This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. I am slowly blogging through Steele's Answers, posting each Q & A in the order in which they appear (whether I personally agree with the answer or not). But, these posts come from several other sources, as well. I post particularly eloquent passages from Dr. Steele's other writings. Occasionally I post "guest blogs" from other holiness writers.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Harmonizing Exodus 6:16-20 & 12:40

QUESTION: Harmonize Exodus 6:16-20 and 12:40.

ANSWER: There is no discrepancy, for the passages have not the same purpose. The latter text states the period of Israel's sojourn in Egypt beginning probably at Abraham's arrival in Haran a stranger. Israel was in Egypt alone but 250 years. Ex. 6:16-20, is a record only of the ages at death of Levi and his three sons, and is not chronological, because it does not give the age of the fathers at the birth of the son as in Gen. 11:10-27, where the period from Shem to Abraham is found by summing up all the generations from birth to birth.

Steele's Answers pp. 206.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Abomination of Desolation

QUESTION: What is "the abomination that maketh desolate?" Dan. 11:31.

ANSWER: Christ quotes these words in Matthew 24:15 as the signal to fiee unto the mountains. But in Luke 21:20 the Roman army encamped in sight of Jerusalem is the signal for the disciples to flee. Hence we infer that the abomination and detestable thing that spreads desolation is the Roman army, at the sight of which on the Mount of Olives before they had dug the trench around the city in A. D. 70, the Christians all made their escape to Pella in Gilead, not one being left behind to perish in the massacre or to glut the slave markets of the world.

Steele's Answers pp. 205.

Friday, December 5, 2014

About Labor Unions

QUESTION: Is it not right for a Christian to belong to a labor union in order to get employment? We are not yoked together, but have religious liberty. Does not Peter say, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man?"

ANSWER: There are labor unions which respect the rights of non-union men and work with them. To these a Christian can belong. But some unions prevent outsiders and call a strike to get rid of them if they are found working on the same job. This contradicts not only the golden rule, but also natural justice. As a Christian man I could not share in such iniquity by membership in such a union. The Scripture quoted is not relevant to this case, as you will see if you finish the quotation — "For the Lord's sake; whether to the King as supreme, or unto governors," i. e., to civil government, not to an irresponsible, voluntary association. From the fact that you can get employment only by joining the union I infer that it is a labor monopoly produced by crushing out every independent workman of the same craft whose conscience or self-respect will not let him become a monopolist. The Question Box has spoken the truth in love, and yet in sympathy with the Christian mechanic.

"Workmen of God! oh, lose not heart,
But learn what God is like;
And in the darkest battlefield
Thou shalt know where to strike."
— Faber.

Always strike at wrong, at whatever cost or loss of self, not at another workman because he doesn't wear your tag.

Steele's Answers pp. 204, 205.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How many Disciples Backslid?

QUESTION: How many of the eleven apostles backslid when Christ was crucified?

ANSWER: All had an eclipse of faith almost total, but only Peter needed to be re-converted. Luke 22:32.

Steele's Answers pp. 204.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Purification Prior to Pentecost?

QUESTION: Is not the participle "purifying" in Acts 15:9 in the Aorist? If so, should it not be translated "having purified?" If this be so, is it not an evidence that these people had been purified prior to Pentecost? And if this be so, then the Spirit was not given for purifying, but for witnessing God's acceptance of them. Isn't this Wesley's comment?

ANSWER: It is Aorist which, outside of the indicative and certain kinds of participles, is timeless and indicates a single completed act. Circumstantial Aorist participles denoting condition, concession, cause, or means, are always timeless. "Purifying," and "giving" in verse 8, denote means, thus: "And God bare them witness by giving (a single act, not a process) them the Holy Spirit * * * and he made no distinction between us and them by cleansing (a single act) their hearts by faith." See Goodwin's Greek Modes and Tenses, p. 49: "The Aorist Participle is sometimes joined with a verb of past time, to denote. that BY WHICH the action of the verb is performed, or that IN WHICH it consists: here it does not denote time past with reference to the leading verb, but rather coincides with it in time." Hence there is here no "evidence that they were purified prior to Pentecost." Wesley was too good a Greek lecturer in Oxford to make any such comment.

Steele's Answers pp. 203, 204.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

About Madam Guyon's Commentaries

QUESTION: What is known of Madam Guyon's commentaries on the Holy Scriptures?

ANSWER: She was highly imaginative and naturally began with Solomon's Song and the Apocalypse. Afterwards she wrote much on the other Books of the Bible under what she thought was inspiration. "Before I wrote," she says, "I knew nothing of what I was going to write, and after I had written, I remembered nothing of what I had penned." Her commentaries are of little value and are found only in antiquarian libraries. Through all her writings runs the capital mistake that God never does, never can, purify a soul but by inward and outward suffering. This led her into the Romish practice of bringing suffering upon herself by bodily austerities. But with this dross much pure gold was mixed.

Steele's Answers pp. 202, 203.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is Spirit Baptism for Purity?

QUESTION: What right have we to teach that Spirit-baptism is for purity? Where in his Gospel did Jesus declare this?

ANSWER: I wish everybody who desires to have his New Testament illuminated with an arc light would study Bernard's Progress of Doctrine, in which it is shown that the great practical, experimental truths are left in the Gospel as tiny seeds to be fully developed. after Christ's ascension, such as the atonement, justification and sanctification, and the purifying work of the Holy Spirit. He said very little about the gift of the Holy Spirit as a Person till the day before his death when he confined his remarks to the positive works of the spirit, witnessing, teaching, illumining, strengthening, gladdening and giving to the believer a manifestation of his bodily absent Master. He omitted the negative and smallest part of his work in the heart, the subtraction of depravity. Sanctification is to the fruits of the Spirit what house-cleaning is to house-furnishing. It is requisite to comfort and health, but is by no means ornamental. Moreover, before Pentecost the best of the apostles were not prepared to receive this negative office of the Spirit. They were so saturated with ceremonialism that they deemed themselves holy if they observed the Levitical Code. The Spirit himself must create in their minds the idea of inward holiness as necessary to Christian discipleship. Before such preparation the prediction of the purifying work of the Spirit would have puzzled and perplexed the disciples. May not this have been one of "the many things" Jesus did not tell them because they were not able to bear them, but which the Paraclete would unfold to them? This he did chiefly through St. Paul. See Rom. 6:6, 18:22, I Cor. 1:30, II Cor. 7:1, Gal. 2:20 Am. R. V., 5:24, Zph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9, I Thess. 5:23, 3:11.

Steele's Answers pp. 201, 202.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Were the Disciples Purified Before Pentecost?

QUESTION: Is not John 15:3 a proof that the disciples were completely purified before the day of Pentecost? If not, what is the true exegesis?

ANSWER: It is a pleasant play upon three Greek words, airei, cleanse, cathairoi, clean. Bishop Westcott, an eminent Greek scholar, says: "The spiritual work representing this "cleansing" was potentially completed for the apostles, the representatives of his church. It remained to be realized by them (compare Col. 8:8, 5). They were clean "because of the word." The word, the whole revelation to which Christ had given expression, was the spring and source, and not only the instrument, of their purity (it is "because" of (Revised Version), and not "through", John 6:57). He then cites John 8:81, 82, Eph. 5:26, James 1:18. In John 17:17 Christ thus prays, "Sanctify them in thy truth," a needless prayer, if they were already wholly sanctified. Let me illustrate this "cleansing potentially completed.," but as yet not "realized." A father presents to his son Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, saying, "Now, my son, you are made complete in the English language." The son says, "By diligence I hope to realize your design."

Steele's Answers pp. 200, 201.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Not All Professors are Possessors

QUESTION: If all sin is eradicated from the heart, what is the source of the impatience, harsh criticism, censoriousness, etc., that we see in those who are stoutly contending that they are sanctified wholly?

ANSWER: Not all is gold that glitters; not all professors are possessors. This is as true of justification as of sanctification.

Steele's Answers pp. 200.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Roman Catholic Scheme of Perfection

QUESTION: What is the Roman Catholic scheme of perfection?

ANSWER: By fulfilling "the three counsels of perfection," the vow of poverty, of obedience to the superior of the monastery or nunnery, and chastity. The priests promise only subordination to the hierarchy and celibacy — a far different thing from chastity. Neither the secular priests nor the laity can attain perfection, except by going through purgatory.

Steele's Answers pp. 199, 200.