Divine inspiration of Bible, its significance is taken out for one of the most important reasons is the usage of Bible inspiration as an important element in the Scripture. It develop together all the accounts of Scripture and provides the most with value. The notion of the disputes according the Scripture point and inspiration case is carried throughout Orton Wiley's Christian Theology. Wiley entered the dispute pretending to show the false meaning of the Bible . He clearly stated that "only three worthy monarchs, the kings have gathered a faith in their hands.
It means that, they forced our Faith and put it into a false and unworthy position before God and man. " (Wiley, 6). He put the strong critique and abuse towards the Church's prerogatives: "The Reformers themselves have fought earnestly to maintain the balance between the formal and the material rules of every day life. At the end the formal principal has superseded the material, so people began unconsciously to substitute the written, God-breathed Word for Christ by the Living Word. They have divorced the written word from the Personal God's Word and thus were put into a false position.
It was no longer the guidance from God, his speech, the Spirit's presence, but just a recorded speech which bound men by legal rather than spiritual bonds. Nowadays people knowledge became formal rather than spiritual. The understanding of God became less true and real. It is not a consequence that Christ appeared to them as a historical figure, but not a Living Reality; and people sought more for a Knowledge of God's will than for God Himself. They gave more attention to creeds than to Christ. " (Wiley 2). This paper is purposed discuss the importance of inspiration and the Bible as the God-breathed word.
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One of the most specific attentions in inspiration doctrine is paid to the content of the person's doctrine of Scripture. It indicates the divine activity bringing scripture to the real life. Generally the doctrine of inspiration shows us the role of God in the life process. Secondly the idea of inspiration stresses on the place where everyone stands in the whole critical enterprise. Nowadays it has become one of the most disputable topics of the modern theological field. The core point to disputes lays in the way to find out which doctrine has been used recently in the biblical researches.
The objective of this work is to explore the inspiration theory's development and the position of the major part of modern theologians who support the Methodist tradition. Current field of study claims for more research and investigation to be done in the future. At beginning of the century an inspiration tradition experienced the powerful pressure from the side of different religious confessions. (Wiley 6) At those times it was difficult to find anyone who was willing to express their feelings combining a comprehensive and right account of inspiration.
So there was a fruitful field for appearing the rival knowledge of doctrines related to inspiration theme and their development. In the early years of the twentieth century this tandem was replaced by pluralism and this fact was confirmed within the United Methodist Church of America. Olin Curtis (1850-1918) and Henry Sheldon (1845 - 1928) have brought us the blowing wind of changes. According to Dr. Curtis studying the special revelation as the very essence of the Christian faith helps us to recognize the traditional, rather apologetic claims for miracle.
Here is a guarantee that revelation was inadequate as has been developed by his forebears. Dr, Curtis claims "the miracles are not created by a judicious defense or supernatural activity, he stresses that they are the acts of God, performed in his extraordinary way. The inspiration knowledge by Curtis seems to be a dynamic and essential system, which exists in the peace and consequence with God illuminating his inner life and acting vitally for Christian brotherhood and love. Dr. Curtis rejects the necessity of inerrant Bible implementing. (Curtis 177). In order to go through our investigation completely and to reach the target we need to answer the question: "What, actually, do we mean, by the inspiration? " The word inspiration firstly appeared in usage in Timothy 3:16, where we can read: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (Henry 129). Following the word's etymology, we can assume that "inspired" is translated from the Greek as theopnuestos that means "God-breathed".
Some of translations give us the samples which could be adopted as "ex-spired" or "breathed out". Looking through the Biblical sense of inspiration the firstly comes the idea that writers created exactly the things need to be written for God. This idea is supported in Peter 1: 20-21, where it is clearly stated that "no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will. Well known theologian Carl Henry gives the work definition to inspiration as "a supernatural influence upon the divinely chosen prophets and apostles.
So, the Spirit of God assures the truth and trustworthiness of their verbal and written proclamation". According to his definition the writers who created the manuscripts were divinely "supervised" by the Holy Spirit choosing the necessary words and phrases used in their works. Although some places were totally dictated to writers, Finally the process of inspiration has been spread to every word of every known book and of the Bible, as the main source of people's knowledge. Jesus opened this destiny to us, stating that inspiration is extended to the very words (Matt. 5:18).
Following the discussion presented by Paul Merritt Bassett in his case study it is necessary to admit that Orton Wiley (our main opponent for current paper) shows us no slight doubt about the Bible as the primary source of Christian theology. He stated that "the Holy Scriptures constitute the quarry out of which are mined the glorious truths utilized in constructing the edifice of Christian doctrine" (Wiley 89). At the same time he has expressed some sort of ambiguity here because he told that "in a deeper sense, Jesus Christ, our Lord is Himself the fullest revelation of God.
He is the Word of God-the outlived and outspoken thought of the Eternal. While we honor the Scriptures in giving them a place as our primary source.. Christ, must ever be held in proper relation to the Bible, the written Word. If the letter would be vital and dynamic, we must through the Holy Spirit, be ever attuned to that living One whose matchless words, incomparable deeds, and vicarious death constitute the great theme of that Book of books" (Wiley 90).
Following our dispute I need to stress that even from the historical point of view the first place in the analysis of inspiration's doctrine belongs to Bible. Scripture has its important place in the investigation but before turning to Scripture it will be a right thing to do to look to the institute of church throughout the history. From this point of view the understanding of liberal scholars will be easier and we will receive the opportunity to see whose position is in going with our opponents in the faith.
Until the 19th century the church, as the essential institute, traditionally held the principals of inspiration of Scripture. Dr. Warfield, the famous theologian, said that "Christendom has always reposed upon the belief that the utterances of this book are properly oracles of God" (Warfield 141). In the 16th century the great reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin expressed their recognition of the divine source and authority of Scripture. The importance of inspiration is expressed in 2 Timothy 3:17.
It says that all Scripture is God-breathed, so there is no place for error in it. In 2 Timothy 3 Paul also states about the importance of protection against the false teaching, the apostasy. To be firm in the truth of our faith and in Christ we should obtain the firm basis, because there are many people who are opposed to truth, "the evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (v. 13). All Christians "who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (v. 2). The Bible as the faith foundation cannot contain any errors. The entire Bible as a God-breathed book teaches us "correct, reprove, and train in righteousness". So following the Bible we are adequate, and equipped for every good work. From the very beginning the Christian Church led us to the doctrine of verbal, plenary inspiration. People who denied the fact that the Bible reflects the true word of God had no basis, no additional foundation underneath their faith.
The Bible is the standard to judge us and our activity and we are not the judges of Bible at any times. Summarizing the ideas it is necessary to admit that the people who read the Bible are led by Holy Spirit, who confirmed to every single person that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, the message from Him. One of the strongest evidences of the Bible as the God's word is the Book survival and influence during the last two centuries while all the multiplied attempts to destroy it have failed.
The proclamations of Scripture are approved by our life experience, for example, the practical changes in the life of societies and individuals are evidential and true. The testimonial character of Scripture has found the confirmation in many areas and fields of the modern life. Even despite all these obvious evidences we have described above, if we were are not able to prove the inspiration of the Bible to anyone and to bring any serious foundation underneath our faith, we still can share its message, answer questions, help people to open their minds and hearts.
Works cited: 1. Bernard, Ramm, Protestant Christian Evidences. Chicago: Moody Press, 1953, esp. chaps. 8 and 9. 2. Curtis, Olin. The Christian Faith. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. , 1909, p. 177. 3. Henry, Carl. God, Revelation and Authority, vol. 4, The God Who Speaks and Shows. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1979, 129. 4. Warfield, God, Revelation and Authority, New York: Eaton and Mains, 1999), 4:141. 5. Wiley, Orton. Introduction to Christian Theology. Kansas City: Beacon Hill, n. d. 1929
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