The Theological Position Of The Bibliotheca Sacra -- By: A. B. Thomson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 055:220 (Oct 1898)
Article: The Theological Position Of The Bibliotheca Sacra
Author: A. B. Thomson


The Theological Position Of The Bibliotheca Sacra

A. B. Thomson

Medina, Oh.

Some: complimentary remarks touching the Bibliotheca Sacra made by Dr. Driver in the Expositor for June, and by Dr. Hastings in the Expository Times for August, afford a desired occasion for a more explicit statement, or rather re-statement, of the theological position occupied by the Bibliotheca Sacra.

The Bibliotheca Sacra was founded in 1844, at Andover, Mass., by Professors Bela B. Edwards and Edwards A, Park, professors at Andover, with the special cooperation of Professor Moses Stuart, also of Andover, and Professor Edward Robinson, of Union Theological Seminary, New York. These men were then the natural representatives of the moderate New School Calvinism of the time, as well as of the liberalizing tendencies in the interpretation of Scripture which endeavored to keep within “reasonable bounds.” While none of them held an ironclad theory of verbal inspiration, they all held with great tenacity to what may be called the moderately conservative view of the Bible, standing over against the destructive and radical criticism which was becoming more and more dominant in Germany and among the Unitarians in America.

From the beginning the Bibliotheca Sacra was conducted with a view not merely to express the opinions of the editors, but to give a fair representation to a pretty wide range of divergent opinions, as held by sincere and able men. The editors have always disclaimed responsibility for contributed articles.

Experience confirms the editors in their belief that truth is best advanced by free inquiry; that, however much the cause of truth may suffer temporarily by this means, its permanent establishment is not possible except in the arena of open discussion; for it is evident that the statement of contending theories is best made by their several advocates, and it is only when a theory is clearly and fully stated that either its excellencies or its defects are made adequately to appear.

Still, there is a limit to all things, and especially to the profitableness of statement and re-statement and discussion of conflicting theories; while there are many views of truth which are so shadowy, so dependent upon uncertain data, and so clearly beyond the range of present proba-

bility, that it is not profitable to surrender a large amount of space to their presentation. Hence the necessity of some editorial supervision. “All things are lawful, but all things edify not.”

In view of the past hist...

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