Shute, A.L. – The Fatherhood of God

THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD
by A. Lincoln SHute.

A.M. (Cornell G.), B.D. (Drew) Member of the Rock River Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.



CONTENTS of the Fatherhood of God

1. Preface 5
2. Introduction by Bishop Merrill 13
3. Bibliography of the Subject 21
4. Syllabus of Contents 25

OCCASION AND PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK

1. A fundamental and cherished doctrine… 37
2. Involved with the greatest dangers 38
3. The true view 39
4. Final test of the true doctrine 40
5. The purpose of this book 41



PART I THEORIES OF THE UNIVERSAL FATHERHOOD

A. DESCRIBED
1. The questions at issue. 45
2. A necessity of creation, Ontology, Ethics, Sociology, Redemption 46

B. REFUTED
(a) Unfortunate in its Associations Its genesis, in Christian Science, Mormonism, Unitarianism and Universalism 48
(b) Not Grounded in any such Necessity as Is Alleged
1. No necessity of creation 51
2. No ontological necessity 55
3. No ethical necessity 56
4. No sociological necessity 58
5. Not necessary to redemption 59
6. No basis in any necessity 66
(c) Inconsistencies of Orthodox Writers who Attempt to Defend This Doctrine
1. Man by creation has the nature of a son of God, and yet he must receive a new nature 66
2. Sonship is natural, universal, indestructible, and yet voluntary 67
3. We all are, and yet we must become sons of God 68
4. We are by natural birth the sons of God, and yet we must be born of God 71
5. Consistency impossible 71
(e) Reductio ad Absurdum
1. God, the Father of Animals 74
2. God, the Father of the Devil 74
3. God loves the Devil 76
4. Hell inhabited only by children of God… 76
5. Intolerable implications of the doctrine.. 76
6. Universalism the only alternative 78



C. THE MAJOR PREMISE OF UNIVERSALISM
Responsibility of Christian teachers; danger of false doctrine 79
(a) The Only Logical Home of This Doctrine
1. Inconsistent with evangelical truth 80
2. Tendency to Universalism 80
3. Avowed by Universalists 85

(b) Their Major Premise Admitted, the Logic of Universalists Is both Scriptural and Unanswerable
1. Universalism’s logical chain 86
(1) Sons have the Father’s nature 86
(2) If by creation, no need of the new birth 86
(3) Need only a development inevitable. 87
(4) All under God’s parental government; not subject to punishment, but only to discipline 88
(5) Atonement unnecessary. 89
(6) “If children, then heirs” 90
2. A conclusion unscriptural, but logical… 92

(c) Universalism’s Major Premise Repudiated as False
1. The new birth essential to sonship 94
2. The new birth, and hence the sonship, is conditional 97
3. Only children under a parental government 98
4. Others under God’s moral government.. 100
5. These are liable to punishment 104

(1) Animus of the doctrine, to get rid of punishment 104
(2) Punishment, a Scriptural word and idea -..’… 106
(3) Punishment has ends worthy of Divine goodness 108
(4) Punishment necessary to these ends, no
(5) Punishment revealed in Scripture, the final authority 115
(6) Men liable to punishment 118



6. Forgiveness and the new birth grounded in the Atonement 118
7. Sonship not by nature, but by grace through Christ 121
8. Universalism falls 122
(J) A Most Cruel Deception
1. Not “broadness,” but truth is essential… 122
2. Solves no problems 123
3. Leads to an infatuation cruel and deceptive 125
4. A doctrine none can afford to hold or teach 126



D. SONSHIP Is ALIENABLE
1. The determining question 128
2. Not a natural or physical relationship 129
3. A moral and spiritual relationship 130
4. Based on God’s grace and conditioned by man’s freedom 133
5. Such relationship may be forfeited 134
6. Filial likeness of nature forfeited 142
7. Examples of forfeited sonship 145
8. Fatherhood and sonship the normal relation between God and man 146
9. Sin causes an abnormal relationship 146



PART II THE TEACHING OF SCRIPTURE
A. THE OLD TESTAMENT _ A/,_
1. Man created in the image of God 152
2. His filial nature lost by sin 153
3. Two classes of men since the Fall 156
4. The Hebrews as a nation called children of God 158
5. Malachi 2: 10 160
6. Intimations of individual sonship. 161
7. A Divine family; a fatherly nature in God 162
8. Prophecies of a gracious personal sonship 163
9. Summary ‘of Old Testament teaching 164



B. THE DOCTRINE TAUGHT BY JESUS
1. A new conception of God 166
2. Father, the natural name with Jesus 166
3. Provides that all may be children 167
(o) The Claim that Jesus Teaches the Universal Fatherhood of God
1. By W. N. Clarke, Bruce, Wendt, Bishop Brooks 168
2. Proposed Gospel proofs 175
(1) John 20: 17 176
(2) The Lord’s Prayer 176
(3) Sermon on the Mount 179
(4) Parable of the Prodigal Son… 182
(5) Jesus Makes the Relationship Universally Possible, but Not thereby Actually Universal
1. God, both King and Father 187
2. The Christian name for God 189
(1) Not often used with reference to men 189
(2) The name in God’s kingdom and family ipo
(3) Kingdom and family co-extensive… 191
3. Jesus perpetuates the twofold classification of mankind.’ 192
(1) Unbelievers rebuked for calling God their Father. 193
(2) Not physical origin, but moral and spiritual likeness 197
(3) Jesus settles it, that some are not children. 198
4. A change of relationship required 199
5. God’s family graciously open to all 200
(1) By means of the new birth 201
(2) Through faith in Christ 202
6. Privileges of God’s children 203



C. THE TEACHING OF THE APOSTLES
(a) View of the Advocates of the Universal Fatherhood
1. Great confusion 204
2. “The offspring of God.” Acts 17: 29… 205
3. “The Father of spirits.” Heb. 12: 9 206
4. “Father of all.” Eph. 4:6 207
(b) The Apostles Teach that Man’s Sonship in the Divine Family is Conditional.
1. The Bible harmonious with itself 208
2. Still two classes. 210
3. Attempts at reconciliation 211
(1) Ignored, or only a figure of speech.. 212
(2) The method of Universalism 212
4. Sonship by adoption 219
5. Sonship through the new birth 220
6. Likeness of nature by birth 221
7. Sonship by grace 222
8. Ground, condition, result, Witness and determining factor of sonship 223
9. Sonship, the pledge of the inheritance… 224
(1) Blessings of real sonship 225
(2) Deception of fictitious universal sonship 226
(3) A sure basis of hope 228
10. Sonship conditional and universally possible 229



D. FATAL TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE UNIVERSAL FATHERHOOD, THAT IT Is NOT GROUNDED IN SCRIPTURE
1. Scripture ignored 230
2. Based on imagination and sentimentalism 231
3. Scripture the only basis for a true doctrine 234



PART III THE TRUE DOCTRINE OF THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
A. THE DOCTRINE STATED
1. Fatherhood defined 239
(1) The method a mystery 241
(2) Begetting, not creating 242
(3) Filiation corresponds to nature 243
(4) A moral and spiritual relationship.. 243
2. God eternally the Father 244
3. His desire for sons 244
4. Man originally God’s son 245
5. Sonship lost by sin 246
6. Provision for the restoration of sonship.. 246
7. Sonship grounded in the Atonement 247
(1) The issue between “Liberalism” and evangelical Christianity 247
(2) Christ’s sonship natural, ours gracious 250
(3) Sonship made real by the new birth. 252
8. Gracious sonship of infants 253
9. Gracious sonship lost by sin 255
10. Sonship restored by adoption and the new birth 256
11. Witness of the Spirit to sonship 257
12. The privilege of all 257



B. CORRELATED WITH OTHER FACTS
1. Sin 259
2. Salvation 261
3. Punishment 263
4. Sorrow, prayer, and immortality 266

C. THE ONLY BASIS OF A BROTHERLY BROTHERHOOD AND A TRUE SOCIOLOGY
1. The supreme social need. 268
2. No basis in the universal Fatherhood… 268
3. Only basis in the true Fatherhood… 270
4. Results of this coming brotherhood 274



D. RELATION OF THE FATHERHOOD TO ETHICS AND EVANGELISM
1. Weakness of Universalism 277
2. A sure basis in the true Fatherhood 281

E. FATHERHOOD EXALTED AND HOPE INSPIRED
1. No advantage in the false doctrine 284
2. A real universal hope 285
3. Fatherhood and sonship exalted 289

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CONCLUSION
1. The doctrine of the Bible 293
2. Other theories groundless, but dangerous 294
3. A doctrine consistent and sufficient 294
4. The obligation not to deceive 295
5. Our present task 296
6. Man’s need, to know God as Father 298
7. The most cruel deception 299
8. The hope that is an anchor of the soul… 300

SCRIPTURE INDEX 305
GENERAL INDEX 307