Church Epistles

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Church Epistles

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By  E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)

Book Review by Robert Guenther
This book tries to establish that all of Paul’s writings are truth for the church today, but his later works disprove many of his dispensational views brought out in this book. However, many doctrinal or practical truths established in this book concerning our standing before God still hold true today.

Other topics covered are Christ’s resurrection, His righteousness, His justification, and the effect the finished work of the cross should have on our lives. Our goal is to live our lives pleasing before our Lord and Head Jesus Christ. We agree with Dr. Bullinger that all of Paul's writings can be used to help us understand what the Lord has done for us and that he desires us to live holy lives.

The principle of right division (II Timothy 2:15) is discussed in this book also. It is this area where we can find a good deal of error. In his later works we see a transition in his thinking, and by the time we read his last book, Foundations of Dispensational Truth, we see the transition completed and him using only the last seven books of the Apostle Paul as our ‘marching orders’ for today. It is interesting to note that it was Mr. Charles Welch as a young man studying along with Dr. Bullinger, who shared with him the need to only carry Paul’s last seven epistles over that Acts 28:28 dividing line. In these epistles we see our hope and calling revealed. Seeing this truth completely changed Dr. Bullinger’s thinking, and his later works reflect this change. He would have liked to have rewritten a lot of his earlier books, but his death prevented him from doing so. We hope that each of us might have the same spirit as those at Berea who “searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:10,11).

We can deeply appreciate the growth in Dr. Bullinger’s thinking and are thankful for such men who are willing to change when new light is shed upon the Scriptures. I Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.” We believe Dr. Bullinger grew from a child in the Lord to a mature man who came to a full knowledge of God's secret purpose, the mystery as revealed in the epistles.

May we all be found “pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” and be found rightly dividing the word.