Summary of Paper on Chafer’s Theological Emphases

Here is a summary from my latest paper:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Chafer would have agreed completely with this passage. Chafer considered the grace of God to be the greatest of all God’s attributes. Chafer further believed the grace of God was appropriated by belief and belief alone.

Chafer had a problem with those who tried to make repentance and belief two separate acts. Chafer affirms, “Therefore, it is as dogmatically stated as language can declare, that repentance is essential to salvation and that none could be saved apart from repentance, but it is included in believing and could not be separated from it.”[1] If repentance truly means, a changing of one’s mind, how could anyone believe without having a change of mind?

Chafer lived during a time when many of the great teachers and preachers of the nineteenth and twentieth were ministering. Chafer worked with many of these individuals such as D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, and Ira D. Sankey. Of all the people Chafer collaborated with none was more influential than C. I. Scofield. At one point, Scofield and Chafer were considered to be father and son in the ministries. It is probable much of Chafer’s theology came as a result of his association with Scofield. To understand Chafer’s theology an understanding of this association was imperative.

Chafer was premillennial and dispensational. His eight-volume set, Systematic Theology, was the first attempt to systematize dispensational viewpoint. Chafer saw a connection between the covenants made between God and man and the way God chose to govern and communicate with mankind. As with Chafer’s theology, in general, much of his dispensationalism came from his association with Scofield. Chafer’s founding of Dallas Theological Seminary in 1924 gave him a platform to teach his dispensationalism to many generations. He served as the president of Dallas Theological Seminary until his death in 1952.

Walvoord believed the greatest contribution by Chafer was his work in soteriology. Soteriology is the area that the most controversy surrounds Chafer’s theology. The Keswick Movement (1875-1920) had a profound effect on Chafer. While working with D. L. Moody in Northfield, Massachusetts, Chafer most likely heard many of the speakers from the Keswick Movement, as Moody invited many of them to speak during his meetings. It is from this influence Chafer developed his dual milestone picture of soteriology.

Chafer saw the need to make Jesus Savior, but then also a specific time a believer needed to make Jesus Lord. He believed many new converts would do both at the same time. There were those, according to Chafer, who needed to make a commitment to living a life satisfying God and bringing glory to God. Warfield was one of the most outspoken opponents of Chafer’s beliefs. Chafer’s most definitive work in this area was, He That Is Spiritual, published in 1918. Warfield issued a rebuttal to Chafer’s position in 1919. Warfield thought it was nothing more than another example of Arminianism. Despite this, Chafer’s work has affected many generations with foundational training for the ministry.

[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer, “The Saving Work of the Triune God,” Bibliotheca Sacra Vol 107 (1950): p. 391.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Few Words concerning the Half Way Point

Here I am at the half way point. Two years are done and two years are ahead. I have three papers to write. Then on to achieving approval for my dissertation thesis. Finally, researching and writing the dissertation. I learned last week up to a third of my dissertation can come from previous work done during my doctoral studies. For instance a 200 page dissertation can contain up to 67 pages from early work completed as part of this program. A small change instituted by CES…all dissertations submitted must be in electronic form only, no printed forms.

There is something I go through on every degree, the half way blues. It is when you are too far into the program to back out and too much work yet to do to start getting excited about the end. I call them the half way blues. I am officially in the half way blues. It goes away but really sucks while experiencing them. One good part, this is the last time Ii  will have to go through the half way blues.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Introduction ot a Review of Norman Geisler’s Soteriology

Norman Geisler is a theologian with over fifty years of experience. A prolific writer, Geisler has had numerous articles, essays, journal articles, and books published, among them the four-volume set, Systematic Theology. In Volume Three, he details his position on Humanity/Sin and Soteriology and identifies himself as a moderate Calvinist. Geisler states, “As the foregoing and following analysis shows, the biblical, theological, and historical evidence favors the moderate Calvinist view.” Geisler’s soteriology includes a defense against extreme Calvinism and extreme Arminianism, plus support for his moderate Calvinism.
Over the years, an impressive number of scholars have stated they do not support Geisler’s positions. These include, but are not limited to, James White, Craig Blomberg, and Michael Liconia. Geisler seeks to answer the objections of other scholars and details his positions on origins of salvation, theories of salvation, assurance of salvation, extent of salvation, universalism, and pluralism. Further, he details the differences between his moderate Calvinism and the traditional extreme Calvinism.
This author has chosen to review Norman Geisler’s Soteriology found in Volume Three of his Systematic Theology. The critique will include Free Will versus Predestination, Theory of Atonement, and Perseverance of the Saints.

The rest of this essay can be found at

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Relevancy of Proverbs 29:18

It has been a while since I posted anything. I am currently working on a paper entitled, “A Review of Norman Geisler’s Soteriology.” This post does not directly pertain to that project. One of the major arguments against Christianity and particularly the Bible is neither is relevant for the 21st Century. Proverbs 29:18 KJV states, “Without a vision the people perish.” The NASB puts it this way, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” Finally the ESV puts it this way, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.”

With the news of Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlin Jenner it seems some people have definitely cast off restraint. Many people in our society clearly have no divine vision and are casting off restraint. Then there is the idea of ESPN giving Jenner an award for bravery is just simply crazy. The reaction by social media to anyone who disagrees is horrendous. Man does not determine what is right or wrong, but rather that comes from God. Last time I checked God is still omnibenevolent and unchanging.

We need to return to a divinely inspired vision for our planet, our country, and our lives……….

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Norman Geisler’s Presuppositions to Theology Critique

Starting another paper. Here is my introduction.

Norman Geisler has written over eighty different books. During the years of 2000-2005 he released a four volume set entitled, Systematic Theology. In Volume One Geisler reveals his Prolegomena to include nine different presuppositions required to conduct theology. Prolegomena consists of two Greek words, Pro meaning before or toward and legomena meaning to speak. Simply put, Prolegomena is the before section prior to an author detailing the different aspects of the scholar’s theology.

Geisler lists nine different presuppositions needed prior to beginning the details of his theology. Rudolf Bultman determined, “There can be no exegesis without presupposition.” Therefore, before one begins to detail the different elements of one’s theology, it is important to determine the presuppositions those elements are based on. Geisler’s presuppositions include: metaphysical, supernatural, revelational, rational, semantical, epistemological, oppositional, linguistical, hermeneutical, historical, and methodological.

This author has selected three of Geisler’s presuppositions to critique. These three include metaphysics (the study of being), epistemology (the study of knowledge to include defining truth), and linguistics (the study of language).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God’s Holiness….the idea of separateness

The writers of the Old Testament used the word holy over eight hundred times.[1] In the Old Testament, the word group most often referenced to the word holy or holiness is the verb קָדַשׁ, (qadash) to be holy, removed from common use.[2] The standard interpretation of this verb is the idea of separation. This concept has developed over a period of many hundreds, if not, thousands of years. A thorough understanding of this concept is paramount in determining the original intent of the Old Testament authors.

A use frequency in excess of eight hundred provides a broad range of usage and entails numerous nuances. The most common similarities are the idea of separation. The full spectrum includes separation of evil from good, common to a holy use, and the foundational nature of holiness.[3] Because of the importance of this term a survey of its many uses and forms will follow.

The verb qādaš, found eleven times in the Old Testament, in the Qal connotes the state of that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred.[4] When the verb occurs in the Piel and Hiphil stems, it represents the activity used to set apart a person or object from common to sacred use. One use of the Piel stem is when God set apart the Sabbath for his purposes (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 31:13).[5] The Hiphil stem occurs when God commands the Israelites to set apart the firstborn of the men and the animals (Numbers 8:17). These two uses of the verb קָדַשׁ, illustrate the action that separates a person or object from common use to sacred use.

This Qadash word group also have several other forms that will further assist in understanding the idea of holy as proposed by the Old Testament writers. One cognate word is מִקְדָּשׁ (sanctuary), found 74 times in the Old Testament and is used to refer to the tabernacle and the temple, both being places set apart for worship.

Second, the term קָדוֹשׁ (holy) occurs 116 times in the Old Testament and designates that which is intrinsically sacred or is part of the sacred by a divine act.[6] This form of the verb exists in connection with people, things, and even water (Deuteronomy 14:2; Exodus 29:31; Numbers 5:17). When this form appears in connection with God, it projects the significance of a divine scale. Isaiah used this form in his title, The Holy One of Israel. Isaiah used this term twenty-five times and contrasted the evil of Israel to the moral perfection of God and God’s separation from sin (Isaiah 17:7; 30:11). Isaiah also used this in his vision of the throne of God to speak of God’s transcendence and moral holiness.[7] Louis Berkhof refers to God’s transcendent holiness as his majesty-holiness and describes this as God’s absolute distinction from all His creatures.[8]

A second aspect when קָדוֹשׁ exists in the Hebrew text with reference to God, refers to his transcendence, and moral purity. Isaiah’s reaction to his vision properly reflects both the transcendence and purity of God. Isaiah cried out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

The final form is the noun קֹדֶשׁ, (holiness) found over four hundred times in the Old Testament. Once again, the idea of separation appears. This separation occurs in reference to the Sabbath and the separation of this holy day from the other days of the week (Exodus 16:23-26; Isaiah 58:13-14). McCabe states, “Whatever the holy God set apart as קֹדֶשׁ is separated from everyday use and consecrated for his holy purpose.”[9]

[1] Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann, eds., Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, vol. 2, trans. Mark D. Biddle (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997), p. 1107.

[2] Robert V. McCabe, “The Old Testament Foundation for Separation” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 7 (2002): p. 5.

[3] John Randolph Jaeggli, “A Historical-Theological Analysis of the Holy One of Israel in Isaiah Forty through Sixty-Six” (Ph.D. dissertation, Bob Jones University, 1987), pp. 40–41.

[4] Thomas E. McComiskey, “1990 קָדַשׁ,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), p. 786.

[5] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version Bible (Crossway Bibles, Copyright © 2001, 2007, 2008).

[6] McComiskey, p. 786.

[7] John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2002), p. 28.

[8] Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996), p. 73; see also Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), p. 311.

[9] McCabe, p. 9.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God’s Holiness Reviewed

The twenty-first century church speaks of God’s attribute of love with a high degree of frequency. A person can hardly go a single day without someone, either within the church or outside the church, speaking of or relating to God’s love. Some theologians consider love to be an essential attribute of God.[1] Reminders exist in both print and from the pulpits of this time in history how Christians are to remember the biblical commands to love God, love each other, and love their enemies. Unbelievers and liberal leaning Christians use the reality of God’s command to love as part of their methodology in an attempt to advance their agendas.

God does not have just one attribute. Even though one does not hear of them with the frequency of God’s love, God has many different characteristics. God’s attributes include omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, immutability, goodness, simplicity, and holiness to mention only a few. Jonathan Edwards considered God’s holiness one of his most dear attributes:

The holiness of God has always appeared to me the most lovely of all His attributes. The doctrines of God’s absolute sovereignty, and free grace, in showing mercy to whom he would show mercy; and man’s absolute dependence on the operation of God’s Holy Spirit, have very much appeared to me as sweet and glorious doctrines.[2]

The Old Testament often spoke of God’s attribute of holiness. Rarely does an article appear concerning God’s holiness, and even less does one hear a sermon coming from the pulpits of the twenty-first century church on God’s holiness. Augustus Hopkins Strong insisted, “Not all God’s acts are acts of love, but all are acts of holiness.”[3] This author proposes the question, “What does one mean when they speak of God’s holiness and is God holy since people rarely talk about it?”

[1] Millard Erikson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), p. 305.

[2] Jonathan Edwards, “Personal Narrative,” in Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Glaghorn, vol. 16 of The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), p. 793.

[3] Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1907), p. 275.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized