Thursday, March 09, 2006

James White Preaches for Hardshell Baptists

"Dr." James White's extreme Calvinist beliefs continue to be critiqued by Bob Ross, the publisher of C. H. Spurgeon's sermons. You can read some of Bob's articles on his web site, Selected Writings of Bob Ross.

Bob recently wrote an article, WHITE PREACHED FOR HARDSHELLS, which I am reprinting.


From: Pilgrimpub@aol.com
Subject: WHITE PREACHED FOR HARDSHELLS-- 8/9/05
JAMES WHITE PREACHED IN 2005 FOR A PROGRESSIVE HARDSHELL CHURCH IN GEORGIA [02/25--2006]

Back in August of 2005, I happened upon something which indicated that James White was a speaker for a Primitive Baptist, or Hardshell Baptist Church.

Primitive Baptists, frequently referred to as "Hardshells," teach that the elect are born again before they believe. In other words, they teach that "regeneration precedes faith in Christ."

If James White is not advocating something akin to Hardshellism -- which teaches that men are born again before faith -- why would a Hardshell Baptist church invite him to speak?

Hardshells have always been known to be very restrictive about who occupies their pulpits, and they are known for their stringent opposition to the "Means Baptists," or those who teach that the confession view that the Gospel. or Word of God, is used by the Holy Spirit as the instrumental means in the New Birth.

I hope this speaking engagement by James White at a Hardshell church is not an indication of the direction in which James White is headed -- after the past example of Lassere Bradley Jr. of Cincinnati and some other young preachers who left the "Means Baptists" to align themselves with the Hardshell Baptist sect which teaches the non-creedal view of the New Birth, that "regeneration precedes faith."

Here is that information, from James White himself:

>>
A Great Time at Ephesus Church in Georgia

Back from ministering in Georgia this weekend. Had a wonderful time with the elders and people of the Ephesus Progressive Primitive Baptist Church. They have a good bit of fun with their own name, actually, since "Progressive Primitive" sorta sounds like "tall short" or "fat skinny" or "happy sad" or some such pairing. But the folks were warm and encouraging and seemed to really enjoy the ministry. One of the elders even called me shortly after I landed back here in Phoenix (I did the "let's see the whole continent while we are at it" route, Savannah to Chicago; Chicago to Phoenix thing) to make sure I had arrived safely. Great bunch of folks! I look forward to visiting with them again.
>>

The difference between the Old School Primitives and the Progressive Primitives is explained as follows by the Primitive Baptists:

>>
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE NAME
"PROGRESSIVE PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS"?

About the year 1909 there arose a division among the Primitive Baptists, or Old School Baptists, concerning the use of musical instruments in the church and "protracted meetings." Any meeting that continued more than three days was considered a "protracted meeting." These two things were the main issues, but from all appearances preacher jealousy was the real cause of the division. Those abstaining from the use of musical instruments and declining to go beyond three days in a meeting named themselves "Old Liners" and branded those whom they opposed as "Progressive." Progressive Primitive Baptists do have Bible Study classes, Youth Fellowship meetings and musical instruments in their churches whereas the Old Line Baptists do not.
http://www.geocities.com/everettecoburn/answers1.html
>>

To my knowledge, Progressives still hold the same Primitive Baptist view that the New Birth takes place before faith, just as James White teaches.

These Primitive Baptists, or Hardshells, originally became a separate movement or denomination in the 1820s-1830s in opposition to the "innovations" in missionary methods adopted by the "Means Baptists" such as Luther Rice for the promotion of foreign missions. A theory of "pre-faith regeneration" was developed by men such as Gilbert Beebe and adopted as a theological basis for their opposition to the necessity of preaching the Gospel to the unregenerate. We have a series of articles in print on the history and heresies of the Hardshells.-- Bob L. Ross

43 Comments:

At Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:31:00 PM, Blogger James Swan said...

I figured this would happen. You have no ammo so you're using someone else's material.

Yawn. How lame.

 
At Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:31:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Charles,

I would be careful if you want to really dive into this one. Are you sure? First, I find it interesting that you and Bob Ross are so close. By the way " Bob I'm still waiting on my Spurgeon book that I ordered the other day( Volume 8 Sword and Trowel)." I hear Bob really enjoys the ministry of Joel Osteen. Is this true? I figure you would know since you and Bob are close.
If we were to really examine the theology and practice of many SBC giants what would we find? Old and new. Of course HyperCalvinism is scripturally wrong and most Hardshell I know even admit that they are Hypercalvinist. They don't believe in Duty faith and few other doctrines that traditional calvinist believe.However, the arminian and pelagian systems of theology are deadly and this is what you find in most SBC pulpits. Of course you will disagree but I'm still waiting for you to answer my question about yourself" Charles". Would you like for me to give you a list of SBC names that are pelagian or arminian? You might be on that list " Charles" if you would answer my question.
My point is that you might want to pull back from attacking James White and look in the mirror of your SBC giants. The TBN thing( Jack Graham,Rick Gage, Charles B( The gifted singer), James Merritt, and etc... . Your giants can't discern about supporting a network like that. Of course if James White ever appeared on TBN he would be debating them with Scripture like he is supposed to do.
Would you please ask Bob if he promotes the ministry of Joel Osteen.Does he believe that Joel preaches the gospel. Also, ask him would he compare Joel to Robert S and his son or would he say that Joel is just a little more polished. Your probably thinking " Why don't you ask Bob". Your right I will. " Bob what is your position on Joel?"
Since you like to promote Bob Ross so much I figured he looks at your site. How about you guys go on the Dividing Line with James and talk about these issues concerning TBN and Joel Osteen. Bob how about you letting Charles read a Defense of Calvinism by Spurgeon . Since Charles swats Calvinistic flies how does he hang around the guy that produces majority of the Spurgeon stuff in the USA? How do you guys get along? Spurgeon was unashamed Calvinist! Don't forget to send the book!

 
At Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:54:00 PM, Blogger James Swan said...

How lame. you don't have any of your own ammo so your using someone else's. The point of having a blog is doing your own material.

What happened to part 2 of your writing on Matthew 23:37?

I'm guessing it doesn't exist. Maybe someone could write it for you.

Have a nice day.

 
At Thursday, March 09, 2006 9:26:00 PM, Anonymous Randy Smith said...

James, Reformed blogs are the worst offenders. Have you visited Steve Camp's blog lately?

http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com

Or the Founder's website?

Why not visit them and post your "lame" remark?

Randy Smith

 
At Thursday, March 09, 2006 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the offenses on the founders blog and Steves blog?
The fact that they desire to stand for Truth among so much that is doctrinally incorrect! Scott shares some great points and many truths.

 
At Friday, March 10, 2006 9:12:00 AM, Blogger Chuck said...

Do you personally know anyone at that church?
Can you prove that those individuals are hyper-Calvinists, heretics, etc.?
Have you read anything they personally produced on the subject?
If so, then please provide it; if not, then this post is speculative.
Just thinking.

 
At Friday, March 10, 2006 11:58:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Charles,

I just got off the phone with Bob Ross. I asked him a question about SBC. Here was my question to Bob: Are you a five point calvinist? His answer was yes! The second question that I asked him was: Would you agree that the formation and early days of the SBC was rocked in the cradle of Five ponit Calvinism ? His answer was Yes! The third question was: Would you be willing to make that statement public? His answer was Yes!
How do you promote Bob so much if he embraces these views ? Why have you not swatted Bob? If Bob disagrees with these answers then he needs to let me know. I just got off the phone with him. If he does then he didn't tell me the truth. My next question to him will be the Joel Osteen stuff? I want to hear it from his own mouth.

 
At Friday, March 10, 2006 7:27:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Charles:

This is Bob Ross. I finally located your blogsite, but I have not read much of it yet.

Are you the gentleman who is posting "Select Writings of Bob L. Ross" at --
http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/1toc1.html

If so, I want to "Thank You" for doing so. BTW, you have my permission to correct my spelling, grammar, or any other typographical errors.

I don't think I specifically told anyone that I am a "five point Calvinist" -- what I always say is, "I am a Confessional Calvinist" -- as presented in the Philadelphia Confession and other such confessions of faith. That has been my "pat" answer to that question for a long time. There are so many "brands" of "five pointers" today that I eschew using the term when asked. I don't want to be cast in the same category with some of the "five pointers" such as "James The Exegete" and the Pedobaptist "born again before faith" disciples of Berkhof and Sproul. As you can see from my differences with the "pre-faith regeneration" advocates, I don't even agree that such "Calvinists" as that are in agreement with the Calvinism in our Confessions of Faith.

As for Joel Osteen, it appears to me that he is preaching a lot of good, biblical, simple, practical, and scripturally motivating principles, despite having no significant theological training or depth. And he always urges his listeners to repent and come to Christ at the conclusion of his sermons. Like C. H. Spurgeon did, Joel uses the "Sinner' Prayer."

I just wish a lot of our members in Baptist churches would practice a lot of the Christian life principles which Joel emphasizes. "James The Exegete" could even perhaps apply some of Joel's emphasis on telling the truth!

BTW, no less than R. Albert Mohler has said that Joel affirms the Gospel of Christ.
http://www.albertmohler.com/blog.php

-- Bob L. Ross

Oh, also I will add, for the benefit of anyone who thought otherwise, I am not "Charles"! And you are not me! Come to see me sometime and we can have a picture made of us together as evidence we are really two different persons.--BLR

 
At Friday, March 10, 2006 8:38:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Charles:

Did you get the comment I tried to leave on your blogsite? -- Bob L. Ross

Email-- pilgrimpub@aol.com

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 1:45:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob, Hello!

This is Bob Ross. I finally located your blogsite, but I have not read much of it yet.

It's an honor to have you visit, sir. Some of this blog you'll probably not like. I'm not a Calvinist but I really like Spurgeon. What a supreme soul winner he was! So unlike these Reformed Calvinists of today.

Are you the gentleman who is posting "Select Writings of Bob L. Ross" at --
http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/1toc1


No, I was searching for info on Google and found you. I read most all your articles.

I don't want to be cast in the same category with some of the "five pointers" such as "James The Exegete" and the Pedobaptist "born again before faith" disciples of Berkhof and Sproul. As you can see from my differences with the "pre-faith regeneration" advocates, I don't even agree that such "Calvinists" as that are in agreement with the Calvinism in our Confessions of Faith.

Yes, that is precisely what I have been trying to demonstrate -- that the Calvinism of Spurgeon and the Confessions is not the Calvinism of "Dr." White and other others.

You and I would disagree on many things, I'm sure. But as Moody and Spurgeon stood side by side I can stand side by side with a Christian who loves to preach Jesus to a lost world. That is what I love about Spurgeon. He was more concerned about converting lost people to Jesus than converting brothers to Calvinism. The gospel was the main thing, not trying to get preachers to quit giving altar calls.

Speaking of James, since I posted a few articles on my blog, his disciples have been raising Cain here! It's almost like they worship the guy or something.

As for Joel Osteen

Bob, I have not said anything about Osteen. That was Scott who posts here all the time. He is another James White wannabe, five-points looking for six if he could find another one. His rants provide this blog with some good comic relief. I believe he thinks that I am you.

If you look at all his posts you wonder when he ever has time to be a pastor! No wonder he was fired from his last church. He is starting a new web site (he says) which will "expose" large churches in the SBC. What a great guy, huh?

Oh, also I will add, for the benefit of anyone who thought otherwise, I am not "Charles"! And you are not me! Come to see me sometime and we can have a picture made of us together as evidence we are really two different persons.--

I have no idea why anyone would think we were the same person. Scott is a strange guy. Every time I post one of your articles I guess he calls you up to confirm! He is really funny!

Come back anytime, Bob. If we don't agree, we can agree to disagree!

I am praying for your great ministry -- keep publishing Spurgeon!

PS -- To anyone wanting info about "The Church of Christ" -- Bob is the expert. Call him and get all his books on the subject!

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 2:09:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Charles,

I'm glad I humor you.It's an honor to be fired for believing the truth! The truth finally comes out that Charles is not Bob. Thanks for clearing the air! Things have been made real clear now that Bob seems to align more with the theology of Charles. I tried real hard to believe that Bob Ross would support the Founders scriptural theology over men like Charles.
The Joel Osteen comments sum it up real clear now. I have enjoyed swarmming your site and have been waiting for the "Swat". Just good humor" Charles". Serious, the truth will stand and that's why a Calvinist can rejoice! Charles, have you read A Defense of Calvinism by Spurgeon? So, you admit you love Spurgeon because of his evangelistic zeal ? Wonderful and I agree but please read A Defense of Calvinism. Bob would you be willing to give Charles a "Free hard back copy"?
So, in closing to Charles and Bob I believe you guys make a wonderful Tag Team. However I'm going to stick with James White. Have a wonderful night!

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:03:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Charles,

Scott wrote,
"Things have been made real clear now that Bob seems to align more with the theology of Charles. I tried real hard to believe that Bob Ross would support the Founders scriptural theology over men like Charles."

I have had the privilege of meeting Brother Scott, and we rejoice in his love for Spurgeon. As for your "theology," Charles, I don't really know what it is, and don't even know you nor your church affiliation.

As for the Founders "scriptural scriptural theology," I support the Founders on everything in the Baptist Confessions of Faith on theology wherein we are of the same mind.

If the Founders contend for things which are not clearly set forth in the Confessions, I may find cause to differ with them.

Does one have to "rubber stamp" everything the Founders' Board of Directors affirm in order to hold "scriptural theology"? I don't think even Scott would go that are, would he? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 2:56:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Charles -- I thought I had sent a comment a few hours ago, but I have checked and it does not seem to have reached you. Did you not receive it.

Email me at pilgrimpub@aol.com and I will email the comment to you. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 3:35:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Hello, Bob!

You said, "I have had the privilege of meeting Brother Scott."

Try and help the brother! He is sinking fast into the mire of James White's "regeneration before faith" heresy. As is Tom Nettles and most of "The Founders." Instead of finding a "Spurgeon kind of Calvinist," The Founders ran to James White to represent them in a debate with Dr. Caner. Bob, are there any "Spurgeon Calvinists" left? All the Calvinists I find on the blogs are either Reformed or Hardshell.

Charles

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 5:19:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Charles asked,
"Bob, are there any 'Spurgeon Calvinists' left? All the Calvinists I find on the blogs are either Reformed or Hardshell."

BOB:
Charles, I hope no one will form an opinion of Calvinism based on what appears on some of the websites and blogs. I would hope that responsible minds will discern Calvinism from the standards -- the Confessions of Faith in Calvinist history. Some zealots for Calvinism will no doubt go beyond, or come short, of what is written in the Confessions, and this is unfortunate.

Charles also said, "The Founders ran to James White to represent them in a debate with Dr. Caner."

I'm surprised, if this is the case. James will not embellish either the Founders or Calvinism.

If you know the history of the Founders movement [http://www.founders.org/library/quiet/quiet3.html} you know that it was started by the late Ernest Reisinger. I met Bro. Ernest in 1966 at the first "Grace" Conference in Carlisle, Pa. and I met him at another conference in Carlisle later. Ernest has also visited with me at our book store here in Texas. Ernest was greatly influenced in the 1960s by Iain Murray, the Pedobaptist who was selected to be director of the Banner of Truth Trust (publishers) in England, established by Martyn Lloyd-Jones and a wealthy Christian layman who wanted to use his wealth for the Lord. The B&T Pedobaptists had a great deal of influence upon Ernest (who at that time was a "layman" in the Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle, pastored by Walter Chantry), and Murray's views on (1) "regeneration" and (2) anti-public invitations were imbibed by Bro. Ernest. Ernest adopted the Louis Berkhof theory of "pre-faith regeneration" and the "anti-invitationalism" of Murray, and he has promoted these in his Founders movement. I don't know that all affilates of the Founders go along with these ideas, however; each one can speak for himself.

If the Founders are indeed behind James White, it puts another chink in the Founders armour in their efforts to properly represent Calvinism.

If the Founders are depending upon James White to defend Calvinism, they may discover that they are in the predicament described in Proverbs 25:19. If James let Dave Hunt get away with flogging him with quotes from a Calvinist, Spurgeon, can he do much better debating Caner?

I have already informed Caner that James White DOES NOT represent confessional Calvinism, but adheres to the Pedobaptist phantasmagoria as it is advocated by Berkhof and Sproul.

It is unfortunate that Caner, who obviously does not have an adequate understanding of confessional Calvinism, is now subjected to even further confusion as a result of James White's parroting of the Pedobaptists who have departed from their own theological standards. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 8:56:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Charles:

In a former post, I said,
"Ernest was greatly influenced in the 1960s by Iain Murray, the Pedobaptist who was selected to be director of the Banner of Truth Trust (publishers) in England, established by Martyn Lloyd-Jones and a wealthy Christian layman" [i.e. D. J. W. Cullum] "who wanted to use his wealth for the Lord."

And I pointed out that Iain Murray's "anti-invitationalism" was imbibed by Ernest in the 1960s. Murray wrote and published a booklet about invitations, and Ernest later wrote about what he called the "invitation system" on the Founders' website and in some printed materials.

I regard Murray as being the probable "father" of an anti-invitationalism in regard to many today who oppose invitations.

It is rather paradoxical that the man who first proposed establishing the Banner of Truth Trust, and whose wealth made the Banner of Truth Trust an establishment, Mr. D. J. W. CULLUM, was himself converted in what would be viewed as an "altar" type circumstance.

The Banner of Truth of July 1971, has a short bio of Mr. Cullum, a multi-millionaire, and it says that "it was while kneeling at a morning service in St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem on Christmas Day, that he received assurance of his salvation in Jesus Christ" (page 2, issue #93).

Despite this similarity to many professed conversions during an invitation (some call it "altar call"), and despite the fact that some of the very brethren who oppose invitations testify to having been saved during invitations, they nevertheless put a "taboo" on the public invitation "system" (as they call it) or "altar calls."

In fact, I think ERNEST REISINGER probably professed faith in Christ during an invitation, as he originally was a member of an SBC church ["Reisinger’s baptism was in a Southern Baptist church and the first church he joined after his conversion was a Southern Baptist church" -- First Baptist of Havre de Grace, Maryland --http://www.founders.org/library/quiet/quiet3.html

Just think about it -- Iain Murray and the Banner of Truth Trust might have never been in a position to publish their great books had it not been for the conversion of Mr. Cullum in an "altar" type circumstance.

Ernest Reisinger might have never known Iain Murray or read his booklet against invitations, had it not been for Mr. Cullum's "altar" like experience.

The Founders might have never been founded by Reisinger had it not been for his connection with Murray and Murray's influence upon him.

Yet today, Murray and many of the "Reformed" brethren and many of the Founders brethren oppose invitations.

Is this not a classical example of "biting the hand that fed you"? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 9:50:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Bob,

How in the world can you be supporting Dr.Caner? What are you thinking? Are you actually closer to Dr.Caner theologically? There is no way you can be if you read and publish Spurgeon as you do.
Please rethink what you are doing!The " Charles" and "Caner" camps have killed the SBC long enough. Remeber who has been in the SBC pulpits and leadership for the last 80yrs.Not the Calvinist and that's what needs to change! Also, I want to talk with you by phone concerning Joel Osteen. Can you send me one message where he preaches clearly on sin, repentance, Justification,or any doctrine. I hope I'm wrong about him but I actually listen to him on TV and it is a "Polished Robert Schuller".

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 10:35:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Hello, Bob!

Is this not a classical example of "biting the hand that fed you"?

Yeah, they were saved at an altar call and now say it is a tool of the devil!

Looks like Scott is back on his Joel Osteen rant. Good luck with him.



Hello, Scott!

You said to Bob, "There is no way you can be if you read and publish Spurgeon as you do

Scott, The Founders want to convert the SBC to Reformed Calvinism. Spurgeon wanted to convert sinners to Jesus Christ.

read a Defense of Calvinism by Spurgeon

Scott your arrogance is only exceeded by your ignorance. Do you think you James White wannabes are the only people who read Calvinists?

But, thank you, Scott. Yes, that did it for me. I'm now a Reformed, anti-altar call, "born again before faith" Calvinist.

Not!

Don't you have a church to pastor?

Charles

 
At Saturday, March 11, 2006 10:46:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

DR. DAGG ON THE WORD IN REGENERATION

I was floundering on the Founders' website, and came upon a reference by the late founder, Brother Ernest Reisinger, to Dr. J. L. Dagg. http://www.founders.org/FJ19/article5.html

Dr. Dagg was on the Faculty at Southern Baptist Seminary back in the 19th century days of Boyce and Broadus. Here is what Dr. Dagg said on the SPIRIT'S USE OF THE WORD OF GOD AS THE MEANS in regeneration:

>>
We know, from the Holy Scriptures, that God employs his truth in the regeneration of the soul. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth."[135] Love to God necessarily implies knowledge of God, and this knowledge it is the province of truth to impart. . . .

What accompanying influence the Holy Spirit uses, to render the word effectual, we cannot explain: but Paul refers to it, when he says, "Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost."[137]--"but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power."[138]

The term regeneration is sometimes used in a comprehensive sense, as including the whole formation of the Christian character. At other times it is used for the first production of divine love in the heart. In the latter sense, the work is instantaneous. There is a moment known only to God, when the first holy affection exists in the soul. Truth may enter gradually, and may excite strong affections in the mind, and may for a time increase the hatred of God which naturally reigns in the heart. So Paul says, "Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence."[139] But, in his own time and manner, God, the Holy Spirit, makes the word effectual in producing a new affection in the soul: and, when the first movement of love to God exists, the first throb of spiritual life commences.

Faith is necessary to the Christian character; and must therefore precede regeneration, when this is understood in its widest sense. Even in the restricted sense, in which it denotes the beginning of the spiritual life, faith, in the sense in which James[140] uses the term, may precede.
>>

He then goes on to discuss the difference between that "spiritual" faith and the "faith" which exists beforehand, which is sometimes called "natural" or "historical faith."

Later on, he says --

>>
This change, by which true love to God is produced, results from the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, accompanying his word, and making it effectual. It was this direct influence which rendered the word so effectual on the day of Pentecost,[145] which opened Lydia's heart,[146] so that she attended to the things that were spoken by Paul;--which gave the increase when Paul planted, and Apollos watered,[147]--and which has ever brought the word to the heart, in demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. . . .

By the will of God, the truth has its regenerating and sanctifying power; for he works in us to will and to do, according to his pleasure.[158] It belongs to the Holy Spirit, in the economy of grace, to produce divine life in the soul, as he brooded over the face of the waters, at creation, reducing the chaotic mass to order, and filling it with life. He is pleased to work with means; and he employs the truth as his instrument of operation. This instrument he wields at his pleasure, and he renders it effectual by his divine power: "My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."[159]
>>

It seems to me that Dr. Dagg TAUGHT that spiritual faith actually "precedes" in the so-called "ordo salutis."

What would Brother James White think about this? -- Bob L. Ross

Dagg's work is at --
http://www.founders.org/library/dagg_vol1/bk7c3.html#sec4

 
At Sunday, March 12, 2006 1:37:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Charles:

CORRECTION: An earlier post left out a "not." It should have read as follows: "James White is NOT the Last Word on Calvinism," etc.

***

Brother Scott said,
"Also, I want to talk with you by phone concerning Joel Osteen."

Before I leave the office tonight and head for home, I thought I would post this article I wrote about Joel last year. It might give Scott something to talk about when he calls.

>>
WE NOW HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY THAT JOEL OSTEEN STANDS FOR THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST [06/28--2005]

Somewhere out there in "Internutdom" -- wherein we are gratefully informed by James White's latest blog that there is "Pure insanity out there in the blog and web-board world. Almost nothing worth even noting" -- in Googling for anything about Joel Osteen, I saw where at least one (maybe more), of our dearly beloved, sound-in-the-faith-once-delivered by the Westminster Assembly of Pedobaptist Divines, Calvinist brethren was indicting Joel Osteen of Houston's Lakewood Church for preaching a "false gospel."

I am happy to now report that I have it on some very good authority that such is not necessarily the case, according to my very, very reliable sources.

These are not merely the "sources say" variety, but these are quotable sources, legitimate sources, and regarded by us as reliable sources.

BROTHER AL:

First of all, my longtime friend who used to live in Pasadena and fellowshipped with us on a very regular basis -- Brother Al, now of the greater Atlanta area -- was recently back home for a visit with his Mom. It was also an even greater blessing that Brother Al brought along his lovely wife and beautiful daughter. Al had previously arranged with our close mutual and longtime friend, Brother Johnson, to take us for a tour of the large local TV station where Brother Johnson is the business manager. Afterwards, Brother Al treated all of us to a great meal at one of the nearby west Houston restaurants.

Brother Al is such a great friend of mine that I categorize him as one of my "finger friends," which are those friends whose names I would gladly have tattooed on my fingers -- if I believed in tattoos. He is only one of a very few people to whom I have donated a large, framed portrait of C. H. Spurgeon, and he has it hanging in his study in the wonderful house he built several years ago out in the country near Atlanta, Georgia -- an area where you can get free truckloads of Kudzu anytime during the "green" season. It has been our pleasure to spend several days and nights in Brother Al's home several times over the years, especially when we would be in Atlanta for the Christian Booksellers Association.


In his younger and unmarried days, Brother Al providentially came into contact with an attractive Christian lady through their mutual interest in one of Spurgeon's sermon volumes which we had published. He later married her, so you know he has more than one reason for being a great lover of Spurgeon. Brother Al is so sound and strong in the faith, I would probably believe him if he told me that Kudzu makes a great additive to your mess of mustard greens and collards!

Anyway, Brother Al has given us his "seal of approval" on Brother Joel Osteen.

While on this June trip to the Houston area, Brother Al made it a point to personally check-out Joel Osteen. This was no more than two weeks ago and right across the ship channel just north of us at the Lakewood Church services [before Joel moved to the Compaq Center]. In an email report to me about his visit to Joel's place, Brother Al gives this eyewitness testimony --

"I was skeptical, but my skepticism quickly changed to affirmation." Al then goes into some detail describing the services, and says, "The entire service was a great blessing, one that I won't soon forget. What an honor and blessing it is for Houston for Joel Osteen to call Houston his 'international' home. It is my feeling that the best and brightest days are ahead for Lakewood Church!"

Anyone who knows Brother Al would know that if he puts his seal of approval on something, it must really be "for real." My brotherhood and fellowship with Al date back to the early 1970s when he was one of our very first customers at Pilgrim Book Store. It is people like Al that have made our work worthwhile.

ANOTHER AL COMMENDS JOEL OSTEEN: DR. R. ALBERT MOHLER

If one Al is not enough, what about adding another Al? This is Dr. R. Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, the most historic, prestigious Baptist ministerial institution in the world.

On his website, Dr. Mohler has recently published a second article about Joel Osteen, and in that article he says:

>>
Mr. Osteen's statement is encouraging on several fronts. First, it is encouraging to know that the constituency of Joel Osteen Ministries was so upset about the interview. Second, Mr. Osteen's statement includes a clear and unambiguous affirmation of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
>> .http://www.albertmohler.com/blog.php<

That probably won't set too well with some of the "Internut" gnat-strainers and nitpickers who seem to be out for Joel's blood, but we like what Dr. Mohler has said. It reaffirms our own evaluation of Joel and justifies our refusal to become one of the anti-Joel crowd simply over some peripheral differences.

Seeing how we believe Dr. Al Mohler is beyond any question the most significant Calvinist figure among Baptist educators and theologians of this age, and seeing how we know that Dr. Al is one of the greatest admirers of C. H. Spurgeon, we don't see how Joel could possibly receive any higher commendation from a Calvinistic Baptist source.

Unfortunately, some of our Calvinist brethren seem to be overly concerned about the "jots and tittles" of categorical, theoretical theology, and they leave the impression that they are afraid that some of "elect" may be deceived by Joel, or that some of the "non-elect" might become even worse than just being "dead in trespasses and sins."

But if they really believe in the Sovereignty of God, as they profess, what should they fear? God has proven time and time again that He can save souls despite the flaws and lack of absolute perfection on the part of the messenger. Didn't He save multitudes in England under the preaching of the staunchly ARMINIAN Wesley brothers? So what if one does not always precisely pronounce the theological shibboleths? God can still "strike a straight blow with a crooked stick."

While some of our Calvinist brethren are relishing and fulfilling their theologically sound, straight-and-narrow ministries with their group of elect souls whose spiritual diets and appetites are ordinarily salivating exclusively for the Calvinistic exposition of the "doctrines of grace," I think they should remember what the greatest of all the Calvinistic Baptists -- C. H. Spurgeon -- said:

>>
I believe, most firmly, in the doctrines commonly called Calvinistic, and I hold them to be very fraught with comfort to God's people; but if any man shall say that the preaching of these is the whole of the preaching of the gospel, I am at issue with m him.

Brethren, you may preach those doctrines as long as you like, and yet fail to preach the gospel; and I will go further, and affirm that some who have even denied those truths, to our great grief, have nevertheless been gospel preachers for all that, and God has saved souls by their ministry. . . Preach Christ, young man, if you want to win souls. Preach all the doctrines, too, for the building up of believers, but still the main business is to preach Jesus who came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. . . This simple truth, that “Jesus Christ has come to seek and to save that which is lost,” and that “whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life,” must be your jewel, your treasure, your life.>>
[Quotations above from sermon #786 — The Great Mystery of Godliness, MTP Vol 13, Year 1867, 1 Timothy 3:16] -- Bob L. Ross

CORRECTION: An earlier post left out a "not." It should have read as follows: "James White is NOT the Last Word on Calvinism," etc.

 
At Sunday, March 12, 2006 4:09:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Scott asked,
"How in the world can you be supporting Dr.Caner? What are you thinking? Are you actually closer to Dr.Caner theologically?"

I tried to submit an answer to Scott on this, but I must have missfired in sending it.

So, I will just say that I simply wanted Dr. Caner (or anyone else, for that matter) to know that JAMES WHITE IS NOT THE LAST WORD ON CALVINISM, but rather, he is advocating a post-17th century Pedobaptist theory on regeneration propaged by the likes of Shedd, Berkhof, and today by R. C. Sproul.

Also, Scott said:
"I tried real hard to believe that Bob Ross would support the Founders scriptural theology over men like Charles."

I also have commented on this, but let me offer an illustration of some Founders'teaching with which I differ, in addition to differing with some some Founders who advocate "pre-faith regeneration" and oppose the "invitation system."

I think Iain Murray put the idea into some of the Founders' heads that BAPTISM is the "confession" in contrast to oral confession in church or in connection with a public invitation. Murray alleged this idea in his anti-invitation booklet, The Invitation System (page 9).

Since that assertion, it has been picked up and repeated by Brother Ernest Reisinger and the Founders' website, as well as by some Founders' affiliates who have contacted me.

Mr. Murray and Pedobaptists, of course, are accustomed to baptizing WITHOUT a person's making ANY confession of faith in Christ. Most of their "converts" and church members were supposedly regenerated in infancy and received baptism at such an early age they could not even talk, much less make a confession of faith.

But as for ADULTS, Baptists historically have followed the scriptural example of (1) Oral Confession, (2)Baptism, (3) Church membership.

Philip, for instance, baptized the Eunuch (Acts 8:37, 38) AFTER the Eunuch had orally confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Baptists have historically taught that CONFESSION of Christ as Saviour PRECEDES the act of baptism.

That some of the Founders have imbibed Mr. Murray's Pedobaptist substitution of "confession by baptism" is just one instance wherein Pedobaptists have tainted the doctrine and practice of these particular affiliates of the Founders.

C. H. SPURGEON said:

"I am glad that all candidates for membership in our church make their confession of faith at our church-meetings. I have been told that such an ordeal must keep a great many from joining us; yet I notice that, where there is no such ordeal, they often have very few members, but here are we with five thousand six hundred, or thereabouts, in church-fellowship, and very seldom, if ever, finding anybody kept back by having to make an OPEN CONFESSION of faith in Christ.

"It does the man, the woman, the boy, or the girl, whoever it is, so much good for once, at least, to say right out straight, 'I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am not ashamed of it,' that I do not think we shall ever deviate from our custom.

"I have also noticed that, when people have once confessed Christ before men, they are very apt to do it again somewhere else; and they thus acquire a kind of boldness and outspokenness upon religious matters, and a holy courage as followers of Christ, which more than make up for any self-denial and trembling which the effort may have cost them" (MTP, Volume 46, 1900 page 289).

See my reply to Mr. Murray's objections to invitations at this link: http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/0067.htm

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Sunday, March 12, 2006 10:23:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

JOHN A. BROADUS ENDORSED PUBLIC INVITATIONS FOR PROFESSING FAITH IN CHRIST

Dear Charles:

I thought your readers might find it of interest -- in regard to public invitations as a means for people to confess faith in Christ -- that JOHN A. BROADUS (1827-1895) favored the use of them.

In his famous book, "On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons," which I used years ago when I was teaching young preachers, Dr. Broadus has this comment on the topic of the "Conduct of Public Worship:"

BROADUS: "In many churches it is customary to follow every sermon with an 'invitation' hymn, during which any who desire to MAKE A PUBLIC PROFESSION OF FAITH or to become members of the church are INVITED to present themselves by COMING TO THE FRONT" (page 375, 1943 edition by Broadman Press).

Since Broadus was one the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's original Faculty members, and since he taught hundreds of Baptist ministerial students who studied at that institution, it seems rather peculiar that some in the Founders Ministries are opposed to inviting public professions of faith via the "invitation."

Wonder why some in the Founders prefer to follow the Pedobaptist Iain Murray and oppose public invitations in view of the fact that John A. Broadus endorsed their use when he taught his students at Southern Seminary? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Sunday, March 12, 2006 10:44:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

I thought your readers might find it of interest -- in regard to public invitations as a means for people to confess faith in Christ -- that JOHN A. BROADUS (1827-1895) favored the use of them.

Incredible! Thank you, Bob!

Wonder why some in the Founders prefer to follow the Pedobaptist Iain Murray and oppose public invitations in view of the fact that John A. Broadus endorsed their use when he taught his students at Southern Seminary?

Maybe, like you have said, they are afraid that one of the non-elect might get converted!

Charles

 
At Sunday, March 12, 2006 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think many of the founder churches and others have moved away from the alter call because it has become a Finney, get your fire insurance mentality. The alternative gives everyone the opportunity to see and know true conversion from a false conversion. Leadership should consider their accountablity for allowing false professers to think everything is ok. Many respond to the alter call and find themselves doing it multiple times do to the fact that new birth hasn't taken place. I don't think any reformed person regardless of various differences would ever say they have the insight to know who is and isn't elect - Charles your last statement is shameful. Unlike you who has a universalist mindset understanding that man saves himself by his free choice. We believe that God can and does chose according to is good pleasure whatever he desires to come about and that includes the bestowing of the gift of grace through faith. A gift not a right by choice. I must say also that the one thing missing at least from my SBC church is repentance is never brought up during the invitation. Rick Warren and the generation following after the like find it not necessary since that sin issue was already taken care of and doesn't need to be brought up again. I guess their must be some truth in that for if we are good enough to save our self then why have to repent. Grace outside of God's Sovereignty hand is so very cheap these days!

 
At Monday, March 13, 2006 1:19:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

SPURGEON USED "THE SINNER'S PRAYER"

Dear Charles:

Have you ever noticed how some of our Calvinist brethren decry "the sinner's prayer"?

Some even think it is "Arminian"!

I noticed an Internet article asking, "Are You Sure You Like Spurgeon?" http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?41

Of course, the emphasis is put upon Spurgeon's Calvinism. These same brethen, however, are known to decry invitations, the sinner's prayer, and they teach the Berkhof-Sproul-White view of "pre-faith regeneration." In fact, they publish Berkhof's Systematic Theology.

I wonder if they themselves are quite sure that they like Spurgeon? Consider what Spurgeon had to say about "the sinner's prayer:"

Spurgeon, a Calvinist, preached two great sermons on the text in Luke 18:13, sermons #216 and #1949.  >http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols4-6/chs216.pdf<

In sermon #1949, Spurgeon said

>>
His supplication speeded well with God, and he speedily won his suit with heaven. Mercy granted to him full justification. The prayer so pleased the Lord Jesus Christ, who heard it, that he condescended to become a portrait painter, and took a sketch of the petitioner. I  say the prayer in itself was so pleasing to the gracious Savior, that he tells us how it was offered: “Standing afar off, he would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast.” . . . My heart’s desire this morning is that many here may seek mercy of the Lord as this publican did, and go down to their houses justified. . . .

Now, I want to cheer your hearts by noticing that this man, through this prayer, and through this confession of sin, experienced a remarkable degree of acceptance. He had come up to the temple condemned; “he went down to his house justified.” A complete change, a sudden change, a happy change was wrought upon him. Heavy heart and downcast eye were exchanged for glad heart and hopeful outlook. He came into that temple with trembling, he left it with rejoicing. . . . Oh, that you might find mercy this morning! Let us seek this blessing. Come with me to Jesus. I will lead the way; I pray you say with me this morning — “God be merciful to me the sinner.”
>>

In sermon #216, Spurgeon said the following:

>>
Come just as thou art, with nothing of thine own, except thy sinfulness, and plead that before the throne—"God be merciful to me a sinner." This is what this man confessed, that he was a sinner, and he pleaded it, making the burden of his confession to be the matter of his plea before God. . . .

May I be made sure of heaven, and all that in a moment?" Yes, my friend, If thou believest in the Lord Jesus Christ, if thou wilt stand where thou art, and just breathe this prayer out, "Lord, have mercy! God be merciful to me a sinner, through the blood of Christ."

I tell thee man, God never did deny that prayer yet; if it came out of honest lips he never shut the gates of mercy on it. It is a solemn litany that shall be used as long as time shall last, and it shall pierce the ears of God as long as there is a sinner to use it.

Come, be not afraid, I beseech you, use the prayer before you leave this Hall. Stand where you are; endeavor to realize that you are all alone, and if you feel that you are guilty. now let the prayer ascend.

Oh, what a marvelous thing, it from the thousands of hearts here present, so many thousand prayers might go up to God! Surely the angels themselves never had such a day in Paradise, as they would have today, if every one of us could unfeignedly make that confession.

Some are doing it; I know they are; God is helping them. And sinner, do you stay away? You, who have most need to come, do you refuse to join with us?

Come, brother come. You say you are too vile. No, brother, you cannot be too vile to say, "God be merciful to me."

Perhaps you are no viler than we are; at any rate, this we can say—we feel ourselves to be viler than you, and we want you to pray the same prayer that we have prayed. "Ah," says one, "I cannot; my heart won't yield to that; I cannot." But friend, if God is ready to have mercy upon thee, thine must be a hard heart, if it is not ready to receive his mercy. Spirit of God, breathe on the hard heart, and melt it now! . . . .
>>

Spurgeon closed the sermon with this plea:
>>
Let us use this prayer as our own now. Oh that it might come up before the Lord at this time as the earnest supplication of every heart in this assembly! I will repeat it,—not as a text, but as a prayer,—as my own prayer, as your prayer. Will each one of you take it personally for himself?

Let everyone, I entreat you, who desires to offer the prayer, and can join in it, utter at its close an audible "Amen."
Let us pray,
"GOD-BE-MERCIFUL-TO-ME-A-SINNER."
[And the people did with deep solemnity say] "AMEN."



P.S.—The preacher hopes that he who reads will feel constrained most solemnly to do likewise.
>>

>>
The cry of a young raven is nothing but the natural cry of a creature, but your cry, if it is sincere, is the result of a work of Divine Grace in your heart. When the raven cries to Heaven it is nothing but the raven’s own self that cries—but when you cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner”—it is God the Holy Spirit crying in you!

The Ravens' Cry, Volume 12, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, page 55.
>>

See my entire article on this at http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/0108.htm

-- Bob L. Ross









We much prefer C. H. Spurgeon's high regard for use of the sinner's prayer than we care for Buff's putdown of its use today. He says the prayer was devised by "the Calvinist mindset," and in that we wish to commend his keen observation. Spurgeon, a Calvinist, preached two great sermons on the text in Luke 18:13, sermons #216 and #1949.  >http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols4-6/chs216.pdf<

In sermon #1949, Spurgeon said

>>
His supplication speeded well with God, and he speedily won his suit with heaven. Mercy granted to him full justification. The prayer so pleased the Lord Jesus Christ, who heard it, that he condescended to become a portrait painter, and took a sketch of the petitioner. I  say the prayer in itself was so pleasing to the gracious Savior, that he tells us how it was offered: “Standing afar off, he would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast.” . . . My heart’s desire this morning is that many here may seek mercy of the Lord as this publican did, and go down to their houses justified. . . .
Now, I want to cheer your hearts by noticing that this man, through this prayer, and through this confession of sin, experienced a remarkable degree of acceptance. He had come up to the temple condemned; “he went down to his house justified.” A complete change, a sudden change, a happy change was wrought upon him. Heavy heart and downcast eye were exchanged for glad heart and hopeful outlook. He came into that temple with trembling, he left it with rejoicing. . . . Oh, that you might find mercy this morning! Let us seek this blessing. Come with me to Jesus. I will lead the way; I pray you say with me this morning — “God be merciful to me the sinner.”
>>

In sermon #216, Spurgeon said the following:

>>
Come just as thou art, with nothing of thine own, except thy sinfulness, and plead that before the throne—"God be merciful to me a sinner." This is what this man confessed, that he was a sinner, and he pleaded it, making the burden of his confession to be the matter of his plea before God. . . .

May I be made sure of heaven, and all that in a moment?" Yes, my friend, If thou believest in the Lord Jesus Christ, if thou wilt stand where thou art, and just breathe this prayer out, "Lord, have mercy! God be merciful to me a sinner, through the blood of Christ."

I tell thee man, God never did deny that prayer yet; if it came out of honest lips he never shut the gates of mercy on it. It is a solemn litany that shall be used as long as time shall last, and it shall pierce the ears of God as long as there is a sinner to use it.

Come, be not afraid, I beseech you, use the prayer before you leave this Hall. Stand where you are; endeavor to realize that you are all alone, and if you feel that you are guilty. now let the prayer ascend. Oh, what a marvelous thing, it from the thousands of hearts here present, so many thousand prayers might go up to God! Surely the angels themselves never had such a day in Paradise, as they would have today, if every one of us could unfeignedly make that confession. Some are doing it; I know they are; God is helping them. And sinner, do you stay away? You, who have most need to come, do you refuse to join with us. Come, brother come. You say you are too vile. No, brother, you cannot be too vile to say, "God be merciful to me." Perhaps you are no viler than we are; at any rate, this we can say—we feel ourselves to be viler than you, and we want you to pray the same prayer that we have prayed. "Ah," says one, "I cannot; my heart won't yield to that; I cannot." But friend, if God is ready to have mercy upon thee, thine must be a hard heart, if it is not ready to receive his mercy. Spirit of God, breathe on the hard heart, and melt it now! . . . .
>>

Spurgeon closed the sermon with this plea:
>>
Let us use this prayer as our own now. Oh that it might come up before the Lord at this time as the earnest supplication of every heart in this assembly! I will repeat it,—not as a text, but as a prayer,—as my own prayer, as your prayer. Will each one of you take it personally for himself? Let everyone, I entreat you, who desires to offer the prayer, and can join in it, utter at its close an audible "Amen."
Let us pray,
"GOD-BE-MERCIFUL-TO-ME-A-SINNER."
[And the people did with deep solemnity say] "AMEN."





P.S.—The preacher hopes that he who reads will feel constrained most solemnly to do likewise.
>>

>>
The cry of a young raven is nothing but the natural cry of a creature, but your cry, if it is sincere, is the result of a work of Divine Grace in your heart. When the raven cries to Heaven it is nothing but the raven’s own self that cries—but when you cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner”—it is God the Holy Spirit crying in you!

The Ravens' Cry, Volume 12, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, page 55.
>>

See my entire article on this at --
http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/0108.htm

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Monday, March 13, 2006 4:30:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ALLEINE'S "ALARM TO THE UNCONVERTED"
IS REALLY ALARMING TO THE CONVERTED

Another "bone" I have to pick with the type of Calvinists which Spurgeon called
"my good Brethren of the superfine school," is that in a practical way they are inclined toward promoting a veritable system of salvation by works.

Instead of the "simple" salvation by grace thru faith Gospel, such as proclaimed by C. H. Spurgeon so profoundly, they seem more inclined to set a "dead sinner" upon a path of works.

An example of this is the enthusiasm some of them have demonstrated for "Alleine's Alarm" book as being a "sure guide to Heaven." Some have bought and distributed these by the score from Banner of Truth Trust of Great Britain.

Several years ago (1959), Banner of Truth reprinted this small book entitled, "An Alarm to the Unconverted" [later renamed "Sure Guide to Heaven"] by Joseph Alleine (17th century). A close friend of mine got the book before me, and after reading it, he remarked, "This book is misnamed, for it is enough to alarm the converted!"

How this book has ever attained to the level of being regarded by some as any sort of  a "guide to Heaven" and as something to "spur personal evangelism," as alleged in BT's catalog (page 23), is a mystery. On a scale of 1--10, as an evangelistic tool, I would not even place it on the scale at the lowest point. It would come as a surprise to me if anyone said he was converted by the means of this book. Of course, not everything in it is bad, but as an evangelistic item, or something to instruct the unconverted in the Gospel, it is practically useless, and it is definitely misleading.

The BT has promoted Alleine's book for years, and they have utilized and abused the name of Spurgeon to do so. Actually, in the original BT edition of "Alleine' s Alarm" it is asserted that Spurgeon's "views were moulded by its pages" (page i).

However, if Spurgeon's views were molded at all, that could only apply to him before his conversion. The "casting" was soon broken and destroyed by the Gospel. After a few years of laboring under some of the legalist influences of Alleine's book, at the age of 15 Spurgeon heard the Gospel from  a simple layman in a Primitive Methodist Chapel, who called upon him to "Look to Jesus," and young Spurgeon was saved as well as being delivered from all of Alleine's alarms.

As a manual of instruction to the unsaved, this book has about as much appeal, accuracy, and practicality as the advisers who took it upon themselves to analyze and advise Job in his trials and suffering.

After I first read the book years ago, I was not at all surprised to later read C. H. Spurgeon's description of Alleine as "a far better preacher of the LAW than of the gospel" (MTP, Volume 9, page 531).

In his Autobiography, Spurgeon also said that reading Alleine was like "sitting at the feet of Sinai" (Vol. 1, page 80).

Spurgeon tells of how his mother would read Alleine's book to him, thinking that the terrors of the law were the best means of leading him to the Lord; but he said his heart was only hardened rather than being broken (MTP, Volume 8, pages 235, 236).

In due course of time, it was a very plain, simple gospel message by the Methodist layman that was the means of his conversion (Autobiography, Vol. 1, pages 105, 106).

Later, Spurgeon would preach his great sermon, "The Warrant of Faith," in which he assailed the "preparationalism" of those such as Alleine who put such great emphasis upon preliminary internalities which supposedly precede and prepare for faith in Christ. The expression "law-work" was sometimes used to refer to this preparationalism, and some believed that only a very deep "law-work" would produce a "sound" conversion. Spurgeon's own conversion was even questioned by some of these types in day, as they alleged that he had not had a "deep enough law-work."

In the part of Alleine's book where he gives "Directions to the Unconverted," there are sixteen (16) numbered divisions (over 20 pages) under which he counsels the unconverted person on what should be done to get himself into a proper condition for salvation.

A lot of emphasis is placed upon "labour" and "duty," and after reading these directions I would assume that a Bible College graduate might be able to appreciate, to some extent, the contents of these pages. It almost seems that one is to undergo a conversion of sorts even before he is converted to Christ!

The shocking conclusion to this series of directions is the statement of Alleine, "Thus, I have told you what you MUST DO TO BE SAVED. Will you now obey the voice of the Lord? Will you arise and set to the WORK?" (page 124).

"Work" is exactly what it seems Alleine is teaching, and he never seems to present what I understand as the Gospel of Christ, such as what Paul told the jailer in Acts 16:30, 31.

Under #10 of his directions, Alleine suggested a "Prayer" which occupies about three (3) pages, and I think it would be difficult to find a typical unconverted person who would be able to even comprehend the thoughts which are prescribed, not to mention truly praying them (pages 117-120).

Then follows a "Short Soliloquy for the an UUNREGENRATE Sinner" of about 6 pages (124-129). This Soliloquy reflects the knowledge and comprehension of a man long acquainted with the Scriptures and theological concepts.

If the lost, unregenerate, "dead sinner" has thus far survived all of the sixteen directions, the three-page prayer, and the six-page soliloquy, he is further admonished that "the Holy Spirit is striving with you. He will not always strive. Have you not felt your heart warmed by the Word, and been almost persuaded to leave off your sins and come to Christ?"

One of the disturbing and apparent contradictions in Alleine's counsel is illustrated as follows:

He says there is "no getting to heaven by a PARTIAL obedience" (page 115), yet just a little further on he refers to "many failings . . . unintentional short-comings." What are these failings and shortcomings but a "partial obedience"?

I am sorry, but I must part company with the opinion that Alleine's book is a sort of "manual" on evangelism to the unconverted, as advertised by the "superfine school" of Calvinists. I think it is far too loaded-down with baggage on experimental internalities and not enough upon objective, believable truths in the Gospel of the Christ. It savors too much of a "preparationalism" message, directing attention to the sinful internal state of man as the primary matter in contrast to the Person and Work of Christ.

C. H. SPURGEON said:

Our preaching, on the theory of qualifications, should not be, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;" but "Qualify yourselves for faith, be sensible of your sin, be regenerated, get marks and evidences, and then believe." Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 9, page 538.

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Monday, March 13, 2006 5:12:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

IS THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION AN
"UNREGENERATED DENOMINATION"? [03/12--2006]

The Founders Ministries has discerned that the Southern Baptist Convention is an "Unregenerated Denomination" [http://www.founders.org/library/elliff1.html]

The Brother who collated the figures which prove that this discernment is correct is a disciple of Pedobaptist Louis Berkhof's theory on "regeneration."

He says, "Berkhof says," and proceeds to quote the Pedobaptist theologian's Systematic Theology, page 469. The same Berkhof immediately goes on in this chapter to assert that the preaching of the Gospel "has no effect on the dead," and denies that the Word is a "means" used by the Spirit in the act of regeneration.

Now, based on Berkhof's theory, he alleges that INFANTS BORN TO BELIEVERS are regenerated (without the Gospel) in infancy, are proper subjects of baptism, and are to be received into church membership -- based on his phantasmagorical theory that the Spirit regenerates BOTH infants and adults apart from the Word of God as the Spirit's means or instrumentality.

If this Founders brother who has marked the SBC "unregenerated" thinks that Berkhof knows very much about regeneration, can we really trust the brother's discernment about who is or isn't regenerated in the Southern Baptist Convention?

My son, Mike, who works with me, attends the largest SBC church in this city, and this morning they had perhaps a few thousand in attendance. The Pastor owns a set of our Spurgeon books, as does his son, the Assistant Pastor. I wonder what the odds are that any of them -- other than Mike, of course -- have been regenerated?

Do you suppose that the Founders' declaration that the SBC is an "unregenerated denomination" will go a long way toward establishing the Founders as a modern version of the old Jewish Sanhedrin?. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:06:00 AM, Blogger Gummby said...

Charles, I think you're quoting Al Mohler out of context. To really understand his comments, you must start with his criticism of Osteen's appearance on Larry King, and then his comment the following day about Osteen's apology letter. Please notice the last sentence: Other concerns can wait for another day.

What other concerns? Well, for one thing, Osteen is preaching the prosperity gospel, not the real gospel. Even my six-year old daughter can tell the difference.

Ran across this post from Extreme Theology which is right on point: there is, exactly no difference in what Joel Osteen is selling and what Anthony Robbins is selling--except for maybe the cuss words.

 
At Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Matt Gumm, Hello!

Charles, I think you're quoting Al Mohler out of context. To really understand his comments, you must start with his criticism of Osteen's appearance on Larry King, and then his comment the following day about Osteen's apology letter.

Matt, it was Bob Ross, not me, that quoted Mohler.

 
At Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:56:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Charles said,

"Matt, it was Bob Ross, not me, that quoted Mohler."

I think it is rather incongruous for Matt to comment as he has about my quoting Brother Al Mohler's comment, when it does not appear to me that Matt is evaluating Joel Osteen in the overall "context" of Joel's appearance on Larry King.

Consider the following which I sent to my email list awhile back:

>>
JOEL OSTEEN'S APOLOGY AND
STATEMENT OF FAITH [07/20--2005]

I still receive an occasional email from someone who evidently is not quite up-to-date in regard the Larry King interview of Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas. I still get some email which contains excerpts from the interview, such as a recent one from supersleuth, Dave Hunt, who makes a living in this type of ostensibly "defending the faith."

So the following information is for the benefit of anyone who may be a little behind in regard to the interview and the subsequent criticisms that were published on the Internet by anti-Joel sources.

The first item is Joel's own apology, copied from his website, which he published after he had opportunity to view the interview and saw the weak spots where he failed to answer significant questions clearly. The second item is the Statement of Faith of what Joel and Lakewood Church believe.

JOEL'S APOLOGY:

>
Dear Friend,

Many of you have called, written or e-mailed regarding my recent appearance on Larry King Live. I appreciate your comments and value your words of correction and encouragement.

It was never my desire or intention to leave any doubt as to what I believe and Whom I serve. I believe with all my heart that it is only through Christ that we have hope in eternal life. I regret and sincerely apologize that I was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life.

Jesus declared in John 14; I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I believe that Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to review the transcript of the interview that I realize I had not clearly stated that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the only way to heaven. It’s about the individual’s choice to follow Him.

God has given me a platform to present the Gospel to a very diverse audience. In my desire not to alienate the people that Jesus came to save, I did not clearly communicate the convictions that I hold so precious.

I will use this as a learning experience and believe that God will ultimately use it for my good and His glory. I am comforted by the fact that He sees my heart and knows my intentions. I am so thankful that I have friends, like you, who are willing to share their concerns with me.

Thank you again to those who have written. I hope that you accept my deepest apology and see it in your heart to extend to me grace and forgiveness.

As always, I covet your prayers and I am believing for God’s best in your life,

Joel Osteen
Pastor - Lakewood Church
>>http://www.joelosteen.com/site/PageServer?pagename=LarryKingLetter<<

WHAT WE BELIEVE

>
WE BELIEVE…the entire Bible is inspired by God, without error and the authority on which we base our faith, conduct and doctrine.

WE BELIEVE…in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth as Savior of the world.

WE BELIEVE…Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. We believe Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again. We believe that eternal salvation is found only by placing our faith in Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross.

WE BELIEVE…water baptism is a symbol of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ and an outward testimony to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

WE BELIEVE…in the regular taking of Communion as an act of remembering what the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross.

WE BELIEVE…every believer should be in a growing relationship with Jesus by obeying God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit and by being conformed to the image of Christ.

WE BELIEVE…as children of God, we are overcomers and more than conquerors and God intends for each of us to experience the abundant life He has in store for us.
>>http://www.joelosteen.com/site/PageServer?pagename=WhatWeBelieve<

BOB'S COMMENT:

Some who are strongly attached to certain significant denominational dogma in doctrine and practice, and some others who are deeply entrenched in theological theoreticalisms and categorizations will perhaps not be completely satisfied with this statement of faith.

As for us, we appreciate both the fundamental biblical elements and the simplicity of the statement. We are grateful that a man who has come from Joel's background and lack of both denominational and theological ministerial training is committed to the faith and practice outlined in this statement, and is attracting so much attention.

Joel's very practical, simple, down-to-earth emphasis on intrinsic biblical concepts and principles which apply to daily living, marriages, relationships, personal character, mental attitudes, and such experimental factors of life is making an impact in many lives, and we appreciate the influence of his ministry. -- Bob L. Ross
>>

 
At Tuesday, March 14, 2006 9:23:00 PM, Blogger Gummby said...

Charles--
I should have read more closely. My sincere apologies. Thanks for pointing that out.

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 2:36:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ON TAKING SOME "HITS"
FOR STANDING UP FOR JOEL OSTEEN

Dear Charles,

I don't mind taking a few "hits" in regard to Joel Osteen, for I rejoice that a man of his background has risen above what might have been expected. What a lot of people do not realize is that Joel is not into promoting "charismaticism." In fact, he lost several hundred members due to his refusal to do so, and they went off and formed another church.

Also, Joel is not half the "prosperity" preacher he has been represented to be. He does emphasize that Christians can become a lot better off if they develop more positive, biblical attitudes, but he does not promise the type of stuff that is generally associated with the "prosperity" preachers, such as the "Money, Thou Art Loosed" types.

Joel is very "fundamental" in his beliefs, as can be seen from the Statement of Faith. He is certainly not into "systematic theology," as such, but he rings the bell on simple, fundamental Bible doctrines.

When compared to someone usually endorsed by conservatives -- such as Dr. Mohler's being on the Board of "Focus on the Family" headed by Arminian Dr. James Dobson (a Nazarene) -- Joel puts far more emphasis on biblical and spiritual matters. When have you ever heard Dr. Dobson speak on anything other than social, family, and political issues related to "the family"? These are important, certainly, but EVERY time I have heard Joel, he always encourages his hearers to repent of sin, trust Christ, and then get into a Bible-believing church. His book, by the millions, has en entire page directed to the unsaved.

So, I don't mind taking some "hits" in defense of Joel Osteen. Here is an interesting email I received from a conservative, Calvnistic SBC Pastor, and I am not including the name of the Pastor for I don't won't to motivate any harassing criticism of him:

>>
Brother Ross,
As a fundamentalist in theology, specifically a Dispensationalist and a Calvinist, and a hardcore Baptist, I am shocking people by defending Osteen, as you do.
I do believe Osteen is out of balance, but I see God's hand on Joel and see much good out of his ministry. Your comments caused me to give an honest look at his ministry, and I have been encouraged to pray, to seek to apply faith to situations, and I have been helped.
Thank you for the balanced comments on the ministry of Joel Osteen. He is not a wacko like Copeland or Hagin. He is not a sensationalist like Benny Hinn. I am helped by what he does. Joel loves Christ and has a heart for people.
I have led the conservative effort here in the SBC State Baptist Convention and when I have spoken positively about him, folks think I am joking. Then, those same folks often get angry. He seems to be the cause to attack today. Steve Gaines, Adrian Rogers' replacement, is a good man. But Gaines really attacks Osteen.
I have never heard Joel promote the tongues movement or the sign gifts.
Thanks.
>>

If people only want to hear the deep stuff, I think they, too, are somewhat "out of balance." After all, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus did not preach on the Five Points or preach an expository sermon. Jesus taught more on the simple and practical things of life, and in fact He even had some things to say that dealt with "prosperity" (Matthew 6:24-34).

The late Martyn Lloyd-Jones (whom I knew personally, sat next to him at lunch at one of the Carlisle conferences, and heard him preach) refused to support Billy Graham's meetings in England because Billy Graham used the "invitation system."

But Dr. Jones' theological views and expository method of preaching did not do very much to promote evangelism and soul-winning in England, and his Westminster Chapel in the course of time became somewhat of a "theological mausoleum." In place of a public invitation to confess Christ, he used the "office system" -- inviting people to lineup outside his office to be dealt with.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones' successor was R. T. Kendall, whom the Doctor more or less hand-picked to follow him, and Kendall said that he always had Dr. Lloyd-Jones read and approve of his sermons before he preached them. I have personally known RT for perhaps 50 years, and he spent 25 years at WC primarily preaching expository sermons to a gradually declining congregation. After Lloyd-Jones died, RT wobbled into some forms of charismaticism and I understand that Westminster Chapel is now going that route under another minister. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:50:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Bob,

Do you watch Joel on a regular basis? I have made it a point to watch him and examine him so I can either encourage or dicourage my church in watching him. I strongly discourage with a capital "D". When I watch him I actually see how long it takes him to get to scripture or when he does how long does it take him to get back.
I appreciate your Spurgeon ministry greatly. I love to talk to you and Mike. You guys are so gracious. Because I like you guys then I must be upfront with you concerning Joel Osteen. The issue for me is " What he doesn't say"! You have posted Lakewood's beliefs and I appreciate you doing that. I have watched Joel at least thirty times and I never( I'm using this word carefully) back up the confession you have listed.
I'm not trying to be ugly to you or Joel but Bob he so far away in preaching strong on Sin, Repentance, Cross, Justification, Evangelism, and many other things. Your defense of Joel " Blows me away". What would Spurgeon say about his preaching? Be honest! What's more important what does Christ think about it?
If you endorse Joel then you would have to endorse Robert Shuller. They are almost identical! Please think about this more. I love you and Mike and we will talk soon.

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 7:02:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

FOUNDERS FOUNDERED?

Dear Charles,

I think some of the Founders brethren are not being very candid about the views of some former Baptists whom they are "using" in an effort to embellish their theological views.

For example:

I thought it was perhaps significant that in a Founders' article on regeneration by Founders Board of Directors member, Bill Ascol, his material quoted from Dr. Dagg does not include Dagg's statement that faith "precedes regeneration."

The Ascol quotation stops just short of where Dagg makes that statement about faith. (See >http://www.founders.org/FJ02/article2.html< for Ascol's quote and see >http://www.founders.org/library/dagg_vol1/bk7c3.html#sec4< for Dagg's presentation).

Also, the Founders not only have a problem with Dr. Dagg, but Brother Ascol considerably "shortchanges" the late B. H. Carroll, Founder of the Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, and so they also have a problem with Carroll.

Carroll did not hold the "pre-faith regeneration" theory, as can be clearly seen from his discussion of Regeneration on pages 285-288 of chapter 10 on the Four Gospels, Interpretation of the English Bible, Part 1, Volume 10 of the 17 volume set, Broadman Press, 1913 edition published by BP in 1947.

Carroll contends that it is "philosophically impossible" to hold to the idea that one is regenerated "without the use of means and before the subject is penitent and believing" (page 286).

Thus, Carroll lampoons the Pedobaptist theory of Berkhof-Shedd-Sproul-Murray-James White, etc. at its very heart.

Dr. Carroll's view is summed up in the following syllogism, on page 287:

(1) Every one born of God has the right be called a child of God.
(2) But no one has the right until he believes in Jesus.
(3) Therefore the new birth is not completed without faith."

He goes on to say, on page 288,:

"The Holy Spirit then is the agent in regeneration and the instrumental means of regeneration is the Word of God, or the preaching of Christ and Him crucified, yet the power of the Spirit does not reside in the word as inspired, but the agency is positive and active in the use of the Word."

Obviously, Carroll repudiates the Pedobaptist theory of regeneration "without means,"
and states that if one should hold that preliminary influences by the Spirit in the soul "is NOT what the Scriptures call the new birth HE WOULD BE ABLE TO SUPPORT HIS VIEW BY MANY SCRIPTURES" (page 286).

I just wonder how "James the Exegete" would handle that issue in a debate with someone who presented Dr. Dagg's and Dr. Carroll's position? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 7:45:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ON JOEL OSTEEN, ROBERT SCHULLER

Scott said, "I'm not trying to be ugly to you or Joel but Bob he so far away in preaching strong on Sin, Repentance, Cross, Justification, Evangelism, and many other things. Your defense of Joel " Blows me away".

BOB'S COMMENT;

Every Sunday morning Joel holds up the Bible and leads the congregation in paying tribute to it as the Word of God. I have heard him affirm every major fundamental doctrine on which Christianity is built -- the Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Trinity, the New Birth, etc.

True, he majors on practical matters of Christian life, but my goodness! he has thousands of simplle-minded people listening to him, and they probably need and respond to that level of teaching more than to any other. He has other services for his own members, too. He will have one this evening, and a friend of mine who is in town from Georgia is going to attend.

In a sense, Joel is still a "novice" at preaching and pastoring. He never had any seminary classes. He comes from a somewhat charismatic Baptist background. Give the guy a break.

Robert Schuller was trained by aCalvinist seminary, ordained by Calvinists, and when he discusses theological matters in his writings, he reflects that background. He has a lot of areas which can be criticized, but when he touches on theology, he affrims creedal views. See his book, Self-Esteem, the New Reformation (pages 45, 63,64,65, 94, 95,100, 127, 128, 129,158,for examples.

You ought to go for this: "The unsaved person CANNOT perceive himself as worthy of 'divine grace' and hence rejects it. So salvation or the acceptance of God's forgiving grace will require A MIRACULOUOS INTERVENTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT" (page 16).

On page 67, he affirms "human inability," and he refers to having to have "love BESTOWED upon me . . . to be born again."

In several places he affirms imputed, or credited, righteousness (64, 100, 158, etc.)

On page 45, he says "the sacred Scriptures are our infallible rule for faith and practice."

I am not defending any aberrant elements in Schuller -- I'm just giving him credit where it is due.

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

I made an error in the following reference:

"Carroll did not hold the "pre-faith regeneration" theory, as can be clearly seen from his discussion of Regeneration on pages 285-288 of chapter 10 on the Four Gospels, Interpretation of the English Bible, Part 1, Volume 10 of the 17 volume set, Broadman Press, 1913 edition published by BP in 1947.
"

The CHAPTER is 23 in the 10th volume. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:54:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Bob,

Have I heard you say recently that you are a "Spurgeon Type Of Calvinist"( My own words but you said something like this)? If you are then how in the world can you be so supportive of Charles, Osteen,and Schuller? Are you saying that you are closer to the theology of Charles or 1689 London baptist Confession? Please let me know?
Forget James White and Founders, just answer my previous question. Overall, would Spurgeon run with the Founders or men like Charles, Osteen,and Schuller? What do you think ? Simple question should get a simple answer. Remember that I appreciate you and Mike. You gave me and a few other of my Pastors passes to Orlando for the Christian Booksellers convention.I'm only asking you these questions because I'm shocked how you seem to be to James White and Founders. Overall don't you believe that Spurgeon is closer to James White and Founders rather than the current arminian(Or really close to it) men in the SBC like Charles?

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Bob,

Who was the fellow who was with you and Mike in Orlando at the Booksellers Convention a few years ago that I met. Was his name " Charles"? He was a short fellow.That name has come up in my mind.

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 1:33:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob, I took your last two comments and moved them to the main page. I thought they would get more "press" there than down here in the comments section. I hope that is OK.

Charles

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 3:10:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

REPLY TO SCOTT:

Dear Scott:

I have had some debates with Campbellites, and I learned a long time ago not to "chase down a rabbit trail."

The issue is not what would Spurgeon do, what Bob thinks of Osteen and Schuller, the short fellow (Floyd of Lampasas),etc. -- but the issue is the ABERRANT DOCTRINE of the Pedobaptists which has been imbibed by some of the current Calvinists of today who follow the idea that one is born again apart from the Holy Spirit's use of the Gospel to beget faith.

Did you read Dr. Dagg and the quotes I gave from B. H. Carroll?
The Pedobaptist theory of Berkhof, Shedd, Sproul and White conflicts with Dagg and Carroll, as well as historic Calvinism.

Do you agree with Dagg and Carroll on the New Birth, or with the views of James White and the Pedobaptists I have mentioned?--Bob L. Ross

NOTE to Charles: Please explain how I can make a comment when there is nothing at the end of the article which indicates where to do the posting.

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:31:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

WHERE'S THE HYPER-CALVINISM?

Brother Tom Ascol says

>>
"Hyper-Calvinism is a very serious error. It is a doctrinal parasite that sucks the life out of vital Christianity where it takes hold. It should be resisted with courage and strength by all who love Christ and His church. Therefore, it should be exposed where it exists. So, I for one, would like to know where such miscreant theology is lurking and how it is manifesting itself in the SBC to the degree that it is becoming "a real problem."
>>

BOB'S COMMENT:

I don't know if "hyper" is the best word for describing the "pre-faith regeneration" theory, since "hyper Calvinism" has often covered several aberrant teachings,-- but I do believe the "born again BEFORE and APART FROM Holy Spirit-produced-faith" notion could accurately be described as HYBRID CALVINISM.

Hybrid Calvinism could be used to apply to the mixture of (1) The Confessional view of the efficient power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, and (2) the Hardshell-Pedobaptist theory that regeneration is apart from the use of the Word of God as an instrumentality in the act of regeneration (such as advocated by Pedobaptists Shedd, Berkhof, etc.)

I think you could call that HYBRID CALVINISM. And it has been shown on this blogsite that this form of "Calvinism" contradicts the Calvinism of Southern Baptists such as Dr. Dagg and Dr. B. H. Carroll, for example, who are used by the Founders to embellish themselves.

As Dr. B. H. Carroll said, "Regeneration cannot be complete WITHOUT FAITH" (Vol. 10, page 294, Interpretation of the English Bible).

The fact that JAMES WHITE, a "hybrid," is a welcomed speaker for the aberrant Hardshell Primitive Baptist Church is evidence within itself of the aberrancy of this view. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:52:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Scott asks Bob:

"Have I heard you say recently that you are a Spurgeon Type Of Calvinist'( My own words but you said something like this)? If you are then how in the world can you be so supportive of Charles, Osteen,and Schuller? Are you saying that you are closer to the theology of Charles or 1689 London baptist Confession?""

Do you remember, Scott, reading about the Down Grade Controversy? Spurgeon joined with, and welcomed the support of, any and all Christians who agreed with him on the issues at hand. Spurgeon said:

The Sword and the Trowel, April 1887, pages 195, 196:
>
We care far more for the central evangelical truths than we do for Calvinism as a system; . . .The present struggle is NOT A DEBATE upon the question of Calvinism or Arminianism, but of the truth of God versus the inventions of men. ALL WHO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL should unite against that "modern thought" which is its deadly enemy.
>

The Sword and the Trowel, December 1887:
>
Many evangelical ARMINIANS are as earnestly ON OUR SIDE as men can be. . .
>>

The Sword and the Trowel, February 1888, page 82:
>
I would like all Christendom to know that all I asked of the Union is that it be formed on a Scriptural basis; and that I never sought to intrude upon it any Calvinistic or other personal creed, but only that form of belief which has been accepted for many years by the Evangelical Alliance, which includes members of well-nigh ALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.
>

Like Spurgeon,I am a Confessional Baptist (London Confession), and like Spurgeon, I welcome the support of any Christian (Calvnist, Arminian, or otherwise) who stands for the truth on the new birth, according to John 3:14-18.

When someone says that a sinner is born again before and without Holy Spirit-created faith, he is teaching aberrant, Hardshell Baptist-Pedobaptist theology on regeneration. -- Bob

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:27:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

When some of the Founders brethren read those quotes from John L. Dagg, did you hear a loud --

DAGG GONE IT! from some of them?

-- Bob Ross

 

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