Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mark Dever vs. the SBC and Charles H. Spurgeon

Mark Dever is the head of 9 Marks ministries, which formerly was called the Center for Church Reform. He is a strong promoter of extreme Calvinism including the posting of Tom Schreiner's article on "regeneration before faith" on the 9 Marks website. I reviewed Schreiner's aberrant theology in a previous article.

Dever is co-hosting a "Together for the Gospel" seminar in Louisville in April 2006 with a "special guest," R. C. Sproul. Sproul is a Presbyterian and a leading promoter of the "regeneration before faith" heterodoxy. Dr. Al Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theology Seminary, is another co-host of the event, which is not surprising since Mohler has hired professors such as Schreiner who openly and blatantly teach views completely foreign to most Southern Baptist churches.

Dever strange and odd theology has led him to discourage the baptism of children. This is completely and utterly at odds with the polity of Southern Baptists churches and should be denounced by men of God everywhere. Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 19:14).

Southern Baptists should beware of Mark Dever and his strange and aberrant theology and church polity. I am also puzzled as to why Dr. Al Mohler continues to promote men such as Dever and Sproul.

Along with my remarks I am posting Brother Bob Ross' comments regarding Charles H. Spurgeon's view of children. Please read what he has to say.




Dear Charles:

I understand that a pastor named Mark Dever of Washington D. C. has been added to the Founders Ministries, and he is supposedly spearheading certain issues in an effort ostensibly to "reform" the church.

Among other "reforming" palabber, this gentleman is evidently so spiritually gifted that he knows at what age a youngster should be or should not be baptized -- which is never even discussed in Scripture.

I have not read anything by Dever on the "born again before faith" heterodoxy endorsed by some of the Founders, so I don't know if that is his personal view. However, this thing about not baptizing children who profess simple faith in the simple Gospel of Christ sounds a lot like one of the unholy fruits of Hybrid Calvinism, the aberrant theology on salvation which gives rise to other aberrant ideas.

Whereas the Founders often appropriate the name of C. H. Spurgeon as if they are of the same faith and order, CHS promoted both early child conversions and baptisms. He said that among his best members were those who were converted very young and were baptized and became members of the church.

So much for Spurgeon's being anything like unto certain of the Founders who do not appreciate child conversion and the baptizing of the young converts.

The idea that children are not really converted at young ages or should not be baptized at young ages is not only unSpurgeonic, but it certainly has no foundation in Scripture. -- Bob L. Ross


At Thursday, March 23, 2006 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Dever and the like within the SBC are the true SBC and he and Spurgeon if he were alive would agree more than disagree on most everything. You guys are so confused and blind.... I would say the only good that does come out of your site are your links to the sites that lead to truth such as 9Marks and Together for the Gospel.
It is funny all the people you consider false teachers are so well respected among the Church and yet so hated by the world. I do believe I see something biblical in that fact. Many of those that you like are so loved by the world and are seen for what they truly are by the Church. Spurgeon would so be dishearted to see what you do in his name and with it. Spurgeon would no more be a SBC than many who use to be if they new the state of the convention today who embrace the likes of Rick Warren, Erwin McManus etc... You and Bob might learn a few thing if you would go to Together for the Gospel and maybe even attend Southern.

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 2:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Spurgeon would so be dishearted to see what you do in his name and with it.

Since you apparently seem to know the mind of Spurgeon, perhaps you will appreciate some of Spurgeon's comments on "child conversion." I have sent several selections to Brother Charles, and I understand he will be posting them.

If you happen to know Mark Dever, perhaps you could share these with him, and let him see how his own opinion on the spirituality of children contrasts with Mr. Spurgeon's.

From what Spurgeon says, it is certain that many hundreds of his congregation were converted and baptized youngsters, and obviously Mr. Dever would not want them in his Washington church. -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 4:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dear Charles:

Another "bone" I have to pick with my Founders brethren is their enthusiatic embracing of the Pedo-regenerationists who say that their children are "born again" in infancy, are to be baptized, and are to be received into church membership.

You know the doctrine -- somehow they discern that God regenerates their offspring since they are supposedly the "seed of Abraham" -- somewhat like the Jews who said, "We be Abraham's seed."

While Founders such as MARK DEVER are concerned about not baptizing a child of a Baptist member "prematurely" in the child's life, the Founders seem rather oblivious of any concern about the early "professions" and "baptisms" of Pedo-regenerationists like R. C. SPROUL, IAIN MURRAY, and J. LIGON DUNCAN whom they have been known to use as Speakers.

I suppose all of these Pedo gentlemen must have been regenerated in infancy and baptized as babies as a "sign" of that regeneration in accordance with the Pedo-regenerationist doctrine, inasmuch as Dever and other Founders manifest no concern about their professions and baptisms.

These Pedo-regenerationists have no practical use for the "Arminian" Baptist "invitation system" whereby lost sinners are urged to believe and confess Christ as their Saviour. The Pedos get their converts so early, born again as babies -- or, by a "direct operation" in the case of any "elect" adults, who by some quirk in Divine Providence and Predestination were not born into the Pedo-regeneration Kingdom of God so as to receive the "inheritance" of regeneration as babes in arms.

The Founders are all serendipified over the Pedo-regenerationists who can so precisely pronounce and expound the Five Point Shibboleth, and apparently this sets aside any degree of concern by the Founders over the early Pedobaptisms.

Ostensibly, it seems, Founders such as Pastor Mark Dever -- quite unlike the Founders' Pedo-regenerationists friends -- apparently do not want to pluck one of the "elect" too early -- or, horrors of horrors, even baptize one of the "non-elect" -- so Pastor Mark waits until his great discerning powers conclude that a "regeneration" has taken place, and he will then happily baptize the person.

One wonders why Pastor Dever does not do the pragmatic thing -- that is, he could suggest to the Christian parents in his Baptist church that their infants be taken over to the Pedo-regenerationists' churches and have the children baptized on the same basis as the Pedo-regenerationists' infants. After all, these Baptist parents are believers, and do they not stand under the same covenant of Abraham as the Pedos, with the chilrden promised regeneration in infancy of which baptism is the "sign"?

Would that not spare Pastor Dever the agony of having to decide if a youngster is "ready" for baptism? -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Dear Charles:

A few years ago (1999), I selected and published a few of C. H. Spurgeon's comments about child conversion and baptisms -- which I recently copied and emailed to you.

After I sent out this article with Spurgeon's comments to my list, I received the following email from a longtime friend and Pastor who has been at the same "post" at his pastorate for many years. He had recently witnessed many conversions and baptisms of children at his church, and was encouraged by reading Spurgeon's comments on he subject.

He wrote the following:

Dear Bro Ross:

Your recent article on the conversion of Children has been used in a way you may not expect. I have seen a lot of little children saved and I have baptized them here in our church.

At first some of the 'old codgers' frowned on this and said that they [the children] did not know what they were doing. What an encouragement the article about Spurgeon was. Recently several have stepped forth and asked for baptism and the whole thing was started by little girl 6-years-old, who would not take 'no' for an answer on baptism.

Following her example others are coming, including a man in his sixties. After prayer meeting last evening a little girl of eight stood in my study and tears streamed down her cheeks as she rejoiced that Christ had come into her life.

To God be the glory.

Compare this testimony of a seasoned Pastor whom I have known for 50 years, a man who actually came from a Hardshell Baptist family background. He is a veritable Bible scholar, a well-known author with a wide circulation of his books, has been published by Calvinist publishers, and even spoke at a national Founders' Conference. He and I both were at the first "Grace Conference" in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1966, and we have been close friends for years.

Put this Pastor's approach and example up against the apprehensions of Pastor Mark Dever on child conversion and baptism, and tell me, which approach would be best for Southern Baptists churches to follow?

What made the difference?

Here is my friend's sound statement on the new birth, which is quite different from the Pedo-regenerationists who teach a "direct operation" rather than being born again thru the God-ordained means of the Gospel:

"Since the new birth is an inward and spiritual work bringing about a change in man's heart, the MEANS or INSTRUMENT must be such as can influence man's moral faculties (mind, will, etc.). It is the TRUTH, applied by the Holy Spirit, which is the INSTRUMENT of regeneration. The WORD of God, or GOSPEL, shows us our sin, tells us of God's requirements and reveals Christ.

"It is the GOSPEL MESSAGE either written or spoken which ENLIGHTENS men about their lost estate, convicts them of their sinfulness, and LEADS THEM TO CHRIST, the sinner's substitute. IT IS OF GOD'S SOVEREIGN WILL THAT WE ARE GIVEN NEW LIFE THROUGH THE GOSPEL (1 Cor. 4:15).

"In the parable of the sower Jesus taught that the salvation of souls is like the sprouting and growing that results from PLANTING THE SEED. The seed represents the WORD OF GOD (Luke 8:11). Peters says that we are BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, the WORD OF GOD that lives and abides for ever (1 Peter 1:23)" (Systematic Bible Doctrine by John Thornbury, Evangelical Press, page 107).

Southern Baptists -- and especially the Founders movement -- would be far better off if they followed this Pastor's doctrine and practice in contrast to that of the Pedo-regenerationists, James White, and other Hybrid Calvinists.
-- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 8:40:00 PM, Blogger Eye said...

Looks like another direct hit!

Nice going guys...

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is Bob Ross the be all end all of Reformed Theology?

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:08:00 PM, Blogger David B. Hewitt said...


"Extreme Calvinism" eh? Using Geisler's term, I suspect.

Do you even know what Calvnists believe? :) I'm not trying to throw stones or anything, but I've often found that most people who are not Reformed don't know what we really believe.

I posted something on my blog addressing true Reformed theology and contrasting it with what REALLY is hyper-calvinism. I hope it proves useful to you and your readers.

For the Glory of Jesus,
David Hewitt

At Friday, March 24, 2006 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dear Charles:

Here is a comment I received in my email of March 24, 2006:

> I have been posting some remarks on a blogsite recently which have to do with the Founders Ministries and some of their aberrant ideas. Among other things, there is a Pastor in Washington DC who is now promoting his ideas about not baptizing youngsters until they get "ripe enough" for his satisfaction.
I'd like to see book, chapter, and verse on that notion...
Jonathan Edwards describes the conversion of Phebe Bartlet in his Narrative of Conversions.  She was born in March, 1731, and began to show evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit in the last part of April or the first part of May in 1735 (in other words, just after her fourth birthday).  In July of 1735 she reached a crisis, and after a period of despair gained great joy and confidence in God. 

In March of 1789 she was still alive, and maintaining a consistent profession. (A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards 1:361-363)
She, then, made her initial profession of faith at the age of four, and 54 years later had lived a life consistent with that profession.  Was she too young when she first came to Christ?  The Holy Spirit clearly didn't think so -- and I conceive it to be unwise to argue with the Holy Spirit.

Robert McKay
--Bob L. Ross

At Friday, March 24, 2006 3:03:00 PM, Blogger R.S. Ladwig said...

Last I checked Spurgeon was a 5 point calvinist.

At Friday, March 24, 2006 6:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dear Charles:

I notice that Pastor Mark Dever is enamored with "expository preaching." As for my own preference, I think that expositions of Scripture are fine for "Bible study" type meetings. But if a pastor constantly uses expository preaching, he could possibly create a sort of "church mausoleum."

This is what happened in London at Westminster Chapel where Martyn Lloyd-Jones was slavishly devoted to expository preaching. He and his successor, R. T. Kendall, created a virtual Reformed mausoleum with this style of preaching. The church turned to charismaticism near the end of Kendall's tenure, and that seemed to be its "salvation" so far as simply keeping its doors open is concerned.

-- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 3:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dear Charles,

Not only does Pastor Dever take an unbaptistic view on the baptism of young believers, I have learned on very good authority that his church will even receive members who have "not been immersed" all for the sake of the "unity of the body of Christ" -- which, being interpreted -- refers to Pedo-regenerationists who teach that their infant children are regenerated as babies.

Furthermore, Dever is opposed to public invitations.

Seems like a thoroughgoing HYBRID CALVINIST to me -- one of whom the Pedo-regenerationists are probably quite proud to number among their brethren. -- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 6:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dear Charles:

I note that Baptist pastor Mark Dever of the Founders Ministries will be one of those in a "Together for the Gospel" conference April 26–28 in Louisville.

The conference features two Pedo-regenerationists R. C. Spoul and Ligon Duncan -- along with R. Albert Mohler, C. J. Mahaney, John MacArthur, and John Piper.

Evidently, it is no concern to Dever that the Pedo-regenerationists baptize more UNREGENERATED youngsters and enroll them into church membership than Southern Baptists. At ;east the SBC churches require a profession of repentance from sin and faith in Christ, whereas the Pedo-regenerationists only require a promise from the parent(s) to train the child up in the way of the Lord. Ostensibly, the infants are regenerated before, at, or soon after their baptism.

Unless Dever agrees with the Pedobaptists that children born to Pedobaptist parents are regenerated in early infancy, then by Baptist standards Dever must believe these baptized children have NOT been regenerated in their infant years and are therefore UNREGENERATED CHURCH MEMBERS.

Talk about "an unregenerated denomination"!

If Dever is concerned about prematurely baptising youngsters in Baptist churches, why is he evidently unconcerned about the baptism of infants in the pedo-churches?

Pedos are enrolling far more UNREGENERATES onto church rolls than the Southern Baptists. In fact, baptizing unregenerate babies is how the pedos get most of them members!

Is it any surprise that they teach "regeneration before faith" -- most of their members were supposedly "regenerated" as babies before they were even capable of faith! -- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bob [not Bob Ross] said,
Last I checked Spurgeon was a 5 point calvinist.

By whom definition? There are more versions of "5 point Calvinism" than there are quick-loss diet plans.

Most of the "Calvinists" I see on the Internet are HYBRID CALVINISTS, and villify what Spurgeon stood for.

For example, how many of them use the "Sinner's Prayer" like Spurgeon did? How many of them use "Just As I Am," as Spurgeon did? How many of them approve of D. L. Moody's evangelism, a man who preached for Spurgeon at the Tabernacle? How many of them press for "Immediate Decision" like Spurgeon did?

Go to Pilgrim Publications' website and see how Spurgeon's emphasis on getting immediate decisions or immediate professions gave rise to the Public Invitation, which is repudiated by Internet Hybrid Calvinists. -- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...


Awesome post, Bob!

How many of them approve of D. L. Moody's evangelism, a man who preached for Spurgeon at the Tabernacle?

They never mention Moody. Spurgeon loved Moody and Moody loved Spurgeon! The hybrid [hardshell] Calvinists such as James White, the Flounders, etc., run from Moody like James White runs from you, Bob!


At Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, I just checked my email, and here's an email from a longtime Pastor-friend of mine in Appammatox, Virginia. It speaks for itself on Founders affiliate, Mark Dever:


Dear Bob,
Without being too long, let me say that Mr. Dever is not even in the ball park on "Baptism." I had to challenge him on a sermon he preached in Harrisonburg, Va. several years ago in which he (tried to slip it in) that if someone (pedobaptist) was satisfied with their baptism; he would take them by letter. I could hardly wait for the question and answer period. He squirmmed and wiggled, but I refused to let him off the hook and he finally said that he would have to go back to the drawing board on the subject of "Believer's baptism" and the mode.

In Christ,

E. W. L.

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, the same Virginia Pastor also said this:

Dear Bob,
I have two daughters that were converted at the ages of 7 & 8 and both of them are now 49 & 50 and very faithful in Church. I only wish I had a church full of those that were as faithful as they are and they know what they believe and stand for it too.

In Christ,

E. W. L. & "Granny"

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles said,
They never mention Moody. Spurgeon loved Moody and Moody loved Spurgeon! The hybrid [hardshell] Calvinists such as James White, the Flounders, etc., run from Moody like James White runs from you, Bob!


Moody and Spurgeon were like brothers -- they loved and promoted each other's work.

The reason the Hybrids reject Moody is primarily due to IAIN MURRAY and his rantings against Moody. Murray even reprinted the harsh article against Moody by the Pedo-regenerationist named John Kennedy, and sided with Kennedy against Moody. Spurgeon countered Kennedy, and would have counterd Murray if he were alive.

I have some articles about Moody and Spurgeon on the Pilgrim website.
-- Bob L. Ross


Perhaps no two men were more responsible for influencing conservative, evangelical Christianity in the last half of the nineteenth century and even throughout the twentieth century than C. H. Spurgeon and D. L. Moody.

"Their works do follow them" is certainly true of these two evangels of the plain, simple, and unfettered Gospel of salvation by faith in Christ.

Both men were opposed and harassed by the hyper-Calvinists of their day. Apparently, Hypers have always had nothing more important to do than to oppose the type of evangelism practiced by Spurgeon and Moody. They seem to have a phobia about such evangelistic efforts

When Spurgeon came to London in the 1850s, he was soon confronted with hyper-Calvinism, and its advocates never ceased their efforts to detract from his evangelistic influence. One notable champion among the hypers, James Wells, even ventured to say, "But I have -- most solemnly have -- my doubts as to the Divine reality of his conversion" (C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Volune 2, page 38).

Wells went even further to allege that Spurgeon's ministry "is most awfully deceptive; that it passes by the essentials of the work of the Holy Ghost, and sets people by shoals down for Christians who are not Christians by the quickening and indwelling power of the Holy Ghost" (ibid., page 39).

Spurgeon's ministry at least partially delivered the English Baptists from the stranglehold of hyper-Calvinism, as he set in motion evangelistic forces which created churches by the score, fostered missionary work, plus the conducting of numerous special evangelistic meetings. He also gave encouragement to other evangelistic works, including those of D. L. Moody. The weekly publication of his evangelistic sermons served to fire the preaching of other ministers, not only Baptist ministers in England but those of other communions and in other countries. American ministers were especially inspired by Spurgeon's printed sermons, and that continues to this very day.

When D. L. Moody, a protege of Spurgeon, went to Great Britain to do evangelistic work in Scotland and England, he, too, was confronted by the hyper-Calvinists. Scotland, especially, was plagued with hyperism and its evangelistic deadness. Moody's work started very small and slow, but eventually thousands of professions resulted. Many, many Pedobaptists, who had been supposedly "regenerated" in infancy and baptized into the churches, were confronted by the Gospel preaching and led to realize they had probably never been born again.

Naturally, the Pedobaptist clergy was disturbed by having so many of their flocks renouncing their supposed "regeneration" in infancy by professing faith in Christ. Thus, they began to look for faults in Mr. Moody, his message, and his methods -- just as James Wells and his fellow-hypers had targeted Spurgeon in London.

The "match" of the Baptist hyperist, James Wells, was the Pedobaptist John Kennedy, who advocated the normal Pedobaptist phantasmagoria about infants and the alleged benefits that derive to infants of believing parents on the basis of the supposed "covenant." While Kennedy ostensibly wrote specifically against Moody, there is plenty of room for the suspicion that he may have had even larger game as his target -- even Spurgeon himself.

Certainly, most of what Kennedy wrote against Moody was as equally applicable to Spurgeon, for Kennedy's basic attack was against "immediate" or "sudden" conversion by faith in Christ. There was no greater advocate of that truth on conversion than C. H. Spurgeon.

If there is evidence that perhaps Spurgeon himself suspected that he, too, was the object of Kennedy's attack, it is found in Spurgeon's sermon, Messrs. Moody and Sankey Defended; or, A Vindication of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, Volume 21, Year 1875, Sermon #1239.

In that sermon, Spurgeon boldly identified himself with Moody by saying, "Will you please to notice that this is no quarrel between these gentlemen and our friends Messrs. Moody and Sankey alone. It is a quarrel between these objectors and the whole of us who preach the gospel; for, differing as we do in the style of preaching it, we are all ready to set our seal to the clearest possible statement that men are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and saved the moment they believe. We all hold and teach that there is such a thing as conversion" (MTP, Vol. 21, page 337).

Kennedy, embellished as "the greatest champion of the Reformed faith in the Highlands," held the usual Pedobaptist views on infants, their regeneration, baptism and church membership. He resorted to the usual modus operandi of hypers when they mount an attack upon evangelism. He unfurled the weapons of "preparationism" and the "pre-faith new birth" theory, both hobby-horses of the hypers, and maintained that "sudden conversions," even though occurring many times in the Scriptural record, were like miracles, a thing of the past. He said:

The favorite doctrine of sudden conversion is practically a complete evasion of the necessity of repentance. Suddenness is regarded as the rule, and not the exception, in order to get rid of any process preliminary to faith. And on what ground do they establish this rule? Merely on the instances of sudden conversion recorded in Scripture. True, there are cases not a few of sudden conversion recorded in Scripture, and there have been such instances since the Book of God was sealed. There was a wise and gracious design in making them thus marked at the outset. They were intended, by their extraordinary suddenness, to show to all ages the wondrous power of God. But was their suddenness designed to indicate the rule of God's acting in all ages? This it will be as difficult to establish, as that the miraculous circumstances attending some of them were intended to be perpetual.
Kennedy advocated the idea that conversion was a "detailed and extended process." He said:

The work of conversion includes what we might expect to find detailed in a process. There can be no faith in Christ without some sense of sin, some knowledge of Christ-such as never was possessed before-and willingness, resulting from renewal, to receive Him as a Savior from sin. If a hearty intelligent turning to God in Christ be the result of conversion, it is utterly unwarrantable to expect that, as a rule, conversion shall be sudden. Indeed, the suddenness is rather a ground of suspicion than a reason for concluding that the work is God's. The teaching of Christ, in the parable of the sower, warrants this suspicion. They who are represented as suddenly receiving the word with joy are those who, in time of temptation, fall away. Suddenness and superficiality are there associated, and with both ephemeralness. In the experience of some, whose conversion was sudden, there was, as in the case of the Apostle of the Gentiles, an after-process, intended to prepare them for useful service in the church. And is it not the fact, that those, who were most remarkable, in latter times, for their godliness and their usefulness, were the subjects of a detailed and extended process, before attaining to "peace and joy in believing"?

The paradox in Kennedy's position is that he had a double-standard. In the case of unregenerate infants, he had no qualms about assuming their "sudden" regeneration in infancy and "suddenly" baptizing them and receiving them into the church membership. But now, some of those, perhaps, whom he had baptized were hearing the Gospel as preached by Moody and were professing conversion. The fact is, most all the arguments Kennedy mounted against Moody would have more appropriately applied to Kennedy's baptizing of unregenerate infants.

Kennedy was also greatly upset that some of his fellow Ministers were supportive of Moody. He complained:

"Hundreds of ministers have I seen, sitting as disciples at the feet of one [Moody], whose teaching only showed his ignorance even of 'the principles of the doctrine of Christ' . . ."

Kennedy also griped about the hymn singing and the use of musical instruments, using the same arguments used by the Campbellites (who derived from the Pedobaptists via Thomas and Alexander Campbells in the early 1800s, who were Scottish Presbyterians).

Kennedy wrote:

The singing of uninspired hymns even in moderation, as a part of public worship, no one can prove to be scriptural; . . . The use of instrumental music was an additional novelty, pleasing to the kind of feeling that finds pleasure in a concert. To introduce what is so gratifying there, into the service of the house of God, is to make the latter palatable to those to whom spiritual worship is an offense. . . . And yet it is not difficult to prove that the use of instrumental music in the worship of God is unscriptural . . .

Of course, Kennedy was very much disturbed about the use of "the inquiry room," a practice used by both Moody and Spurgeon in dealing with concerned souls, and he also complained about "public confession."

Kennedy had "the sky is falling" attitude about Moody's evangelism, even fearing dire consequences to his Pedobaptist sect and their practice of baptizing infants as if they were the children of God:

I look on my Church, in a spasmodic state, subject to convulsions, which only indicate that her life is departing, the result of revivals got up by men. It will be a sad day for our country if the men, who luxuriate in the excitement of man-made revivals, shall with their one-sided views of truth, which have ever been the germs of serious errors, their lack of spiritual discernment, and their superficial experience, become the leaders of religious thought and the conductors of religious movements. Already they have advanced as many as inclined to follow them, far in the way to Arminianism in doctrine, and to Plymouthism in service. . . . And if there continue to be progress in the direction in which present religious activity is moving, a negative theology will soon supplant our Confession of Faith, the good old ways of worship will be forsaken for unscriptural inventions, and the tinsel of a superficial religiousness will take the place of genuine godliness.

Mr. Kennedy is the hyper who was "resurrected" by Pedobaptist Iain Murray of The Banner of Truth in his unfortunate book, The Forgotten Spurgeon, and in other writings, and with whom Mr. Murray "takes sides" against both Spurgeon and Mr. Moody in regard to evangelism. Evidently, Mr. Murray is infected with the same type of religious paranoia about "sudden conversion" as Mr. Kennedy, which may account for Murray's zealous opposition to public invitations. Pedobaptists obviously do not appreciate the invasion of the plain Gospel of salvation by faith as preached by Spurgeon and Moody into the adult souls of those who were assumed to have been regenerated when they were infants.

If you have nothing better to do with your time, you may read Mr. Kennedy's spiel of palabber at the following ultra-Calvinist website.

Instead of viewing men such as Moody and Spurgeon as enemies on account of their preaching of "sudden conversion" thru believing in Christ for salvation, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Murray, and other hypers might more appropriately say with Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” If they had their way, evangelism would be strangled to death by nineteenth century hyperism. -- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have always preferred to read a biography written by an author who personally knew the subject about whom he wrote. In reading several biographies of Spurgeon, I find I can rely more on what his contemporaries wrote than in the case of writers far removed from him. Those who write only from a distance of time and space often rely upon unverifiable sources, and they sometimes incorporate information which may not be so reliable. This tends to perpetuate legends and apocryphal information rather than authentic facts.

In the case of Mr. Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), the greatest evangelist of nineteenth century, we are greatly indebted to C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) for an eyewitness evaluation of Mr. Moody. From Spurgeon we derive information from the great English pastor's personal knowledge and acquaintance with the American preacher in contrast to subsequent writers who may be inclined to impose their own interpretations and wishful thinking.

And what a contrast we often find between Spurgeon's eyewitness assessment of Mr. Moody and the interpretive and deprecatory critiques of Moody found in some post-nineteenth century writings by a few of the "rabid brethren" (to borrow a Spurgeon expression). Some of these brethren who hoist the flag of Calvinism seem to delight to use Moody as a "whipping-boy" in efforts to discredit evangelism. I refer especially to Mr. Iain Murray's literary efforts to discredit Mr. Moody, and to Murray's avowed disagreement with Spurgeon on Moody (The Forgotten Spurgeon, first edition, pages 178, 178; second edition, page 173).

In an article mailed June 19, 2004 [SPURGEON ON MOODY] we have given some of the many references to Moody by Spurgeon, and we now herewith present more comments which reveal Spurgeon's immutable and positive assessment of Moody, based on his personal knowledge and close association with Moody. Spurgeon's approbation of Moody is quite the contrast to the attitude of Mr. Murray.

In Spurgeon's magazine, The Sword and the Trowel, there are Book Reviews in each issue, covering most of the significant religious books published in the latter nineteenth century. In a review of Arrows and Anecdotes, by D. L. Moody, Spurgeon says:

"This is a wise selection of pithy bits, and live stories, such as wake men up, and keep them awake too. God be thanked that Moody and Sankey ever came among our churches; it is well to gather up the fragments which remain after the feast" (The Sword and the Trowel, 1876, page 524).

In the magazine for October 1884, page 555, Spurgeon reviews the following books:

Sovereign Grace: its Source, its Nature, and its Effects. “To the Work! To the Work!” Prevailing Prayer: what Hinders it? Bible Characters. By D. L. Moody. Morgan and Scott.

THESE are popular works by our great evangelist, and they deserve a large sale. There can be no need for us to commend the living, blazing speech of our brother Moody. Where you get a genuine bit of the man’s talk it is really grand. Who can equal him in natural simplicity all aglow with holy passion?
Some few of these addresses read as if they were made up of quotations from other people, and then dipped in a little diluted Moody, and so baptized into his name, but not into his nature. They read as if they were never delivered, and we should think they never were: they are good, and likely to do good, but they are not like Moody’s own self. In other
instances, the reporting is admirable; we think we hear the living voice, and see the living man. We ne’er shall look upon his like again. He is a king of men; commanding, and finding everybody eager to obey; and all the while utterly lost in his work, and as devoid of self-importance as a new-born babe. God bless him wherever he may be, and send him back again to us in due time!

Mr. Murray alleged that "Spurgeon had long been critical of American 'revivalists," yet Murray refers to no one in particular. There was certainly never any criticism by Spurgeon of American evangelist D. L. Moody (The Forgotten Spurgeon, 1973 edition, page 171). Since Spurgeon and Moody are most responsible for cracking the shell of the type of Calvinism represented by Mr. Murray -- a type which prevailed in the many "Reformed" and many of the Baptist churches of the latter 1800s -- it is to be expected that Mr. Murray would lament the effects of Moody's work.

Mr. Murray does not share Spurgeon's high regard for Moody, and even goes so far in his wishful thinking and phantasmagoria as to imply that Spurgeon may have later had reason to "reconsider" his rejection of the points made against Moody by the "high Calvinist," John Kennedy (The Forgotten Spurgeon, 1966 edition, page 182). On the same page, Mr. Murray says, "Spurgeon's final assessment of Moody is not easily determined," and seems to imply Spurgeon would possibly have later revised his attitude about Moody. In simple terms, he us suggesting that Spurgeon may have changed his mind.

But all of the evidence is against Mr. Murray's supposition. In fact, the evidence is all positively stacked on the other side, that Spurgeon never wavered in his approbation of D. L. Moody and his work. Spurgeon's approval and high regard for Moody continued right up to Spurgeon's final days on earth. This is demonstrated in the 1891 volume of The Sword and the Trowel magazine, the last year that Spurgeon's edited that monthly publication, as follows:

In the July 1891 issue, Mr. Spurgeon announced that John Burnham, one of Spurgeon's Evangelists in the Pastors' College Society of Evangelists, would attend Mr. Moody's Northfield Convention (or Bible Conference) in the United States, and would bear a letter of introduction from Mr. Spurgeon. In his regular report on the work of his staff of Evangelists, Spurgeon wrote:

"Mr. Burnham has been preaching at High Wycombe, Langham, and Markyate Street, during the past month. Early in July, he and Pastor E. J. Flatt hope to sail for the United States. They are going to the Northfield Convention, and will combine holiday and work by taking services as far as time will permit. Letters may be addressed to them to the care of Mr. D. L. Moody, East Northfield, Massachusetts, U. S. A." (The Sword and the Trowel, 1891, page 420).

Mr. Spurgeon wrote letters of introduction for Evangelist Burnham and Pastor Flatt, and they were "warmly welcomed" by Mr. Moody upon their arrival at Northfield on July 30, 1891 (S & T, 1891, page 577). Mr. Spurgeon also wrote to Burnham in Northfield and appealed for God's blessing (page 574).

After the return of Burnham and Flatt from Northfield, Spurgeon indicated Burnham would write a report on Moody's Northfield Convention for publication, and he made the following announcement in his September magazine:

"Mr. Burnham has been across the Atlantic for his summer holiday, and with Pastor F. J. Flatt, has attended Mr. Moody's Northfield Convention. He has written an interesting account of his experiences, which we hope to publish in The Sword and the Trowel"
(S & T, 1891, page 541).

Mr. Burnham's glowing and lengthy report about Moody's Northfield Convention was printed in three subsequent issues of the 1891 The Sword and the Trowel (pages 574, 620, 665). Among other things, Burnham reveals that the Conference providentially focused on the Bible as the inspired Word of God, a theme very dear to Mr. Spurgeon's heart in the "Down Grade" controversy of his twilight years (1887-1892). Burnham cited the fact that Dr. R. A. Torrey, President of Moody's Bible Institute in Chicago, spoke on "Why I Believe the Bible is the Word God," and Burnham gave an extended summary of Dr. Torrey's message (pages 620-622).

Burnham noted further, with evident delight:

"By a happy coincidence, without preconcerted arrangement, many of the speakers through the Convention, arriving on different days, and not knowing what had preceded, were led to insist on the inspiration of the Scriptures" (page 622).

Burnham also noted that Dr. Torrey and A. S. Gumbert were "most helpful" on the subject of "How to use the Bible with Enquirers." another theme which Spurgeon had previously highlighted in his magazine. For instance, Spurgeon published two articles by a former student at his college, in the 1865 S&T, "How to Get at Enquirers," which suggested various and immediate ways of dealing with concerned souls after services.

Burnham went on to praise the music at the Convention, particularly mentioning the choir and says "the songs became a means of grace to all of us." He happily tells of his fellowship in the home of Ira D. Sankey, Moody's songleader, and his visits with Fanny J. Crosby, the famous blind songwriter. "It was just delightful," Burnham says, "to hear her unaffected talk on the various circumstances that have given birh to her sweet songs -- for most of them were born, not manufactured" (page 666).

Of D. L. Moody, Spurgeon's representative said the following:

"'A prophet hath no honour in his own country.' Doubtless this is the rule; and as no rule is without an exception, we claim that exception for Mr. D. L. Moody. Here, in his birth-place, he lives in the hearts of rich and poor alike. Whenever it was announced that he would speak, the large hall was packed long before the time of service. His homely, pithy, practical talks were bristling with points" (page 666).

Burnham goes on to give a summary of Mr. Moody's message on Haggai. On page 667, on the subject of "Obedience," he has Moody saying --

"The Saviour anointed the blind man's eyes with mud -- not a good ointment -- and bade him wash in the pool of Siloam; in the act of obedience his sight was restored. You say, 'It's unreasonable.' Let reason go to the four winds. Obey God. Christ is the same tonight as when on earth: if he tells you to obey, He gives power to obey with the command. If he bids you 'go out into the highways and hedges, and compel men to come in,' go. Too many stand on platforms and in pulpits, trying to reach people with ten-foot poles and kid-gloves. You cannot reach anybody that way."

Burnham says that except for Spurgeon's own Pastors' College Conference, "we have never attended more helpful meetings, and especially after Mr. Moody's practical address on 'Obedience,' an open confession of Christ, according to Scriptural order, was a most fitting close." Then Burnham tells of the great baptismal serivce which took place in nearby Lake Wannamaker, where "upwards of two thousand people lined the banks of the lovely lake" (pages 667, 668).

This third and final installment of the report on Moody's Northfield Convention, commissioned by Mr. Spurgeon and written by John Burnham, one of staff of Spurgeon's Evangelists, was published in the December 1891 issue of The Sword and the Trowel. Mr. Spurgeon went to be with the Lord on January 31, 1892.

Thus, although Mr. Murray wrote that "Spurgeon's final assessment of Moody is not easily determined" (The Forgotten Spurgeon, 1966 edition, page 182), the report Spurgeon published in his magazine on Moody's Northfield Convention bears clear evidence of Spurgeon's unflagging approbation of Moody in contrast to Mr. Murray's own assessment of Moody.

Again -- it's Spurgeon v. Murray.

Spurgeon stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Moody ever since he met the man in the late 1860s when Moody visited and first heard Spurgeon preach at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. -- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



The record of history is consistent from the earliest introduction of the baptism of infants, and that record is that apostasy ultimately follows the practice of pedobaptism. We are today especially witnessing creeping apostasy in pedobaptist communions in Scotland, England, and the United States.

It is difficult enough keeping the unregenerate off the church roll without installing them as members under false pretenses in their infancy. The most recent repetition of the link between infant baptism and apostasy is seen in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Staunch conservative Lutheran pastor and editor, Herman Otten, headlines his July 19, 2004 issue of Christian News magazine, "Our Beloved Synod Is Dead." This headline is occasioned by the recent reelection of an LCMS President who represents views and practices which conservatives such as Otten view to be contrary to Christian orthodoxy. This recent event is but a continuation of an apostasy which has been permeating LCMS for decades.

While we appreciate many views held by the conservative Lutherans, we cannot but relate the ongoing apostasy to the fact that Lutherans have consistently filled their churches with baptized infants and in due course of time the result is inevitable.

Stories about the lack of Christian faith and morality in other Pedobaptist denominations -- Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. -- have been in the news from time to time, and this is no surprise to those who are aware of the record of past history wherever pedobaptism prevails.

Nevertheless, in spite of what one might think would be obvious to every mature Baptist, there are surprisingly a few who do not appreciate my recent articles which have called attention to the theories of pedobaptists about (1) the supposed regeneration of children in their infancy and (2) infant church membership. Over the past few weeks, I have had a handful of comments which indicate that there is a tolerant attitude which tends to minimize the seriousness of pedobaptism, and even one or two suggestions that I have not represented pedobaptists correctly.

But the fact is, you can seldom find a major theology work by a pedobaptist of repute which does not thrash the views of baptism, its mode and its subjects, as advocated by Baptists. In addition, these theologians assert the ideas that the children of believers inherit the spiritual blessings of the covenant made with Abraham, and should therefore be baptized and received as members of the church.

The most notable of theologians from among the Presbyterians taught infant regeneration.

The most prolific of them, to my knowledge, on this subject appears to have been Dr. William G. T. Shedd (Volume 2, pages 501, 508, 528, 575-577). Dr. Shedd affirmed that "the infant of the believer receives the Holy Spirit as a regenerating Spirit, by virtue of the covenant between God and his people," and staunchly asserted that "a baptized child, in adult years, may renounce his baptism and church membership, become an infidel, and join the synagogue of Satan; but until he does this, he must be regarded as a member of the church of Christ" (Vol. 2, pages 576, 577).

A. A. Hodge teaches the regeneration of infants of believers in his Outlines of Theology, pages 622, #30; 624, #32; and pages 463, 464. Hodge quotes John Calvin, whom Hodge evidently understood as holding the same view (Institutes, Book 4, chapter xvi, para. # 20). Also see Calvin in the same chapter, page 541, #17, #18, page 542, #18, #19.

Charles Hodge has less to say about infant regeneration, but nevertheless teaches the same theory in Systematic Theology, Volume 3, page 590.

Louis Berkhof, whom we have cited several times recently, affirms the same regeneration of infants idea in his Systematic Theology, pages 471, 472, 640-642.

Since infants are not in a state of mental maturity so as to be able to rationally understand the Word, the pedobaptists developed the theory of regeneration without the necessary instrumentality of the Word, and Shedd is perhaps the most prolific spokesman for that view -- at least among those whom I have read. We have before cited Berkhof, promoted by the Banner of Truth, as a prominent advocate of the same theory.

We are of the opinion on the theory, held by some modern non-pedobaptist Calvinists, which alleges that the New Birth is a direct operation of the Spirit before faith has its roots in the pedobaptist theory in regard to the regeneration of infants without the instrumentality of the Word. In fact, it appears to me that this theory may have been adopted by some as a result of reading the pedobaptist theologians who hold it. It is certainly not taught in our Baptist Confessions of Faith.

I personally am of the opinion that the pedobaptist view on infant regeneration set the stage for the subsequent lack of evangelism and the other theological departures by the Presbyterian ministry as a whole from conservative Christianity. Wherever infant regeneration has been practiced, and the churches thereby filled with unregenerates from infancy, ultimate apostasy has developed.

These Pedobaptist theologians distinctly separated regeneration from the necessary instrumentality of means, such as the Word, which was a logical and necessary corollary to their affirming the regeneration of infants who were not capable of receiving the Word. Consequently, Shedd described regeneration by the word "physical" and as being a direct operation of the Spirit apart from "any instrument or means whatever" (Volume 2, page 500).

This view on infant regeneration as a "covenant" benefit, I think, is the basis for the separation of the use of the Word as a necessary instrumentality in the regeneration of adults. The "pre-faith new birth" theory -- apart from necessary instrumentality of the Word -- is strenuously affirmed by Shedd, and is also elaborately set forth by Berkhof.

This position 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 (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. -- Bob L. Ross

At Monday, March 27, 2006 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, here is the article I have referred to in another post about Mr. Moody and Spurgeon:



Contrary to the assessment of D. L. Moody by Mr. Iain Murray in his writings, C. H. Spurgeon held Mr. Moody in very high esteem and appreciated his evangelistic work.

Spurgeon and Murray, a theological icon to the Founders movement, represent two different attitudes toward mass evangelism: Spurgeon favored it, Murray opposes it.

C. H. Spurgeon:  "I want you now to hear me a moment while I say that the brother who is now about to speak, Mr. Moody, is one whom we all love. He is not only one whom we all love, but he is evidently one whom God loves. We feel devoutly grateful to Almighty God for raising him up, and for sending him to England to preach the gospel to such great numbers with such plainness and power. We shall continue to pray for him when he has gone home.

Among the things we shall pray for will be that he may come back again. I might quote the language of an old Scotch song with regard to Prince Charlie, —

'Bonnie Moody’s gang awa.
Will ye no come back again?
Better loved ye canna’ be,
Will ye no come back again?'

Now let us give him as good a cheer as ever we can when he stands up to speak."
[From Mr. Spurgeon's Jubilee Services, page 8.]

Those were the words of introduction by Spurgeon in 1884 when Evangelist D. L. Moody spoke at Metropolitan Tabernacle on the occasion of Spurgeon's Jubilee, celebrating thirty years as Pastor of the church. Moody had long been a protege of Spurgeon, whom he first met in 1867, before Moody had started to preach, and he devoured everything Spurgeon published.

Later, when Moody went back and held meetings in Scotland and England, with thousands converted, he came under the fire of criticism by some of those whom Spurgeon often called "rigid doctrinal brethren," being those who thought Moody's message and methods were too "simple" to have any permanent effects. Some even viewed Moody to be "Arminian."

Spurgeon thought otherwise, however. According to Iain Murray, Spurgeon "put Moody down on the Calvinistic side" (The Forgotten Spurgeon, first edition, page 179).

When Moody came under fire from John Kennedy, an advocate of "high Calvinism," Spurgeon, as well as Horatius Bonar, wrote rebuttals of the criticism by Kennedy. Both Horatius Bonar and his brother, Andrew A. Bonar, along with Spurgeon, were decidedly the outspoken friends, supporters, and defenders of Mr. Moody's work. Spurgeon even preached a sermon at the Tabernacle in 1875 in defense of Moody against the criticisms of the "doctrinal brethren." He said:

We are told by these gentlemen, who ought to know, for they speak very positively, that the doctrine of immediate salvation through faith in Christ Jesus is a very dangerous one, that it will certainly lead to the deterioration of the public morality, since men will not be likely to set store by the practical virtues when faith is lifted up to so very lofty a position. If it were so it were a grievous fault, and woe to those who led men into it. That it is not the fact we are sure; but meanwhile let us survey the field of battle.

Will you please to notice that this is no quarrel between these gentlemen and our friends Messrs. Moody and Sankey alone. It is a quarrel between these objectors and the whole of us who preach the gospel; for, differing as we do in the style of preaching it, we are all ready to set our seal to the clearest possible statement that men are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and saved the moment they believe. We all hold and teach that there is such a thing as conversion, -- and that when men are converted they become other men than they were before, and a new life begins which will culminate in eternal glory. We are not so dastardly as to allow our friends to stand alone in the front of the battle, to be looked upon as peculiar persons, holding strange notions from which the rest of us dissent. So far as salvation through faith in the atoning blood is concerned, they preach nothing but what we have preached all our lives; they preach nothing but what has the general consent of Protestant Christendom. Let that be known to all, and let the archers shoot at us all alike.
>> [Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, "Messrs. Moody and Sankey Defended; or, A Vindication of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith," Volume 21, Year 1875, Sermon #1239].

Spurgeon was forever the friend, supporter, and defender of D. L. Moody and his evangelistic work. In the Life of Dwight L. Moody, by William Moody (D. L.'s son), we read:

"Mr. Moody received no more hearty support from any one in London than that given by the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon. Addressing his own audience, Mr. Spurgeon said that 'some of my hearers have probably been converted under the influence of the services conducted by my dear friends, Moody and Sankey, at Agricultural Hall' . . . One of the most enthusiastic services, and in many respects one of the best, was held in Spurgeon's Tabernacle" (Life of Dwight L. Moody, page 240).

Spurgeon had no greater ally in America during and after the Down Grade controversy than D. L. Moody and the leaders at the Moody Bible Institute. R. A. Torrey and James M. Gray, for instance, took part in the series published from 1910 to 1915 entitled, The Fundamentals, in defense of foundational biblical truths against modernism, liberalism, and Darwinianism -- which Spurgeon had opposed in the 1880s in England. Moody Bible Institute became a model for the Bible institute movement in America, and it has been one of the primary strongholds for all those central truths of Christianity for which Spurgeon stood during the Down Grade.

Moody also started a publishing company, Moody Press, and his first and all-time best-selling book was and is Spurgeon's All of Grace. Many have been won to Christ by this book.

No two men of the 19th century have had greater impact on American Christianity than C. H. Spurgeon and D. L. Moody.

Mr. Iain Murray, the Founders' hero of anti-public invitations, seems to have "an ax to grind" with C. H. Spurgeon in regard to Spurgeon's endorsement and support of Moody. Murray says, "it is impossible for us to agree with Spurgeon" and alleges that "Spurgeon missed the main thrust of [John] Kennedy's [Hyper-Evangelism pamphlet] evaluation of the American's evangelism" (The Forgotten Spurgeon, first edition, pages 178, 179).

It is understandable that Mr. Murray, being an advocate and promoter of a Pedobaptist form of "Calvinism" which holds that the children of believing parents have the promise of the covenant of spiritual inheritance and are "regenerated" in infancy, would not be favorable to the evangelism of Moody. Both Spurgeon and Moody rejected the views of Pedobaptists, and believed that sinners must hear the Gospel and be called to Christ by the Word and Spirit.

While Mr. Murray takes sides with the Kennedy repudiation of Moody's methods, Spurgeon heartily endorsed them. Spurgeon said:

Tell it out then, tell it out, you who have been lately converted, do not hide your light under a bushel.  Imitate Brother Gwillim over yonder, and others in this place who are always glad to have a word with the anxious, after the service is over; speak up for your Lord whenever you have the opportunity. I believe that it is a great help in bringing people to decision when Mr. Moody asks those to stand up who wish to be prayed for.  Anything that tends to separate you from the ungodly around you, is good for you.  Now, if you have given yourselves to Christ, tell it out; for, after that, you cannot go back to the world, you will feel that the vows of the Lord are upon you.  When Caesar landed on a certain shore, he burned the boats behind him, so that his men might know that they must conquer or perish.  I advise you to do likewise; burn your boats by a clear and explicit declaration, "The Lord hath wrought this great change in me by his grace, and I am his servant henceforth, and for ever."
>>  (MTP, 1897, page 516).

Moody was consumed with a passion for souls and evangelism. He left the theoretical theology and polemics as to doctrinal "systems" to others to sort out. For example, on Election, Moody said:

The 'elect' are the 'whosoever will's;' the 'non-elect' are the 'whosoever wont's'" (Notes From My Bible, page 108).

"Do not stumble at the doctrine of election. Preach the gospel to all, and (as some one has said) if you convert any one who was not 'chosen,' God will forgive you.'" (page 167).

"'Called according to his purpose.' My faith is the reflection of God's eternal purpose. We are expected when we come to Christ." (page 155).

Spurgeon referred to some of Moody's converts in The Sword and the Trowel, November 1876, page 530:

"We rejoice to mention that during the last few months we have met with more converts from Messrs. Moody and Sankey’s meetings than in all the time before. Some of our brethren have also made the same observation. It is probable that many held back till they saw where it was best for them to join, and if so, they are to be commended. We expressed our disappointment very plainly some time ago, because we met with so few decided conversions, and it is therefore with the utmost pleasure that we intimate more pleasing tidings. We could not believe that such earnest gospel preaching could be without saving result, but we feared that the converts would remain separate, and not unite with the churches. For awhile it seemed to be so, but we are delighted to have seen and conversed with many who make good disciples and hearty workers. God be thanked for this evermore."

Moody did not "weaken Calvinism," as alleged by Mr. Murray (The Forgotten Spurgeon, revised edition, page 189); rather, Moody helped fulfill the Confessional view that God effectually calls sinners to salvation by the Word and Spirit, and that the Gospel is to be preached to every creature. Moody did all he could to assist in fulfilling the commission to preach the Gospel in all the world.

The only type of "Calvinism" Moody could have "weakened" would have been non-creedal hybrid "Calvinism" such as advocated by those who opposed Spurgeon's brand of Calvinism. -- Bob L. Ross

At Monday, March 27, 2006 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Ross said:
" I have learned on very good authority that his church will even receive members who have "not been immersed" all for the sake of the "unity of the body of Christ"

You need to find out for sure, quote your source, or stop spreading gossip.

It seems like you're mad cause Dever is against baptizing children AND for (allegedly) accepting those who baptize children. Good grief.

By the way, write a book instead of posting hundreds of words in posts. It discourages people from interacting, but that may be your goal.

At Monday, March 27, 2006 6:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hashman said,
You need to find out for sure, quote your source, or stop spreading gossip.

All you have to do, Hashman, is ask Dever's church office. That's where my information came from. If it's gossip, then they are the ones doing it.

Don't you think you ought check with the source before you accuse someone of spreading gossip?

You appear to be angry. That's OK, but "be angry, and sin not."-- Bob Ross

At Monday, March 27, 2006 6:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


mark said...
whose blog is this--"charles'" or bob ross'?

BOB: Let me be the first to say it is not mine. As I understand it, Charles was barred from other blogs and it was suggested he start his own blog -- and so he did.

How he handles his blog is his affair. I am simply humbly grateful that he is so kind and generous to allow me to post here. I don't think I would be welcome to make these posts on the Hybrid Calvinistic blogs which are so prevalent and sterotypical, would I?
-- Bob L. Ross

At Monday, March 27, 2006 7:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hashman said,
It seems like you're mad cause Dever is against baptizing children AND for (allegedly) accepting those who baptize children. Good grief.

"Mad"? Why should I be mad? I am rather amazed that the Founders have enlisted Dever in their program. With Dever's unbaptistic practices, this further reveals that Founders is not very discriminating in fulfilling the alleged purpose to promote "return" to the faith and practice of the men whose names they use to embellish their organization.

HASHMAN also said,
By the way, write a book instead of posting hundreds of words in posts. It discourages people from interacting, but that may be your goal.

You seem oblivious to the fact that the policies of this blog are determined by CHARLES, and I assume he will be the one to determine what format he considers best for his purposes. I am sure, however, that CHARLES will evaluate your comment for whatever it is worth. -- Bob L. Ross

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 1:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott asked: Would we find Joel Osteen's books for sale in Bob's store?

the answer is YES. I have been in Bob's store and Joel's books are for sale.

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 3:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCOTT said,
Bob Ross makes no sense!

BOB: Brother Scott has been filling my email box all this morning and I have spent over an hour replying to his multitudinous epistles -- which has kept my spare time here in the bookstore tied-up so I could not even go to the beloved FLYSWATTER blogsite.

Well, lo and behold, SCOTT CLAIMS HE WANTS TO "DEBATE" ME, and I have accepted his challenge. All we have to do now is get the Propositions written and signed, and then we can discuss the when, where, and wherefores. May I suggest at a Founders Conference?

I told Scott he could get some help if he wished -- six or more if he wants them -- to help him. I want him to feel comfortable. Maybe he could seduce James White to come to his side! "Morgan & White" -- sounds like bigtime team.

Now, I don't know if Brother Scott's brash talk about debating me is just a case of blowing off palabber, or if he is REALLY serious. I suspect even if he is serious, some of his Founders brethren will try to talk him out of it. It would no doubt be the "part of wisdom" for Scott to simply shoot his pea-shooters and not expose himself to any real "combat."

But you know the old saying, "Fools rush in . . ." etc.

We'll wait to see if he follows up on his pretentious palabber about a "debate," or if wiser Founders' heads will prevail. -- Bob Ross

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 4:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


No . 1 -- I am not attacking anyone. I am rebutting and exposing non-creedal Hybrid Calvinism advocated by White and at least some of the Founders..

No. 2 -- I not "helping the Caners." I am letting them know that White - Ascol team does not represent creedal Calvinism.

No. 3 -- I am on the Flyswatter at the indulgence of Charles, a gentleman who may not even agree with my views, but does see the great error of the Hybrid Calvinism of the Pedo-regenerationists just as I see it.

No. 4 -- Charles is his "own man" and speaks for himself. I do not speak for Charles, and he has not attempted to speak for me. The longer I am on this site, the more respect and appreciation I have for Charles, whatever he believes or doesn't believe that is agreeable with me.

No. 5 -- If I am "desperate for an audience," it is obvious I have come to the right place! I am getting much more attention for my views than I have ever had before! Scott has even been moved to challenge me to a debate!

No. 6 -- Yes, Joel's former church was only a few miles from us, over the Houston Ship Channel. Several of his members shop my store. In fact, my Electrician, a stellar Christian, is a member at Joel's, and his wife is on the staff. Yes, we have Joel's books for sale -- I sometimes put them on the front counter just to draw some conversation from some of the "anti" brethren who don't like him. I ask them what they have against Joel, and they begin to sputter stuff they've read. I ask them if they have read Joel's book, and they confess that they haven't.

I am PRO-JOEL, and you can stick that in your 5-Point Pipe and smoke it!

No. 7 -- You "don't know what we disagree on?" Come on, Scott! You are of the "born again before faith" Sect, and you "don't know" what we disagree on? Are you so drunk on "White Lightnin'" you are out of gourd?

No. 8 -- My arms are always open wide to anyone who believes John 3:14-18, aren't you? All who believe that are my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

No. 9 -- I printed that booklet years ago, and I regret that somehow you have allowed the Pedo-regenerationists to distort you mind from understanding it. Spurgeon said in that booklet, "The controversy which has been carried on between the Calvinist and the Arminian is exceedingly important, but it does not so involve the vital point of personal godliness as to make eternal life depend upon our holding either system of theology. . . .
I think we are free to admit, that while John Wesley, for instance, in modern times zealously defended Arminianism, and on the other hand, George Whitfield with equal fervour fought for Calvinism, we should not be prepared either of us, on either side of the question, to deny the vital godliness of either the one or the other."

Are the Caners and Joel Osteen "worse off" than John Wesley with his "Arminianism," Scott?

No. 10 -- Unfortunately, what I find the Founders and James White teaching is the "pure hybrid" view on regeneration which derives from the Pedo-regenerationists such as Shedd, Berkhof, etc. that one is "born again before faith." It is what I am indeeded ATTACKING, will continue to attack, and will come to side of any other believers in Christ who attack it, whether they be "Arminians" or "Calvinists" by profession. It is a DEADLY DISTORTION of the Gospel (John 3:14-18).

No. 11 -- While we appreciate your love, you would better demonstrate it if you would renounce the Pedo-regenerationist doctrine of the likes of James White and the Founders.
You false accusations, imputations, slanders of our views, and other ad hominem remarks do not impress us that you truly love us. But this is accounted for, no doubt, by your greater love for a theory which has permeated your mind and has you so much in its grip that you are obviously simply "drunk" on the "White Lightnin'."

No. 12 -- Sorry, but we do not take orders on what to believe and practice from those who adhere to Hybrid Calvinism. - Bob L. Ross

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said,
Why does he want to help the Caners in the debate vs James White and Tom Ascol?

Scott has been bombarding my email box today, and I gave him a lot of time in the morning replying. I sent him several items for his persusal, but it seems he read little or none of them. Maybe he will get to them later.

Then he resorted to calling me on the telephone, and when I asked him a question, and he would not specificy one single instance of my "helping" the Caners or "agreeing" with their theology, I gave him a few seconds to answer, and yet he would not do so . . . therefore I hungup on him. I am running a business and also accepting phone orders for Spurgeon's books, and do not have time to listen to a verbal barrage which avoids the issue at hand.

I have other things to do besides listening to him degrade my integrity and character, falsely accusing me of believing what I do NOT believe, falsely accusing of not believing what I DO believe, and otherwise pouring forth a stream of irrational, unreasonable criticisms of everything from Joel Osteen to Timbuktu.

I have dealt with Campbellite debaters who manifested more ethics and respect than Scott has demonstrated towards me. The man simply must be "drunk" on James White's "White Lightnin'" and the Founders' Fountain of Fermented Phantasmagoria.

Nevertheless, I am "holding his feet to the fire" on his proposed DEBATE. Brother Scott has his "foot in his mouth" on this, and he will not get it out without "losing some teeth" (figurately speaking).

It grieves me to say it, but he appears to be somewhat an example of a young "novice" (1 Timothy 3:6) -- at least it appears to me -- rushing in where he does not belong. After I administer a few "strokes" to his mouth in debate (Proverbs 18:6), maybe he will not be so froward next time (Proverbs 4:24).

He keeps saying he "loves" me, yet I would gladly settle for just a little respect. Forget the "love" bit. I wonder if his Dad failed to use the rod on him when he was a youngster, as his tongue seems to be unbridled when he has a difference with someone.

At any rate, let's keep reminding Scott about the DEBATE. He can call in James White, Tom Ascol, or whoever he wishes to have as his helpers. I would be glad to face them all on this issue.

What do you think, Charles? Is Scott simply blowing smoke? I suppose time will tell. -- Bob L. Ross

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:23:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...


The poor guy. That would be like a mosquito going after a grizzle bear. Go easy on him, Bob!

I am on the Flyswatter at the indulgence of Charles, a gentleman who may not even agree with my views, but does see the great error of the Hybrid Calvinism of the Pedo-regenerationists just as I see it

Bob, there is nothing new under the sun. Scott reminds me of the extreme/hybrid/hyper Calvinists of Spurgeon's day. They hated D. L. Moody and criticized Spurgeon for loving Moody. The extreme/hybrid/hyper's will never understand that the fellowship of the gospel is sweeter than the fellowship of a "born again before faith" view.

He also reminds me of several cultics I have known. When at last convinced of the error of their ways they tend to become irrational. Their whole system comes crashing down and it is not a pretty sight. You have exposed the "regen before faith" view as unbiblical and unbaptistic and Scott's response is typical.

Scott has a lot to lose if he admits his error. All his hybrid friends will laugh at him and shun him.

Scott, brother, fix your eyes on the truth of God's word! James White will not be on the throne in heaven!


At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:40:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob Ross said, "What do you think, Charles? Is Scott simply blowing smoke? I suppose time will tell."

His behavior is shameful. He is supposed to be a pastor.

This is typical of the "James White wannabes." They are extremely offensive and have no respect for those who have loved the Lord much longer than they. Witness James White's treatment of Dave Hunt. Whether you agree with Hunt or not, James will not let it go. He continues to trash-talk Hunt on his blog.

I believe the Lord is dealing with Scott. He is becoming irrational and that is typical of cultists when they are close to leaving the cult.


At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles said,
I believe the Lord is dealing with Scott. He is becoming irrational and that is typical of cultists when they are close to leaving the cult.


I think you may have something there, Charles. He keeps trying his best to "agree" with me, but then throws in a "but" and starts his "butting" again -- reverting back to the "White Lightnin'" stupor.

It's hard for a "hybridholic" to "dry out" -- maybe he just needs a a little time and patience. -- Bob

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You just talk and talk and accuse others of the same thing that you do - you are pretty much the rude one.... I say amen to Scott for he is one of few (since only few give you the time of day)that takes you or should I say Bob on. Cult - what a choice of words to label someone or a group of people who know more about the Bible than your big toe. You two guys would do better in the land of the Osteen - you believe yourselves better than the rest and believe your own lies - yes the cultist I beleive are the two of you!

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles said,
They hated D. L. Moody and criticized Spurgeon for loving Moody. The extreme/hybrid/hyper's will never understand that the fellowship of the gospel is sweeter than the fellowship of a "born again before faith" view.

Charles, I have never met a Hybrid Calvinist who had a good word for D. L. MOODY! Yet they have the audacity to try to identify with C. H. SPURGEON, Moddy's VERY BEST FRIEND!

Is that what you call hyprocrisy --or what?

They praise the Pedos who baptise the babies which they claim are "born again" in infancy, yet they repudiate Moody who preached salvation by grace thru faith was used in bringing thousands of the "elect" to a true born again experience! Moody PREACHED THE GOSPEL to the "elect," while the Pedo-regenerationists baptize babies whom they claim are born again as infants! And the Hybrids extol the Pedos!

Does that blow your mind -- or what?

They embellish Iain Murray, who probably never tried to win one of the "elect" in his life, yet they villify Moody who tried to witness to at least one lost person every day of his life hoping he might be used of the Holy Spirit to win one of the "elect" to the Lord!

Is that the height of pious patronizing -- or what? -- Bob L. Ross

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 11:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


You just talk and talk and accuse others of the same thing that you do - you are pretty much the rude one.... I say amen to Scott for he is one of few (since only few give you the time of day)that takes you or should I say Bob on

Charles, I think we may have in Anon "Exhibit A" of one of those "elect" who either was "born in infancy" or perhaps one of those fortunate adults who got a dose of James White's
"regeneration before faith."

What do you think?

Shall we make an adjustment in our thinking on the New Birth? -- Bob Ross

At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'd love to here the ames a couple living Calvinist writers or preachers that you think are worth listening to or reading.


At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 5:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

george said...

I'd love to here the names a couple living Calvinist writers or preachers that you think are worth listening to or reading.



Here are a few that come to mind:

John Thornbury, Winfield PA (friend of 50 years; great writer, pastor)

Earnie Lucas, Appammattox VA (Pastor, friend for over 30 years)

Kerry Allen, Oswego IL (Pastor, has read entire set of Spurgeon's sermons; publishes as Fox River Press)

Boxley Boggs, Garland TX (spent years in Haiti mission work, now a Rep for CrossWorld missions)

Daniel Shanks, Dominica W. I. (We have supported Dan's mission work for years, donated a printing shop to him)

Henry Williamson, Shetland Islands (layman, reads Spurgeon's sermons to groups)

Dave Caraway, Waxahachie TX (SBC pastor, Southwestern graduate)

John Killian, Birmingham AL (SBC, strong conservative leader in Alabama convention)

Wayne Boyd, Medford OR (Zealous evangelistic street and house-to-house ministry; just had a call from him today)

Bobby Moore, Memphis TN (High school team mate; instrumental in my conversion; pastored nearly 50 years; Southwestern graduate)

Lennie Wilson, Beaumont, TX (avid fan and "collector" of Spurgeon artifacts; SBC Pastor).

At Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:14:00 PM, Blogger R. L. Vaughn said...

" what age a youngster should be or should not be never even discussed in Scripture.

"The idea that children are not really converted at young ages or should not be baptized at young ages is not only unSpurgeonic, but it certainly has no foundation in Scripture." -- Bob L. Ross

Laying aside what Charles Spurgeon thought, Mark Dever thinks, or the SBC practices, would you all lay out what you believe the Scriptures teach about the baptism of young children, or what the silence of Scripture on the subject means? Also, whether the practice of the Apostles was to not baptize young children, or whether they are included in the household baptisms recorded in Scripture. Thanks.

At Saturday, September 30, 2006 7:53:00 AM, Blogger R. L. Vaughn said...

I realize this is an old thread, but really was looking forward to your comments on my above questions. I'll keep checking back for awhile. Thanks.

At Saturday, October 07, 2006 9:33:00 AM, Blogger R. L. Vaughn said...

Oh, well. Thanks anyway.

At Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have to say that you are really out-of-touch with SBC life. There are so many things wrong with your presuppositions and arguments.

1. Yes, Mark Dever discourages baptism of children. But what you fail to realize is that historically, Baptists never baptized anyone under the age of 18 prior to 1900's. Also, Baptists outside of America do not baptize anyone under the age of 18. ONLY in America AFTER 1900 did Southern Baptist ecclesiology change to baptize under the age of 18. Before you criticize Dever, I would recommend that you do some Baptist History homework.

2. Your use of Matt 19:14 as prooftext of baptizing children is grossly mishandled. This passage is about children received by Christ, not about baptism.

3. Dever's theology and church polity as being strange and aberrant is far from the case. His theology and church polity traces back to the theology and church polity of historic Baptists that the SBC has deviated away from in favor of the aberrant theology and church polity that resembles Corporate America.

4. If you are puzzled as to why Dr. Mohler continues to promote Dever and Sproul, it's because you obviously fail to realize that Dr. Mohler is fully aligned with Dever's theology and church polity. So what does that say about the president of the leading Southern Baptist seminary in comparison to your knowledge of Southern Baptist theology and church polity?

Conclusion: Your view of Southern Baptist theology and ecclesiology is very limited. But not entirely your fault. You are pastoring in Texas. That explains much of your limited knowledge of Southern Baptist theology and ecclesiology.

At Friday, April 25, 2008 5:09:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

anonymous, Hello!

Yes, Mark Dever is a true blue Baptist, isn't he? So much so that he recommended Presbyterian churches on his web site!

Regarding your April 19, 2008 comment, you wrote, "Baptists outside of America do not baptize anyone under the age of 18." Then you say that I am ignorant of Baptist history.

I will answer with a quote from Spurgeon about children:

Let us be willing to receive them to baptism, and to the Lord’s-table, and when they are received, instead of thinking of them as though they were less valuable than other members, let us count them to be the very pride of the flock.



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