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Don Stewart :: What Is Natural Inspiration? (Intuition Theory)

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Don Stewart

Natural inspiration totally denies the supernatural element in Scripture. This is also known as the intuition theory. It holds that the writers of Scripture were simply men of religious genius who possessed unique spiritual insight. Their writings on moral and spiritual truth were ahead of their contemporaries. Consequently, they wrote the books of the Bible in the same way as any other book has been written. The ideas ultimately came from their own religious insights, not from God Himself.

The Bible Is Both Human And Divine

This viewpoint only sees the human side of Scripture - it does not recognize anything divine. The proper view is that the Scriptures are both human and divine. God used human beings to reveal His thoughts and His truths, not human genius or human religious insight.

This View Contradicts Scripture

The natural inspiration view is in direct contradiction to what the writers themselves testified. When Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica he said.

We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God's word, which is also at work in you believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

It Ignores The Supernatural Character Of God's Word

The theory of natural inspiration empties the term inspiration of its biblical meaning by ignoring its supernatural character. If the Bible is merely a human book, then why cannot the natural man understand it? Paul wrote.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Paul explained why the unbeliever cannot understand Scripture - it is spiritually discerned.

Why Only One Book?

If the Bible only came about a result of natural inspiration, then why haven't we seen more books like it written? Why no improvement on Scripture in the last two thousand years?

There Is An Ultimate Standard Of Truth

When Jesus prayed to God the Father shortly before His death on the cross, He stated.

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17).

Jesus did not merely say that Gods' Word was "true" He said that His word was "truth."

An Important Distinction Needs To Be Made

This is an important distinction. It is one thing to say that God's Word is true or correct but it is something else entirely to make it the highest possible standard - truth. This is exactly what Jesus did. He said that "truth" is what God's says. Therefore we can rightly conclude that the Bible is truth

Summary

The idea of natural inspiration does not fit the facts. The Bible cannot be categorized with other books or its authors with other human authors. Scripture is inspired in the sense that God supernaturally spoke through the human writers to reveal His authoritative truth to humanity - it is not merely some book that inspires the heart. In addition, we are told that those without the Spirit of God are unable to understand Scripture. Why is this so if the Bible is merely a human production?

If the Bible is limited to human thought alone, then why is there only one such book? Whatever humans have produced in the past has usually been improved with time. Why hasn't any human written a work that has surpassed the Bible? The answer is simple - the Bible is a one of a kind book because God's unique authority stands behind it. The natural inspiration, or intuition theory, is not in any way biblical.

Finally, Jesus stated that God's Words were truth - not just true. Therefore the words of Scripture are the ultimate standard on which all matters that it touches.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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