Apr 28, 2009

Hyper Calvinism's Regeneration II

In "THE EVANGELICAL REPOSITORY" (SIXTH SERIES, No. I.—September, 1874), in an article titled "THE ORIGIN AND FORMATION OF THE EVANGELICAL UNION" (No. XXII), there is information about a dispute among churches over issues respecting "regeneration before faith." The following citation identifies the regeneration before faith view as an element of Hyper Calvinism.

"Since the same questions were put in 1844 to the five suspected churches by the four Glasgow churches, in order to bring out unmistakably the views of the former on the Work of the Divine Spirit, and the Election of Grace, it would naturally be expected that considerable similarity would be found in all the reasonings transmitted in reply. It strikes us, therefore, that since we have indicated the course of the argument pursued in the correspondence with the Hamilton Church, we need not linger long over the rest of the series. A few of the more prominent varieties, however, in these theological epistles may be noticed with profit.

The letter sent to the Bellshill Church was undoubtedly more Calvinistic in its type than that sent to the neighbouring church in Hamilton. The hyper-Calvinistic doctrine of Regeneration before Faith was plainly insisted upon in it; and credit for the same was given by rumour to the pastor of the Nile Street Church, now settled in England. It need not be matter of surprise, therefore, that after postulating such a dogma, the writer should turn round upon the members of the Bellshill Church, and say, "Brethren, we are at a loss to conceive what you have done with the doctrine of Regeneration ; for we can see no place for it in your system." The simple-minded people had no difficulty in replying that they had put the doctrine exactly where the Apostle James and the Apostle Peter had put it: for the former had said, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth" (i, 18); and the latter, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

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