Editorials -- By: Rollin Thomas Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:367 (Jul 1935)
Article: Editorials
Author: Rollin Thomas Chafer


Rollin Thomas Chafer

Orthodoxy and the Truth

The word orthodox is derived from two Greek words, ὀρθός right, and δόξα opinion. In its broader sense it means right opinion about any subject generally accepted and approved. Amongst writers on religious subjects it is used variously. To the majority, orthodoxy means those religious opinions which conform to the articles of a particular creed. As there are several hundred of these creedal categories under the Christian name alone, there are a corresponding number of orthodoxies. With this in mind it is conceivable to think of orthodox and heterodox views of Christian Science, that is to say, views, on the one hand, which conform to the ideas set forth in Mrs. Eddy’s Science and Health, and opinions, on the other hand, which more or less depart from them. Moreover, creedal differences exist today in one and the same denomination. The Auburn Affirmationists drew up a set of affirmations which differentiates their beliefs from the historic creed of their denomination. This calls for two orthodoxies and their respective heterodoxies, each party being heterodox to the other. Wherever modernism has invaded a denomination (and what one has it not invaded?) we have the same anomalous situation. It becomes clear, then, that Biblical Christianity, the one true faith which does not lend itself to comparison, because of its uniqueness in Divine source and nature, with any religious system of the world, calls for a corresponding conception of orthodoxy. This Dr. Hale Amos senses when he writes,1 “For orthodoxy, let us observe, is not my ‘doxy’ or the other fellow’s ‘doxy.’ It is what it is, viz.: sound or right teaching according to the Scriptures and inspiration, the guarantee of orthodoxy, like the flaming sword, turns every way on an approach to Scripture. Those who attack the Bible, if they

had vision enough to perceive it, are always bound to fail in carrying the assault. This (from a philosophical standpoint) explains why the modernist so often takes refuge in affixing stupid and unmeaning labels on those who challenge him to show that the claims of Scripture are not worthy of the highest credence. The strongest claim which the Bible makes for itself is inspiration, and it is futile to butt one’s head against rock fact.”

The very existence of conflicting orthodoxies springs from the attempt of unilluminated men to answer the repeated question of the Pilots of Christian history, What is truth? Much of this is based upon a false application of the Lord’s promise that when the Holy Spirit should com...

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