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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

God's Hammer: What Is Verbal-Plenary Inspiration?

Neither Martin Luther nor John Calvin, nor more recent orthodox theologians like Benjamin Warfield, ever held a theory of mechanical dictation. It is a caricature invented by unbelievers. -- Gordon H. Clark

 

[The following is an excerpt from Gordon H. Clark's book, God's Hammer:  The Bible and Its Critics.  The bold and italics are mine and placed for emphasis.]

Unfortunately, verbal inspiration has been caricatured by its enemies, and the teaching of historic Protestantism has been misrepresented. Since therefore we wish to be clear in our own minds, as well as to expose the blunders of unbelievers, a digression is called for.

The opponents falsely claim that verbal inspiration is a theory of mechanical dictation. They suppose that when God in Deuteronomy 18:18 says, “I…will put my words in his mouth,” the prophet is to be regarded as a sort of dictaphone, or at best as a stenographer whose personality is only minimally engaged in the transaction. This is obviously not true, because Jeremiah’s style is not Isaiah’s, and Paul does not write like John. Neither Martin Luther nor John Calvin, nor more recent orthodox theologians like Benjamin Warfield, ever held a theory of mechanical dictation. It is a caricature invented by unbelievers. 

At the same time, it is incumbent on the believer to explain how God could put his own words into the mouth of a prophet without reducing him to the level of a disinterested stenographer. This is not at all difficult. The slightest understanding of the relation between God and a prophet leads one quickly away from the idea of modern office procedure. 

When God wished to make a revelation (at the time of the exodus or of the captivity) he did not suddenly look around as if caught unprepared, and wonder what man he could use. We cannot suppose that he advertised for a stenographer, and, when Moses and Jeremiah applied for the position, that God dictated his message. The relation between God and a prophet was not like that at all. A boss must take what he can get; he depends on the high school or business college to have taught the applicant shorthand and typing. But if we consider the omnipotence and wisdom of God, a very different picture emerges. God is the Creator. He made Moses. And when God wanted Moses to speak for him, he said, “Who has made man’s mouth? … Have not I, the Lord?” 

Put it this way: God, who works all things according to his will and who has done whatsoever he pleased, for no one can stay his hand or say, what doest Thou, from all eternity decreed to lead the Jews out of slavery by the hand of Moses. To this end he so controlled events that Moses was born at a given date, placed in the water to save him from an early death, found by Pharaoh’s daughter, given the best Egyptian education possible, driven into the wilderness to learn patience, and in every detail so prepared by heredity and environment that when the time came Moses’ mentality and literary style were instruments precisely fitted to speak God’s words. Between Moses and God there was an inner union, an identity of purpose, a cooperation of will, such that the words Moses wrote were God’s own words and Moses’ own words at the same time.

Gordon Clark (2011-07-02T18:48:21+00:00). God's Hammer: The Bible and Its Critics (Gordon Clark) (Kindle Locations 306-328). The Trinity Foundation. Kindle Edition.

2 comments:

Dee Kay said...

They really do need to post some rules. When you don't know what's allowed and what isn't, it's difficult to proceed.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Yes, sister. Thanks for commenting. I take it you're referring to the Forums at Anglican.net?

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