Intro

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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baptism and Forgiveness

QUESTION: Was Saul of Tarsus already forgiven when Ananais said, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins."?

ANSWER: Adult baptism is a symbol of a divine work already wrought. I would not knowingly baptize an unforgiven sinner, though our missionaries publicly baptize sincere inquirers intellectually convinced, so as to make his break with his former paganism complete. Saul was converted, in the proper sense of that word, when his will became submissive to Christ when he appeared to him, for he says, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." But, he did not receive the witness of the Spirit till Ananias laid his hands on him and he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

— From Steele's Answers pp. 16, 17.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A New Principle of Life

Regeneration is the lodgement by the Holy Spirit of the new principle of life. This is love to God, which is the ruling motive of every genuine Christian. There is a radical and an essential difference between those who are born again and the best of those who lay claim to only natural goodness, a beautiful moral character revolving around self as a centre. But the great transition from spiritual death to spiritual life does not make the child of God at once complete in holiness. The Holy Spirit in sanctification does not work magically, nor mechanically like a washing machine, ‘but by the influence of grace, in accordance with the essential constitution of man, and in the way of a vital process, only by degrees completely renewing the soul.

— From: The Gospel of the Comforter Chapter XIV “The Spirit’s Work in Regeneration.”


Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Translation Question

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." — Hebrews 13:20, 21 King James Version.


QUESTION: Is it perfectly permissible in Heb. 13:20, 21, to so translate the Greek and punctuate it that the meaning will be that the clause "by the blood of the everlasting covenant" modifies "make you perfect," instead of "brought again from the dead"?

ANSWER: The erroneous order of clauses in the Authorized [King James] Version has suggested this question. The order in the Revision is that of the Greek, "Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of the everlasting covenant, even our Lord Jesus Christ, make you perfect," etc. Hence the suggested change would shock any Greek scholar.

— From Steele's Answers p. 16.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Note from the Editor: re Old Books

This arrived today in my email inbox:

Greetings in the name of Him who is able.  I have a copy of Dr. Daniel Steele's   The Gospel of the Comforter.   It is in perfect condition.  How can I obtain more copies of this great work?   I wish to make it a gift to some of my friends.                     Yours in the power of HIs resurrection. 

Sad to say, I do not have a good reply to this. For those who are in search of material like this, all I can say is:

These people might be able to help: http://www.wesleyanbooks.com/

But, it depends upon what they have recently reprinted, what is available, etc. And, this I do not know.

I dimly recall that there was an abridged version of The Gospel of the Comforter that was printed years ago, but I don't remember much about it.

For used books you could try Abebooks: http://www.abebooks.com/

If anybody out there knows more about this than I do, I would appreciate the information.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Should Conscience Be Our Guide?

QUESTION: Define conscience and answer the question, Is it always to be our guide?

ANSWER: It is the faculty which discovers the moral quality of actions, and approves the right and condemns the wrong. On abstract questions its voice is always the same in all countries and in all generations, such as, Is it wrong to hate a benefactor, or punish innocence? These are questions relating to immutable morality. But most of the questions we meet with are not abstract and simple, but concrete and mixed, requiring the exercise of our fallible intellects, so that one may say that an act is right and another say it is wrong. That is the field of mutable morality. Hence the need of a well-trained intellect illuminated by a good knowledge of God's Word, especially of the New Testament. Such a conscience is our guide, not infallible in the field of practical life, except in the case of the Pope, if we believe that he is the divinely appointed organ of the Holy Spirit who cannot err. The best guide is a tender conscience very sensitive to moral distinctions, like a pair of scales so delicately poised as to weigh a hair. The worst is a seared conscience (1 Tim 4:2), which by being habitually disregarded has now lost its sensitiveness, as flesh cauterized till it has ceased to feel. Such a guide leads to the pit of woe. The only remedy is a supernatural change wrought by the Holy Spirit regenerating and sanctifying. A good conscience is a tender, moral sense, which approves our conduct, and a bad conscience is one that condemns.

— From Steele's Answers pp. 15,16.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Game of Cards

QUESTION: Is there any more harm in playing a social game of euchre or cinch or any other game of cards than there is in playing flinch?

ANSWER: My education in card playing was totally neglected. Thanks to my parents, I know nothing of the difference between the games. I believe the testimony of converted gamblers that the preparatory school for the gambler's den is not that den itself, within locked doors, all spectators being shut out lest there be a detective among them, but the parlors of respectable and nominally Christian people, where the young become skilled in so-called innocent, social games. This skill is the young man's temptation. When away from them, he fairly aches with desire to be exercising his dexterity in the exciting manipulation of cards. Thus he is drawn into the gamblers' hell, which has proved to be the vestibule to the devil's hell. American Methodism began with the burning of a pack of cards snatched by a godly woman out of the hands of a backslidden local preacher. Oh, for millions of Barbara Hecks in the Christian churches!

— From Steele's Answers pp. 14, 15.