Jul 28, 2009

Fuller on Ordo Salutis

The following citations from Andrew Fuller with observations by Priestly show that Fuller embraced the born again before faith error.

"To Fuller, the only way for faith to be holy is for God through his Word to regenerate the heart prior to believing. He writes,

"The...question is in what order these things are caused. Whether the Holy Spirit causes the mind, while carnal, to discern and believe spiritual things, and thereby renders it spiritual; or whether he imparts a holy susceptibility and relish for the truth, in consequence of which we discern its glory, and embrace it. The latter appears to me to be the truth. The following are the principal grounds on which I embrace it."

Fuller then proceeds to lay out his reasons for regeneration preceding faith and repentance:

1) “The Scriptures represent the dominion of sin in the heart as utterly inconsistent with a spiritual perception and belief of the gospel...Hence it will follow that the Holy Spirit must remove the obstacle of unbelief, so that spiritual things may be spiritually discerned.”

2) “Though holiness is frequently ascribed in the Scriptures to a spiritual perception of the truth, yet that...perception itself...is ascribed to the influence of the Holy Spirit upon the heart: ‘The Lord opened the heart of Lydia, and she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul.’” In addition, Fuller cites as proof texts 2 Corinthians 4:6; 1 John 2:27; and 1 John 2:20.

3) “Every thing which proves spiritual perception and faith to be holy exercises also proves that a change of heart must of necessity precede them, as no holy exercise can have place while the heart is under the dominion of carnality.”

Faith, then, is the effect of the spiritual influence of God upon the heart, which influence (i.e., regeneration) enables the carnal heart to have a holy sensibility toward God. If otherwise, Fuller contends, we have the absurdity of an ungodly believer. Yet, in the final analysis, “the truth appears to be, these things [regeneration and faith] are inseparable; and when promises are made to one, it is as connected with the other. The priority contended for is rather in order of nature than of time...No sooner is the heart turned towards Christ [by regeneration] than Christ is embraced [in faith].” (57)


by Gerald L. Priest

See here

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