Part 3: Bibliology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 094:376 (Oct 1937)
Article: Part 3: Bibliology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Part 3:
Bibliology

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from July-September, 1937, Number)

II. Inspiration

Introduction

The theological use of the term Inspiration is a reference to that controlling influence which God exerted over the human authors by whom the Old and New Testament were written. It has to do with the reception of the divine message and the accuracy with which it is transcribed. Whatever concerns the origin of the message itself belongs, as has been seen, to the larger field of Revelation. Since as a revelation God has spoken and the divinely given capacity of man to receive a message from God has been exercised, all human thought and action is now subject to that stabilizing message which God has given. In place of man’s native agnosticism, born of his fallen human limitations, a God-given Revelation is bequeathed to man in a permanent, written form which not only expands the field of man’s knowledge into the realms of infinity, but serves ever as a corrective of those fallible, shifting fancies and theories which human ignorance unceasingly engenders. Happy, indeed, is the regenerate man who listens attentively and submissively to the Word of God. The divine message serves to give form and substance to every doctrine and to none more effectively than to that of Inspiration. A babel of voices, hopelessly discordant in their relation to each other and unified only in the one feature that they are opposed to the sublime doctrine of Inspiration which the Bible sets forth, has characterized every generation of recent centuries. An examination of many books that have been written in the past century and which treat of the

doctrine of Inspiration discloses the fact that whether of one generation or another each author, in turn, reveals the occurrence that, at the time of his writing, an irreconcilable conflict was on which had reached, what seemed to him to be, a crisis between those who defend and those who oppose the long-accepted beliefs touching the inspiration of the Scriptures. This is revealing; indicating as it does, the pertinacious opposition which the natural man-scholar though he may be-exerts against all things supernatural.

Without doubt it is the supernatural element, which constitutes the very warp and woof of the Bible doctrine of Inspiration, that not only gives to it its distinctive and exalted character but also repels the spiritually darkened mind of the unregenerate man-a darkness which is in no way relieved by human learning. The scholar who finds it easier to believe that when inanimate matter by accident became “complex enough and in appropriate collection, living organisms may have emerged,” and that those organisms...

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