The Calvinistic Doctrine of Security -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 107:425 (Jan 1950)
Article: The Calvinistic Doctrine of Security
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

The Calvinistic Doctrine of Security

Lewis Sperry Chafer

Unavoidably, much that enters into the Calvinistic doctrine of security has been alluded to by way of contrast or comparison in the foregoing analysis of the Arminian position. Perhaps enough has been presented respecting the Calvinistic view of the doctrines of original sin, efficacious calling, decrees, the fact and character of the fall, divine omniscience, divine sovereignty, and sovereign grace, though it may safely be restated that what is termed Calvinism—largely for want of a more comprehensive cognomen—is, so far as devout men have been able to comprehend it, the essential Pauline theology, especially in its soteriological aspects. After all, Systematic Theology is the attempt on the part of men to state in orderly arrangement what God has revealed in the Bible. The Word of God is consistent with itself and it is regrettable that good men do not agree among themselves about the interpretation.

In seeking a reason, or reasons, for this lack of unity, certain suggestions may be advanced. First, it has pleased God so to embed the truth in the Sacred Text that only those who study unceasingly and who are qualified for the task by educational background, all of this coupled wtih true spiritual insight, are able to discern with some degree of accuracy its revelation in its length and breadth, its height and depth. Men with little or no conformity to these educational requirements have rendered superficial opinions, which are based on mere human reason and claim to be final. This shallow dogmatism has swept multitudes who think but little into cults and sporadic religious movements. It has long been recognized that the man who is least qualified to speak with authority will be, very often, the most dogmatic. A second

explanation of disagreement in Bible interpretation is slavish conformity to human leaders. This tendency can easily beset the best interpreters. Each sect feels called upon to maintain its theological schools and to pursue its peculiar point of view. Their theology is published and defended by those who are run in their specific molds. In the light of the fact that there is but one body of revealed truth setting forth but one system, that which God has given, the disagreement which obtains between sincere and educationally disciplined men may be accounted for on the basis of this tendency to cleave to the human authorities identified with a given sect. The creed of the denomination is more to be defended than the Word of God itself. In the present day, there is but little resentment when the Scriptures are discredited, but there is strong opposition experienced when the position occupied by the denomination is questioned. Men seldom ch...

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