“A man can receive nothing.” That is the burden of the Bible. Whatever men may think of human reason God takes a low view of it. “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” Man’s reason is a fine instrument and useful within its field. It is a gift of God and God does not hesitate to appeal to it, as when He cries to Israel, “Come now, and let us reason together.” The inability of human reason as an organ of divine knowledge arises not from its own weakness but from its unfittedness for the task by its own nature. It was not given as an organ by which to know God.
The doctrine of the inability of the human mind and the need for divine illumination is so fully developed in the New Testament that it is nothing short of astonishing that we should have gone so far astray about the whole thing. Fundamentalism has stood aloof from the liberal in self-conscious superiority and has on its own part fallen into error, the error of textualism, which is simply orthodoxy without the Holy Spirit. Everywhere among conservatives we find persons who are Bible-taught but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something that they can grasp with the mind. If a man hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, he is thought to possess divine truth. But it does not follow. There is no truth apart from the Spirit. The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act that inspired the text.
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Corinthians 1:20
The inability of human reason as an organ of divine knowledge arises not from its own weakness but from its unfittedness for the task by its own nature. It was not given as an organ by which to know God.
We want to be Spirit-taught, Father, not just Bible-taught.