Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Felix is with the Lord


For over the past 30+ years, I often heard my good friend, Felix N. Parsons Sr. (Born May 1, 1925) express the deep longing that eventually he would be able to hear . . . when he went to be with the Lord.

That longing was fulfilled last evening [Dec. 29, 2008] at about 7:15 when Felix went home to be with the Lord Jesus whom he loved so dearly.

Felix completely lost his hearing at age 16, following an auto accident near Gainesville, Texas on a return trip from Denton, Texas where he had gone with a group of young Christian singers to fulfill a singing engagement. At that time, he had already received an appointment to attend West Point where he would prepare to become a pilot, but the loss of his hearing brought an end to that ambition. Instead, he was given a scholarship to the university of his choice.

He chose the University of Texas where he studied architectural engineering and became the first deaf person to graduate from the institution with the BS AE degree. He went on to become a noted architectural engineer in Texas, his primary employment being for over 23 years with the well-known Brown & Root Company of Houston.

His work included the first nuclear facility in Texas, the Coors plant in Golden, Colorado, the Sylvan Beach Pavilion in LaPorte, Texas, and other notable structures in the Harris County, Texas area. He also was part of the group of architects to work on the British Petroleum plant at Texas City which exploded in 2005, and he told me that he early-on "advised the company to relocate the dangerous unit to a safe distance, at a small cost of about $5,000, but my words fell on deaf ears." Several were killed in the explosion and many others were injured.

Felix was a very diligent Bible student, and an excellent "lip-reader" which made it possible for him to profit spiritually in attending Bible classes and church services. He had a greater grasp of the Bible than many preachers I have heard. Over the past few years, it has been my habit to pick him up every Sunday for church services and usually have lunch with him. He was a strong believer in prayer, and he often told me it would take a huge book for him to record all the "miracles" God had done for him in answer to prayer.

The last five years have been years of trial for Felix. He had three periods of extended hospitalizations (4 weeks, 5 weeks, and 5 weeks). Much of this was due to improper medication by physicians and medical facilities which apparently were seeking as much Medicare financing as they could reap. Old age is indeed the "Golden Years" for those in the medical industry who make megabucks off of aging citizens.

Funeral and Burial plans are yet to be made and announced.

-- Bob L. Ross

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christian Answers of Austin, Texas


My longtime friend, Brother Larry Wessels of Christian Answers of Austin, Texas, devoted nearly the whole issue of Volume 6, No. 4 of "Christian Answers" magazine to C. H. Spurgeon.

Larry's website is at and his phone in Austin is (512) 218-8022 for orders.

Larry and I have worked togther in the past on several Access Television programs, and he has many of them on the Internet at --

Google Video -- enter "Larry Wessels" on the search line.

Yahoo Video -- enter "Larry Wessels" on the search line.

Larry has a multitude of videos and cassettes on many subjects, many of them dealing with cults and isms.

Concerning comments


While Charles is on sabbatical, readers of the Flyswatter may address comments and communications to Bob L. Ross at the following email:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

B. H. Carroll & the Flounders


The "Founders Ministries" (aka "Flounders") are inclined toward embellishing their "ministry" by using the names and the photos of Baptists of yesteryear. . . Sorta like the Campbellites calling themselves "Church of Christ" and the Hardshells calling themselves "Primitive Baptists."

Brother Peter Lumpkins is really "holding the Flounders' feet to the fire" about their trying to identify with the late B. H. Carroll, Founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. On two counts -- Regeneration and the Atonement -- Peter has demonstrated that B. H. Carroll was not of the Flounders' persuasion on these doctrines.

We really have little to no objection to the Flounders believing whatever they please, but we do regard it as phoney-baloney for the Flounders to try to get people to think that the Flounders represent the views of former Baptists such as Carroll.

Go the Peter Lumpkins' blog and see what a hard time he is giving the Flounders about Dr. Carroll.

Bob's Note: In the absence of Charles, comments for the flyswatter blog may be emailed for posting to

Monday, December 22, 2008

Spurgeon's sermons online

OF CHS' SERMONS ONLINE [12/22--2008]

Here's the latest report from Brother Emmett O'Donnell of Kerrville, Texas who is continuing to work on putting the entire set of C. H. Spurgeon's sermons on the Internet:

I am pleased to report that our Master in me has completed 53 volumes of Brother Spurgeon’s sermons and they are all, by His Grace, on the site in individual pdf format.

Each time I write you about these volumes, because of them my love for our Savior has grown. Isn’t it amazing that the Lord is using the writings of Brother Spurgeon to fulfill in me the prayer of Paul to the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:17-19? That is my prayer for you and your readers, my dear Brother.

Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God the Father!
Not Mary. Not Moses. Not Mohammed.
JESUS CHRIST is the only way.
(John 14:6).

Brother Emmett O'Donnell

Over 3,000 free C.H. Spurgeon sermons in today’s language.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Guarding the gospel"?


I have sometimes been rather amused than startled by the claims of some to "defend God" or "guard the gospel," as alleged by some who call themselves "apologists."

I was reminded of these theological balderdashers by a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, The Dying Thief in a New Light. He said:

Many good people think that they ought to guard the Gospel, but it is never so safe as when it stands out in its own naked majesty! It needs no covering from us. When we protect it with provisos, guard it with exceptions and qualify it with observations, it is like David in Saul’s armor—it is hampered and hindered and you may even hear it cry, “I cannot go with these.”

Let the Gospel alone and it will save! Qualify it and the salt has lost its savor. I will venture to put it thus to you. I have heard it said that few are ever converted in old age and this is thought to be a statement which will prove exceedingly awakening and impressive for the young. It certainly wears that appearance, but, on the other hand, it is a statement very discouraging to the old! I object to the frequent repetition of such statements, for I do not find their counterpart in the teaching of our Lord and His Apostles!

Assuredly our Lord spoke of some who entered the vineyard at the 11th hour of the day. And among His miracles, He not only saved those who were dying, but even raised the dead! Nothing can be concluded from the Words of the Lord Jesus against the salvation of men at any hour or age!

I tell you, that in the business of your acceptance with God, through faith in Christ Jesus, it does not matter what age you are! The same promise is to each of you, “Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” And whether you are in the earliest stage of life, or are within a few hours of eternity, if you fly for refuge, now, to the hope set before you in the Gospel, you shall be saved! The Gospel that I preach
excludes none on the ground either of age or character!

Whoever you may be, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” is the message we have to deliver to you! If we address to you the longer form of the Gospel, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved,” this is true of every living person, be his age whatever it may!

I am not afraid that this story of the dying and repenting thief who went straight from the cross to the crown, will be used by you wrongly, but if you are wicked enough to use it so, I cannot help it. It will only fulfill that solemn Scripture which says that the Gospel is a savor of death unto death to some, even that very Gospel which is a savor of life unto life to others!

Note: Read the rest of the sermon at --

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Church planters"?


I have been watching the Flounders ("Tom and Tim Show") in regard to their alleged "church planting." I don't want to become totally skeptical, but from my reading of their websites, blogs, twitters, etc. it just seems that there is more "blow" than "go" in these fellows. They spin the "talk," but where is the "walk"?

They apparently have plenty of time to peck on their computers, attend meetings, travel around the country for conferences, try to reply to "anti-Calvinists" and "non-Calvinists," and engage in other miscellaneous activities, but if they have been out in the "highways and hedges" in an effort to win souls and establish a church, somehow I have not come across references to their activities.

Brister, after leaving Southern seminary where he was taught the Pedobaptist "regeneration precedes faith" heresy, has been in Florida for several months, and if he has engaged in any of what he calls "missional" work, it has escaped me. Ascol has claimed that the Flounders have planted churches, but if they have done so, where are they?

B. H. Carroll on New Birth

Peter Lumpkins on --
B.H. Carroll and Being Born Again

Founders Calvinists often quote our Southern Baptist forefathers as if they (Founders) are the natural theological heirs of historic Southern Baptist theology. In some respects, I suppose, it could be argued successfully. There are some major--and in my view, devastating--exceptions to such idealism, however.

One such stalwart through which Founders attempts to trace their theological genealogy is B. H. Carroll. Carroll was the first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and, by some measurements, may have been her greatest biblical theologian.

For the remainder of the article, go to:

Bob's Note: The Flyswatter is grateful for Peter Lumpkins' confronting Flounderism's misappropriation of B. H. CARROLL on what is perhaps the "heart" of Flounderite heterodoxy -- "regeneraton precedes faith."
This is the teaching of modern "Reformed" Pedobaptists, ostensibly created as a pretext for the baptism of unbelieving babes in arms on the presumption that such children born of Pedobaptist parents are "covenant children," inheritors of the "covenant promise."

While not adopting the baptism of babies heresy, the Flounders have always been so closely knit with the Pedobaptists that they have absorbed the "born again before faith" notion.

What is rather paradoxical is that many of the Flounders actually attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, but evidently failed to pay any attention to the teachings of the Founder of SWBTS, the late B. H. CARROLL. It is certainly an abuse and misuse of Carroll's name and image for the Flounders to try to cloak the Pedobaptist heresy on regeneration by identifying with the late Dr. Carroll.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reisinger's inconsistency


The following article was submitted by Ian D. Elsasser:

Years ago I bought Worship: The Regulative Principle and the Biblical Practice of Accommodation by Ernest Reisinger and Matthew Allen which is still sold by the Founders Ministries

In Chapter 6 they argue that the invitation system "violates" and is "contrary to" the regulative principle (p. 109), "is not only unmentioned in Scripture, but also profoundly antithetical to fundamental tenets of Scriptural teaching about salvation" (p. 110), and "has no place in the church that seeks to be biblical" (p. 110). They state that its advocates believe it is necessary for salvation, which seems a mischaracterization.

In Chapter 9 (Applying the Practice of Accommodation to the Altar Call), they state that one may have to allow it to remain where the church does not understand since removing it may cause problems (pp. 149-150). They even grant that "there is nothing intrinsically evil about people walking to the front of a church building at the end of a service" (p. 150) as long as "the reason" (p. 150, italics theirs) is addressed, giving examples of those converted coming forward to express a desire to be baptized and join the church (p. 150-151).

"These types of altar calls do not in any fashion violate the regulative principle. To invite the converted to come forward does not cut across any principle of biblical theology discussed in this book. In no way does it represent the outward response of going forward as being connected with 'receiving Christ'" (p. 151, italics theirs).

Distilled to it core, Reisinger and Allen argue that the altar call is acceptable when employed for converts but not for those desiring to be converted.

If Scripture and the regulative principle are not against the altar call for converts, why not for unbelievers seeking conversion where a mature believer is present to speak to and counsel the person about "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ"?

Ian D. Elsasser

Bob's comment: Isn't it rather weird, Ian, that according to Reisinger, the "altar call" is not unscriptural and does not violate the "regulative pinciple" in any way other than in the one use to which Reisinger objects?

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Flounderism at Southern?


The Baptist Press has a report today that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville is launching a "Ph.D. in spirituality."

This new program appears to be the "brain child" of Don Whitney, a board member of the Flounders Ministries.

Whitney is one of two Flounders' Board members on the faculty at SBTS, the other being Tom Nettles.

The BP news report says, "Tom Schreiner, associate dean of Scripture and interpretation at Southern and New Testament editor of the recently released 'ESV Study Bible'
(Crossway 2008), will teach exegetical foundations for spirituality." The Flyswatter commented on Schreiner's "regeneration precedes faith" heresy awhile back. The Flyswatter also briefly commented on the Hybrid Calvinism of the "ESV Study Bible."

The influence of Flounderism's Hybrid Calvinism seems to be gaining even further influence at SBTS, and we expect an even further corrupting influence by the "born again before faith" heresy. We will soon be seeing "Ph.D." grads of SBTS promoting the Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist heterodoxy that the "elect" get born again before they are ever brought to faith in Christ by the instrumentality of the Word and its application by the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An example of floundering


Iain Murray is the man who inspired the Founder of the Flounders, Ernest Reisinger, to adopt much of the piffle that Reisinger later promoted after he started the Flounders. Other than the "regeneration precedes faith" drivel, Murray's opposition to "public appeals" (i. e. invitations), is probably the most significant item from Murray which was passed along by Brother Reisinger.

Following Murray in the book, The Forgotten Spurgeon (page 108, first edition 1966; page 102, second edition 1973), Reisinger borrowed from Murray in his effort to represent Spurgeon as an opponent of invitations, and repeated Murray's representation that Spurgeon would advise sinners to "Go home alone, trusting Jesus" -- intimating that those words supported the critique of a public response of some description (Today's Evangelism by Reisinger, page 75; also here).

It also appears that Erroll Hulse borrowed the same Murray material, but repeated it from Reisinger's book (The Great Invitation by Hulse, page 149). One can also find several references to the same item on anti-invitationist websites.

Actually, in context, what these gentlemen imply does not appear to be Spurgeon's intent, as in the same closing paragraph of the same sermon, Spurgeon went on to say, "Go to your God at once, even where you now are. Cast yourself on Christ, now, at once; ere you stir an inch! In God’s name I charge you, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, for 'he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.'”
(Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 30, page 456).

Spurgeon often rebutted the idea that the unsaved were to be told to "Go home, and pray." He wanted sinners to "decide" for Christ on the spot.

He said in the New Park Street Pulpit, Volume 6, page 403:


You are to come just as you are—today, as you are, now—not as you will be, but just now, as you now are.

I do not say to you, “Go home and seek God in prayer;" I say "Come to Christ now at this very hour.”

You will never be in a better state than you are now, for you were never in a worse state and that is the fittest state in which to come to Christ. . . . All this preaching to sinners that they must feel this and feel that before they trust in Jesus, is just self-righteousness in another shape. I know our Calvinistic Brethren will not like this sermon—I cannot help that—for I do not hesitate to say that Phariseeism is mixed with Hyper-Calvinism more than with any other sect in the world. And I do solemnly declare that this preaching to the prejudice and feelings of what they call sensible sinners, is nothing more than self-righteousness taking a most cunning and crafty shape, for it is telling the sinner that he must be something before he comes to Christ. Whereas the Gospel is preached not to sensible sinners, or sinners with any other qualifying adjective, but to SINNERS as sinners, to sinners just as they are. It is not to sinners as repentant sinners, but to sinners as sinners, be their state what it may and their feelings whatever they may.


See also NPSP, Volume 1, page 263 and Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 12, page 163.

In the latter volume, he says, "I do not say to you this morning, I dare not say to you, as though it were the gospel message, 'Go home and pray.'"

On page 224 of Volume 12, Spurgeon remarks, "Suppose I should go home tonight and spend the night on my knees and think that by that means I should satisfy God? What should I have done but made my knees ache?"

The peculiar twist by Murray and used by Reisinger in trying to align Spurgeon with the anti-invitationalism of Murray is certainly an example of floundering by both Murray and the Founder of the Flounders.



To give further elucidation on our use of the term "Flounders," please note --

At Friday, April 25, 2008 12:02:00 PM, Bob L. Ross said...


Will Shin said..."flounders?" Unless this is a blog of 5 year old brats who need spanking, the name-calling/mocking speaks a great deal about your own immaturity and character in Christ.

Webster defines "floundering" as "struggle to move or obtain footing; to proceed or act clumsily or ineffectually . . . (because of poor study habits)."

If you will read our various critiques of the self-styled "Founders'" claims and assertions, you will perhaps see that it is highly inappropriate to associate the names of true founders, such as those pictured on the Flounders' website, with the so-called "Founders Ministries." There are just too many contrasts to give credibility to the claim of Tom Ascol and his associates that this "ministry" represents what those Baptists of the past believed and practiced.

Therefore, I believe the word "Flounder" is appropriate to use in application to the clumliness and ineffectualness of this alleged "ministry." Also, the use of "Flounders" serves to make a "statement" that we have no respect for Ascol & his friendlies' abuse and misuse of the names of men such as Boyce, Broadus, Spurgeon, Dagg, etc.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Floundering "Flounders"


Some who are affiliates, friends, or admirers of the self-proclaimed "Founders Ministries" do not appreciate my referring to them as "Flounders."

My primary reason for so doing is that the "Founders" are simply "Flounders" by legitimate, lexical definition. Webster defines the term "flounders" as follows:

"1. to struggle to move or obtain footing. 2. to proceed or act clumsily or ineffectually (a bright student floundering because of poor study habits."

The "Founders" have struggled to obtain "footing" with their hybrid version of "Calvinism" since the 1980s, and they have proceeded clumsily and ineffectually because of poor study habits -- hence, they qualify for being described as "Flounders."

Nicknames have always been used when referring to those who do not live up to the pretensions signified by their own selected designations. For example, "Campbellites" is the most frequently used nickname for those who claim they are the "Church of Christ."
Likewise, "Hardshells" is the nickname commonly used of those who represent themselves to be the "Primitive Baptist Church." Neither the Campbellites nor the Hardshells fulfill the pretensions of their selected designations, and neither do the "Founders."

Furthermore, the use of the term "Flounders" serves to express in a simple manner the fact that I do not regard the so-called "Founders Ministries" as an organization which is worthy of the respect of anyone who is either a confessional Baptist or a creedal Calvinist.

I regard the "Flounders" as a parasitical, proselytizing sect-in-the-making.

Regeneration or new birth


Since I became a Christian in 1953, I have read reams of materials -- books, articles, and theologies from writers of all religious persuasions -- on Regeneration and/or the New Birth, many of which try to dissect the unseen work of the Holy Spirit in various ways; but the "bottom line" or simple truth which is very clear in Scripture is this:

One who believes in Christ is born again, and one who is born again is the one who believes in Christ.

Slice it up in as many pieces as you wish, the simple truth is that the believer is born again, and the born again person is a believer:

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" -- I John 5:12.

So all of this "ordo salutis" drivel about "regeneration precedes faith," or "born again before faith," and any other effort which tries to separate faith from the new birth, is hokey-pokey, pure and simple.

"The ignored Spurgeon"


An excerpt from the SBC Tomorrow blog:

. . . for three years I've read Bob Ross' posts, particularly those concerning Spurgeon. Even more specifically, I've noted Ross' systematic dis-assembly of Southern Baptist Calvinists' routine misuse of Spurgeon, and, unless I've missed it, no one to date, in my view, has even come close to answering Ross' challenges to their understanding of the British Baptist, including their most scholarly type.

In fact, it is not too much to say that Bob L. Ross publishes "The Ignored Spurgeon."

Thanks Mr. Ross for the breadth of understanding you have offered Southern Baptists about "The Ignored Spurgeon."

With that, I am...

For the rest of Peter's comments, click here.

We admire how Peter is holding the Flounders' "feet to the fire" in regard to their so-called "Calvinism" and their "put-downs" of those who do not agree with Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinism. The Flounders' "Tom & Tim Show" out of Cape Coral is finding it difficult to publish its pretentious propaganda so as to elude Peter's pummeling it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spurgeon: "Down Grade" began with "Calvinists"


Apostasy from Christian truth begins with those who profess themselves to be Christians.

Just for the record, the "Down Grade" of the latter 1800s began with Presbyterians, according to Spurgeon.

Evidently, C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) believed that the "Down Grade" Controversy originated with some of the professing "Calvinists" of his day.

Spurgeon published an article in his magazine, The Sword and the Trowel, March 1887 issue, which focused upon issues which quickly became identified as the Down Grade Controversy.

The article was by one of Spurgeon's assistant ministers and biographers, Robert H. Shindler, who alleged that the Presbyterians ["Calvinists"] were the "first" to initiate the "Down Grade" -- which was the degradation of what Spurgeon called the "central evangelical truths" of Christianity (The Sword and the Trowel, April 1887, page 195).

Here are Shindler's words, quoted from pages 123 and 126:

The Presbyterians [i. e. "Calvinists"] were the first to get on the down line. . . . The principal cause of the quicker descent on "the down grade" among the Presbyterians than among other Nonconformists, may be traced, not so much to their more scholarly ministry, nor altogether to their renunciation of Puritan habits, but to their rule of admitting to the privileges of Church membership. Of course their children received the rite of baptism, according to their views of baptism, in infancy. They were thereby received — so the ministers taught, and so the people believed — into covenant with God, and had a right to the Lord's table, without any other qualification than a moral life.

Some modern Hybrid Calvinists, such as the Flounders, have been misled to think that the "Down Grade" was somehow a controversy involving "Calvinism" and "Arminianism," as Pedobaptist Iain Murray craftily suggests in his book, The Forgotten Spurgeon (page 185).

Even Baptist Errol Hulse was evidently carried away into dissimulation by Murray on this matter (An Introduction to the Baptists, page 38).

But Spurgeon said, "We care far more for the central evangelical truths than we do for Calvinism as a system," -- and --

"The present struggle is not a debate upon the question of Calvinism or Arminianism, but of the truth of God versus the inventions of men. All who believe the gospel should unite against that 'modern thought' which is its deadly enemy" (S&T, April 1887, pages 195, 196) -- and --

"Certain antagonists have tried to represent the Down Grade controversy as a revival of the old feud between Calvinists and Arminians. It is nothing of the kind. Many evangelical Arminians are as earnestly on our side as men can be." (S&T, December 1887, page 642).

If the Sword and Trowel article was correct in saying the Presbyterians were the "first" to "get on the down line," then the Down Grade began with the Pedobaptist Presbyterian Hybrid Calvinists of that age -- preachers who held to the theory of "regeneration precedes faith." This theory is common with the Pedobaptist Presbyterians who believe that their babies get "regenerated" before they are even old enough to experience faith in Christ.

While the Flounders and some other "Reformed" Baptists don't baptize babies, nevertheless they have adopted the Hybrid Calvinism of "regeneration precedes faith."

So -- just for the record -- Spurgeon believed the Down Grade began with the Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist Presbyterians.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Founders vs Calvinism


The Flounders have made the elaborate pretension that they are "the" Calvinists of this age, and they have taken to branding those who reject their phantasmagoria as "Anti-" and "Non-Calvinists."

C. H. Spurgeon once said that "there is nothing upon which men need to be more instructed than upon the question of what Calvinism really is" (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 7, page 300).

This certainly applies to the Flounders. They not only do not represent Creedal Calvinism, they in reality more appropriately might be called the "Anti-" and "Non-Calvinists" when measured by the Calvinist confessions of faith and notable persons who have been Calvinists.

Furthermore, their Hybrid form of "Calvinism" diverts from the primary purpose of the church in preaching the Gospel to the conversion of lost souls. At no time since the origination of the Flounders in the 1980s have they become known for evangelism.

Iain Murray, the virtual "father" of this "movement," fitly describes the Flounders' "evangelism" when he said in the Preface of his 1995 book, Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism:

. . . it is apparent that the recovery of doctrinal Christianity is not necessarily our chief need today. . . . it would appear that THE PRIORITY WHICH SOUL-WINNING HAD IN SPURGEON'S MINISTRY IS NOT COMMONLY SEEN TO BE OUR PRIORITY. The revival of DOCTRINE has scarcely been matched by a revival of EVANGELISM. . . . it may well be that we have not been sufficiently alert to the danger of allowing a supposed consistency in doctrine to OVERRIDE THE BIBLICAL PRIORITY OF ZEAL FOR CHRIST AND SOULS OF MEN.

Doctrine without usefulness is no prize. As Spurgeon says, 'You may look down with contempt on some who do not know so much as you, and yet they may have twice your holiness and be doing more service to God.'

I know of no better description of the Flounders than what Iain Murray has presented in these excerpts.

Founders not Creedal Calvinists


Flounder Timmy Brister has posted on his blog the following categorization:

"Category 3 (cooperating Calvinists) would include Tom Ascol (Founders), Al Mohler, Mark Dever (IX Marks), Tom Nettles, Greg Welty, Darrin Patrick, Nathan Finn, majority of SBTS faculty, and myself (among others)."

I do not know the views of all of these gentlemen, but I challenge the appropriateness of identifying any of them who holds the Flounders' view on REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH as being Creedal Calvinists.

I will add that any of the "non-Calvinist" or "anti-Calvinist" gentlemen who critique the Flounders is mistaken, in my opinion, if he refers to the Flounders in any way which implies that the Flounders are representative of "Calvinism" on REGENERATION.

Creedal Calvinists repudiate the view held by the Flounders such as Brister, Tom Ascol, Tom Nettles, etc. on "regeneration precedes faith."

For the better part of the past three years, the Flyswatter has exposed the Flounders' view on "regeneration precedes faith" as being a HYBRID view primarily fostered by the Pedobaptists and is not representative of Creedal Calvinism and Calvinists. We have refused to use the term "Calvinist" of the Flounders without qualifying it by the use of "Hybrid." [See What constitutes "Hybrid" Calvinism? and Hyper and Hybrid, What's the Difference?]

We have demonstrated that the Calvinist confessions of faith and outstanding Calvinists in history do not teach the "regeneration precedes faith" fantasy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Spurgeon pressed for decision


May I ask that everyone here will say, “Yes,” or, “No,” to the invitation to give himself up to Christ?

If you will do so, say, “I will.”

If you will not do so, say deliberately, “I will not.”

I wish I could get hold of an undecided man and, taking his hand, could say to him, “Now, you must tell me which it will be.”

I can imagine some of you would say, “Oh, give me time to consider!” and I would reply, “You have had time to consider. Your hair is getting gray.”

In spite of all our entreaties, people say, “Oh, but I do not like to decide so suddenly!” If I asked you whether you would be honest, I hope that you would not take many minutes to answer that! Why, then, should you hesitate so long in giving your adherence to Christ? . . .

The question is, Will you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? The absence of an affirmative answer means, “No, I will not.” . . .

I pray you, think of it, and I hope that you will alter your decision as many another man has done when he has calmly considered the magnitude of the issues at stake and the awful result which must come of rejecting Him who is now the Savior, but who will one day sit as the Judge!

But we are the more determined to press you for some decision . . .

O Sirs, if you that hear the Gospel will not have my Master, we will go and bring in the publicans and harlots—and they shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven before you! Sons of pious parents, children of Sunday schools, if you believe not, you shall be cast into “outer darkness” where shall be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”—while the people whom you despise— infidels and profligates, the very scum of society, shall accept the Savior and live! . . .

But I would urge you to yield yourself unto the Lord, that you may be found at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Do not trifle with eternal matters! If you want to play the fool, do it with counters or with pebbles, but not with your soul that shall live forever in bliss or in woe!

[Read the entire sermon by C. H. Spurgeon here].

Spurgeon & the inquiry room


A Hybrid Calvinist can always say something like, "Spurgeon never did it this way or that way."

Then he can rattle off a caricature of some sort which he classifies as an "Altar Call," "Public Appeal," "Invitation System," "Decisionism," "Easy Believism," or whatever term he chooses which would disparage the basic fundamental elements of a scriptual call for unbelievers to believe on Christ and openly confess Him.

Read the remainder here.

Spurgeon & the sinner's prayer


C. H. Spurgeon preached two great sermons on the text in Luke 18:13, sermons #216 and #1949.

In sermon#1949, Spurgeon said:

His supplication speeded well with God, and he speedily won his suit with heaven. Mercy granted to him full justification. The prayer so pleased the Lord Jesus Christ, who heard it, that he condescended to become a portrait painter, and took a sketch of the petitioner.

I say the prayer in itself was so pleasing to the gracious Savior, that he tells us how it was offered: “Standing afar off, he would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast.” . . .

My heart’s desire this morning is that many here may seek mercy of the Lord as this publican did, and go down to their houses justified . . . .

Now, I want to cheer your hearts by noticing that this man, through this prayer, and through this confession of sin, experienced a remarkable degree of acceptance. He had come up to the temple condemned; “he went down to his house justified.”

A complete change, a sudden change, a happy change was wrought upon him. Heavy heart and downcast eye were exchanged for glad heart and hopeful outlook. He came into that temple with trembling, he left it with rejoicing. . . .

Oh, that you might find mercy this morning! Let us seek this blessing. Come with me to Jesus. I will lead the way; I pray you say with me this morning

“God be merciful to me the sinner.”

In sermon #216, Spurgeon said the following:

Come just as thou art, with nothing of thine own, except thy sinfulness, and plead that before the throne—

"God be merciful to me a sinner."

This is what this man confessed, that he was a sinner, and he pleaded it, making the burden of his confession to be the matter of his plea before God. . . .

"May I be made sure of heaven, and all that in a moment?"

Yes, my friend, If thou believest in the Lord Jesus Christ, if thou wilt stand where thou art, and just breathe this prayer out, "Lord, have mercy! God be merciful to me a sinner, through the blood of Christ."

I tell thee man, God never did deny that prayer yet; if it came out of honest lips he never shut the gates of mercy on it. It is a solemn litany that shall be used as long as time shall last, and it shall pierce the ears of God as long as there is a sinner to use it.

Come, be not afraid, I beseech you, use the prayer before you leave this Hall. Stand where you are; endeavor to realize that you are all alone, and if you feel that you are guilty. now let the prayer ascend.

Oh, what a marvelous thing, if from the thousands of hearts here present, so many thousand prayers might go up to God! Surely the angels themselves never had such a day in Paradise, as they would have today, if every one of us could unfeignedly make that confession.

Some are doing it; I know they are; God is helping them. And sinner, do you stay away? You, who have most need to come, do you refuse to join with us. Come, brother come. You say you are too vile. No, brother, you cannot be too vile to say, "God be merciful to me." Perhaps you are no viler than we are; at any rate, this we can say—we feel ourselves to be viler than you, and we want you to pray the same prayer that we have prayed.

"Ah," says one, "I cannot; my heart won't yield to that; I cannot." But friend, if God is ready to have mercy upon thee, thine must be a hard heart, if it is not ready to receive his mercy. Spirit of God, breathe on the hard heart, and melt it now! . . . .

Spurgeon closed the sermon with this plea:

Let us use this prayer as our own now. Oh that it might come up before the Lord at this time as the earnest supplication of every heart in this assembly! I will repeat it,—not as a text, but as a prayer,—as my own prayer, as your prayer.

Will each one of you take it personally for himself? Let everyone, I entreat you, who desires to offer the prayer, and can join in it, utter at its close an audible "Amen."


[And the people did with deep solemnity say] "AMEN."

P.S.—The preacher hopes that he who reads will feel constrained most solemnly to do likewise.

The cry of a young raven is nothing but the natural cry of a creature, but your cry, if it is sincere, is the result of a work of Divine Grace in your heart. When the raven cries to Heaven it is nothing but the raven’s own self that cries—but when you cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner”—it is God the Holy Spirit crying in you!

[The Ravens' Cry, Volume 12, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, page 55].

The fact that many of the Hybrid Calvinists are critical of the use of the Sinner's Prayer is just another example of how far removed they are from Spurgeon's views and practices.

Monday, December 08, 2008

"Casualties of anti-Calvinism"?


Timmy Brister is whining on his blog about a report that a couple of "Calvinist" pastors have been "fired," and Brister is blaming it on "Anti-Calvinism." Brister attempts a tear-jerking appeal, referring to how the pastors' families will be affected. "Imagine what this does to their families," Brister whines.

If this report is true, and these pastors were fired over their promoting the type of "Calvinism" which Brister and the Flounders represent, the firings probably resulted after these pastors had campaigned in an effort to "reform" these churches and turn them into Reformed "Bapbyterians."

A few years ago, a similar thing occurred here in our area. Ernest Reisinger, founder of the Flounders, showed up at my book store, accompanied by a couple of other young pastors. Ernie explained that he was in the Houston area to try to help in a troublesome situation related to "the doctrines of grace." It seems that at least one of the pastors was having trouble trying to reform the church he pastored, and Ernie was here to do what he could to help. I later learned that this young pastor lost his pastorate, and Ernie's efforts had failed. Whose fault was it? Of course . . . it was the fault of the "Anti-Calvinists," who else!

The Flounders have created a persecution complex -- every time they meet with resistance to their so-called "reform," it seems the trouble is the fault of the "Anti-Calvinists." Reisinger's "reform" led to the demise of a Baptist church in North Pompano, Florida, but of course . . . it was not his fault!

B. H. Carroll distorted


Ian Elsasser wrote:
Gene Bridges visited Stephen Garrett's blog commenting that Boyce and Carroll teach that regeneration precedes faith. He says that it is a logical priority not chronological (same old, same old).

We have already seen that Wayne Grudem, who in his Systematic Theology contends for the logical priority of regeneration before faith, has admitted that this entails a chronological priority.

Gene should come clean and admit that he believes that, from his standpoint, "logic" dictates regeneration precedes faith and that this entails "chronological" precedence.

With regards,


Hello, Ian!

If we were not familiar with the craft of the Hybrid Calvinists such as Gene Bridges in the use of "quotations," we might wonder why he stops the quotation from B. H. Carroll at the point where he quotes Carroll as saying "repentance and faith are fruits of regeneration"? (An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 4, p. 287).

That is the very same device employed by Flounder Bill Ascol, Tom's brother, who likewise quoted Carroll and left-off quoting at the same spot. It is likely that Bridges borrowed this from Bill Ascol. This type of "quoting" is a very nice little piece of craftiness . . . if you can get away with it; but we have learned to watch the Hybrids carefully when they start "quoting" someone whom they would like to array in their camp on "born again before faith." For some reason, they might fail to give the complete picture.

Unfortunately for the likes of Bridges and Bill Ascol, Dr. Carroll immediately explains what he means so as to exclude the type of "misunderstanding" such as entertained by the "born again before faith" advocates, Bridges and Ascol. Dr. Carroll says:

When we say repentance and faith are fruits of regeneration we simply mean that in each case the Spirit grace above originates and works out the respective human exercise below. The following scriptures prove that repentance is a grace as well as a human exercise: Acts 5:31; 11:18. That faith also is a grace, is seen from I Corinthians 2:4_5; 3:5; 2 Peter 1:1.

The Holy Spirit then is the agent in regeneration and the instrumental means of regeneration is the Word of God, or the preaching of Christ crucified, yet the power of the Spirit does not reside in the word as inspired by him, but the agency is positive and active in the use of the word.

This is illustrated by the use of the ax and the sword. We say that an ax is adapted to cutting down trees, and not that it has power to cut down a tree apart from its intelligent use by the woodsman; and we say that the sword is adapted to cut or thrust, not that it has in itself the power to kill apart from its intelligent wielding by the swordsman. So, though the Word of God is represented as 'quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do,' yet this Word is but the Spirit's sword, powerful only when wielded by him."
(An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 10, pages 287, 288).

Wonder why Bridges did not quote that explanation of what Dr. Carroll meant by saying repentance and faith are "fruits of regeneration"? Wonder why Bill Ascol did not quote that explanation from Dr. Carroll? Do you suppose these fellows might have a "problem" with Dr. Carroll's explanation in relation to their "born again before faith" heresy?

Earlier, Dr. Carroll had said the following. (Please notice that he denies that the pre-faith work of the Holy Spirit constitutes the New Birth):

Some theologians hold that in the new birth the subject is passive and the Spirit's power is immediate, i.e., the direct impact of Spirit on spirit. Others held that in the new birth the subject is active and that the Spirit employs the word of God as a means, but I say that there is an element of truth in both positions. Antecedent to all human effort a direct power of the Holy Spirit quickens the soul or makes it sensitive to impressions by the word. For example, "The Lord opened the heart of Lydia that she should attend to the words spoken by Paul." Now if this first touch of the Spirit is what we mean by the new birth, the first position is undoubtedly correct. But while insisting on the necessity and reality of this initial and direct power of the Spirit, if one should hold that this is not what the Scriptures call the new birth he would be able to support his view by many scriptures. This appears from the fact that when one is born into the kingdom of God he is fully a child of God. But if the subject of the hew birth is passive only – if regeneration is completed without the use of means and before the subject is penitent or believing, then we have a child of God who is yet in his sins, impenitent, without faith, and hence without Christ, which is philosophically impossible.

Moreover, it is contrary to Scripture, as witness --

James 1:18: "Having willed it, he begat us (apekuesen) by the word of truth."

I Peter 1:23 : "Having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of the living God. But this is the word which was announced to you."

Gal. 3:26: "For ye are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus."

Romans 10:17: "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God."

Moreover, in John 3:9-18, when Nicodemus asks, "How can these things come to be," that is, what is the instrumental means of the new birth, Jesus explains by telling that Christ must be lifted up as an object of faith, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.
Again, John 1:12, 13: "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

This teaching may be put into a syllogism, thus:

Every one born of God has the right to be called a child of God.

But no one has the right until he believes in Jesus.

Therefore the new birth is not completed without faith.

The true scriptural position then is this:

There is, first of all, a direct influence of the Holy Spirit on the passive spirit of the sinner, quickening him or making him sensitive to the preaching of the Word. In this the sinner is passive. But he is not a subject of the new birth without contrition, repentance and faith. In exercising these he is active.
(An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 10, pages 286, 287).

So, Dr. Carroll affirmed that there is pre-faith influence by the Holy Spirit, but he did not equate this influence as being regeneration or the New Birth.

Why do Bridges and Ascol try to evade this fact by cutting-off the quotation?

Whether or not one holds the exact view as Dr. Carroll, it is certainly beyond any doubt that he did not believe and teach that one is born again prior to faith.-- Bob L. Ross

Sunday, December 07, 2008



Those who have been familiar with the Flyswatter for very long are aware of the fact that Charles started this blog nearly three years ago, and has control over it. A few months ago, he permitted me to have access to post articles, but I have no access in regard to comments any more than any one who reads this post. Charles controls the posting of comments by readers other than those I write.

I have no knowledge in regard to the reason for Charles' absence from activity on this blog. I just hope it is not for some detrimental reason, such as a major health problem. I patiently wait and pray for his return to his normal administration over the blog and the comments.

If anyone wishes to have a comment posted, you can address it to my email, and I will post it. My address is:

-- Bob L. Ross

Saturday, December 06, 2008

"Where's the beef?"


There has been a lot of talk, blogging, and twittering by Flounders Tom Ascol and Timmy Brister about "church planting."

I have been keeping tabs on any reports of any evidence of "reform" on their part, whereby they have changed from promoting Hybrid Calvinism to trying to fulfill the Great Commission.

Unfortunately, all I have seen has been reports about their studies, surveys, meetings, and similar "talk" about church planting, but nothing about anything by way of any actual planting. If they have been doing any evangelistic work toward this purpose, somehow it has escaped my notice.

Brister seems to be especially gifted in blogging and twittering and other diversions, but when it comes to any actual planting of the Gospel among the lost in the area, the question is, "Where's the beef?"
(Remember the old hamburger commercial?)

"Talk is cheap," and the Flounders appear to be another example of it. They much prefer to "engage" those who are non-Calvinists, anti-Calvinists, etc. and will expend much time and fingering of the keyboard to try to reply to all the alleged errors of those who have different doctrinal views on certain doctrines and related matters.

We are made to wonder when they will "get down to business" in trying to do some planting? So far as I can tell from the blogs and twitters, since going to Florida Brister has spent hours upon hours on the keyboard and at meetings, but how much time has been devoted in the "highways and hedges" of E. Lee County where he has announced the Flounders will plant a church?

Suggestion to Ascol and Brister: Invite expert planter Ed Stetzer down to Cape Coral to demonstrate how its done.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Stephen wants proof!


Stephen Garrett, ex-Hardshell Primitive Baptist preacher, is calling upon the "Sola Scriptura" Hyper and Hybrid "Calvinists" to bring forth the scriptural proof for the "Reformed" Pedobaptist doctrine that "regeneration" is distinguished from conversion.

Stephen says:

I Want The Proof

I want the proof where the Bible writers clearly distinguished between what some modern Calvinists call "regeneration" and "conversion." I want them to go to the Bible and show where any writer made a clear distinction between the two.

For the remainder of Stephen's challenge, go to the BaptistGadfly blog:

From Bob's email


In the wake of the "John 3:16 Conference" held a few weeks ago, I have watched with interest the many resultant discussions about Calvinism by Calvinists and non-Calvinists and between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. Of the many things said, I was struck by the occasional remark of those speaking of being precise or logical or consistent within one's view.

One of the dangers to which Christians may fall prey is seeking to work out their theological convictions so that they are "coherent" and agree with their system as a whole. This is a danger because one may overlook or skew biblical teaching because it seems to clash with one's system. Rather, one's theological system should be informed from the whole of Scripture which means one must bow to any teaching, even when it may not fit neatly within the system.

In this regard, I like what C. H. Spurgeon said in his sermon on 1 Timothy 2.3, 4:

My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for Inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred timesover appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the Word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself, for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the Word of God that I should need to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any Divine expression. So runs the text and so we must read it, “God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”
("Salvation by Knowing the Truth," Vol. 26, No. 1516)

We should not seek "consistency" but biblical accuracy. The two may not be the same thing when one is seeking to uphold a certain theological construct. Our goal is not to be logical, but Scriptural.

Let Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike heed the words of Spurgeon as they search the Scriptures.

Ian D. Elsasser

Pull-out of SBC urged


The following was posted on Flounder Timmy Brister's blog:

December 5, 2008 at 10:56 am

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

Bob's comment: This is a great idea, and it would be the ethical thing to do, but since the Flounders thrive on proselytization, they will never do it. How would they ever grow their sect if they were to leave the SBC?

They don't grow by preaching the Gospel and making converts, but rather they proselyte those who were saved under what they call "Arminian" ministries -- just as founder Ernest Reisinger was saved and probably Timmy Brister, Tom Ascol, and the vast majority of the rest of the Flounders.

Dr. Foltz, you are engaging in wishful thinking.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What to do with "Calvinists"?

Tom Ascol: "What Should Southern
Baptists Do With Calvinists?"

Tom Ascol of the Flounders posted the above question back in May, and we commented upon it then.

As for the type of "Reformed" Calvinism advocated by Ascol and the Flounders on regeneration or the new birth, we recommend the following Resolution:

Whereas, there are those within the Southern Baptist Convention who believe and teach that sinners must be regenerated (born again) before they believe in Jesus Christ;

And, Whereas, we understand this teaching to be contrary to (1) Scripture, (2) to our several Baptist Confessions of Faith, and (3) to the teaching of notable Baptists leaders of both past and present;

And, Whereas, this Reformed teaching of "regeneration precedes faith" is a view within Hyper-Calvinism, Hardshellism, and Pedobaptist theology on the supposed "regeneration" of infants born to believers --all of which teach contrary to the Baptist understanding on the necessity and place of repentance and faith in the new birth;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that we the messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention do hereby reaffirm that we understand the Bible to teach that no one is born again unless and until he has repented of sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be It Further Resolved, that any teaching contrary to this foregoing statement may duly and appropriately be marked and rebuked by Southern Baptist seminaries, churches, and associations as contrary to (1) what we understand the Bible to teach, and (2) contrary to what Baptists have taught in our past history.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Flounder salespitch of Alleine book


The "Founders Ministries" [which I prefer to describe as the "Flounders Mendacities"] actually is rooted in the 1960s when founder Ernest Reisinger became the primary United States' salesman for the Banner of Truth publications. Ernie formed "Puritan Publications" in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to distribute BT books, and later he turned it over to BT to become the official U. S. branch of BT publications.

One of the books published and promoted by BT was Joseph Alleine's "Alarm to the Unconverted," later retitled, "A Sure Guide to Heaven."

Ernie considered this book to be an "evangelistic tool," and ever since he started the Flounders, it has been one of the books promoted by the Flounders. Now, Timmy Brister, who has joined Flounders leader Tom Ascol's church and has been promoting BT books, is pushing Alleine's book on his blog. Brister makes the bonehead "Twitter" remark that the book was "used by Spurgeon to evangelize the lost."

This is another evidence that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary evidently failed in the training of Brister, for he demonstrates very little grasp of the Gospel of Christ in commending this confusing book, nor does he tell the truth about Spurgeon and the book. Brister may have been mislead by Iain Murray, who has misrepresented Spurgeon in regard to Alleine's book -- as he has misrepresented Spurgeon on several other matters.

I have never considered the book as being worthwhile as an evangelistic tool. But I admit that I was forewarned about the book from reading C. H. Spurgeon's critical comments, and here is an article I wrote about it sometime ago:


I notice that sometime ago, Mr. Iain Murray and the Banner of Truth renamed Joseph Alleine's book entitled AN ALARM TO THE UNCONVERTED and gave it the new title of A SURE GUIDE TO HEAVEN.

In our opinion, it would have been far better and more appropriate to have changed the contents of the book than merely the title. It is not the title that is alarming, but the contents. One brother said those contents should "alarm the converted," they are so misleading.

Why this book has ever attained to the level of being regarded by some as any sort of a "guide to Heaven" and as something to "spur personal evangelism," as alleged in BT's catalog (page 23), is a mystery. On a scale of 1-10, as an evangelistic tool, I would not even place it on the scale at the lowest point. From my observation of the Flounders, I have not noticed that the book has done very much "spurring" of evangelism on the part of the Flounders.

It would come as a surprise to me if anyone was converted by the means of this book. Not that everything in it is bad, but as an evangelistic item, or something to instruct the unconverted in the Gospel, it is practically useless, and it is definitely misleading.

Spurgeon said his mother used to read it to him, and he himself read it, but he says it was "like sitting at the foot of Sinai" and his heart was "hardened" [For Spurgeon's various remarks on the book, see the Autobiography, Volume 1, pages 68, 80, 104; also in the sermon #531, The Warrant of Faith, Vol. 9, page 531; #446, The Old, Old Story, Vol. 8, page 235].

Spurgeon categorized Alleine as a "better preacher of the law than of the gospel" (Warrant of Faith, MTP, Vol. 9, page 531).

The BT has tried to promote Alleine's book for years, and they have utilized and abused the name of Spurgeon to do so. Actually, in the original "Alleine' s Alarm" published by BT, it is actually said that Spurgeon's "views were moulded by its pages" (page i).

However, if his views were molded at all, that could only apply to him before his conversion. The "casting" was soon broken and destroyed, for after a few years of displaying some of the legalist influences of Alleine's book, at the age of 15 Spurgeon heard the Gospel from a simple layman in a Primitive Methodist Chapel, who called upon him to "Look to Jesus," and young Spurgeon was saved as well as being delivered from all of Alleine's alarms.

As a manual of instruction to the unsaved, this book has about as much appeal, accuracy, and practicality as the advisers who took it upon themselves to analyze and advise Job in his trials and suffering.

For instance, the book offers over 20 pages of what is called "directions to the unconverted" (pages 100-124).

Not only would one have to have something on the order of a Bible College education to comprehend these directions, he would also be directed to "labour to get a thorough sight and lively sense and feeling of [his] sins" (page 101). He would also have to "strive to affect [his] heart with a deep sense of [his] present misery"
(page 104).

After being counseled via the sixteen directions on pages 101-124, among which is a suggested prayer consisting of about three pages, the reader -- if he still reading -- is then advised by the author, "I have told you what you must do to be saved . . . Rouse up, O sluggard, and ply your work. Be doing, and the Lord will be with you" (page 124).

Then follows a "Short Soliloquy for the an Unregenerate Sinner" of about 6 pages (pages 124-129)

If the reader has thus far survived all of these directions, the prayer, and the soliloquy, he is admonished that "the Holy Spirit is striving with you. He will not always strive. Have you not felt your heart warmed by the Word, and been almost persuaded to leave off your sins and come to Christ?"

It is no marvel to me that Spurgeon was never lead to Christ and His Gospel by this book, but in the Providence of God he heard the Good News elsewhere from a very simple Christian layman, and simply looked to Jesus for salvation. Read the account of his conversion at this website: Looking unto Jesus.

It seems to be rather consistent that Mr. Murray and the Banner of Truth, as well as the Flounders and Timmy Brister, would promote such a book as Alleine's in view of their opposition to public invitations, wherein all that is required of the hearer is that he look unto Jesus for salvation, as Spurgeon did, and respond in the public invitation to confess Christ as Saviour before others.

I know of more than one church where this book was promoted for reading, and those churches are either in decline or no longer exist! It has never been known to be a productive "evangelistic tool." It rather contributes to confusion of the mind than to the conversion of the soul.

As a much more profitiable item in contrast to Alleine's book, we recommend Gospel sermons by Spurgeon, such as "Forgiveness Made Easy," or "The Old, Old Story," and similar messages which do not call upon the lost person to in effect save himself by his own doings. -- Bob L. Ross

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Grudem: Born again before faith?


The following was posted by Stephen Garrett on the BaptistGadfly blog as a follow-up comment to his original article on Wayne Grudem:

More On Grudem
Dr. Grudem, in his sermon on "Regeneration," said that he made a profession at twelve years of age but that he thinks he was born again or regenerated before that time. He also says that he does not know when he was regenerated, just that it preceded his trusting in Christ.

He said: "So, it looks like from the Bible, from a theological sense, that this regeneration comes before, usually, just a few seconds before saving faith." (He said this about middle way through his sermon - see link in previous posting)

Bob's comment:
As Brother Garrett and Ian Elsasser have pointed out, this is clearly a CHRONOLOGICAL separation, and not according to the usual ruse offered by those who talk about "logical, not chronological."

The fact is, the "Reformed" theologians who teach "regeneration" of alleged "covenant children" in their infancy, or even before they are born, ALL affirm a CHRONOLOGICAL time separation between the time of being born again and the time of believing in Christ. This is demonstrated very promimently by writers such as W. G. T. Shedd and Louis Berkhof.

It is the very same separation fantasy which is taught by the Hardshell Primitive Baptist sect and it has served as their theological basis for opposing evangelism and missions to the unsaved since the 1800s when they broke away from missionary Baptists. It seems to have a similar effect upon modern Reformed Calvinists who are not much inclined to evangelistic and soul-winning emphasis.

Grudem on regeneration

By Stephen Garrett

I just listened to a sermon . . . by Dr. Wayne Grudem on the subject of "regeneration" and wish to look at what he had to say about faith and its relation to "regeneration."

He, as will be seen from the following citations from that sermon, took the "reformed" or "Hardshell" view on the subject, teaching that "regeneration" or the "new birth" occurred before one came to believe and repent.

His sermon sought to uphold the "born again before faith" view, a view that is appropriately styled "hyper-Calvinism," and is certainly not the historic teaching of the Baptist confessions and leading standard bearers, nor of the leading lights of the Calvinistic PedoBaptists, men such as Edwards. This has been clearly shown here in this blog and over at the Calvinist Flyswatter blog.

One thing that struck me while listening to Dr. Grudem's sermon, was his comments on James 1: 18. He seemed clearly to intimate, from those comments, that he held to the "three stage model of the new birth," a view I have posted many writings upon here.

Well, all this being said, let me begin my critique.

For the rest of Brother Garrett's critique of this non-creedal view of regeneration, and why he categorizes it as "hyper-Calvinism," go to --


Bridges still unsafe


It seems that Tom Ascol of the Flounders' blog is inclined to allow all sorts of balderdash from his Hybrid Calvinists "Flounders Friendlies," but he puts the clamps down otherwise.

The King of Blogging Verbosity, Gene M. Bridges, made some discrediting comments on Ascol's Flounders' blog with regard to Stephen Garrett, and when Stephen replied, Tom found reasons for disallowing Stephen's reply. You can checkout the story on Stephen's blog, BaptistGadfly.

In Bridges' comments, he once again demonstrates he is "still out" and unsafe for blog travellers. Garrulous Gene says:

". . . Mr. Garrett is one of Bob L. Ross little group. Personally, I don't think that bodes well, for he's one that thinks that when we say 'regeneration precedes faith' we're hyperCalvinists."

First of all, I have never called Bridges a "hyper" Calvinist. $100 reward to the first person who can find where I ever did so.

As to Bungling Bridges -- whatever the size of his tongue -- little or big, I personally was so unfortunate as to have never heard of the man or read any of his palabbering until he showed up in a large manner on blogs, with the apparent gift of writing "the mostest on the leastest."

He so highly esteemed his bloggadocio that he evidently injected himself here on the Flyswatter on the vain presumption that he could thwart the Flyswatter.

Surprisingly, it was rather easy to "nail his hide to the wall," and so gorgeous Gene soon decided that "the better part of wisdom" would be to leave well enough alone -- which you may observe from the following links:

The Blunders of Gene Bridges

Gene M. Bridges falls down on "regeneration before faith"

More Blunders of Gene Bridges

Bridges still out

As for the "hyper Calvinist" matter, the notion that I have ever once referred to Gene as a "hyper Calvinist" is merely wishful thinking on Gene's part. I have referred to him as "semi-Pelagian" and "Hybrid Calvinist," but I have never called him a "hyper" Calvinist.

As for his reference to an imaginery "Bob L. Ross little group," for whatever benefit Gene derives from using that labeling, he is welcome to it; after all, he can find little comfort for his non-creedal heterodoxy on
"regeneration" in any substantial source.