Friday, July 24, 2009

Spurgeon v. Brister on Saving Faith


C. H. Spurgeon said:
This new birth, this regeneration, is a great puzzle to many poor sinners.

Not only so, it seems to be a great puzzle to even Southern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate, Timmy Brister, of the "Founders Ministries." Brister perhaps was cheated in his education at Southern if he was lead to think that Spurgeon held to the Pedobaptist Hybrid form of Calvinism which teaches that sinners are "born again before they believe."

Long-time readers of the Flyswatter know that we have produced multitudinous material from Spurgeon in the Flyswatter Archives which demonstrates that he did not hold the Hybrid Calvinist theory.

Brister reveals in his palabber that he is a follower of Iain Murray who is one of the poorest interpreters of Spurgeon in the Pedobaptist camp, and Brister is simply spinning his wheels reading Murray as to Spurgeon's views.

Murray is the virtual "father" of the "Founders Movement" by virtue of his influence on Ernest Reisinger who absorbed Murray's Hybridism and made it the center-piece of the Flounders' thinking and purpose. In more recent years, Murray seems to have awakened to the fact that this form of "Calvinism" has not produced the type of evangelism and soul-winning which chacterized Spurgeon.

Spurgeon goes on:
One asks, “How can I make myself a new creature in Christ?” Of course, you can do nothing of the kind. This is a miracle; it is as much a work of God to make us children of light as it was to make light at the first. Only God can work this miracle; but mark you this, there never was a soul yet that truly believed in Christ, but at the same time it underwent the change called the new birth or regeneration.

Christians have often been asked about which is first, faith or regeneration, belief in Christ or being born again. I will tell you when you will answer me this question, -- When a wheel moves, which spoke moves first?

“Oh, they all start together!" say you.

So these other things all start together, whether it be the hub of the wheel, which is regeneration, or the spokes of the wheel, which are faith, and repentance, and hope, and love, and so on; when the wheel moves, it all moves at once. If thou believest in Jesus Christ and him crucified, in the moment that thou believest, this great change of nature is effected in thee; for faith has in itself a singularly transforming power.

It is a fact in everyday experience that, when a man comes to believe in his master, he becomes at once a better servant. A person whom I disliked, because I suspected him, becomes at once pleasing to me as soon as I trust him. So, faith towards God in itself produces a total change of mind in the man who has it. But, beside that, there goes with faith a divine energy which changes the heart of man. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 41, page 235, Despised Light Withdrawn).

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 those who would try 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."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Brister Defends "Hybridism"


Just when the Internet sources used by the Flounders (Tom Ascol, Timmy Brister) seemed to indicate that the Flounders might be distancing themselves from their long-standing "reforming" purpose and moving toward promotion of the "Great Commission Resurgence" advocated by Johnny Hunt and Danny Akin, here comes Flounder assistant, Brister, making a "whipping boy" of Morris Chapman with an extended defense of the Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist theory of "pre-faith regeneration" (born again before faith).

This theory, if judged by the lack of evangelism on the part of its advocates, would no doubt have a stiffling effect upon the Great Commission Resurgence.

The Calvinist Flyswatter has refuted this theory in many articles for more than three years. We have shown that "pre-faith regeneration" is the basic theory of Hardshellism and many of those who hold a post-17th century Pedobaptist theory advocated by Pedobaptist writers such as Shedd, Berkhof, Packer, Sproul, Frame, as well as some "Reformed" Baptist writers such as Nettles, Schreiner, James White and others.

Despite the fact that GCR leader Danny Akin's theology book, A Theology for the Church, contends for a different view on regeneration (pages 735-745), Brister flies in the face of Akin's book by alleging that one must be "regenerated" (born again) before he believes.

Dr. Akin's book says "the teaching of Scripture is that regeneration is concurrent, or coincident, with conversion. This means that conversion and regeneration, as events, OCCUR AT THE SAME TIME" (page 742).

While Dr. Akin's book affirms the truth that there is a necessary and preliminary work by the Holy Spirit in a sinner, it is denied that such preliminary work constitutes regeneration (page 743). See this link for more about the book -- SBC Seminary President Apparently Denies Hybrid Calvinist Heresy

Brister, perhaps, could have conceivably used his time and effort more profitably if he had engaged himself in that "church planting" effort which the Flounders claim they will do in E. Lee County, Florida . . . if they can spare the time away from conferences, twittering, and blogging.

Thursday, July 09, 2009



Here is an email I received from Larry Wessels, informing me that he has put the Bob L. Ross-Bill Jackson Debate on the Internet:


It took me forever to get this page done but praise God it's done now. I'll be sending this e-mail to my whole e-mail list. Feel free to forward it to your list as well (that should give us some good advertising for your debate videos here).


1 Peter 3:15--- On Thu, 7/9/09,

Hello Everyone,

Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus. As you know our ministry, Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/ Christian Debater (,, & is an evangelism & apologetics outreach. Over the years we have done theological battle with about every religious view that opposes the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible. Unfortunately, virtually every cult and false religion uses the Bible in one way or another to support their own erroneous ideas about what the way of salvation is.

Besides battling Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Atheism, etc. we have done major battle with the current day followers of the "Restoration Movement" founded by Thomas & Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone & Walter Scott back in the early 1800s. Familiar are the names "Church of Christ," "Disciples of Christ," and "Christian Church" which have their origins in the "Restoration Movement." The rise of the cults such as Mormonism come out of this movement as well (download the above attachment for more information on that).

We have done numerous televised debates with "Church of Christ" representatives over the course of the years and I am pleased to announce that we have successfully uploaded some of that material to the internet. Perhaps we will eventually be able to upload all our available material in the future on this subject for those who need this information for evangelism and/or apologetic purposes.

The following is our postings on Yahoo Video & Youtube (you need high speed computer capacity to view these). The Yahoo Video presentations are the complete 1 hour broadcasts while the Youtube presentations are quick 10 minute shows highlighting the big 22 hour debate series on Yahoo Video.

This week long "Church of Christ" debate took place between Bob L. Ross, author of "Campbellism, Its History & Heresies," "The Restoration Movement," & "Acts 2:38 and Baptism Remission" and nationally known speaker & writer Bill Jackson of the Southwest Church of Christ of Austin, Texas.

The following are the url links for the "Church of Christ" Week Long Debate:

#1: Television "Memory Lane" Review

#2: Introduction to Debate

#3: Are Baptists Bad Guys?

#4: Campbellites, Baptists & Birdseed

#5: Alex's "Restoration Pattern"

#6: Plan of Salvation - Synecdoche?

#7: "Ancient Gospel" is Baptism?

#8: Baptism is the Plan of Salvation?

#9: "In Order To Obtain" Remission

#10: Acts 2:38 & How Many Baptisms Needed?

#11: "Church" that Campbell Built

#12: Tombstones & Campbellite History

#13: Early Campbellites Had Beards

#14: Millennial Harbinger & Calvinism

#15: Obey "In Order To Obtain"

#16: Jackson's "Church" Has President

#17: Road Markers and Apostate Baptists

#18: Point of Faith - Dead Before Baptism?

#19: Mechanical Instruments & Obedience

#20: "Greek" Texts & Past & Alien Sins

#21: Ross & Wessels Review Major Points

#22: Ross & Wessels Review Major Points

Here are the urls for the 8 Youtube shorts concerning this same debate:

#1: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #1 (Introduction)

#2: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #2 (Debate Highlights)

#3: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #3 (Video Highlights)

#4: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #4 (Debate Highlights)

#5: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #5 (Debate Highlights)

#6: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #6 (Debate Highlights)

#7: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #7 (Debate Highlights)

#8: Is the "Church of Christ" the Real Church? #8 (Campbellism)

Feel free to utilize these videos for whatever Christian ministry purpose you may have in mind.

May the Lord bless you,

Larry Wessels
Director, Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/ Christian Debater
(,, &

Wednesday, July 08, 2009



Our friend Stephen Garrett has announced a forthcoming debate with a minister of the "Church of Christ" for two nights, August 13, 14.

Stephen is an experienced debater and has had several public encounters with ministers of the "Campbellite" sect.

Here are the details of the debate:

Debate Reminder
This is a reminder announcement for my upcoming summer debate with John R. Gentry of the "Church of Christ." John is the minister of a church in Galena, Indiana.

Debate in Monroe, N.C. at the location of Emmanuel Theological Seminary and Crossroads Baptist Church at 3300 N. Rocky River Road.

Thursday Night - August 13th, 2009
The Scriptures teach that water baptism is essential for the alien sinner to obtain the forgiveness of his past sins.

Affirm: Gentry
Deny: Garrett

Friday Night - August 14th, 2009
The Scriptures teach that the alien sinner is forgiven of his past sins by faith, before and without water baptism.

Affirm: Garrett
Deny: Gentry

For further information contact Stephen at his web site:

Comments: To have your comments posted, submit them to:

Friday, July 03, 2009



Last year, the Flounders [aka Founders, headed by Tom Ascol] announced that the home church, Grace Baptist in Cape Coral, was going to plant a church. Assistant Pastor Timmy Brister erected a website and gave the details of the plans.

From time-to-time, I have consulted the website to see what progress was being made. We were hopeful that the Flounders had at last developed an interest in doing something which resembled the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. But at this point in time, there has been no further report since late 2008 concerning any progress in establishing a church.

It seems that the Flounders have become diverted and are now enamored with "signing on" to Danny Akin's "Great Commission Resurgence," apparently neglecting the work which they had previously announced. As for Akin's GCR, that seems to be something which so far is still an item "on paper" rather than being an active outreach in practical evangelistic endeavor. There has even been some controversy about the GCR on the part of some in the Southern Baptist Convention, despite President Johnny Hunt's promotional efforts.

At any rate, we hope to see more practical progress in the GCR than has been evident in the efforts of the Flounders' leaders in starting a new church. If Johnny Hunt keeps up his efforts, we have reason to believe there will be some noticeable results in the GCR category. Johnny is a "go-getter" and is known for his zealous efforts in getting out the Gospel.

COMMENTS: To have your comments posted, send them to Do not post them in the combox.