Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spurgeon & "Ordo Salutis"


Stephen Garrett at BaptistGadfly has a very interesting item which reveals how C. H. Spurgeon made use of a book by a contemporary writer who held the creedal view on the New Birth in contrast to the "born again before faith" view of modern Reformed writers. Stephen says:

An old book, "A handbook of revealed theology," published in 1861 by John Stock, had a chapter on the "new birth," and was a book recommended by Spurgeon. Before I cite from that chapter, let me first cite from the words of Spurgeon. He wrote:

For the rest of the article, go to BaptistGadfly.

Also, check out Stephen's other most recent articles:

Webster on Gill's Hyperism
Owen - Regeneration is Salvation
Spurgeon on Faith III
The Faith Experience
Good Book on Regeneration
Facts About KJV
Fuller vs. Booth
Spurgeon on Faith II
Spurgeon on Faith

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spurgeon on New Birth

BY FAITH by Stephen Garrett

"This change is often described as a birth. See the third chapter of the Gospel of John, which is wonderfully clear and to the point: 'Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.' This birth is not a birth by baptism, for it is spoken of as accompanied by an intelligent faith which receives the Lord Jesus.

"Turn to John 1:12, 13: 'But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' So that believers are 'born again' and receive Christ through faith: a regeneration imparted in infancy and lying dormant in unbelievers is a fiction unknown to Holy Scripture."

This is very clear. Those who say that Spurgeon never affirmed that faith preceded regeneration, or opposed the idea, should recant after reading these words. He plainly says that believers are "born again through faith" and "receive Christ by faith."

For the rest of the post, go to BaptistGadfly

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dog pound in Enid?


You may be interested in some items on the Reformed Flyswatter about Wade Burleson and Ingrid Schlueter:

Wade's barking dogs
Enid's "Watchdog" branch kennel

A Slice of Schlueter
Smyth & Helwys' "Disclaimer"
Reformed fiction
New light on history from Enid?

Out of Town Monday, March 23, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Preaching to "dead sinners"


James White, who like Diotrephes desires preeminence (3 John 9), has alleged that "Spurgeon was not infallible," but we venture to say that Spurgeon's preaching makes James' so-called "defense of the faith" look like "Ned in the First Reader."

A lady from Beaumont, Texas -- a good friend of ours who is married to a good friend of ours -- took it upon herself a while back to read all of Spurgeon's sermons! She is now nearly thru with Volume 20, 1874. As she reads, she is making notations, and sometimes she passes very significant references along to us. Here's a selection which she referred to me recently. James White, with his "born again before faith" heresy, will most likely find fault with Spurgeon on this, also.

C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 20, Sermon No. 1200, pages 610, 611:

“Go you,” He said, “you fishermen, go and teach all nations.” Carnal reason’s criticism on this is that it is a feeble method to be worked out by feebler instruments!

Now let it be noted that the work of preaching the Gospel, which is Christ’s way of using His power among men, is based only upon His having that power. Listen to some of my Brethren—they say, “You must not preach the Gospel to a dead sinner because the sinner has no power.”

Just so, but our reason for preaching to him is that all power is given unto Jesus—and He bids us preach the Gospel to every creature! “But when you tell a sinner to believe, you have not the power to make him believe.”

Truly so, nor do we dream that we have, for all power lies in Christ! There is neither in the sinner the power to believe, nor in the preacher power to make him believe—all power is in our Lord! “But do you think,” they ask, “that your persuasions will ever make a man repent and believe?”

Certainly not! The power that leads men to repent and believe does not lie in rhetoric or in reason, or in persuasion, but in Him who says, “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth.”

I tell you this—if my Lord and Master should bid me go tomorrow to Norwood Cemetery [where CHS is buried] and bid the dead to rise, I would do it with as much pleasure as I now preach the Gospel to this congregation! And I would do it for the same reason which now leads me to urge the unregenerate to repent and be converted, for I regard men as being dead in sin, and yet I tell them to live because my Master commands me do so! That I am right in thus acting is proved by the fact that while I am preaching, sinners do live! Blessed be His name, thousands of them have been quickened into life!

Ezekiel had to cry, “You dry bones, live.” What a foolish thing to say! But God justified His servant in it and an exceedingly great army stood upon their feet in what was once a large morgue.

Joshua’s men were bid to blow their trumpets around Jericho—a most absurd thing to blow a trumpet to fetch city walls down—but they came down for all that!

Gideon’s men were told to simply carry lamps within their pitchers, to break their pitchers and stand still and cry aloud, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon” — a most ridiculous thing to hope by this means to smite the Midianites—but they were smitten! God never sends His servants on a fool’s errand!

It pleases God by the foolishness of preaching to accomplish His Divine purposes — not because of the power of preaching, nor the power of the preacher, nor any power in those preached to — but because “all power” is given unto Christ “in Heaven and in earth”—and He chooses to work by the teaching of the Word!

Our business, then, is just this. We are to teach, or as the Greek word has it, to make disciples. Our business is, each one according to the Divine Grace given, to tell our fellow men the Gospel and to try and disciple them to Jesus. When they become disciples, our next duty is to give them the sign of discipleship by “baptizing them.” That symbolic burial sets forth their death in Jesus to their former selves and their resurrection to newness of life through Him. Baptism enrolls and seals the disciples—and we must not omit or misplace it.

When the disciple is enrolled, the missionary is to become the pastor, “teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you.” The disciple is admitted into the school by obeying the Savior’s command as to Baptism—then he goes on to learn—and as he learns he teaches others. He is taught obedience, not to some things, but to all things which Christ has commanded. He is put into the Church, not to become a legislator or a deviser of new doctrines and ceremonies, but to believe what Christ tells him and to do what Christ bids him.

Thus our Lord intends to set up a kingdom which shall break in pieces every other. Those who know Him are to teach others and so, from one to the other, the wondrous power which Christ brought from Heaven shall spread from land to land.

See, then, my Brothers, your high calling. And see, also, the support you have in pursuing it! In the front,behold “all power” going forth from Christ! In the rear, behold the Lord Himself — “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

If you are enlisted in this army, I charge you be faithful to your great Captain! Do His work carefully in the way which He has prescribed for you and expect to see His power displayed to His own Glory.

Pilgrim Publications Website:

By request, names are added to my
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Send your snail-mail address for a printed Price List.
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"A Pilgrimage to Spurgeon Country"
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Simply enter "Larry Wessels" in the Search box

Other Internet Resources:

Selected Writings of Bob L. Ross http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/1toc1.html

Blogs by Bob:

King James Only Resource Center

Psalm 68:11
SingleVision Ministries

Spurgeon Archive

Spurgeon Gems

"The Prince of Preachers Live!"

Christian Classics

Spurgeon sermons in SPANISH

Video in Spanish

Spurgeon's Devotionals

CHS' Sermons on CD / Cassette

Sermons & Works of Spurgeon

Recent posts on Reformed Flyswatter


Here are the latests posts on the Reformed Flyswatter which you may find of interest:

Smyth & Helwys' "Disclaimer"
Reformed fiction
New light on history from Enid?
Wade Burleson's Campbellite practice
Wade Burleson, wrong on Campbellism, too?

COMMENTS: Your comments for the Calvinist Flyswatter must be sent to pilgrimpub@aol. com.

Comments for the Reformed Flyswatter may be posted in the RF's combox.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"White Lightning" Strikes Again


Surprise! Surprise!

The redoutbable appallingist, James White, of the "JAMES WHITE 'BORN AGAIN BEFORE FAITH' WHITE LIGHTNING DISTILLERY & MFG. CO., PHOENIX AZ" has made the remarkable assertion that "Spurgeon was not infallible"!!

Can you imagine that? Spurgeon . . . not infallible? Who would have ever thunk it!

And why the discovery of this so late in time, over a hundred years after the death of the hitherto "infallible" Legend? What accounts for this ignorance for so long a period of time? Will this discovery go down in Christian history in the same category as Luther's discovery that the just shall live by faith? or perhaps the discovery of Greek manuscripts since the King James Version? or even the location of Noah's Ark?

And on what basis does the brewer of the "White Lightning" mash which says that the elect get born again before, without, and apart from faith make this amazing and astounding proclamation? Why, on the same basis as usual -- Spurgeon's view does not pass James' "exegeet'n" measuring rod.

According to James' patent S. O. P., Spurgeon held a view on a Scripture text with which James dogmatically disagrees; therefore, Spurgeon has fallen from the ranks of presumed infallibility.

James declares in so many words and in his usual "exegeetive" mode of operation, that he has no doubt that he is right and Spurgeon is wrong. His words are, "They cannot document errors in what I have said about the context, the meaning of words, etc. They can only say, 'Well, you could also understand it this way....' That my interpretation is fair, contextual, and consistent, seems to be acknowledged."

There you have it -- the conclusive proof from the White Lightning Distillery itself that James is right and Spurgeon was wrong!

Does James care to debate the matter? I doubt it.

So . . . what else is new at the White Lightning Distillery?

Will wonders never cease?

COMMENTS: All comments for posting must be addressed to this email:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Garrett nails Sproul disciple


Ligon Duncan is tight with Pedo Hybrid Calvinist advocate, R. C. Sproul, who claims that the "elect" get "born again before faith," even when they are in infancy. We have exposed Sproul a few times on the Flyswatter and in articles at this web site HERE.

Now, Brother Stephen Garrett, has exposed the "regeneration before faith" heresy of Sproul's protege.

I myself had a brief exchange with Duncan a few years ago when I objected to the "born again before faith" heresy promulgated by Sproul. Stephen's current blog begins --

#1 Answer Ligon's Comments
#2 Citations from Calvin
#3 Calvin - Faith & John's Gospel

I received the following comment from Ligon Duncan regarding my review of his writings on regeneration preceding faith. Here is what he wrote:

"I am looking forward to seeing your citations from Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, et al on this, Mr. Garrett. More importantly, I am looking forward to reading your Scriptural case for your views," etc.

Read how Stephen "nails the hide" of Duncan to the wall at this blog site:


Monday, March 16, 2009

"Hardball Publisher"?

It's Official: Wade's Publisher Won't Send
a Copy of the Book for Review Purposes

That's right . . . I received an email today from P. K. Gammons, VP of Smyth & Helwys Publishers informing me that I will not be sent a digital copy of Wade Burleson's forthcoming book, Hardball Religion, for review.

Gammons had offered me a digital copy of the book several days ago, and at the time I turned him down. Later, I realized that in writing a review for this blog, it would be more convenient to have a digital copy to facilitate copying any material to be quoted; therefore, I notified Gammons that I would like to have the digital copy.

Now, however, it seems to be too late. I have "missed the boat." I have "crossed the deadline" . . . "the day of grace is over."

For the rest of the story, go to the Reformed Flyswatter.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stephen Garrett on Calvin's view


Our brother at the Baptist Gadfly, Stephen Garrett, continues to call attention to sources which are contrary to the modern Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism view that one is "born again before faith."

In his latest, he concentrates on John Calvin's view.

Stephen writes:

I have cited numerous quotations from John Calvin to show that he did not believe that regeneration preceded faith. Those who insist that this is the view of the first Calvinist reformers are in error and are generally unwilling to acknowledge their error even when shown the proof of it. Clearly, as one can see from this citation, John Calvin did not put regeneration before faith. Calvin put faith before repentance and regeneration and he did not become Arminian in doing so. He did not relinguish a view in "total depravity" or a belief that faith was the gift of God.

For the rest of Stephen's article, go to BaptistGadfly.

Note: On the Reformed Flyswatter, read about Pastor Wade Burleson's Hybrid Calvinism.

Comments for the Calvinist Flyswatter should be sent to pilgrimpub@aol.com, or you may post on the Reformed Flyswatter.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Exchanges with Burleson


There are some exchanges between Wade Burleson and Bob L. Ross on the Reformed Flyswatter blog which you may find of interest.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Burleson -- A Landmarker?

See the article on Wade Burleson at the
Reformed Flyswatter.

A nice comment received by email at

Thanks, Bro. Bob,

Your writings years ago on the Churches of Christ helped me tremendously. It helped open the eyes of a number of folks. I came out of this movement and witnessed with others including their ministers.

I also have purchased all of the Spurgeon Hard Copies of His sermons and a good no. of other books by Spurgeon from you.

Thanks for great publishing.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cooperation, Burleson style?


You may wish to read my post on the Reformed Flyswatter which discusses Pastor Wade Burleson's concept on "cooperation" in the Southern Baptist Convention:

Cooperation, Burleson style?
Wade Burleson Believes in Cooperation in the SBC

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Reformed Flyswatter changes


Thanks to Ian and Andrea Elsasser, our new blog, Reformed Flyswatter, has been much-improved in its appearance and features. I am deeply grateful for the assistance of the Elsassers, and we look forward to the future of the blog.

In an earlier article (below), we listed several of the items on the blog which Calvinist Flyswatter readers will probably find of interest -- that is, if you have interest in the type of material on the CF.

On the Reformed Flyswatter, you may submit comments in the combox. On this site, due to the absence of the Administrator, Charles, comments must be sent to this email address -- pilgrimpub@aol.com

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Reformed Flyswatter links


Click these Recent Posts:

Tale of Reformed statistics
Dr. Mohler's "triage"

Welcome, Ian!
Reisinger's compromise with Pedos
Hybridism's abuse of terms
Spurgeon's non-Reformed likeness
Spurgeon versus Hyperism
Piper vs Hybrids?
Sproul's influence
Sproul's error
Dr. Dagg vs Wade Burleson
"Classical Calvinism"?

Send comments for Calvinist Flyswatter to:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Atonement illustrated by Jesus


So far as I can find, Jesus used only one illustration from the Old Testament of His Atonement and its efficient, ultimate, saving extent.

That illustration is in Numbers 21 and is applied by Jesus in John 3:14, 15. It is the Brazen Serpent.

After the people were bitten by serpents, Moses was told to make a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole. "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live" (Numbers 21:8).

John 3:14, 15 -- "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

The lifting up of the Brazen Serpent was available to each and every living person who had been bitten. But no one was healed unless the bitten person looked upon the Brazen Serpent.

The obvious parallel in this illustration apparently is that the death of Christ is available to each and every person, but it does not save unless the person believes.

The controversy between theological camps in regard to limited or unlimited Atonement might be resolved to everyone's satisfaction if this one illustration used by Jesus were taken more seriously. At least both camps would probably find agreement that, like the healing in Numbers 21 was for those who looked to the serpent, salvation by the death of Christ is experienced by those who respond to the message to "Look and live."

I would not debate for one minute about the extent of the Atonement, for the "bottom line" is simply this: "Whosever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:15, 16).

SPURGEON: "The remedy of the bitten Israelites was a bronze serpent. And the remedy for sinners is Christ crucified. . . . For remember the bronze serpent was lifted up that everyone in the camp who was bitten might live. And now Christ is lifted up to you that 'whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.' Sinner, the devil says you are shut out. Tell him that 'whosoever' shuts out none. Oh that precious word, 'whosoever'! . . . —'Whosoever.' I use broad words that I may take a broad range and sweep the whole universe of sinners through—whosoever looks to Christ shall live." -- C. H. Spurgeon, New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 3, pages 367, 371)

Note to Wade Burleson; "The infant who dies in infancy" does believe, Wade . . . when he passes into the presence of Christ. Otherwise, you have a person saved in Heaven without faith in Christ.

"It seems most probable," says A. H. Strong, "that the work of regeneration may be performed by the Spirit in connection with the infant soul's first view of Christ in the other world" (Systematic Theology, page 663).

That may be regarded as speculative thinking on Strong's part, but it is far better than Wade's comment, "The infant who dies in infancy never believes."

If Wade merely has in mind the infant who does not believe before death, then does he agree that the infant becomes a believer in eternity, as Strong states? Or, does the infant remain in unbelief throughout eternity?

Comments: Do not use the combox, but --
Send all comments for posting to: pilgrimpub@aol.com

Monday, March 02, 2009



A short while ago, we carried an article which demonstrated that C. H. Spurgeon was in the habit of pressing upon his hearers the necessity of making a "decision" to accept Christ.

Frequently, we notice that some of the sooper-dooper Calvinists of the "Hybrid Calvinist" variety work-up a lot of lather in their mouths preaching against what they denominate "decisional regeneration." This charade is just so much phony-baloney. I came across a video of a fellow named "Washer" who was spinning this line at a Conference in Georgia, and he reminded me of some of the TV hawkers whose commercials are quite convincing in peddling snake-oil for all that ails you.

The fact is, in the real world, no one is regenerated because of, on account of, or due to any type of "decision" as being either the instrumental cause or efficient cause of regeneration.

The instrumental cause of regeneration is the Word of God, and the efficient cause of regeneration is the Holy Spirit. In other words, no man regenerates himself.

At the same time, however, no one is ever regenerated apart from being brought by the Word and Spirit to a decision.

The Word of God is a convicting instrumentality, applied by the Spirit, and it brings a sinner to choose repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

When you hear a Hybrid Calvinist bellowing, complaining, excoriating, spitting fire, or otherwise down-grading the matter of deciding for Christ, most likely you can just mark him off as one who has found a gimmick by which he can make a living in the pulpit and impress other Hybrid Calvinists of his deep spiritual insights.

Most likely, as with most all of the anti-invitation Hybrids, he was converted in just such circumstances as he is now preaching against!

COMMENTS: Send all comments to be posted to: pilgrimpub@aol.com