Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An overview of the "Born Again Before Faith" debate

In a recent email, Brother Bob Ross gave an overview of the "born again before faith" debate. I am reprinting his email for readers of The Calvinist Flyswatter. Baptists everywhere should thank Brother Bob for exposing this heresy which threatens to wreck the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, which self-describes itself as the "flagship" Southern Baptist seminary, has professors who are leading proponents of the "born again before faith" heresy, a view which Southern Baptists by and large reject and which is not supported in any of the major historic Baptist confessions of faith.

Southern Seminary is so enamored with the false doctrine that a person is born again before he believes in Jesus that they have invited one of the chief "born again before faith" apostles, Dr. R. C. Sproul, a baby-baptizing Presbyterian, as a guest lecturer at the seminary. No surprise, Dr. Sproul has also lectured for The Flounders. What heresies will Sproul put forth during his lecture at Southern? Stay tuned.




In a message dated 4/11/2006 10:29:03 AM Central Daylight Time, a brother from Kansas writes:

Thank you. I’ve printed all three [i.e. Baptist Confessions] and will start reading. I don’t know why I have such a sudden interest in Calvinism and how it applies to me being a Southern Baptist. It seems that we have within our convention Calvinists ranging from 2 points to all 5 points. Guess I better start reading. Thanks again.

Dear S________:

Let me briefly explain the situation. There has been a renewed interest in the SBC on Calvinism for several years now, but the type that has been emerging in some quarters is the post-17th century "Presbyterian" and "Reformed" type. This type actually is not the same on some things as the Westminster Confession, the Puritans of the 1600s, our Baptist Confessions of 1644 and 1689, and most of our Baptist scholars of the past, including John Gill, Abraham Booth, Andrew Fuller, C. H. Spurgeon, A. H. Strong, James P. Boyce, B. H. Carroll, John L. Dagg, and others.

The post-17th century variety of Calvinism is represented by theologians such as W. G. T. Shedd, Charles and A. A. Hodge, other Princeton men, and Reformed theologian Louis Berkhof and modern pedobaptist R. C. Sproul.

The particular point of primary concern is on REGENERATION, the New Birth, or as the Confession refers to it, "Effectual Calling."

The pre-17th century Calvinists such as Stephen Charnock and Thomas Watson taught that Effectual Calling was by BOTH the "Word" and the "Spirit."

The latter view teaches that regeneration is by a "direct operation" of the Spirit apart from the Word's being involved as an "instrumentality," and that one is therefore "born again" prior to faith.

The former view is that one is not born again until God-given faith is experienced. (1 John 5:4, 5:1; Romans 1:16; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14).

The "Reformed" advocates point to the case of the supposed regeneration of the infant offspring of believers as proof of this theory of regeneration before and without faith -- these babies born to believers are supposedly regenerated (born again) in infancy before they are capable of faith, which it is assumed will come later on as they mature.

They likewise teach that in the case of adults, regeneration is by the same type of "direct operation," with the Word's not being an "instrumentality" and with faith supposedly coming AFTER one is born again. One is "born again" in order to subsequently believe, according to this theory..

I am afraid that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville has at least one or more Faculty members who are advocating the post-17th century variety of Calvinism on the subject of regeneration, the new birth, or effectual calling. We also have reason to believe that the "Founders Ministries" within the SBC is shot-through with this same theory.

We are opposing this post-17th century theory on THE CALVINIST FLYSWATTER at the following URL: >><< It is our hope that by agitating this issue, many will come back to the old Calvinism of our Confessions and repudiate the post-17th century pedobaptist variety.

I am taking some "hits" from several brethren who evidently favor the "hybrid" view, but if I am indeed standing for the truth on this, the current attacks upon me will be meaningless in the long run.

I suggest you print out my article -- "Bob Ross: Regeneration - Calvinism" -- at the following URL -- >><<

This article will acquaint you with the particulars involved. I hope this will help you in your understanding of what constitutes "Confessional Calvinism" in contrast to the theory of the pedo-regenerationists which I sometimes refer to as "Hybrid Calvinists," the theory being a mixture of (1) the Confessional view on the Spirit as the sole efficient cause and (2) the Hardshell or Shedd/Berkhof view of "no means" used as an instrumentality in the "direct operation."

Right or wrong, I have stood against the "Hybrid" theory since the 1950s, have written against it over the years, taught against it when we had the Texas College of Theology in Pasadena, and have written several email articles against it the past few years.

When they bury me, if you place material which advocates this view on my grave, if I don't get up and refute it, you will know I am indeed dead!

May God Bless You!

Bob L. Ross, 3 John 2


At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Thank you, Brother Charles, for posting my reply to one of my readers.

Thanks, too, for calling my attention to the Southern Seminary's having Dr. R. C. Sproul, one of the leading proponents in our day of the Shedd-Berkhof aberrant view of "born again before faith," in the case of both infants as well as adults.

Dr. Mohler is concerned about Joel Osteen's Gospel and yet invites a speaker whose primary way of "making disciples" is baptizing babies and believes that sinners are born again before accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour!

I have Dr. Sproul's writings, and understand his view. He says he adopted this theory in Seminary from one of his pedobaptist professors.

Readers of the Flyswatter may conslut my articles on Sproul at --

Here are some excerpts from my article on SPROUL'S ERROR ON THE NEW BIRTH [07/23--2005] --

Sproul acknowledges that he imbibed this theory on the New Birth from his Pedobaptist theology teacher when he was in Seminary, according to his piece, "Regeneration Precedes Faith," which appears on the Internet:

"One of my professors [a Pedobaptist] went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters: 'Regeneration Precedes Faith.'" ><

I first saw this mistaken theory crop-up in Sproul's publications several years ago when an article was published in his magazine, "Tabletalk," May 1993, page 15, written by J. Ligon Duncan III. The article clearly taught the neo-Pelagian logic that "You must be alive before you can believe" (page 17).

I wrote to Sproul and Duncan, objecting to the theory then, and I still object to it now. It is not true to Calvinist confessions of faith. [See my article, REGENERATION - CALVINISM on this blogsite]

The true Calvinist creedal position is not that "before the sinner believes" he is already born again and "alive," but rather that he is "dead in trespasses and sins," and the "dead hear the voice of the Son of God and live" (John 5:24-29).

This is the true "monergism," if Sproul prefers that term.

Just as the physically dead will eventually hear the voice of the Son of God and rise up out of their graves at the coming resurrection, so it is with sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, when the Gospel is preached to them. The dead hear the voice [Gospel] of the Son of God and live.

This is not "logical," of course. We know the dead cannot hear. Right? We know a corpse cannot rise up simply when ordinary words are spoken. Right?

But this is why the New Birth is a miracle performed by the Holy Spirit's using the Word of God in the spiritual realm (John 3:1-7). The spiritually dead hear, believe, and live.

It is like dead Lazarus being brought to life by the word of Christ, "Lazarus, come forth." The dead heard and came forth (John 11).

It is like the dry bones in Ezekiel responding to the preached word of the prophet (Ezekiel 37:1-10). The dry, dead bones heard, began to move, came together, and breath was breathed into them and they lived.

The "logic" of Sproul and others who follow this erroneous "Reformed" view held by some of the post-seventeenth century Reformed seminary teachers leads them to the same position as the Pelagians -- that the sinner is alive and "able" to believe before he actually believes.

These Reformed writers therefore make faith less than the divine workthat it is. Instead of faith's being the creation of the Spirit by the Word in the dead sinner, they make it a "fruit" or "result" of a previously imparted life -- basically the same view of the Pelagians who say the sinner is alive and able to believe before he believes.

Sproul says, "After a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust."

This would mean that the sinner is a SAVED, born again unbeliever, already having spiritual life before and without love for and faith in the Son of God. This is scripturally and experientially impossible.

It is simply not scripturally possible to have already received the New Birth and not have those spiritual elements which constitute spiritual life, such as faith and love. When the Holy Spirit blesses His Word to lost and dead sinners, He produces both faith and love and a union with Jesus Christ.

And Sproul need not be concerned about "synergism," or the "cooperation" of the sinner. The New Birth is a creative work by the Holy Spirit's efficient power alone in His use of the Word to bring the dead sinner to faith in Christ. No one ever believes but by the efficient application of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit (John 6:63-65). The Gospel comes not "in Word only, but  in power, and in the Holy Ghsot" (1 Thessalonians 1:5). No man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 12:3).

Sproul need never worry about calling upon dead sinners to believe, to accept Christ, to receive Christ, or anything of that sort as being in any sense "synergistic," for no one ever believes on the Son of God except as the Holy Spirit blesses the Word of God and thereby produces repentance, faith, and love in the sinner. This work by the Spirit brings the sinner life, for it unites him to the Son who is our life.

He that has the Son has life, and he that has not the Son does not have life (1 John 5:12).

The fact is, Sproul is advocating a "tradition of men," which he picked up in the pedobaptist Seminary, a tradition previously introduced by the Reformed Pedobaptist theologians who concocted a distored post-seventeenth century so-called "ordo salutis" which departs from Scripture to follow the reasoning of human "logic." -- Bob L. Ross

And a Baptist Seminary is having this man speak to young ministerial students!

Pitiful! Pitiful!

Why does a Baptist Seminary have a man to speak whose denomination stands for (1) the supposed "regeneration" of babies, and the (2) "regeneration" of adults by a "direct operation" without the use of means and before faith in Christ?

Here is what Spurgeon said about the pedobaptist Presbyterians such as Sproul who think that the children of believing parents are the "seed of Abraham," heirs of regeneration, and qualify for church membership:

"We do not expect to be saved by virtue of our parentage. We cannot boast of fleshly descent from Abraham. Neither do we rest upon the fact that we are, some of us, the children of godly parents and that from generation to generation saintly names occur in our pedigree. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and no more, however pure the flesh may be. The children of God are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God. Carnal descent leaves us heirs of wrath even as others. We have no belief in a pretended Abrahamic Covenant made with the seed of Believers according to the flesh" [such as held by Pedobaptists].

"We have no reliance upon anything that comes to us by the way of the natural birth, for that would make us like that son of the bondwoman who was born after the flesh. Those who glory in their birth may do so at their leisure—we have no sympathy with their glorying."
MTP, Volume 21, 1875, Sermon #1228, page 207. May be read at

At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said... Charles,

How about you and Bob take the whole theology of Dagg, Mell, Rice, Boyce, Brodaus, Manly Jr, Sr, Kerfoot, Dargan,, Gill, Spurgeon, Fuller, Mercer, and Keach and ask yourself who is closer to these true Baptists:

Is this our friend, Scott, who wants to debate? In this list of names, are you affirming agreement with these men?

I will give you $100 for each one of them that you can quote as believing that a lost sinner is BORN AGAIN BEFORE RECEIVING CHRIST BY FAITH.

I have already demonstrated on this blogsite that Dagg, Boyce, and Spurgeon are not of that view, and I think I have books enough in my library to demonstrate it for the others, too. In fact, I have Keach's Catechism by my side now, and Questions 34 and 35 are decidedly in contrast to the "born again before faith" idea. Even the staunchest name in that list, Dr. Gill, is most certainly not of your view.

Scott continues:

Bob calls himself a " Confessional Calvinist" but will not answer a simple question that I asked him on the atonement. Did Christ lay His life down as a substitute for the whole world or just the Elect? Bob quit dancing and answer the question? Since you are a " Confessional Calvinist" it should be easy to answer.

Oh, but I am going to "dance," Scott. I am going to "square dance" and take you right back to SQUARE ONE. You don't get off the hook so easily, Scott. You must have had too much Kudzu in your salad to think you could get me to forsake the trail I have been on and chase a rabbit.

All you are trying to do is create a rabbit trail by which you hope to entice the pursuer off the trail he is on. No, you don't get off the hook so easily, my friend.

I told you that this was an old Campbellite trick in debates, and I do not fall for it. You are not the least bit concerned about the atonement, Scott, but YOU ARE VERY MUCH CONCERNED about materials presented on this website regarding the aberrancy of the view on the new birth held by you and your brethren. Yes, you are very much concerned about that. You would like nothing better than for the hounds to get off the trail of this hybrid mule of a doctrine.

Now, it only remains for you to tell me WHAT DATES HAVE YOU SET FOR THE DEBATE TO WHICH YOU HAVE CHALLENGED ME? And what is your affirmative proposition? Have you mailed it to be yet? Where will the Debate be held? Will you have any of the Founders to assist you?

Please let me know these things, as I must make some plans.

NOTE TO CHARLES: Charles, would it be possible for you to serve as my Moderator and Time-keeper? -- Bob L. Ross

At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it Joel Juice!

The fact is Mr. Ross has done a lot of reading and reinterpreting or made a revisionist form of theology that suits him. Confessional Calvinist wouldn't be what I would call Mr. Ross and with the amount of Joel Juice he takes in and spits out there is question of his salvation.
Mr. Ross you and Charles have questioned everyone elses Christainity and beliefs but I think it is time that yours be brought into question. Stop spinning and stand up or shut up.

At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:28:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Anon, Hello!

You said, Stop spinning and stand up or shut up

Spinning? Brother Bob has offered to debate SCOTT MORGAN, JAMES WHITE, or any of THE FOUNDERS who want to debate the issue. That doesn't sound like someone who is spinning. If he is "spinning" then let them come forth with their affirmative propositions and proposed dates.


At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, I will be responding to such bloggers as "Anonymous" who evidently is able to judge of one's salvation. I will leave such intellects to you; they are too much for me to handle, since they seem to have such depth perception they can discern about one's salvation. That is something in which I never engage, and do not care to respond to those who have such gifts. -- Bob

At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe they state the Truth on the web daily and don't find Bob worth a debate.

I think their lack of response to your site says what they think of you and Bob. They may make a small comment on their on sites but do not have the time to dabble in such non-sense with the two of you.

At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


BOB: Here is an email, Charles, which I received today, and it demonstrates just one instance of the effects of baptizing babies and letting them grow up thinking they were "born again" in infancy as a "covenant inheritance."

Thank you for this rebuttal of Mohler's comments.  I attended a Presbyterian church in all my formative years and never heard the simple ABC gospel..I kept looking at the serene picture of Jesus on the wall.  I knew he was the answer but could not figure out what the questions were.  I was supposed to be "good"... I guess ... never really heard. 

I was baptized as a baby and I guess I thought my soul was safe if I listened to the Presbyterian thinking.  The very first time,,,,the VERY FIRST TIME, I walked into a Baptist church...I heard the ABC gospel at the end of the Miami, Florida from the pastor of that Baptist church..and I turned to my husband and asked..."Is this a revival or something?"  No..he replied...they do this at every service...

I knew I needed to DO I called the church the following Monday and the pastor came to see me. I prayed and received Jesus in my own little living room.  I am amazed at those who will attack Osteen but let these other Yahoos off the hook with their weird theology.  I needed a Savior and if I was waiting to hear about how to receive him in the Presbyterian Church...I would still be waiting...That event with the Baptist pastor took place 40 years ago...Thank goodness for the ABC  Ministry  of Joel and other "simple" preachers...Thank you for letting me tell my tale.... Anne

Charles, don't you think it would be a good thing if Jim Eliff and the Founders were to do a survey on how many of their Presbyterians pastor-friends such as R. C. Sproul and others have baptized as babies and enrolled in the church, and compare that with how many of those baptized babies grew up and remained faithful in the alleged significance of their infant baptism??
-- Bob

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, it appears that the real focus of the Hybrid Calvinism about which we are concerned is the issue of SALVATION BY FAITH. Are we really saved by faith, or is there another way of salvation -- in this instance about which we have been writing, a "regeneration before faith"?

If one is "born again" before faith, then he is already saved, and faith had nothing to do with it. It was all by the supposed "direct operation" of the Spirit.

When Moody and Sankey were having revival in England, the "high Calvinists" of that period attacked their message of salvation by faith. C. H. Spurgeon came to their defense. Here is an excerpt from one of Spurgeon's messages during that period, and it demonstrates how Spurgeon felt about the matter of salvation by faith.

This is from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 21, the year 1875, sermon number 1212:

John 1:11-13.

ACCORDING to this text, the principal matter in our salvation is faith. Faith is described as “receiving” Jesus. It is the empty cup placed under the flowing stream. It is the penniless hand held out for heavenly alms. It is also described in the text as “believing on His name.” And this reception, this believing, is the main thing in real godliness.

Faith is the simplest thing conceivable! When we hear people sing, “Only believe and you shall be saved,” they sing the Truth of God, for we have the Divine assurance that “whoever believes on Him is not condemned.” The Gospel message is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

The act of faith is the simplest in the world. It may be performed by a little child. It has often been performed by persons so short-witted that they have been almost incapable of any other intellectual act.

And yet faith is as sublime as it is simple, as potent as it is plain! It is the connecting link between impotence and Omnipotence, between necessity and all sufficiency. He that by faith lays hold on God has accomplished the simplest and yet the grandest act of the mind. Faith is apparently so small a matter that many who hear the Gospel can hardly believe it possible that we can really mean to teach that it brings salvation to the soul.

They have even misunderstood us and imagined that we have meant to say that
if persons believed they were saved, they were saved. If that were the doctrine of Justification by Faith, it would be the most wicked of delusions. It is not so! Faith in Jesus
as our Savior is a very different thing from persuading ourselves to believe that we are saved when we are not!

We believe that men are saved by faith, alone—but not by a faith which is alone. They are saved by faith without works, but not by a faith which is without works. The faith which saves is the most operative principle known to the human mind,
for he that believes in Jesus for salvation, being saved, and knowing that he is saved, loves Him that saved him—and that love is the key of the whole matter!

The loving Believer ceases from everything which would displease Him whom he loves. He tries to abound in that which will please Him, his beloved Redeemer. So salvation becomes the great reason for gratitude and changes the heart! And, the heart being changed, all the issues of life are changed. The man is like a watch which has a new mainspring—not a mere face and hands repaired—but new inward machinery with freshly adjusted works which act to a different time and tune. And whereas he went wrong before, now he goes right, because he is right within.

Faith is so simple that the little child who believes becomes, before long, strong in the Lord. It is a vital force which gets such mastery over men that it makes them other men than they ever were before! And as it grows, it lifts them up from being mere men, to be men of God, and then beyond that it leads them on till they become heroes and they stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of flames, obtain promises and enter into rest.

Faith the size of a grain of mustard seed develops into faith that moves mountains! Faith of the little child increases into faith of the giant! May we know by experience how true this is!

Our object is to show what faith does. And, O, while I am trying to speak of this great gift of the Lord to men by which they obtain every other gift, may many of you who have not believed come to believe in Jesus! If you do, there is nothing in this text but what shall certainly be yours.

You can read the rest of the sermon at

In the same volume, Spurgeon preached in defense of salvation by faith as preached by D. L. Moody -- Messrs. Moody and Sankey Defended; or, a Vindication of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, sermon number 1239.

That sermon was "inspired" by the "High Calvinist" John Kennedy, who attacked Moody and his message of salvation by faith. Iain Murray of the Banner of Truth sides with Kennedy and disagrees with Spurgeon, illustrating the attitude of today's professed "Calvinists" toward the Gospel of salvation by faith as preached by Moody and Spurgeon.
Wonder if James White would put up that Spurgeon sermon on his website and demonstrate for us how much he loves the message of salvation by faith?

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:48:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob Ross said, "Wonder if James White would put up that Spurgeon sermon on his website and demonstrate for us how much he loves the message of salvation by faith?"

That'll be the day. Speaking of James, have you heard anything from the James Gang? Has he or his elders showed up at your church's door yet?

It would certainly be rude to accuse you to your elders and then not show up to present the charges!


At Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:59:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Brother Scott tried to post the below remarks on 4/12/06 @ 10:03 PM. Sorry for taking so long to post this, Scott.

You will not answer my question on the atonement because you are a General Baptist( Election and Atonement). Don't even try to shoot down Mohler. I may not agree with him on some ways of handling things but he is staunch student of the Word and is helping to produce true Baptists not like you two guys. Confessional Calvinist blah, blah, blah, blah.... ! Your failure to answer my previous questions on Election and the Atonement again proves what you really believe( General Baptist theology).
You might as well start supporting Robert S and son. They would love you Bob! Again what should we debate on if you claim to be a 1644, 1689 " Confessional Calvinist? Where do we disagree if we believe the same confession ?
Please don't tell anyone that you are a Baptist since you promote the preaching ministry of Joel Osteen. You loose all credability by promoting him. Just got to keep your Joel Osteen customers happy since you are not to far from Joel. While I don't agree with Dr. Sproul on all things however I would rather hear him preach anyday rather than Joel Osteen. Bob Ross " Confessional Goofball"!

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Mark, Hello!

My bad! It should be wreck. The error has been corrected.


At Thursday, April 13, 2006 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles said...
Bob Ross said, "Wonder if James White would put up that Spurgeon sermon on his website and demonstrate for us how much he loves the message of salvation by faith?"

That'll be the day. Speaking of James, have you heard anything from the James Gang? Has he or his elders showed up at your church's door yet?

It would certainly be rude to accuse you to your elders and then not show up to present the charges!



As usual, James is making a fair show in the flesh, among other things still riding his bike. I checked his site this morning and he also is still firing missiles here-there-and-yon at various and sundry targets.

But I do want to compliment James.

Probably due to the Flyswatter's agitating these issues relating to James, he has mounted a short quotation from a Spurgeon sermon with a link to the entire sermon on the Spurgeon Archive -- entitled "Human Inability."

I thank him for doing so. Wouldn't it be wonderful if James started reading Spurgeon more often? Perhaps it would wean him away from the pedo-regenerationist born-again-before-faith "ordo paludal."

Do you realize, Charles, that this -- along with any other Spurgeon quotations -- is perhaps the FIRST Gospel message to -- in effect -- appear on James' website since the iMonk began to denounce public invitations during which the iMonk claims he was saved? Or, perhaps even longer?

Who knows but what this one reference to this Spurgeon sermon will bear much fruit for the glory of God, far exceeding any of the benefits of all the othe exegeetin' and debating of which James is so fond?

As for James and his Elders, they have not even so much as acknowledged receiving our invitation to them! James demanded to present charges against me before our church, but after being invited to come and do so, we have heard nothing. -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 11:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bob Ross " Confessional Goofball"!


Settle down, Scott . . . you might blow a gasket!

You should try to put your mind to the task of accrediting your own views rather than trying to somehow discredit me and mine. Putting me down as all those horrible things you have conjured up does not authenticate and accredit your own views.

Let me give you a "law," Brother Scott. It is always true:

You do not accredit yourself and your views by discrediting another person and his views. You could very well BOTH be wrong. -- Bob

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, it seems that Dr. Mohler has really tainted his skirts by his association with men of various and sundry aberrant theological views.

He seems rather concerned about what Joel Osteen is preaching here in Houston and on TV, but why is he so concerned about Osteen? After all, would Joel not simply be categorized as "Arminian" by Mohler, and that would be the end of it? What more need to be said to discredit Joel, so far as the modern "Calvinists" are concerned? Are they afraid Joel may deceive some of the elect, or do they think they can keep him from deceiving the non-elect? Why do they harp and carp about Joel Osteen?What purpose is it serving?

But what about those WITH WHOM DR. MOHLER HIMSELF IS MORE CLOSELY ASSOCIATED? Why no concern expressed for their views?

First, there is DR. JAMES DOBSON. He has what is regarded as a "ministry," and Dr. Mohler is on his Board. Dobson is a Nazarene, an Arminian, Pelagian, his denomination holds to "Entire Sanctification," and if Dr. Dobson ever witnesses to the Gospel which I know that Mohler believes, I have never heard it -- and I am frequent listener to Dobson on radio. He discusses political issues, politicians, abortion, homosexuality, family matters, how he is mistreated by the media

Second, there is the Founders Ministries, and they are not only now endorsing the outspoken James "Born-Again-Before-Faith" White in debate, at least some of them are also promoting the "born again before faith" concept. Dr. Mohler is closely associated with the Founders.

Third, there is the case of Mark Dever, which we have discussed on this blog. He promotes the "born again before faith" idea, plus he has a weird, unbaptistic teaching in regard to the baptism of children who profess faith in Christ, and in some cases will approve something other than immersion as baptism. Dr. Mohler has close ties with Dever.

Fourth, there is Dr. Thomas Schreiner, a public advocate on the Internet for the "born again before faith" concept. He teaches in Dr. Mohler's Southern Seminary. The Flyswatter has dealt with Dr. Schreiner on this blogsite.

Fifth, there is Pedobaptist R. C. Sproul, a Presbyterian who teaches that babies born to believers inherit "regeneration" as a "covenant blessing," and are to be baptized and be enrolled as church members. Dr. Sproul's church "makes disciples" by baptizing these supposed "regenerated" babies and receiving them as members. Dr. Sproul also advocates the "born again before faith" idea, which he says he first imbibed from a pedo-regenerationist professsor in Seminary. Dr. Mohler has invited Sproul to speak at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Baptist wonders, what can Sproul present to these students that could not be presented just as well or better by a sound Baptist preacher?

Dr. Mohler has for himself a regular "theological menagerie" in his associations. -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said...

Here are more Baptists that teach " Born Again Before Faith".


Sorry, Scott, but I do not read those men that way. I have already demonstrated on this blogsite what Boyce and Dagg believed. As for Beddome, no pre-faith work -- whatever it is called -- is the new birth.

Where did Beddome equate "awakening" as being the New Birth? Please give the quotation.

You produced no quotations where any of these men identified pre-faith workings of the Spirit as constituting the New Birth, so I will have to sadly let Joel know that we will have to postpone his speech therapy classes. -- Bob Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


J. P. Boyce says that Regeneration and Conversion are CONNECTED in the Scriptures under ONE IDEA -- the New Birth:

"They are unquestionably so intimately associated that it is difficult to separate them and point out the distinctions between them. The Scriptures CONNECT THE TWO UNDER THE ONE IDEA OF THE NEW BIRTH. and teach that not only is regeneration an absolute essential in each conversion, but in every intelligent responsible soul CONVERSION INVARIABLY ACCOMPANIES REGENERATION." (Abstract of Theology, pages 373, 374).

Dr. Boyce referred to the "difficulty of separating regeneration and conversion," but it seems that Brother Scott Morgan has untied that Gordian Knot!

But we will stick with Boyce. What did Boyce teach?

He says "regeneration and conversion" are connected under the ONE IDEA OF "THE NEW BIRTH." So we must have the BOTH to have the "New Birth," according to Boyce.

Therefore, Scott, Dr. Boyce did not regard the pre-faith works of the Spirit as constituting the "New Birth."

Furthermore, he taught "the use of the Word in regeneration" as a "PART of it," and "in connection with the Word, leads to full union of its subject with Christ through repentance and faith" (page 375).

In his catechism, Boyce says that regeneration "enlightens the mind to UNDERSTAND SAVING THE WORD OF GOD," therefore one could not be born again until he has that understanding, according to Dr. Boyce's presentation.

So whatever "part" of the pre-faith workwhich Boyce included under "regeneration," he obviously did not mean to EXCLUDE the other "part" and did not consider the pre-faith "part" to consititute the NEW BIRTH.

You seem to have the sinner "born again" BEFORE he has the "understanding" which Boyce mentions. According to your view, the sinner who is already born again would not even NEED the understanding anyway, since he has ALREADY BEEN BORN AGAIN! -- Bob

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said...

Still will not answer the question on the atonement and election.


I have you right where you don't want to be, Scott, and you are throwing out all kinds of bait to try to get me onto a "rabbit trail."

I am an "Old Debater," Scott, and I hae encounted that old trick from Campbellites many times.

For example, when I have their "nose to grindstone" on salvation by faith before baptism, for some "strange" reason, they will start harping and carping against "eternal security," trying to get away from where I have them cornered.

I just tell them to "be patient;" I will be getting to the "eternal security" proposition in due course of time.

You will have to be a lot more subtle than you have been to get this "Old Debater" to let you escape the "corner" you are in, Scott. -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 4:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Inasmuch as Brother Scott is still trying to drag Dr. Dagg into the "born again before faith" tent, let me refresh the minds of some readers and inform the minds of any new readers about Dr. John L. Dagg, a theologian and professor at Mercer Baptist University years ago.

A few weeks ago I was on the Founders' website, and came upon a reference by the late founder, Brother Ernest Reisinger, to Dr. J. L. Dagg.

Dr. Dagg was a contemporary Baptist theologian in the 19th century with James P. Boyce and John A. Broadus who were at Southern Seminary in Louisville.

Here is what Dr. Dagg said on the SPIRIT'S USE OF THE WORD OF GOD AS THE MEANS in regeneration:

We know, from the Holy Scriptures, that God employs his truth in the regeneration of the soul. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth." Love to God necessarily implies knowledge of God, and this knowledge it is the province of truth to impart. . . .

What accompanying influence the Holy Spirit uses, to render the word effectual, we cannot explain: but Paul refers to it, when he says, "Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost."--"but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power."

The term regeneration is sometimes used in a comprehensive sense, as including the whole formation of the Christian character. At other times it is used for the first production of divine love in the heart. In the latter sense, the work is instantaneous. There is a moment known only to God, when the first holy affection exists in the soul. Truth may enter gradually, and may excite strong affections in the mind, and may for a time increase the hatred of God which naturally reigns in the heart. So Paul says, "Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence."

But, in his own time and manner, God, the Holy Spirit, makes the word effectual in producing a new affection in the soul: and, when the first movement of love to God exists, the first throb of spiritual life commences.

FAITH is necessary to the Christian character; and must therefore PRECEDE regeneration, when this is understood in its widest sense. Even in the restricted sense, in which it denotes the beginning of the spiritual life, FAITH, in the sense in which James uses the term, may PRECEDE.

He then goes on to discuss the difference between that "spiritual" faith and the "faith" which exists beforehand, which is sometimes called "natural," "intellectual," or "historical faith."

Later on, he says --

This change, by which true love to God is produced, results from the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, accompanying his word, and making it effectual.

It was this direct influence which rendered the word so effectual on the day of Pentecost, which opened Lydia's heart, so that she attended to the things that were spoken by Paul;--which gave the increase when Paul planted, and Apollos watered,--and which has ever brought the word to the heart, in demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. . . .

By the will of God, the truth has its regenerating and sanctifying power; for he works in us to will and to do, according to his pleasure. It belongs to the Holy Spirit, in the economy of grace, to produce divine life in the soul, as he brooded over the face of the waters, at creation, reducing the chaotic mass to order, and filling it with life. He is pleased to work with means; and he employs the truth as his instrument of operation.

This instrument he wields at his pleasure, and he renders it effectual by his divine power: "My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

It is clear that Dr. Dagg TAUGHT that spiritual faith actually "precedes" in the so-called "ordo salutis."

Yet, despite the fact this truth is on the Founders' website, we find that many in the Founders' movement DO NOT AGREE WITH DR. DAGG.

And the same is true regarding B. H. Carroll, C. H. Spurgeon, J. P. Boyce, John Gill, and other great Baptist leaders of yesteryear. Instead, the pedo-regeneration theory of pedobaptists Shedd, Berkhof, Sproul and similar "born again before faith" advocates is followed by some. -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 4:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said...

As for quotations( I don't have time like you sitting around your bookstore selling Joel Osteen, T. D.Jakes, Benny Hinn, and other Charsmatic books while sippin on a little " Joel Juice".


Scott, I searched on an image search engine under "his bark is louder than his bite," and for some strange reason your photo came up alongside of James White!

You won't debate, now you won't produce the quotations.

If you would stop eating so much of that Kudzu, you might not be so lazy!

-- Bob

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott said...
The more you write and the more I hear about you through Texas pastors is the more I see that you fit the definition of a " Quack"! You have to be one of the most confusing persons I have ever met.


Well, Scott, I am certainly glad to have so successfully disabused your mind from what you may have thought of me in the past.

Spurgeon once replied to some who learned of one of his "bad habits," by saying, "If I have gained any influence through being thought different from what I am, I have no wish to retain it. I will do nothing upon the sly, and nothing about which I have a doubt." (Life and Work of Charles Haddon Spurgeon by G. H. Pike, Vol. 5, page 139).

So I am glad you have "found me out," since I am the same today on these issues as I have been since the 1950s when I first started opposing the Hybrid Calvinism of "born again before faith" teaching. -- Bob L. Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:08:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...


Your attacks on Brother Bob are getting more and more personal. "A quack"? Is name calling all you can do? Surely you know that reveals the weakness of your arguments.

Brother Bob has provided you with quotation after quotation showing you that the "born again before faith" view is a recent invention, not a historic Baptist view. He must have had a great effect on you since your response is more name calling.

Scott, I know you are in a new church plant. I am praying for you and I would bet that Brother Bob is too. Both of us want your church to grow and prosper! I know it must be frightening for you, to now see clearly that you have been teaching them falsely about "born again before faith."

You may wonder if you tell them the truth if they will consider you a false prophet! Brother, just tell them the truth and let the chips fall! Tell them you were wrong about the need to be born again before they believe in Jesus. Just tell them the Presbyterians confused you and your teachers. I believe if you teach them the truth they will love you!

Don't be afraid. I know you don't know what will happen if you tell them the truth. Just believe God!

I believe God is showing you the truth. The personal attacks are not the real "Scott" who I believe must be a godly, loving pastor.


At Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:10:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Hello, Scott!

You used Dr. Nettles book. Did you go to Southern and if so did you have any classes with him?


At Thursday, April 13, 2006 6:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles said...

Your attacks on Brother Bob are getting more and more personal. "A quack"? Is name calling all you can do? Surely you know that reveals the weakness of your arguments.


I appreciate your concern, Charles, but Scott's calling me "goofball" and "quack" is apparently the best he can do by way of a reply.

Why not award him a golden "Calvinist Flyswatter" for doing the best he can do under the circumstances?

Unless Scott starts preaching the truth on Salvation by Faith at his new church, I have little hope of its increasing. He will not be used to reach the elect in his area, but the Lord will call them anyway thru other ministries which are not ashamed of the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. I have seen other cases such as his, and the future is predictable.

I would not be a bit surprised but what Scott himself was probably saved under a ministry which he nows regards as "Arminian." God has no qualms about using the Arminians when the professed Calvinists lose faith in the power of the Gospel. -- Bob

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 7:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

You and Bob (seems like it's a two-man show and no more---do you have any other "defenders" with you?) are valiantly trying to expunge the world (well, at least the Southern Baptist Convention, right?) of "hybrid," "hyper" and perhaps any other "aberrant Calvinism," but you know, there was a man named Peter Cartwright, and another by the name of Glenn Conjurske, who both of them didn't do as you'all are doing in dealing with the extremes of your system, but saw fit rather to set fire to the whole "kit and kaboodle." Some reading matter for the edificiation of all: "Fifty Years as a Presiding Elder" by Rev. Peter Cartwright, D. D., and "My Conversion from Calvinism" by Glenn Conjurske, Olde Paths & Ancient Landmarks, Vol. 10, No. 3 -- March, 2001, pp. 67-72.

These "voices from the past" (one, the more distant past, the other the recent) are well worth the attention of any honest seeker of truth. They being dead yet speaketh.

What's that I can see on yon horizon? A few more clouds of smoke from behind the desk out back of the Pilgrim Publications store in Pasadena, TX? Well, crank up the flames, gentlemen. You both have a couple of formidible belligerents in the form of these mighty defenders of the faith. Care to "take them on"? I double-dawg dare you to.

Yours in the interests of a "more plenary" review


P.S. Flyswot blogophiles may e-mail a post "to a Friend." What about our enemies? How are they sufficed for in the "provisioning"?

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 8:39:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Scott said, I will stop with the direct descriptions( Quack and etc...). However, can you?

I have not called anyone a quack, goofball, or what have you.

Published the people Dr. Mohler has speaking at the seminary is not an "attack." Informing people of their views is not an attack.

Informing people that James White does not have an accredited doctorate even though he uses the title, "doctor," is not an attack.

Informing people that The Founders are floundering in their attempt to convince Southern Baptists that they are of the same beliefs and practices as Spurgeon is not an attack.

The Lord is working with you, Scott. I know He is.


At Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuckette said...
. . . there was a man named Peter Cartwright, and another by the name of Glenn Conjurske,


As I recall, Cartwright was a Methodist, and a "revivalist" preaacher. Never read much from him, so don't much about him.

As for Brother Conjurske, I received his small paper for years. Seemed like he was an "Arthur Pink" type, very eccentric and somewhat isolationist, so far as I was impressed by him. He ordered several of Spurgeon's books from us
and set out to refute Spurgeon. He wanted me to comment, as I recall, but I did not feel inclined to do so. Shortly after he took out on Spurgeon, he passed away. I felt sorry for him, for he failed to really get a good understanding of Spurgeon and appreciation of him. He seemed inclined somewhat toward "Christian legalism." -- Bob Ross

At Thursday, April 13, 2006 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles said...
Scott said, I will stop with the direct descriptions( Quack and etc...). However, can you?


So far I am concerned, Scott has said nothing about me that I am concerned about, -- other than his doctrinal commentary with which I disagree.

As for the "jabs" of "goofball" and "quack," they are about as offensive to me as when Ruckman and Gipp said I was "certifiably insane"! I enjoy a little humour, even if at my expense.

I got a large laugh out of it at times! I just take those things as expressions of desperation, if the person really means it!

A Campbellite preacher whom I debated in Gordon, Georgia told me that I was "worse than the devil" for believing salvation by grace thru faith before baptism! He went on palabbering and said, "Mr. Ross, if you would obey the gospel and let me baptize you, you could do much good for the Lord's church. Won't you do it, Mr. Ross?"

I could hardly contain myself for laughing at that, and I put my face into my hands to hold back the laughter. The interpreted it another way, and they later wrote in their debate report that Mr. Ross was moved "to tears" by the debater's appeal to me to obey the gospel and be baptized!

When I came back to make a reply to his speech, I said, "My opponent said I was 'worse than the devil,' and he wants to 'baptize me.' May I make a suggestion: since I am worse than the devil, let my opponent first try his hand on converting and baptizing the devil, then HE CAN TRY HIS HAND ON ME!"

Some years after that I debate, I saw this same Campbellite's name in a certain religious periodical where he was going to preach at a Conference on Salvation by Grace. I phoned the editor, and discovered that the man had been converted to the truth! I like to think my debate had something to contribute to helping him.

This is Brother Charles' blog, and as a guest, I respect his right to carry it on as he pleases. But he needn't worry any about ANYTHING said about me; I can handle it. I have been there before, and the "tough talkers" are usually the first to bite the dust. -- Bob Ross

At Friday, April 14, 2006 12:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

scott said . . .

Again we can disagree all we want but you guys started this long ago but it dosn't make it right for me or others to do the same( Again forgive me).


Do you remember how I got acquainted with Charles, Scott?
I was not even doing any blogging, and seldom read any of them. Had no interest in it whatsoever. I was happy just writing for my emai list.

Then one day a few weeks ago a brother on my email list sent me a reference to the Founders' blog where I had been called a "goofball."

I decided to look it up, just to see what that was all about; and thru that blog I became acquainted with Charles, to whom the blogger was replying.

So, if you don't like what you are getting, you can just blame Tom Ascol for putting up that blog which called me a "goofball." I would suppose Tom is bemoaning the day he put that blog up! -- Bob

At Friday, April 14, 2006 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Bob Ross said, "discovered that the man had been converted to the truth! I like to think my debate had something to contribute to helping him.

I believe Brother Scott is also very close to seeing the truth about BABF.


At Friday, April 14, 2006 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bob to Charles:

Charles, most of the major comments I write now go to both my email list and to the Flyswatter, and I get some very nice responses from readers on my list along with an occasional "take me off."

I want to share just a few of the very recent good ones:

From a significant Baptist historian and publisher:

Bro. Bob, thank you for the clear stand you've been making against pre-faith regeneration. As a Regular Baptist I have also been concerned for years about the fascination with Presbyterianism among Reformed Baptists, including the leadership of the Founders (who seem to be Reformed Baptists in SBC dress). You have certainly raised some valid points and asked questions that need to be answered by some of our brethren. Take care.

From a lady who was converted many years after her infant baptism at a Pedobaptist church:

Thank you for reading my little story, and Yes, you may certainly use it to the glory of Jesus and that it may ring true with some lost "searcher."   I still visit my mother's church when I visit her, and I must say there is a vague feeling of resentment.that I wasted many years there waiting  for the answer that never came. I would have by-passed many teenage mistakes had I known the personal love of a personal Savior. I never once heard that Jesus died for my sins, that I was lost and needed Him etc. I thank Him every day that I eventually heard the simple news I needed to hear. Keep doing your good work. Happy Resurrection Day.  Love in CHrist.

From a Minister in Christian service to the Homeless:

You might share with Dr. Mohler that Joel Osteen has the spiritual gift of "exhorter" or "encourager."  That comes through loud and clear in his
ministry.  Therefore, he will not be doing long expository type messages on deep doctrines
because that is what he was called to do.  While numbers are not always indicative of truth, we can truly see that Joel's encouragement
ministry is meeting a need and thousands are flocking to be comforted.  He will reach a lot of people with that message.  And there's nothing wrong
with that.

As per Dobson, more than his theology I worry about his inroads into politics.  I believe he is a born again believer based on his testimony of faith in Christ.

This last brother makes a good point -- ministers do not all have the same kind of "gifts" as preachers. That even comes thru in the New Testament where we see the difference in Peter and Paul, John and James, John the Baptist and Jesus, etc.

Some preachers are gifted with evangelistic emphasis; another is gifted in expositing Scripture; another is a more devotional type;
another is good in doctrinal emphasis; another is good at topical messages; another is gifted in practical Christian living emphasis.

In the case of Joel Osteen, I personally enjoy him because of the last item -- he is good on practical Christian living. And I think there is definitely a place and a NEED for that in the present day.

When one thinks he is past the need of improvement in his practical life, based on his supposed doctrinal "soundness," he better take inventory -- he could be in a backslidden, lukewarm state. I have been saved since 1953, and I still see where I need to improve after listening to some of Joel Osteen's exhortations. -- Bob L. Ross

At Friday, April 14, 2006 3:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Scott said...
Bob and Charles,

Please read article 4 of the Baptist Faith and Message (Regeneration or Newbirth). How do you square dance around this? Regeneration precedes Faith!


II. God . . .

C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to UNDERSTAND truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the MOMENT of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. . . . .

IV. Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation INCLUDES regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers BECOME new creatures in Christ Jesus.
It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

V. God's Purpose of Grace

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends ALL THE MEANS in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.


Nothing in this BF&M indicates that Southern Baptists -- including 2-point Calvinist Adrian Rogers -- endorsed theh theory of "born again before faith." 2-point Calvinist Adrian Rogers helped draft this BT&M, and he was not as strong on Calvinism as 5-point Calvinist R. Albert Mohler, and Rogers would have NEVER agreed to a statement of faith which affirmed "born again before faith."

Furthermore, it is plain that the statement has "regeneration" as part of "salvation," and it says that "There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord."

Therefore, there is "no regeneration" apart from faith, according to the statement of faith.

When we put this statement upbeside the pedo-regeneration theory of Shedd, Berkhof, and Sproul, THERE IS NO COMPARISON!

These Pedobaptists have BABIES REGENERATED by a "Direct Operation" of the Spirit without the use of Truth as a "Means," and before the babies are even capable of "understanding" and "believing" in Christ.

They also claim that adults are regenerated the same way -- by a "direct operation" without the necessary use of Truth as the "Means" and before the sinner "understands" and "believes" the Gospel.

My brother, if you hold to the pedo-regenerationist theory, you do not hold the BF&M and therefore are not a Southern Baptist in doctrine!

At Friday, April 14, 2006 5:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, I went to Brother James' website today to see how he is occupying his time since he has fled for cover from what has been going on over here. He is refuting the Muslims, and in particular of whom James says, "Shabir Ally, the Muslim apologist I will be debating at Biola on Sunday evening, May 7th, on the inspiration of the New Testament."

It appears that James will be handling "small fry" in the debate, and he gives an illustration of it in his comments, explaining about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

But Charles, why doesn't James simply present the Gospel to this man? He probably has never heard it before. What good will it do the man if James correctly refuted all of the man's alleged "contradictions"? He would still be lost. If he is "non-elect," he will never understand the truth, anyway. But if he is "elect," then according to James, he will respond to the Gospel -- that is, if perchance he has been previously "born again."

So why not try the Gospel on the Muslim and see if he has already been "regenerated"? If he has, and he responds to the Gospel, James won't have to refute all of the silly little alleged "contradictions," will he?

All James has to do is present the scriptural case that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that believing on Him, the Muslim will have everlasting life. If the Muslim accepts Jesus as the Son of God, then James can simply refer him to what Lord Jesus said about the Scriptures, that they "cannot be broken," and therefore are the Word of God. That will immediately wipe out all of the alleged "contraditions."

So James needs to press the case to the Muslim that Jesus is the Son of God, and call on the Muslim to bow to Jesus as Lord and Saviour. This is what I always do when I debate Campbellites -- I try to get them to commit themselves by faith to Christ as Saviour. I tell them if they will do so, we can shut down the debate.

According to James, if the Muslim is "elect," who knows but what this might be the predestinated occasion of his being "called out of darkness into the light of the glorious Gospel"? Paul had Jews converted by preaching that Jesus Christ is the Son God to them, so why couldn't James have this man converted by preaching Christ as the Son of God to him?

If the Muslim won't accept Christ, why waste time answering foolish alleged "contradictions" that only the "non-elect" are going to believe anyway? If he believes not on the Son, he shall die in his sins.

Does James think for a moment's time that any of the "elect" of God are going to fall for the Muslim's foolishness about "contradictions"? And does he think for a moment's time that any of the "non-elect" are going to change their minds about anything? Why, even James' great exegeetin' of Scripture will not convert any of the non-elect! -- Bob L. Ross

At Friday, April 14, 2006 9:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Disclaimer: Any reproduction of items from other sources in any of my contributions to this blogsite may not be true in every detail to how they appeared in the item from which they have been reproduced. With such an item in the following, this is so with regard to a little of the formatting, and it always applies to whether I make any mistakes in reproducing the items. Question: What's the extent of the HTML tags that are available to posters?)

Dear Chuck

Good, I've got a bite! (He, he, he, he.)

Bob: "[Glenn Conjurske] set out to refute Spurgeon." And your examples of this are...?

Bob: "Shortly after he took out on Spurgeon, he passed away." Bob, it was your friend, Hymers Jr, who made the observation that God "took out" some man of God of renown before the occurrence of some catastrophic event. As you'll also recall, Glenn's death shortly preceded the 911 disaster. So how does that reflect upon fat-bellied Antinomians and lukewarm Churchianity?

Blob, er, Bob: "He seemed inclined somewhat toward "Christian legalism.""

I'll reply to that unkind jibe by quoting who you "take it easy for we're all unconditionally going to perservere" Calvinists would call, "The Prince of Legalists":

John Wesley on Legalism

I cannot find in my Bible any such sin as legality. Truly we have been often afraid where no fear was. I am not half legal enough, not enough under the law of love.
I find no such sin as legality in the Bible: the very use of the term speaks an Antinomian. I defy all liberty but liberty to love and serve God, and fear no bondage but bondage to sin. Sift that text to the bottom, and it will do the business of poor H----- and all his disciples: 'God sent His own Son in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.' Justitia legis, justitia legalis. [The righteousness of the law is legal righteousness.] Here is legality indeed!
Legality, with most that use that term, really means tenderness of conscience. There is no propriety in the word if one would take it for seeking justification by works. Considering, therefore, how hard it is to fix the meaning of that odd term, and how dreadfully it has been abused, I think it highly advisable for all the Methodists to lay it quite aside.
---The Letters of John Wesley, edited by John Telford. Standard Edition.
London: The Epworth Press, 1931, vol. V, pp. 210, 211-212, & 222.

(The above article, John Wesley on Legalism is from Olde Paths and Ancient Landmarks, Edited by Glenn Conjurske, Vol. 8, No. 1, January, 1999, pp. 22-23.)

Cut to deeply resonant darkie spiritual:

Ol' John Calvin, that Ol' John Calvin
He must know somepin', but he don't say nothin' [Amen!]
He just keeps rollin', he keeps on rollin' along

He don't plant taters, and he don't plant cotton
And them what plants 'em is soon forgotten [Amen agin'! :-)]
But Ol' John Calvin, jest keeps rollin' along

So Chuck, why are you still "plantin'" those ol' five pointed notions if dem what plants 'em, as our song so rightly reminds us, is soon forgotten? Ever paused long enough to ponder that one?

If you retort that Spurgeon sure weren't of that number, you're right. But I wonder if that great man would've been remembered had he ne'er mentioned the name of Calvin or the distinctives of his divinity?

Ol' John Calvin, that Ol' John Calvin
He keep on lingering like a bad tenant
Yep Ol' John Calvin, jest keeps rollin' along

Kind regards


At Saturday, April 15, 2006 12:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



The following is from C. H. Spurgeon's sermon, "The Sphere of Instrumentality," in which Spurgeon calls attention to the great need of simplicity in presenting the Gospel. It is from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 18, sermon #1052, pages 292, 293:

The first is the stone of ignorance. This heavy weight lies at the mouth of many a spiritual grave at this day.

I think we take for granted too high an attainment of knowledge among the people at this present time. I am sure that many sermons are preached to people as though they perfectly understood the plan of salvation, whereas, if the preacher did but know his hearers better, he would discover that even upon the elements of the Gospel of Christ many of them are deplorably ignorant.

In fact, I fear that the elementary truths of Christianity are not preached sufficiently often because too much is taken for granted.

It is to be feared that the alphabet of the Gospel is unknown to thousands whose teachers are trying to instruct them in the classics of theology—a waste of effort and a dangerous experiment.

Why, in this city of London you shall find persons who frequent Protestant places of worship who yet believe in salvation by their own works and are horrified at justification by faith! You shall discover, if you go among the masses, an indifference to salvation so great as to be appalling, and this originates largely in ignorance.

Salvation? Why thousands do not know what you mean by the term, and here, in this century of light and advancement as we boastfully call it, gross darkness covers the minds of a large proportion of our countrymen! Brethren, the time has not come for you to cease distributing the most plain tracts. The time has not arrived for you to be silent at the street corners even upon the first principles of the faith.

You must still proclaim Atonement by the sacrifice of Christ, and the simple doctrine of Justification by Faith. Possibly there may come an age when it will be wise to expatiate mainly upon the deep things of God, but for this present distress we may wisely give our whole strength to telling out the foundation fact—that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Our sermons must repeat times out of number the story of the Cross.

The hymns most commonly sung should be of the same order as—“Rock of ages, cleft for me.” “Jesus, lover of my Soul.” “Come, you sinners, poor and wretched.” and “Just as I am, without one plea.”

We have even need of such simple ditties as—“I do believe, I will believe, that Jesus died for me.” For upon that point ignorance and unbelief still cloud the mass of the people among whom we dwell. Let not the people be destroyed for lack of knowledge!

Let none go down to Hell because they know not of a Savior. Let me say here that even with those who have heard the Gospel well preached, this ignorance may still remain—as it did in my own case.

I believe if I had known that all
I had to do was to look to Christ and I should live. If I had really understood that there was nothing for me to be, nor feel, nor do—but I had only to rest in a finished work and take from God’s mercy that which Christ had completed—I think if I had known that Truth of God, I should have found peace with God much earlier.

But I did not understand the Gospel, and therefore remained in distress of mind. Do, then, tell everybody about Jesus! Tell them of the Son of God made flesh! Tell them about Substitution! Speak the word plainly. Tell them—

“He bore that we might never bear
His Father’s righteous ire.”

Assure them that whoever believes in Him is not condemned, and that to believe is to trust.

Open up that word, for even plain and simple words get to be technical and men dream that there is some other meaning in them than that which they ordinarily have. You cannot put the Gospel too plainly, but anyway, put it before them, and then roll away this stone from the mouth of the sepulcher.

[The rest of the sermon is at]

BOB'S COMMENT: This is why I love Spurgeon: he places the emphasis upon that which is most important -- the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

* * * * * * * *

In this same volume, Spurgeon takes another crack at the Pedo-regenerationist doctrine:

Sermon #1031, "How Can I Obtain Faith?" pages 38, 39:

Some imagine that faith comes by hereditary descent, and they act upon the supposition. Hence, in certain churches, birthright membership is thought to be a proper practice, and the child of a Christian is thought to be a Christian.

In some other churches, though the theory would not be stated in so many words, yet it is practically accepted, and children of pious parents are regarded as scarcely needing conversion. The text is forgotten which saith that the heirs of salvation are born, "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God."

The typical covenant secured outward privileges to the children born after the flesh, but under the covenant of grace the blessing is secured to the spiritual and not to the natural seed. "He who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise." (Galatians 4:23).

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and nothing more: the new-born nature is not transmissible from father to son like a natural temperament or a cast of countenance.

I know the answer will be that "the promise is to us and to our children," but it will be well for the objector to reply to himself by completing the quotation—"even to as many as the Lord your God shall call."

The fact is, that nothing spiritual is inherited by carnal generation. Our children, even if we are far advanced in grace, will still be "shapen in iniquity." No matter how high the sainthood of the professing Christian, his child (when capable of understanding) must for himself become a personal believer in Jesus.

It appears to be thought possible to infuse grace by sacraments. There are persons yet alive who teach that a babe may be regenerated by certain aqueous processes, and be thereby placed in "a state of salvation."

But is not faith a perpetual concomitant of regeneration? and what is that regeneration worth which leaves a person an unbeliever, and, consequently, "condemned already, because he hath not believed on the Son of God?"

Rest assured, that as faith does not come by descent, neither can it be produced by any rite which recognizes that descent: it comes in one way, and in one way only in every case, and that is, by the hearing of the word.

To every person, whoever he may be, though nursed in the bosom of the church, and introduced to that church by the most solemn ritual, we are bound to say, you must hear as well as others, and you must believe as the result of that hearing as well as others, or else you will remain short of saving grace.

Faith is not a mystery juggled into us by the postures, genuflexions, and mumblings of priests. We have heard a great deal about sacramental efficacy, but I think a man must have extraordinary hardihood who would say that either baptism, or the so-called Eucharist, are the sure creators of faith; yet see I not what saving service these forms can render to unbelieving men if they leave them in an unbelieving condition, and, consequently, in a state of condemnation.

Seeing that without faith it is impossible to please God, the grace supposed to be conveyed by the mere participation in sacraments is of small value, it cannot give the cardinal requisite for acceptance before God. Faith cannot be washed into us by immersion, nor sprinkled upon us in christening; it is not to be poured into us from a chalice, nor generated in us by a consecrated piece of bread.

There is no magic about it; it comes by hearing the word of God, and by that way only.

[The rest of the sermon is at]

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 1:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Chuckette said...

John Wesley on Legalism

I cannot find in my Bible any such sin as legality. Truly we have been often afraid where no fear was. I am not half legal enough, not enough under the law of love.
I find no such sin as legality in the Bible: the very use of the term speaks an Antinomian.


Not only "legalism," Mr. Wesley could not find several things in the Bible but he folled them anyway -- such as his ecclesiology, form of baptism, Christian perfectionism, and the possibility of a believer's apostasy -- just to name a few. Read Augustus Toplady on Wesley and you will find some more.

As for Conjurske, he was and remains a "mystery," and I do not care to waste time attempting to unravel mysteries of his kind, all to no profit.

Some things he wrote were profitable; others were not so profitable, so far as my personal reaction to them.

His attempt to re-categorize Spurgeon was his undoing with me, so far as my respect for his thinking and writing was concerned. I think he must have got "kicked in the head," or something on that order, to make him so "cornfused" about Spurgeon.

My source: Conjurske's "Olde Paths and Ancient Landmarks," June 2001.

Don't ask for quotes . . . I don't care to waste my time quoting useless material. The man was as wrong as he is now dead, in my opinion. When he alleged that Spurgeon's "Warrant of Faith" was the "worst of his sermons," I knew that Glenn must have had his head kicked, or else he fell and hit it on a rock . . . or something like that. He must have known that this sermon is one of favorites. Maybe he had a psychological problem of some sort. I don't know, for I never met him. He gave me the impression that he just wasn't sure about his salvation and he had doubts about the salvation of those who were sure. He seemed to be hard to please.

If you like Glenn's doctrine, that is fine with me, you can have it . . . there's not an envious bone in my body.

I just hope Glenn had enough faith in the Gospel to nullify his seeming desire to trust in his good works for salvation.

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 4:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

If the following is "legalism," then let's have more of it.

God give us men endued with power,
To meet the challenge of the hour,
With apostolic zeal inspired,
With apostolic fervour fired.

God give us men of single eye,
To live for Christ---for Christ to die,
Who press to meet the battle’s strife,
And love the gospel more than life.

God give us men as true as steel,
To stand for truth they know and feel,
Who scorn to compromise or bend,
For frown or smile of foe or friend.

God give us men who fast and pray,
In supplications night and day,
Who toil, and labor, and travail,
Who watch and wrestle and prevail.

God give us men with weeping eyes,
Who preach and pray with tears and sighs,
Who plead, and yearn, and plead again,
And move the hearts of God and men.

God give us men with courage strong,
To face the persecuting throng,
The raging storm, the lonely jail,
And never flinch, and never quail.

God give us men to preach, to pray,
To fill the gap, to lead the way,
To light revival fires again,
To work, to weep, God give us men.

---Glenn Conjurske

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chuckette chimed . . .

John Calvin, that Ol' John Calvin
He keep on lingering like a bad tenant
Yep Ol' John Calvin, jest keeps rollin' along

Kind regards



I like you humor, chuckette . . . only could wish your theology was aa good!

Anyway, appreciate your rendition of Ol' John Calvin. You ought to record it and sell it on the Internet. There are enough Hybrid Calvinists on the Internet to make it worthwhile, as they would want to get it so they could have something to write about on their blogs.

Here's you one even better:

"All Hail the power of Spurgeon's name,
Let Calvinists prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him before . . . Conjurske
makes him fall!"

Did you know Glenn? I rather suspect you must have. Did he ever make up his mind as to whether or not he had enough "holiness" to qualify as a bonafide "disciple"?
Or, did he ever even make up his mind about how much "holiness" he would have to have to qualify? I remember Spurgeon saying that we should be informed to "the very ounce."

Poor Glenn! His writings seemed to present him as a living example of one who failed to understaned the fact of John 3:14-18, that the first and only mark of being a true disciple was simple child-like trust in Christ as the only experiential basis of becoming a true, born again disciple of the Lord.

Maybe that's where Glenn missed it . . . he failed to understand that "total surrender" by faith to Christ as Saviour is the very foundation of all true discipleship. That may be the reason he was always clawing for something more , and never seemed to have attained it.

Here I am, a 71 year-old pot-bellied disciple who has gone thru all these years, joyfully still clinging to the deception that I was born again, saved, and was transformed into a disciple thru simple faith in Christ!

Can it get any worse than that?

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 12:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuckette said...
Dear Chuck
. . . .

God give us men endued with power,
To meet the challenge of the hour,
With apostolic zeal inspired,
With apostolic fervour fired.

. . . .

God give us men to preach, to pray,
To fill the gap, to lead the way,
To light revival fires again,
To work, to weep, God give us men.

---Glenn Conjurske


In a personal note to me on May 21, 2001, shortly before his death, Glenn told me he had had a "conversion from Calvinism," but apparently it did not go so far as to effect his Calvinistic praying.

It did effect his Gospel, for he referred to the "conditions of the gospel" as if to say the Gospel of Christ had "conditions" other than John 3:14-18, which is the "Calvinist" Gospel, as Spurgeon himself declared.

One wonders why Glenn still prayed like he was a Calvinist if he had indeed converted from it.

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 2:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Charles, from time-to-time I have been accused by some of the brethren of "attacking" and "railing" upon someone or something.

May I set the record straight?

1. On the matter of "born again before faith," I was on a Conference program a few years ago at a nearby SBC church, and one of the speakers blurted out, "Regeneration precedes faith," repeating the usual Hybrid Calvinist line borrowed from the Pedo-regenerationists such as Berkhof and R. C. Sproul.

I bit my lip, despite this attack upon the faith I hold dear, and when I spoke, I did not mention the matter. I thought I might discuss the matter with the brother later, as I did not want the Conference to become a "debate" scene on this.

In effect, Charles, that brother had ATTACKED my view of the Gospel and my understanding of Calvinism as it is expressed in the Confessions.

2. In various writings and especially on the Internet, ATTACKS have been made upon the "simple Gospel" (as preached by Spurgeon), who said that "Calvinism is nothing but the Gospel." and if one did not proclaim that "Calvinism," he was not preaching the Gospel. These attacks take various shapes and forms, but the "bottom line" is that that attacker is saying that one is not really saved by simple faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.

By saying that "Calvinism is the Gospel," Spurgeon simply meant that Creedal Calvinism proclaims that --

(1) God in eternity past ordained salvation for sinners [i. e. Election]

(2) Who were seen as "dead in trespasses and sins" [i. e. Total Depravity]

(3) To be born again thru the Holy Spirit's using the Word of God to convict and bring sinners to simple faith in Christ [i. e. Effectual Calling],

(4) Who was the Sacrificial Lamb sent into the world to "take away the sin of the world" [i. e. Particular Redemption],

(5) On the basis of which whosoever believes this simple Gospel and accepts Jesus Christ as their Saviour shall never perish [i. e. Preservation/Perseverance].

That is what I personally understand to be a summary of "Creedal Calvinism," whether one believes it or not, and it is what Spurgeon meant when he said "Calvinism is the Gospel" -- the Hybrid Calvinists, Dave Hunt, James White, Laurence Vance and all others who do not accept what really constitutes Creedal Calvinism notwithstanding.

3. Furthermore, Hybrid Calvinists have gobs of articles on the Internet, most of them repeating what Iain Murray and a few others have written, opposing "Invitations" or "Altar Calls" which are used by Gospel preachers to urge and invite lost sinners to accept Christ and publicly come forward to confess Him as Lord and Saviour.

Such articles are an attack upon my faith.

4. Also, Hybrid Calvinists have mounted articles on the Internet proclaiming the Pedo-regenerationist theory that "regeneration precedes faith," and you, Charles, have cited on this blogsite a most significant case of this attack upon the truth by Dr. Thomas Schreiner of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, indicating that these attacks upon my faith derive from the very highest level of theological education among Baptists.

5. Likewise, various sainted brethren of years gone by -- Spurgeon, Boyce, Dagg, Carroll, Broadus, and others -- have been misused, misappropriated, and quoted piecemeal as if they supported the heterodox pedo-regenerationist idea on regeneration, and this in effect is an attack upon the Baptist and Creedal Calvinistic truth which I hold dear.

I have simply RESPONDED to these attacks, and "railed" upon them for what they are -- heterodoxy and theological aberrancy. I have NEVER attacked anyone personally, but only responded to those persons and sources which have attacked my faith.

So those who charge me with "attacking" any person or other source need to look closely and see that what I have to say is a RESPONSE to what I consider to be an ATTACK upon my own faith and the faith of many others who hold the same views which I hold.

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 11:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

BOB: "As I recall, Cartwright was a Methodist, and a "revivalist" preaacher. Never read much from him, so don't much about him."

Don't know that I've ever heard of Mr. Cartwright being referred to as a "revivalist" preacher (though indeed his preaching had a great spiritual impact)? Another below-the-belt jab designed to cast aspersions on the godly Methodists?

Well then, to "acquaint" our old sage from Pasadena and young buck, Chuck, as well as the assorted and sundry Calvinist bigots who attend this blogsite with who the great Peter Cartwright was, I offer some excerpts from our subject's fine work, Fifty Years As A Presiding Elder:

"Somewhere about 1805 or 1806, Mr. Cleland, a Presbyterian minister, wrote a pamphlet, the title of which was, "A Dialogue between Calvinists and Arminians," in which he advanced strong predestinarian sentiments, and sadly caricatured Methodist sentiments. About the same time, a Mr. Mack, another Presbyterian, published an answer to Lorenzo Dow's Chain, in which he advanced very strong predestinarian sentiments. Shortly after the attack of these two gentlemen on Methodism, there appeared a small anonymous pamphlet, the title of which was, "A Useful Discovery ; or, I Never Saw the Like Before"---a complete satire on Calvinism.
About the same time, another anonymous pamphlet appeared, all in rhyme, the title of which was, "The Dagon of Calvinism"---very satirical.
I had both of these pamphlets republished, and threw them broadcast over Kentucky ; and as these pamphlets were republished and distributed by me, there were three Calvinistic clergymen in the south of Kentucky who charged me with being the author of them. They met together, and held a council, the result of which consultation was, they agreed to write me a complimentary letter in the name of the devil, and sent it off some distance and mailed it to me, in order to escape detection. As soon as I received it I understood it, and determined to answer it. I did so, and published their letter to me, and my answer in pamphlet form. I have often been requested to publish the pamphlet, but never consented till lately. One object I have in view, is to show the present generation our mode of discussing subjects of divinity in olden times. I reproduce these in this memorial volume of my fiftieth year as a presiding elder, feeling confident that they will be of interest to my readers who have never read them before."1

"Such, sir, is the gross perversion you have been guilty of; such the misrepresentations you have made of the Arminian and his doctrines ; and after holding up this frightful scarecrow, no marvel you should unblushingly conclude that Arminianism is congenial to human nature, and that it is a great favorite in hell, and is well calculated to promote the designs of the devil. No wonder you call Arminians misers, deluded people---they are not Christ's---hypocrites; it comes in subtly, and has so much more of zeal and apparent goodness. Worse than Unitarians! Atheists! Why, sir, did you stop here? Why did you not go the full length and rank the Arminian with the society or fraternity with whom you have associated yourself, and at once call him a devil! The perversions you have been guilty of have so many thousands times been reiterated, and as often confuted, that it would seem a waste of precious time to give any one who acknowledges himself a devil, any other reply than: "O pleres pantos dolou kai pases rhadiourgias huie Diabolou echthre pases dikaiosunes ou pause diastrephon tas hodous Kuriou tas eutheias." But, lest you should suppose the objections you have started can not be removed, I will give them a slight notice, and in the sequel will not regard you as a devil, but as a human being who only acts the part of the devil, and is not ashamed thus to acknowledge himself. The appellation is truly ridiculous; the Rev. Mr. Devil ; but, ..."2

"... Now, some will go to hell. Luke xvi, 28; Rev. xx, 8. Why? Because God fore-ordains whatsoever comes to pass ; then God decrees or wills they should go to hell. Why, then, does Paul say "it is his will," or decree, that all men should be saved? I ask who breaks the decree ? How do men get to hell? Ah! sir, if you possessed only half as much sense as you do impudence and vanity, you would soon discover that the whole tenor of God's Word goes to show that the decrees of God are one thing, and his will another. He wills, according to you, that all men should be saved; therefore, decrees it, and yet not one, perhaps, in a hundred, is saved. Yet you ridicule the Arminian for believing Christ only "half" a Savior, while you do not permit him to be the one-hundredth part of a Savior by your Calvinistic trash, and that in opposition to a will or decree; but it is futile, altogether futile, to notice your flimsy argument to palm Atheism on Arminianism---you know yourself better; and prove it by saying, "Now to say God does not will effectively nor permissively," etc. Ah! permissively! But who denies this? Not the Arminian. Therefore, with your own rope, you have completely hanged yourself, and puffed out the contemptible spark of your own officious kindling. You say God has a will. True, but why? Because "every living, thinking substance has a will, even to the brutal creation." All this is true ; but what is the inference you draw from this correct position? It stands thus: Position : every living and thinking substance has a will, even the brutal creation. Position : therefore, God has a will, and because God has a will, he foreordains whatsoever comes to pass. Wonderful logic! admirable reasoning! Let us reverse this logic. Position : God has a will, by which he wills the salvation of all men, or rather decrees their salvation. Inference : therefore, all men must be saved, but as all men are not saved, and God fore-ordains whatsoever comes to pass, God has fore-ordained the damnation of some men, though he wills or decrees their salvation. Away, away with such miserable logic; it may suit the meridian of Geneva, but not of Kentucky. I would inquire, on this principle, how certain persons might have been saved had they received and loved the truth, who were, notwithstanding, damned? 2. Thess. ii, 10. Your attempt to pervert the Arminian principles is completely detected by your introducing the word "permissively," and clearly shows that Arminians differ widely from your Calvinistic brother, Dr. Twiss, who says: "All things come to pass by the efficacious and irresistible will of God."3

"7. You say the Arminians work out their own damnation with greediness. Do they do this with or without a decree ?
If, sir, you imagine that all these actings and doings were, or are regulated by a divine decree, it is presumable you will take no offense at my doctrine or conduct; neither censure me for the freedom I have taken with your conduct or doctrine in this letter, seeing I act, according to your principles, by a decree, "For God fore-ordains whatsoever comes to pass." I suppose, sir, you take it for granted, for certain, that you are one of the elect. What evidence do you give the world of this? Is it by assuming the name and character of a devil? of being chairman to a committee in hell? by writing a letter in the devil's name, full of falsehoods, perversions, and slander? If, sir, the elect shall, in the day of judgment, give an account for every idle word, how do you think you will appear with your diabolical letter in your hand? Pardon me; your eternal justification and imputed righteousness will, by the decrees---in your opinion---secure you. In my hurry I omitted to give you credit for a few truths."4

"... What you say about Unitarianism, infidelity, Deism, Shakerism, etc., acting too boldly to be useful to the devil, is certainly a bold assertion, and needs strong proof; yea, stronger, much stronger than you can produce. But perhaps you rely on the decrees; here is your refuge in every critical case; those may bear you out in every thing you say, true or false. If you so firmly believe in the decrees, why are you afraid of fire, guns, of being drowned, etc.? The truth is, there may be theoretical Calvinists, but there never was nor ever will be a practical one; they are all as fearful of dying as any Arminian on earth. Why fear? Can they die before their time comes?"5

"... I wanted to have informed his Satanic Majesty and the black brotherhood in general, that all communications from the lower regions, directed to me, must hereafter come post-paid, or they will not be attended to; and I would thank you, Mr. Incredulity, now, to give the whole black fraternity this information, because, if I am such a favorite with their majesties, and am so high in the court held below, it is a grand imposition to make me pay postage on his Satanic letters; for the devil, and all lords, secretaries, etc., know very well that I am poor, and have to work very hard for what little support I get; moreover, they know that I have nobody to carry round a subscription paper to raise me a salary of $500 or $1,000 per annum for preaching. That the principles of Unitarianism may suit the interests of the devil, as well as Calvinism, I will not deny; but that Mr. Cushman, the Rev. Mr. Cushman, has solus played hob with them, remains to be proved. It seems there is also a Mr. Brown as notorious in or at the court below as Calvin or any body else. You say this man preaches election. I will not deny it. But why do you wish to ruin his popularity, and how am I to do this? You say tell some lie on him; let some Methodist say he saw him drunk. Now, Mr. Incredulity, do not all that are acquainted with Mr. Brown, know that this would not be a lie? The popularity of Mr. Brown, I assure you, where he is known, is not very great. I believe it is generally known that he is a poor, contracted bigot; so much so, that we doubt whether he would like to go to heaven, if he thought an Arminian would get there. But what most surprises us is this: That---according to Mr. Brown's creed---we poor, silly Methodists are just such creatures as God decreed we should be, and believe just such doctrines as God decreed we should believe. We are driving Calvinism as furiously as Satan drove the swine down into the lake, and yet Mr. Brown and his coadjutors are dreadfully vexed. Shame on a set of professed Christian ministers, that have no more resignation to the decrees of God! And the whole Calvinistic hosts are up in arms against the Methodists for fulfilling God's glorious decrees; for, says their incomparable creed, "God fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass."6

1 Peter Cartwright, Fifty Years As A Presiding Elder, (Cincinnati: Hitchcock and Walden; New York: Nelson and Phillips, 1871), Chapter IV, Controversial Letters, pp. 92-93.
2 Ibid, pp. 154-155
3 Ibid, pp. 165-166
4 Ibid, pp. 185-186
5 Ibid, pp. 188-189
6 Ibid, pp. 192-193.

Chuck, I challenge you and Bob to take on this "Peter the Great," if you will. Again, I double-dawg dare you.

Kind regards


(Disclaimer: Any reproduction of material from other sources in any of my contributions to this blogsite may not be accurate in every detail to how it appeared in the item from which it has been reproduced.)

At Sunday, April 16, 2006 12:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

BOB: I think he must have got "kicked in the head," or something on that order, to make him so "cornfused" about Spurgeon.

BOB: ... I knew that Glenn must have had his head kicked, or else he fell and hit it on a rock . . . or something like that.

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Matthew 5:10-12

That's about it. When someone's got the better of you in some way, if you can't do anything else to them, defame them. That's the devil all over, isn't it? And, it seems, his ways sometimes rear their ugly heads in those who profess to follow Christ.

I wonder if Bob's present fascination with Joel Osteen has "addled his pate" to the degree that he now employs a tactic I don't know that I ever saw expression of in the writings of his much-maligned and obviously erstwhile friend, Glenn Conjurske.

Incidentally, in searching out a bit on Bob's "latter-day hero," I've found some items of interest to those who like to delve further than just scratching the surface. Here are some:
Joel Osteen: Smile When You Lie
Preaching a False-Positive with a Smile
Joel Osteen: The Prosperity Gospel’s Coverboy
The Leaven of Lakewood
Joel Osteen True or False?
Joel Osteen Can’t Tell You the Gospel/Doesn’t Know Who’s Going to Hell
Joel Osteen
An Open Letter to the Deceived in Joel Osteen's Lakewood Laodicean Church

How on earth a deeper appreciation of C H Spurgeon can coexist with admiration for such an one as this heretic, I will never know.

Kind regards


At Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chuckette said . . .

Chuck, I challenge you and Bob to take on this "Peter the Great," if you will. Again, I double-dawg dare you.

Kind regards



That was quite interesting reading, chuckette, and much that one might like to contemplate if he has an interest in doing so.

But as for my taking it on, I personally am not inclined to "stretch" myself to the point of becoming "thin" on the matters already at hand. Too many irons in the fire do not make for a really hot one. I will therefore leave your suggestion for some other who may feel inclined to so engage himself in what you propose.

In effect, we -- Charles and I -- are taking on a few of the "powers that be" among the Baptists of this age, especially among Southern Baptists, who are promoting the aberrant theory of "pre-faith regeneration," which we see as a distortion of creedal Calvinism and the Baptist Confessions of Faith. Perhaps Peter Cartwright faced a similar thing in his day, too, from his perspective.

At any rate, if Mr. Cartwright preached the Gospel of Christ, I for one am grateful for his doing so. I put much more stock in that than in theoretical theology by whatever name or nickname.

Sorry, but I must "pass" on the opportunity to deal with past controversies which do not appear to have any current bearing upon the present circumstances among current Baptists. -- Bob L. Ross

At Sunday, April 16, 2006 7:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

If you've decided not to post my recent blogs, would you please be good enough to leave on record here that I have submitted a couple of further items, but they have not been posted on the Calvinist Flyswatter?

Kind regards


At Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:36:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Hello, Chuckette!

Nothing personal but I can't keep up with your voluminous posts. It takes me too long to read.

Some of the stuff you have posted is kind of strange, but that may be the way they do things "Down Under." Mostly, it's not your content that's taboo, it's the length.

Keep it concise.


At Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

Onya, mate! :-) Tell you what I'll do: I'll break down my posts into more "bite-sized" pieces. That way, we won't get any flies attacking the spread as there won't be any left-overs. Does that sound okay?

Oh, and thanks for the "free publicity" for my contribution to "Chuckspeak"---CHUCK: "Some of the stuff you have posted is kind of strange..." Reply: Thank you!

Oh, and Chuck: As they used to say (when the ad was "doing the rounds"): Avagoodweegend. Don't forget the Aeroguard!

Kind regards


Lady Astor: "Mr. Churchill, you're drunk!" Winston Churchill: "Yes, and you, Madam, are ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober."

At Sunday, April 16, 2006 9:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Resubmitted (Chuck, this one's not too verbose.)

Dear Chuck

BOB: "In a personal note to me on May 21, 2001, shortly before his death, Glenn told me he had had a "conversion from Calvinism," but apparently it did not go so far as to effect his Calvinistic praying.

By his bolding of the text, he refers presumably to Glenn's statements, "God give us men" and "God give us men to preach" in the poem of Glenn's I posted.

Ah, but rather than proving that Glenn's conversion from Calvinism was somehow deficient, methinks rather he is hoist with his own petard, for, consistent Calvinism would not trouble itself to ask God for men, for what human instrumentality is needed if God has already decreed the salvation of some and the eternal damnation of the residue? Why bother with preaching at all if all in this respect is a foregone conclusion, eternally fixed by the irrevocable decrees of God?

"It is also true that the devil little regards the Bible, if he can only induce men to disregard what is in it; particularly such passages as these : "The Lord is loving to every man, and his tender mercies are over all his works. If thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted, and if thou doest not well sin lieth at the door. As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner. Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. God is no respecter of persons. I have called but ye have refused. I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded, etc. O, Jerusalem! Jerusalem! how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but you would not! God so loved the world," etc. Can the devil only throw a Calvinistic mist over their eyes, and induce people to disbelieve such Scriptures as these, and embrace the principles of Calvin: "If I am to be saved, I shall be saved; and if I am to be damned, I shall be damned. Or, if I am to be one of the elect, the devil can not get me; and if I am one of the reprobate, God will not save me;" then, indeed, his dominions would be peopled with millions of poor, deluded victims. And with these sentiments, Satan would be at ease, though their pockets, cases, yea, houses, were crowded with Bibles. And he will quietly permit people to pay you, Rev. Sir, and such Calvin gentry, some hundreds of dollars yearly for propagating and preserving such detestable trash, which stands in direct opposition to the whole tenor of God's word, and basely slanders the character of the Holy One of Israel."
— Peter Cartwright from Fifty Years as a Presiding Elder by Peter Cartwright, edited by Rev. W. S. Hooper. Cincinnati: Hitchcock and Walden; New York: Nelson and Phillips, n.d., (copyright 1871), pp. 118-119.

Kind regards


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At Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Chuckette said...

,. . . consistent Calvinism would not trouble itself to ask God for men, for what human instrumentality is needed if God has already decreed the salvation of some and the eternal damnation of the residue? Why bother with preaching at all if all in this respect is a foregone conclusion, eternally fixed by the irrevocable decrees of God?

According to Creedal Calvinism, God also ordains the MEANS to the end which He has purposed. In fact, the means are made "necessary" by God's ordaining to bring certain things to pass, according to the Creed.

You might offer you objection to the the Death of Christ on the Cross -- if it was foreordained in eternity past, why bother to go thru with it?
The Creedal answer is, the MEANS are necessary to the fulfillment of the decree, and God in His providence works according to His will and eternal purpose. I will forbear quoting verse; you can find them all in the Calvinist confessions or creeds.

According to the Calvinist creed, God has ordained to bring to pass His purposes by the use of instrumentalities. Read the 27th chapter of Acts to see how Paul acted as if everything was dependent upon what was done by the men on board the storm-tossed ship, despite being assured beforehand by an Angel of God that "all" on board the ship would be saved. Paul took measures which were "necessary" as the means to the end. He did not fold his hands and say, "Take it easy; all is well; I know what God has ordained."

God "deviseth means," according to Scripture and the Calvinist creed, whether you agree with it or not.

-- Bob L. Ross

At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck

Our ol' Creedal torchbearer in Texas is beating the drum again for it being "in the Creed." Yeah, well this little black duck's a wondering if all such "Creedal assertions" as mentioned the foregoing post by the Pilgrim Poobah, prove ultimately, in the face of consistent Calvinism, to be about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike?

In answer to the oft-resorted to Calvinist two (or should that be five)-step Creedal refrain, I offer you and your listeners out there in swatdom a serve of Conjurske pie, one bite-sized chunk at a time, of course:

Trumpet intro ...

Presenting ...

Calvinism, Hyperspirituality, & the Use of Means

by Glenn Conjurske

The Calvinistic system is hyperspiritual throughout, making all of God, and nothing of man, who is made in his image—making all of the direct working of God, and nothing of the means which he has created. We do not accuse all Calvinists of the same degree of error in this, for Calvinism exists in many varying degrees, and most Calvinists are very inconsistent, holding sundry self-contradictory doctrines at the same time, for in spite of
all its pride, Calvinism is a very shallow system, as much against reason as it is against Scripture. Alas, it is common enough with Calvinists to despise the "carnal reason" which would set them right, speaking their double-talk and holding their self-contradictions directly in the teeth of sound reason.

With regard to the use of means, in common with all the hyperspiritual, they often profess one thing, and practice another. This was apparent to the homespun wisdom of Peter Cartwright, who addressed them as follows: "If you so firmly believe in the decrees, why are you afraid of fire, guns, of being drowned, etc.? The truth is, there may be theoretical Calvinists, but there never was nor ever will be a practical one; they are all as fearful of dying as any Arminian on earth."1 We trust our Calvinistic friends will take no offence if I—who was once a thorough Calvinist myself—bring them face to face with such reason and Scripture as will force them to face some of the absurdities of their system.

Desiring to give Calvinists as much credit for sense and sincerity as we can, we grant at the outset that there is very much in the Bible which gives apparent support to their system. This is doubtless one of the primary reasons for its popularity, from the time of Augustine till the present day. Calvin did not originate the system. He got it from Luther, who got it from Augustine, and it was held by many between Augustine and Luther, including John Wycliffe (in a very moderate form) and many of the papists through the dark ages. All these of course professed to stand on Scripture, and we grant that there are many scriptures which give them an apparent footing, but as is the case with hyperspiritual doctrines in general, those scriptures are taken in an extreme or absolute sense, at the expense of sound reason and the rest of Scripture. The scriptures which seem to favor their system are exalted too high, which forces them to reduce the rest of the Scriptures too low, or hiss them out of court altogether.

I pause to illustrate my remarks by one example. The Bible says, in Ephesians 5:25, that "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it."

1 Fifty Years a Presiding Elder, by Peter Cartwright, edited by W. S. Hooper. Cincinnati: Hitchcock and Walden, n.d., (copyright 1871), pg. 189.

This item by Glenn Conjurske is from Olde Paths and Ancient Landmarks, Vol. 9, No. 6, June, 2000.

[To be continued, DV.]

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. (From


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