Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why Not "Reformed"?

Brother Bob Ross posted this thought provoking essay today.

Charles
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
WHY NOT "REFORMED"?

Bob to Charles:

I have noticed, Charles, on the Timmy Brister blog that he has his bloggers testifying on the question, “Why are you Reformed?”

He asks for them to "Give me your top 5 reasons or influences that have lead to you embracing Reformed theology."

Notice -- not "Why are you a Christian?" nor "Why are you a Baptist?" but "Why are you Reformed?"

I noticed that "Tom Nettles" name was one of those referred to as being an influence. I also noticed that Pastor Scott Morgan of Buford, Georgia participated in the survey, and he gave a lot of credit to being influenced by an "Old School" Baptist (Hardshell).

Timmy's question provoked in my own mind five good reasons why I am NOT Reformed.

(1) I was not "born again" in accord with "Reformed" teaching, for my new birth was (a) neither before I was born into this world (b) nor as an infant soon after my birth -- as taught by the mainline "Reformed" theologians - and I would not want anyone to think I held to that heresy.

(2) As an adult, I was not "born again before faith," as taught by the mainline "Reformed" theologians.

(3) I understand the Bible to teach that the means of the Word is used by the Holy Spirit in regeneration -- which is denied by mainline "Reformed" theologians who teach that you must first be regenerated before you have faith. (See Shedd and Berkhof, for instance).

(4) I understand that the Confessions of faith are correct on the New Birth, and the mainline "Reformed" theologians and their disciples are wrong.

(5) I believe the mainline "Reformed" camps appropriate the name of "Calvin" to their "Calvinism," when in fact they contradict John Calvin when they teach the "born again before faith" heresy.

I think those are five rather good reasons, Charles, for NOT being "Reformed."

20 Comments:

At Friday, April 27, 2007 7:15:00 AM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

I agree with Brother Ross on this point. I go a long way with the Reformers, but I part ways with them on such issues. As an Old Baptist, I accept what the Old Confessions of Baptists say on this topic.

Steve Garrett
baptistgadfly.blogspot.com

 
At Friday, April 27, 2007 9:20:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Bob and Charles,

Thanks for the coverage with my name on your blog. It's very important to represent people correctly. First, Bill Lee is my friend ! He is a dear brother in Christ who has a passion for truth and Baptist distinctives. Second, Bill was not instrumental in me becoming a Calvinist. I did not know him then. Third, Bill has been a blessing to me to talk about the Scriptures , Baptist Distinctives, and Baptist History. I buy alot of Gill material from him and other Old Particular Baptists. Just like I buy my Spurgeon stuff through you at Pilgrim. Thanks for sending me my copy of Spurgeons Hymn book. Our church plans on using one of his communion hymns to sing after we take communion.
Timmy Brister seems to be a fine young Baptist. I'm thankful that he has such a passion for Christ and growing in him. He will make a fine Pastor one day. Also, he is a good writer as well. I'm thankful that he wants to see our Baptist churches be healthy. He is a blessing to our churches rather than one who will jump around to every new thing that comes around in our churches.
Our church just baptized two former Presbyterians recently and a lady who was just converted in our church. So, we are preaching the gospel hard. Also, I have another Presbyterian couple who has been visting and wants to join and they have told me that they have seen the error of Infant Baptism. Once this couple joins the church then they can take the Lord's Supper with their local " Visible" Church. Also,this summer our church is going door to door in several new neighborhoods to attempt to share the gospel and invite people to our church. Riverbend Community Church in Ormond Beach( Largest Calvinistic SBC Church) is sending mission teams up to join and help us in this glorious duty. We are going to do a big cookout and invite the community. Also, thanks for the extra Soulwinners book by Spurgeon. I have two copies already but I will give this copy to our guests this Lord's Day.
Remember though we disagree on things myself and others still love you and hope you feel the same about us. Keep studying and preaching the Gospel of Christ.
BTW, it would be a nice thing for you to send Timmy some Spurgeon materials that you can spare. I know he would pass around a copy of the Soulwinner around campus. This guy is the type we need in our churches as the "Old Fellows" go to be with the Lord. Take care guys !

 
At Friday, April 27, 2007 4:28:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

REPRESENTING SCOTT CORRECTLY

Scott said...

Thanks for the coverage with my name on your blog. It's very important to represent people correctly.

Bob to Scott:

You, Scott, have always been represented correctly on the Flyswatter, and as has every person mentioned on this blog. For example, you wrote to Timmy Brister's blog, as follows:

Bill [Lee] is the only Strict ” Old School” Baptist that I really know. He knows his Baptist History better than anyone. . . . Bill has spent alot of time with me in the Word teaching me and alot on history.

I said on the Flyswatter, "I also noticed that Pastor Scott Morgan of Buford, Georgia participated in the survey, and he gave a lot of credit to being influenced by an "Old School" Baptist (Hardshell).

I have never met Bill, but I would be ashamed, Scott, to let anyone know that an "Old School" (Hardshell) [if Bill really is one of them] had taught me anything which I regard as truth. I have known a number of them, read many of their books and magazines, and all they ever taught me was how far afield they go in misunderstanding, distorting, and perverting the Scriptures, as well as misappropriating Baptist history and confessions of faith.

Brother Stephen Garrett, formerly a Hardshell preacher for many years, who has a blog comment on this thread, can verify what I am telling you about the Hardshells. In fact, Stephen has a few dozen chapters exposing the Hardshell cult on his website at baptistgadfly.blogspot.com

 
At Saturday, April 28, 2007 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"ALREADY REGENERATED"?

Bob to Charles:

Hardly a day passes, Charles, without some form of Hybrid Calvinism comes to my attention by some medium.

This morning is an example. I receive a weekly email bulletin from a Baptist church in Louisiana, and in the bulletin for April 29, 2007, there is a short article by the Pastor on Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

The Pastor says of the Philippian jailer:

"It was the jailer asking the question, and that out of a heart already regenerated by the Spirit of God which caused him to cry out, ‘What must I do to be saved?’"

But, Charles, if was he already regenerated (born again), the jailer did not know it, and neither did Paul and Silas.

It seems that Hybrid Calvinists know more about "regeneration" than even Paul and Silas knew!

And yet, some people who read the Flyswatter have objected to our refuting this heresy being taught to preachers at Southern Seminary and elsewhere!

 
At Wednesday, May 09, 2007 5:05:00 PM, Blogger Rev. said...

I'm just curious as to whether or not you would be comfortable with this partial definition of regeneration:

"A change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."

I look forward to your reply.

 
At Thursday, May 10, 2007 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

RESPONSE TO REV.

Rev. said...
I'm just curious as to whether or not you would be comfortable with this partial definition of regeneration:

My reply, Rev., is as follows:

So long as the influence of the Holy Spirit before faith in Christ is not defined as "regeneration" or the "new birth," I personally see no problem with such a definition as you present. The problem developes when a definition allows for a "regenerated unbeliever."

All orthodox theologians, to my knowledge, teach that there is a pre-faith influence by the Spirit, especially in conjunction with the ministry of the Word. But it is a departure from orthodox Creedal definitions to teach that such influence constitutes the new birth, and that a person is therefore "born again before faith."

The "born again before faith" idea was hatched in the pedobaptist nest, based on the heresy that babies which born to believers inherit an imagined "covenant" promise of regeneration and are therefore born again without faith in Christ -- either before their birth or shortly thereafter.

To be consistent with this theory of infant regeneration preceding faith, the idea of "pre-faith regeneration" in the case of adults became a part of the Hybrid Calvinist "ordo salutis" chicanery.

You can read the pedobaptist claptrap about this phantasmagoria in the writings of Shedd, Berkhof, and other such Hybrid Calvinists whose writings are so predominant with the more "Reformed" camp. It has served to fill pedobaptist churches with unregenerate members who grew up not knowing when they were saved, nor if they are saved at all.

 
At Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:28:00 PM, Blogger Rev. said...

Using the same (partial) definition as given previously, regeneration is "A change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Looking at this statement grammatically, the sinner responds to the change of heart/regeneration in repentance and faith. So is there a problem with that?

 
At Sunday, May 13, 2007 11:22:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ANOTHER REPLY TO "REV."

"REV." said:

Looking at this statement grammatically, the sinner responds to the change of heart/regeneration in repentance and faith. So is there a problem with that?

DR. B. H. CARROLL'S IMPECCABLE SYLLOGISM:

(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."

Page 287 of Volume 10, Part I on The Gospels, An Interpretation of the English Bible.

If you do not have the sinner "born again before faith," then there is no basic problem. The sinner does experience a "change of heart," and the elements inherent in this change involve his repenting and believing. Where there is no repentance and faith, where is the change of heart?

Dr. B. H. Carroll again:

Carroll uses a diagram to illustrate the simultaneousness and concurrency of regeneration and conversion -- with "conviction, repentance, and faith" being the "constituent elements of" and "equal to" regeneration -- all being at the same time. (Interpretation of the English Bible, Vol. 10, page 287).

Therefore, the sinner's
"responding" to the Word of God empowered by the Spirit unto repentance and faith is the "change of heart" and new birth.

The BASIC truth of the matter, in the words of Dr. Carroll:

"The new birth is not completed without faith."

[page 287 of Volume 10, Part I on The Gospels, An Interpretation of the English Bible]

 
At Monday, May 14, 2007 8:00:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Methinks the founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, B.H. Carroll, would not approve of Tom Ascol, Tom Nettles, and the rest of "Founders Ministries" (yes, they really believe what they are doing is a ministry).

Charles

 
At Monday, May 14, 2007 9:44:00 PM, Blogger Rev. said...

As a grad of SWBTS, I'm a huge fan of B.H. Carroll. Have many of his works sitting on my shelves. Thanks for the quotes from him. Nonetheless, I never asked you about Carroll's position, or for that matter, of that of Berkhof, Shedd, et al. I asked whether or not you would be comfortable with this partial definition of regeneration:

"A change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Grammatically, it states that regeneration is a change of heart brought about by the Holy Spirit and that a sinner responds to this change with repentance and faith.

Am I correct in understanding that you are at odds with this position?

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2007 11:41:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

REPLY TO REV.

REV. asks:

Am I correct in understanding that you are at odds with this position?

I see no cause to be "at odds" with the statement so long as it incorporates in the "change of heart" all of the elements inherent in the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing about the change of heart -- as indicated by the quotation from Dr. B. H. Carroll.

If, on the other hand, if you have the Hybrid Calvinist idea in mind -- that there is a "change of heart" which consitutes being "born again before faith" -- then I am indeed "at odds" with that type of "change of heart."

The change of heart produced by the Spirit's use of the Word of God as His instrumentality simultaneously manifests itself in conviction, repentance and faith, but as Dr. Carroll says, without faith the new birth has not been completed.

 
At Saturday, May 19, 2007 2:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>The change of heart produced by the Spirit's use of the Word of God as His instrumentality simultaneously manifests itself in conviction, repentance and faith, but as Dr. Carroll says, without faith the new birth has not been completed.<<

Are you thus stating that God is the one who imparts this repentance and faith to the person who hears the word and that this repentance and faith do not come from the person himself through conviction? In other words, are you stating that God has elected this person and because He has elected this person he has given him repentance and faith?

BSF

 
At Saturday, May 19, 2007 7:36:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

Reply to Anonymous

Anonymous said: Are you thus stating that God is the one who imparts this repentance and faith to the person who hears the word and that this repentance and faith do not come from the person himself through conviction? In other words, are you stating that God has elected this person and because He has elected this person he has given him repentance and faith? BSF

Conviction, repentance, and faith are all experienced in the mind and heart of a person resulting from the Holy Spirit's use of the Word of God as an instrumentality, and this is the new birth.

This is what we have been emphasizing on this blog ever since I started posting about a year ago, opposing the modern "Reformed" idea that the "elect" get "regenerated" before they become believers in Christ.

The creedal view on election in the Calvinist creeds does not support the idea that the "elect" get "born again before faith."

This "pre-faith regeneration" idea is a post-seventeenth century theory disseminated by the likes of W. G. T. Shedd, Louis Berkhof, R. C. Spoul, John Frame and some others who support the supposed
"regeneration" of infants born to believers -- either before the infants' natural births or very shortly thereafter -- before they are capable of actually believing in Christ.

 
At Monday, June 04, 2007 1:20:00 AM, Anonymous BSF said...

>>Conviction, repentance, and faith are all experienced in the mind and heart of a person resulting from the Holy Spirit's use of the Word of God as an instrumentality, and this is the new birth.<<

Thank you for your answer. Does God impart this conviction, repentance and faith or is this soley the responsibility of man within his own heart once the Word of God has been given? Does man have a choice in the matter or does God do "all" the choosing where one's salvation is concerned?

I apologize if these questions are offensive. The problem is that I cannot tell if you two (Bob and Charles) are saying you are not Reformed (hybrid Calvinists), but you consider yourselves true Calvinists. The definition of a true Calvinist being that God elects by gracing a person with faith to then become "born again".

 
At Wednesday, June 06, 2007 4:41:00 PM, Anonymous BFS said...

Charles and Bob. I have a few questions for you. I am trying to determine what you both believe as far as soteriology is concerned.

1)Do either of you consider yourselves "Calvinists" in any sense of the word?

2)Do you believe in the five points of Calvinism known as TULIP?

3)Is the point of this blog to refute the claims of hybrid Calvinists in an attempt to bring creditbility to traditional Calvinism?

 
At Wednesday, June 06, 2007 11:28:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

bfs, Hello!

Brother we have moved on to other topics. This one is old news and not read very much.

The answers to your questions probably can be found by merely reading The Calvinist Flyswatter.

Charles

 
At Thursday, June 07, 2007 5:04:00 AM, Anonymous BSF said...

Charles,

All due respect, but it doesn't matter to me that others are most likely no longer reading this particular thread. I'm asking these questions for my own knowledge.

I'm really baffled as to why you are reluctant to answer the questions. I'm not looking to debate, but am simply curious about where you guys stand on this issue without having to play catch up by reading the entire blog (though I have read a great deal here and am still uncertain of your stance with regard to Calvinism).

My impression is that you two are Calvinists, but not of the hybrid variety. It would be nice to get clarification from you. I've always believed in going to the source and asking rather than assuming and possibly being wrong in my assumption. I fail to see why you would choose not to answer my sincere and honest questions.

Thanks.

 
At Saturday, June 09, 2007 11:43:00 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

BOB TO BSF

bsf wrote: "All due respect, but it doesn't matter to me that others are most likely no longer reading this particular thread. I'm asking these questions for my own knowledge."

In another post you say you are "baffled," but
I think I have made it clear -- at least to those who have read my posts -- that I am a "Creedal or Confessional Calvinist." And I have denied that men such as James White, Tom Ascol, Tom Nettles, Iain Murray, R. C. Sproul, and the like are of like faith. They are what I call "Hybrid Calvinists," akin to the Hardshell Baptists.

The Calvinist Confessions, which I have frequently quoted, attribute "all things whatsover comes to pass" to the Lord, yet so as that "no violence [is] offered to the will of the creature."

As Spurgeon once said, Salvation is all of the Lord, damnation is all of man.

??? -- What have I written on this blog which is "baffling" -- unless one holds to the Hybrid Calvinism of the "born again before faith" promoters such as I have refuted?

 
At Wednesday, July 04, 2007 9:50:00 AM, Anonymous BSF said...

I said I was "baffled" that Charles seemed reluctant to answer a simple, straightforward question. In fact, he did not answer my question at first. I did not want to have to go and read the entire blog to see if either of you had somewhere stated your beliefs with regard to Calvinism.

This was my original statement.

"I'm really baffled as to why you are reluctant to answer the questions."

You have now answered the question. Thank you and good-bye.

 
At Wednesday, July 04, 2007 12:35:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

SEE SPURGEON EXCERPT
ON "PYROMANIAC" BLOG

BSF said...


You have now answered the question. Thank you and good-bye.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007 9:50:00 AM


BOB TO BSF:

Coincidently, my good friend and fellow Spurgeon admirer, Phil Johnson, has just recently posted an excerpt from Spurgeon's sermon
on "God's Will and Man's Will," which deals with the same subject discussed in this thread. You may enjoy reading it at --
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=23354593&postID=5981816848189323559

This sermon maintains the reality of both truths, that salvation is of the Lord and that sinners freely choose to believe on Christ for salvation.

Spurgeon said Scripture teaches both that the work of salvation rests upon the will of God, and not upon the will of man; and (secondly, the equally sure doctrine) that the will of man has its proper position in the work of salvation, and is not to be ignored.
-- Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 8, Year 1862, "God's Will and Man's Will," #442, page 182.

You may read the entire sermon at http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0442.htm

 

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