Inspiration; —With Remarks On The Theory Presented In Ladd’s Doctrine Of Sacred Scripture -- By: George Nye Boardman
BSac 41:163 (July 1884) p. 506
Inspiration; —With Remarks On The Theory Presented In Ladd’s Doctrine Of Sacred Scripture
I. The inspiration of the Bible must always be a theme of the highest interest. It implies, in any view which may be taken of it, communion between God and man. Those who hold to the doctrine must accept the personality of God and admit that he communicates instruction to certain of his rational creatures for ethical purposes. The mere consent, therefore, to discuss the topic raises us above Pantheism and Deism into the realm of moral government, administered through precepts, persuasions, and awards. We have also in inspiration the most conclusive evidence of the reality of the Christian system. It is true, the evidences of Christianity must be shown to be in a high degree convincing before an argument for inspiration can be of force; but if the fact of inspiration can be once established, this becomes one of the supernatural evidences of our religion, and takes its place by the side of miracles and prophecy as overwhelming proof that God is with his people. Those who hold to a real inspiration must hold, at the lowest, that the Bible contains the word of God — many words of God; Protestants have generally held that the Bible is the word of God. The only doctrine of inspiration which has been satisfactory to the Christian church has been one which justifies the claim that the Holy Scriptures are infallible in their moral and religious teachings, and are so based on the authority of God that they must be accepted as binding the conscience and dictating our duties.
There are two views of inspiration, fundamentally diverse,
BSac 41:163 (July 1884) p. 507
which may be called generic. These views may, however, be held with such modifications, or with such accompanying adjuncts, that they shall seem at certain points to resemble each other, if not to be identical. One view teaches, that God so controlled the minds of the writers of the Bible that they wrote down such things, and only such things, as he proposed to give to mankind as an authoritative guide for a religious life. This view makes the Bible the book of God. It might be maintained in accord with it that God dictated to the writers every word which they were to transmit, thus making them simply his amanuenses; or it might be maintained that he exercised such a superintendency over their work as to secure in their manuscripts the thoughts and narrations which he desired to use in instructing men, and to exclude from their manuscripts all material which he did not choose so to use. A superintendency like this would probably imply at times the dictating of words to the Scripture authors, and at times it might imply merely a prompting to ...
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