Smith – Major Bible Doctrines

Sam A. Smith

Existence of God, Attributes of God, Bible, Person and Work of Christ, Man, Salvation, Creation, Angels, Church, Future

Table of Contents

Preface 17

The Nature and Possibility of Theology 23
The possibility of knowing 23
It is important to know what you believe 24

The Existence of God 31
Reasons people give for believing in God 31
Arguments offered by atheists 31
The problem of evil 32
There is a natural explanation for every phenomenon “God” is a meaningless word 34
The failure of positive arguments for the existence of God 34
The failure of religion 34
The problem of the universal negative 36
Arguments theists have used in attempting to prove God’s existence 38
The cosmological argument 38
The teleological argument 40
The anthropological argument 41
The moral argument 41
The ontological argument 42
Summary of theism and atheism 42

Conceptions of God 45
Judaic and Christian theism 45
Non-Christian conceptions of God 45

The Attributes of God 51
The non-moral attributes 51
God exists 51
God is holy (metaphysically) 51
God is spirit 52
God is eternal 52
God is immutable 53
God is infinite in knowledge and wisdom 53
God is infinite in his power 54
God is personal 55
God is purposive 57
God is a trinity 57
The moral attributes 61
God is morally holy 61
Goodness 63
Righteousness 63
Truth 64
Justice 64
The will of God 65

The Bible Among Books 73
The Bible is a unique book 73
The Bible’s message is unique 76
How do we know the Bible’s claims are true? 78
The Bible is a self-authenticating message 80

How We Got Our Bible 83
Revelation 83
Inspiration 85
Logical support for verbal-plenary inspiration
Biblical support for the inspiration of the
Old Testament 86
Biblical support for the inspiration of the New Testament 88
Incorrect views of inspiration 89
Are copies of the original manuscripts inspired? Canonicity 90
The Old Testament canon 92
The New Testament canon 93
Transmission 94
Textual criticism 95
The reliability of the present-day Hebrew and Greek texts 96
Observations on the present-day Hebrew text 96
Observations on the present-day Greek text 97
Translation 101
Illumination 102

The Person and Work of Christ 107
The pro-existence of Christ 107
The deity of Christ 108
The impeccability of Christ 122
Historical views on the person of Christ 123
The work of Christ in the Old Testament 125
As the Creator 126
As “the Angel of the LORD [Jehovah]” 126
As the coming Savior 127
The incarnation of Christ 127
The method of the incarnation 127
The significance of the virgin conception and birth
of Christ 128
Objections to the virgin conception and birth 128
The purpose of the incarnation 129
Christ’s death and resurrection 130
Theories of the atonement 131
The extent of Christ’s atonement 133
Christ’s resurrection 133
The nature of the resurrection 133
The credibility of the resurrection account 134
The significance of the resurrection of Christ 135
Christ’s present and future work 135
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit 141
The Holy Spirit is a person 141
The Holy Spirit is God 141
The works of the Holy Spirit 142
General overview 142
Key works of the Holy Spirit in regard to salvation
Regeneration and indwelling 143
Baptism 144
Observations on Spirit baptism 144
Sealing 145
Filling 146
Gifts of the Holy Spirit 146
Observations concerning spiritual gifts 146
Descriptions of various gifts 148
1 Corinthians. 12:4-11 148
1 Corinthians. 12:28 149
Ephesians4:ll 149
Romans 12:6-8 149
How does one identify their spiritual gift(s)? 150
Comments on the gift of tongues 150
The nature of the gift of tongues in the
New Testament 150
The extent of tongues 157
The desirability of tongues in the church 157
The purpose of the gift of tongues 158
The use of tongues in the church 158
Misconceptions about the gift of tongues 159
The cessation of tongues 161

More Works on Doctrine

Man 167
Man’s origin: The natural theory of evolution 167
Man’s origin and original nature 175
Special creation 175
Man’s nature 176
Man was created in the image of God 176
Man’s complex constitution 177
Man’s original moral state 178
The fall of man 179
Ihc necessity of a literal view of the
Genesis accou nt 179
The particulars of the fall 179
The consequences of the fall 180
Immediate consequences of the fall 180
Remote consequences of the fall 181
Questions concerning the fall of man 181
The human condition after the fall 183
Total depravity 183
Pelagianism 184
Semi-Pelagianism 185
The transmission of sin 186
The origin of the soul 187
Theories on the imputation of sin 188

Salvation 197
The necessity of Christ’s death for man’s sin 197
The extent of Christ’s atonement 197
The application of Christ’s atonement 198
Election 198
Conditional election 199
Unconditional election 201
Calling 204
The general calling of God 204
The effectual calling of God 204
Questions about calling 204
Repentance and faith 205
Repentance 206_
Faith 206
Forgiveness 207
Justification 208
Regeneration and indwelling 208
Union with Christ 209
Sealing 210
Adoption 210
Spirit baptism 210
Sanctification 212
Immediate sanctification of the believer’s spirit 215
Progressive sanctification 216
Final (ultimate) sanctification 218
Correlating information from other perspectives on sanctification 219
The permanence of salvation 219
A conclusive argument for eternal security 220
The preserving work of the Father 221
The preserving work of the Son 221
The preserving work of the Holy Spirit 221
Passages frequently misunderstood 222
Passages describing personal apostasy are often misunderstood as applying to believers 222
Grammatical difficulties 223
Corporate salvation 223
The function of law and the superiority of grace 224
The superiority of grace to law argued from
Hebrews 7-9 227
Hebrews 7:1-10 227
Hebrews 7:11-17 228
Hebrews 7:18-28 229
Hebrews 8:1-13 229
Hebrews 9:1-10 230
Hebrew 9:11-17 231
Hebrews 9:18-28 231
The superiority of grace to law argued from
Galatians 2:11-5:26 232
Galatians 2:11-21 233
Galatians 3:1-9 234
Galatians 3:10-18 235
Galatians 3:19-4:7 236
Galatians 4:8-20 237
Galatians 4:21-31 238
Galatians 5:1-12 238
Galatians 5:13-26 239
The superiority of grace to law argued from
Romans 3:21-10:15 240
Romans 3:21-31 241
Romans 4:1-25 242
Romans 5:1-11 243
Romans 5:12-21 244
Romans 6:1-14 245
Romans 7:1-6 246
Romans 7:7-12 247
Romans 7:13-25 248
Romans 8:1-11 249
Romans 8:12-17 250
Romans 8:18-30 250
Romans 9:30-10:15 251
Conclusions on grace vs. law 252
Personal apostasy 253
Apostasy defined 253
Description of personal apostasy 253
1 Timothy 4:1-3 254
2 Peter 2:1-22 255
Hebrews 3:1-14 257
Hebrews 6:4-12 260
Hebrews 10:26-31 264
Hebrews 12:14-29 268
1 John 1:1-3:12 269
The path to apostasy 275
The characteristics of an apostate 277

Creation 283
A brief history of biblical cosmology 283
The early Christian view of creation 286
Factors giving rise to the pre-scientific view 286
Problems with the pre-scientific view 287
Reconciliation theories 287
Day-age theories 289
Theistic evolution 289
Problems with theistic evolution 289
Progressive creationism 290
Problems with progressive creationism 290
Literary theories 292
The gap theory 292
Recent creationism 294
Classic recent creationism 295
Relativistic recent creationism 301
The preformative theory 302
The biblical account of creation 303
The history of modern scientific cosmology 307

Angels 315
The nature and appearance of angels 315
The moral character of angels 316
The classes, number, and organization of angels 316
The function of holy angels 317
The function of unholy angels 317
Satan 317
Demons and demon possession 318
‘Ihe mythical theory 318
The accommodation theory 319
The psychological theory 319
The biblical view 319

More Works on Systematic Theologies

The Church 325
The universal (invisible) Church 325
The local (visible) church 327
The mission of the local church 327
The resources of the local church 327
Local church leadership 328
Spiritual gifts 331
Discipline 332
The Church in prophecy 333

The Future 339
General introduction 339
The rise of allegorical eschatology 341
The regathering of Israel 345
The rapture of the Church 346
The tribulation 347
The interlude between the tribulation and the millennium 350
‘Ihe millennium 350
The interlude between the millennium and the new creation 352
Eternity 353
Heaven and Hell 353

Appendices 357
Radical Higher Criticism of the Bible 359
The Influence of Gnosticism on Christian Theology 367
Bibliography 387
Subject Index 393

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