The Original Inceptor

April 1, 2011 — 1 Comment

As I was reading through Berkhof’s Introduction to Systematic Theology, I noticed him making a very interesting claim:

The term “dynamic inspiration” is sometimes used to denote what we would call “organic inspiration,” but is employed here to designate the theory of inspiration that owes its inception to the teachings of Schleiermacher. (pg. 152)

So in other words, Friedrich Schleiermacher is not only the father of modern liberal theology, he is the innovator of inception! Corrupting understandings of inspiration all over the evangelical world, Schleiermacher crafted the art of inception through his teachings that still have their lasting effect today.

In case you were wondering about this understanding of inspiration, Berkhof describes it as one that renounces direct inspiration by the Holy Spirit in favor of a general inspiration that is not much different than a spiritual illumination. In other words, it is not much different than what you or I may experience when the Holy Spirit illumines our minds to understand the text.

This along with other ideas Schleiermacher incepted into modern thought are really nothing more than a shared dream for those want to break free from more conventional ways of thinking about God, theology, and the Bible.


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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

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