Word-Alone Doctrine by R. H. Boll: A Voice from 1917


There is a well-defined tendency among Christians to dissociate God from his word. It comes to the point that God himself is not needed or directly involved in the matter of our salvation.  The word is all.  As a writer in a certain paper some years ago illustrated it: “the only way the governor does a condemned criminal any good is by means of a writ of pardon.”  And then with rather a coarse comparison: “The presence of the governor himself would do the prisoner no more good than the presence of a mule.”  This principles leaves us, indeed, with a scheme of salvation, a law, a set of precepts, but God is no longer in it.  The word will do good as the intelligence conveyed in my letter will do my friend good the while I am absent and otherwise occupied, or [207] like a prescription helps the patient the while the doctor is gone.  The final outcome of such a position is a sight of intellectual study, dry discussions, argumentations, hairsplittings, formalism, hypocrisy, and spiritual death.  The word is good, and nothing too great and lofty can be said about it; but the word is not honored by putting it in a false place, making a false claim for it, and attributing virtue to it apart from God.  For whether is greater–the word, or he that backs it and gives it power?  Have ye never yet understood that the word is not an end in itself, but a means to an end–even the means of bringing us into, and keeping is in contact and union with God himself and with Christ, that so we may be in him and he in us?

R. H. Boll, Truth and Grace. F. L. Rowe: Cincinnati, 1917, pages 206-207.

2 thoughts on “Word-Alone Doctrine by R. H. Boll: A Voice from 1917

  1. If the cataloguing for the book is to be trusted, this excerpt likely first appeared in the pages of the Gospel Advocate, ca 1909-1910 — which may make these remarks even more interesting to study.

    God’s Peace to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s