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Letter from Fritz… today. Most encouraging. Lead him on, Lord.


From Gaussen’s work Theopneustia [the Greek word which the King James Version translates “is given by inspiration of God”] I have been stimulated to define my view and reasons for inspiration of the Scriptures.

Here are jottings:

Gaussen defends the Old Testament as inspired first (wholly on New Testament grounds), because he then strengthens his New Testament argument for inspiration by saying that if the first shadows of God’s doings be pure and theopneustic, how much more surely inspired the plain exposition of Christ in the New Testament.

Now to a man who is merely logical… this makes no sense; you are arguing in a circle. Outwardly, it is true that the doctrine of inspiration can only be proved conclusively to a soul that will assume the basic tenets of Christianity.

If I can get a man to believe in a God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, I have already made him a supernaturalist, and he will take easily the fact that such a God would necessarily protect the records of the Resurrection and preserve the revelation perfect and entire.


So this is my first task, to set before the soul the claims of the Resurrection and expect the Holy Spirit to give the gift of faith to the hearer. This is the inference of Hebrews 1:1.

God spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets (I need not press the prophet’s inspiration first), but now He speaks through His Son. So Christ is God’s method of opening men’s hearts to all truth, and this particular truth of inspiration as well.

But how complex immediately is the proving of it. One scarce can differentiate between the subjective and the objective. The Son speaks through the Word, telling me that the Scriptures are from Godall of themthe Law (which includes Genesis…), the Prophets, and the Psalms. Once I accept the Christ of the Scriptures, I am bound to accept the Scriptures of Christ.

I stress that inspiration is a doctrine, as clearly taught as justification by faith, and with as much emphasis. The obscurity of revelation is only proof of its divinity, since God fitted it to meet the needs of a race through centuries, whose needs and questionings are ten thousand legion. Wonder that it is not more complicated to accomplish such an all-effective answer.

An ulcerous moon

It’s almost midnight. Don’t feel like bed somehow. Spent the evening in the Reader’s Digest and Wordsworth and Coleridge. Not profitable for sanctifying. Good broadening.

Stepped out just now to mail a letter. The moon seems ulcerous, oozing yellow through torn gauze of cloud. Slow-drying pavements, the gutters’ sopping rotten leaves, motionless cold whose intensity lies in its quiet qualities, rather than its chill.

–9 November, 1949

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About Jim Elliot

Jim was one of the most notable Christian martyrs of the twentieth century. He died taking the gospel to the Huaorani people of Ecuador. Jim was a graduate of Wheaton College and an evangelist in the United States before embarking to minister in Ecuador. Jim's official biography is called The Shadow of the Almighty. Jim's wife, Elisabeth, still ministers broadly. Jim's postings on InFocus are all taken directly from The Journals of Jim Elliot.

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