Novel Schemes of Exegesis

Sometimes a novel scheme of exegesis is simply wicked eisegesis driven by a cowardly credulity; a rejection of the God-breathed and authoritative Word of God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

R.L. Dabney writes about some things pertaining to geology (from his lectures on Systematic Theology).

“There must always be a legitimate reason for Church teachers adverting to this subject; because geology, as often asserted, is virtually a theory of cosmogony, and cosmogony is but the doctrine of creation, which is one of the modes by which God reveals Himself to man, and one of the prime articles of every revealed theology. Were not all the ancient cosmogonies but natural theologies? Not a few modern geologists resent the animadversions of theologians, as of an incompetent class, impertinent and ignorant. Now I very freely grant that it is a very naughty thing for a parson, or a geologist, to profess to know what he does not know. But all logic is but logic; and after the experts in a special science have explained their premises in their chosen way, it is simply absurd to forbid any other class of educated men to understand and judge their deductions. What else was the object of their publications? Or, do they intend to practice that simple dogmatism, which in us religious teachers, they would so spurn? Surely when geologists currently teach their systems to boys in colleges, it is too late for them to refuse the inspection of an educated class of men!”

All logic is but logic and if the “experts in a special science” do commit a non sequitur, it doth remain a non sequitur though pointed out by a neophyte.

“Let me urge upon you a wiser attitude and temper towards the new science than many have shown among the ministry. Some have shown a jealousy and uneasiness, unworthy of the stable dignity of the cause of inspiration. These apparent difficulties of geology are just such as science has often paraded against the Bible; but God’s word has stood firm, and every true advance of science has only redounded to its honor. Christians, therefore, can afford to bear these seeming assaults with exceeding coolness.”

Sure. No need to cower or be shrill. What are the chaff of tentative “discoveries” to the solid and timeless wheat of holy Scripture (cf. Jeremiah 23:28)?

“Other pretended theologians have been seen advancing, and then as easily retracting, novel schemes of exegesis to suit new geologic hypotheses. The Bible has often had cause here to cry, ‘Save me from my friends.'”

PRETENDED friends, of course. Enemies are these cowardly credulous theologians.

“Scarcely has the theologian announced himself as sure of his discovery that this is the correct way to adjust Revelation to the prevalent hypotheses of the geologists, when these mutable gentlemen change their hypothesis. The obsequious divine exclaims: 

‘well, I was in error then; but now I have certainly the right exposition to reconcile Moses to the geologists.’

And again the fickle science changes its ground. What can be more degrading to the authority of Revelation! As remarked in a previous lecture, unless the Bible has its own ascertainable and certain law of exposition, it cannot be a rule of faith; our religion is but rationalism.”

A couple of obsequious men twisting the Bible to their own destruction in order to fit alleged “facts.”

 “I am induced here to throw out a hint which may be of service to some of my young readers, viz.: Geology has determined that death existed among animals before the fall of man. How, then, is the scripture statement that death is the consequence of sin to be reconciled with the fact? If the death threatened on the disobedience of man be regarded, not as the cessation of life, but as the state of separation from God, the difficulty vanishes. Corporeal death was but an emblem of the death threatened upon man, and thus science and Scripture may be harmonized” (William Parks, Sermons on The Five Points of Calvinism, p. 14).


“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 marvellous skill, before he tried his hand at man” (C.H. Spurgeon, from “Election” (1855), New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, p. 318).

Charles Spurgeon believed that there was death BEFORE sin. Charles Spurgeon was in the same company as his other Calvinist brothers in Satan (such as Chalmers, Charles Hodge, A.A. Hodge, and B.B. Warfield) who said that God did not create the heavens and the earth in six days and who denied that death came into the world through Adam’s sin. He and his brothers in Satan believed that the evolutionists and “progressive creationists” were the ones who truly “discovered” the truth about creation. This is just more evidence of the unregenerate state of the most popular preacher in history, Charles Spurgeon.


“I repeat, if any part of the Bible must wait to have its real meaning imposed upon it by another, and a human science, that part is at least meaningless and worthless to our souls. It must expound itself independently; making other sciences ancillary, and not dominant over it” (R.L. Dabney, Systematic Theology).

Of course.

“All Scripture [is] God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be perfected, being fully furnished for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Word of God is the standard for reproving, correcting, instructing, and informing our understanding of various things that are alleged to be settled discoveries. The science is settled. Well, until it isn’t settled. Okay then. How about it is settled for now?

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. [Is] not My word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:28-29)