To better understand the origins of the divisive and poisonous version of Christianity, Christian Zionism, one needs to look into the life of C.I. Scofield, the author of the Scofield Reference Bible that was published in 1909 and promoted widely through evangelical Christian seminaries. Here are two intriguing looks into who was the real C.I. Scofield.
The Concise Dictionary of Christianity observes that “Scofield’s influence on the evangelical/fundamentalist movement of the early twentieth century was enormous.” And, we would add, devastating. In this podcast we review a new book, The Praise of Folly: The Enigmatic Life & Theology of C.I. Scofield by David Lutzweiler. A vicious attack on Lutzweiler and his book by the senior pastor of The Scofield Memorial Church prompted us to look a little deeper and review the new facts, uncovered by Lutzweiler, that cast more shadows on Scofield, the man and his theology. David Lutzweiler’s letter, “Bias-Based Blunders About C.I. Scofield,” to Dr. Jeffrey Van Goethem of Scofield Memorial Church, that was discussed in the program, is shown at the bottom.
Without the widespread distribution of the Scofield Reference Bible in evangelical Christian seminaries for over a hundred years, Christian Zionism would be a small sect of Christianity hardly noticed today. Instead, 40 to 70 million American Christians are influenced by what can be termed “Judeo-Christianity” or “Christian Zionism.” We take another look at C.I. Scofield in this program: