Wolfhart Pannenberg Paper

I have turned in my final required paper prior to working on my dissertation. It was a paper on Wolfhart Pannenberg’s views on God’s essence, attributes, and unity. The paper can be found on academia.edu.

The idea of even attempting to discover God’s essence is both daunting and fearful. How dare a mere mortal attempt to discover God’s very essence. It is a scary prospect. Pannenberg did not think it should not at least be attempted. He makes it plain on fifteen different occasions God’s essence is God’s love. Here is the introduction to the paper:

Wolfhart Pannenberg (1929-2014) was a German theologian who, starting in 1991 through 1998, released a three volume set entitled Systematic Theology.[1] As a prelude to the release of the three volume set, he released an introductory publication Introduction to Systematic Theology.[2] E Frank Tupper believes, “The work of Wolfhart Pannenberg constitutes one of the most significant theological developments in the history of modern theology.”[3]

Pannenberg placed a substantial emphasis on the use of reason and the study of history as part of his methodology. Stanley Grenz states, “Pannenberg has repeatedly been described as a rationalist. Several conservative critics have found aspects of his rationalistic approach problematic for the relation between faith and reason.” Grenz continues, “Pannenberg has failed to see the human problem of spiritual blindness goes deeper than merely a lack of historic evidence.”[4]

Pannenberg believed the understanding sought by contemporary Christians necessitated a joining of the two horizons of history and reason. Jim Halsey expresses this view referring to Pannenberg’s position, “Thus the text is only understood when the whole of the history which forms the continuity between past and present is grasped.”[5] Daniel Clendenein remarks concerning the reasoning aspect of Pannenberg’s methodology, “In the words of the contemporary German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg: ‘Every theological statement must prove itself on the field of reason and can no longer be argued on the basis of unquestioned presuppositions of faith.’”[6]

Pannenberg’s Systematic Theology Volume One presents Pannenberg’s discussion of God’s essence and attributes. His arguments and methodology concerning God’s essence attributes and the difference between them are worth the attention of the twenty-first century Christian. Therefore, this author has chosen to review the Unity and Attributes of the Divine Essence, as found in Pannenberg’s Systematic Theology Volume One Chapter Six.

[1] Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991–1998).


[2] Wolfhart Pannenberg, Introduction to Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991).


[3] E. Frank Tupper, “The Christology of Wolfhart Pannenberg,” Review and Expositor 71, no. 1 (1974): p. 57.


[4] Stanley Grenz, The Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg, Carl E. Braatan and Philip Clayton eds. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), p. 23.

[5] Jim S. Halsey, “History, Language, and Hermeneutic: The Synthesis of Wolfhart Pannenberg,” Westminster Theological Journal 41, no. 2 (1978): p. 283.


[6] Daniel Clendenin, “What the Orthodox Believe,” Christian History Magazine-Issue 54: Eastern Orthodoxy (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, 1997), np.


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Dissertation Proposal (Full Text)

Columbia Evangelical Seminary

Dissertation Proposal for the Degree

Doctorate of Theology

By John R. Lawless


Proposed Dissertation Title

A Treatise on an Enhanced Understanding of God Using

A Comparative Study of God’s Perceived Essence


  1. Problem Statement

1.1 Background Statement

            Since the dawn of creation, mankind has sought to understand the many aspects of God. The oldest documents dating back to BC 2500 indicate the attempt to codify what it means to have an understanding of God. The earliest documents portray God as being polytheistic and capricious. Many of these societies illustrated their understanding by creating multiple gods for many aspects of life. These cultures also would create idols to assist in their worship.[1] Man developed much of his theology from viewing nature around him. As much as this lead man to have a partial understanding of God it was not enough.

Beginning around BC 2000, with the calling of God placed on Abram of Ur, God began to reveal himself to man through special revelation. God called out to Abram, “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing’” (Genesis 12:1).[2] So began a new dispensation as God determined to reveal himself to man.

God revealing himself to Moses and the nation of Israel was contributive to an enhanced understanding of who God is and his will for mankind; but there needed to be some document or documents created to convey God to other generations. Around BC 1400 Moses, at the leading of God, began to record the things God was revealing to him. God was not only revealing himself to man but also guiding the writing of these documents. Paul writing to Timothy declared, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Today that document is called the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is the most read, published, and studied document in the history of mankind.

Over the past two thousand years many individuals, using these Holy Scriptures, have sought to develop a set of documents assisting mankind in attaining an enhanced understanding of God. The work of many outside the realm of Judeo-Christian scholarship has contributed to this endeavor. Plato and Aristotle have contributed at numerous levels and concerning various topics. Aristotle used a term, en tôi ti esti, meaning that what is. This phrase so boggled his Roman translators that they coined the word essentia to render the entire phrase, and it is from this Latin word that the contemporary derives. Today the translation of this concept refers to the essence of a substance. Theological essencology is a contemporary area of study. Understanding the essence of God can contribute to an enhanced understanding of God.

History reflects many changes at various times in Christianity. In the seventeenth century AD, a significant emphasis was placed on holiness and living a holy life. The last four hundred years have seen a gradual but steady move away from an emphasis on God’s holiness and his call to be holy. Today in the twenty-first century there is a significant emphasis on God’s love. Robert Gagnon contributes to this concept, “In contemporary society the command to love is often misconstrued as tolerance and acceptance.”[3] Understanding God has an unfathomable love for his creation; there are those who seek to use God’s love to further their agendas. There is an ongoing debate on which of God’s attributes are the most important.

1.2 Problem Statement

            Wolfhart Pannenberg supports the idea of God’s essence is love, “The Son also reveals the existence of the Father, and by the sending of the Son the Father reveals his essence, his eternal love” (John 3:16).[4] This comment is a prime example of an individual confusing one of God’s attributes with his essence.

Many LGBT activists use the idea of love to support the idea of same-sex marriage. Matthew Vines in his book, God and the Gay Christian, maintains, “Perhaps the dominant message about marriage in modern society is that it’s primarily about being happy, being in love, and being fulfilled.”[5] Vines goes on to state his belief a loving God would never expect two people who sincerely love each other to refrain from such a relationship. The concept, love produces acceptance, caused Jeffrey Satinover to comment concerning LGBT’s agenda, “No single moral standard governs the lives of men, and except by the power of force, no god, and no corresponding set of human values, is superior to any other.”[6] This similar argument is used by various other organizations to include churches, Christian denominations, and other secular organizations; another example of using one of God’s attributes to further an agenda.

The debate concerning which is God’s most important attributes, is a contemporary area of focus. Millard J. Erickson asserts, “Some have suggested that it is (holiness) the most important single attribute of God. Whether this is a legitimate or desirable deduction, holiness is, at least, a very important attribute.”[7] While Robert Duncan Culver insists, “To resume treatment of the holiness of God’s character, we can state; in a unique sense, holiness is basic to everything about God, not merely one among many moral attributes of goodness. Not without reason did A. H. Strong frame and persuasively defend the proposition; Holiness is the fundamental attribute of God.”[8] Once again it seems an attribute used to define God’s essence.

It is not the intention of this author to participate in this debate. It is not to say these scholars are deficient in their arguments, but only to state the need to determine God’s essence and how it can assist in developing an enhanced understanding of God. Therefore, the problem statement this dissertation seeks to resolve is: The twenty-first century church is not proclaiming God’s entire oracle in a balanced methodology: therefore, a comparative study of God’s perceived essence is needed.

  1. Aims and Objectives

            Michael Lawrence presents his definition for systematic theology, “Systematic theology is the attempt to summarize in an orderly and comprehensive manner what the whole Bible has to say about any given topic.”[9] No matter the source, one thing the definition includes is the idea that systematic theology is a deliberate and planned methodology for seeking to determine the truths of the Bible. The first aim of this dissertation, using a planned and deliberate methodology, defines essence and reviews how an attribute differs from essence. Different definitions of God’s essence include love, holiness, self-existence, creation, and perfection. One needs to be careful not to confuse God’s attributes with God’s essence.

Another aspect of systematic theology is philosophy. William Van Doodewaard believes Christian philosophy as thus, “The task of Christian philosophy is nothing less than to interpret the whole of created reality in the light of God’s revelation to man in the Bible.”[10] One aspect of philosophy is the use of reason to assist in understanding God’s message to man. There are many who find the very thought of combining secular reasoning principles with a study of the Bible to be unacceptable. Warren Young states, “Philosophy is man-made, speculative; Christianity is God-given, dogmatic. Hence, Christianity must not be contaminated with the foul epithet, philosophy.”[11]

Faith and reason have always had a relationship of complementarianism. Culver declares, “True faith and sound reason are still steadfast friends. The Bible does not even hint that one must be unreasonable to believe God’s Word.”[12] The second aim of this dissertation uses philosophical reasoning principles to assist in defining God’s essence. The process will also include a review of the philosophy of those groups who hold certain definitive viewpoints of God’s essence.

Another aspect is an epistemology, the study of knowledge and the principles for determining the truth. David L. Turner proposes, “According to one source, epistemology is the theory of knowledge . . . that branch of philosophy which is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge, its presuppositions, basis, and the general reliability of claims to knowledge.”[13] A subset of epistemology is to review and determine the theory of truth. The third aim of this dissertation reviews and determines what theory of truth groups that support a particular definition of God’s essence use. Some of these possible theories include pragmatism, coherence, and correspondence.

The fourth aim of this dissertation uses the Bible to define God’s essence. The Holy Scriptures are the basis for all Christian thought, practice, and theology. Therefore, it is imperative the use of the Holy Scriptures are an intricate part of this dissertation. It is here where the definition of inerrancy will play a major role.

The aims of this dissertation are to use systematic theology and the many tools available to determine what definitions of God’s essence are worthy of consideration. Therefore, it is the goal of this dissertation to define God’s essence and contribute to the knowledge base of an enhanced understanding of God.

  1. Central Theoretical Argument

            “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). God is perfect. God’s perfection speaks to the number of attributes and the maturity of those attributes. Further detailed, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus knew no sin; Jesus stated the Father is perfect; therefore, the Father is perfect.

God is a simple entity, not a complex one; the doctrine is called the simplicity of God. Millard J. Erickson quotes Carl F. H. Henry to show what evangelicals mean by the doctrine of God’s simplicity, “Evangelical theology insists on the simplicity of God. By this it means that God is not compounded of parts; he is not a collection of perfections, but rather a living center of activity pervasively characterized by all his distinctive perfections.”[14]

The Father is perfect. The Father is a simple entity not separated into parts. Therefore, those who proclaim God’s love is perfect must also proclaim all his attributes are perfect. The church making a choice to proclaim only part of the oracle of God is proclaiming only part of God is perfect. God is perfect, and therefore, the church needs to adopt a more balanced proclamation of God’s love and his other attributes. God has an endless and inexhaustible love for man. God is gracious and merciful to all who call on him. God’s perfection and simplicity demand the proclamation of the entire oracle of God as he has revealed to man through his Holy Scriptures.

  1. Methodology

            The methodology for this dissertation will include the concept of the inerrancy of the Scriptures, hermeneutics standards to include avoidance of exegetical fallacies as defined by D. A. Carson, and the correspondence theory of truth.

Paul D. Feinberg maintains, “All of this is to say that, without the precise definition of the word inerrancy and the related doctrine of inerrancy, it is difficult to answer the question as to whether or not the Bible is inerrant.”[15] Feinberg goes further to list his definition for inerrancy, “Inerrancy means that when all the facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they affirm, whether that has to do with the doctrine or morality or with the social, physical, or life sciences.”[16] This definition is the foundation for the first point of methodology for this dissertation. Also, the twenty-one statements of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy will contribute to the concept used in this dissertation.[17] This author believes when all the information coalesces the concept of God’s essence will become succinct and accurate. It is, for this reason, an entire section is set apart in this dissertation for discussing God’s essence from a biblical perspective.

The second area of methodology includes the standards of hermeneutics applied in this dissertation. Grant R. Osborne states, “Biblical theology studies the themes behind the individual books and traditions within the Bible, seeking covering laws that integrate them into a holistic pattern.”[18] In light of Osborne’s definition of biblical theology, proper research into the underlying meaning of the various books of the Scriptures brings together historical, sociological, linguistic, archeological, hermeneutical, and exegetical methodologies. For this reason, it is imperative a correct hermeneutical standard is stated and adopted. The goal must be not only to understand the meaning of the books of Scriptures but also to seek to develop and justify the unity between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The author of this dissertation believes there is a unity that exists between the Old Testament and the New Testament; therefore, supporting passages will emerge from both.

Any hermeneutics model must also seek to avoid the various exegetical fallacies. The two major resources for defining and avoiding these fallacies are Grant R. Osbourne’s The Hermeneutical Spiral and D. A. Carson’s Exegetical Fallacies. Both of these resources are accepted across numerous fields of research for the definitions and encouragement in producing documents that are both truthful and accurate.

The final aspect of the methodology used in this dissertation is the theory of truth. In asking, “What is truth?” (John 18:38), Pontius Pilate expressed a view many still hold. The establishment of reality being the essential first step, epistemology follows closely behind. Dan Story supports this presupposition, “Truth, then, must correspond to reality.”[19]

Norman Geisler provided a strong defense for the use of the correspondence theory of truth. Geisler provides several reasons for supporting the correspondence theory of truth. Non-correspondence of truth is self-defeating. As stated in the examination of both coherence and existential theories of truth, both rely on correspondence to state their case. Falsehoods would not be detectable without correspondence. If something were not known the way it is, how would it be known the way it is not? Finally, without correspondence, all factual communication would break down.[20]

Geisler provides several biblical reasons for the correspondence theory of truth. The foundation of the ninth commandment stands on the correspondence theory of truth. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). How would a person know what is a false witness against his neighbor unless he first knew what was a true statement concerning reality? C. S. Lewis states, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”[21] It is for these reasons this author will use the correspondence theory of truth in this dissertation.

[1]J. I. Packer and M. C. Tenney, Illustrated Manners and Customs of the Bible, Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers (1980), pp. 106-117.


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

[3] Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practices Text and Hermeneutics, Nashville, TN.: Abingdon Press (2001), p. 5.


[4] Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991–1998), p. 358.


[5] Matthew Vine, God and the Gay Christian, New York NY: Convergence Books, a division of Random House Publishers, (2014), p. 135.


[6] Jeffrey Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books (1996), p. 232.


[7] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), p. 309 cites Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology (Westwood, NJ: Revell, 1907), p. 297.


[8] Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology (Ross-Shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2005), p. 95.


[9] Michael Lawrence, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), p. 89.


[10] William Van Doodewaard, “Van Til and Singer: A Theological Interpretation of History,” ed. Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Journal 3 (2011): p. 353.


[11] Warren C. Young, “Is There a Christian Philosophy?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 1 (1958): p. 6.


[12] Culver, p. 25.


[13] David L. Turner, “A Study in Presuppositional Apologetics,” Grace Theological Journal 2 (1981): p. 47, citing D. W. Hamlyn, “Epistemology, History of,” The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Paul Edwards, 8 vols. (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1967), pp. 3.9-10.


[14] Erickson, God the Father Almighty: A Contemporary Exploration of the Divine Attributes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p.231 cities Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority (Waco, TX: Word, 1982), vol. 5, p. 131.


[15] Paul D. Feinberg, “The Meaning of Inerrancy,” in Inerrancy, ed. Norman L. Geisler (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1980), p. 267.


[16] Ibid., p. 294.


[17] Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, (Chicago, IL: International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978) p. 3.


[18] Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, rev. and exp., 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), pp. 353–354.

[19] Dan Story, Christianity on the Offense: Responding to the Beliefs and Assumptions of Spiritual Seekers (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1998), p. 232.


[20] Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Volume One: Introduction, Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2002), p. 115.


[21] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco: Harper Books, Revised and Enlarged Edition, 2009), p. 38.

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Dissertation Proposal Short Form

It has been almost 2.5 years since I begun my doctoral studies at Columbia Evangelical Seminary. I am in my final class of ten classes. I have produced the first version of my proposal. Here is the short version:

Problem Statement: The 21st Century church has incorrectly defined God”s essence.


  1. The first aim of this dissertation, using a planned and deliberate methodology, defines essence and review how an attribute differs from essence.
  2. The second aim of this dissertation uses reasoning principles to assist in defining God’s essence.
  3. The third aim of this dissertation, reviews and determine what theory of truth used by groups that support a particular definition of God’s essence.
  4. The fourth aim of this dissertation uses the Bible to define God’s essence.


The aims of this dissertation are to use systematic theology and the many tools available to determine what definitions of God’s essence are worthy of consideration. Therefore, it is the goal of this dissertation to define God’s essence and then apply that to the twenty-first century church.

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Summary of Chafer’s Christology

Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952) came from a poor family that witnessed his father die at a rather young age. Chafer’s mother worked numerous jobs to send him to schools capable of preparing him for a Christian career. By adulthood, Chafer was an accomplished musician, singer, and choir director. He had the opportunity to work with many of the great men of Christianity such as Moody, Torrey, and Scofield. Aspects of his theology traced to Moody, Torrey, Scofield, and many from the Kennewick Movement.

Chafer’s eight-volume magnus opus is entitled, Systematic Theology, was the first to define and organize dispensational theology. Chafer’s theology comprised of dispensationalism, premillennialism, and certain parts of Calvinism. Chafer saw the single most important element of his theology the grace of God. This deep respect for God’s grace never wavered in Chafer’s life.

Chafer saw the most important category of his theology was Christology. Chafer believed this to be the central point of all his theology. The idea God would leave his throne in Heaven, take on human form, and die for man’s salvation moved Chafer beyond description. Chafer felt the interpretation of the three major discourses of Christ, the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet Discourse, and the Upper Room Discourse provided much insight toward a theologian’s Christology.

Chafer first details his interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. The target group, according to Chafer, is not the church. Chafer believes the Sermon on the Mount is a precross discourse describing the behavior that will be expected of the Jews during the establishment of Christ’s kingdom following Christ’s return. Because of the target group the dictates of the Sermon on the Mount are not in effect for the church. He does believe lessons can be learned from this discourse. Scholars such as Reuther and Van Drunan acknowledge this as Chafer’s position; but does not support such a position.

Chafer continued his discussion by next reviewing the Olivet Discourse. Chafer also sees this as being directed at the Kingdom Age Jews. Also, Chafer believes the generation mentioned in this discourse does not refer to the Jews of the First Century. Chafer’s dispensational premillennial viewpoints come to bear on his interpretation. The most prominent scholar that does not support this viewpoint is R. C. Sproul. Chafer considers himself to be a futurist and does not support the preterist position in any way.

The final discourse reviewed by Chafer is the Upper Room Discourse. Even though this discourse followed the Olivet Discourse by only two days, Chafer sees many differences. Chafer believed there were seven differences between this discourse and the other two. These differences include inspiration of the Scriptures, the revelation of the Trinity, angels, man and his sin, salvation, the doctrine of one body, and the first announcement of the Rapture, all found in these chapters (John 13-17). Christ went from talking to precross Jews to talking to eleven men redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Chafer was a man deeply committed to Christ and his plan for mankind. Whether leading a choir, preaching, or teaching he sought to give his all to God’s plan. His many experiences eventually led to the creation of Dallas Theological Seminary. Through this institution, many have gone on to point thousands to the saving gift made possible by Christ’s vicarious sacrifice on the cross. Chafer never veered from his commitment to and respect for the role of the grace of God.

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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.

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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.

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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 academia.edu.

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