Christ is God

Ok, normally I’m pretty hard on Dispensationalism but I have to admit, Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology has some real chafergems about God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, Jesus Christ, etc. that are most edifying to the believer. Once in a while I’ll pull his works off the shelf and thumb through them, tonight I found this:

The incarnate Christ is the divine answer to the question, What is God like? The God-man expresses as much of the infinite One as can be translated into human ideas and realities. Christ is God; therefore no fiction was enacted when that which is so unlike fallen man is reduced to the comprehension of those who so greatly need to be informed and whose minds are supernaturally darkened. (Systematic Theology vols 1 & 2. pg 355)

A sweet simple truth for the believer; Jesus is God. He is the answer to What is God like?

(who knows…maybe I’ll quote Ironside next?)



  1. John T. Jeffery · May 27, 2013

    There is hope for you yet!!! 🙂 May I recommend Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1959)? See BMH Books at [accessed 27 MAY 2013]. I’ll let it go at that for now, but thanks for the LSC quote! 🙂

  2. John T. Jeffery · May 27, 2013

    Amazon has McClain a little cheaper than the publisher at [accessed 27 MAY 2013].

    • jm · May 27, 2013

      Looks like a challenging work. Over 500 pages of Dispensationalism? I don’t know if I could get through it. 🙂 Although I did manage to read Peters Theocratic Kingdom.

      • John T. Jeffery · May 30, 2013

        McClain’s work may go down as the finest work of Biblical theology done by a Dispensationalist in the 20th century. I think you certainly can handle it, especially since you made it through Peters! Which, by the way, very few can claim to have done!

  3. irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · May 30, 2013

    Indeed both Alva McClain, On the Kingdom, as Peters work (Theocratic Kingdom) are classic! As of course pieces of Chafer, but his soteriology breaks down with non-Lordship to my mind!

    • John T. Jeffery · May 31, 2013

      Agreed. Perhaps he is at his worst in his treatment of justification in the Old Testament. “A distinction must be observed here between just men of the Old Testament and those justified according to the New Testament. According to the Old Testament men were just because they were true and faithful in keeping the Mosaic Law. Micah defines such a life after this manner:….(6:8). Men were therefore just because of their own works for God, whereas New Testament justification is God’s work for man in answer to faith (Rom. 5:1).”

      Lewis Sperry Chafer, “Systematic Theology” (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), Vol. VII, “Doctrinal Summarization”, pg. 219, s.v. “Justification”.

      His errors on sanctification were exposed early on by none other than B. B. Warfield. See especially B. B. Warfield’s review of the original edition of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s He That Is Spiritual (1918) in the Princeton Theological Review 17 (April, 1919), pp. 322-327.

      Perhaps the most worthwhile portion of Dispensationalism Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow (Memphis, TN: Footstool Publications, 1985) by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Gunn, III is “Appendix One: Warfield’s Critique of Chafer, pp. 410-419, which is a reprint of this review with a brief introduction by Crenshaw. Warfield’s review had not been readily available, or much studied until this reprint unless you had access to the original journal.

      Note: Crenshaw wrongly cites the source for this review as a 1918 issue of Bibliotheca Sacra in his introductory material on pg. 410. I have had the original journal (PTR, 1919) in my hands, and have never seen it credited to Bib Sac, or dated 1918 anywhere else. 1918 was the original copyright date for Chafer’s work, not Warfield’s review. In fact, in a later edition of He That Is Spiritual, Rev. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1943; Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1967), Chafer attempted to respond to Warfield in a lengthy footnote (op. cit., pp. 79-80, 1943 printing; pp. 67-68, 1967 printing; footnote 1), and credited the 1919 issue of PTR as the source for Warfield’s review (op. cit., pg. 79, 1943 printing; pg. 67, 1967 printing; footnote 1).

      See the following for further documentation in disagreement with Crenshaw’s:

      B. B. Warfield, “He That Is Spiritual, The Blue Banner, Vol. 11, Issue 3 (Jul/Sept 2002), pp. 2-5.

      Randall Gleason, “B. B. Warfield and Lewis S. Chafer on Sanctification”, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40:2 (JUN 1997), pp. 241-258.

      Jonathan R. Pratt, “Dispensational Sanctification: A Misnomer”, Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 7 (Fall 2002), pg. 101, note 30 (full article pp. 95-108).

      Kim Riddlebarger, “Fire and Water: A Princeton apologist still helps us see why Calvinism and Arminianism simply don’t mix”, Modern Reformation 1:3 (May/June, 1992), pg. 6, note 14 (full article pp. 8-10, 23).

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