Monday, May 26, 2008

Les Puryear versus BF&M


Hybrid Calvinism will lead from one error to another error.

By putting "regeneration" before the Spirit's "enabling" a man to understand the truth (the Word of God) and believe, the Hybrid's "logic" proceeds to putting pardon and justification after "regeneration."

Unfortunately, this is the error to which the Reformed idea of "born again before believing" has led Southern Baptist pastor and candidate for the SBC presidency, Les Puryear.

Les Puryear says:
"Regeneration occurs prior to justification."

This puts Les in company with the Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinists and those "Reformed" Baptists who have adopted the Pedobaptist "ordo polutis" which can't even be found in any Calvinist Confession of Faith, and certainly no Baptist Confession of Faith.

But Brother Les claims he holds to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 of the Southern Baptist Convention. Does this Statement of Faith put "regeneration" prior to justification?

Hardly. If words mean anything at all, regeneration and justification are simultaneous, according to this document. Notice --

Baptist Faith and Message:
"Through illumination He [Holy Spirit] enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. . . . Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God."

There is nothing in the BF&M which places "regeneration" prior to "justification." This would have a "born again" person still unbelieving and still under the condemnation of the Law of God.

Les Puryear at Southwestern

It is rather strange that Les attended Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, yet somehow he failed to imbibe the views of the Seminary's Founder, the late B. H. Carroll. We will herewith refer Brother Les to Dr. Carroll's teaching on regeneration and justification, which we presume he should have learned in Seminary:

On the relation of regeneration to justification, Dr. Carroll said:
When we accept Jesus by faith as he is offered in the gospel, we at once and forever enter into justification, redemption of soul, and adoption into God's family, and are regenerated.

We are no longer aliens and enemies, but children and friends of God. . . . The ground of the justification is the expiation of Christ. The means by which we receive the justification is the Holy Spirit's part of regeneration which is called cleansing. Regeneration consists of two elements, at least – cleansing and renewing. But the very moment that one believes in Christ the Holy Spirit applies the blood of Christ to his heart and he is cleansed from the defilement of sin. At the same time the Holy Spirit does another thing. He renews the mind. He changes that carnal mind which is enmity toward God.
[An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 14, pages 126, 127].

Justification comes in touch with regeneration at that point where the Spirit of God by the application of the blood of Christ, cleanses the soul. When the man accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his Teacher, Sacrifice, Priest, and King, and trusts in him for salvation, then God in heaven justifies the man, or declares an acquittal of him, through his faith in the blood, but the blood is applied in the cleansing part of regeneration, so that we see again from this relation between regeneration and justification how it is that regeneration cannot be complete without faith.
[An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 10, pages 293, 294].


Dr. Carroll was a great admirer of C. H. Spurgeon, and a regular reader of Spurgeon's sermons. He doubtlessly was aware of the fact that Spurgeon taught the same views on regeneration and justification as held by himself.

Spurgeon: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 37, Year 1891, pages 560, 561:
When we believe in Christ we not only receive pardon, but we also receive renewal. I am told that the teaching of certain people, nowadays, is that the believer only gets pardon to begin with and a long time afterwards he gets the clean heart. But I say, on the authority of God’s Word, that no man is pardoned unless he has a clean heart!

God gives the clean heart at the time He gives the pardon! You must never divide the renewing of the Holy Spirit from the pardon of sin. They go together and he that receives the pardon of sin receives a new birth — and is made a new creature in Christ Jesus then and there.

The work of regeneration and the act of faith which brings justification to the penitent sinner are SIMULTANEOUS and must, in the nature of the case, always be so.

If you are not just before God, you are condemned at this very moment. You are not executed, it is true, but the condemnation has gone forth against you, and the sign that it is so is your unbelief, for "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the Son of God." . . .

Christ offers to God the substitution: through faith we accept it: and from that moment God accepts us. . . . That is the state into which faith brings a poor, lost, guilty, helpless, good-for-nothing sinner. The man may have been everything that was bad before he believed in Jesus, but as soon as he trusted Christ, the merits of Christ became his merits, and he stands before God as though he were perfect, "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," through the righteousness of Christ.
[Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Sermon 3392, Volume 60].


At Monday, May 26, 2008 9:59:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Tom Ascol of the Flounders, is another Southwestern grad who failed to learn from SWBTS founder, Dr. B. H. Carroll, on regeneration and justification.

Tom has an item on his
website where he says:

"Why is this type of initiatory experience necessary? Why must the very first thing that happens to a person be new birth? Why not repentance? Why not faith? Why not justification? Why not conversion? Why not glorification and all the other things which are also a part of salvation? Why must regeneration be first?

Notice Tom has the "new birth" before repentance, faith, and justification. This means, like Les Puryear, that we have a condemned person, not yet adopted as a son of God and justified, but allegedly has been "born again before faith."

This is admittedly, the "ordo polutis" which they adopted from the Reformed Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist theologians.

Since Les Puryear is apparently the ONLY candidate for president of the SBC who takes the Flounders/Hybrid Calvinist position that "regeneraton is prior to justification," will Tom Ascol support the candidacy of Les Puryear?

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 1:54:00 AM, Blogger ide said...


Titus 3.5-7 demonstrates that regeneration and justification are simultaneous, for "through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit" explains how we were saved while "having been justified" in verse 7 is coordinate with "we were saved" in verse 5. This tells against an ordo salutis of 'regeneration' predecing 'justification'.


At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:20:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Since Ascol and Puryear believe in the "born again before faith" heresy I wonder if they could identify the BORN AGAIN UNBELIEVERS in their congregations.

If the phrase BORN AGAIN UNBELIEVERS causes some ruffles, we mustn't forget the words of leading Deformed, er, Reformed, theologian John Frame.

When asked, "What doctrines must one believe to be saved," 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."

Naturally, Frame was invited to lecture at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary!



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