Aug 5, 2009

A Reader's Accusation

I got a comment today on an old posting. It was on my second posting in a short series examining Snoeberger on the "ordo salutis." You can read the article here. John, the commenter, wrote:

"Reymond, Snoeberger, Piper, and Sproul as hardshells? Hardly! You'd also have to throw Spurgeon into this category (though for some reason you don't seem to want to do this) for he clearly held to the position advocated by these modern-day Calvinists.

You appear to have accepted several aspects of Arminian theology either wittingly or not. And you seem ready to call anyone who is a Calvinist a "hardshell".

You are confused and mistaken at best."

I then responded with these two quick comments.

Dear John:

To deny God uses the gospel as a means in regeneration is classic Hardshellism or Hyper Calvinism. For anyone to deny means in the new birth is Hyper in his Calvinism.

Spurgeon did not believe men were born again before faith. I have numerous citations from him in this blog that cite him on this. He taught the same thing as Abraham Booth and John Stock, two men who's works he endorsed. Both these men believed sinners are born again by faith.

If you want me to reference all these citations from Spurgeon and other great five point Calvinists, which show they did not believe that regeneration preceded faith, just let me know and I will provide you the links to the particular blog posts.

It is not part of Arminian theology to put faith before new birth. I could counter and say that you "seem" to have imbibed Hyper Calvinistic definitions.

Dear John:

Here are some statements by leading Calvinistic Baptist on regeneration NOT preceding faith and conversion.

Abraham Booth said:

"...the page of inspiration does not warrant our supposing, that any one is born of God, before he believe in Jesus Christ."

Spurgeon endorsed these words of Booth.

Spurgeon himself said, in commenting upon John 1: 10-13:

"...believers are “born again” and receive Christ through faith..."

In 1861 Spurgeon endorsed in full the writings of John Stock in Stock's book "A handbook of revealed theology," and in this book Stock clearly avows what Booth had avowed. Stock affirmed that men are born again by faith.

Alexander Carson wrote:

"We are regenerated by faith, and not by the rite of baptism. Baptism is an emblem of this washing and regeneration." (Baptism in its mode and subjects By Alexander Carson - pg. 478-79)

Benjamin Keach wrote:

"The Gospel through the grace of it, when received in truth, raises the dead soul to life."

Spurgeon Compared

If we compare Spurgeon with the men named above (Reymond, Sproul, Snoeberger, etc.), we see how Spurgeon did not accept the "born again before faith" error. Clearly Spurgeon did not believe the same as the men named above. The men named above believe men are regenerated apart from the gospel, and apart from faith. Spurgeon did not!

Arminian Ordo Salutis?

It is not an "Arminian" ordo salutis to put faith before regeneration, but a Biblical ordo salutis. Also, as I have shown, many five point Calvinists put faith before regeneration, at least logically.

Hardshell Ordo Salutis

No, I do not charge all Calvinists with being Hyper or of leaning that way. However, anyone who denies means in regeneration is Hyper and has taken the first step towards full-fledged Hardshellism.

Why don't some of these men come forward to debate the issue? Where is James White? Why has he not accepted the challenge to debate the ordo salutis? Why not others of his kind? I challenged Ligon Duncan III to debate it, but he chose not to do so. In fact, I have a standing challenge here to debate any representative of the "born again before faith" error. Why don't they just "put up or shut up"?

Further, I am not mistaken about Hyper Calvinism, Hardshellism, and the history of the doctrine of regeneration. My blog postings prove this to be the case.

No comments: