Monday, November 10, 2008

Bridges still out


My attention was called to a comment by the lamentable Gene Bridges on the Pyromaniacs blog, and one need only read my refutations of Gene to understand why Hybrid Calvinist Bridges is still out and unsafe for theological navigation:

The Blunders of Gene Bridges

Gene M. Bridges falls down on "regeneration before faith"

More Blunders of Gene Bridges

Bridges was so "out" that he retreated to the point of advising his readers not to read the Flyswatter!


At Monday, November 10, 2008 2:53:00 PM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Bob:


These "reformed" brethren only know how to fight dirty and can only make ad hominem attacks in their defense of their aberrations in theology. If anyone challenges them, they either attack them personally or ignore them.

God bless,


At Monday, November 10, 2008 4:08:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


One the favorite polemical ruses of Hybrid Calvinists
-- and borrowed by Gene Bridges as if to respectfully disguise the heresy of "regeneration before faith" -- is the device of referring to the alleged "LOGICAL priority of regeneration," but denying that this means "the TEMPORAL priority of regeneration."

Bridges says, "These, Mr. Ross, are not the same things at all. In fact, I have repeatedly stated that this is a question of LOGICAL, causal order and not TEMPORAL order."

The problem with this argument in regard to the New Birth is that what is really "logical" must be determined by what is really "temporal." It is not logical to have one thing contradicting another. A horse can't be both in front of the carriage yet also behind it.

A believer is born again, and a born again person is a believer (1 John 5:4, 1). An unbeliever is not born again, and a person who has not been born again is an unbeliever. That is both logical and temporal. If regeneration precedes faith, then you have a born again unbeliever. If faith precedes regeneration, you have an unregenerated person who is not born again.

What is "temporal" is the simple fact that the New Birth is the New Birth when the dead sinner has been effectually brought by the Word and Spirit to repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ.

This constitutes the New Birth -- not some imaginary "direct operation" by the Holy Spirit in the sinner apart from the use of the Word of God and before faith is wrought by the Word and Spirit in the sinner.

Therefore, it is not "logical" to talk about the New Birth
"preceding" faith, for faith is a vital constituent in the Spirit's use of the Word in begetting the dead sinner as a "new, living creation in Christ" -- which constitutes the New Birth.

The sinner is "born OF the Spirit," "BY the Word of God," and that is both a "logical" and a "temporal" work
only when all of the constituent elements of the New Birth are complete (1 Peter 1:23).

Pedobaptist R. C. Sproul wrote an entire book in which the primary effort focused on trying to prove that a sinner is "born again" before the sinner has faith and is actually born again according to the Scriptures (1 John 5:4, 1; 1 Peter 1:23). Sproul had sinners "born again in order that we may believe," -- which simply means Sproul has sinners "born again" BEFORE AND WITHOUT faith (Chosen of God, page 73).

James White wrote a book in which he apes Sproul and argues that "spiritual birth precedes all actions of the spiritual life,"-- which means that he has sinners "spiritually born" BEFORE AND WITHOUT the spiritual action of Spirit-created faith (The Potter's Freedom, page 286).

Pedobaptist W. G. T. Shedd spent several pages in his theology book, alleging "That the influence of the Holy Spirit is directly upon the human spirit, and is independent even of the word itself, is further proved by the fact that it is exerted in the case of infants without any employment of the truth" -- which simply means that one is "born again" apart from the Spirit's creation of faith by the use of the Word (Dogmatic Theology, Volume 2, page 501).

Louis Berkhof alleged in a significant part of his theology book that "Regeneration is a creative act, by which the spiritually dead sinner is restored to life. But the truth of the gospel can only work in a moral and persuasive way. SUCH AN INSTRUMENT HAS NO EFFECT ON THE DEAD" (Systematic Theology,page 475) -- which simply means that faith is not created by the Spirit's use of the Word or Gospel in the new birth.

"Temporally," according to these Hybrid Calvinists, means that one is "born again before faith," unless "logic" has changed its meaning.

If Gene Bridges wants to "cross" swords with these Hybrid Calvinists, fine; but don't try to tell us that their palabber is "logical but not temporal."

What they are saying is not logical by any standard.


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