Science And Higher Criticism -- By: F. J. Lamb

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 065:257 (Jan 1908)
Article: Science And Higher Criticism
Author: F. J. Lamb


Science And Higher Criticism

Honorable F. J. Lamb

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).

This maxim of Religion is also fundamental in Science. It expresses briefly the essential spirit of what is recognized as the “scientific method “of investigation; the method which, rightly employed, has in our age vastly advanced man’s dominion and knowledge in every department of human welfare.

Higher Criticism To-Day

Higher criticism of the Bible must be judged by the effects it has already produced, and the certain consequences that must follow, the realization of the claims which its votaries insist that it has conclusively accomplished. These are set forth in Dr. Orr’s recent book,1 a work which lays the religious world, all honest inquirers after truth, under profound obligation. He tells us it is the result of study of Higher Criticism in all its schools and phases for thirty years; and “the conclusions of the critics force themselves on every one’s attention, and it is a matter no longer of choice, but necessity, to pay regard to their opinions” (p. xiv).

The matters in contention between these destructive critics and Christian believers, as he states them, directly or indirectly, are: —

1. The whole question of the value of the Bible as an

inspired and authoritative record of God’s historical revelation to mankind. Has God spoken, and does the Bible convey to mankind his sure word for our guidance? Have the Scriptures of the Old Testament any longer the value for us they had for Christ and his disciples? (p. 6).

Or, as these destructive critics contend, must we concede that, as the result of the critical discussions of the past century, historical foundations of the Old Testament revelation have been subverted; that neither the Pentateuch nor any part of it was written until several hundred years subsequent to the death of Moses? Must miracle and the supernatural be eliminated from the Scriptures? Must mans changing and erring thoughts about God henceforth take the place of God’s words to man? Are the erstwhile “lively oracles “of God simply the fragmentary remains of a literature to which no special quality of divineness attaches, and is the supposed history of salvation a piecing together of the myths, legends, and free inventions, of an ignorant age? Dr. Orr’s review of the cult (in the 539 pages of his book) shows that the extensive body of higher critics now in the ascendant, who arrogate to themselves the title “modern,” answe...

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