Lewis Sperry Chafer

Birth Chart
Death Chart
Birth Chart Planets


Lewis Sperry Chafer was born in Rock Creek, Ohio. on February 27, 1871, Day 58, where the numbers mean:  2th month - divine division; 27 - a horn; 71 - a strait; and 58 - a Levite.  Ohio (ref. Zodiac Map) corresponds to Virgo, the Virgin, and Naphtali, the doe and symbol of peace.  Rock Creek is at 41 N., for happiness, and 80 W., for strength.  Chafer was the son of a Presbyterian minister, who had immigrated from England when he was 8 and settled in Kentucky.  Chafer's father died when he was 11.  Chafer's mother, Lois Lomira Sperry, was born in Rock Creek, the daughter of a Welsh Wesleyan preacher and harness-maker by trade.

Chafer became a Christian at age 6 while his father was a pastor in Rock Creek.  Chafer attended school in Rock Creek up to the age of 12.  Then he attended New Lyme Institute in New Lyme, Ohio where he became adept in the study of music.  Then his mother moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where he attended Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music for three years (1889-1891).  There he met his future wife, Ella Loraine Case, from Ellington, Chautauqua County, New York.  Chafer traveled for about 7 years with Evangelist Arthur T. Reed as a gospel singer.  He married Miss Case on April 22, 1896.  She traveled with her husband and accompanied him on the piano while he sang solo.

In 1897, Chafer discovered that he had tuberculosis, the disease that killed his father.  Since he had received his first invitation to begin preaching, he considered it a test and an urgent call to preach.  He began preaching and the illness was healed.  He ministered as an evangelist and singer until 1914.  In 1900, he was ordained in the First Congregational Church of Buffalo.  In 1903, he moved to East Northfield, Massachusetts, where he taught music at Northfield Mount Hermon School for Boys.  There he met C. I. Scofield, who was pastor of the Congregational Church of Northfield, which had been organized by D. L. Moody.  Chafer developed a close friendship with Scofield.  Chafer became one of the music leaders for the great Moody Bible Conferences in Massachusetts and Florida.  Through this ministry, Chafer met the leading conservative Bible teachers, and he traveled extensively as an evangelist.  In his lifetime, he traveled to every state in the US.

In 1913 Chafer helped found and taught in the Philadelphia School of the Bible.  In 1916, he moved to East Orange, New Jersey, where he joined the staff of the Scofield School of the Bible in New York.  At an evangelistic meeting in Dallas, Texas at Scofield's church, Chafer had a discussion with Scofield that changed his life from evangelist to Bible teacher.

Chafer published He That Is Spiritual in 1918.  The book was a thorough explanation of Spirituality from the scripture.  It explained the spiritually dead natural man, the carnal Christian, and the Spiritual believer filled with the Holy Spirit.  Chafer mailed a copy of the book to B. B. Warfield, who was acclaimed as the greatest US theologian.  Warfield, who did not understand spirituality and didn't even know how to Rebound, wrote a blistering review of Chafer's book and published it in the Princeton Theological Review in April 1919.  Warfield mocked Chafer for not upholding the Presbyterian standards of predestination.  Warfield had a heart attack on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1920 and died of another heart attack on February 16, 1921.4

Within a period of nine months the following church leaders died:  Abraham Kuyper, Dutch theologian, died November 8, 1920.  Warfield died February 16, 1921.  C. I. Scofield, Chafer's mentor, died on July 24, 1921.  And Herman Bavink, Dutch theologian, died July 29, 1921.

After Scofield's death, Chafer took over his pastorate at the Congregational church in Dallas, Texas.  Chafer moved to Dallas in 1922 and made plans for a seminary to properly train pastors in premillennial dispensational theology.  He wanted to attract northern students to offset the liberal, apostate bias in the presbyterian pulpits and to introduce students in the South to the new dispensational theology.  He founded the Evangelical Theological College in 1924.  The first class had 13 students.  The college was renamed Dallas Theological Seminary in 1936.  Chafer was president and professor of theology until his death in 1952.  Because the teacher who had been tasked with the responsibility of teaching theology, Griffith Thomas, died shortly before the seminary opened, Chafer became the teacher of theology.

Chafer traveled in his ministry to other countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland, and Belgium.  He served on mission boards and visited mission fields in Europe, Mexico, and Central America.  He was a prolific writer.  His most famous work was his eight-volume Systematic Theology, which is still the standard for accurate dispensational theology.  And he was editor of Bibliotheca Sacra, the oldest US theological journal, from 1940 to 1952.

Chafer had a heart attack in California in 1935 from which he recovered.  His wife had a stroke in 1941 that left her an invalid until she died in 1944.  Chafer had another heart attack in California in 1945, from which he did not fully recover.  He had a third heart attack in 1948.  In May 1952, after completing his seminary teaching, he spoke at Bible Conferences and baccalaureate services in Pennsylvania, Grace Theological Seminary, and Columbia Bible College.  He proceeded to follow his summer schedule of visiting friends in California.  He went to Seattle for a Bible Conference, where, after an illness of about eight weeks, he died of heart failure on August 22, 1952 at age 81.

Chronological Summary

1896 (Age 25) - Married Ella Loraine Case, April 22
1897 (Age 26) - Tuberculosis -> Began Preaching
1898 - Spanish American War
1899 - Dwight Moody Dies Dec. 22
1900 - Ordained in Congregational church in Buffalo
1906 - Separated from Congregational community and joined the Troy Presbytery, NY
1906-10 Mt. Hermon School for Boys
1907 - Elementary Outline Studies in the Science of Music
1909 - Satan (forward by Scofield)
1911 - True Evangelism
1913 - Helped found Philadelphia School of the Bible
1914 - World War I Begins
          (Age 43)  Year of change of emphasis in Chafer's life -- (Spiritual Growth)
1915 - The Kingdom in History and Prophecy
~1916 - Scofield discussion -> became a Bible teacher - Moved to NJ
1917 - Salvation
1918 - He That Is Spiritual
         World War I Ends
1919 - Seven Major Signs of the Times
1921 - (Age 50) Must We Dismiss the Millennium?
         C. I Scofield Dies July 24
1922 - (Age 51) Moved to Dallas, Texas
1923 - Transferred to Dallas Presbytery of Presbyterian Church (USA)
~1923 - General Secretary of Central American Mission (founded by Scofield in 1890)
1924 - Founded Dallas Theological Seminary
1926 - Resigned from Dallas Scofield Memorial Church and from Central American Mission, but continued rigorous conference schedule and publications
         Major Bible Themes
1929 - Great Depression Begins
1935 - Heart Attack
1941 - Wife stroke
            World War II Begins for US (Dec. 7, 1941)
1944 - Wife died
1945 - Heart Attack
            Chafer's assistant, John F. Walvoord, began running Dallas Theological Seminary
         World War II Ends
1948 - Systematic Theology - Heart Attack
1950 - Korean War Begins
1952 - June - illness begins, Seattle
1952 - Aug. 22 - heart failure, death Seattle

Birth Chart

Lewis Sperry Chafer Birth ChartThe Birth Chart of Lewis Sperry Chafer contains a Bucket, a Stage, and a Plow.  The Focus of the Bucket was the Red Planet in Virgo, a sign of a bloody son.  The Focus of a bloody son corresponds to a person absorbed with the goal of a bloody son, such as the suffering of Jesus Christ on the Cross.  The Stage in Chafer's life corresponded to a pulpit and a place for singing.  A Plow resolves two planets in opposition into a third at the point of the Plow,  The Plow is always a sign of intense suffering, like being plowed under.  The point of the Plow in Chafer's chart was the God of the Covenants in Sagittarius, which symbolizes the doctrine of war.  Chafer lived through World Wars I and II, and his Systematic Theology was like a doctrine of war in the Church.

The Sun Sign was Aquarius, the Water Bearer, which symbolizes doctrine.  Chafer was a disciple of Bible Doctrine.  The Moon Sign was Taurus, for a prosperous congregation.  Since the time of birth was not known, the Ascendant and Midheaven cannot be determined.

Sun Sign

Chafer's Sun Sign was Aquarius, the Water Bearer.  Since water corresponds to the Word, this symbolizes doctrine.  Chafer was a strong doctrinal believer.  He concentrated on Bible Doctrine.  He taught the doctrine, preached it, and published extensive articles about it.

Moon Sign

The Moon Sign was Taurus, which symbolizes a prosperous congregation.  Chafer was able to found a seminary that was supported by gifts and grew and prospered.  Some of the graduates of the seminary very successful pastors and teachers.  One of those was R. B. Thieme, Jr.


A Bucket symbolizes a person who focuses his energy on achieving a goal.  The Focus of the Bucket in Chafer's chart was the Red Planet in Virgo, a sign of a bloody son, which corresponds to the suffering of Jesus Christ on the Cross.  Chafer, who labored as an evangelist, Bible teacher, and theologian, never lost sight of the Cross.


The Stage corresponded to Chafer's pulpit, for teaching, and the stage for singing Church music.


A Plow resolves the opposition of two planets into a third at the point of the Plow.  The result is intense suffering, like being plowed under.  The planets in opposition were the Red Planet in Virgo, for a bloody son, and the Morning Star in Pisces, for a choir director.  The point of the Plow was the God of the Covenants Planet in Sagittarius, a sign of the doctrine of war.  Chafer lived through three wars and into a fourth in US history, the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War.  Furthermore, Chafer's publications were a doctrine of war against the prevailing apostasy in the Church.  For example, his book, He That Is Spiritual, drew heavy criticism from B. B. Warfield, the leading theologian in the United States.  The book amounted to a declaration of war against Reformed Theology, which failed to understand the Filling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life.

Chafer's establishment of Dallas Seminary also brought heavy criticism from the Baptists and other denominations.  The true theology, which he taught, was strongly opposed by the apostates in the Church.  The seminary was part of Chafer's war plan to offset the influence of liberal pastors in the Presbyterian Church and other churches.


The Mediator Planet was on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer.  It was moving out of Gemini into Cancer and had properties of both.  In Gemini, it symbolized a Mediator and California.  In Cancer it symbolized ligaments, which correspond to a pastor, who is symbolized by joints and ligaments (Eph 4:16).  Chafer was a pastor who sought unity in the Church and wanted nothing to do with denominations.  He was also a great believer in Bible conferences, which operate outside the local church.

There was also an uncanny foreboding in the Mediator Planet on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer in Chafer's chart.  He had his first two heart attacks (1935 and 1945) in California.  And the eventual heart failure that caused his death was associated with both Cancer and Gemini.  Cancer corresponds to Washington state, where Chafer became ill for eight weeks and died.  During his illness, a strong earthquake, second only in the US to the Great San Francisco earthquake of Magnitude 7.8 (Apr. 18, 1906), struck Kern County, California on July 21, 1952.  An aftershock of 5.8 Magnitude struck Bakersfield and devastated 64 blocks of the city on the day of Chafer's death on August 22, 1952.


A pair of planets were in Taurus.  The Almighty God Planet in Taurus symbolized a world ruler.  Chafer was tantamount to a world ruler in Systematic Theology.  The publication of his Systematic Theology brought world-wide recognition.

The Moon in Taurus symbolized a prosperous congregation.  An example was the time the Dallas Seminary was near bankruptcy and the creditors were due to foreclose one day at noon.  As Chafer and others prayed in the morning, Harry Ironside prayed, "Lord we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are Thine. Please sell some of them and send us the money."  Soon a Texan walked into the office and gave the secretary a check from the sale of two carloads of cattle.  The check was for the exact amount needed.  The secretary took the check to Chafer, who recognized the signature on the check as belonging to a cattleman friend.  He said, "Well, Harry, He sold the cattle."9

Taurus also corresponds to the location of Great Britain, where Chafer traveled in his ministry and where the Keswick Movement occurred.  Chafer credited the Keswick Movement in England with bringing attention to the rightful place of the Holy Spirit in the Church as well as propagating error about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.10  Since reformed theology failed to recognize the importance of the Filling of the Holy Spirit, its adherents were spiritually dead.  Chafer accurately included the Filling of the Holy Spirit in his theology.


The Last Adam Planet was in Aries, which symbolizes the integrity of a leader.  Chafer was respected for his integrity even by his opponents, who respected him for holding to his convictions and for his good character.  Aries also corresponds to the region of Issachar in the northeastern part of the US.  This region includes New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, where Chafer lived and worked.


The Redeemer Planet and the Morning Star were in Pisces.  The Redeemer Planet in Pisces symbolizes giving.  Chafer was known for giving, and his ministry was possible because of the grace giving of others.  The Morning Star in Pisces symbolizes a choir director.  It could also be the director of a seminary.  Chafer was a choir director at the Mt. Hermon School for Boys.  He performed jobs like choir director and seminary president from his function of believer-priest in the Church.


The Savior Planet was in Capricornus.  This symbolized the Savior of the Gentiles.  As an evangelist, Chafer preached Jesus Christ as the Savior of the Gentiles.  Capricornus also corresponds to Texas, where Chafer was pastor of the Scofield Memorial Church and where he founded Dallas Theological Seminary.

Death Chart

Lewis Sperry Chafer Death ChartThe Death Chart of Lewis Sperry Chafer contains Plow inscribed in a Bowl.  The Bowl symbolizes a bowl of cursing, and the Plow symbolizes intensified suffering, like being plowed under.  The Plow was pointed at the Sun in Taurus, which is a bad omen that signifies trying to put out a person's light and life.  The Plow resolved the opposition of the Red Planet in Scorpius, for the suffering from Satan, and the Almighty God Planet in Aries, for a commander or other military leader.  Since the time of death is not known, the Ascendant and Midheaven cannot be determined.


Three planets, including the Sun and the Moon, were in Leo.  This adds great significance to the power of the sign.  The Sun in Leo signifies the King of glory, e. g. the Lord Jesus Christ at the Second Advent.  The Moon in Leo signifies a politician.  Chafer could be construed as a politician in his attending of the Bible conference in Seattle.  Bible conferences are outside the authority of the local church.  The Morning Star in Leo signifies a Sovereign.  The death of a person is the Sovereign decision of Almighty God.


The Bowl symbolizes a bowl of cursing.  The signs indicate that Chafer died under divine punishment even though there was Grace associated with his death.  It was said that he died peacefully on August 21, where 21 is for Providential Preventative Suffering.  However, the California earthquakes associated with his death symbolized the Judgment of Ecumenical Babylon.  And heart failure is divine punishment of loss of Light, i. e. darkness.


There were two planets in Cancer.  The Savior Planet in Cancer symbolized a healer.  This was obviously the issue as Chafer was dying.  However, the Last Adam in Cancer symbolized scourging, which is intensified punishment.  Cancer corresponds to the region of Washington state.  Chafer died in Seattle, which is at 47 N., for peace, and 122 W., for cursing.  He died on August 22, for cursing.  It was day 235, for rest from enemies.


Gemini, which is next to Cancer, corresponds to the location of California, where a major earthquake of Magnitude 7.3 struck Kern County during Chafer's final illness on July 21, 1952.  On the day of Chafer's death an aftershock of Magnitude 5.8 near Bakersfield devastated the city.  Chafer had heart attacks in California in 1935 and 1945.  He went to California every summer to visit his friends and former seminary students.

The Mediator Planet was in Gemini, which can symbolize a guardian angel.  When the believer dies, the angels escort him to heaven.  That was undoubtedly the case with Chafer.


The Redeemer Planet in Virgo symbolizes a Redeemer son, which could be a description of Chafer after his father died when he was 11.  And the God of the Covenants Planet in Virgo symbolizes a caretaker.  Chafer died with friends, who were his caretakers.

Death Summary

Chafer died after a long and productive life that was crowned with significant accomplishments.  He was a world leader in theology and left the most accurate standard that is still used today.  God, alone decides the time, manner, and place of death.  The death of the believer glorifies God - not the believer.  Since we don't have access to all God's thinking, all we can do is note some of the obvious circumstances.

Chafer's death was accompanied by signs of cursing, which indicate divine punishment.  Chafer's Death Chart contained a Bowl with a Plow inside, which indicates a Bowl of cursing and a Plow of intensified suffering.  The point of the Plow was the Sun in Leo, which symbolizes putting out a person's light and life.  A heart attack occurs when God takes away a person's Light of life and leaves him in darkness.  Friendship with the world leads to political darkness in Political Babylon.  Chafer was at a Bible conference, which is outside the authority of the local church and a good place to contact political darkness.

The California earthquakes in conjunction with Chafer's death were God's Judgment of Ecumenical Babylon.  Chafer died on August 22, 1952, Day 235, where 22 is for cursing, 52 is for a wall of security as symbolized by the security function of Cancer in Washington state, and 235 is for rest from enemies (35).  Chafer died at 81, for the grace counterattack of the Prostitute of Babylon, which is a curse of Ecumenical Babylon.  The Prostitute of Babylon ruled most churches and Bible conferences in Chafer's day.  The Keswick Movement was significant, but it was also outside the authority of the local church and conducted under the ministry of those without sound doctrine - i.e. under the influence of the Prostitute of Babylon.

And the Red Planet in Scorpius in Chafer's Death Chart symbolized suffering from Satan.  Satan was allowed to punish Chafer in his death.  This was the counterattack of Cosmic Babylon, which may very well have come because Chafer needed to get to Spiritual Rapport and had not yet made it.  Under such cases (like Job), Satan is allowed to attack the believer.  He is also allowed to administer the Sin Leading to Death in come cases, with God's permission.

Thus, there were signs that Chafer was counterattacked by Cosmic, Political, and Ecumenical Babylon in his death.


The Birth Chart of Lewis Sperry Chafer contains a Bucket, a Stage, and a Plow.  The Bucket with its Focus of the Red Planet in Virgo symbolizes Chafer's ability to accomplish goals associated with the bloody son, the Cross of Christ.  He became a Christian at age 6.  The Stage corresponds to his pulpit and singing ministry.  When he leaned to sing, he used that function of the priesthood of the believer to sing in evangelistic meetings.  He taught music in a boys' school.  When he got the opportunity to preach, he became an evangelist.  When he recognized the need to study the Bible, he learned it and became a Bible teacher.  When he saw the need to provide accurate theology to pastors, he joined the staff a Scofield's Schools of the Bible in Philadelphia and New York.  And he founded what became Dallas Theological Seminary.  He published the monumental Systematic Theology.

Along with the Bowl, however, was a Plow, the sign of intensified suffering.  His father died of tuberculosis when he was 11, and he himself had tuberculosis in 1897.  As he stood for the truth, he suffered the counterattacks of apostates, which included the world's most renowned reformed theologists.  He lived through three wars of the US and into the third.  He lived through the Great Depression.  And he suffered four heart attacks.

Chafer's Birth Sign was Aquarius, which signifies doctrine.  Chafer was a great disciple and teacher of Bible Doctrine.  He dedicated his life to it.  The Moon in Taurus indicated a prosperous congregation.  Chafer received grace support for his ministry, including the founding of the Dallas Seminary.  The Almighty God Planet in Taurus was the sign of a world ruler.  Chafer was a world ruler in theology.

Chafer's flaw appeared to be his big heart.  His integrity was respected even by his enemies.  He refused to engage in denominational controversies.  However, his big heart led to problems with his worldly Christian friends, and he had heart attacks twice in California.  His Death Chart contained a Bowl for cursing and a Plow for intensified suffering.  The signs of cursing accompanied his death on August 22, 1952, where 22 is for cursing and 52 is for a wall of security associated with Cancer and Washington state, where he died in Seattle, which is at 47 N., for peace, and 122 W., for cursing.  He was 81, for a grace counterattack from the Prostitute of Babylon, who is Satan's enemy of the Church from Ecumenical Babylon.

Lewis Sperry Chafer Birth Chart Planets

Sun Aquarius Doctrine
Moon Taurus Prosperous congregation
Savior Capricornus Savior of the Gentiles
Morning Star Pisces Choir director
Red Planet Virgo Bloody son
Almighty God Taurus World ruler
Ring Planet Sagittarius Doctrine of war
Mediator Gemini Redeemer son
Redeemer Pisces Giving
Last Adam Aries Integrity of a leader



1.  C. F. Lincoln.  "Biographical Sketch of the Author," Systematic Theology, Volume VIII, by Lewis Sperry Chafer, (Dallas, Texas:  Dallas Seminary Press), June, 1978.
2.  "Lewis Sperry Chafer," Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, (Wheaton Illinois:  Wheaton College), 2008.
3.  Harold F. Fleming.  An Investigation into the Rhetorical Techniques of Lewis Sperry Chafer, Master's Thesis, (Texas Technological College), May, 1969.
4.  "A Review of Lewis Sperry Chafer's 'He That Is Spiritual'," Benjamin B. Warfield, The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. XVII, No. 2, April, 1919, pp. 322-327.
5.  Dr. Kim Riddlebarger.  Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield:  Apologist, Polemicist and Theologian,
6.  "Historic Earthquakes, Kern County, California," USGS.
7.  "Historic Earthquakes, Kern County, California," USGS.
8.  "Kern County Earthquake," Southern California Earthquake Data Center.
9.  Howard Hendricks, "Selling Cattle," Stories from the Heart, by Alice Gray (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1996), p. 272.
10.  Chafer, L. S. (1993). Systematic Theology. (Dallas, Tex.: Dallas Seminary Press), 1947-1948.  Vol. 6, pp. 103, 122.

Released February 5, 2010 - Revised March 6, 2015

Author: Larry Wood
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