Under the impact of the Enlightenment, Professor E. W. Hengstenberg of Bonn became a decided rationalist; in fact, he formulated the principles of rationalism for his university. He was a brilliant scholar and had calls to chairs in several institutions, and in time he left Bonn for a post in Berlin.

But God touched his heart in a Moravian service, and through a simple study of the Bible he became a firm believer in the Gospel. Accordingly, in his first lecture as professor of Oriental languages at Berlin he declared: “It matters not whether we make a god out of stone, or out of our own understanding, it is still a false god; there is but one living God, the God of the Bible.” Years later, at the end of a fruitful life, Hengstenberg’s last audible words were, “That is the nothingness of rationalism: the fundamental thing is Christ.…”

The Source Of The Doctrine Of Inspiration

In tracing the doctrine of inspiration, we go first to teachers whom we know are trustworthy.

Jesus and His Apostles. When our Lord was living visibly among men, he took his seat humbly at the feet of the Old Testament Scriptures. He assured us that not one jot or one tittle of the law will pass until all be fulfilled. He answered every thrust of the Tempter with, “It is written.…” He told the Sadducees that they erred because they knew not the Scriptures or the power of God. He rebuked the disciples for being foolish and slow to believe all that the Old Testament writers had said of the Messiah—that he must suffer and enter into his resurrection glory, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations. He bade men search the Scriptures, for they testified of him. Jesus and his apostles do not hesitate to use the words ...

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