Nov 9, 2008

Pyro Discussion Postscript I

Chad said:

"The gospel doesn't beget anyone."

I could not believe that this statement was made by this professing "Calvinist"! He tried to clarify this by saying that it is the Holy Spirit who begets. He implies, by this statement, that they can't both be true. However, both statements are true. We are begotten by the Spirit and by the word, just as the confessions and the scriptures clearly state.

"Thy word hath quickened me." (Psalm 119: 50 KJV)

"For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." (I Corinthians 4: 15 KJV)

When a means is used towards an end, by an agent, it can be said that both the agent and the agency (means) did the work, or achieved the end. I water my garden with a hose. I did the watering. But so did the hose. One is the efficient cause and the other is the instrumental cause, but both are causes.

It is this statement by Chad that reveals (perhaps in the manner of a "Freudian slip") his Hyperism! Any Hardshell would give forth a hearty "amen" to such a statement!

The words of Paul show how Chad's reasoning is false. Chad reasons that since the Holy Spirit is the one who "begets," therefore nothing, or no one else, can be said to "beget"! Yet, Paul disagreed with such reasoning, for he believed that it was true to say that not only the Holy Spirit "begets," and also that he, Paul, "begat," and also that the gospel "begat."

Next, Chad wrote:

"That's what it means to be quickened by the Spirit. It means to be made alive, regenerated, in order to be able to answer God's effectual call, in order to believe."

But, John 5: 40 is against him! Jesus said to some unregenerate Jews:

"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."

Chad says that one must have "life" first, before the sinner will come! Thus, the verse should read (to fit with Chad's Hyperism) - "and you will not have life that you might come unto me"! Clearly this verse puts "life" AFTER the "coming" and not BEFORE it, as does Chad and the Hypers. Christ says that the "coming" precedes the receiving of "life."

Notice also that by Chad's reasoning, a man is "alive" without any faith and repentance! The "life" that is given, therefore, does not have faith and repentance as part of it.

Notice too how Chad's idea of what it means to be "quickened" or spiritually "alive" excludes faith! A man is "alive" and yet is an unbeliever!

Chad says further:

"The gospel is the means, not the one performing the action."

Here Chad tries to create the proverbial "straw man" by arguing that if one puts faith before the birth, then he denies that the Holy Spirit is "the one" who does the birthing!

But, if the gospel is the means, not only of begetting "faith," but also of begetting "life," then it is appropriate to say that the gospel begets! But, when pressed on the matter, men like Chad and White, must be forced to admit, like Hendryx, that the gospel is no means in the "first stage" of "regeneration," the stage wherein "life" or "ability" is given, but only in the "second stage," the stage wherein the one with the "life" is given "faith" and "repentance," that which they did not receive at the same time they received the "life."

Chad wrote further:

"The means by which men are brought to faith is by the believing the gospel. But the ability to believe the gospel savingly requires regeneration which is wrought in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit."

Chad is almost as forthright here as was Hendryx who affirmed that there are no means used in the "first stage" of "regeneration," the stage wherein one recieves "life," but only in the "second stage," the stage wherein one who is already "alive" receives "faith" and "repentance."

He says that the gospel is a means in begetting faith, but in the begetting of life, there is no means! Again, that is simply Hardshellism or Hyper Calvinism. He, and those like him, are simply "living in denial" of the fact and trying to have it both ways!

Chad says:

"Yes, of course, men are saved by believing the gospel and that is the only way men are saved."

Men are "saved" by believing the gospel but they are NOT "begotten" by the gospel! By this definition, he clearly eliminates the gospel as a "means" in the begetting! Also, by his definition of things, a man who is "begotten" or "alive," is one who is NOT "saved"!

These fellows do not like to make the word "saved" to denote "regeneration" or "quickening"! They are fond of saying that a sinner is first "regenerated," then later "brought to faith," and then finally "saved." A "regenerated" man who is not "saved"!

Chad then says:

" are born again before faith yes, but apart from faith? No. They always go together."

Yes, they do always go together! But, you admit, that logically speaking, they do not go together! Thus, the glaring inconsistency!

But, if one says that a sinner is "born again" BEFORE faith, then faith is not a necessary ingredient! Therefore, it IS apart from faith if it is a completed work BEFORE faith. Again, Chad is "living in denial" of his Hyperism.

Then, concerning Spurgeon, Chad wrote:

"As for Spurgeon, I already said maybe I'm wrong but that sermon I linked you to sure does sound to me like he believed that men must be made alive before they can believe. It doesn't matter, Spurgeon does not define Calvinism anyway."

I find that Spurgeon is often "taken out of context" by the Hyperist who attempts to put Spurgeon in the category of those who believe that one is born again prior to coming to Christ, and prior to faith and repentance. Spurgeon, were he alive today, I have no doubt, would not be "siding with" the likes of Chad and White. He would repudiate the idea that the "begetting to life" is a completed work prior to coming to Christ and to faith.

Spurgeon, like I do, was content to put the matter both ways, for the scriptures, as I have often pointed out, do not maintain a strict "ordo salutis" on this matter. Sometimes the begetting is viewed as prior to and producing the faith and hope of Christians. But, MORE OFTEN, the scriptures put the begetting after faith. Can we therefore say of both the scriptures and of Spurgeon, that they are contradictory? No! The reason is simply this - there is no such a thing as a strict "ordo salutis" in either the scriptures or in the writings of Spurgeon. Like Spurgeon, I say, a man is not born again until he has believed! Spurgeon never represented a man as "born again" until he had come to Christ, and had believed and repented.

No comments: