Hodge - reading: 12/27/2006

On Rationalism
(For a current article on rationalism see the "virgin birth" post today!)

Rationalism assumes that the human intelligence is the measure of all truth. This is an insane presumption on the part of such a creature as man. If a child believes with implicit confidence what it cannot understand, on the testimony of a parent, surely man may believe what he cannot understand, on the testimony of God. (v 1 p. 41)

Men are prone to pronounce everything impossible which contradicts their settled convictions, their preconceptions or prejudices, or which is repugnant to their feelings (v 1 p. 51)

On the Scriptures:

the Bible ... teaches that a man must become a fool in order to be wise; he must renounce dependence upon his own reason or wisdom, in order to receive the wisdom of God. (v 1 p. 48)

The several books of which the Scriptures are composed were written by some fifty different authors living in the course of fifteen hundred years and yet they are found to be an organic whole, the product of one mind. They are as clearly a development as the oak from the acorn. The gospels and epistles are but the expansion, fulfilment, the culmination of the protevangelium, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpents head," as uttered to our first parents (Gen. iii. 15). All that intervenes is to the New Testament what the roots, stem, branches, and foliage of the tree are to the fruit. No one book of Scripture can be understood by itself, any more than any one part of a tree or member of the body can be understood without reference to the whole of which it is a part. Those who from want of attention do not perceive this organic relation of the different parts of the Bible, cannot appreciate the argument thence derived in favor of its divine origin. They who do perceive it, cannot resist it. (v 1 p 38)

For me, I know that I finite and a sinner. It seems presumptuous for a finite sinner to think that he can comprehend (rationalism) God without Divine revelation. The basic questions of life cannot be answered without revelation: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? What will be my eternal destiny? How must I be saved?

On "the Leading of the Spirit":

Evangelical Christians admit that the children of God are led by the Spirit of God; that their convictions as to truth and duty, their inward character and outward conduct, are moulded by his influence. They are children unable to guide themselves, who are led by an ever-present Father of infinite wisdom and love. This guidance is partly providential, ordering their external circumstances; partly through the Word, which is a lamp to their feet; and partly by the inward influence of the Spirit on the mind. This last, however, is also through the Word, making it intelligible and effectual; bringing it suitably to remembrance. (1, 68)

Thoughts on Hodge: It is not easy reading. I have off this week and so it is relatively easy to read him (I have the time and my mind is fresh in the morning). When work commences next year, I may not be able to keep up the pace (frankly the old brain is a little tired by the time I get home from work!)

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