Charles F. Baker
The wonderful Dispensational Theologian, Charles F. Baker, was born in 1905 of English immigrant parents in Dallas, Texas. He attended Scofield Memorial Church, founded by C.I. Scofield. His pastor was Lewis Sperry Chafer, who also founded the Evangelical Theological College, which later became Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a graduate of both Wheaton College and Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters in Theology.
He was first an associate pastor with J.C. O'Hair at North Shore Church in “uptown” Chicago as O’Hair’s chief engineer for their broadcasting station WPCC (We Preach Christ Crucified). In the early 1930s, he became pastor of the Fundamental Bible Church which began as a Bible class led by Pastor O'Hair. He also contributed to O’Hair’s journal, Bible Study for Bereans, with articles like his 4-part series on The Great Commission. Later, Baker partnered with C.R. Stam to develop and open the Milwaukee Bible Institute, which later became Grace Bible College. He was the first president of the college, a position he held until his retirement in 1967.
In 1971, he published his 688-page tome, Dispensational Theology, which he spent 4 years writing and before that a lifetime teaching it. This book was, for me, more addictive than a bag of potato chips. I love the way he writes. He’s like a surgeon with words. Every sentence is carefully thought-out and the words carefully chosen. He doesn’t belabor. He makes his point in a few sentences and moves on. (My only squabble with Baker is that he had some leanings toward Calvinism about which we would strongly disagree. For a wonderful overview against Calvinism, check out Pastor Hal Bekemeyer’s series, Cut the TULIP!)
After his wife, Teresa, died in 1982, Baker moved to Escondido, California, and was married to a long-time friend, Ruth Lohman Smith, in 1985. Along with writing books and teaching, he was instrumental in the formation of Grace Gospel Fellowship, Grace Mission and Grace Publications as well as editing two periodicals, the Biblegram and Truth Magazine. He died in 1994.
One book I would absolutely recommend is Understanding the Gospels, which was such a great experience. Rather than go through the Gospels book-by-book, Baker went through the Gospels in chronological order of events. What a fascinating, epic, deeply stirring time in mankind’s history.
I’d like to close with one of my favorite paragraphs from Dispensational Theology about the power of God’s Word:
"The Bible is a Hammer (Jer. 23:29) with which to break the hard heart; it is a Critic/Discerner (Heb. 4:12) of the "thoughts and intents of the heart"; it is a Mirror (2 Cor. 3:18; Jas. 1:25) to reveal the true condition of man; it is a Laver (Eph. 5:26; Ps. 119:11; John 15:3) for the washing of the defiled; it is Seed (Luke 8:11; 1 Pet. 1:23) for the soil; it is the Sun (Ps. 19:1-6) for the seed sown; it is the Rain and the Snow (Isa. 55:10,11) for the seed sown; it is Food (Job 23:12) for the hungry,--milk for babes (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13) bread for the more mature (Deut. 8:3; Isa. 55:1, 2), strong meat for the full grown (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5: 12-14), and Honey for all (Ps. 19:10); it is Gold (Ps. 19:10; 119:72) for the poor; it is a Lamp (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; 2 Cor. 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:19) for the traveler; it is a Sword (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 19:15) for the soldier; and it is Fire (Jer. 20:9; 23:29; Ps. 39:3) to impel the believer to service."
-Joel Hayes, Associate Pastor