Thursday, May 18, 2006

Southern Seminary Welcomed Wayne Grudem Who Believes Regeneration Can Occur Before Physical Birth

On February 13, 2001, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, owned and operated by the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, had Dr. Wayne Grudem to speak at the seminary.

Dr. Grudem is a theologian known for his Systematic Theology, published by Zondervan in 1994, and in which Grudem advances the heresy that people are regenerated before they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

He writes on page 500,
Yet it certainly is possible for God to bring regeneration (that is, new spiritual life) to an infant even before he or she is born. This was true of John the Baptist, for the angel Gabriel, before John was born said, "He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15). We might say that John the Baptist was "born again" before he was born!

As incredible as it sounds, Dr. Grudem believes that the new birth occurs before hearing the word of God and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ! This is not what Southern Baptist churches believe and yet their seminary invites and honors a man to come, speak, and influence young men who will one day fill the pulpits of these same churches. Grudem is also at odds with the word of God. When asked by the Philippian jailer, "What must I do to be saved," Paul responded, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.

The seminary’s connection to the "born again before faith" heresy is not limited to a visit by Dr. Grudem. I have it on good authority that some theology professors at Southern use Grudem's Systematic Theology as the primary class textbook.

Southern Seminary seems to also have a love and affinity for those who teach that the word of God and faith are unnecessary for regeneration. I previously revealed that one seminary professor openly teaches this heretical doctrine: Southern Baptist seminary professor affirms "regeneration before faith" heterodoxy. In another article, I wrote about the seminary rolling out the red carpet for another Reformed theology professor: Southern Seminary Welcomed John Frame Who Teaches Salvation Occurs By Believing Nothing. Dr. R. C. Sproul has also visited the seminary and his theology was praised by seminary president Dr. Al Mohler.

Given the seminary's strong affection for those who teach that faith is unnecessary for regeneration, could Southern Seminary be one reason that baptisms are down in the SBC? I asked this question in, Is Al Mohler Responsible for the SBC's Drop in Baptisms?

In my opinion, Southern Seminary seems to blatantly set itself at odds with the beliefs of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. It may only be a matter of time before the churches find out and do something about it.

Charles

(For more information, read Brother Bob Ross' article on Regeneration, which reveals the origins of the "born again before faith" view. "Born again before faith" is generally associated with a "Reformed Calvinism" theology but in actuality is more Calvinistic than Calvin because John Calvin never held this view.)

(SHARE THIS ARTICLE: To email a copy of this article to a pastor or friend, click on the envelope icon at the end of the article).

26 Comments:

At Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:41:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ANOTHER SEMI-PELAGIAN
SPEAKS AT SOUTHERN

Charles said . . .


Grudem advances the heresy that people are regenerated before they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob's comment:

This is a correct presentation of Wayne Grudem's Hybrid Calvinism, as he expounds it on pages 699-704 of his book. It is the same semi-Pelagianism which I analyzed in my Hardshell series in Article #6.

Since Southern Baptist Seminary is knee-deep or deeper in Hybrid Calvinism, it is no marvel that they had Grudem as a speaker. They keep racking up affiliations with those of the pedo-regenerationist Hybrid Calvinism view on the new birth.

Grudem sets forth the typical Hybrid theory that the "dead" sinner is "made alive" so as facilitate the "ability" to believe. The same theory is held by Shedd, Berkhof, Sproul, Duncan, Frame, James White, the Hardshell Baptists, and other advocates of Hybrid Calvinism.

This of course is a distortion of Creedal Calvinism, which affirms the production of faith by the Word and Spirit in the "dead" sinner -- not in the "live" and "able" sinner.

Creedal Calvinism is fitly illustrated in the case of dead Lazarus who was dead when Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth," and "he that was DEAD came forth" (John 11:43, 44). This illustrates how the power of God accompanies the Word of God and raises the dead. Lazarus was not made alive first, but he was made alive by the power of God which accompanied the Word.

This demonstrates the Creedal Calvinist view of the New Birth by means of the Word, accompanied by the power of the Spirit (John 6:63) in contrast to the "Spirit alone" theory of the Hardshells and other semi-Pelagians.

The view of Grudem and semi-Pelagianism is that "ability" is born of God in the sinner, not faith (1 John 5:4). According to this theory, faith is therefore not the "gift" of God, but is a subsequent act by the "able" sinner who has already been "born again." For all practical purposes, the sinner is already saved and theoretically could do without believing. Faith in Christ adds nothing for his spiritual state, according to this theory.

But "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" is the Gospel command addressed to the DEAD sinner, and the Spirit's power (Romans 1:16; 1 Thess. 1:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) accompanies God's Word and produces faith in Christ, which constitutes the "life" of the New Birth (1 John 5:12).

Life is in the Son, and faith puts one into the Son. When faith in the Son is "born" or "begotten" in the sinner, then the sinner has been "born of God" (1 John 5:4, 1). This is the Creedal view in contrast to the Hybrid Calvinism view.

I know little about Grudem, and do not know his own spiritual background. Do you know if he comes from a pedo-regenerationist background? If so, his view is "natural" to pedo-regenerationists; if not, he probably picked up this heresy at the pedo-regenerationist Westminster Seminary which he attended. The name of JOHN FRAME is mentioned in his book as being one of his professors, and we know that Frame holds this same view. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:05:00 PM, Anonymous 3john1-13 said...

Hello,

Before I wade into this lovefest of yours and Charles, I need a couple of definitions from you.

1. What is your definition of a hybrid-calvinist?
2. What is your explanation of the verse in question,Luke 1:15?

 
At Friday, May 19, 2006 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 John 1-13,

I could be Scott Morgan then I may not be. Who are you ? Are you a wonderful Regeneration precedes Conversion " Type of Guy" ? You smell like Georgia Kudzu. Maybe Texas BBQ! Are you a Pastor in Texas that knows this Bob Ross guy?
Take a guess who I am: John Doe, John Frame, Wayne Grudem, SBTS student, Scott Morgan, Paula White, Simon Cow, Paula Abdul or Bob Ross writing back n forth to myself or maybe Scott Morgan's wife ?
What do you think about Charles and Bob claims to being " Real Calvinists"? Charles never actually has claimed to be a calvinist. Probably he is a General Baptist like Bob. Wait a minute Scott Morgan uses that term to describe Bob Ross. Could I be on of the members of FCC where Scott Morgan pastors ? However, I could be a SEBTS student trying to make Bob wonder if I'm really Scott Morgan. One thing I do know is that Bob and Charles need a good Arizona theologian like James White to set them straight!

 
At Friday, May 19, 2006 1:25:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

HYBRID CALVINISM
3john1-13 said...


Hello,

Before I wade into this lovefest of yours and Charles, I need a couple of definitions from you.

1. What is your definition of a hybrid-calvinist?
2. What is your explanation of the verse in question,Luke 1:15?


BOB'S COMMENTS:

You will find that some readers have suggested that "Charles and Bob" are one and the same person.

We prefer to leave that decision up to you, for with us it is somewhat of a "test" of the discerning powers of our critics. If they commit themselves one way or the other or even refrain from a judgment about it, we sort of have a indication of their mental powers.

"Hybrid Calvinism" is the mixture of --

(1) Creedal Calvinism on the sole efficiency of the Holy Spirit's power in the new birth, with --

(2) the post-17th century pedo-regenerationists' non-creedal heresy that the Spirit does not use "means" to beget faith in producing the new birth, as taught by such sources as W. G. T. Shedd, Louis Berkhof, R. C. Sproul, and the Hardshell Baptists.

The result is the heresy that the sinner is "born again before faith," or "regeneration precedes faith."

This constitutes HYRBRID CALVINISM, and it conflicts with CREEDAL CALVINISM on the new birth.

On Luke 1:15, I personally could not improve upon the comments by the late Baptist scholar, Dr. John Gill (1697-1771), who said in his commentary on that verse:

>>
and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb; or "whilst in his mother's womb", as the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render it: like Jeremiah, he was sanctified, set apart, and ordained to be the prophet of the Highest, before he came out of his mother's womb; and was then under such an influence of the Spirit of God, as to leap in it for joy, at the salutation of the mother of Christ to his, Lu 1:41 and very early appeared to have the extraordinary gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, qualifying him for his work. -- Volume VII, page 503.

 
At Friday, May 19, 2006 4:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have come to believe that you, Bob, and Charles really believe you have everything squared in your understanding of the Bible and its theology to the point that you now are taking Wayne Grudem on because again he is someone who doesn't fit into your box. Attack is your main purpose in life instead of Truth. Amazing - I think the two of you need to move to and island and worship the God you have formed in your own minds.

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 12:38:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"INDIGO" BABIES?
Anonymous said...


Bob to Scott . . . uh, I mean, Anonnie --

I have finally found a category for you -- that is, in a spiritual sense, you are an "Indigo child,"
one who came into the a religious profession with a special "feeling of royalty," since you got "born again" without faith in Christ.

One comment on Indigo children says, "The Soul Spark of Light enters the child's body when it is born."

That sounds much like the pedo-regenerationist theory of your Hybrid Calvinism theologs.

You say --

I think the two of you need to move to and island and worship the God you have formed in your own minds.

Well, we did look for some island real estate, but upon checking it out we found a group of natives who had a church there called "Old School Primitive Baptists."

We asked them how they had heard the Gospel, and they said that they had not heard it, but had been born again without faith.

They asked us if we knew of any one who might be qualified to come to the island and pastor them. Charles and I looked at one another, and then both of us spoke as one, saying . . . "Scott Morgan."

We gave them your name and address, so you may be hearing from them soon. We also told them about the Founders, and they asked, "Where do we join up?"

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 1:04:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

MOHLER'S ENDORSEMENT OF
RONNIE FLOYD


After Paige Patterson of Southwestern Seminary endorsed Ronnie Floyd for SBC President, the Founders Ministries headed by Tom Ascol did not seem to be very well pleased.

Now Dr. Al Mohler of Southern Seminary has endorsed Floyd as well.

Wonder what the Founders think of this?

Whatever . . .

Mohler's move appears to be a pragmatic move on his part, for he wants to have Floyd's favor for the Seminary. With the Seminary being "in trouble" with many Southern Baptists on account of its "Hybrid Calvinism" (or, "born again before faith" idea), Mohler does not need to lose favor with the SBC President. It would not look so good for Patterson to be endorsing Floyd and Mohler failing to do so.

What do you think, Charles? Was this a "politically correct" move by Mohler, or what?

-- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 1:12:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

JAMES WHITE VICTIMIZED BY
THE DA VINCI CODE?


I was not surprised, Charles, to learn that James White had acually wasted money and time by attending the DVC movie.

Neither was I surprised nor impressed by his attempt to critique the movie. James is so DVC obsessed that it would be almost compulsory for him to see the movie, probably even more than once. And of course, he will buy the DVD when it is released.

But what is not only surprising but even shocking is that James apparently has been victimized by the movie, the book, and the entire DVC scenario.

If he ever had any confidence in the Biblical Gospel as the power of God unto salvation, he evidently has completely lost it thru his DVC obsessionism and dalliance.

Here is his shocking remark from his website:

>>
The Da Vinci Code will once again highlight the reality that the evangelistic task today must be apologetic from the start. We are seeking not only to proclaim the facts of the gospel anymore. No, now we must deal with the very existence of truth itself! Those who refuse to see that this is part and parcel of what it means to proclaim the good news in Western culture today are simply ignoring the reality all around them.
>>

I knew, Charles, from James' separation of the Gospel from the new birth in his "Potter's Freedom" book (page 287) -- wherein he teaches the heresy that "spiritual birth" is experienced before and without believing in Jesus Christ -- that James really did not have a handle on the Creedal view in regard to the "means" of the Word or Gospel as a necessary instrument in the New Birth; but now, he has gone so far as to make the above assertion -- that "evangelism" must now incorporate "apologetics" as "part and parcel" of the Gospel which hitherto -- since apostolic times -- has been the "power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16; 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Thess. 1:5; 1 Peter 1:23).!

In effect, this is a denial of the evangelistic sufficiency of the Word of God in its most pristine form -- as in the book of John, for instance -- and in "Western culture" the Gospel will have to have the aid of "apologetics" in order to be effective.
>>

All I can say to this is, if James White is an example of the alleged effective evangelistic apologetics, the future effectual calling of the elect to salvation in Western culture rests upon a very "sandy," shaky foundation.

I rather think there would be more hope that the elect would be "born again before faith" as to expect them to be effecually called in connection with the evangelistic apologetics of James White.

I think Tom Ascol was partially right when he referred to some Baptists who have "lost the gospel." He could have very well included James White's name in that statement. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:18:00 PM, Anonymous move on said...

seek therapy bob, james white doesn't spend 1/2 of 1 second thinking about you. Move on with your life.

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:06:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

move on, Hello!

"Dr." James White has mentioned Bob on more than one occasion. He will not link to anything here that Bob has written for one reason: Rossphobia.

I explained the origin of the word, Rossphobia, in my post, Alan Kurschner has egg on his face.

Charles

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

NOT SURPRISED

move on said...

seek therapy bob, james white doesn't spend 1/2 of 1 second thinking about you. Move on with your life.

Bob's comment:

I'm not at all surprised, for as large as his mind must be, James could scarcely hawe room to think about me -- what with all his obsession with the Da Vinci Code, the Caners, the multi-cultists, not to mention his difficult in deciding on "what" he believed on Sonship back in the 1990s.

Do you reckon James' mind is great enough to remember who the "Arminian" was under whom he made a public profession of faith -- if he ever made one? I notice that a lot of Hybrid Calvinists seem to suffer from memory loss about that matter. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:17:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob, Hello!

You said, Do you reckon James' mind is great enough to remember who the "Arminian" was under whom he made a public profession of faith -- if he ever made one? I notice that a lot of Hybrid Calvinists seem to suffer from memory loss about that matter.

It seems to be a common ailment among them, doesn't it? You and I have asked Scott Morgan several times and he has yet to answer. Is he ashamed of his testimony? How did he get a church if he doesn't want to share how he was saved?

Stranger still--after their "conversion" to hyper/hybrid/extreme Calvinism, they will frequently allege the "Arminians" are preaching a false gospel even though they were saved under the same gospel! Makes you wonder about their mental state, doesn't it?

Charles

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:56:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"ARMINIAN FALSE GOSPEL"?
Charles said...


You and I have asked Scott Morgan several times and he has yet to answer. Is he ashamed of his testimony? How did he get a church if he doesn't want to share how he was saved?

Stranger still--after their "conversion" to hyper/hybrid/extreme Calvinism, they will frequently allege the "Arminians" are preaching a false gospel even though they were saved under the same gospel! Makes you wonder about their mental state, doesn't it?


Bob to Charles:

Yes, and it also makes one wonder why they like to identify with Spurgeon, who was converted under an Arminian Methodist layman.

It has also been pointed out that Spurgeon claimed alliance with all evangelical Arminians who preached the Gospel of Christ, and even said many of them were better preachers of the Gospel than the professed friends of the "doctrines of grace."

If it weren't for these "Arminians," I wonder how many of the current Hyrids and "Sovereign gracers" would have been saved? -- Bob Ross

 
At Sunday, May 21, 2006 4:37:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"WHITEPHOBIA HALL OF FAME"?
Charles said...


Dr." James White has mentioned Bob on more than one occasion. He will not link to anything here that Bob has written for one reason: Rossphobia.

I explained the origin of the word, Rossphobia, in my post, Alan Kurschner has egg on his face.


Bob to Charles:

Since I do not spend a lot of time reading blogs, I did not realize until today that Alan Kurschner has suggested a "WHITEPHOBIA HALL OF FAME."

Alan says:

Many apologists have this phobia: King James Only advocates, Roman Catholics, Mormons. (Shall we have a “Whitephobia Hall of Fame”?)

I can only conclude, Charles, that qualifications for this unique "Hall of Fame" are determined by Alan's own limited standard -- not by actual facts or reality.

At this point in time, at least, I think I am "safe" from any listing in the "Whitephobia Hall of Fame."
What a relief!

I am probably more likely to be among those in the "WHITE'S LIST OF ALLERGIES" under "Rossititis." James has nursed a bad case of that allergy since the mid 1990s! -- Bob Ross

 
At Monday, May 22, 2006 9:34:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Bob and Charles,

I'm only posting to clear the air. I don't hide behind the name " Anonymous"! Let me give you an example " Bob Ross is a twisting and misrepresenting General Baptist". These are my type of words !
So how was I converted you ask? Strange question . Since you don't read the scriptures I will tell you GOD! The Father elected me unto salvation and Christ redeemed me and the Holy Spirit Regenerated/ Effectually called me to conversion in Christ. A man named Keith Naylor told me to read the Gospel of John and I did. The Holy Spirit made me alive to see my wicked sin and granted me repentance and Saving Faith and I called out to the Lord to have mercy upon me and I asked Him to save me from my sins. I made my claim to follow Christ public at my baptism as the scriptures teach. I actually did not walk the aisle. The pastor told me that a man makes his conversion public at baptism.

Who are you 3 John 1-13 ? You must be the Texas Pastor ? Are you the SBTS student ? Are you that Pilot guy who thinks Bob and Charles are confused ? You are the guy who emailed me to thank me for showing Bob his error in the NHC on Regeneration and some of the Spurgeon quotes that conversion is the fruit of Regeneration.
What do you think of men who call themselves Confessional Calvinist but really are " General Baptist" ? I just wanted to clear the air that I was not anonymous! Some people recently emailed me to question Bob Ross and Charles Church salvation because they don't love the " Grace of God" or men who proclaim it like James White, Founders, Tom Nettles, Mohler. Bob has already been shown that he can't dispute the NHC, my Spurgeon quotes, and how he twist the 1689. He can't refute the NHC when it says " In order to be saved we must be regenerated or born again"! I just wanted to clear the air that I don't lie like Bob Ross does . I'm not anonymous but I think Bob Ross has been drinking to much " Joel Juice" because no true "Confessional Calvinist" could support the preaching ministry of Joel Osteen.None! That's one of many things that prove that Bob Ross is confused!

 
At Monday, May 22, 2006 11:11:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

SCOTT'S EXPERIENCE REFUTES HIS HERESY

Scott said...

A man named Keith Naylor told me to read the Gospel of John and I did.

Bob: Obviously, this man was an "Arminian," for Hybrid Calvinists do not tell people to read John. They prefer Alleine's Alarm to John.

Scott: The Holy Spirit made me alive to see my wicked sin and granted me repentance and Saving Faith and I called out to the Lord to have mercy upon me and I asked Him to save me from my sins.

Since you read the Gospel of John first and thereby had exposure to the Word which is the "means" by which sinners are "begotten" by the Spirit (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15; John 6:63), your experience demonstrates that the Holy Spirit used "means" of the Word in bringing about your repentance and faith, the New Birth. He did not "regenerate" you before and without the use of means, but "in connection with divine truth," like the New Hampshire Confession plainly says.

So your own testimony is against the false Hardshell doctrine of "born again before faith." You were first begotten by the Word of God in the book of John as the Holy Spirit used it to beget you, causing you to repent and believe, which are the "holy fruits" which give evidence or make it appear that you experienced the New Birth -- all in accord with the New Hampshire Confession of Faith.

Now, after seeing the truth that the Spirit begat you thru the Word in John to bring you to repentance and faith which constitutes the New Birth, why go on promoting the Hardshell doctrine of "born again before faith"? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Monday, May 22, 2006 2:57:00 PM, Anonymous arminian said...

Bob:
Why do you insist on calling pastor's arminian, who do not call themselves arminian?

By arminian do you mean a person who believes the five points of arminianism?

What would you consider the average SBC pastor?

Arminian
Creedal Calvinist
Hybrid Calvinist
Hyper calvinist

Is there another category that would better define the average sbc pastor?

Out of the five points of calvinism, how many do you agree with?

 
At Monday, May 22, 2006 9:23:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

SCOTT'S DOCTRINE NULLIFIED
Scott said...


Bob to Charles:

Notice the contradiction, Charles, between Scott's doctrine of "born again before faith" and his own experience. He says:

A man named Keith Naylor told me to read the Gospel of John and I did. The Holy Spirit made me alive to see my wicked sin and granted me repentance and Saving Faith and I called out to the Lord to have mercy upon me and I asked Him to save me from my sins.

The fact that the WORD preceded is consistent with the London Confession which says we are called by the (1) Word and (2) Spirit. The result of the Word and the Spirit's using the Word was the begetting of repentance and faith.

Somewhere later on, Scott got mislead by pedo-regenerationism's Hybrid Calvinism to believe he was "born again before faith," when in reality he was born again by the Word and Spirit begetting repentance and faith.

His own experience contradicts the heresy of being "born again before faith." -- Bob

 
At Monday, May 22, 2006 9:38:00 PM, Anonymous 3john3-13 said...

Bob,

Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.

Would you agree with this statement of regeneration or not. Just a simple answer. If not, please tell me what part and why you disagree. If you afree, then what in the world is all this fuss about Calvinism about?

 
At Monday, May 22, 2006 10:28:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

MOHLER ENDORSES FLOYD

I checked the Founders's blog but saw nothing about Dr. Al Mohler's endorsement of Ronnie Floyd for SBC president. Here is Floyd's website where Mohler's endorsement appears:

http://www.betweensundays.com/

So far as I can tell, Floyd does not indicate any belief in the "born again before faith" heresy which is held by at least some faculty at Southern Seminary. In fact, on Floyd's website, the Statement of Faith says that
sinners "become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ."

This is historic Baptist doctrine in contrast to the pedo-regenerationist theory that the elect become children of God before and without faith in Jesus Christ, even in infancy according to R. C. Sproul, or even before they are born, according to men such as John Frame whom Mohler has had as guest speaker at Southern Seminary, as well as Sproul.

I wonder why the Founders have not said anything about Mohler's endorsement of Floyd since they seemed to have displeasure with Dr. Paige Patterson's endorsement? -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, May 23, 2006 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"ARMINIAN"
arminian said...


Why do you insist on calling pastor's arminian, who do not call themselves arminian?

Bob: You misunderstood my use of "Arminian." I "borrowed" that from the Hybrid Calvinists such as Scott Morgan who seem to prefer to use it of those who are not Hybrid Calvinist . . . like he calls me a "General Baptist," for example, which is theologically about the same as calling me "Arminian." According to Scott, if you don't believe in "born again before faith," you are "Arminian" or "General Baptist."

I am not in the habit of categorizing men theologically, but I do use some terms which are indicative of a theological category of certain theological views.

When I used "Hybrid Calvinist," I am referring to the fact that the person holds to the Hybrid Calvinist theory on the new brith, which is "born again before faith." This is a very specific term, applying to a specific doctrine.

When I use "Creedal Calvinist," I am referring specifically to one who is in agreement with the Calvinist Confessions on the specific view that the New Birth is salvation thru the power of the Word and Spirit bringing sinners to repentance and faith.

A person does not have to understand and agree with "Calvinism" as an entire theoretical system nor "Arminianism" as a theoretical system to agree with that. Men become Christians first, then they subsequently engage themselves in becoming "theologs," for better or for worse. -- Bob Ross

 
At Tuesday, May 23, 2006 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

OF COURSE, I AGREE WITH THE CONFESSION -- ALL OF THEM!

3john3-13 said...

Bob,

Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.

Would you agree with this statement of regeneration or not. Just a simple answer. If not, please tell me what part and why you disagree. If you afree, then what in the world is all this fuss about Calvinism about?


I have contended for the truth of this Confession and other similar Confessions since the 1950s when I first encountered the Hardsehll Hybrid Calvinist theory. And I have been contending for it in all of these threads on the Flyswatter. You must not have been reading very carefully.

In contrast to this Confession, the Hybrid Calvinist view contradicts the part of the Confession which I have highlighted -- "CONSISTS IN . . . EFFECTED . . .IN CONNECTION WITH DIVINE TRUTH."

The New Birth "consists" of certain elements and is "effected" by certain means. It is not a "direct operation" which occurs "apart from the use of means," but is IN CONNECTION WITH DIVINE TRUTH as the means.

A sinner must be born again, and he is born again thru the instrumentality of the Word of God as used by the Holy Spirit in convicting him and begetting faith in him. This is what is taught in 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15; Romans 1:18; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; 1 John 5:4, 1.

The WORD is the INSTRUMENT used by the Spirit in the New Birth -- for which see the great Puritan writer, STEPHEN CHARNOCK at --

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


The Hybrid Calvinist pedo-regenerationist theory advocated by the likes of Shedd, Berhhof, Frame, Sproul and their "Reformed" disciples teaches that the New Birth takes place WITHOUT THE WORD AS THE SPIRIT'S INSTRUMENTALITY. According to Frame, some are even born again before they are born into the world, and according to Sproul, Shedd, and Berkhof, the elect are regenerated in infancy. They say it is done "without the Word," and they take this same theory into the area of adult regeneration -- born again without the Word as the instrument, meaning "born again before faith," or "regeneration precedes faith."

They therefore deny that FAITH is that which is born of God (1 John 5:4, 1), but faith is supposedly the act of one who has already been born. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9:45:00 PM, Blogger Brad Whitmire said...

"According to Frame, some are even born again before they are born into the world,"

I would have to say that this is according to Dr. Luke in Luke 1:15 instead of Frame or Sproul or anyone else but God.

Please give me quotes from Sproul, Frame, Berkhoff or anyone else that denies the instrumentallity of the Word in conversion against Romans 10:17.

The mere fact that Frame alludes to this conversion of John the Baptist doesn't imply a blanket statement by him or anyone that this is the usual and normal type of conversion. You seem to be running off on a tangent with his defending of Luke 1:15.

Do you suggest that man is a free moral agent in terms of accepting or rejecting the gospel prior to being regenerated by the Spirit. I guess you would say "the faith is a gift" part of Ephesians 2 is misprinted then.

 
At Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:20:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Brad Whitmire, Hello!

You asked, "Please give me quotes from Sproul, Frame, Berkhoff or anyone else that denies the instrumentallity of the Word in conversion against Romans 10:17."


Romans 10:17 says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (NIV)

Brad, go back and read this blog. Bob Ross and I have provided this in great detail.

When asked, "What doctrines must one believe to be saved," John Frame responded by saying, "None. I hold the Reformed view that children in infancy, even before birth, can be regenerated and saved, presumably before they have any conscious doctrinal beliefs."

He is not making an "exception" for John the Baptist. That is the Reformed view as Frame himself declares.

"Born again before faith" is so extreme that not even John Calvin taught it.

Brad, the last time I brought up John the Baptist, one of your "born again before faith" Reformed friends was shocked. He said John the Baptist was a "pre-crucifixion example," yet Wayne Grudem uses John the Baptist as an example of "pre-faith" regeneration in his Systematic Theology which is used as a textbook by some theology professors at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Charles

 
At Wednesday, May 24, 2006 5:09:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Brad Whitmire said...
Please give me quotes from Sproul, Frame, Berkhoff or anyone else that denies the instrumentallity of the Word in conversion against Romans 10:17
.

Those quotes are given from these sources on "regeneration" -- referenced in their writings -- on this blogsite. Since they teach that babies are regenerated before, at, or soon after baptism, such "regeneration" is of course without the instrumentality of the Word since babies are not mentally able to believe the Word.

Brad also says, Do you suggest that man is a free moral agent in terms of accepting or rejecting the gospel prior to being regenerated by the Spirit. I guess you would say "the faith is a gift" part of Ephesians 2 is misprinted then.

Had you read our previous articles, you would know that we are presenting the contrast between the Creedal Calvinism and Hybrid Calvinism on regeneration or the New Birth. This also applies to the matter of "free agency."

The Creedal view on the New Birth is that the Word and Spirit are the instrument and agent to bring about faith and repentance in the DEAD sinner, thereby vitally uniting him to Jesus Christ who is our life (1 John 5:12).

The Creedal view is that the New Birth has not taken place until faith has been produced in the sinner by the Holy Spirit's use of the Word or Gospel (1 John 5:4, 1).

I realize this may vary a bit from your understanding, since your terminology indicates you are used to the nomenclature of Hybrid Calvinists. We prefer the nomenclature of the Confessions in contrast to the nomenclature of Shedd, Berkhof, Sproul, Frame, etc. Therefore, our comments will generally be consistent with the Confessions in distinction to the Hybrid Calvinist writers. -- Bob L. Ross

 
At Friday, July 07, 2006 5:23:00 PM, Blogger David M said...

Just wanted to add some insight a friend of mine gave me when I quoted the Grudem issue and theory that the "dead" sinner is "made alive" so as facilitate the "ability" to believe.

Our four cents:

http://www.battleforgod.org/QuestionandAnswerForum/tabid/55/forumid/13/threadid/13/scope/posts/Default.aspx

First, I would be careful of using the term "heterodox" unless the position is in fact outside the pale of orthodoxy. For example, the open theist view is heterodox in that it denies that God knows the future. I am sure that reformed believers can come up with many bible verses that substantiate regeneration before belief (John 6:44) in the same manner as non-reformed believers can come up with many bible verses substantiating belief before regeneration (Acts 16:31). Ultimately, this issue is a philosophical issue and not a biblical issue although it does have serious biblical implications. That is to say, when they do their biblical exegesis, both reformed and non-reformed are using their philosophical presuppositions as to the nature of the will after the fall. That is why reformed and non-reformed will not settle the debate by appealing to Scripture because the problem is NOT with the scripture, but with their presupposition, which exist outside of the scripture. However, getting into that issue is beyond the scope of this question, and I'll set it aside for now.

Second, you need to distinguish between what is normative and what is not normative. It is normative that people are saved through the hearing of the gospel, but it is not necessary. In other words, God is able to save people who haven't heard the gospel (e.g., the Old Testament saints, babies, mentally handicapped, etc). The gospel is an instrumental cause, that through which God saves. It is not an efficient cause, that which saves. That is to say, the gospel does not save people. God saves people, and He does so through the preaching of the gospel, which is normally how He operates (Rom 10:14ff).

So, I agree with you that normally people hear the gospel, belief it and then are saved. I disagree with the reformed position that people first are regenerated then belief, for it renders the gospel useless as an instrument through which God saves. If the reformed position is correct that regeneration is prior to belief, then the preaching of the gospel is akin to shouting at the deaf, for according to the reformed position, the unregenerate man is incapable of responding to the gospel.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home