Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bob L. Ross vs. David Brown Debate


By Larry Wessels

Hello Everyone,

Greetings in Christ. We have just recently uploaded one of my favorite debates on Yahoo Video (put "Larry Wessels" in the Yahoo Video search box if you want to see the over 180 videos we have up so far). This debate will show the viewer how nonborn again religionists argue against spiritually regenerated Christians. This debate is a great example of how men who practice "Christian" religion in their mind yet have never been supernaturally "born again" by the spirit of God (John 3:3-8, Titus 3:5-8) will attack those who claim a supernatural indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

It is the age old battle that started with Cain & Abel between those who are spiritually regenerated by God & those who are not. Since nonborn again religionists have never experienced the supernatural touch of the Holy Spirit they naturally deny that anyone else has had the experience. This is why the original founders of Campbellism replaced the work of the Holy Spirit with water baptism or in some cases a doctrine that says being "born again" happens "after" you rise from the dead. With this basis then Campbellites concentrate on "works righteousness" for salvation before a Holy God.

The links to this fascinating debate follow the description below:

Of the many debates that Bob L. Ross of Pilgrim Publications has participated in over the decades this is the favorite of Larry Wessels of Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/Christian Debater (see websites, & Here we find Bob Ross in theological combat with yet another "Campbellite" preacher named David Brown, at that time Director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies located at the Southwest Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. The "Church of Christ," "The Christian Church," "Disciples of Christ," & others come out of a early 19th century "Restoration Movement" founded by four primary men named Alexander & Thomas Campbell, Barton W. Stone & Walter Scott. These men claimed that "the Holy Spirit operates only through the word of God" & there is no indwelling of the Spirit in believers or a direct operation of the Spirit thus reinterpreting John 3:3-8 to baptism or something that happens in the resurrection.

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #1: Introduction

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #2: Calvinism

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #3: Word Only?

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #4: Reason & Logic

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #5: "Restorers" Baptized?

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #6: Power of the Spirit

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #7: "Arrow" of Spirit?

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #8: Mr. Holy Spirit Man

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #9: Carnal versus Spiritual

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #10: Denial of Power

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #11: 1 Peter 1:23?

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #12: Spiritual Rebirth

Is the Holy Spirit Limited to Just the Bible Only? Debate #13: Man' Will Power

May the Lord bless you & yours,

Larry Wessels
Director, Christian Answers of Austin, TX / Christian Debater,,
1 Peter 3:15

Friday, August 21, 2009

B. H. Carroll on Regeneration


From time to time, the occasion arises which calls for reminding Southern Baptists of the view held by Dr. B. H. Carroll on the New Birth -- a view for which we contend in contrast to the Reformed Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist view.

The late Dr. B. H. Carroll (1843-1914), Founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Fort Worth, Texas, would be disappointed in the teaching of some of the modem graduates of the Seminary who have embraced the Reformed Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist notion that "regeneration precedes faith" or that a sinner is "born again before believing in Christ."

Dr. Carroll was obviously aware of this theory and he did a very good job of refuting it in his writings. How any student could have been given a diploma from SWBTS without embracing the truth taught by Dr. Carroll on this important theological issue is rather perplexing, to say the least.

But the case is, preachers such as Tom and Bill Ascol of the Founders Ministries, James Galyon, James Hamilton, Tom Nettles, and some others managed to get diplomas while not embracing the views of Dr. Carroll on the New Birth, or Regeneration. These men adopted the post-reformation Reformed Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist view which holds that "regeneration precedes faith." -- a view which the Seminary's Founder refuted.

In a recent blog comment, Southwestern graduate James "the Rev" Galyon, said he did not "mention" Dr. B. H. Carroll in his writing of which I was critical. The fact is, Galyon would obviously not mention Dr. Carroll because Galyon apparently differs with Dr. Carroll's view on regeneration in preference to the Pedobaptist theory of Dr. J. I. Packer, Ian Murray, R. C. Sproul, and similar Reformed Hybrid Calvinists. And even though the "Flounders" like to associate the name of B. H. Carroll with their "movement," the fact is, Dr. Carroll rejected what the Founders teach on the New Birth.

If, as Hybrid Calvinists teach, the New Birth consists in a "regeneration" of the unbeliever which supposedly gives him the "ability to hear and believe", in contrast to the actual creation of repentance and faith by the Holy Spirit's use of the Word of God -- then this is in contradiction to what Dr. Carroll taught (as follows):

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).

Earlier, Dr. Carroll 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.

Dr. Carroll continues:

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."

Then Dr. Carroll presents this INPECCABLE SYLLOGISM:

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, as do all sound Baptists, that there is indeed a pre-faith influence by the Holy Spirit, but Dr. Carroll did not equate this influence as being regeneration or the New Birth. 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.--

In the light of these passages cited which contradict the idea that regeneration is merely the giving of "ability," we believe Dr. Carroll is absolutely correct when he says:

"Therefore the new birth is NOT COMPLETED WITHOUT FAITH." (Page 287 of Volume 10, Part I on The Gospels, An Interpretation of the English Bible).

In a Sermon on "The Human Side of Regeneration," Dr. Carroll said:

Thus considered, conviction, repentance, and faith are the CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF REGENERATION. . . . Sinner, it tells you what to do: Hear the word, repent, accept Christ. Yes, that is simple and easy. The Word of God is preached to men and they hear that Word and they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and whosever believeth in Him is born of God" (Sermons, The Human Side of Regeneration, pages 177, 187).

In this sermon, Carroll has a diagram on page 177 which demonstrates that conviction, repentance, and faith equal the New Birth. I can't exactly duplicate the diagram on this blog, but Dr. Carroll uses it to demonstrate that the Spirit's unseen inner work in using the Word (top line) is to bring conviction, repentance, and faith (lower line), which EQUALS the New Birth. Thus, he calls "conviction, repentance, and faith" the "constituent elements of regeneration."

He has "Regeneration" on the top line;
He has "Conviction, Repentance, Faith" on a line below.
He has a bracket } which combines both lines to equal New Birth.

Among his comments are these:

I would prefer to write the word "regeneration" above a horizontal line with "conviction," "repentance," "faith" directly underneath, so that three names under the line are exactly equal in length to the one above the line. . . . Conviction, repentance and faith are the CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF REGENERATION.

Dr. Carroll even specifically refutes "some theologians" whom he says limit the word "regeneration" to the "influence which precedes all attention to God's word," and he says "the New Testament does not so limit the term regeneration" (pages 177, 185).

He does not name the "some theologians," but I suspect he has the Hybrid pedobaptists in mind, such as Dr. W. G. T. Shedd.

While affirming that the Spirit does exert a preliminary influence, he says, "But I do not call this influence regeneration" (page 178).

There you have a specific denial by B. H. Carroll of the idea that the preliminary influence of the Spirit is "pre-faith regeneration." He further says, "No son without faith" (page 185).

Carroll believed that the Spirit uses "the instrumentality of the Word in the new birth" (page 187.

He says (page 187):

Brother preacher . . . Preach the Word. Sinner, it tells you what to do: Hear the Word, repent, accept Christ. Yes, that is simple and easy. The Word of God is preached to men and they hear that Word and they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and whosoever believeth in Him is born of God.

Dr. Carroll on the Relation of Justification and Regeneration:
When we accept Jesus by faith as he is offered in the gospel, we at once and forever enter into justification, redemption of soul, and adoption into God's family, and are regenerated. We are no longer aliens and enemies, but children and friends of God. . . . The ground of the justification is the expiation of Christ. The means by which we receive the justification is the Holy Spirit's part of regeneration which is called cleansing. Regeneration consists of two elements, at least – cleansing and renewing. But the very moment that one believes in Christ the Holy Spirit applies the blood of Christ to his heart and he is cleansed from the defilement of sin. At the same time the Holy Spirit does another thing. He renews the mind. He changes that carnal mind which is enmity toward God. [An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 14, pages 126, 127].

Justification comes in touch with regeneration at that point where the Spirit of God by the application of the blood of Christ, cleanses the soul. When the man accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his Teacher, Sacrifice, Priest, and King, and trusts in him for salvation, then God in heaven justifies the man, or declares an acquittal of him, through his faith in the blood, but the blood is applied in the cleansing part of regeneration, so that we see again from this relation between regeneration and justification how it is that regeneration cannot be complete without faith. [An Interpretation of the English Bible, Volume 10, pages 293, 294].

It is no marvel that Southwestern Theological Seminary, founded by Carroll, has been known over the years for its sending forth graduates who are noted for their evangelistic, soul winning, and missionary endeavors. I think they reflect the influence of Dr. Carroll's views.

Contrarily, those of the modern Hybrid Calvinist view on the new birth have not distinguished themselves for evangelistic, soul winning endeavors, but rather they have majored on beating the drums for the version of "regeneration" which derives from the Pedobaptists,
even to the point of dispensing with "public invitations" to lost sinners to accept Christ, following the lead of Pedobaptist Ian Murray and his disciple, Ernest Reisinger, founder of the Founders Ministries.

COMMENTS: Your comments are welcome, but in the absence of "Charles" the exclusive Moderator of Comments, they must be sent to Bob L. Ross' email at --

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spurgeon on "Just As I Am"

by CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT (1789-1871)

Charlotte Elliott's great hymn, "Just As I Am," was included in C. H. Spurgeon's OUR OWN HYMNBOOK, #546, giving it a very unique place in Christian hymnology associated with England's most famous Baptist minister and church. It was frequently sung at the Tabernacle and apparently was especially selected in evangelistic settings.

Next to "Amazing Grace" by John Newton, perhaps no other hymn has been sung in Baptist churches more frequently than "Just As I Am." C. H. Spurgeon relates the following about Charlotte Elliott's conversion and hymn:

Some have been cast by the providence of God into positions where they have met with Christian men, and a word of admonition has been blessed to them. A lady was one day at an evening party, and there met with Caesar Malan, the famous divine of Geneva, who, in his usual manner, enquired of her whether she was a Christian. She was startled, surprised, and vexed, and made a short reply to the effect that it was not a question she cared to discuss; whereupon, Mr. Malan replied with great sweetness, that he would not persist in speaking of it, but he would pray that she might he led to give her heart to Christ, and become a useful worker for him.

Within a fortnight she met the minister again, and asked him how she must come to Jesus. Mr. Malan’s reply was, “Come to him just as you are.”

That lady gave herself up to Jesus: it was Charlotte Elliott, to whom we owe that precious hymn

“Just as I am — without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee —
O Lamb of God, I come.”

It was a blessed thing for her that she was at that party, and that the servant of God from Geneva should have been there, and should have spoken to her so faithfully. Oh for many a repetition of the story “of one Simon a Cyrenian,” coming, not with the intent to bear the cross, but with quite another mind, and yet being enlisted in the cross-bearing army of the Lord Jesus!
>> [Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 31, Year 1885, page 425.]

Here is another brief account of how the author, Charlotte Elliott, became a Christian:

Cesar Malan (1787-1864) urged Charlotte Elliott to come "just as you are." The Swiss evangelist and hymn writer always liked to speak a word for Jesus. One day, while visiting England, he spoke to a young women at his table, saying that he hoped she was a Christian. Charlotte Elliott bristled. She would rather not discuss that question, she said. Malan apologized if he had given offense. For Charlotte, however, Malan's witness was a turning point. She could not get his suggestion out of her head.

Three weeks later, she met Malan again and told him that ever since he had spoken to her, she had been trying to find Jesus her Savior. How could she come to Him, she wondered. "You have nothing of merit to bring to God. You must come just as you are," replied the minister. Rejoicing, Charlotte did.

The following biographical information on Charlotte Elliott is from the website

Born: March 18, 1789, Clapham, Surrey, England. Died: September 22, 1871, Brighton, East Sussex, England.Buried: St. Andrew’s Church, Hove, Sussex, England. Elliott became an invalid around age 30, and remained so for the rest of her life. About her physical condition, Elliott wrote:

My Heavenly Father knows, and He alone, what it is, day after day, and hour after hour, to fight against bodily feelings of almost overpowering weakness and languor and exhaustion, to resolve, as He enables me to do, not to yield to the slothfulness, the depression, the irritability, such as a body causes me to long to indulge, but to rise every morning determined on taking this for my motto, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Elliott lived in Brighton, England, and for some 40 years, had an ongoing “spiritual” correspondence with Henri A. C. Malan. She wrote about 150 hymns.

C. H. SPURGEON, on the hymn, "Just As I Am":
It is unspeakably precious in hours of discouragement, then, to fly straight away to Jesus, with the contrite cry of—

"Just as I am—without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidd'st me come to thee.
O Lamb of God, I come."

I have heard of persons boasting that they had outgrown that hymn, but I know I never shall. I must be content still to come to Jesus with no qualification for mercy except that which my sin and misery may give me in the eyes of his free grace. It is a thousand mercies that, although clouds may obscure other evidences, they cannot prevent our coming to the great propitiation, and casting ourselves upon its cleansing power.
>>--Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 13, Year 1867, sermon #755, "Alive or Dead -- Which?" pages 332, 333.

In addition to the foregoing comment from Spurgeon, here is what is said in the Preface of Spurgeon's OUR OWN HYMNBOOK, the hymnal compiled by Spurgeon for use at the Tabernacle, page iv:

3. Hymns suitable for revivals, prayer-meetings, and earnest addresses to sinners, are given in larger numbers and greater variety than in any other selection known to the editor, and several popular verses whose poetic merit had not commended them to previous compilers, have been adopted in deference to the Great Spirit who has so frequently blessed the use of them both to saints and sinners.
[Our Own Hymnbook has been reprinted by Pilgrim Publications in Large Print].

Spurgeon's OUR OWN HYMNBOOK has the hymn, "Just As I Am," at No. 546 under the category or heading of, "The Gospel Received by Faith." So Spurgeon associated "Just As I Am" with the reception of the Gospel by faith.

In the March 1865 issue of The Sword and the Trowel, Spurgeon's magazine, page 128, there is a description of a large meeting of six to seven thousand in the congregation, during a period of intense, ongoing revival, with many being converted to Christ, and a fervent spirit abounding in the church. The report says:

Between six and seven thousand persons assembled . . . Mr. Spurgeon, after a few words of gratitude and joy for the return of such an occasion, gave out some verses of the 100th Psalm, that all might join in a song of praise. He then suggested that their next duty was to give thanks for the blessing which had attended the former meeting of the same kind, the effect of which, upon his own people, was that ninety-three [93] had sat down on the previous evening, for the first time at the table of the Lord. Mr. Marshall and Mr. Barnard presented the incense of praise.

Mr. Spurgeon then gave out the hymn, commencing with --
"Just as I am, Without one plea."

This was a prelude to confession of sin, which, after a silent confession of two or three minutes of each for himself, was offered in the name of all by Mr. Clark. . . .

Now came the direct reference to the unsaved. This was introduced by a most earnest and awakening address by Mr. Spurgeon, and was responded to in prayer by Mr. Stott and Mr. Varley. A hymn followed, commencing thus,
"Once a sinner near despair."
Mr. Teal and Mr. Burton then prayed, and Mr. Spurgeon closed with prayer. INQUIRERS were then encouraged to retire to the lecture hall, where ministers and elders would be glad to converse with them; and MANY RESPONDED TO THE INVITATION.

This was one of the most sober, the most impressive, and, we should judge, the most effective meetings we have ever witnessed.

Here it is seen that during a period of great revival, with many being converted, "Just As I Am" was chosen by Spurgeon on this occasion as part of the service. Spurgeon was always concerned that he would select the proper hymns, as he indicates in the following comment:
I have constantly made it my prayer that I might be guided by the Spirit even in the smallest and least important parts of the service; for you cannot tell but that the salvation of a soul may depend upon the reading of a hymn, or upon the selection of a chapter. Two persons have joined our church and made a profession of being converted simply through my reading a hymn --“Jesus, lover of my soul.”

They did not remember anything else in the hymn, but those words made such a deep impression upon their mind, that they could not help repeating them for days afterwards, and then the thought arose, “Do I love Jesus?” And then they considered what strange ingratitude it was that he should be the lover of their souls, and yet they should not love him. Now I believe the Holy Spirit led me to read that hymn.
>> [From New Park Street Pulpit, Volume 4, Year 1858, sermon #201, page 293. Available on the Internet at Spurgeon Archive and Spurgeon Gems ]

C. H. Spurgeon exhorted:
Salvation? Why thousands do not know what you mean by the term, and here, in this century of light and advancement as we boastfully call it, gross darkness covers the minds of a large proportion of our countrymen!Brethren, the time has not come for you to cease distributing the most plain tracts. The time has not arrived for you to be silent at the street corners even upon the first principles of the faith. You must still proclaim Atonement by the sacrifice of Christ, and the simple doctrine of Justification by Faith. Possibly there may come an age when it will be wise to expatiate mainly upon the deep things of God, but for this present distress we may wisely give our whole strength to telling out the foundation fact—that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Our sermons must repeat times out of number the story of the Cross. The hymns most commonly sung should be of the same order as—“Rock of ages, cleft for me.” “Jesus, lover of my Soul.” “Come, you sinners, poor and wretched.” and “Just as I am, without one plea.” We have even need of such simple ditties as—“I do believe, I will believe, that Jesus died for me.”

For upon that point ignorance and unbelief still cloud the mass of the people among whom we dwell. Let not the people be destroyed for lack of knowledge! Let none go down to Hell because they know not of a Savior. Let me say here that even with those who have heard the Gospel well preached, this ignorance may still remain—as it did in my own case.

I believe if I had known that all I had to do was to look to Christ and I should live. If I had really understood that there was nothing for me to be, nor feel, nor do—but I had only to rest in a finished work and take from God’s mercy that which Christ had completed—I think if I had known that Truth of God, I should have found peace with God much earlier. But I did not understand the Gospel, and therefore remained in distress of mind. Do, then, tell everybody about Jesus! Tell them of the Son of God made flesh! Tell them about Substitution! Speak the word plainly. Tell them—“He bore that we might never bear
His Father’s righteous ire.”

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

Remember that hymn which ought to be sung every Sunday in our assemblies

“Just as I am—and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To You, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come.”

Every verse begins with, “Just as I am,” and so must your prayers, your faith, your hope begin. The whole hymn commences, “Just as I am,” and so must your Christian life be started.

Brethren, whether you will do so or not, I flee to the cross again. In the Rock of Ages I again hide myself. Who among us dares to come forth from that divine shelter? “Jesus, lover of our soul, let us to thy bosom by.”

Let all of us sing as though it were for the first time

“Just as I am — without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God. I come.”

Dear friends, it is due to God, it is due to Christ, it is due to the gospel, that we should every day believe with like simplicity of undivided trust. Keep on believing in Christ, “to whom coming as unto a living stone.”

We are to live by faith.
>> [Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 30, Year 1884, page 671].

It is no marvel that Charlotte Elliott's inspiring and all-time favorite invitation hymn, "Just As I Am," was loved and used by Spurgeon at the Tabernacle where evangelism of the lost was the first priority of interest and endeavor. Of course, this hymn may not be appreciated by some of our very "rigid", anti-public invitation brethren who apparently are somewhat ambivalent about its use, but the fact is, this hymn has been greatly influential, its message so convicting and inviting, and so blessed of the Spirit of God during times of public invitations when those who have heard the Gospel are urged to trust Christ and be saved. It is very likely that even many of those brethren who are like unto those whom Spurgeon once described as "doctrinal brethren" (Vol. 8, #465, page 460) may have professed faith in Christ during invitations where "Just As I Am" was used! That was of course before they apparently became so crystallized in "rigid doctrine" and "zeal for orthodoxy" that they lost some of their appreciation for the simple elements of the Gospel of Christ expressed in "Just As I Am."

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dagg and "Invitations"


How many times have you read or heard some Reformed Hybrid Calvinist allege that Presybterian (Pedobaptist) Charles G. Finney invented the altar call or public invitation?

You can find this type of historical fiction all over the Internet among the so-called "Reformed" born-again-before-faith advocates. They are pleased to discredit public invitations by the terms "decisional regeneration," as if those who use invitations to encourage a public confession of Christ as Lord and Savior believe that one is "regenerated" by their "decision."

Several months ago, I wrote several replies to anti-public invitation articles some of which appear on the Internet. Among the objections that some offer is this false claim that "the practice of publicly inviting people to come forward at the conclusion of a Gospel sermon, did not begin until the time of the 19th century revivalist, Charles G. Finney (1792-1895), who was probably the first to employ this method" (Daryl Erkel).

Likewise, James E. Adams (not to be confused with Pedobaptist Jay Adams), says:

Most Christians are surprised to learn that history before the time of Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) knows nothing of this type of "invitation." The practice of urging men and women to make a physical movement at the conclusion of a meeting was introduced by Mr. Finney in the second decade of the nineteenth century.

That this is not the case is demonstrated in the Autobiography of John L. Dagg (1794-1884), a name well-known in Baptist history. Here is an account given by Dr. Dagg of a church service wherein an "invitation" was given when he was 14 years of age, which would have been in 1809, many years before Finney even started preaching.

From the AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF REV. JOHN L. DAGG, pages 9, 10:
Accordingly, on the first of January, 1809, before I was fifteen years old, I became the master of a neighborhood school. . . . Sometime afterwards I was present at a meeting of the Long Branch church when invitation was given, to those who had hope in Christ, to come forward, and relate their experience. I felt strongly moved to accept the invitation, with others who presented themselves; but considerations, with the sufficiency of which I was not wholly satisfied, held me back.

At length I adopted an unauthorized method of determining my case. Among the persons who had been expected to offer themselves to the church that day, was an individual who had been my school-mate. I decided, if he went forward, to accompany him. Several related their experiences and were received by the church; but as my school-mate was not of the number, I felt, perhaps with some joy, released from taking up the cross.

But when the pastor rose to dismiss the meeting, the young man started from his seat, and asked permission to tell what the Lord had done for him. This was now unexpected to me and I was now unable to rally, for the performance of duty. I left the meeting unhappy; and many an unhappy day of spiritual darkness and conflict followed, before I publicly professed Christ.

While anti-invitationists would no doubt find some "differences" between this invitation and others to which they object, nevertheless the fact remains this was an INVITATION for the purpose of CONFESSING Christ as Savior, and it was practiced by Baptists before the days of Charles G. Finney.

This is just another example of the misinformation which is frequently offered by those who are influenced by Hybrid Calvinists and pedo-regenerationists such as Iain Murray who campaign against certain methods used in evangelism.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Galyon Gagging on Hybridism?


In his blog for August 17, 2009, our frequent nemesis James Galyon (alias the "Rev") has become somewhat of a critic of some who advocate the "Reformed" view on "monergism" which separates "regeneration" as an act which allegedly precedes faith in Christ -- i. e. "born again before faith" or "regeneration precedes faith."

This has been a pet theory of the Pedobaptists dating back at least to the latter 17th century. It seems to have become popularized, apparently by Francis Turretin, and is advocated by many Pedobaptists of later years, such as W. G. T. Shedd, Louis Berkhof, J. I. Packer, John Frame, R. C. Sproul, and some of their disciples among the so-called "Reformed Baptist" camp. Galyon has identified himself in that "Reformed Baptist" camp, but what he writes today directly conflicts with the "Truly Reformed" Pedobaptists who hold this theory.

Galyon does not indicate he has forsaken that theory, but he does make some comments which seem to indicate that he is not altogether happy with how some of the Hybrid Calvinists advocate their notion on "monergism." He says:

I believe one problem with many Reformed individuals (i.e., Augustinians, Calvinists) is that they stress monergism (i.e., regeneration preceding faith) in a manner which over-emphasizes chronology. Such an over-emphasis may sound cold and technical, whereas the doctrine of the new birth should demonstrate the warmth of salvation. I don’t believe this over-emphasis is intended to sound abstract, but it may come across this way at times. Those of us within the Reformed camp need to be cautious in the way we handle this doctrine.
>>[Emphasis supplied by the Flyswatter].

This critical observation by Galyon may not set too well with the Pedobaptist Truly Reformed camp, even if it is only a mere "slap-on-the-hand" type of criticism. After all, the "chronological" distinction between "regeneration" and "faith" is a vital element in Pedobaptist soteriology in regard to their infants. They hold that children born to believers are the subjects of very early "regeneration," based on their idea that the promise of regeneration is "inherited" by elect infants.

Some, like John Frame, teach that this "regeneration" takes place even before physical birth, while others such Shedd and Berkhof, teach that it takes place before, at, or shortly after elect infants are baptized. As for the faith of the elect infants, this supposedly evolves much later in the elect infants once they have developed mentally. The "regeneration precedes faith" idea was evidently an aberration which evolved out of the notion that elect infants are subjects of an early regeneration before they are mentally capable of faith.

James is an illustration of how a Baptist who swallows the "regeneration precedes faith" concoction gags on Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism of the Truly Reformed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Galyon the Garbler


Peter Lumpkins indicates that he finds James "the Collider" Galyon to be a "confusing" writer.

Peter says, "James, there's entirely too much confusion. I half-way think you're attempting to argue two sides at the same time, but I can't be sure. I do know it's best to stick with one position or the other."

While there is an abundance of confusion in Galyon's writing, I think a better description of James is "Garbler." He seems to find a way to garble anything he touches -- if it conflicts with the Pedbaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism ("regeneration precedes faith") of which James is so obsessed.

Awhile back, we observed how Galyon garbled John Gano by "dotting out" a most significant statement in a "quotation" Galyon gave from Gano in the attempt to make a Hybrid Calvinite out of Gano.

Currently, Galyon continues to garble C. H. Spurgeon, and despite all the evidence to contrary, he seems determined to make a Hybrid Calvinist out of Spurgeon. And if one gets a little too tough on James' views, he will accuse that person of the "appearance" of "hatred" and being "vitriolic," such as he alleges of me.

Contrary to Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism, Spurgeon did not regard the preliminary workings of the Holy Spirit within a lost person to constitute the new birth or regeneration.

Here is another example of Spurgeon's view on the matter, taken from his sermon on "Prevenient Grace" (or "Preparatory Grace"):

Now let me show you how God’s Grace does come to work on the human heart so as to make it good soil before the living seed is cast into it—so that before quickening Grace visits it, the heart may be called a good heart—because it is prepared to receive that Grace.

I think this takes place thus—first of all, before quickening Grace comes, God often gives an attentive ear and makes a man willing to listen to the Word. Not only does he like to listen to it, but he wants to know the meaning of it. There is a little excitement in his mind to know what the Gospel tidings really are. He is not saved as yet, but it is always a hopeful sign when a man is willing to listen to the Truth and is anxious to understand it.

This is one thing which prevenient Grace does in making the soul good. In Ezekiel’s vision, as you will recall, before the breath came from the four winds, the bones began to stir and they came together bone to his bone. So, before the Spirit of God comes to a man in effectual
calling, God’s Grace often comes to make a stir in the man’s mind so that he no longer indifferent to the Truth but is anxious to understand what it means.

The next mark of this gracious work is an honest heart. Some persons will not hear you, or if they do, they are always picking holes and finding fault—they are not honest and good ground. But there are others who say, “I will give the man a fair and an honest hearing. I will read the Bible. I will read it honestly. I will really see whether it is the Word of God or not. I will come to it without any prejudices, or, if I have any prejudices I will throw them aside.”

Now, all this is a blessed work of preparatory Grace making the heart ready to receive effectual calling. Then, when this willingness and honesty are attended with a tender conscience, as they are in some unconverted people, this is another great blessing. Some of you are not converted, but you would not do wrong। You are not saints, but you would not tell a lie for the world! I thank God that there are some of you so excellent in morals that if you were proposed to us for Church membership, we could not raise any objection to you on that ground, at any rate. You are as honest as the day is long। As for the things of God, you are outwardly as attentive to them and as diligent in them as the most earnest and indefatigable Christians। Now, this is because your conscience is tender. When you do wrong you cannot sleep at night. And you do not feel at all easy in being without a Savior—I know some of you do not. You have not come to any decision; the grace of God has not really made you feel your thoroughly blind state—still you are not quite easy. In fact, to go farther, your affections, though not weaned altogether from earth, yet begin to tremble a little as though they would go heavenward.

You want to be a Christian—when the communion table is spread, you dare not come downstairs—but I see you looking from the gallery and you wish you were with us. You know you have not believed in Jesus Christ, and the world keeps you back from doing so—but still there is a kind of twitching in your conscience. You do not know what it is, but there is a something in you that makes you say at times, “O God, let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his.”

Yes, and you even go farther than this and ask to live the righteous man’s life, too. Now, remember, this will not save you—“You must be born again.”

But for all this the Church of God should feel deeply grateful—for they have seen in themselves that this is often God’s preparatory work—clearing away the rubbish and rubble and digging out the foundations, that Jesus Christ might be laid there, the Cornerstone of future hope and of future happiness!
[End of excerpt]

We see in this excerpt that Spurgeon did not believe that one is born again until he has come to a "decision" -- the decision to believe on Christ as Saviour. When this faith has been brought about by the power of the Word and Spirit, then there is "evidence" of regeneration or the new birth. Wherever there is such faith, then we know the new birth has taken place. But as Spurgeon emphasized, where there is no faith there is no regeneration.

Here is more from Spurgeon:
For, first, without faith there is no capacity for communion with God at all. The things of God are spiritual and invisible—without faith we cannot recognize such things but must be dead to them. Faith is the eye which sees. But without that eye we are blind and can have no fellowship with God in those Sacred Truths which only faith can perceive. Faith is the hand of the soul, and without it, we have no grasp of eternal things. If I were to mention all the images by which faith is set forth, each one would help you to see that you must have faith in order to know God and enter into converse with Him. It is only by faith that we can recognize God, approach Him, speak to Him, hear Him, feel His Presence and be delighted with His perfections. He that has not faith is toward God as one dead. And Jehovah is not the God of the dead, but of the living. The communion of the living God goes not forth toward death and corruption. His fellowship is with those who have spiritual life, a life akin to His own. Where there is no faith, there has been no quickening of the Holy Spirit, for faith is of the very essence of spiritual life.

And so the man who has no faith can no more commune with the living God and give Him pleasure, than can a stick or a stone, a horse or an ox, hold converse with the human mind. (Faith Essential to Pleasing God, MTP, Sermon #2100, Vol. 35, 446).

As can be seen from Spurgeon's "Soul Winner" book, while all efficient power is attributed to the Holy Spirit, Spurgeon always has "means" involved as the Spirit's "instrumentality." He says, "Instruction by the gospel is the commencement of all real work upon men's minds" (page 17, Pilgrim edition).

"He works by means" (page 25), Spurgeon says, and "Paul compares himself both to a father and to a mother in the matter of the new birth" (page 25).

"Such mysterious power doth God infuse into the instrumentality which He ordains" (page 26), "we regard ourselves as used by the Holy Ghost . . . the marvels of regeneration which attend our ministry" (page 27), "He quicken(s) them by the gospel" (page 28), and "The production of faith is the very centre of the target at which you aim" (page 29).

So wrote Spurgeon, and likewise what he preached.

So Spurgeon's view is that regeneration neither preceeds faith nor follows after faith -- rather, regeneration is the very creation of faith itself.

When one is made a believer of the Gospel of Christ by the efficient power of the Holy Spirit, he IS THEN born again -- not before, and not after faith, but at the same instant of faith in Christ, which faith has been created by instrumentality of the Gospel thru the power of the Holy Spirit -- NOT by the power of the WILL OF MAN (John 1:12, 12) or by what some dub as "decisional regeneration" -- as some of the Hybrid Calvinists ("Reformed") would have you believe about non-Hybrid Calvinists.

If a man were regenerated BEFORE faith, at the point of regeneration he would be a spiritual freak -- a "regenerated (born again) unbeliever."

If he were regenerated AFTER faith, at the point of faith he would be an unregenerated believer, another spiritual freak.

Neither of these is consistent with Scripture (1 John 5:12). Both ideas are spiritual non-existants.

The pre-faith regeneration view is admitted by both Shedd and Berkhof to be a different view on regeneration than taught in former years by the Puritans and as set forth in the Westminster Confession (See Shedd, Vol. 2, page 402; Berkhof, pages 470, 476).

It certainly conflicts with our Baptist Confessions, all of which affirm the necessary use of the Word as an instrumentality in the Holy Spirit's bringing forth faith and the New Birth.

In his sermon, "A Kind of Firstfruits," preached on January 5, 1868, sermon number 3275, on the text, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures"
(James 1:18.

Spurgeon said:
The instrumentality through which this singular change has been wrought in us is clearly stated, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”

Men are not usually saved without the immediate agency of the gospel. Some have said that the Spirit of God always works through the truth, and that the truth is sure to work conviction. The truth, however, is preached, and faithfully preached, to tens of thousands, to whom it conveys not a blessing at all, but is the savour of death unto death.

Others have said that the Spirit of God regenerates men apart from the Word of God but this is not told us in Scripture, and is not therefore to be received.

But evermore the Word and the Spirit are put together. Scripture does not talk of the Word of God as a dead letter; it says, “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword.”

On the other hand, Scripture does not speak of the Holy Spirit as though the Word would work apart from him, but the two are put together, and "what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

My dear brethren and sisters, you who have been begotten again unto a lively hope, was it not through the hearing of the Word, or the reading of it, or the remembrance of some hallowed text which you had almost forgotten? You know it was.

Good McCheyne used to say, “Depend on it, it is God’s Word that saves souls, and not our comment upon God’s Word;” and so I believe it is. It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.

And what is this Word? What is it that usually brings men to be begotten unto a new life? The Word, the especial quickening Word, is the preaching of the doctrine of the cross. . . . Oh! then, if you have been quickened by the Word, tell out the Word. If the gospel has brought you to salvation, tell that gospel out.


"If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate" (The Warrant of Faith, #531, page 532).

So much for Garbling Galyon's colliding with Spurgeon.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spurgeon vs. Galyon, etc.


Some Hybrid Calvinists dislike the term "decision" in the matter of salvation, and some talk about a so-called "decisional regeneration" idea in an effort to discredit the use of the word "decision."

So be it. They can choose their own poison. But to try to drag Spurgeon into their leaky tent is preposterous.


In the case of James Galyon, it is indeed "2 Worlds Collide" -- namely, Galyon's Hybrid Calvinist World colliding with C. H. Spurgeon's world.

Spurgeon preached the Gospel to "dead sinners," called upon the dead sinners to repent and believe, and thereby he made converts to Christ.

The Pedo-infected Hybrids (on the whole) rely on "infant regeneration," which is supposedly an "inheritance" in consequence of the infants being born to believers. That is why there are no "evangelists" among the Hybrid Calvinists. Their chief business is to seek proselytes to Hybrid Calvinism from among believers who were previously converted by "non-Calvinists."

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. . . . . 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, such as in the case of Lydia, but Spurgeon did not call this the "new birth" or "regeneration," as if one is born again before he has believed on Christ.
The fact is, 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).

Ian Murray Acknowledges Spurgeon's View

No less than Pedobaptist and Hybrid Calvinism advocate, Mr. Ian Murray of The Banner of Truth, has often in the past twisted and spun Spurgeon in an effort to make a Hybrid Calvinist out of Spurgeon. But it seems that Murray, for some unknown reason, in more recent times, has felt under obligation to acknowledge the fact that Spurgeon indeed held that faith "occurs at the same time as the new birth" (The Old Evangelicism, page 65), which conflicts with the "pre-faith" notion of the Hybrids.

This acknowledgment was called to my attention a while back by a brother Ian Elsasser and I am deeply indebted to him for the reference. If some Hybrid Calvinist tries to use Murray's past twists of Spurgeon to teach Hybrid Calvinism, you can refer the person to Murray's acknowledgment in this book published in 2005 by the Banner of Truth.

We have also before called attention to --

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


"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:
But faith overcomes the world,
Therefore the man who has faith is regenerate;

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

To state the syllogism summarily:

1. "WHATSOEVER is BORN OF GOD overcometh the world."
2. But FAITH overcomes the world.
3. Therefore, the instant that FAITH is born in a man by the Word and Spirit he is BORN OF GOD in that instant -- and not before.

There is no way under the Sun to squeeze a "born again before faith" situation into that syllogism!

No one can find a person who is "born again" who does not have faith in Christ!

FAITH is that which is BORN OF GOD,
therefore the man who has faith begotten in him

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

There is simply no room in Spurgeon for the Pedobaptist/Hardshell doctrine of "regeneration precedes faith" -- advocated by the likes Turretin, Shedd, Berkhof, Spoul, Packer, and Packer's disciple, James Galyon -- which alleges that "regeneration" is a separate and distinct preceding act distinguished from effectual calling simultaneously by the Word and Spirit.

Spurgeon Rejected Hybrid Calvinism


"If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate"
(The Warrant of Faith, #531, page 532).

That statement by Spurgeon very well sums up the Pedobaptist Reformed Calvinist heresy that one is "born again before believing," or "regeneration precedes faith."

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dagg: Faith Precedes in New Birth


Dr. John L. Dagg (1794-1884) did not advocate the "born again before faith" or "regeneration precedes faith" aberration advocated by the Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinists and the "Reformed" Baptists who follow the Pedos, such as the case with James Galyon who is currently engaged on his blog in misconstruing Dr. Dagg's views as well as those of C. H. Spurgeon, another non-Reformed creedal Calvinist.

Despite the fact we have previously revealed on this blog that Dr. Dagg was not an advocate of the Pedobaptist Reformed "born again before faith" heresy on regeneration, the Hybrid Calvinist Flounders continue to use Dagg's picture as "wallpaper." The Flounders would have you believe the implication that they agree with and represent the views held by Dr. Dagg.

Also, they have other information about Dr. Dagg on their website as if to indicate that Dr. Dagg held the same views on "Calvinism" as advocated by the Flounders. In fact, the Flounders even have Dr. Dagg's Manual of Theology book available on their website, although this very book itself contradicts Flounders' Hybrid Calvinism on the new birth.

The Flounders' website carries this statement by Tom Nettles about Dr. Dagg -- "For clarity, cogency, and sincerity of expression, no theological writer of the 19th century surpasses John L. Dagg."

The Flounders' website has an article on Dagg by Mark Dever, who says: "Dagg served at Mercer University, in Georgia, as President (1844-1854), and as professor of theology (1844-1855). There he labored to build the theological department until, in the early 1850's, it was perhaps the most celebrated theological school in the south. . . . Evidence of enduring appreciation for Dagg's work can be seen by the fact that almost forty years after his retirement, when a new theology professor was to be appointed at Mercer in 1893, he was recommended by the simple statement that if this person 'needed any endorsement, it would be sufficient to say that he was a student under that incomparable theological teacher, Rev. J. L. Dagg, D. D., and that he uses his Systematic Theology, as a text book.'"

But contrary to the Flounders' Hybrid Calvinism view on the new birth, here is what Dr. Dagg says about ---

(1) THE SPIRIT'S USE OF THE WORD OF GOD AS THE MEANS in regeneration, and about --


>>We know, from the Holy Scriptures, that God employs his truth in the regeneration of the soul. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth." Love to God necessarily implies knowledge of God, and this knowledge it is the province of truth to impart. . . . What accompanying influence the Holy Spirit uses, to render the word effectual, we cannot explain: but Paul refers to it, when he says, "Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost."--"but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power."

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

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

Dr. Dagg then goes on to discuss the difference between that "spiritual" faith and the "faith" which exists beforehand, which is sometimes called "natural" or "historical faith." Later on, he says --

>>This change, by which true love to God is produced, results from the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, accompanying his word, and making it effectual. It was this direct influence which rendered the word so effectual on the day of Pentecost, which opened Lydia's heart, so that she attended to the things that were spoken by Paul; -- which gave the increase when Paul planted, and Apollos watered,--and which has ever brought the word to the heart, in demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. . . . By the will of God, the truth has its regenerating and sanctifying power; for he works in us to will and to do, according to his pleasure. It belongs to the Holy Spirit, in the economy of grace, to produce divine life in the soul, as he brooded over the face of the waters, at creation, reducing the chaotic mass to order, and filling it with life.
He is pleased to work with means; and he employs the truth as his instrument of operation. This instrument he wields at his pleasure, and he renders it effectual by his divine power: "My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.">>

It is clear that Dr. Dagg taught that spiritual faith, which is brought about by the Word applied by the Holy Spirit, "precedes" in the so-called "ordo salutis." It is also clear that Dagg taught that the Word is the "instrument" the Spirit uses in regeneration.

I believe the Flounders probably realize that Dr. Dagg contradicts their theology, and they apparently are careful not to quote him when he does. For example --In a Flounders' article on "Regeneration" by Founders Board of Directors member, Bill Ascol, he quotes from Dr. Dagg but fails to quote Dagg's statement that faith "precedes regeneration."

In fact, Bill Ascol's quotation appears to carefully and, I think, perhaps very deliberately, stops just short of where Dagg makes that statement that faith "precedes regeneration." (See here for Bill Ascol's quote and see here for Dr. Dagg's presentation).

Dr. Dagg's view is clearly contrary to the "pre-faith regeneration," "born again before faith" heresy advocated by the Reformed Pedobaptists and their disciples among the Flounders, and also currently by James Galyon's blog.

So Dr. Dagg was not a Reformed theologian, nor a Flounders' type, on the new birth. He taught the Creedal view. He was of the same mind as B. H. Carroll who contended that "regeneration is not complete without faith."

Since the Flounders and men such as James Galyon flounderously continue to try to exploit both Dr. Dagg and Dr. Carroll to promote essential "Hardshell" doctrine, we will continue to expose this misrepresentation as well as their Hybrid Calvinism heresy on what they call "regeneration."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Altar Call


Perhaps the most popular "whipping boy" of the Reformed Hybrid Calvinist camp of theology is the "altar call" or the "public invitation."

The "Pryomaniacs" website has opened up for its readership to suggest a "better idea," and that despite the fact that it might safely be presumed that 9 of every 10 who comment on that blog were probably converted in relation to an altar call or public invitation.

Even the wealthy gentleman who bank-rolled the Banner of Truth Trust, which is one of the primary critics of public invitations, is said to have "received an assurance of his salvation in Jesus Christ" at an altar prayer at St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem in December of 1955 (Banner of Truth Magazine, No. 93, page 2, June 1973).

I have often read items critical of public invitations and in most cases they were written by persons whose own conversions were related to public invitations. Some, after their "indoctrination" into the Hybrid Calvinism of the Reformed camp, later say they were saved "despite" the invitation.

Oh, well, it is no marvel that it has been observed that a number of the anti-invitation churches fail to evangelize by any method and thus fail to make converts, their memberships dwindled, and some of them have even closed their doors. They didn't seem to have a "better idea" on how to invite lost men and women to come to Christ and confess Him as Lord and Saviour.

Some have utilized other methodology in soliciting professions of faith, such as the "Invitation to the Pastor's Office," which was the practice of the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel in London.

I have written several articles in which I think I have just about replied to every conceivable objection to public invitations, and you can find a number of these articles at this link:

Select Writings of Bob L. Ross

Among my writings are some articles in reply to Pedobaptist Ian Murray, who has written against the use of public invitations, and is responsible for much of the anti-invitation palabber of the current age.
Others basically simply repeat Murray's objections.

I also wrote a reply to Flounders' Founder Ernest Reisinger's criticisms. Ernest himself is said to have prayed "The Sinner's Prayer" and afterwards professed faith during an invitation in an "Arminian" Salvation Army meeting. His experience is somewhat typical of how many, if not most, of the anti-invitationists were converted. It seems that most of our current crop of alleged "Calvinists," like Reisinger, were brought to Christ under alleged "Arminian ministries" which used "Arminian methods," and afterwards they adopted the "Reformed" theology which made it necessary for them to somehow "explain" why those methods were wrong and they "got saved in spite" of the "Arminian methods."

If it weren't for the alleged "Arminians" bringing in the "elect," we wonder how they would be brought into the fold. It has been my observation for over 50 years that most of the "Calvinists" I have known testify that they were evangelized and brought to profess faith by those whom they were later pleased to identify as "Arminian."

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Spilsbury, Not "Reformed"


STEPHEN GARRETT, at the BaptistGadfly, has posted the following about John Spilsbury, recognized by Baptist historians as one of the primary earliest leaders among the English Particular Baptists:

John Spilsbury and His Confession

John Spilsbury (1593-1668) was a major leader of the English Particular Baptists and signer of the first London Baptist Confession of Faith:

"I believe that God of his grace, in his own time, effectually calls such as shall be saved to the knowledge of the truth, who is said, of his own will to beget us by the word of truth: in which work of grace, nature is as passive, as a child in the parents begetting of it; and so God by His Spirit works faith in the hearts of all such to believe in Christ, and his righteousness, only for justification. And thus they are made righteous before God in Christ, and so conformable to the will of God the Father through the Son; and also made holy through the work of regeneration, and the holy Spirit of grace dwelling in them; yet all such have still, as long as they live here in the flesh, remaining in them, an old man, that original corruption, the flesh that wars against the spirit, which hinders them in their obedience both to God and to man, and many times draws them to that which is evil, and contrary to their intentions; yet all of them shall through Christ overcome, and safely be brought to glory at last." (emphasis mine)

See here

Clearly Spilsbury put faith before justification and regeneration in his "ordo salutis."

Bob's Note: Stephen Garrett has a veritable storehouse of materials on his BaptistGadfly from Baptists which demonstrates that the modern "born again before believing" of the Hybrid Calvinist Reformed camp is a post-17th century Pedobaptist invention, not held by Baptists and their Confessions of Faith.

Most of the advocates of this aberration in our time are Pedobaptists who teach "regeneration" apart from the necessary instrumentality of the Word and that infants born to believers get "born again" either before they are physically born or shortly after their births.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Benjamin Keach, Not "Reformed"


We received the following email from our friend, Ian Elsasser, in which he points out how the so-called "Reformed Baptists" have erroneously pegged Benjamin Keach of the 17th century as "Reformed." Keach was a "Baptist" but there is no evidence that he or any other Baptists of his period referred to themselves as "Reformed."

Keach was one of C. H. Spurgeon's notable predecessors as Pastor of the church in London, including John Gill and John Rippon. None of these ever referred to himself or the church as "Reformed Baptists." Neither did Spurgeon himself.


I came upon the Benjamin Beach entry in Wikipedia and noticed that, like the Spurgeon entry, some Reformed Baptist identified him in the first sentence as "a Reformed Baptist preacher." I changed the description to "Particular Baptist" since that is what he was.

These Reformed Baptist guys need to stop this anachronism which will mislead the readers and serves only to co-opt Keach and his brethren into their own movement which is not necessarily the same as the 1600-1800 period thought. I wish these gents would have respect for history and use the proper terms, for Reformed Baptist did not exist as a phrase until the 1960s in England and then into Canada and the USA.

Bob's comment:

A friend of mine who is a very keen and scholarly student of Baptist history sent me the following email awhile back:

>>Bro. Bob: In my research over the years I have never found a historical reference where the term "Reformed Baptists" was used by missionary Calvinistic Baptists before the 1950s influence of the Banner of Truth [Pedobaptist] men. It was, however, in the nineteenth century a term used to designate both the anti-missionary Primitive Baptists and the anti-missionary Campbellite movement, and as you know the latter was also anti-Calvinistic. The Campbellites were often referred to by Regular (Calvinistic) Baptists as "Reformers" and "Reformed Baptists." I can cite a number of historical examples of this. Even "Reformed Baptist" Samuel Waldron, in his book, Baptist Roots in America, in order to find a historical use of the term "Reformed Baptists" had to cite a Primitive Baptist example. >>

Keach was not a "Reformed Baptist," and no Baptist today who repudiates Reformed Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinism should refer to himself as "Reformed." It is a modern misnomer.

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