Part 2: Biblical Theism -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 095:380 (Oct 1938)
Article: Part 2: Biblical Theism
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Part 2:
Biblical Theism

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Series continued from July-September Number, 1938)

[Author’s Note: Continuing the series of articles within the general theme of Theism, this discussion of the attributes of God, which is a division of Biblical Theism, must, because of its length, be divided-the second half to appear in the next issue of Bibliotheca Sacra.]

Introduction

The progress in the pursuance of the systematic development of theological truths thus far attained is to be observed in that, under Bibliology, the Bible has been proved to be the Word of God written, and, under Naturalistic Theism, the conclusive evidence as to the existence of God which reason affords has been presented. These are cardinal aspects of theological verity and on the ground of these established realities Biblical Theism may be approached. It is asserted again that Systematic Theology draws its material both from reason and revelation. It is also asserted that the Bible, being the Word of God written, its declarations are, so far as further discussions in this work on theology are concerned, to be accepted as final. There may be problems of interpretation, but no problem of trustworthiness will be considered. Similarly, the fact of the existence of God, as established by reason, is in no way open to further question.

A spiritual mind, awake to the value of an inerrant revelation, will naturally and properly respond more fully to the truth which revelation delivers and be but little moved by the results of reason. Nevertheless, the evidence drawn from reason is mighty within its own sphere and assuring, in that when revelation and reason are rightly appraised they are not

only agreeable but are supplementary. Truth must always agree with itself regardless of the various angles by which it may be approached or the fields in which it is found. Should reason offer conclusions which are disagreeable to revelation, it must be inferred that reason is wrong since it has no infallible guide apart from revelation.

At no point does the devout soul feel its limitations more than when confronted with the responsibility of a due apprehension of the Person of God. Fallen man is incapable, apart from divine illumination, of comprehending the Sovereign Creator, or the limited, dependent creature in the proportionate importance of each; and the saved receive such knowledge of God as they experience only through the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit. Moses possessed the heritage of truth which belonged to the chosen people and was educated in all that constituted the wisdom of Egypt, yet when standing before t...

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