(Editor’s note: For an explanation of the publishing of this large installment of Rev. Harbach’s department, see Editor’s Notes.)
When it is proclaimed in the Gospel that Christ Jesus died on the cross to save sinners, it is not the first logical step, on the basis of that premise, for me to lay it down that He died for me in particular. That would be to confuse the order of God’s salvation. The burden of the Gospel-is that God sent His Son into the world, and there He was manifested to take away the sins of His people. That is, He came into a world of woe to make a way of escape out of the midst of death for them that are lost. He died for ungodly ones, perfectly satisfying divine justice for the offence of all their sins. So He made atonement, and on that ground God can and does rightly justify the sinner through faith in His blood. That is the initial thrust of the Gospel, man’s involvement in sin, misery and death. When I hear that basic premise of the Gospel, I am bound to believe it, and then believing it, I am bound over to a life of obedience to the Gospel. Until I do that, believe and obey the Gospel, I am under no necessity to believe that Christ died for me in particular. When I have done and am doing that, it is then my right and privilege to enjoy the assurance that comes in that way.
Just so, it is my responsibility, as it is that of every man, to believe the doctrine of election upon hearing the preaching of the Gospel, for therein it is revealed. But my own personal election I cannot warrantably believe, nor may I believe it, except as God reveals its evidences in me. True faith is not a blind faith without evidence, and faith in and obedience to the Gospel are the twin evidences of election. Nor may a man doubt or deny his election, or assume that he is a reprobate, as long as he is not in a condition where it is impossible for the evidences of election to be produced-in him. As long as he does not obey the Gospel, there is no evidence that he is reprobate as long as it is possible for him to become obedient. Then, although election must be preached, where the Gospel is to be scripturally preached, it is not the immediate duty of men to concern themselves with whether they are elect. It is first required of them that they believe they “are all under sin,” that they are lost sinners. They must first know their misery. They must first be conversant with faith, obedience and righteousness of life, before they enter upon the matter of their personal election. On this important point, both Paul and Ursinus faithfully followed the teaching of our Lord.
We may certainly conclude that where Christ’s ministers faithfully and regularly hold forth the Word of life, there God’s elect will be found. (Acts 18:10; II Tim. 2:10). Because the Lord does have His elect scattered throughout His world-wide vineyard, He sustains His ministers by divine providence and directs them by His Word and Spirit. He prevents them from going to areas where, either there are no elect, or if there are, the time has not come for their calling and conversion (Acts 16:6). For these reasons the Lord does not allow His servants to enter certain areas (Acts 16:7). He has them pass on to areas and places of His choice (Acts 16:18). The Lord is an unhindered and indisputable sovereign in sending the Gospel to some and not to others. On Paul’s second missionary journey the Word was not sent to northern Asia Minor, Bithynia and Mysia, but, instead, it was taken to Macedonia, Thessaly and Greece.
The Lord so directs His ministers, His Word and the preaching of it that the elect come to hear, in due time, the Gospel of their salvation. Sometimes the Lord calls a minister, as He did Philip, from his beloved and busy pastorate in a thriving Samaria to go down into a desert region to take the Word of His grace to a good ground hearer. Sometimes He leads His servant out “where cross the crowded ways of life” in order to testify the Gospel of the grace of God to a rich young ruler who turns away from it at the moment, but who later repents and returns to the Lord (since he was beloved of his God, Mark 10:21; Neh. 13:26). Another time He leads His servant to the home of a member of the Italian Band (Acts 10) with the same word of truth. Or the Lord may lead His witnesses to a prison where the jailer, to say nothing of the inmates, may have little or no opportunity to hear the Gospel. In such places the Lord has His elect. (Acts 16:34; Philemon 10). The Lord had them in mind when He said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice” (John 10:16). They were chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), quickened by the power of His Spirit (John 6:63), made to hear His voice (John 10:27; John 5:25) through His servants (Rom. 10:14) and believe through grace (Acts 18:27).
Where the Lord does have a people, there He will send His servants to enlighten them and lead them in all the truth. For this reason, Christ’s ministers endure all things for the elect’s sake that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. The elect are to be found where the ministers of the Gospel labor and endure. Does the reader live in such a place? Then where two’s and three’s are gathered together in Christ’s name, there He is in the midst. Does the young “David” or “Timothy”? reading these lines feel something of the glory of the ministry, and perhaps a drawing of the Lord in the direction of that highest calling? These are, admittedly, the dark days of the many antichrists which lead to the Antichrist, but they are also days in which the Lord is still calling out a people for His name, and days, too, in which it is your duty to respond and yield to the heavenly calling of the Lord.
The Lord sends the preacher where according to His counsel and providence He has elect. He will then make His Word preached to them effective and the labors expended on them fruitful. Of the Thessalonian church Paul said, “Knowing, brethren, beloved, your election of God. For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance” (I Thess. 1:4, 5). Paul came to know the election of this church. He knew they were among God’s chosen people. This ought to answer, in part, the oft repeated question whether we shall know one another in heaven. If ministers know the election of the sheep in their flocks here in this life, surely they will know their sheep in heaven. Surely, there above we shall have not less knowledge, but more perfect knowledge, than we have here below. This implies, too, that if the ministers may know the election of their people, the people themselves may know it and rejoice in it. This knowledge did not come to Paul, nor does it come to the elect, by direct revelation from heaven. The Lord does not let down in a sheet a gilt-edged, Morrocco-bound copy of the Book of Life for our perusal. Nor does He reveal this knowledge by a vision in the sky, nor by the voice of angels, nor by an appearance of Christ himself before us. If anyone claims this, “believe it not!” But Paul came to this knowledge through the fruits of election being evident in the Thessalonian Christians. They were “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that (to the end that)” they “should be holy and without blame before Him.” Paul saw the marks of a holy life in them and traced such mercy-drops back to the great fountain of election.
“For our Gospel came . . . unto you.” The Gospel must come to men, in order to their eternal salvation. But what is the Gospel? Not everything boasted as “gospel” is Gospel. The pratings of a “Great Society” movement is not the Gospel. The “social gospel” of civil-rightism is not the Gospel. The memorandums of labor union leaders are not the Gospel. The creed revisions of the modernist churches are nothing of the Gospel. The bemusing philosophy of the Arminian evangelist is not the Gospel. The patter of those who talk almost exclusively about Jesus but almost never about God is not the Gospel. You have a clear presentation of the Gospel in the Heidelberg Catechism. Briefly it is there stated that the people of God belong to their faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, from all eternity, and are brought to Him by the way of sin and misery through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, unto a sanctified life of thanksgiving. Nor is the Gospel preached by everyone who claims to preach it. It is not preached by the modern men of the one-world church ecumenical movement. It is not preached .by the modem advocates of the so called “new morality,” nor is it involved in the dalliances of “sensitivity training.” It is not preached by the “clergy” of the Romanist church. It is not heard in the Jewish synagogue. It is not so much as in the thought of modem religious humanists and sociologists. But a man who really wants to know the truth need not fear being deceived by the myriad counterfeit gospels in the world today. For the Gospel is semper eadem. It never changes. Some Baptists have changed, and have departed from the Philadelphia Confession, or from whatever original Calvinistic confession they had, and so fall from the truth of predestination. They have departed from the teaching of their fathers, men like Gill, Booth, Spurgeon and Pink. Some Presbyterians have changed, so badly that they have made corrupt additions to the Westminster Confessions. Many of the Reformed churches have changed. They are now Reformed in name only. Attacks are made on the doctrines of predestination, election, reprobation, creation and infallible inspiration of Scripture. Everywhere there is heard the old Arminian language that God loves everybody, Christ died for all men, and made a “universal redemption.” Imagine, the latter is conceived as being without the foundation of universal salvation! A hopeless, comfortless, impossible figment! But the Gospel remains immutable. Take a look at its beautiful, powerful and utterly biblical expression as found in the Heidelberg Book of Comfort.
We must not only know what the Gospel is, but how it should be received, if we are to have any good from it. “For our Gospel came not unto you in word only.” That is all many hearers of the Gospel receive, the mere external word of it, not the power of it. It has, of itself, a natural appeal to the intellect and an attractive force of argument. This, by itself, is the mere letter, which, by itself, killeth. But that is all many know, experimentally, of the Gospel. They attend church, pray, sing praises, partake of the sacraments, pay tithes, etc., and believe that this should make them good enough for heaven: Where they believe there is a deficiency in their account, they call in the merits of Christ to make up the difference. They put new wine (Christ’s blood of atonement) into the old bottles of their self-righteousness. They attempt the sewing of new cloth (Christ’s righteousness) on the filthy rags of their dead works. The Gospel has penetrated their minds, but in word only.
“But our Gospel came . . . unto you . . . in power and in the Holy Spirit.” When it comes to us in power, its first effect is not that we “anon with joy receive it,” nor that we do many things, and hear it gladly (Mark 6:20), but rather that we believe the state of misery described in it is ours, namely, that we are enmity against God (Rom. 8:7), by nature the children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), under the curse of the law (Gal. 3:10) and were led captive by the devil at his will (II Tim. 2:26). When the Gospel comes to us in the power of the Holy Spirit, we have heard more than “a good sermon,” which we may or may not have enjoyed. We do not think how we liked it. We think, How do I like myself, miserable, offending sinner that I am? What does God think of me? How much of His Word is evident in my conduct by a righteous life? Then we have a zeal not only for the truth of election, but also for the fruits of election!
“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God: for our Gospel came . . . in much assurance” (I Thess. 1:4, 5), which means not only that it is possible for us to know our election, that we may and ought to know it, but also that we may be assured of it beyond a doubt. When the Gospel comes to a man in the power of the Spirit, he doubts not the Scripture’s veracity, infallibility, authenticity and authority. He becomes convinced that it, and the preached word, is “not the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God” (v. 13). For him, the clever arguments of atheists, modern scientists and sociologists are dispelled like milk-weed in the wind. He affirms, “by His Holy Spirit my Father in heavenassures me of eternal life.” He is as much assured of his election as he is of Christ’s absolute Godhead, His true humanity, His virgin birth, His atoning death, His office as prophet, priest and king, His covenant headship and His eternal reign. These things are settled in his mind once for all. His faith, positive and dogmatic, may amaze the self-complacent ignorant and amuse the supercilious intellectual. His Romish acquaintances may regard his faith with a mixture of envy and amused tolerance. They may even eye him with pity, for according to the avowed standard of Popery, all such “erring brethren” are actually cursed. Ever since the Council of Trent (1563, the year the Heidelberg Catechism, was first published), the Romish church has pronounced a curse upon Ursinus, his catechism, and the Protestant and Reformed churches, in its decrees, one of which reads, “If any one shall affirm that a regenerate and justified man is bound to believe that he is certainly in the number of the elect, let such an one be accursed.” Popery puts its puerile curses against plain Scripture. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect! It is God that justifieth! Who is he that condemneth!” Does not that Scripture make it as plain as possible that the justified man is certainly in the number of the elect? If a man cannot believe that he is among the elect, neither can he believe he is among the justified. The Apostle Paul thought that a justified man is bound to believe he is in the number of the elect. He taught, “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginningchosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (II Thess. 2:13). But since none of the curses of the Council of Trent have been lifted from the head of so much as one Protestant, let the Romanist cease his prattle about “dialogue” with the Protestant bodies. Let him know that according to his own Bible, the Gospel, which comes in power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, insists upon brethren beloved from eternity knowing their election of God. (I Thess. 1:4, 5). Let him, also know that with us it is a very small matter that we should be judged of Rome, or of man’s judgment (I Cor. 4:4). But if he know not anything else, let him know at least this much, that “if any man preach any other ‘gospel’ unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:9)!
The one who does the choosing puts honor and value on the chosen ones. To be appointed by the president to an office is an honor; or to be granted a position by the state places dignity on the appointee. It was a special commendation that “Titus . . . was also chosen of the churches” (II Cor. 8:19). Of higher honor is it that “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world . . . God hath chosen the weak things of the world” (I Cor. 1:27). The highest possible honor is expressed in, “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold, Mine Elect, My Beloved, whom I have chosen” (Isa. 42:1; Matt. 12:18). Christ is the first Elect. He is the “chief Cornerstone, elect, precious” (I Pet. 2:6), which shows that the honor and excellency of preciousness is upon Christ because He is elect. His members are referred to thus, “His elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen” (Mark 13:20). The most honored of the saints are so because of their election: “For David My servant’s sake, whom I chose” (I Kings 11:34); “Aaron whom He had chosen” (Ps. 150:26); Paul was a “chosen vessel unto Me” (Acts 9:15). “Ye are a chosen generation” (I Pet. 2:9), i.e., “an elect race” (ASV), for “I have chosen you” (John 15:16). We could never dwell in the house of the Lord for ever except that we had been chosen of God. “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts” (Ps. 65:4).
Peculiar honor is further evident in the relative fewness of the elect in any age. In the days of Noah, the elect were sheltered in “the ark . . . wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved” (I Pet. 3:19), but “the world of the ungodly” perished. The Lord in answer to the question, “Are there few that be saved?” (Luke 13:23), answered, “Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13). In contrast to the nationsof the world, thy Lord says, “Fear not, (very) little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:30, 32). It is true of God’s people generally that “Ye were the fewest of all people” (Deut. 7:7), and that was so because “many are called, but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16). This scarcity comes about not because the Lord is disappointed or defeated in His original purpose, but because it is the realization of His foreordination in eternity. “Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He.” “Whatsoever His soul desireth, even that He doeth.” “He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand.” The total number of the elect is “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues” (Rev. 7:9).
When the doctrine of election is scripturally and faithfully preached, it will be met with bitter protestations. It was always so in every age of the church. The natural man would rather not hear the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God, that He is the Potter, while he the clay to be formed a vessel of wrath or a vessel of mercy, as He ordains. This arouses his ire as nothing else will. When the preacher insists that man is so totally depraved in sin that he is spiritually dead, is prone to all evil and incapable of any good, and therefore can never come to salvation unless God has chosen and quickened him, that preacher is denounced in rage as a “wicked man.” Maintaining of this truth has brought forth opposition from local church, bearing the name Reformed, and from standing denominational committee. Certain Bible movements single out an attack on first one part of Scripture truth, then another, until very little of fundamental Bible truth is left. One movement agrees that the five points of Calvinism are a “one hoss shay.” Another contemptuously regards eternal punishment as unnecessary, and the final preservation a perseverance of the saints as offensive. Still another finds embarrassing to modern cultural tastes the doctrine of the trinity and the doctrine of fiat creation. Preach that men are by nature like the impotent man, fallen, foul, helpless in the dust; like the prodigal son, a bankrupt pauper owing ten thousand talents with nothing to pay; like Lazarus, dead and stinking in the grave of sin and spiritual death; like the dry bones in the valley, utterly dependent on the sovereign good pleasure of God for restoration and life—preach that, and vain man, ignorant of his real misery, cannot tolerate such self-denuding, pride-abasing doctrine.
From experience you soon learn that the usual method of attack against this truth is that of misrepresentation, not that of refutation. It is not taken up and answered, but held down and perverted. It is so hated that it cannot be mentioned nor appraised in such a way as to let the doctrine as found in the Reformed and Calvinistic confessions and in the Scripture speak for itself. Instead, election is presented as though God ordained the end without ordaining the means; as though election were not to the end that we should be holy; that it were not through sanctification, faith and unto obedience. It is made to teach that the elect may become as wicked as they please and still go to heaven, and the reprobate may have every regard for virtue and longing for heaven, but despite that can never make it to heaven. Often, denial of election takes the course of caricature of Scripture.
This is the “smear” tactic used against the doctrine of election. It is made to appear an evil monster, threatening to the “democratic spirit,” to the “brotherhood of man” and the “unity of mankind.” Satan reveals his power when he is able to stir up all kinds of animosity against this truth from every quarter of the wicked world. But he demonstrates his cunning when he is able to enlist the underground and underhanded activities of professing Christians within the church to carry on his subversions for him. But none of these things should move the lover of Reformed truth.All who accept a form of progressive creationism have to deal with the problem of evolution as it applies to man. Was there a man before Adam? Was Adam the Cro-Magnon man? When did the animal become man?
These problems arise upon a rejection of the simple faith presented in our Belgic Confession. There we read, “We believe that God created man out of the dust of the earth, and made and formed him after his own image and likeness, good, righteous, and holy, capable in all things to will, agreeable to the will of God.”
It may interest us and thereby reaffirm our faith in the creation of man, if we pause a few moments to consider how the progressive creationist deals with the pre-Adamite problem.
We will let Bernard Ramm be our spokesman. In our last article we referred to his book, The Christian View of Science and Scripture. We noticed that he is sympathetic to the evidence of evolution and allows it to influence his view of man’s origin. Concerning this he has more to say.
He writes concerning the origin of man on pages 315, ff.
We believe that modern science has demonstrated a great antiquity of man, relatively speaking. His antiquity of somewhere near 500,000 years is large compared to Ussher’s 4004 B.C., but recent compared to the 500 million years ago when life is abundantly detected in the rocks. Evangelicals will applaud the almost universal testimony of modem anthropology to the unity of the human race, but are apt to be very chary over an antiquity of about 500,000 years for man. The answer to man’s antiquity must hinge in large part on our presuppositions as to the origin of man.
Ramm continues by detailing these five presuppositions. They are as follows.
First, “We may assert that the geologists are completely wrong and that man was created a few thousand years before Christ.” He suggests that if this is our presupposition, then we will say that geologists and anthropologists are blinded by evolution and therefore not to be trusted. He, however, cannot take this position because, “We cannot write off all of modem geology and anthropology in defense of the origin of man about 4000 B.C.”
Secondly, “We may assert that there is a difference between fossil man and Biblical man.” We could say that fossil man was part of the original creation and that there was a long period of time between Gen. 1:1and Gen 1:2ff., (the gap theory). By the time God got around to creating man, the fossil man was ready to become man and God did a little improving upon him. If we reject the “Gap theory,” we might go in the direction of a pre-Apamite man and maintain that some of these men were alive upon the earth at the same time Adam was. Concerning this, Ramm states, “There are problems with this theory before it can be a good option. It seems too much like having our cake and eating it . . . We can have the antiquity of man, and the recency of Adam! But who is to tell where one leaves off and the other begins? Certainly, if pre-Adamism leads to the breakdown of the unity of the race we have theological problems with the imputation of sin through the fall of one man.”
Thirdly, “We may believe that the Biblical account is metaphorical and we must look to science for the actual data of man’s origin.” To this he adds an explanation, “We may accept the Genesis account as theologically true, but believe that this inspired truth is set forth in allegorical or figurative or metaphorical or symbolical or mythical literary structure.” He gives two examples of this approach, one of Emil Brun and the other of James Orr. His evaluation of this approach is, “Many Evangelical scholars would feel apprehensive over taking too many liberties with the interpretation of the text, but it must also be kept in mind that a crass, literalistic interpretation with its literal anthropomorphisms is also objectionable to good exegetical taste. There is nothing a priori in the exegesis of the passage which enables the literalist (at this point) to preempt the position of orthodoxy to themselves. The account is graphic and it is somewhat anthropomorphic and it is somewhat pictorial.”
Fourth, “We may take theistic evolution as the solution to our problem of the origin of man.” Such a view accepts the derivation of one species to another or accepts theistic evolution as the modus operandi of creation, or would accept evolution as long as it allows for the inclusion of some idea of creation. He states, “Those who admit the possibility of theistic evolution tack man’s origin on to their general belief in theistic evolution and believe that at a certain point a prehuman became a human, and that was Mr. Adam. The details of the creation of Eve would then be considered as a graphic or metaphorical or dramatic method of indicating the unity of male and female before God. Certainly if a scholar accepts the theory of theistic evolution for man’s origin he is no more bound to a literal account of Eve’s origin than he is of Adam’s.” Here too, he refers to James Orr as the representative of this view. He quotes Orr’s book,God’s Image in Man:
I have already made the admission that there is no necessary antagonism between theism and a doctrine of organic evolution as such. The species should have arisen by a method of derivation from some primeval germ (or germs) rather than by unrelated creations, is not only not inconceivable, but may even commend itself as a higher and more worthy conception of the divine working than the older hypothesis. Assume God—as many devout evolutionists do—to be immanent in the evolutionary process, and His intelligence and purpose to be expressed in it; then evolution so far from conflicting with theism may become a new and heightened form of the theistic argument.
Fifth, “Another possibility is to affirm that man is as old as anthropologists say he is.” This approach would simply say, all right, man is 500,000 years old, we accept that. We can harmonize this with the days of Genesis being long periods of time, and thereby animal gradually evolved into man during the “sixth day.” To this Ramm responds, “All these interpretations are accompanied by serious problems, and materialistic and naturalistic views about man have them as well. If there were prehumans or pre-Adamites we have no criteria as yet to identify them in any given find unless we arbitrarily assign a date to Biblical man.”
What does Ramm say in conclusion to all this? Listen.
We must await more information from science and exegesis before we can propound a pointed theory of the harmony of Genesis and anthropology. The most vexing part of the problem is the connection of
The evident recency of the date of
seems to involve us with the recency of man in
While awaiting a solution to the problem we can remind ourselves of certain features which we tend to overlook; for anatomy, anthropology, and physiology are not the sole sources of information about man.
What are these features we tend to overlook? They are: (1) Both geology and Scripture teach that man is the latest major form to appear on the earth. Even if we grant the anthropologist’s point that man has been on the earth 500,000 years, it still is recent compared to the 3 billion years of geologic history. (2) Anthropology and Scripture agree that man is the highest form of life, call it image of God or man possessing the largest brain in ratio to the weight of the body. (3) Both assert that man has much in common with animals. The Bible says that the earth brought forth the animals, and God made man from the dust. Science says that man’s body is the continuation of the animals. (4) There is a divine element detectable in human nature now, which indicates a divine origin of man in the past. Psychology and philosophy bear proof of this.
His final point is as follows:
Perhaps our problem is interpretative. Maybe our trouble is that we are trying to apply modern methods of historiography to a method of divine revelation which will not yield to5uch a treatment. It might be that in some clay tablet yet to be unearthed—and Chiera said 90 percent are still buried!—will come a new clue to the interpretation of these early chapters. Until we get further light from science or archaeology we must suspend judgment as to any final theory of the harmonization of Genesis and anthropology, realizing that if we are pledged to period geology we perhaps shall have to be pledged to period anthropology.
By way of a brief criticism of the above, we offer the following:
1. Unbelieving science is readily accepted as the interpreter of natural revelation. This we reject, for such science prostitutes that revelation rather than understands it. Rom 1:20-24. Only the believer thoroughly imbued with the love of God and the wisdom of the Word of God is qualified to address himself to the givens of natural revelation. He alone is spiritually prepared to deal properly with it. Such a scientist has nothing in common with the unbeliever, much less will he be impressed with the unbeliever’s conclusions on origins. The blind must not be leaders of the blind or they both fall into the pit. Matt. 15:14.
2. If the “evidence” of natural science will control our exegesis of Scripture, the result is a complete sell-out of divine revelation to human speculation. Follow the line of reasoning. (1) Evolution is compatible with creation (the basic assumption we believe to be a serious error, theistic evolution or progressive creation are self-contradictory terms). (2) Evolution is a process so creation is a process. (3) The process applies to the whole of creation, man is part of that creation. (4) Evolution claims man’s origin began at least 500,000 B.C., this is too early for Adam’s presence in history if we take Genesis 3 and Genesis 4 seriously, so there must have been pre-Adamite creatures. So Ramm is willing to sell his spiritual birthright of the beautiful doctrine of creation of man for a mess of scientific pottage when he says, “we perhaps shall have to be pledged to period anthropology.”
3. This is a tragic example of man ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, II Tim. 3:7. After having given different propositions to consider, having documented these possibilities with learned quotations from authorities in the field, what do we get? This, “It might be that in some clay tablet yet to be unearthed—and Chiera said 90 percent are still buried!—will come a new clue to the interpretation of these early chapters.” Of all things, learned men still need more tablets to be able to understand the Scriptures.
God give us child-like faith to believe what our fathers expressed so beautifully in the Belgic Confession, “We believe that God created man out of the dust of the earth, and made and formed him after his own image and likeness, good, righteous, and holy, capable in all things to will, agreeable to the will of God.”
Such faith is a gift of God.