Jan 5, 2009

Campbellite Regeneration

B. H. Carroll Jr. said:

"The truth is, Alexander Campbell was the father of twins, Hardshellism and Campbellism." ("The Genesis of American Anti-Missionism," pages 93, 95)

I have shown how many of the first Hardshell ("anti-mission" or "anti-means") Baptists, many of the Old Regular Baptists, and some among the founders of the Southern Baptists and other groups of Baptists, believed that the "begetting" of the sinner, in regeneration and conversion, was a separate act and experience from "birthing."

I have shown how this was the view of Samuel Richardson, a signer of the first Baptist London Confession of faith. I have also shown how other non-Baptists groups also, in some fashion, split up the new birth into stages, either two, three, or more, with some adopting natural conception and birth as a strict model for the spiritual birth.

I have shown how many of these "birth splitters" eliminated "means" and faith from the "begetting," but allowed them in the "birthing."

I have shown how the Campbellites also have adopted the idea that the "begetting" and the "birthing" are distinct separate events. I have cited Alexander Campbell himself on the matter. But, to add to this, notice how this "Church of Christ" web site promotes this view of the "new birth."

"All of these views have an element of truth, but regeneration is a combination of these three views.

1. One is begotten of God when he comes to faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

2. One is born of water when baptized or immersed in water.

3. One is born of the Spirit when he receives the Holy Spirit as a gift of God

What about the Evangelical position?

They seem to have confused the begettal with the birth. When you come to faith, you are not “born again”; you are “begotten by God”. When you believe, God gives you the right or authority to become a child of God, but you do not become a child until you are born of water and the Spirit. John 1: 12, 13"
(emphasis mine)

See here

Well, what about the "evangelical position"? Is this so?

Yes, most evangelicals do see the begetting and the birthing as denoting the same experience. Many of the "reformed" faith, Baptist or Presbyterian, who believe in the "born again before faith" error, though they might confess that they too do not see the "begetting" as distinct and separate from the "birthing," yet in essence they do, as I have shown in previous writings.

It seems to me that those, like James White, Tom Ascol, Al Mohler, John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, etc., who believe that regeneration is distinct and separate from conversion, and saying the first is without means while the second is by means, are in essence preaching this same paradigm, and making the same distinctions on the words "begetting" and "birthing." They would do well to step up and frankly acknowledge that this is their view, like John Hendryx has done, and quit speaking contradictorily.

I do plan to write against this false "birth model" in the near future.

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