Death. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23a). See also Romans 8:5-13.
2. The Description of the New Nature.
a. Its Names and Characteristics.
(1) Spirit. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
(2) Divine Nature. There “are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the correction that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 1:4). See also I John 3:9; 5:18, 19.
(3) The New Man. “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24). See also Colossians 3:10; II Corinthians 5:17.
(4) The Inward Man. “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16). “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Rom. 7:22). See also Ephesians 3:16.
(5) Mind. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God: but with the flesh the law of sin” (Rom. 7:25). 133
b. Its Character and End.
(1) It Is a Christly Nature.
(2) It Is An Imported Nature..
(3) It Is a Holy Nature.
(4) It Is an Unchangeable Nature.
(5) It Is Non-forfeited Nature.
Verses 1 and 2 of I John 2 ‘speak of the relation of the saint with the Father. Even when the saint sins it is a family matter.
(6) It’s End is Resurrection and Rapture. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality… But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:51-53, 57).
3. The Conflict Between the Two Natures.
a. The Believer’s Experience. Every child of God has two natures; the unsaved man has only one nature. The old nature cannot be eradicated while the believer lives in the flesh; therefore, we have the fight between the old and new natures. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5: 17). Romans 7:15-25 is another marvelous example illustrating this truth. However, someone may declare that this passage shows the conflict in Paul’s life before he was saved, but one verse in this passage clearly reveals that this conflict, so vividly described, occurred after he was saved: “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Rom. 7:22). No unsaved man ever delights after the law of God. Also, only the saved man has the inward man, which is the new nature.
b. The Believer’s Responsibility.
(1) In Relation To the Old Nature.
(a) Accept God’s Estimate of It. “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:6-11). This one truth must be pointed out: the old man is never said to be crucified in the believer, but is crucified with Christ. It is a reality! Accept it! It is not a matter of feeling, but one of faith. All of this truth is according to God’s view. As for the believer’s view, he knows that the old nature, the old man, is not dead; he is very much alive. The Scripture says, “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin.” If the old nature were actually dead, the believer would not have to reckon him so; he would know.
(b) Make No Provision for the Flesh. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof (Rom.13:14). In other words, do not feed the flesh. Starve it.
(c) Mortify the Flesh. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). A stronger term is, “Put to death, therefore, your members.” The words “as good as dead” (Heb. 11:12) are the same terminology.
(d) Never Try to Improve It. “Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13).
(e) Put It Off. “Put off concerning the form of conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22). The same word is translated “laid down” in Acts 7:58.
(2) In Relation to the New Nature.
(a) Reckon Ourselves to Be Alive. “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).
(b) Walk in Newness of Life. “We are his workmanship, created unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). See also Romans 6:14; 7:6.
(c) Feed and Nourish It. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2). We are to feed the new nature by the exposition of the Word, and not by the exhortation of man. We know we have two natures, and it is well to consider that the food for one will starve the other. It is the individual Christian who must decide which man, the old or the new, shall be fed. He cannot feed both at the same time.
(d) Put On the New Man. “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24).
(e) Depend Upon the Indwelling Spirit for Power. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of od, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). “My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Eph. 6:10). “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6b).8
From my TH802 report:
Critique of Chafer’s Chap XI & XII Introduction to Anthropology (125-129) & The Origin of Man (130-159)9
If Dr. 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 God’s revelation about the origin of man. It is apologetic to the evolutionist, apologetic to the humanist, apologetic to the philosopher; and it is apologetic to the archeologist and the geologist; for crying out loud, it is even apologetic to the philologist,10 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.11 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 neoevangelicals.12
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 true Baptist is a fundamentalist, even if they retired the phrase, and a true Baptist need not exercise such careful avoidance of confrontation.
Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary, like so many Baptist seminaries that started out right, 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 Conservative13 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.”14 Bancroft, thus 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 approach.15 Strong published prior to the birth of fundamentalism and the onslaught of 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 makes no apology for the truth, and presents a clearly separatist flavor of the fundamentalist. His work, however, is closer to a Bible Doctrines work than a Systematic Theology work. This seems to be 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 could start with Bancroft’s excellent doctrines format and add the pertinent systematic endeavors (see this authors Prolegomena for a better description of that challenge).
The basic outline for a Systematic Theologies Anthropology section might start with a robustness found in Bancroft’s: The Doctrine of Man (Anthropology).16 That outline is recited below:
A. The Fact of Creation
i. Mans Creation Decreed
ii. Mans Creation Declared
B. The Method of Creation
i. Negatively Considered
ii. Positively Considered
II. Original Condition
A. Possessed the Image of God
i. Does not denote physical likeness
ii. May mean a formal likeness, a likeness in form
iii. It could refer to a triune likeness- tripartite being, vs Triune Being
iv. It doubtless includes the personal image
v. It must involve endless being with which God has endowed man
vi. It certainly means intellectual and moral likeness:
B. Possessed Intellectual Faculties
C. Possessed a Holy Moral Nature
A. The Meaning of Probation
B. The Fact of Probation
C. The Period of Probation
IV. The Fall
A. The Fact of the Fall
B. The Manner of the Fall
i. The Tempter
ii. The Temptation
a) Woman, unprotected and near the forbidden
b) Insinuating question implied doubt of God’s Word
c) Woman replying to and parleying with the slanderer
d) Woman tampering with the Word of God
e) Serpent’s open denial of punishment for sin and accusing God of lying, selfishness, jealousy, degrading and lording over.
f) Woman believing the tempter lust of eye, lust of flesh, pride of life
g) Obeying the tempter
h) Becoming a tempter to her husband who yielded undeceived.
C. The Results of the Fall
i. To Adam and Eve in particular
a) Consciousness of nakedness and sense of shame
b) A craven fear of God
c) Expulsion from the garden
ii. To the race in general
a) Ground cursed to not yield good alone
b) Sorrow and pain to woman in childbearing
c) All men are sinners and resting under condemnation
d) Physical and spiritual death and threatened penalty of eternal death
e) Unredeemed men are in helpless captivity to sin and Satan
Depicting the difference in a Biblical doctrine work and a Biblical systematic theology work is the necessary work of a Prolegomena. That effort is begun in the draft Prolegomena for the 21st Century by this author. 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.”17 This author disagrees with that assessment and contends that a truly Biblical systematic theology is still want to be published.
A Critique of Chafer’s Chap XIII-XIV The Material / Immaterial Part of Man (144-197)18
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 an 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 Britannica,19 Presbyterian Theologian Hodge20 and Presbyterian Theologian Shedd.21 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 Chafer’s Chap XV The State of Innocence (198-214).22
It does not bode well for a Systematic Theology being systematic or theology when Lewis Sperry Chafer starts his chapter “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 therein improve.
A single sentence from his section “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.”23 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 on those who consider the whole book of Genesis allegorical fiction. 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 Chafer’s 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 addressed in the authors Prolegomena. 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 a 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 Geisler24, 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, i.e. here the Fall of Man, 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, somewhat effective for science perhaps, is wholly inadequate for theology. In theology, at the start, there is an inerrant, infallible plenary, verbally inspired Holy Bible which is the sole source for the gospel truth. Such does not fit into the scientific method in any form.
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. This unfortunate analysis seems applicable to all of Chafer’s Systematic Theology.
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].
Cambron Institute, The, 35890 Maplegrove Road, Willoughby, Oh 44094
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]
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].
Rice, Edward G., “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,” Dec 2013.
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].
Webster, Noah “1828 Dictionary of American English.”
1The Holy Bible.
2Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English, s.v. “Anthroplolgy.”
3Charles Hodge, “Systematic Theology Volume III” pg 92 of 916.
4Dr. Mark G. Cambron, B.A., M.A., Th.B., Th.M., Th.D., D.D., L.L.D., Litt.D., was one of the foremost theologians of our times. Born in Fayetteville, Tennessee on July 31, 1911. He was born-again in 1919. It was during a Billy Sunday campaign in Chattanooga that he trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He served for many years at Tennessee Temple College (1948-59) with Dr. Lee Roberson and served as Dean of the College. From http://www.thecambroninstitute.org accessed 10/16/2013
5Mark G. Cambron, Bible Doctrines, 1954, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 60-69
6The Cambron Institute, 35890 Maplegrove Road, Willoughby, Oh 44094
7It is noted and reproved in the Bibliology section of this work that Dr. Cambron’s Bible Doctrines book does recommend using the R.V., instead of the Holy Bible, 41 times for 54 Bile verses. This work trusts only the King James Bible for English accuracy and acknowledgment of the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Holy Scriptures.
8Block quote of Dr. Cambron’s Bible Doctrines page 116-134 (Zondervan 155-174).
9Edward G. Rice, “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,” Dec 2013.
10Chafer, Systematic Theology Vol 2, 141.
11“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).
13Emery H. Bancroft, Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 60, Zondervan 1977, 231-244.
15Although 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
16Emery H. Bancroft, Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 60, Zondervan 1977, 231-244.
18Edward G. Rice, “ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II TH802
WRITTEN REPORT,” Dec 2013.
19Chafer, Systematic Theology, 191,195.
22Edward G. Rice, “ADVANCED SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II TH802 WRITTEN REPORT,” Dec 2013.
24Norman L. Geisler, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11