Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spurgeon's "Ordo Salutis" vs Murray's


According to Pedo Louis Berkhof and Pedo W. G. T. Shedd, the Pedobaptists "gradually" contrived or "developed" what became known in Pedo theological writings as the "ordo salutis."

I prefer calling it the "ordo polutis," for it pollutes the truth on the new birth.

This development was long after Calvin and Dort, and you don't find it in the Westminster Confession of Faith. [Systematic Theology by Berkhof, page 468; Dogmatic Theology by Shedd, Vol. 2, page 493]. In fact, no Confession puts "regeneration" or the "new birth" before faith in Christ. Furthermore, Spurgeon never used the expression, "ordo salutis."

Shedd seems to imply that Francis Turretin was the Pedobaptist who had a great deal of influence in "devoloping" this, and Shedd acknowledged that he "adopted" the Turretin view which alleged that "regeneration" preceded "conversion" -- in other words, "born again before faith." So we have it on the "good authority" of the Pedo theologians that this palabber originated with the Pedos.

This is the view advocated by Pedo Iain Murray, and is the view he has often attempted to saddle on C. H. Spurgeon. Spurgeon did indeed teach that there was a pre-faith work ("prevenient grace") done by the Word and Spirit in the sinner, but he did not call this the "new birth" or "regeneration," as if one is born again before he has experienced faith in Christ. Spurgeon said the sinner is "not saved" by the preceding or prevenient work before he is brought to "decision," or faith (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 11, Year 1865, pages 596, 597).

We have given many instances in past articles which demonstrate Spurgeon's view, and here is just one of those which very well refutes the attempts by Iain Murray to make a Hybrid Calvinist out of Spurgeon:

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 37, Year 1891, pages 560, 561, The Law's Failure and Fulfillment:

"When we believe in Christ we not only receive pardon, but we also receive renewal. I am told that the teaching of certain people, nowadays, is that the believer only gets pardon to begin with and a long time afterwards he gets the clean heart. But I say, on the authority of God’s Word, that no man is pardoned unless he has a clean heart! God gives the clean heart at the time He gives the pardon! You must never divide the renewing of the Holy Spirit from the pardon of sin. They go together and he that receives the pardon of sin receives a new birth — and is made a new creature in Christ Jesus then and there. The work of regeneration and the act of faith which brings justification to the penitent sinner are SIMULTANEOUS and must, in the nature of the case, always be so."

Mr. Murray has often in the past twisted and spun Spurgeon all he could in the effort to make a Hybrid Calvinist out of Spurgeon. But it seems that Murray has, for some unknown reason, in more recent times felt under obligation to acknowledge the fact that Spurgeon indeed held that faith "occurs at the same time as the new birth" (The Old Evangelicism, page 65).

This acknowledgment was called to my attention a short while back by a brother ("Ide") who reads my emails and the Flyswatter, and I am deeply indebted to him for the reference.

If some Hybrid Calvinist tries to use Murray's past twists of Spurgeon to teach Hybrid Calvinism, you can refer the person to Murray's acknowledgment in this book published in 2005 by the Banner of Truth.

We have also before called attention to --


Here is C. H. Spurgeon's Immaculate Syllogism, which is based on 1 John 5:4. This is on page 142 of Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 17, 1971, Sermon #979, "Faith and Regeneration."


"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:"

But faith overcomes the world,

Therefore the man who has faith is regenerate;

And what means that but that he is saved, and that his faith is the instrument by which he achieves victories."

To state the syllogism summarily:

1. "WHATSOEVER is BORN OF GOD overcometh the world."

2. But FAITH overcomes the world.

3. Therefore, the instant that FAITH is born in a man he is BORN OF GOD in that same instant -- and not before.

There is no way under the Sun to squeeze a "born again before faith" situation into that syllogism! No one can produce a person who is "born again" who does not have faith in Christ!

FAITH is that which is BORN OF GOD, therefore the man who has had faith born in him is REGENERATED -- and NO OTHER!

Until faith in Christ has been born in a man, the man has not been born again. It's that simple.

There is simply no room in Spurgeon for the pedo doctrine of "born again before faith," that "regeneration" is a separate act from effectual calling by the Word and Spirit.


At Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:26:00 PM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

Praise God that is why I love you and Spurgeon! Oh how sound was Spurgeon! No extremist! No doter! Balanced! He had his priorities in the right order.

I say "amen" to what you have written. Thank you for these important citations from Spurgeon. We need to keep his words before the Baptists.

God bless



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