Anthropology: Part 2 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 100:399 (Jul 1943)
Article: Anthropology: Part 2
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Part 2

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s note: This issue of Bibliotheca Sacra continues the studies in Anthropology. It is the second in this series and will continue for at least six succeeding issues. This entire division of Systematic Theology includes: the creation of man, his estate, his fall, and the doctrine of sin.]

III. Man’s Estate at Creation

Having given some consideration to the controversy between the two systems which essay to solve the problem of human origin, this work proceeds on the assured ground that man came from the hand of his Creator in precisely the manner that is set forth in the infallible Oracles of Truth. There is therefore a third consideration to be attended, namely, man’s estate at creation. Here no complications arise other than the right understanding of the Sacred Text. The evolutionary theory is unable to give any worthy record of man’s first estate. In that system supposed interminable ages are depended upon to create an oblivion from which nothing definite could be expected. It is logical enough, having begun with nothing, to end with nothing. If the idea of man’s endless existence be borrowed from the Bible, it must be asserted that it is only the man whom God has created that endures forever. The man of supposed natural origin has no more worthy destiny than his assumed beginning. Concerning him there is no dependable information. The system which by its arrogation brands God as a liar in matters of human origin, should find a logical destiny for its fictitious characters without drawing upon revelation. Systematic Theology is concerned only with the truth which the Bible records, and with respect to man the Bible presents a wide field of harmonious facts to be considered and from these definite conclusions may be drawn.

The twofold nature of man’s being-that which is

material and that which is immaterial-is determined in the very way in which man was created. It is written: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils [face] the breath of lives [plural]; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). Thus the material part of man was formed in all its completeness from the dust of the ground, lacking only that from God which gave life. That breath from God was a rational soul and spirit which was as far removed from other forms of life that are in the world as God is removed from His creation. This inbreathing was an endless life-a life not subject to death, even though, as a penalty for sin, the body dies. Such is the character and duration of God-breathed human life. This inbreathed life is not to...

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