Monday, August 17, 2009

Galyon Gagging on Hybridism?


In his blog for August 17, 2009, our frequent nemesis James Galyon (alias the "Rev") has become somewhat of a critic of some who advocate the "Reformed" view on "monergism" which separates "regeneration" as an act which allegedly precedes faith in Christ -- i. e. "born again before faith" or "regeneration precedes faith."

This has been a pet theory of the Pedobaptists dating back at least to the latter 17th century. It seems to have become popularized, apparently by Francis Turretin, and is advocated by many Pedobaptists of later years, such as W. G. T. Shedd, Louis Berkhof, J. I. Packer, John Frame, R. C. Sproul, and some of their disciples among the so-called "Reformed Baptist" camp. Galyon has identified himself in that "Reformed Baptist" camp, but what he writes today directly conflicts with the "Truly Reformed" Pedobaptists who hold this theory.

Galyon does not indicate he has forsaken that theory, but he does make some comments which seem to indicate that he is not altogether happy with how some of the Hybrid Calvinists advocate their notion on "monergism." He says:

I believe one problem with many Reformed individuals (i.e., Augustinians, Calvinists) is that they stress monergism (i.e., regeneration preceding faith) in a manner which over-emphasizes chronology. Such an over-emphasis may sound cold and technical, whereas the doctrine of the new birth should demonstrate the warmth of salvation. I don’t believe this over-emphasis is intended to sound abstract, but it may come across this way at times. Those of us within the Reformed camp need to be cautious in the way we handle this doctrine.
>>[Emphasis supplied by the Flyswatter].

This critical observation by Galyon may not set too well with the Pedobaptist Truly Reformed camp, even if it is only a mere "slap-on-the-hand" type of criticism. After all, the "chronological" distinction between "regeneration" and "faith" is a vital element in Pedobaptist soteriology in regard to their infants. They hold that children born to believers are the subjects of very early "regeneration," based on their idea that the promise of regeneration is "inherited" by elect infants.

Some, like John Frame, teach that this "regeneration" takes place even before physical birth, while others such Shedd and Berkhof, teach that it takes place before, at, or shortly after elect infants are baptized. As for the faith of the elect infants, this supposedly evolves much later in the elect infants once they have developed mentally. The "regeneration precedes faith" idea was evidently an aberration which evolved out of the notion that elect infants are subjects of an early regeneration before they are mentally capable of faith.

James is an illustration of how a Baptist who swallows the "regeneration precedes faith" concoction gags on Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism of the Truly Reformed.


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