Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Southern Baptist seminary professor affirms "regeneration before faith" heterodoxy

Dr. Tom Schreiner is a Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Schreiner strongly affirms the "born again before faith" heterodoxy which is neither Baptist nor biblical. In his article, Does regeneration necessarily precede conversion? (an alternative link is here), Schreiner answers with a resounding, "yes." He writes, "Regeneration means that one has been born again or born from above (John 3:3, 5, 7, 8)." He goes on to write, "God regenerates us and then we believe, and hence regeneration precedes our conversion." Thus, Schreiner's aberrant theology has people born again before exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or born again unbelievers!

Except for a few extreme Calvinist "Founders Ministry" types, Southern Baptists do not believe what Schreiner is teaching. The doctrine which Schreiner promotes was spawn, not from Baptists, but from pedobaptists as demonstrated by Bob Ross in his article, Regeneration in Relation to Faith in Calvinist Theology. The "born again before faith" view is neither biblical nor Baptist.

Does it matter what is taught at a Baptist seminary? You bet it does! The seminary produces the next generation of pastors for Southern Baptists churches. Schreiner's "born again before faith" theology makes him an extreme Calvinist. Read the article Why Are Calvinist Churches Usually So Small for an insightful analysis of churches with an extreme Calvinist view.

Southern Baptists pay Schreiner's salary. Why? More importantly, why did President Albert Mohler hire him? Has anyone asked him?

Charles

43 Comments:

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 6:47:00 PM, Blogger Eye said...

Dear Charles and Brother Bob,

Your humble blog has become one of the first places I check on the Internet everyday. The information you just posted is why!!

With your permission, I would like to add you to my blog as 'one of the blogs I read'.

Keep up the excellent work.

In Him,

Eye

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 1:44:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

DR. SCHREINER says,
"Regeneration means that one has been born again or born from above (John 3:3, 5, 7, 8). The new birth is the work of God, so that all those who are born again are “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 ESV here and henceforth)."
____________


BOB:
The quote from Dr. Schreiner is from the link you supplied, Charles, and of course I FULLY AGREE with the portion I quoted. We concur that the new birth is of the Spirit, and from above. But what are the MEANS, if any, for this work? Dr. Schreiner is correct so far as he goes . . .

But . . .

The problem is, I think Dr. Schreiner would be profited, and he would gain more insight on this work, if he carefully read and evaluated the following by STEPHEN CHARNOCK:

http://www.ccel.org/c/charnock/instr_regen/instr_regen.html

>>
Doctrine. That the gospel is the INSTRUMENT whereby God brings the soul forth in a NEW BIRTH.

The Scripture does distinguish the efficient and INSTRUMENTAL cause by the prepositions "ek", or, "eks", and "dia".

When we are said to be 'born of the Spirit,' it is, John iii. 5, "ek pneumatos"; 1 John iii. 9, v. 1, "ek Theou"; never "dia pneumatos", or "dia Theou:" but we are nowhere said to be born of the word, or begotten of the word, but "dia logou", by or with the word, 1 Peter i. 23; and "dia euangeliou", 1 Cor. iv. 15, I have begotten you 'through the gospel.' The preposition "ek" or "eks", usually notes the EFFICIENT or material cause; "dia", the instrumental or means by which a thing is wrought.

Sin entered into the heart of Eve by the word of the devil, grace enters into the heart by the word of God; that entered by a word of error, this by a word of truth: 'Ye are clean through the word I have spoken to you, John xv. 3, whereby our Saviour means the word outwardly preached by him, for it is the word spoken by him. Not that it had this efficacy of itself, but as an instrument of their sanctification, rendering them ready to every good work. . . .

The GOSPEL is this instrument.
>>

Etc.

For the rest of the article by Charnock, go to the Internet link.

MEANS are always necessary to the Spirit's work, and in the new birth, the means used produce faith, and then -- as Dr. B. H. Carroll contends -- one may be said to have been BORN AGAIN. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 3:26:00 PM, Anonymous John the Missionary said...

Charles and Bob,

Thank you for exposing this aberrant theology.

"God regenerates us and then we believe, and hence regeneration precedes our conversion." What nonsense!

How do men like Schreiner and White go astray? Do they spend too much time reading Presbyterians?

John the Missionary

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 4:59:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

JAMES P. BOYCE

Dear Charles:

I thought you might like to read my reply to a person who asked me question awhile back about JAMES P. BOYCE, Founder of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and one greatly esteemed in the Kingdom by the Founders brethren.

>>A Brother wrote:
I found your email on this "backdoor" pelagianism interesting and
thought-provoking.

How would you characterize James Boyce's explanation? Does this still
fall into backdoor pelagianism?
>>

Dear Brother:

If you will read what Dr. Boyce says in the first paragraph on page 375 of his Abstract of Systematic Theology (Christian Gospel Foundatio reprint of 1887 edition), I don't see how he could be lumped with the "no means" theologians such as Shedd, the Hodges, and Berkhof on this matter. He refers to the Word as "part" and "in connection with" the "work of God" in production of the "result."

Boyce was educated at Princeton Seminary under the Presbyterian scholars, particularly Charles Hodge, and some of his remarks might be interpreted by some as as least consistent with Hodge's view. If Boyce indeed hold that view, I would suspect he imbibed it from his Princeton Pedobaptist teachers, or at had it further devoped in his thinking under them.

However, I do not really find any explicit denial by Boyce of the "use of the Word" in the act of regeneration, but in that above statement on page 375, he indicates there are passages of Scripture which "sufficiently teach the USE of the word in regeneration" (page 375). He cites some of these verses in the next few paragraphs.
\
That God does a pre-faith work or activity in the heart, we certainly believe, and Boyce teaches this. But that this early work constitutes the New Birth is "too much too soon," NOR WE FIND BOYCE TEACING THAT.

Rather, Boyce seems to have two inseparable categories (regeneration, conversion) which he places under ONE HEAD AS THE NEW BIRTH (Abstract of Theology, pages 373, 374:

He says: "They are unquestionably so intimately associated that it is difficult to separate them and point out the distinctions between them. The SCRIPTURES connect the TWO under THE ONE IDEA of the NEW BIRTH, and teach that not only is regeneration an absolute essential in each conversioin, but that in every intelligent responsible soul conversion invariably ACCOMPANIES regeneration."

So, with Boyce, I hardly see how you could say that the sinner has the "NEW BIRTH" BEFORE he has experienced repentance and faith, which according to Boyce constitute conversion. If we follow that line of thought, consider the following:

If (1) "regeneration" and (2) "conversion" are "TWO under the ONE idea" of the "NEW BIRTH," then it could not be said that one has been BORN AGAIN, or has experienced the NEW BIRTH, unless he has repentance and faith which constitute "conversion," could we?

(1) Regeneration and Conversion (repentance and faith) are two under one idea.
(2) The one idea is called the "NEW BIRTH."
(3) Therefore, a sinner has experienced the "NEW BIRTH" when he has repentance and faith.

It seems to me that all Boyce is teaching is that (1) the Gospel is preached, and (2) the power which regenerates is the power of the Holy Spirit, and (3) whenever He regenerates repentance from sin and faith in Christ are immediately produced, and (4) these combined elements are the NEW BIRTH.

Furthermore, he teaches the role of MEANS in this work, for he says "The FIRST STEP here is to make known to man the GOSPEL" (page 367). If that is the FIRST STEP, then you cannot have the NEW BIRTH without the means of the GOSPEL being used as the instrumentality by the Holy Spirit.

This certainly conflicts with the Pedo view, wherein "regeneration" is imagined to be a "DIRECT OPERATION" in the case of both (1) banies and (2) adults -- apart from, without, and exclusive of the use of the Word as a necessary means and instrumentality, and without repentance and faith being the immediate, necessary production by the WORD and of the SPIRIT.

One of the best theologians on this subject is Augustus H. Strong in his Systematic Theology. Years ago, I wrote a pamphlet, Strong vs Berkhof on Regeneration. I will mail you a copy, if you wish. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:26:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

THE HARDSHELL CONFESSION OF FAITH
ON "EFFECTUAL CALLING"

Dear Charles:

I brought over my copy of the 1900 Primitive Baptist Confession of Faith known as the "Fulton Confession."

The Hardshells "pre-faith regeneration" sect of Baptists met in Fulton, KY to "footnote" the 1689 London Confession in order to try to make it appear that they followed this old Confession of Faith.

Among other things, the footnote on Chapter 10, says the following:

"We understand the expression 'when God converts' to mean when God regenerates. We do not understand that sinners are effectually called BY THE WORD in any sense out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature to grace and salvation but by Christ, the Word of God. The quickening and renewing of the Holy Spirit prepares the sinner to answer the gospel call, as seen in Section 2; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 John 4:6" (page 54).

This is the SAME basic theory held by the Pedos such as Shedd, Berkhof, and their disciples.

It is "regeneration before faith," "born again without the Word involved as the means," etc.

The Hardshells were trying to make the Confession say what it did not say -- according to their most celebrated theologian, R. V. Sarrels, who accused them of trying "to make this old article mean what it does not say" and Sarrels referred to this meeting as a "literary effort of torturing of language"(Systematic Theology, pages 109, 110).

Likewise, today, those hybrids like James White who try to identify with the 1689 LCF do the same thing as the Hardshells in 1900. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 12:30:00 AM, Blogger Bully! said...

I'm not a student of religion, rather of words. As such I thought the term "pedobaptists" interesting because it literally means child baptist and culturally would mean something like an as of yet unformed baptist.
What do you mean by it?

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

FOUNDERS' "REGENERATION" IS PHILOSOPHICALLY IMPOSSIBLE --
NOT TO MENTION ITS BEING BIBLICAL NONSENSE [03/23--2006]

Here is an item I am submitting to "The Calvinist Flyswatter" blog:

Dear Charles:

One of the Founder's Board members has been emailing to me recently, and in a recent email, he propounds what has to be the most insupportable and irrational assertion I have read since I read Alexander Campbell 's assertion that he and his brethren had "restored the gospel" and "the ancient order of things." I respect this dear brother in the Lord, and so I regret having to say that I do believe this brother's assertion is even more unreasonable and irrational than the assertion by Mr. Campbell.

This Seminary faculty member makes this redoubtable statement, for which one might compass land and sea and make a return trip underground, and he would never find it taught in the Word of God nor presuppose it as an axiom of reasonable possibility -- not to mention probability. It is simply "insane" as a matter of philosophical consideration:

He says:

>>
I believe that the analogy of creation means that God's operations on the human soul may be an application of direct unmediated power.
>>

This is HARDSHELLISM at its very core, and is both UNSCRIPTURAL and as a PHILOSOPHICAL consideration, it is an IMPOSSIBILITY -- a veritable piece of NONSENSE.

Stephen Charnock (1628-1680) said of the Word or Gospel and the NECESSITY OF MEANS:

>>
It is therefore a necessary instrument.[1.] In regard of the reasonable creature there must be some declaration.

God does not ordinarily work but by means, and does not produce anything without them which may be done with them.

God does not maintain the creatures by a daily creation, but by generation; he maintains that faculty of generation in them by the means of health and nourishment, and that by the means of the fruits of the earth, and does all this according to the ordinance he fixed at the creation, when he appointed every kind of creatures their proper food, and bestowed his blessing upon them, 'Increase and multiply.'

So according to the method God has set of men's actions, it is necessary that this regeneration should be by some word as an instrument, for God has given understanding and will to man. We cannot understand anything, or will anything, but what is proposed to us by some external object; as our eye can see nothing but what is without us, our hand take nothing but what is without us, so it is necessary that God by the word should set before us those things which our understandings may apprehend, and our wills embrace.

Now we believe things as we conceive them true, or not believe them as we conceive them false. We love, desire, delight in things, as we conceive them honest or profitable; we hate, we refuse, or grieve, as we conceive them dishonest, or troublesome, or hurtful to us; whatever we are changed by in our understandings, wills, and affections, is represented to us under some of these considerations. To make an alteration in us according to our nature of understanding, will, and affection, it is necessary there should be some declaration of things under those considerations of true, good, delightful, &c., in the highest manner, to make a choice change in every faculty of the soul, and without this a man cannot be changed as a rational creature; he will otherwise have a change he knows not why, nor to what end, nor upon what consideration, which is an inconceivable change in a rational creature.
>>http://www.ccel.org/c/charnock/instr_regen/instr_regen.html

The theory of regeneration advocated by the Founders brother is INCONCEIVABLE -- it is both unscriptural and philosophically irrational. God does NOTHING in this world in relation to His creation and His creatures except by some MEANS. There is no other way for Him to communicate anything to us, He being Infinite and we being finite.

The very fact that He is Infinite makes it a philosophical and practical NECESSITY that He deal with the FINITE thru or by means. It is an IMPOSSIBILITY in any given category of philosophical thought to even suppose that the Infinite God could even do anything in the finite world except by means.

It chills my very soul to think that we have theologians in Baptist seminaries who do not recognize this fundamental axiom of theological and philosophical truth.

Here is the reply I made to the Founders brother who unfortunately is a Baptist seminary faculty member:

>>
I agree that the New Birth is His creation -- "new creation, old things passed away," etc. --
yet that was brought about by His use of means by which to exert his power.

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 2 Cor. 4:6, 7.

In creation, God used means -- He spoke.

In bringing me to life in Christ, He also uses His Word.

In bringing the dry bones of Ezekiel to life, He used His Word.

In bringing Lazarus back from the dead, He used His Word

God ALWAYS uses means suitable for the work He purposes.-- Bob
>>

It is simply a matter of NECESSITY that the Infinite God who made this finite creation and creatures by means of His own Word MUST still use MEANS. There is no other way whereby He can communicate anything to His creatures except by means.

It is philosophically INCONCEIVABLE that He can do ANYTHING but by MEANS. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:27:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

bully said...
I'm not a student of religion, rather of words. As such I thought the term "pedobaptists" interesting because it literally means child baptist and culturally would mean something like an as of yet unformed baptist.
What do you mean by it?

BOB:
"pedo" simply refers to infancy, like "pediatricians," "pedophiles,"etc.

Go to the following website for more information: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/paedo-

"Pedo-baptists" are those who baptize babies.

"Pedo-regenerationists" are those who teach that God's "elect" born to a believing parent are regenerated in infancy.

There is just as much scriptural validity for the one as for the other. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:23:00 PM, Blogger TEX said...

I read Bob Ross' article about Dr. Schreiner and was surprised to see such strong language used. It seems there is a bit of overstatement at work. The ORDINARY means that God employs are Word and Spirit together, however even the LBCF 1689 (Spurgeon's Confession of faith) talks about EXTRAORDINARY situations where the elect recipient of God's grace is incapable of being called by the Word...and yet, God still regenerates them without the Word, by His Sovereign Omnipotent Spirit. Here is the quote from the LBCF: Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
The language used, namely "Christ's Spirit working when were and how he pleases" points back to the chapter on Providence which states: God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure. I also think that a fair minded reading of an earlier paragraph in the chapter on effectual calling points to the view that effectual calling (i.e. regeneration) LOGICALLY precedes faith and repentance...(c.f. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.)
It says that they must be quickened and renewed (i.e. regenerated) in order to be enabled to answer the effectual call of God.
Mr. Ross says that God CANNOT work apart from means. I ask: What means did God use to cause Mary to be pregnant. The Bible says that the Spirit alone did it...apart from finite means. It seems that Mr. Ross may think he knows much about philosophy and logic, but the Bible seems to ignore and not heed his assertions. The Spirit in an unmediated use of power, created Jesus in the womb of Mary.
I like the balance of the confessional statements. I think Mr. Ross and others have gone too far in the other direction to fight their perception of other's errors.

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

AN "INFINITE" IMPREGNATION?

Tex said,
>>
Mr. Ross says that God CANNOT work apart from means. I ask: What means did God use to cause Mary to be pregnant.
>>

I hope Tex is not suggesting that in the miraculous impregnation of Mary that it was accomplished apart from the Spirit's imparting the FINITE essentials necessary to create a human body? Jesus was given a HUMAN body; He was not born or made of something "INFINITE."

Everything the Infinite God does is done with finite means. -- Bob

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 3:24:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ON TEX'S COMMENTS:

As for DYING INFANTS, there is no revelation in either Scripture or the Confession of HOW they are brought to a knowledge of Christ, either before they die or in the afterlife.

But it is proper to believe that they do come to believe and love Christ thru a MEANS of knowing Him at some point. A. H. Strong believed that it was likely this was at their "first view of Christ" in the afterlife.

As for the "LOGICAL" ORDER you mention, I ask, "By whose logic?"

The pedobaptists seem to be the source of this distinction -- the so-called "ordo salutis."

TEMPORALLY, no is said to be "born again" who is not a BELIEVER in Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is LOGICAL that where faith exists, the new birth exists, and where the new birth exists, faith exists.

When faith is "born," the person who has the faith is "born again," NOT BEFOREHAND.

This faith is efficiently CAUSED in a personby the WORD and SPIRIT, according to the Baptist Confession.

NOTE TO CHARLES: I am going to a funeral, but will be back for more posts later today. -- Bob

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 5:03:00 PM, Blogger TEX said...

Mr. Ross nicely sidesteps the entire point of my post above and decides to try to redirect attention elsewhere. The real point is that God is able to do all His Holy will...with or without intermediate means. God ORDINARILY works through means...for example, God ORDINARILY regenerates sinners through Word and Spirit (the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God as a mediate means or instrument to do His work of regeneration or new life in a sinner), HOWEVER, God is able to also immediately (without means) regenerate those who are incapable of being called by the ORDINARY OUTWARD means (for example, elect infants dying in infancy and others without the sufficient mental capacity to understand the Word and yet are elect). All I was trying to point out is that God is able to do things with or without means. His ORDINARY way of working is WITH means, but God is free and capable of working without, above, and against them at his pleasure. Mr. Ross should deal with his statements that God ALWAYS works with means and compare them to the Confession of faith. God ORDINARILY works with means, but not ALWAYS. My point is that his statements are extreme and not balanced like the confession of faith. There is a big difference between saying that Means are ordinarily used and saying that Means are ALWAYS necessary.
I hope Mr. Ross will address two things in any response he may make to this message. The first thing I would like him to address is what I have written above as compared to his statements that God ALWAYS uses means.
The second minor thing I would like him to answer is what instrument did the Spirit use in creating the finite human body of Jesus? Did God the Holy Spirit create the human body of Jesus by His Sovereign Power, or by some intermediate instrumentality?
grace and peace,

TEX

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 7:20:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

TEX COMES UP SHORT -- HOW WILL HE BE REGENERATED?

Tex said,

>>
The ORDINARY means that God employs are Word and Spirit together, however . . . . .
>>

Tex did not quote the Confession on the crux of the matter, which is as follows:

"Those whom God has predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to CALL, BY HIS WORD AND SPIRIT, out of that state of sin and eath in which they are by nature, to grace of salvation by Jesus Christ; ENLIGHTENING THEIR MINDS SPIRITUALLY AND SAVINGLY TO UNDERSTAND THE THINGS OF GOD," etc.

This clearly affirms that the "EFFECUAL CALL" is MORE than a mere "regeneration" by the Spirit apart from the Word which does NOT INCLUDE a KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST and an UNDERSTANDING of the things of God -- in other words, IT PRODUCES FAITH.

On "SAVING FAITH," the Confession plainly says that it is by FAITH "WHEREBY THE ELECT BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THEIR SOULS."

It says nothing about a prior "regeneration" which would have ALREADY SAVED THEM, making faith superfluous so far as "saving their souls" is concerned. Seeing they would have ALREADY been born again, they would not need "to believe to the SAVING of their souls," would they?

This "Saving Faith" is attributed to the "work of the Spirit" and the MEANS used is said to be "the MINISTRY OF THE WORD."

Tex is obviously an adult, so he does not qualify for the "exception" case of dying infants.

Now, the only other "exception" case has to do with those who are described as "INCAPABLE of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word." This is sometimes referred to as "the Idiot's clause."

If Tex, who is not a "dying infant," was not called by the minstry of the Word and "born again" in accordance with the "ordinary" means of the new birth, then his only alternative is the "Idiot's clause."

Is that Tex's hope of regeneration?

Or -- did Tex make a public profession of faith by walking an aisle during an invitation? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 8:50:00 PM, Blogger TEX said...

Once again Mr. Ross, you are avoiding the point I am laboring to make. To quote you, you said: "MEANS are always necessary to the Spirit's work"...this quote is found in the comments above (at the end of the second comment on this page.) I then attempted to point out that the confession of faith says something else. The LBCF 1689 (Spurgeon's confession) says very plainly that God ORDINARILY works through means but is free to work without, above, and against them (means) at his pleasure. My question remains, Can God work without, above, and against means at HIS PLEASURE or must he follow your dictates that He MUST ALWAYS work with means? It is a simple question Mr. Ross. Can God do His pleasure or MUST He ALWAYS use means? I agree with the confession that God ORDINARILY uses means...you however say that God MUST ALWAYS USE means. Which is it?

grace and peace,

TEX

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 9:59:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

TEX AND HIS "MEANS" QUESTIONS

Yes, Tex, God being Infinite, MUST use MEANS in His finite creation.

The "means" referred to in the Confession -- to which God may, if He chooses, take exception -- are the "ordinary" means. This does not mean that He does use OTHER means which are suitable for His operations in His finite creation.
Dying infants, for example, will by some MEANS come to faith and love for Christ in the afterlife.

Whenever a finite action -- or whatever -- is performed by God in His power, He "deviseth means" to accomplish it. For example, He spoke thru the dumb ass, and the sun also "stood still." Those were not the "ordinary" means, but they were nonetheless MEANS.

In the making of the body of Jesus, "a body thou hast prepared me," indicates means of preparing the body. God created Adam from dust, and somehow He managed to create the body of Jesus, too. If you know the mystery of the virgin conception, how the body was "made of the flesh," then we welcome your telling us the means by which it was done. But you can rest assured, a finite human body was created by some MEANS, even if God "spoke" the body into being.-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:23:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

WHERE DOES TEX STAND?

Before you try to create any new RABBIT TRAILS, Tex, I want to know where you stand?

Do you believe in "born again before faith" or do you believe what B. H. Carroll, James P. Boyce, C. H. Spurgeon, John L. Dagg, J. M. Pendleton, John Calvin, and others we have mentioned, believed -- namely, that one may be said to be "born again" when he believes, and not before?

For your information, here is the IMPECCABLE SYLLOGISM of Dr. Carroll once again:

>
(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."
>

I would like to know if I am dealing with one who imagined that he was "regenerated" before and without faith, or with one who was "born again" at the point of believing in Christ.-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 12:52:00 PM, Anonymous Hashman said...

Bob Ross,

Would you be open to having a moderated public debate with Tom Schreiner on the question of does regeneration preceed faith?

Hashman

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 7:12:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

DEBATE?

HASHMAN said,
>>
Bob Ross,
Would you be open to having a moderated public debate with Tom Schreiner on the question of does regeneration preceed faith?

Hashman
>>

Are you asking on behalf of Dr. Schreiner? If so, you may inform him that if he wishes to debate the subject, he is welcome to write his affirmative proposition, and send it to me. I will then write my affirmative proposition, and send it to him. Afterwards, details as to the time, length, format, and place of the debate can be worked out.

Thank you for asking.

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:45:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

CREEDAL CALVINISM WILL NOT BE
REPRESENTED IN LYNCHBURG DEBATE

Dear Charles:

JAMES WHITE has announced today that he and TOM ASCOL of the Founders will be meeting the Caner brothers, Ergun and Emir, in a debate in Lynchburg, Virginia, Monday, October 16th, 2006, 7pm.

Let me be the first to publicly proclaim that CREEDAL CALVINISM will not be presented by James White and Tom Ascol -- if we may judge on the basis of White's writings and some of the materials on the Founders' website.

As a Confessional Calvinist myself, accepting the 1644 Baptist Confession, the 1689 Baptist Confession, and the New Hampshire Baptist Confession, I want the Caners and the rest of the world to know that James White and Tom Ascol do not speak for me nor for others who accept the Calvinistic Baptist Confessions of Faith.

Rather, White and Ascol will be presenting the PEDO-REGENERATIONIST theory of "born again before faith," "no means" used in the Holy Spirit's act of regeneration, as posited by the pedo-regenerationist theologians, W. G. T. Shedd, Louis Berkhof, and their disciples, Iain Murray and R. C. Sproul -- that is, if White and Ascol maintain the same views which they have previously published.

We have thoroughly explored and exposed the pedo-regenerationist theory on this website, and it may be in the Providence of God that this forthcoming debate will simply serve to verify and magnify that what we have presented is in fact the truth -- that White and the Founders are advocating an aberrant view of regeneration.

As for the Caners, I personally do not know much about their views, but if they deny creedal Calvinism, then I of course will not be in agreement with their views. However, I hope they enter the debate sufficiently informed on the matter of the pedo-regenerationalism theory on regeneration to successfully refute White, Ascol, and their Hybrid Calvinism.

The Lord willing, I may attend this debate myself and bring along some printed materials of my own, refuting the views of Hybrid Calvinism -- just in case the Caners do not have the wherewithal to refute it.

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 10:22:00 PM, Anonymous Hashman said...

Bob Ross:
I have made no contact with Schreiner, it was a hypothetical. Perhaps I was making the suggestion that you make such a challenge, since you feel like sbc people should be aware of his heterodoxy since they are paying his salary.

Are you open to a public debate or do you simply prefer written debate? (Again I'm not brokering a deal, just asking)

By the way, I am happy. I'm still mad about the wildcats bball season, but happy for George Mason.

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:11:00 AM, Anonymous Hashmon said...

correction to my last comment

I got confused between charles and bob ross and mixed my message up between the two. (probably not the first time) I ascribed part to Bob, that should have been ascribed to "charles". But my question was to bob.

Anyway ... forget the comment, but the question still stands.

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:12:00 AM, Blogger TEX said...

Mr. Ross, I believe much of this issue that is under discussion is a problem of defining terms. You are using the word MEANS in at least two different ways. In the confession it does not speak of ordinary means as those that God can use or not use. It says that God ORDINARILY uses means (or instruments), but that He is FREE to WORK WITHOUT means, AGAINST MEANS etc. I am not 100% certain how you are using the word means, but I will say that I believe that God often, regularly (ordinarily), works mediately (with instruments or intermediate means...something between Him and what he wants to accomplish), I also believe that sometimes (irregularly, occasionally etc) God works without intermediate means...this is also called immediately (without anything in between). You have stated that it is "insane" and "impossible" that God should do anything without means. In your way of looking at it, it seems that anything God uses or does (even if it is just His own Omnipotent power) qualifies as a means. Fair enough. However I believe the confession uses the word means in a different way and that is why it can speak of God working apart from or without means. This is a difference based on definitions...meaning a difference based on the way the word "means" is understood. This is part of my concern, you seem very ready to condemn people who do not share your definition. Perhaps it would be better to establish what you mean and what they mean before you call them heterodox. Let me give you an example of what I mean: We have been talking about what "means" God used in creating the finite body of Jesus in Mary. The Bible says that the Power of the Most High would overshadow her, the Holy Spirit would come upon her...to mean this speaks of God's unmediated power doing an act of creation in Mary. Ordinarily it takes both a man and a women to procreate, but God works apart from these ordinary means in this case to create the finite body of Jesus. God uses no intermediate means to create the finite body of Jesus, God uses no instruments (like faith or the Bible as God's word). He simply creates Jesus in Mary in a sovereign exercise of His omnipotence. I believe that in the extreme cases of elect infants dying in infancy and of those who are incapable of being called by the ordinary outward means of the word are regenerated without the instruments of faith or the word, but by a sovereign act of God's Spirit who can work, when, where and how He pleases. It is not the way he ordinarily works...nor should we expect this in the case of those who are capable of being called by the Word. But even if God never chooses to sovereignly regenerate someone who is capable of being called by the ordinary means without using those means, that is a far cry from saying God is incapable of doing it. I believe God can do it, but does not do it for His own reasons. You seem to think that God cannot do it...is incapable of it. Do you see the difference I am driving at...the difference between being incapable of something versus being capable of it, but choosing not to do it?
I also believe that the need to define terms is at the heart of the difference you think you have with those who talk about regeneration preceding faith. After reading a few of your articles it seems (and please correct me if I am wrong) that you see regeneration as involving the quickening of the human spirit by the Holy Spirit through the instrumental means of the word and the creation or gift or exercise of faith by the person so operated upon by God, which results in justification...you see that entire series, sequence of events as being equal to regeneration. Am I right? It seems that the word regneration has been defined both broadly and narrowly throughout its use since the reformation. You seem to take it in a broader context. That is fine. It is your definition and your understanding of those things (and James P. Boyce's too) :) . But until you establish that as the working definition of regeneration with those you are discussing it with, you just end up talking past each other. You call them heterodox before you even have asked what they mean by regeneration. For the record I completely agree with James P. Boyce on regeneration. You can read it all at this link: http://www.founders.org/library/boyce1/ch32.html . I find his distinctions and discussion very helpful in this whole discussion. Notice please what Boyce says: God works both immediately (without means) upon the human heart and that the Spirit works mediately through the word. Boyce in speaking of regeneration and conversion says: "At the outset of a discussion of these two subjects we are met by the question, whether they are not one and the same thing. They are unquestionably so intimately associated that it is difficult to separate them and point out the distinctions between them. The Scriptures connect the two under the one idea of the new birth, and teach that not only is regeneration an absolute essential in each conversion, but that in every intelligent responsible soul conversion invariably accompanies regeneration. It is not strange, therefore, that they are often confounded. Yet, after all, the Scriptures also teach that regeneration is the work of God, changing the heart of man by his sovereign will, while conversion is the act of man turning towards God with the new inclination thus given to his heart." "From the Scriptural teaching we see that the whole work of Regeneration and Conversion is included under the one term regeneration." "The whole work is thus spoken of, however, because God is operative from the beginning to the end, but this does not prove that he does not operate differently in one part from what he does in the other. The Scripture teaching is that God operates immediately upon the heart to produce the required change, by which it is fitted to receive the truth, and mediately through the word in its reception of that truth." NOTICE that he says that God works BOTH IMMEDIATELY (without means) on the human heart and MEDIATELY (by the Spirit through the Word). "Conversion is the result of regeneration."
Boyce on the relationship between regeneration (the renewal of the heart) and conversion says the following: "The relation of regeneration to conversion will, therefore, appear to be one of invariable antecedence.
Wherever the appropriate truth is at the time present its relation is almost that of producing cause, for the prepared heart at once receives the truth. Hence, as this is so generally the case, they have been usually regarded as contemporaneous and by some even as identical. But that regeneration is the invariable antecedent is seen,
1. From the fact that the heart is the soil in which the seed, the word of God, is sown, and that seed only brings forth fruit in the good soil. The heart is made good soil by regeneration.
2. Regeneration (as in infants) may exist without faith and repentance, but the latter cannot exist without the former. Therefore, regeneration precedes.
3. LOGICALLY the enabling act of God must, in a creature, precede the act of the creature thus enabled. But this logical antecedence involves actual antecedence, or the best conceptions of our mind deceive us and are not reliable. For this logical antecedence exists only because the mind observes plainly a perceived dependence of the existence of the one on the other. But such dependence demands, if not causal, at least antecedent existence. Here it is only antecedent."
Boyce says that one LOGICALLY precedes the other. That one is "antecedent" to the other. Mr. Ross, you asked me in an earlier post about "who's logic", I was not aware that there were different types of logic owned by different people. I only know of THE laws of logic. It seems that Boyce did too. For you, the NEW BIRTH is what Boyce calls regeneration AND conversion. That is fine. However, if others don't share that definition then it does no good to condemn them. Find out what they mean by their terms and then try to convince them that they need to adopt your definition of the term as superior on biblical grounds. Of course this would take dialogue and time. It would also be a much more christian way to dialogue with others...and who knows, it just might lead to edification of you both. I hope our discussion will lead to that for both of us.
Grace and peace,

TEX

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Ross has written:
"Some likewise misuse the metaphor of "death" in relation to the lost sinner and construct a doctrine of depravity on the basis of an exact comparison to physical death. This was never the design of the use of this metaphor. The basic idea of "death" is "separation" -- sinners are separated from God. They are very active in sin and sensitive to the things of God in a negative way. The Word of God "bothers" sinners; how could they be bothered by the Word of God if they were "dead" like a corpse?
We are to interpret and apply the metaphor of "death" by the overall teaching of Scripture, not form a doctrine based on an exact comparison to the metaphor.
In Ezekiel 37, some are compared to dry "bones" in that metaphorical illustration. Yet Ezekiel was told the preach to them and bid them "hear the word of the Lord." Obviously, the Lord did not intend for this to mean that "bones" have literal ears. You can only use the metaphor so far as it is illustrative of a particular point."

This is what Spurgeon said on what it means to be "dead" in trespasses and sins:

The Necessity of the Spirit's Work
A Sermon
(No. 251)
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 8th, 1859, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
-----------------------------------
"And I will put my Spirit within you."—Ezekiel, 36:27.

We start, then, by laying down this proposition—that the work of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary to us, if we would be saved.
I. In endeavoring to prove this, I would first of all make the remark that this is very manifest if we remember what man is by nature. Some say that man may of himself attain unto salvation—that if he hear the Word, it is in his power to receive it, to believe it, and to have a saving change worked in him by it. To this we reply, you do not know what man is by nature, otherwise you would never have ventured upon such an assertion. Holy Scripture tells us that man by nature is dead in trespasses and sins. It does not say that he is sick, that he is faint, that he has grown callous, and hardened, and seared, but it says he is absolutely dead. Whatever that term "death" means in connection with the body, that it means in connection with man's soul, viewing it in its relation to spiritual things. When the body is dead it is powerless; it is unable to do any thing for itself; and when the soul of man is dead, in a spiritual sense, it must be, if there is any meaning in the figure, utterly and entirely powerless, and unable to do any thing of itself or for itself. When ye shall see dead men raising themselves from their graves, when ye shall see them unwinding their own sheets, opening their own coffin-lids, and walking down our streets alive and animate, as the result of their own power, then perhaps ye may believe that souls that are dead in sin may turn to God, may recreate their own natures, and may make themselves heirs of heaven, though before they were heirs of wrath. But mark, not till then. The drift of the gospel is, that man is dead in sin, and t at divine life is God's gift; and you must go contrary to the whole of that drift, before you can suppose a man brought to know and love Christ, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit finds men as destitute of spiritual life as Ezekiel's dry bones; he brings bone to bone, and fits the skeleton together, and then he comes from the four winds and breathes into the slain, and they live, and stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army, and worship God. But apart from that, apart from the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God, men's souls must lie in the valley of dry bones, dead, and dead for ever.

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 1:20:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

HASHMAN said,

>>Are you open to a public debate or do you simply prefer written debate? (Again I'm not brokering a deal, just asking)
>>

I do not engage in private-like "written debates" as such. I require a third party audience so that some good might come of my time and effort. Typists are not debaters. I could spend the rest of my life in private letter debates or email debates, I get so many who want to engage in that sort of thing.

I do engage in public oral debate before audiences, based on signed propositions by each party, with Hedge's rules of controversy governing, and a moderator for each debater.

I do not issue direct challenges to other individuals, although I may make it known in general that I am available to debate a subject. I have yet to engage in a debater wherein I issued the challenge.

It seems more honorable in controversy that two parties mutually agree to debate rather than one challenging the other like a "gunfight" mode. I have turned down more "challenges" than I have accepted, for I do not always consider a debate worthwhile or of significance. I just turned down an offer this past week to have my expenses paid to fly to Virginia to meet a Church of Christ minister in debate. I did not consider this particular debate to be of any significance, and certainly not worth leaving home and work for a week. I told him if he could arrange a debate in the Houston area within driving distance, then I would consider it. I could probably have had a debate-a-month for many years past, if I had accepted all such proposals as this one. I once had eight Church of Christ preachers "challenge" me during a debate I was in at the time, but none of them later followed up on their challenges by submitting signed propositions to me. Sometimes "challenges" are just a lot of hot air. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"THIM DRY BONES"
LIVE BY HEARING!

Anonymous said,
>>
This is what Spurgeon said on what it means to be "dead" in trespasses and sins:
>>

BOB:

Yes, and he also said the following;

>>
SPURGEON:

No faith, no life

"Where there is faith, there is new life; where there is no faith there is no life." (Open Heart for the Great Saviour, #669, page 22).

**********

On the Dry Bones and Dead Sinners

To tell DRY BONES to live, is a very unreasonable sort of thing when tried by rules of logic; and for me to tell you, a DEAD sinner, to BELIEVE in Christ, may seem perfectly unjustifiable by the same rule.

But I do not need to justify it. If I find it in God’s Word, that is quite enough for me; and if the preacher does not feel any difficulty in the matter, why should you? . . .

Leave the difficulties; there will be time enough to settle them when we get to heaven; meanwhile, if life comes through Jesus Christ, let us have it, and have done with nursing our doubts" (#2246, page 119).

**********

Faith and Quickening

"It is DEPENDING UPON the Lord Jesus Christ alone which is the true vital act by which the soul is QUICKENED into spiritual life." (Eyes Opened, #681, page 163). [Of course, Spurgeon believed this was the creative work of the Holy Spirit using the Word to create this act of faith].

**********

Faith's has Transforming Power

"If thou believest in Jesus Christ and him crucified, in the moment that thou believest, this great change of nature is effected in thee; for FAITH HAS IN ITSELF A SINGULARLY TRANSFORMING POWER" (Despised Light Withdrawn, #2413, page 235). [Of course, Spurgeon believed this faith was created by the Holy Spirit's using the Word].

**********

Holy Spirit Uses the Truth for Quickening

"Threre is nothing in all our eloquence unless we believe in the Holy Spirit making USE OF THE TRUTH which we preach for the QUICKENING of the souls of men. . . . The Spirit of God, that is, the breath of God, GOSE WITH THE WORD of God, and with that alone" (Come from the Four Winds, O Breath! #2246, page 117).

**********

Hear and Live

You are bidden, in the first precept, to hearken, and incline your ear, and the promise given is this:

“Your soul shall live.”

What! Live through hearing? Yes, live AS A RESULT OF HEARING; for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” . . .

Some sit down, and say, “I cannot believe.” Of course you cannot believe until you know what you have to believe. But while you are hearing what it is, the inspired Word ACTS UPON YOU you with a self-evidencing power, and your conscience, and mind, and heart are affected thereby. The Holy Spirit QUICKENS THROUGH THE WORD, and fulfils the promise, “Hear, and your soul shall live.”

There is such a power about the Word of God, that when it comes into contact with the heart which is seeking eternal life it breathes eternal life into it. I will try to sketch the manner of its operation. The man is an earnest hearer, and he says to himself, “How I wish I could meet with the salvation of God!”

While listening he feels a tenderness stealing over him; perhaps a tear trickles down his cheek. He gets absorbed in the truth to which he listens, and becomes serious, anxious, and impressible. The Word of God is like a fire which melts.

ATTENDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, the influence of the WORD upon the soul acts for the removing of the stony heart and the creation of a heart of flesh. . . .
>>

You want more? Later, perhaps. -- Bob

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 5:50:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

MEANS

Tex said,
>>
Mr. Ross, I believe much of this issue that is under discussion is a problem of defining terms.
>>

BOB: Define it any way you wish, Tex, God does not work except by means. It is inconceivable that He could work in His finite creation except by finite means adapted to His purposes. Even in the greatest of the biblical miracles, means were used.

In the Confession on "Providence" where God is said to be free to work "without, above, or against THEM at his pleasure," the context of the Confession is plainly referring to the "means" used in His "ordinary providence," therefore to the "ordinary" means. I think you are nitpicking on that one.

The REGENERATION of rational adults is by the WORD AND SPIRIT, according to the Confession -- NOT BY THE SPIRIT WITHOUT THE WORD, as the Hybrid Pedo-regenerationists teach.

Exceptions are made by the Confession only for (1) dying infants, and (2) those incapable of being called by the Word.

Therefore, I think it is safe to assume that no mentally capable person is regenerated except BY THE WORD AND SPIRIT. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L, Ross said...

BOYCE'S VIEW

Tex said,
>>
For the record I completely agree with James P. Boyce on regeneration. You can read it all at this link: http://www.founders.org/library/boyce1/ch32.html
>>

I am perfectly acquainted with J. P. Boyce's view, and I do not see that he EVER says or implies that anyone under the sound of the Gospel is "born again BEFORE faith," or that "the Word" is not used instrumentally in bringing about the New Birth.

Boyce refers to the influence of the Holy Spirit prior to faith, and we heartily concur, but he never indicates that the NEW BIRTH has been accomplished until faith is produced -- except in "some" cases such as infants and idiots, and a "perhaps" type of theory on "some heathen." He offers NO SCRIPTURE to support his theories for those exceptions, so there is no way to understand his thinking on these. A. H. Strong believed that dying infants are born again in connection with their "first view of Christ" in the afterlife.

As I understand him, Boyce believed that "MEANS" (WORD, GOSPEL) MUST be used in the ordinary calling of sinners. He believed the Spirit works "mediately" thru the Word, and the "first step" is to "make known to man the gospel."

He says that there are Scriptures which "sufficiently teach the USE OF THE WORD in REGENERATION to lead us NOT TO REJECT, as PART of it, that result of God's act which, in CONNECTION with the WORD, leads to full union of its subject with Christ through repentance and faith."

That does not sound to me like "born again before faith," or "no means" or "no Word" in the New Birth, as taught by the Pedo-regenerationists such as Shedd, Berkhof, and their disciples.

I have a "diagram" of Boyce's views, sent to Charles, if he is able to somehow post it.

Also, thee is a diagram of B. H. Carroll's views.

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 11:45:00 PM, Blogger TEX said...

Mr. Ross,

Thank you for responding to me. I had hoped that there would be some progress in our discussion, however you continue to assert the same things over and over and have not really given any proof for your assertions. Perhaps if I can ask some questions we can make some progress toward understanding one another better...and hopefully edify one another in the LORD at the same time. As they say, it takes two to tango and if you have no desire to pursue this discussion further I will respect your wishes and discontinue the discussion.
You said: "Define it any way you wish, Tex, God does not work except by means. It is inconceivable that He could work in His finite creation except by finite means adapted to His purposes. Even in the greatest of the biblical miracles, means were used."
Defining it any way I wish is not the point. I want to know how YOU define the terms. I already know how I am using the terms. How are you using the word means? How do you understand its use in the confession? This is what I am trying to arrive at. If I decide in my own mind that means has a certain meaning to me and you decide in your mind that it has a different meaning to you and we never discuss what we mean by "means" then we will talk past each other and misunderstand one another...wouldn't you agree?
Therefore, please help me understand your view...You assert that God must use finite means to work in His finite creation. What finite means did God use to create the finite body of Jesus in Mary?
I believe that the creation of the finite body of Jesus in Mary is an example of what I mean by God working apart from (or without) intermediate means. It is an example of God's sovereign power to do exactly as he wishes in His creation...apart from means. You believe that God MUST use finite means, therefore I ask again...what finite means did God use to create the finite body of Jesus in Mary? Basically, you assert a universal positive (God MUST...of necessity...always use some finite means to work in His finite creation)...am I correct in understanding you to be saying this? If that is true, I believe that I have found at least one example that goes against your universal positive assertion. I am asking you to show me that this is not the case. In so doing you will help me understand better what you mean by "means". Perhaps we really are saying the same thing with different words and our differences are only apparent and not real. This is why I say that defining terms is very important. It helps us get past possible misunderstandings.
Mr. Ross, you said: "In the Confession on "Providence" where God is said to be free to work "without, above, or against THEM at his pleasure," the context of the Confession is plainly referring to the "means" used in His "ordinary providence," therefore to the "ordinary" means. I think you are nitpicking on that one."
Fair enough. I think I understand you here. Please bear with me a little bit longer so I can better understand what you are saying. Are you saying that God is free to work APART from means in His ordinary providence? Is there such a thing as extraordinary providence? Does God work according to means in extraordinary providence? Is God capable or able to work apart from means in extraordinary providence? You have said (written) on several occassions that God MUST (of necessicity) ALWAYS use means to accomplish His will. I believe that the Confession says that there are some exceptions to your universal positive assertion. Or at a minimum the confession says that God is ABLE to work apart from them if He so chooses. Are you saying that God always chooses to work according to means, though he is able and capable of doing things apart from means? Or are you saying that God cannot, is not able, to work apart from means even if He wanted to? I believe that God cannot lie (the Bible says He can't) therefore I believe that there are some things God cannot do (I also believe God cannot make a square circle...because it is definitional nonsense). So I won't have a problem if you say there are some things God cannot do. I just want to know exactly what you are saying.
Mr Ross, you further said: "The REGENERATION of rational adults is by the WORD AND SPIRIT, according to the Confession -- NOT BY THE SPIRIT WITHOUT THE WORD, as the Hybrid Pedo-regenerationists teach."

I agree with you brother! :)

Mr. Ross, you said: "Exceptions are made by the Confession only for (1) dying infants, and (2) those incapable of being called by the Word."

Once again I agree, But this exception means that God does and is capable of regenerating these two extraordinary categories without the word. If you believe the confession here, then you need to start nuancing some of your statements to others. You make many statements that are categorical and universal in scope, while the confession talks about how God works in the majority of cases (ordinarily), but also affirms that God is ABLE to work otherwise in these extraordinary cases. Once again I ask, is God ABLE to work any way he chooses, or is He incapable, unable to work in any other way, but by the Word and Spirit?

I will just note in conclusion that you completely ignored the fact that James Boyce says that regeneration precedes (is antecedent to) conversion (faith and repentance). Why do you not add James P. Boyce to those you condemn for saying that regeneration LOGICALLY precedes faith?
If you are interested in pursuing this conversation then please answer my questions. If not, that is fine. I have enjoyed the interchange greatly. I also appreciate the way you have stayed away from calling me names as you do with others. I think the tone of the discussion has been "friendly" and I am thankful to our Lord for that.
God bless you brother Bob!

grace and peace,

TEX

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me try again. The question is not about faith and its relation to the work of the Spirit in quickening. The question is not about the Word being used by the Spirit. The question is: What does the Bible mean when it says that we are dead?

Ross says: "Some likewise misuse the metaphor of "death" in relation to the lost sinner and construct a doctrine of depravity on the basis of an exact comparison to physical death."

Ross says that it is improper to say our spiritual death is like physical death. Spurgeon says otherwise: "Now, endeavour, as well as you can, to get the idea of a dead corpse, and when you have so done, please to understand, that that is the metaphor employed in my text, to set forth the condition of your soul by nature. Just as the body is dead, incapable, unable, unfeeling, and soon about to become corrupt and putrid, so are we if we be unquickened by divine grace; dead in trespasses and sins, having within us death, which is capable of developing itself in worse and worse stages of sin and wickedness, until all of us here, left by God's grace, should become loathsome beings; loathsome through sin and wickedness, even as the corpse through natural decay. Understand, that the doctrine of the Holy Scripture is, that man by nature, since the fall, is dead; he is a corrupt and ruined thing; in a spiritual sense, utterly and entirely dead."

This was never the design of the use of this metaphor. The basic idea of "death" is "separation" -- sinners are separated from God. We are to interpret and apply the metaphor of "death" by the overall teaching of Scripture, not form a doctrine based on an exact comparison to the metaphor.
Ross says we cannot have an exact comparison to the metaphore. Spurgeon says: "Holy Scripture tells us that man by nature is dead in trespasses and sins. It does not say that he is sick, that he is faint, that he has grown callous, and hardened, and seared, but it says he is absolutely dead. Whatever that term "death" means in connection with the body, that it means in connection with man's soul, viewing it in its relation to spiritual things. When the body is dead it is powerless; it is unable to do any thing for itself; and when the soul of man is dead, in a spiritual sense, it must be, if there is any meaning in the figure, utterly and entirely powerless, and unable to do any thing of itself or for itself. When ye shall see dead men raising themselves from their graves, when ye shall see them unwinding their own sheets, opening their own coffin-lids, and walking down our streets alive and animate, as the result of their own power, then perhaps ye may believe that souls that are dead in sin may turn to God, may recreate their own natures, and may make themselves heirs of heaven, though before they were heirs of wrath. But mark, not till then."
All I am pointing out is that Bob says one thing about "dead in tresspasses and sins" and Spurgeon says the opposite.
Think about it.

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word is PALAVER...not palabber. There is no such word as palabber. It is not in the dictionary. The word you are looking for is PALAVER>
palaver

SYLLABICATION: pa·lav·er
PRONUNCIATION: p-lvr, -lävr
NOUN: 1a. Idle chatter. b. Talk intended to charm or beguile. 2. Obsolete A parley between European explorers and representatives of local populations, especially in Africa.
VERB: Inflected forms: pa·lav·ered, pa·lav·er·ing, pa·lav·ers

TRANSITIVE VERB: To flatter or cajole.
INTRANSITIVE VERB: To chatter idly.
ETYMOLOGY: Portuguese palavra, speech, alteration of Late Latin parabola, speech, parable. See parable.

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 1:09:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

JESUS' BODY

TEX said,
>>
He simply creates Jesus in Mary in a sovereign exercise of His omnipotence.
>>

No one disputes this, Tex, but we dispute that He did this apart from means. The Bible plainly says that the body our Lord was "MADE of the seed of David," "MADE of a woman," and "a body thou has PREPARED me" (Romans 1:3; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 10:5). He was made in the "likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3).

Furthermore, He "took part" of "flesh and blood" of humanity (Heb. 2:14). He came "in the flesh" (1 John 4:2).

Therefore, God used means to produce the fleshly body of Christ. He was miraculously of the "seed" of David via Mary, and did not derive his body from the "seed of Adam" via procreation.

So this is no illustration of God working without means, but rather working miraculously with them. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 1:10:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

MORE ON J. P. BOYCE

In Boyce's Catehcism, he says:

>>

How does Regeneration affect the mind?

It enlightens the mind to UNDERSTAND SAVINGLY THE WORD OF GOD."
>>

Syllogism:

(1) Regeneration is the "first work" of the Holy Spirit, according to Boyce's Catechism.

(2) Regeneration "enlightens the mind to understand SAVINGLY the Word of God."
Therefore, one is not regenerated if in the "first work" of the Spirit his mind does not understand savingly the Word of God -- according to the definition of regeneration given by J. P. Boyce.

But according to the Pedo-regenerationist view, advocated by Shedd, Berkhof, Sproul, James White, Banner of Truth, some of the Founders, etc. one is regenerated by the "first work" of the Spirit BEFORE he is enlightened to understand the Word of God.

The Pedos even say that their infants are regenerated by the Spirit in infancy, "long before" their minds are enlightened to understand the Word of God.

Question: Was R. C. Sproul regenerated in his infancy?

Lorainne Boettner, when he visited me years ago, told me face to face that he did not know "when" he was born again.

Boyce vs. the Pedo-regenerationists. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

Bob Ross,

Who are some modern calvinist writers or preachers that you believe are worth reading or listening to?

George

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

WHITE-ASCOL vs CANERS

Dear Charles:

Today I read both James White's and Tom Ascol's comments about the debate with the Caners, and it is obvious that this debate is a "White baby."

Like Dr. Gill's "Dr" degree, Ascol neither "thought it, sought it, nor bought it." James is obviously trying to embellish himself as a "representative man" by having the Founders' leader at his side.

It appears that James has lost some credibility with some of the "Reformed Baptists" and he is compassing land and sea to get some new feathers in his head dress from other sources. He continues patronizing Phil Johnson of the Dr. J-Mac complex in California, he has won favor and preached for the Hardshell Primitive Baptists, he is courting Peter Masters at the Spurgeon Tabernacle in London, and now he is seeking to make it appear he represents the Founders. James is really "on a role," isn't he?

I'm sure, based on Tom Ascol's comments, that Tom would have never been involved in this debate were not for the lust of James for debates. He will literally turn flips if he can get somebody to debate him on something on which he thinks he has the upperhand. He is obviously trying to be the "Alexander Campbell" of his version of "Calvinism."

The Founders have enough going against them within the SBC without encumbering themselves further by associating with James White's "Have Exegeet'n, Will Debate" Crusade. This entanglement will simply magnify the Founders' involvement with the Pedo-regenerationist theory of "born again before faith" aberrancy which is championed by James White.

Frankly, speaking as a Calvinist, this would be enough within itself to move me to withdraw from affiliation with the Founders if I were affiliated with them. We have hitherto put a link on our website to the Founders, for they have produced some publications of interest, and we sell a few of them in my book store; however, I am going to revaluate this Internet linkage in the light of Tom's affiliation with and endorsement of such an outspoken advocate of the Pedo-regenerationist view of "born again before faith." I don't think we should let anyone get the idea that Spurgeon's and our Calvinism is the same as that endorsed by the Founders. We can only tolerate so much of this kind of thing.

What is your take on this, Charles?

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 3:37:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob Ross said, "What is your take on this, Charles?"

In my opinion, James White is a Diotrephes. I would say he is the Diotrephes of the 21st century but that is giving him too much credit.

His lust for debates prove it. Debating Catholics, Mormons, and infidels is one thing. Constantly going after Christians is another.

Charles

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 3:41:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

As for the Founders, they have given themselves over to the "regen before faith" heresy. They are dishonest when they compare themselves to Spurgeon. They are heirs of the same crowd that attacked Spurgeon.

Charles

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:34:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

PALABBER?

Anonymous said...
The word is PALAVER...not palabber. There is no such word as palabber. It is not in the dictionary. The word you are looking for is PALAVER>
palaver

BOB:

"Palabber" --

"Pa" -- means "father" (Webster's).

"lab" -- short, for a lower mouth part.

"ber" -- a simple suffix to "fill out" the word.

When used of utterances proceeding from a mouth, or in the
written expression of such mouthings, "palabber" applies to
labyrinthian perplexities of thought which characterize
unstable, confused, and occilating intellects . . . or, in reference
the "father" of the palabber, use "palabberer."

I will submit the word to my friends at Merriam-Webster for
consideration as an entry into their next edition, so that some will not be "in the dark" about the meaning of the term(s). -- Bob

I borrowed this term from Shemp of “The Three Stooges.” Don't you watch the Classics?

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:42:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

HEIRS OF THOSE WHO ATTACKED SPURGEON?

Charles said...
As for the Founders, they have given themselves over to the "regen before faith" heresy. They are dishonest when they compare themselves to Spurgeon. They are heirs of the same crowd that attacked Spurgeon.

Charles

BOB:

There is certainly a basis for this charge, Charles, for JOHN KENNEDY attacked D. L. Moody and his message whereas Spurgeon supported Moody and his message.

IAIN MURRAY SIDED WITH KENNEDY -- as I have shown in another thread, and Murray is an icon to the Founders. If Brother Ernest Reisinger is the father-founder of the Founders, Iain Murray is the Grandfather-founder because Bro. Ernest was "begotten" by Murray's teachings, such as "pre-faith regeneration," anti-invitation system, and misuse of Spurgeon. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:57:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

DEAD IN SIN

Anonymous said,
>>
All I am pointing out is that Bob says one thing about "dead in tresspasses and sins" and Spurgeon says the opposite.
Think about it.
>>

Spurgeon once said that you should not try to make a metaphor "stand on all fours." Do you think Spurgeon contradicted himself in what you quoted? That he was making a metaphor stand on all fours? Spurgeon said -- in the case of the DEAD DRY BONES -- that this demonstrated how we are to preach to the DEAD SINNERS and expect them to respond by HEARING AND BELIEVING. Do you agree?

Remember, too, believers are said to be "dead to sin." Is that like a dead corpse, too? You can't sin anymore?

Anyway, what we are primarily emphasizing here is that the "DEAD shall the VOICE of the Son of God and SHALL LIVE."

Now, if you look at the "ordo salutis" there, you will see that HEARING precedes LIVING, and it is the DEAD who hear.

I hope you believe that God's WORD AND SPIRIT are so powerful that the DEAD SHALL HEAR AND LIVE. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, April 15, 2006 11:46:00 PM, Blogger whoami123 said...

.
We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at this infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami


P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

 
At Wednesday, May 03, 2006 3:12:00 AM, Anonymous brittney said...

Bob L. Ross said...
"Jesus was given a HUMAN body; He was not born or made of something "INFINITE."

How can you say that Jesus was not made of something infinite??? Is God not infinite??? Was Jesus not both God and man in the same body?? I find this statement disturbing. Jesus was both God and man, therefore since God is infinite and Jesus was God, how can you say that he is not made up of something infinite. PErhaps you need to look at the definition for infinite and see if it does not describe God. And then read your bible to see that Jesus was both God and man.

infinite:
1)having no limits or boundaries in time or space or extent or magnitude
2)total and all-embracing

 
At Monday, May 15, 2006 6:57:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

JESUS IS GOD IN THE FLESH

brittney said...


Jesus was both God and man, therefore since God is infinite and Jesus was God, how can you say that he is not made up of something infinite.

Bob to Brittney:

As Deity, or God, Jesus is the Eternal Son of God.

As a man, Jesus was "made of a woman," and partook of humanity (John 1:14; Heb. 2:9-14; 10:5; Gal. 4:4). It is humanity that is not infinite.

See chapters 4 and 7 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession on this subject.

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, February 06, 2007 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sola Scriptura.

Let's use the Bible and not logic

 

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