Prophetic Hope in the Writings of Arno C. Gaebelein: A Possible Demonstration of the Doxological Purpose of Biblical History -- By: Mike Stallard

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 02:2 (Fall 1998)
Article: Prophetic Hope in the Writings of Arno C. Gaebelein: A Possible Demonstration of the Doxological Purpose of Biblical History
Author: Mike Stallard


Prophetic Hope in the Writings of Arno C. Gaebelein:
A Possible Demonstration of the Doxological Purpose of
Biblical History

Mike Stallard

Associate Professor Of Systematic Theology
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Arno C. Gaebelein was a leading fundamental, dispensational Bible teacher in the early half of the twentieth century. He served as one of the associate editors of the Scofield Reference Bible and left us thousands of pages of material in his writings. The theological content of these many writings emphasized three things: inspiration of the Bible, the centrality of Christ at a personal level, and eschatological issues. It is fairly easy to determine a precise statement of the central interpretive motif or integrating idea in Gaebelein’s thought. Bible inspiration can be ruled out simply because it does not integrate the content of Gaebelein’s theology although it does provide a hermeneutical basis. The centrality of Christ is clearly stated. However, the sheer weight of discussion of eschatology, with its various focuses, speaks as forcefully as many direct statements. Nonetheless, it is possible to merge the theological statements about the centrality of Christ with eschatology to produce one statement clarifying the integrating theme of Gaebelein’s theology. This can be done through the concept of prophetic hope which finds its fulfillment in the Second Coming of Christ. Thus, the central interpretive motif of Gaebelein’s theological formulations can be stated as prophetic hope centered in the personal Second Coming of Jesus Christ. That this theme truly integrates Gaebelein’s theological system will be seen by an examination of the individual and multiple expressions of prophetic hope which he outlined. However, it may be

possible to see in these expressions, taken as a whole, the idea of a multi-faceted program of creation and redemption centered in Christ and leading to the glory of God. That is, unity from diversity can be seen in the light of this doxological purpose to biblical history as the greatness of our sovereign God is displayed.

The Outline Of Biblical Revelation

It is clear that Gaebelein emphasized the theme of redemption with respect to the multi-faceted program of God which he saw outlined in the Bible. The scheme begins in the Old Testament with the presentation of the four great subjects of revelation. It culminates in the New Testament with the outworking of redemption with respect to each of these subjects. Gaebelein saw this biblical outline of revelation in the plan of redemption as yielding proof for the doctrine of premillennialism.

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