Vol.XIII No.V Pg.6
July 1976

Did God Act And Speak?

Robert F. Turner

Few if any of our readers will ever read G. Ernest Wrights God Who Acts — and I do not recommend this book. But its theme is interesting. The writer deplores the concept of the Bible as a text for systematic theology; or for spiritual values. He says the latter makes Christianity little more than competition for pagan religions. He says Biblical theology is first and foremost a theology of recital — and seems to want to say that the Bible is a history of Gods activity — that it records what really happened. (Amazing, isnt it?)

But he doesnt say that at all. By such revolutionary ideas one must acknowledge 0. T. miracles and the resurrected Nazarene; so Dr. Wright says the Bible simply records the peoples explanation of great periods of their history (as, the escape from Egypt) in terms of acts of God — and their theology became a recital of these happenings and explanations.

At the center of Israelite faith lay the great proclamation that the God of the fathers had heard the cry of a weak, oppressed people in Egypt. ...As slaves for whom the justice of the world made no provision, they were delivered by a most extraordinary exhibition of Divine grace. This was a sign, a wonder, not to be explained by fortune or irrational chance, but solely by the assumption (my emph., rt) of a personal Power greater than all the powers of this world... Israels doctrine of God, therefore, was not derived from systematic or speculative thought, but rather in the first instance from the attempt to explain the events which led to the establishment of the nation. (P. 44) Dr. Wright puts the faith of the early church on exactly the same basis. Christs coming was a historical event which was (by their assumption, remember; rt) the climax of Gods working since creation. The gospels are confessional recitals of historical events and traditions together with inferences (emph. mine, rt) derived from the events and seen as an integral part of them (Pp. 56, 68.) The Bible thus is not primarily the Word of God, but the record of the (so-called, rt) Acts of God, together with the human response thereto. (P. 107, my emph.) (My injections are in lieu of more lengthy quotes; rt.)

My purpose in reprinting such modernistic rubbish is to awaken you to a type of atheism that long ago invaded denominationalism and is filtering through to our intellectuals. To them, faith is make believe, suited to worship or solving emotional problems or religious yearnings, but does not demand actual acceptance of verbal inspiration of the Bible. Dr. Wright is apparently backing away from 19th. century modernism and considers himself a conservative Presbyterian, but true Bible believers need no sop from his kind.

My generation may die without being much affected by such matters. But what college Ph.D.s teach today, our grandchildren learn tomorrow; as they grow up in a climate of total unbelief or rationalistic explanations for Bible faith. We must recognize and give thought to these problems.