Full Text for Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling Block for the Jews and Foolishness to the Greeks, part 12 (Text)

<1tnurnrbtu tir4rnlngirul :!InutlJly Continuing LEHRE UNO WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol.xm July, 1942 No.7 CONTENTS Page Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to the Jews and Foolish- ness to the Greeks. Th. Engelder ... __________________________________________________ 481 Leading Thoughts on Eschatology in the Epistles to the Thessa- lonians L. Fuerbringer . ______ . _________________________________________________________________ 511 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections _________________________ 519 Miscellanea ____ . ___________________________ ____ __ _________________ ________ ______________ .__ __ __________________ 528 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches ___ . _________________ 541 Book Review. - Literatur __ . ______________________ ________________________________________ 553 Eln Pred1ger muss nicht alleln wei- 114m, also dass er die Schafe unter- weise. wle de rechte ChrIsten sollen seln. sondern auch daneben den Woel- fen weh,.en, dass sle die Schafe nicht angreifen und mit falscher Lehre ver- fuehren und Irrtum elnfuehren. Luther Es 1st kein Dlng. daS die Leute mehr bel der Kirche behaelt denn die gute Predigt. - Apolog!e, Arl. 24 If the trumpet give an uncertain sound. who shall prepare himaeU! to the battle? - 1 Cor. 14:8 Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. Concordia Theological Monthly Vol. XIII JULY, 1942 No.7 Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to the Jews and Foolishness to the Greeks (Continued) IV The moderns have many more objections against Verbal In- spiration. To three of these they attach special importance. They denounce Verbal Inspiration as "a mechanical theory of inspira- tion"; they abhor it as "resulting in an atomistic conception of the Scriptures"; they abominate it as establishing "the legalistic authority of the letter." - The old evil Foe means deadly woe. The appeasers have up till now been telling us that nothing is lost if the Church gives up half of the Bible, seeing that they are willing to let her retain the important half, the Gospel message; if only the saving truths be inspired, all is well. And now they are in- sisting that not even this portion of Scripture is inspired, verbally inspired. They would have us believe that the words in which the saving truth is clothed are purely human - human words which are not absolutely reliable, human words which do not carry divine authority. Verbal Inspiration is a detestable thing in the eyes of the moderns. They express their detestation of it in the horrified exclamation: "Mechanical Inspiration!" and stigmatize us as "me- chanical inspirationists." Some of them call it a heathen con- ception. G. P. Mains: "Many have believed in its verbal inspira- tion as literal as though God dictated every word, using the human writer only as an automaton. This view, however, is distinctively neither Hebrew nor Christian. From immemorial times it has been shared by the heathen seers concerning the utterances of their oracles." (Divine Inspiration, p.71.) R. Seeberg: "We must also be careful not to regard the situation as if the theory of verbal in- spiration were 'really' Christian. . .. That kind of inspiration in 31 482 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. which the prophet in ecstatic fervor forgets himself and the world and becomes only the pen or tongue of a deity, was far from unknown in the ancient world, and was then introduced into Jewish and Christian thought by the theories of Plato and Philo." (Revelation and Inspiration, p. 31 f.) Dr. H. C. Alleman supports Seeberg's protest against the heathen doctrine of Verbal Inspira- tion: "The doctrine of verbal inspiration . .. is foreign to the genius of our Confessions. It is, in fact, a carry-over from the old heathen conception of inspiration: a man who was possessed by a god lost self-control and became but a mouthpiece of the deity." (The Luth. Church Quart., Oct., 1940, p.352.) M. Dods, whom Alleman calls in as a corroborating witness, describes "the mechan- ical or dictation theory as the theory of complete possession, in which the divine factor is at its maximum, the human at its min- imum. What is human is suppressed; the indwelling God uses the human organs irrespective of the human will. The man is the mere mouthpiece of the God. This view has always been popu1ar outside of Christianity." (The Bible: Its Origin and Nature, p. 107.) S. P. Cadman voices his protest in these words: "It is conceivable that God possessed the power to reduce the authors of this sacred literature to the level of mere automata acting under hypnosis .. .. God inspired selected personalities to transmit His wil1 to their fellows, but in so doing He did not obliterate their individuality nor thereby make them speak like puppets in a Punch-and-Judy show." (Answers to Everyday Q-tustions, p.253.) Dr. J . A. Sing- master puts it this way: "Various theories of inspiration have been advocated. The most popular and fallacious of these is the d ictation theory, which holds that the writer is merely an instrument which the Spirit used as a player does the organ or that he is merely the stenographer of God. . .. The apostles were not unconscious media for the Spirit.," (Handbook of Chr. Theol., p. 67.) The modems are up in arms against the idea of putting the prophets and the apostles on a level with the pythoness of Delphi. As a rule, the moderns use more moderate language. Tbey will not use the terms "heathen doctrine," "mantic divination," "hypnosis," but use the milder term "mechanical" to express the same idea: the holy writers must not be made automata.2G3 ) Dr. R. V. Foster inveighs against ''the mechanical theory," "which holds that the sacred writers were as mere machines, or amanuenses ; 253) Cremer: "The dogmaticians taught a doctrine of inspiration which was an absolute 7lO't)1J.n.'- Tru~, it la~ed only the concept of ecstasy to be a renewal of the mantle doctnne of lDBP!ntlon as ta~ght by Philo and the old apologetes, which had been UDl'lersally reJected by the Church in its opposition to MontaniBm. But the very absence of this concept only made the situation worse, for it reduced the mantic in- spiration to a mechanical one." (Pieper, Chr. Dog. I, p. 279.) Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 483 mere passive recipients and recorders of what was dictated by the Holy Spirit." Dr. T. O. Summers takes Musaeus, Baier, and Quen- stedt to task for teaching "that the Holy Spirit acted on men in a passive state; that those who were under the power of the inspiring Spirit were acted upon as mere machines, mechanically answering the force which moved them." Dr. M. S. Terry takes "the leading churches of the Reformation, which accepted the Calvinistic creed" to task for teaching that "the normal powers or the holy writers were suspended or neutralized in the process or their writing"; that they were "impassive machines, controlled by another per- son." 254) Dr. A. H. Strong: "The dictation theory holds that in- spiration consisted in such a possession of the minds and bodies of the Scripture writers by the Holy Spirit that they became passive instruments or amanuenses - pens, not penmen, of God ... . Representatives of this view are Quenstedt, Hooker, Gaussen ... . We cannot suppose that this highest work of man under the influ- ence of the Spirit was purely mechanical." (Systematic Theology, p.102.) Dr. G. Drach: "One theory of divine inspiration is that of mechanical verbal dictation. According to this theory the human writers under the influence of the Holy Spirit were in a passive state of receptivity, similar to that of a stenographer who takes dictation. . .. Zwingli's spirit led his followers to incline toward the dictation of words as well as to the inspiration of the contents of the Sacred Scriptures, and this theory found its way into some of the Reformed confessions, and also influenced some or the Lu- theran theologians of the seventeenth century." (The Luth. Church Quart., 1936, p. 244 f.) Dr. A. J. Traver: "There can be nothing mechanical about it. God did not dictate to the writers of the Bible as to a stenographer." (The Lutheran, Jan. 23, 1936.) Dr. J. A. W. Haas: "In the problem of inspiration the racts of course refute any mechanical theory of verbal inspiration in minute detail." (The Lutheran, Jan. 23, 1936.) The moderns denounce Verbal Inspiration as a dangerous and horrible thing. Dr. A. T. Kantonen, in the article "The Canned Goods of Past Theology," published in The Lutheran, Dec. 12 ff.; 254) See Theological Quarterly, 1913, p. 2 fl.; 1914, p. 79. The article containing these references is entitled: "'Mechanical Inspiration' the Stumbling-Block of Modern Theology." Our selection of a similar title for the present writing is a pure co-incidence. - Are the tenns "mechan- ical inspiration" and "verbal inspiration" synonymous? Not with us. But the modems use them so. See footnote 1. When the moderns de- nounce "mechanical" inspiration, they mean verbal, plenary inspiration. Ladd: "Theories of verbal or mechanical operation." Sanday: "Mechan- ical and verbal inspiration of the Bible." Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat in Stuttgart: "Die evangelische Kirche betrachtet die Bibel als Wort Gottes; nlcht im Smne einer mech4nischen Verbalinspiration, sondern als das in Menschenwort gekleidete Zeugnis Gottes von seinem Wesen und WaIten." (See CONC. THEoL. MTHLY., VII, p.719.) 484 Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 1935: "Lutheran exegesis will be seriously handicapped unless it abandons once and for all the unpsychological and mechanical theories of inspiration and unhistorical views of verbal inerrancy which the application of scientific and historical methods to the study of the Bible has rendered obsolete." Dr. E. E. Flack: "Is not the inspiration of Scripture too high and holy a reality to be defined in terms of stenography? Does one exalt the Word of God by dehumanizing it?" (The Luth. Church Quart., 1935, p.417.) The moderns are demanding that this foolish, wicked theory be abandoned once and for all. A. Deissmann is glad to note that "this dogma of verbal inspiration of every letter of the New Testa- ment, which rightly can be called mechanical inspiration, is now abandoned in all scientific theology." (The New Testament in the Light of Modern Research, p.234.) And they want the Lutheran Church, together with the entire Christian Church, to abandon it because it is not Biblical. H. E. Jacobs wrote in the introduction to Biblical Criticism, by J. A. W. Haas: "If the verbal theory of inspiration means that every word and letter is inspired, so that the writer was purely passive and performed a merely mechanical office, as 'the pen of the Holy Ghost,' this, we hold, is an assumption for which we have no warrant." (See F. Bente, Was steht der Vereinigung im Wege? p.50.) W. Sanday: "The mechanical and verbal inspiration of the Bible may be questioned, but its real and vital inspiration will shine out as it has never done." (The Oracles of God, p.46.) Christ did not teach it, says G. T. Ladd: "The germinal doctrine of Sacred Scripture given us in these words [of Christ] is as far as possible from the rabbinical view of His own day. Nor does it afford a root for a growth into any theories of verbal or mechanical inspiration or of the infallibility of the Old Testament .... " (The Doctrine of Sacred Scripture, I, p.38.) And the Lutheran Church should not teach it any longer, says E. E. Fisher: "It is more consistent with Lutheranism to believe that the writers of the Holy Scriptures were truly human in the way in which they accomplished their tasks than to believe that they were automatons who served as 'secretaries' to take down the dictation of the Holy Spirit. For one thing, what we know of the way in which the writings have come to assume their present form precludes any conception of dictation. But more important is Lutheranism's conviction that the human personality may be made the vehicle of the divine without the loss or destruc- tion of human freedom." (The Luth. Church Quart., 1937, p.l96.) If the Lutherans want to get together, they must get rid of Verbal Inspiration, says Folkebladet, Nov. 23, 1938: "Students of Scripture are more and more getting away from the theory of verbal in: spiration, a theory which has brought more confusion among Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 485 Christians than perhaps anything else. It is an impossibility to imagine that the prophets and apostles could have intended that their words should be considered as a dictation by the Holy Spirit and that they as almost unconscious automatons were the Holy Spirit's pencils. When a subjective theory is elevated to the status of an objective primary truth, then hubbub [virvar] surely will ensue in the Church. And that has most certainly been the case." - This, then, is the grievance of the moderns against Verbal Inspiration: it degrades the writers to the level of machines! 255) They resent the idea that the apostles had to submit to be made into dead writing machines. They ask the "mechanical inspira- tionists": How dare you make the prophets undergo the horrible experience of Verbal Inspiration? Summoned by the cry of Cad- man: Let us not reduce the authors of our sacred literature to the level of mere automata acting under hypnosis! they are de- termined to drive the foul spook out of the Church.256 ) 255) Fundamentals, III, p. 13: "The inspiration includes not only all the books of the Bible in general but in detail, the form as well as the substance, the word as well as the thought. This is sometimes called the verbal theory of inspiration and is vehemently spoken against in some quarters. It is too mechanical, it degrades the writers to the level of machines, it has a tendency to make skeptics, and all ~that." 256) Queerly enough, the charge that the later dogmaticians, such as Quenstedt, and those who accept their phraseology are "mechanical inspirationists" is made by some who themselves believe that every word of Scripture is divinely inspired and absolutely true. For the sake of a complete record we submit the following references. W. Lee declares that "it seems impossible to reconcile this phase of the purely organic, or as it has of late years been termed, mechanical, theory of Inspiration with the highest aim of religion" and quotes these words of Quenstedt (Theo!. Didactico-Polemica, cap. IV, sect. II) as proving him a "mechan- ical inspirationist": "All and each of the things which are contained in the Sacred Scriptures ... were not only committed to letters by divine, infallible assistance and direction but are to be regarded as received by the special suggestion, inspiration, and dictation of the Holy Spirit. For all things which were to be written were suggested by the Holy Spirit to the sacred writers in the very act of writing and were dictated to their intellect as if unto a pen (quasi in calamum) , so that they might be written in these and no other circumstances, in this and no other mode or order." Lee adds: "For the present, I shall merely observe that, while I can by no means accept this system as correct or as consistent with the facts to be explained, it will be my object in the present dis- courses to establish in the broadest extent all that its supporters desire to maintain; namely, the infallible certainty, the indisputable authority, the perfect and entire truthfulness, of all parts and every part of Holy Scripture." (The Inspiration of Holy Scripture, pp. 33, 37.) B. Manly quotes this same statement of Quenstedt as proving that Quenstedt held "the theory of mechanical inspiration, or, as it has been termed, the dic- tation theory." Manly himself says: "Who said these words [Gal. 3: 8]? God, personally. The manner of the quotation can only be explained on the principle that the Scripture is so identified, in all that it says, with God Himself, that what Scripture says, God says; and so a personal utterance of God and a saying of Scripture are simply equivalent." (The 486 Verbal Inspiration - a Stwnbling-Block to Jews, Etc. What is all this about? In the first place, the moderns are fighting against a straw man. And as they unfold this particular grievance of theirs against Verbal Inspiration, we notice, in the second place, that they are waging war against Scripture. The lusty strokes which the moderns deliver against "verbal, mechanical inspiration" hit a straw man. The advocates of Verbal Inspiration have not taught and do not teach that the holy writers, uttering the words of the Holy Spirit, were thereby deprived of their intelligence and consciousness. The moderns cannot produce a single statement by the dogmaticians of the early Church or of the seventeenth century to the effect that the Holy Ghost could not speak through the prophets without turning them into dead machines or putting them into a state of coma or forcing them to act as vacuous stenographers. All that we can find in these state- ments about Verbal Inspiration is to the effect that the holy writers wrote what was given them to write consciously and rationally, that they fully used the powers of their mind and their special gifts, that their hearts were filled with horror of the sins which their words denounced and with joy and wonderment at the grace of God which their pens described. Quenstedt is held up by the moderns as the exemplum horribile of the mechanical-inspiration aberration. Have they read Quenstedt through? Have they read pages 82 ff. of the offensive chapter in his Theol. Didae.-Pol.? There he repudiates the idea "as though the holy writers had written without, and contrary to, their will, without consciousness and unwillingly." No; "they wrote uncoerced, willingly, and knowingly; sponte enim, volentes scientesque scripserunt. . . . The holy writers were said to be !P£QOI-LE'VOt, aeti, moti, agitati a Spiritu Sancto, by no means as though they were out of their mind ... or as though they did not understand what they were to Bible Doctrine of Inspiration, pp. 44 f., 130.) Quenstedt could not have used stronger language. One more example. We read in The Luth. Church Quart., 1940, p.353: "It is only fair to Dr. M. Reu to say ... that he disclaims the doctrine of mechanical verbal inspiration. In his bro- chure In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, in the chapter 'What is Scrip- ture?' he says: 'The mode (of inspiration) was a mystery and will re- main a mystery for this life. It is always a mystery how the Spirit of God works on hwnan personality.' (P.65.) 'There is a theory of Verbal Inspiration which degrades the authors of the Biblical books to dead writing machines.' (P.68.) But with that limitation he proceeds to claim that the Scriptures themselves demand verbal inspiration." The entire pas~ge reads: " ... dead writing machines, who without inner participa- tion wrote down word for word what was dictated to them by the Spirit. We meet this doctrine in the Lutheran Church occasionally already during the sixteenth century, more frequently in the seventeenth cen- tury, although it can hardly be called the earmark of the presentation of all orthodox dogmaticians; later it is limited to popular writers, and today it is found only in some fundamentalist camps." Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 487 write." 257) Were the old Church Fathers "mechanical inspira- tionists"? "Epiphanius urges against Montanus 'that whatsoever the prophets have said, they spake with understanding'; he refers to their 'settled mind,' their 'sel£-possession,' and their 'not being carried away as if in ecstasy.' So also Cyril of Jerusalem, alluding to this question, says of the true Spirit: 'His coming is gentle; most light is His burden; beams of light and knowledge gleam forth before His coming.''' (W. Lee, op.cit., p.85.) And which one of the present-day verbal-inspirationists makes of the prophets and apostles vacuous stenographers or even senseless machines? Not A. L. Graebner: "The Bible was written by divine inspiration, inasmuch as the inspired penmen performed their work as the personal organs of God," etc. (Outlines of Doctrinal Theology, p. 4.) Not F. Pieper: "The inspired authors were not dead or mechanical, but living instruments, endowed with intelligence and will, and employing a definite style, and using a peculiar mode of expres- sion (modus dicendi)." (What Is Christianity? p.242.) "God did not first kill or dehumanize Isaiah, David, and all the holy prophets in order either to speak or write His Word through (lk6.) them; but He carefully kept them alive and preserved them in their genuine human way of expressing themselves, in order that they might speak and write so as to be understood by men." (Chr. Dog., I, p.277.) Not R. C. H. Lenski: "'God-inspired' means 'breathed by God,' the very word 'breathed' referring to His Pneuma. Is that mechanical? Peter says: ' ... borne along by the Holy Pneuma,' like a vessel on its true course by the gentle wind. This is neither a theory nor something dead and mechanical. God made the mind and heart of man, and His Spirit knows how to guide them. He does not move them about like blocks, but fills them with light, guides them with light, guides them in word and thought." (On 2 Tim. 3: 16.) Not H. M'Intosh: Mechanical in- spiration "was never taught in its usual sense by any intelligent upholder of the Bible claim. But while we disown this, we hold that the words of Scripture are not merely the words of man, but also the words of God -the Spirit's inspired words, as well as the writer's spontaneous words." (Is Christ Infallible and the Bible True? p.658.)258) 257) Presenting a detailed examination of Quenstedt's position, the article in the TheQl. Quart. (" 'Mechanical Inspiration' the Stumbling- Block .. .") states: "There is not a single place to which his modem critics can point that would prove that Quenstedt regarded the inspired penmen of God as 'impassive instruments,' 'machines,' 'dehumanized or superhuman humans.' This is a turn which Quenstedt's critics have given to Quenstedt's thought. This thought Quenstedt himself declines." 258) A few more statements might prove welcome. They will con- vince the honest opponent that the upholders of Verbal Inspiration do not teach a mechanical inspiration. A. Hoenecke: "The passages just men- tioned (1 Tim. 5:23 and 2 Tim. 4:13) prove that the apostles were not 488 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. We have not read every book and article and remark that was written by a verbal-inspirationist. But as far as we have read, we have not found a single statement to the effect that divine inspiration put the holy writers into a state of coma. Neither did Dr. W. T. Riviere ever find such a statement. He writes: "Fun- damentalists and Bible-believers are accused of holding what may be called a Typewriter Theory. . .. I do not recall ever hearing dead machines under inspiration, that the Holy Ghost did not, in the process of inspiration, ignore the personal and brotherly relationship of the holy writers but operated with it in the inspirational act." (Ev.-Luth. Dog., I, p.350.) G. Stoeckhardt: "Das Diktieren des Heiligen Geistes war kein mechanisches Vorsprechen, dem ein mechanisches Nachschreiben zur Seite gegangen waere. The holy men of God were not sleeping or dreaming as they spoke and wrote, moved by the Holy Ghost. The powers of their soul, their will, and intellect were active. It was a real speaking and writing. And that is an intellectual activity of rational beings. . .. The Holy Ghost put this entire apparatus, this human research, meditation, study, and composing into action, applied it to His purpose, made it the medium of His activity, His speaking. The prophets and apostles themselves, these living persons with their will and thoughts, their searching and composing, were pens, calami, of the Holy Ghost. . .. While they were searching, meditating, writing, the Holy Ghost supplied His heavenly wisdom, His eternal, divine thought, and also the right words; He gave them the words gleichsam u'ltter der Hand. That is what the fathers described with the phrase suggestio rerum et verborum. . .. Thus the Holy Ghost in no way did violence to the will and thought of His human organs. He swayed and actuated their will and their thinking, but i}EOrcQercro~; suaviter, leniter, as the fathers expressed it, gleichsam u'ltvermerkt, wie tmter der Hand. He poured His divine wisdom, spiritual thought, spiritual words into their mind and heart. The mind of the holy authors moved freely, according to its natural bent; freely it expressed itself in the sacred writings. At the same time it was altogether swayed and controlled by the Holy Ghost. What the mind, the mouth, the pen, of the prophets and apostles produced was not their own, not human wisdom and human words, but from beginning to end it was of the Holy Ghost. From the first con- ception of the thought to its finished expression it was all the product of the Spirit of God." (Lehre und Wehre, 1886, p. 282 f.) The Lutheran: Teacher, Feb. 13, 1938 (Norwegian Lutheran Church): "One of the tenets of our Church is belief in the verbal inspiration of the Bible .... Now, if God really did not guide these men in the choice of words but left this matter to the discretion of the writers, we could never feel free from the suspicion that these fallible human beings might have erred in the selection of their phraseology. Yet, on the other hand, God did not dictate to a dictaphone, which is a machine for reproduction void of all personality. The holy writers were not mere machines .... They knew what they were writing, though it might be true that they did not at all times realize to the £Ull the deep significance of all they said . . . . They found expression for their personality in their own individual habits of style. . .." Let us hear a few representatives of the Reformed Churches. J. Bloore: "In those who wrote the Bible, the emotions of the soul, the energies of the spirit, and even the infirmities of the body are made use of under the control of the divine Spirit, always, of course, in a manner according to the purpose in view. The individuality, pecu- liarity, and distinctive qualities of these writers find expression in their work, so that the Book is one of ever-living interest from the human side, while from the divine it proves itself in every part to be 'the word of God, living, active, and sharper .. .' (Heb. 4: 12, 13). . .. This is not mere dictation - far from it, for all the powers of the mind and heart Verbal Inspiration- a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 489 this theory advocated, but something of the sort is often attributed to conservatives. It makes a nice target for ridicule." (Bibliotheca Sacra, July, 1936, p.298.) And even if the moderns could dig up such a statement, that would not justify them in characterizing the old doctrine of verbal inspiration as "the mechanical theory of inspiration," in charging Luther and Quenstedt, Pieper and Warfield, with making the holy writers vacuous stenographers. "It ought to be unnecessary," says B. B. Warfield, "to protest again against the habit of representing the advocates of Verbal Inspira- tion as teaching that the mode of inspiration was by dictation." (Revelation and Inspiration, p.l73.) Warfield utters his protest in connection with his statement: "The Church has always recog- nized that the Spirit's superintendence extends to the choice of the words by the human authors (verbal inspiration). It ought to be unnecessary .... " We protest against the insinuation that Quenstedt and Luther, Warfield and Pieper, ever intimated that the Holy Spirit dictated to Moses and Paul as to vacuous ste- nographers. We protest against it in the name of reason. Reasonable _men refrain from "fighting against windmills." - Weare back on our old subject. It seems that in every phase of their attack on Verbal Inspiration the moderns are doomed to display a lack of acumen. - There is no sense in taking the old dogmaticians to task for something they never said. There is no profit in setting of the instrument are engaged and wrought upon !SO that a divine im- press is left upon the whole man." (AlteTnative Views of the Bible, pp.148,150.) Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan., 1941, p.72: "It is of interest to com- pare Peter's declarations here (1 Pet. 1: 10, 12) with his claim in the second epistle (2 Pet. 1: 20, 21) that men spake from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Here the passivity of the prophets seems to be emphasized, and yet in the first epistle we are introduced to the most intense kind of mental activity. There is no conflict, provided we understand that the reflection of the prophets followed the revelation of the Spirit to them and did not enter into the prophetic message .... Hence the prophets, though passive in the sense that they did not con- tribute the message apart from the Spirit's moving, yet were so far from being mechanical instruments that they had all their powers of thought aroused and taxed by the disclosures granted to them." L. Boettner: "Instead of reducing the writers to the level of machines or typewriters, we have insisted that, while they wrote or spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, they nevertheless remained thinking, willing, self- conscious beings whose peculiar styles and mannerisms are clearly trace- able in their writings. . .. Hence we see that the Christian doctrine of inspiration is not the mechanical lifeless process which unfriendly critics have often represented it to be. Rather it calls the whole per- sonality of the prophet into action, giving full play to his own literary style and mannerisms, taking into consideration the preparation given the prophet in order that he might deliver a particular kind of message, and allowing for the use of other documents or sources of information as they were needed. If these facts were kept more clearly in mind, the doctrine of inspiration would not be so summarily set aside nor so un- reasonably attacked by otherwise cautious and reverent scholars." (The Insp. of the H. Scr., pp. 37, 44.) 490 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. up a straw man and then knocking him down.259l Philippi is right in calling these tactics "senseless ridicule" and Boettner in calling it an "unreasonable attack." The attack springs from ignorance. "When modern theologians declare that our orthodox dogmaticians had the conception of a purely mechanical inspiration, this must be condemned as outright fiction or else lack of acquaintance with the old dogmaticians." Thus Pieper (What Is Christianity? p.242.) It is one of the "groups of confusions and misconceptions, mis- representations, and caricature which ... have confused the issues." Thus M'Intosh (op. cit., pp. 8, 312). It is a sorry spectacle. M. S. Terry attacks the dogmaticians for teaching that the holy writers spoke "with the mantic frenzy of sibyls and soothsayers," and that, when Jeremiah dictated to Baruch, "his normal intellectual activity was temporarily arrested or neutralized by divine power." (See Theol. Quart., 1913, p.2.) Terry is fighting a bogey. S. Bulgakoff enters the fray: "I assume that no one can any longer, in our time, advocate the theory of a mechanical inspiration of sacred books. This theory either regards the writers as passive instru- ments in God's hands or interprets the process of writing as dic- tation from the Holy Spirit." And he asseverates: "Inspiration is not a question of deus ex ma,china. It is not an act of God which coerces man and to which he is subjected apart from his own will." (In Revelation, by Baillie and Martin, p. 153.) Bulgakoff is wrestling with a specter which he himself created. There is no point in A. H. Strong's quoting Locke: "When God made the prophet, he did not unmake the man." (Op. cit., p.103.) Pro- fessor Ladd is wasting his energy when he declares: "Nor is man made most fit for this office when rendered passive like a pen to write, or a tablet on which to write, the dictated message from God." (What Is Scripture? p.430.) What do you think, in the light of wh~t the dogmaticians really taught and actually did not teach, of W. Elert's strong language: "Wenn manche Dogmatiker ... 259) J. G. Machen: "This doctrine of 'plenary inspiration' has been made the subject of persistent misrepresentation. Its opponents speak of it as though it involved a mechanical theory of the activity of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, it is said, is represented in this doctrine as dictating the Bible to writers who were really little more than stenog- raphers. But of course all such caricatures are without basis in fact, and it is rather surprising that intelligent men should be so blinded by prejudice about this matter as not even to examine for themselves the perfectly accessible treatises in which the doctrine of plenary inspira- tion is set forth. It is usually considered good practice to eJramine a thing for one's self before echoing the vulgar ridicule of it. But in connection with the Bible such scholarly restraints are somehow re- garded as out of place. It is so much easier to content one's self with a few opprobious adjectives, such as 'mechanical,' or the like. Why engage in serious criticism when the people prefer ridicule? Why attack a real opponent when it is easier to knock down a man of straw?" (Christianity and Liberalism, p.73.) Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 491 folgerten, dass der schreibende Mensch auch an der Bildung des Wortlautes keinen eigenen Anteil mehr habe, so grenzt das an Gotteslaesterung" (Der ChristZiche Glaube, p. 209.)? It is nothing less than bathos when Dr. Flack exclaims: "Is not the inspiration of Scripture too high and holy a reality to be defined in terms of stenography? Does one exalt the Word of God by dehumaniz- ing it?" Again, it seems such a waste of paper when the moderns pen statements like these: "This is one of the chief reasons why the doctrine of verbal inspiration has been discarded as incapable of proof and incompatible with the evident fact. If the divine mind dictated to the writers the substance and form of the writings, there could not be the individuality that characterizes these docu- ments. There is a striking unity of purpose disclosed in them; but their style, vocabulary, and point of view are as various as their names." (H. L. Willett, The Bible Through the Centuries, p.284.) The facts disprove a mechanical inspiration! Dr. E. H. Delk: "That the oracular and dictation theory of writing has disappeared . . . goes almost without saying. The note of individualism is so strong in the synoptic writers that no theory of verbal inspiration is longer tenable." (Luth. Quart., 1912, p. 568.) F. Buechsel: "Selbst- verstaendlich kam die alte Inspirationslehre in Widerspruch zu den einfachsten Tatsachen in den Schriften der Bibel. Die indi- viduellen Eigentuemlichkeiten, die diese Schriften stilistisch zeig- ten," etc. (Die Offenbarung Gottes, p.1l3.) Similar statements have been set down above. But the verbal-inspirationists, the so-called "mechanical-inspirationists," have been making the same statements. Find examples above. We, too, have discovered these facts and cheerfully accept them. Why should the moderns waste paper by repeating what the dogmaticians have long ago set down? Every statement of theirs dealing with the difference of style and the individuality of the writers can be matched with one by Pieper and Hoenecke and Warfield. The moderns are beating the air. They are proving to us what none of us denies. Have done with this nonsense. The moderns will reply to this that we are inconsistent; that, if we concede the difference in style, etc., and with them reject mechanical inspiration, we shall have to reject verbal inspiration, too. And here lies the root of the trouble. The moderns will admit that Quenstedt and Warfield and Pieper never said, in so many words, that the holy writers became dead machines and vacuous stenographers. But they insist that anyone who declares that every word written by the apostles was given them by the Holy Ghost to write necessarily teaches a mechanical inspiration: verbal inspiration cannot but be mechanical inspiration. This 492 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. objection reveals the ignorance on the part of the moderns of an essential feature of inspiration: its miraculous nature. We have treated of this matter in the sixth article of this series, under Assertion No.9. We say with Luther: "Die Heilige Schrift ist nicht auf Erden gewachsen." (VII: 2095.) Every miracle presents a mystery, and we are ready to admit that we cannot solve the mystery how the holy writers wrote exactly what the Holy Spirit gave them to write and still wrote with perfect freedom. Weare not presumptuous enough to deny either one of these revealed truths because we are unable to solve the psychological difficulty that confronts us here. Will you say that it was impossible for God to make Paul His mouthpiece without destroying the person- ality and freedom of the apostle? "It is in vain," says Charles Hodge, "to profess to hold the common doctrine of Theism and yet assert that God cannot control rational creatures without turning them into machines." (Syst. Theology, I, p.169.) Do not quote to us the laws of psychology - "the unpsychological and mechanical theories of inspiration and unhistorical view of verbal inerrancy" (Professor Kantonen). The handbooks of psychology certainly do not contain a section explaining the mystery of Verbal In- spiration. But God is not bound by our psychological wisdom.260) And it is not for us to form judgments on this matter on the basis of our very limited knowledge of psychology; the less so, as we do not know from personal experience what inspiration is. "We who have never ourselves experienced this act of the Spirit can- not penetrate the mystery of it; we doubt whether the holy writers themselves did." (Lenski, on 2 Tim. 3: 16.) At any rate, 260) F. Bettex: "But just here we are amused at those weak-minded critics who, with hackneyed phrases, talk so glibly about 'mechanical in- struments' and 'mere verbal dictation.' Does, then, a self-revelation of the Almighty and a making known of His counsels, a gracious act which exalts the human agent to be a co-worker with Jehovah, annihilate per- sonal freedom? Or does it not rather enlarge that freedom and lift it up to a higher and more joyous activity? Am I, then, a 'mechanical in- strument' when with deep devotion and with enthusiasm I repeat after Christ, word for word, the prayer which He taught His disciples? . . ." (The Fundamental$, IV, p. 77.) H. M'Intosh: "Psychological difficulties . . . . A similar presumptuous and inane objection is that such a control or influence over men's minds as would secure the truth and divine authority of the Bible is inconsistent with the mental freedom of man- as if God the Holy Ghost could not so act on the human mind as to ensure this without violating its free action - and must be confined within the narrow grooves of the oracular dictates of such audacious but unveracious speculation." (Op. cit., p.623.) Der Deutsche Ev.-Luth. Schulverein: "Wir halten fest an dem Wunder der Inspiration, und das ist, was die modernen positiven Theologen 'mechanisch' schelten. . . . Wir lehnen jede Erklaerung des Vorgangs der Inspiration abo ... Gegen das Zeugnis Jesu und seiner Apostel ist uns die Gelehrsamkeit der ge- lehrtesten Professoren und Doktoren lauter Wind." (See Lehre und Wehre, 1909, p.234.) Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 493 they gave us no explanation of it. And here are men who are not afraid to declare ex cathedra: Verbal Inspiration must be mechanical inspiration! - If their reasoning is correct, then pity the blessed in heaven, who are incapable of thinking any but God's thoughts and cannot but speak in God's own words; they have lost their personal freedom! We thank God that He knows how to work in men in ways that are beyond the laws of common psychology. We thank Him that He converted us by His gracious power. We contributed nothing of our own towards our con- version. We were pure passim. And yet we were not coerced. In the moment that faith was created in us we gave joyous consent. We were converted willingly - God made us willing.261 ) We do not find it impossible to accept the teaching of Scripture that God spoke through the prophets and apostles, made them His mouth- pieces, without making them insensible machines. The moderns keep harping on the term "dictation." Did not the dogmaticians state that the Holy Spirit "dictated" the contents and words of Holy Scripture to the holy writers? And is not "dictation" a mechanical affair? We have promised (footnote 172) to shed some light on this plaguing term and now tell the moderns that they are misquoting the fathers. Oh, yes, the fathers em- ployed the word "dictation" and called the holy writers "aman- uenses." B. Mentzer actually wrote: Tanta est S. Scripturae auc- toritas, quanta est DICTANTIS Spiritus Sancti, cuius illi jueTUnt AMANUENSES," But are the moderns not acquainted with the common law of all language that where metaphors are employed the point of comparison must be scrupulously observed lest the writer be made to utter nonsense? No man dreams of saying that when Jesus called Herod a fox He had the idea that Herod was a four-footed animal. Herod was a fox in a certain respect. It is the cheapest kind of ridicule to make the fathers who compared the holy writers to stenographers in a certain respect say that the holy writers were vacuous stenographers. Use common sense! When the fathers call the apostles amanuenses, they give expression to the truth that they spoke and wrote not by their own right, in their own wisdom, but by the authority of God. The words of John 3: 16 are so truly the very words of the Holy Ghost as 261) Quoting some more from Stoeckhardt (Lehre und Wehre, 1886, p. 283): "Verbal Inspiration presents an incomprehensible mystery, which the human mind cannot elucidate ... , We may perhaps find an analogy in the miracle of conversion. The conversion of the sinner is in solidum the work of the Holy Spirit; not the least part of it is effected by man's own powers. Still conversion is not effected by way of coercion; it does not change man mechanically; but it is a mysterious, inscrutable working of God on the will, the mind of man, which so influences his will and mind that he now wills, and gladly wills, what is God's will and thinks that which is godly." 494 Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. though He had dictated them into the pen of St. John, as though we heard the Holy Ghost proclaim them today from heaven in His own majestic voice. The fathers never intended to convey the thought that the holy writers were lifeless machines. Again and again they disavow such ideas. G. P. Mains got the right idea when he used the phrase "as though God dictated every word," but falsified the idea of the fathers when he added: "using the human writer only as an automaton." The moderns are quoting the dogmaticians correctly as far as the bare word "dictation" is concerned, but are misquoting as far as the context is concerned. In the words of Dr. Pieper: "God used the holy writers as His organs, or tools, in order to transmit His Word, fixed in writing, to men. In order to express this relation between the Holy Ghost and the human writers, the Church Fathers as well as the old Lutheran dogmaticians call the holy writers amanuenses, notarii, manus, calami, secretaries, notaries, hands, pens, of the Holy Spirit. It is a well-known fact that these expressions are very generally derided by modern theologians. But Philippi justly calls this 'senseless ridicule,' The expressions are altogether Scriptural if only the point of comparison (tertium comparationis) is not lost sight of, namely, the mere instrumentality. The expressions state neither more nor less than the fact that the holy writers did not write their own word but TU Myw; Toil i)wil, the Word of God, and that, as we have seen, is the authoritative judgment of Christ and of His apostles. These expressions therefore should not be made the butt of ridicule; people ought to realize that they are in conformity with Scripture." (Op. cit., I, p.276.) The moderns are fighting a straw man.262) 262) Dr. Stoeckhardt: "Ganz sachgemaess haben daher die alten Lehrer der Kirche diese Taetigkeit des Heiligen Geistes ein Diktieren und Propheten und Apostel Haende, Handlanger, Notare, Griffel (manus, amanuenses, notarii, actuarii, calami) des Geistes Gottes genannt. Es ist Unverstand und boeser Wille, wenn man deshalb den Alten vorwicit, dass sie eine ganz aeusserliche, mechanische Vorstellung von der In- spiration gehabt haetten. Das tertium comparationis liegt auf der Hand. Man wollte mit jenen Vergleichen nur recht stark hervorheben, dass Propheten und Apostel hier dem Geist Gottes nur als Organe gedient haben, um seine Gedanken den Menschen kundzutun, dass sie in keiner Weise MitheHer waren, dass sie alles, was sie geschrieben, auch aIle W orie und Ausdruecke empfangen, nichts aus sich selbst herausgenommen haben .... Ihr ganzes Herz war bei dem, was sie schrieben. Hierony- mus schon bezeugt: (N eque vero prophetae in ecstasi locuti sunt, ut nescirent quod loquerentur.' Die Propheten haben, wie er weiter aus- fuehrt, ihres Amtes nicht gewartet (instar brutormn animalium.' Der Geist hat ihnen nicht nur das aeussere Hoeren ('quod in auribus resonat'), sondern auch das feinere geistliche Gehoer ('secretiorem auditum') ge- geben, kraft dessen sie nicht nur die Rinde, sondern auch das Mark zu erfassen vermochten." (Lehre und Wenre, 1892, p. 327 f.) - We cannot permit men to charge those who use the term "dictation" with being "mechanical-inspirationists." Dr. R. Watts upheld Verbal Inspiration in Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 495 The terms "dictation," "amanuensis," "mouthpiece," are not bad, said Pieper. They express the Scripture truth that God spoke by, through, aLii. "tou .1tQo