Scholarolatry: Part 3

In the first two posts of this series we looked at how God’s wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of man and how His servants are empowered by His Holy Spirit for service.  In this post I would like to look at the characteristics of those who follow the wisdom of man rather than the revelation of God.  During the earthly ministry of Jesus, the attitudes of those who love the praise of man and follow the traditions of men were clearly revealed in the confrontations between Jesus Christ and these religious elites.  The origin of this contention wasn’t solely from the heart of unregenerate sinners, but ultimately from the enemy of our souls.  First we see that these men enamored with the wisdom of man put tradition ahead of God’s commandments, as if their wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of God.

Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,  (2)  Why do Thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.  (3)  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?  (4)  For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death.  (5)  But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou might be profited by me;  (6)  And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.  (7)  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  (8)  This people draws nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.  (9)  But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:1-9 

Men and women promoting unregenerate scholarship reason they know better than Almighty God and so put their doctrine and practice ahead of the truth of God’s glorious Word.  We see this occurring in so many different arenas of study, from origins to textual criticism, this esteem of man’s wisdom and scholarship has infected the church with much false teaching and damnable heresy, leading to perfidious apostasy.  It is astounding that men greatly esteemed in the church have put their confidence in human scholarship rather than the Holy Word of God.  This deadly esteem led godly men to give way to Satan’s lies with the result that these lies have infected the church and led to many turning from the truth and weakening the witness of the church in this world.  It is this esteem of man’s wisdom that keeps many from unreservedly exhibiting confidence in God’s Holy Word.  This lack of confidence has crippled the church’s witness to the world and destroyed the preserving power of God’s truth.

I receive not honor from men.  (42)  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.  (43)  I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.  (44)  How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only?  (45)  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.  (46)  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.  (47)  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?  John 5:41-47 

And so we see the digression that led to the acceptance of textual criticism, it first started with unbelief in God’s Word, specifically the writings of Moses.  Genesis gives the record of the Creation of the world and every living creature, yet godly men collapsed before the supposed scholarship of their day and accepted the lies that Satan sent from the pit of hell.  These men were more concerned for their own honor with these esteemed scholars, than the honor that comes from the Only Living God.  The names of the men who caved before evolution will shock many of you, they shocked me.  These men who helped to pave the way for the advent of textual criticism into the mainstream of the church did so by giving way to Darwinian evolution, men like Pink, Spurgeon, Hodges, Warfield, Schofield, Machen, Schafer, and Barnhouse.  It is indeed sad to recount these names of godly men who didn’t stand faithful and true to the revelation of God’s Holy Word given in the Book of Genesis.  Our stand upon the testimony of the Holy Scriptures is indeed a work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds.  We must always place our confidence in God’s Word and never be beguiled by the supposed scholarship of fallen men.

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou art judged.  Romans 3:4

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me.  (43)  Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word.  (44)  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  (45)  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not.  (46)  Which of you convinces Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?  (47)  He that is of God hears God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. John 8:42-47 

Loving Jesus Christ means we love His Word and believe it.  Jesus Christ makes it very clear that belief in Him, loving Him, means that we can hear His Word.  If we do not love Him then we will not hear His Word.  This is the case with the textual critics, who put their scholarship above the Holy Word of God.  The do not love the Lord Jesus Christ and so reject His Holy Word.  They are of their father the devil and they do the works of the devil.  Their work is apostate because they are unregenerate, never having repented of their sin and putting their faith in Jesus Christ.  It is a tragedy of epic proportions that men of considerable influence within the Christian church not only accepted the textual criticism of Westcott and Hort, but promoted it.  Men like B. B. Warfield and A. T. Robinson were culpable for the spread of this false teaching within the visible church because they esteemed the scholarship.  They gave way to these false teachers rather than standing faithful to the Word of God.  Their legacy is a church that is in disarray, following myriads of false teachers because their confidence in the Word of God has been undermined by “Christian” scholarship that asserts the Scriptures to be the infallible, inspired, inerrant Word of God in the original manuscripts, and oh, by the way, we do not have extant the original manuscripts.  They are in effect saying we do not have God’s Word available to the church today, some even go so far as to say that we may never know for sure the Word of God.  They gainsay what God has clearly declared in His Holy Word.

He is the LORD our God: His judgments are in all the earth.  (8)  He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.  (9)  Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; (10) And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Psalm 105:7-10 

Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.  (90)  Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abides. Psalm 119:89-90 

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endures forever.  Psalm 119:160 

Beloved, our responsibility is to Christ Jesus and Him alone.  If we know and love Him, then we will know, love and obey His Holy Word.  This proves our love for Him.  My great concern is what sort of testimony did the so-called great men of the modern church leave regarding their estimation of God’s Word.  Sadly, they were caught in the snare and trap of scholarolatry.  May we listen to our God, esteem Him and believe His Holy Word.  Amen!

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.  (24)  He that loves Me not keeps not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.  (25)  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  (26)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  John 14:23-26 

Lord Jesus Christ, we love You and desire to obey You by believing what You have taught us in Your Holy Word the Bible.  Thank You for giving us Your glorious Word and preserving it for us for Your praise and glory and the strengthening of our faith.  Amen!

These supporting links give the references regarding the men within the church who caved to the false teachings of evolution and textual criticism.

As pointed out to me by my sister Maria, the article which reveals that leading 19th and 20th century evangelicals believed in evolution, does not have citations, below are articles with give citation for their beliefs. My apologies for not checking into the documentation for the men that were listed by Dr. Elliott.  It appears he was wrong about Chafer.  I purposefully linked to articles that are either original (Pink) or that support the doctrine of Creation set forth in Genesis.

This link documents what Spurgeon, Hodge, Scofield and Chalmers believed about the record in Genesis and its relevance to long geological epochs.

Next is the link to document Pink’s view of Creation, note well the opening paragraph.

This following article documents fundamentalists who believed in theistic evolution including B. B. Warfield

Link illustrating Mechan’s belief in an old earth:

Donald Grey Barnhouse championed the age gap theory of Chalmers as can be seen in his book The Invisible War.

I could not find any documentation that links Lewis Sperry Chafer with any belief in evolution.  It appears that he determinedly denounced it!  Here are links to good articles about the various compromises evangelical leaders have embraced and their insufficiency in regards to reconciling the biblical account of Creation with evolution.  It cannot be done.


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29 Responses to Scholarolatry: Part 3

  1. Eliza, much of this is very fine, and Dr. Elliott’s articles are instructive, however the accusations against most of these respected men are unsupported either in your post or Dr. Elliott’s article where they are mentioned. There needs to be support from original sources, either using hyperlinks or footnotes. It’s unjust to make these assertions without evidence, otherwise we are bearing false witness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Hi Maria,
      I will provide supporting links. Blessings to you. Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Links are now provided. Thank you for the heads up. Blessings to you sister. Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay – thank you, Eliza! I will study…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza, this is an example of the kind of documentation I was looking for. Thank you!

        “The Baptist “prince of preachers” Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892) uncritically accepted the old-earth geological theory (though he never explained how to fit the long ages into the Bible). In an 1855 sermon he said:

        Can any man tell me when the beginning was? Years ago we thought the beginning of this world was when Adam came upon it; but we have discovered that thousands of years before that God was preparing chaotic matter to make it a fit abode for man, putting races of creatures upon it, who might die and leave behind the marks of his handiwork and marvelous skill, before he tried his hand on man.2

        2. C.H. Spurgeon, “Election,” The New Park Street Pulpit 1 (1990): 318.”

        This confirms that Spurgeon entertained the theory of an old earth and a kind of trial run for creation.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Wheeler says:

    This men did not “cave in to Darwinian evolution.” What they may have challenged, for good reason, is young earth creationism. Read Gen. 2:2 and reread it until you understand its implications.


    • Bob Wheeler says:

      Sorry about that — the correct reference should be Gen. 1:2, which clearly indicates that the earth was already in existence before the 6 days of creation began. Scofield and his fellow editors said that verse 1 “refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages.” Warfield did seem to leave room for some form of theistic evolution, said that the age of the earth was theologically irrelevant, showed that the genealogies cannot be used to date creation with any precision, and pointed out that the scientific date for the beginning of the human race cannot be more than 10,000 or 20,000 years ago. He most definitely was NOT a follower of Darwin. (“On the Antiquity and Unity of the Human Race,” Works, Vol. IX, pp. 235-258).


  3. gracealone1 says:

    Having read Dr. Elliott’s thoughts on the “Darwinian compromisers” I find it to be at the least disingenuous of him to say this since Pink, Spurgeon, and perhaps some of the others who were only asking legitimate questions about Gen.1:1 & 2 to be a “compromiser” to the facts of creation. He (Elliott) has had ample time to respond to my questions concerning this, but has yet to give an explanation as to his reasoning and motivation. I’ve read Pink’s thoughts on Genesis and find NOTHING even remotely “Darwinian” about them. Spurgeon simply posed a question and by asking a question Elliott makes him out to be a ‘compromiser’ or worse. Elliott is wrong to do so. It boils down to believing the Word of God through Moses in Genesis or not (John 5:46 & 47). Perhaps Elliott is more interested in venerating himself as infallible rather than the Word of God since he has attacked ‘old dead guys’ who cannot speak to his unfounded accusations.


  4. Eliza says:

    The premise of this post is that godly men within the evangelical church have caved to the educated opinions of unredeemed men. Whether they embrace evolution outright or allowed Darwin’s false teaching to influence their understanding of Creation from the Scriptures, the point is, they listened to a man who was not a believer, and had proposed his theory when so little was known about genetics, the fossil record, biochemistry, physiology, and cell structure.
    The same has been done with God’s Word as a whole. Unregenerate men proffered their false teaching about the Bible,but this time the evangelical church as a whole, has allowed their false teaching to be central in their doctrine on the Bible.
    Both of these false teachings have been accepted at large by the visible church with epically disastrous results.

    Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:13-20

    But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (13) I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; (14) That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (15) Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. 1Timothy 6:11-16

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob Wheeler says:

      But the men you attacked were not following Darwin — they were looking at the geological evidence for an old earth, as put forward by Georges Cuvier,who believed in the special creation of each species and multiple geological catastrophes. He may also have been a believer — he was a French Protestant (a Lutheran, to be exact). His work on geology was published between 1812 and 1825. The “Gap Theory” was originally propounded by the distinguished Scottish theologian, Thomas Chalmers. Cuvier and Chalmers did their work before Darwin.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. gracealone1 says:

    I understand and appreciate the premise of this post and all the others concerning the Word. I am only acquainted with Pink and Spurgeon, the others on Elliot’s list are unknown to me. Having read Pink’s ‘paper’ on Genesis and finding nothing in it even remotely “Darwinian” it puzzled me why Elliot would make such an unfounded claim. He still has not responded to my email sent to him last Sunday which is rude and begs the question why? Spurgeon’s words were of similar vein, asking a question to which there is no straightforward Biblical answer. So it boils down to the “Gap Theory” or the amount of time between Gen. 1:1 & 1:2. I am not aware that Darwin ever entered this discussion and could care less about his thoughts if he did. There is nothing in Scripture anywhere to indicate how much time expired between these two verses; one second or 50,000,000,000 years or whatever. For Elliot to label any of those mentioned as “Darwinian” because they asked the question is simply a false accusation, even if Darwin spoke of it. Would you think ill of me if I were to ask how much time expired between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve? Or to ask how much time expired between the creation of Eve and the Fall? Since we are given neither of these answers (nor do we need to know) why eviscerate a man for asking the question?

    My beef is with Elliot and not with you, Eliza. If you really believe that Pink and Spurgeon are of the Darwinian bent, then say so and my beef will be with you also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brethren, I’m reading Pink’s chapter on Genesis 1. Some observations are:
    His view of all of Scripture is high.
    His love of it is evident.
    His acceptance of Chalmers’ gap theory is clear.
    I’m now starting on the passage in which he claims that the ruin of an earlier creation and its restoration by the Lord is a type or picture of the ruin of a literal Adam and Eve at the fall and our redemption in Jesus Christ.
    Pink is a brother who erred – though we really can’t know this for sure – and if he did on the subject of an indefinite gap in time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, his influence was wrong here, but he cannot be called heretical but merely wrong about this issue. He didn’t cave, as Darrel noted, but believed Chalmers’ explanation.
    Thank you for an excellent discussion!
    Eliza, you are still bringing forward essential information, things we MUST know. We must accept the fact that anyone can err – no matter how ardent their zeal and love for God’s Word, even Spurgeon and Pink – and we must speak only the truth and not go beyond it and be Berean in checking what godly men have written and said.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If only I could take my words back: with the Lord there is forgiveness but WordPress has no function that I can find which will allow me to edit my previous comment, which waffled on the unBiblical gap theory. Forgive me – especially Eliza for you are doing something that must be done. God’s Word is at stake and the education of our children is too.

    After finishing reading Pink’s chapter on Genesis 1, my impressions are the same about his high view of Scripture. However I now can see how heavily he was influenced by Chalmers and by his own age in which believers “caved” to an old earth view. They read their preferences into the Word of God, and this allowed them to infer, from the language of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, a gap of indefinite time into which scientists could place whatever they would and believers could too as long as they maintained a high view of Scripture on agreed upon fundamentals.

    Reading Pink’s eloquent chapter I became irritated because he had no foundation for his inference about the long age supposedly “hinted at” between the two verses and went on to throw Biblical weight behind it by claiming that the ruin of the “first creation” and its restoration was a portrait of the fall and redemption of man. That is a big gun rhetorically but without foundation. May the Lord help us all to rightly divide His Word and to be kind and wise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob Wheeler says:

      The Gap Theory is not “unbiblical” — it is a close look at what the Bible actually says. And Chalmers did not “read his preferences” into the Word of God. He simply was simply trying to be honest and realistic with the physical evidence that is actually there.
      God is the author of both Scripture and nature, If both are interpreted correctly, they do not contradict each other.
      The Catholic Church once condemned Galileo for holding to Copernicus’ heliocentric view of the solar system, on the grounds that the Bible states that the earth does not move. Have we started a new Inquisition?


      • Bob, I’m simply trying to be as Biblical as possible. We can err ourselves in following men, even godly ones, when they’re mistaken.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bob, I found this quote in the article Eliza linked to above and thought it worth repeating.

        Dr. Terry Mortenson, A Response to a Gospel Coalition Blog on the Age of the Earth, April 22, 2015

        “But sound doctrinal conclusions are not determined by quoting human authorities, because we can find godly Christian scholars on different sides of a whole host of doctrinal issues. And so we can never escape the emotionally uncomfortable conclusion that some very godly, inerrantist, Christian scholars are wrong on some issues, including the age of the creation.14 If we are going to consider all of church history, not just the past two centuries since the millions of years idea has developed, then the young-earth view is clearly the orthodox view.15

        “Let me hasten to add that all of us, myself and all other young-earth creationists included, can be and surely are sometimes influenced in our interpretation of one or more Bible passages by ideas coming from outside the Bible. We all need to be careful about that and need to listen to our Christian brethren when they challenge our thinking and then we need to allow that challenge to drive us back to the Scriptures and let the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob Wheeler says:

          But no one is “following men.” It is a matter of correctly interpreting Scripture and the geological record. The opinions of men are completely irrelevant.


          • Bob, years ago I learned about the gap theory in a Moody Bible Institute correspondence course. Other than that I’ve read only a few things over the years about these controversies. It seems clear though that Pink did learn from Chalmers because he references his treatment of Genesis 1:1 in his own chapter on Genesis 1.

            My view is that we shouldn’t speak where Scripture is silent and to posit a lost age between the first two verses of Genesis is doing this. What do you believe?

            Liked by 2 people

  8. Bob Wheeler says:

    I think that Cuvier and Chalmers were basically on the right track. We still have to live in the physical world and do things (like drive a car) that the Bible doesn’t talk about. I live here in the Marcellus Shale region in northern Pennsylvania, and Shell Oil Co. is very much interested in whether or not there is a natural gas deposit 5,000 feet below the surface of the earth. (There is — there are two gas wells a little more than a mile from my house.) So this naturally raises the question, how did the gas get there? And while I would hesitate to assign a specific date, it is apparent that there are successive layers of sedimentary rock that were deposited over a very long period of time. However it is also apparent that down through history there have been multiple geological catastrophes, and so Uniformitariansim is just plain wrong. Thus I think that Cuvier and Chalmers were basically correct. (Cuvier was a scientist; Chalmers a theologian.)


  9. Eliza says:

    Yes, when it comes to the age of the earth, I am at odds with Pink and Spurgeon, because they both caved to the prevailing philosophy of the day, rather than trust God’s Word, much as we see today. What Culvier taught was a philosophical view of the earth, not hard science. He wasn’t there at Creation, and he had to assume vast epochs of time. Since what he put forth cannot be disproved it is not a theory. Since what he put forth regarding vast amounts of time is not truly observable, his theory did not originate within the framework of scientific investigation, but is the result of his own vain speculation. God says the following about man’s philosophies:

    Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

    This is what God says in His Word about the earth:

    He who builds His layers in the sky, And has founded His strata in the earth; Who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth-the Lord is His name. Amos 9:6

    God building His layers in the sky refers to weather phenomena, but the Lord God founded His strata in the earth, a one time event that doesn’t need long ages.

    That God is still actively involved in Creation is given by these two passages of Holy Scripture:

    13 For behold, He who forms the mountains, And creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is, And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth–The Lord God of hosts is His name. Amos 4:13

    24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions–25 This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. 26 There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there. 27 These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. 28 What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. Psalm 104:24-30

    God is active in Creation at all times, from the beginning to the end and there is not need for great amounts of time to account for what we see revealed in the rock. As He states in Isaiah 45:

    12 I have made the earth, and created man on it. I–My hand–stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded….18 For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited; “I am the Lord and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:12 & 18

    This is a one time event. Dear brothers and sisters, we must never fall prey to the prevailing philosophies of our day, we must always let Scripture reveal Scripture. Again, the purpose of this post, which have been amply demonstrated, is that even the most esteemed members of the church can give way to the learned opinions of men, and make up things to make it appear that the Scriptures agree with the teaching of the day. But it doesn’t. God’s Word is clear, Creation was a one time event, and our God continues to interact with His Creation. May we always humbly bow our knees to the truth of the Word of God and not allow ourselves to be caught up in the prevailing philosophies of our day. Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob Wheeler says:

      I think that there are two problems with your theory: 1) You’re ignoring the physical evidence, and 2) you’re reading something into the text that isn’t there. Gen. 1:2 does not state how long that state of affairs continued. Simply blaming people for “caving in” to prevailing theories does them a great disservice. You’re assuming that they were incapable of looking at the evidence and forming their own conclusions, and were simply blindly following others. I think that in most cases you’re wrong on both accounts.


  10. Equipping The Saints says:

    Many blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: United flesh and knowingly actions – Immanuel Verbondskind – עמנואל קאָווענאַנט קינד

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