Sunday, August 16, 2009

Galyon the Garbler


Peter Lumpkins indicates that he finds James "the Collider" Galyon to be a "confusing" writer.

Peter says, "James, there's entirely too much confusion. I half-way think you're attempting to argue two sides at the same time, but I can't be sure. I do know it's best to stick with one position or the other."

While there is an abundance of confusion in Galyon's writing, I think a better description of James is "Garbler." He seems to find a way to garble anything he touches -- if it conflicts with the Pedbaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism ("regeneration precedes faith") of which James is so obsessed.

Awhile back, we observed how Galyon garbled John Gano by "dotting out" a most significant statement in a "quotation" Galyon gave from Gano in the attempt to make a Hybrid Calvinite out of Gano.

Currently, Galyon continues to garble C. H. Spurgeon, and despite all the evidence to contrary, he seems determined to make a Hybrid Calvinist out of Spurgeon. And if one gets a little too tough on James' views, he will accuse that person of the "appearance" of "hatred" and being "vitriolic," such as he alleges of me.

Contrary to Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism, Spurgeon did not regard the preliminary workings of the Holy Spirit within a lost person to constitute the new birth or regeneration.

Here is another example of Spurgeon's view on the matter, taken from his sermon on "Prevenient Grace" (or "Preparatory Grace"):

Now let me show you how God’s Grace does come to work on the human heart so as to make it good soil before the living seed is cast into it—so that before quickening Grace visits it, the heart may be called a good heart—because it is prepared to receive that Grace.

I think this takes place thus—first of all, before quickening Grace comes, God often gives an attentive ear and makes a man willing to listen to the Word. Not only does he like to listen to it, but he wants to know the meaning of it. There is a little excitement in his mind to know what the Gospel tidings really are. He is not saved as yet, but it is always a hopeful sign when a man is willing to listen to the Truth and is anxious to understand it.

This is one thing which prevenient Grace does in making the soul good. In Ezekiel’s vision, as you will recall, before the breath came from the four winds, the bones began to stir and they came together bone to his bone. So, before the Spirit of God comes to a man in effectual
calling, God’s Grace often comes to make a stir in the man’s mind so that he no longer indifferent to the Truth but is anxious to understand what it means.

The next mark of this gracious work is an honest heart. Some persons will not hear you, or if they do, they are always picking holes and finding fault—they are not honest and good ground. But there are others who say, “I will give the man a fair and an honest hearing. I will read the Bible. I will read it honestly. I will really see whether it is the Word of God or not. I will come to it without any prejudices, or, if I have any prejudices I will throw them aside.”

Now, all this is a blessed work of preparatory Grace making the heart ready to receive effectual calling. Then, when this willingness and honesty are attended with a tender conscience, as they are in some unconverted people, this is another great blessing. Some of you are not converted, but you would not do wrong। You are not saints, but you would not tell a lie for the world! I thank God that there are some of you so excellent in morals that if you were proposed to us for Church membership, we could not raise any objection to you on that ground, at any rate. You are as honest as the day is long। As for the things of God, you are outwardly as attentive to them and as diligent in them as the most earnest and indefatigable Christians। Now, this is because your conscience is tender. When you do wrong you cannot sleep at night. And you do not feel at all easy in being without a Savior—I know some of you do not. You have not come to any decision; the grace of God has not really made you feel your thoroughly blind state—still you are not quite easy. In fact, to go farther, your affections, though not weaned altogether from earth, yet begin to tremble a little as though they would go heavenward.

You want to be a Christian—when the communion table is spread, you dare not come downstairs—but I see you looking from the gallery and you wish you were with us. You know you have not believed in Jesus Christ, and the world keeps you back from doing so—but still there is a kind of twitching in your conscience. You do not know what it is, but there is a something in you that makes you say at times, “O God, let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his.”

Yes, and you even go farther than this and ask to live the righteous man’s life, too. Now, remember, this will not save you—“You must be born again.”

But for all this the Church of God should feel deeply grateful—for they have seen in themselves that this is often God’s preparatory work—clearing away the rubbish and rubble and digging out the foundations, that Jesus Christ might be laid there, the Cornerstone of future hope and of future happiness!
[End of excerpt]

We see in this excerpt that Spurgeon did not believe that one is born again until he has come to a "decision" -- the decision to believe on Christ as Saviour. When this faith has been brought about by the power of the Word and Spirit, then there is "evidence" of regeneration or the new birth. Wherever there is such faith, then we know the new birth has taken place. But as Spurgeon emphasized, where there is no faith there is no regeneration.

Here is more from Spurgeon:
For, first, without faith there is no capacity for communion with God at all. The things of God are spiritual and invisible—without faith we cannot recognize such things but must be dead to them. Faith is the eye which sees. But without that eye we are blind and can have no fellowship with God in those Sacred Truths which only faith can perceive. Faith is the hand of the soul, and without it, we have no grasp of eternal things. If I were to mention all the images by which faith is set forth, each one would help you to see that you must have faith in order to know God and enter into converse with Him. It is only by faith that we can recognize God, approach Him, speak to Him, hear Him, feel His Presence and be delighted with His perfections. He that has not faith is toward God as one dead. And Jehovah is not the God of the dead, but of the living. The communion of the living God goes not forth toward death and corruption. His fellowship is with those who have spiritual life, a life akin to His own. Where there is no faith, there has been no quickening of the Holy Spirit, for faith is of the very essence of spiritual life.

And so the man who has no faith can no more commune with the living God and give Him pleasure, than can a stick or a stone, a horse or an ox, hold converse with the human mind. (Faith Essential to Pleasing God, MTP, Sermon #2100, Vol. 35, 446).

As can be seen from Spurgeon's "Soul Winner" book, while all efficient power is attributed to the Holy Spirit, Spurgeon always has "means" involved as the Spirit's "instrumentality." He says, "Instruction by the gospel is the commencement of all real work upon men's minds" (page 17, Pilgrim edition).

"He works by means" (page 25), Spurgeon says, and "Paul compares himself both to a father and to a mother in the matter of the new birth" (page 25).

"Such mysterious power doth God infuse into the instrumentality which He ordains" (page 26), "we regard ourselves as used by the Holy Ghost . . . the marvels of regeneration which attend our ministry" (page 27), "He quicken(s) them by the gospel" (page 28), and "The production of faith is the very centre of the target at which you aim" (page 29).

So wrote Spurgeon, and likewise what he preached.

So Spurgeon's view is that regeneration neither preceeds faith nor follows after faith -- rather, regeneration is the very creation of faith itself.

When one is made a believer of the Gospel of Christ by the efficient power of the Holy Spirit, he IS THEN born again -- not before, and not after faith, but at the same instant of faith in Christ, which faith has been created by instrumentality of the Gospel thru the power of the Holy Spirit -- NOT by the power of the WILL OF MAN (John 1:12, 12) or by what some dub as "decisional regeneration" -- as some of the Hybrid Calvinists ("Reformed") would have you believe about non-Hybrid Calvinists.

If a man were regenerated BEFORE faith, at the point of regeneration he would be a spiritual freak -- a "regenerated (born again) unbeliever."

If he were regenerated AFTER faith, at the point of faith he would be an unregenerated believer, another spiritual freak.

Neither of these is consistent with Scripture (1 John 5:12). Both ideas are spiritual non-existants.

The pre-faith regeneration view is admitted by both Shedd and Berkhof to be a different view on regeneration than taught in former years by the Puritans and as set forth in the Westminster Confession (See Shedd, Vol. 2, page 402; Berkhof, pages 470, 476).

It certainly conflicts with our Baptist Confessions, all of which affirm the necessary use of the Word as an instrumentality in the Holy Spirit's bringing forth faith and the New Birth.

In his sermon, "A Kind of Firstfruits," preached on January 5, 1868, sermon number 3275, on the text, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures"
(James 1:18.

Spurgeon said:
The instrumentality through which this singular change has been wrought in us is clearly stated, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”

Men are not usually saved without the immediate agency of the gospel. Some have said that the Spirit of God always works through the truth, and that the truth is sure to work conviction. The truth, however, is preached, and faithfully preached, to tens of thousands, to whom it conveys not a blessing at all, but is the savour of death unto death.

Others have said that the Spirit of God regenerates men apart from the Word of God but this is not told us in Scripture, and is not therefore to be received.

But evermore the Word and the Spirit are put together. Scripture does not talk of the Word of God as a dead letter; it says, “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword.”

On the other hand, Scripture does not speak of the Holy Spirit as though the Word would work apart from him, but the two are put together, and "what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

My dear brethren and sisters, you who have been begotten again unto a lively hope, was it not through the hearing of the Word, or the reading of it, or the remembrance of some hallowed text which you had almost forgotten? You know it was.

Good McCheyne used to say, “Depend on it, it is God’s Word that saves souls, and not our comment upon God’s Word;” and so I believe it is. It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.

And what is this Word? What is it that usually brings men to be begotten unto a new life? The Word, the especial quickening Word, is the preaching of the doctrine of the cross. . . . Oh! then, if you have been quickened by the Word, tell out the Word. If the gospel has brought you to salvation, tell that gospel out.


"If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate" (The Warrant of Faith, #531, page 532).

So much for Garbling Galyon's colliding with Spurgeon.


At Thursday, August 20, 2009 10:47:00 AM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Thank you for your last couple of article on the Calvinist Flyswatter in response to James Galyon's two recent articles.

I find it curious that James has spoken about those who over-stress "chronology" in regeneration yet did not address those who say they hold to a logical priority and not chronological. Is he making a distinction between the "chronological" and "logical" adherents or is he revealing that "logical" is "chronological," an admission which many of the Reformed will not avow? Curious.

With regards,

Bob's comment: Since Pedobaptists teach the early regeneration of infants before they are capable of believing, it is necessarily the case that this supposed
"regeneration" chronologically precedes faith, separated by the period of time.

The mental gymnastics of "logical not chronological" seems to have been invented in the vain effort to defend the "born again before faith" idea from the implications of such a chronological separation -- such as having a "born again" unbeliever.

It is as if these fellows want to "have it both ways."


Post a Comment

<< Home