« "Forsaken: A Meditation" by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Professor David Allen on Andrew Fuller's Shift from Hyper-Calvinism by Peter Lumpkins »

Apr 18, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Max

Oh no!! Not another "ism"! The Word has warned us about all those "ites" to watch out for - there's plenty to go around, it seems. They are so thick in my vicinity that I'm starting to itch. Too many philosophies, ministry methods, and culturally-relevant missiologies for this old guy to keep up with.

I just read a great line from Vance Havner's book "Why Not Just Be Christians?" ... "Somehow the impression has been created that we need to rethink the inspiration of Scriptures and revamp all our theology and work out a new code of Christian conduct in line with the times and acceptable to the nuclear age. Actually, this nuclear age is not essentially different from any other age, except for the increase of its gadgets and gimmicks. This is a generation of poor lost sinners and the need of the hour is a fresh crop of New Testament Christians who believe the Bible, trust Christ as Savior and obey Him as Lord, are filled with the Spirit, and out to make the gospel known". It's just that simple.

--Max

peter lumpkins

Yes! :^) Just what we need.

With that, I am...
Peter

J. K.

Peter,

I would like to know your take on John Piper’s biographical work on Andrew Fuller.

Please see the links here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/biographies/holy-faith-worthy-gospel-world-vision

JK

peter lumpkins

J.K.

Not familar with Piper's perspective on Fuller. However, I am familiar with David Allen's. Up next!

With that, I am...
Peter

JM

Piper claims to teach limited atonement but sites Millard J. Erickson's Christian Theology as teaching the correct view of the atonement. Erickson is not a Calvinist and teaches universal atonement;


"In contrast with the foregoing position is the contention that God intended the atonement to make salvation possible for all persons. Christ died for all persons, but his atoning death becomes effective only when accepted by the individual. While this is the view of all Arminians, it is also the position of some Calvinists, who are sometimes referred to as sublapsarians." (Christian Theology, chapter 39, page 829)


You can hear Piper make the reference to Erickson here: http://theresurgence.com/2006/09/12/the-whole-glory-of-god-the-imputation-and-the-impartation-of-his-righteousness-part-2

jm

JM

Quote, "...Hyper-Calvinism embodied in Particular Baptists like John Gill." Of course Fuller had Gill pegged wrongly. Fuller is a slippery puppy, often confused, even misquotes Gill (as Ella points out). Fuller believed that in order to evangelize you had to have an atonement that was sufficient for all and efficient for the elect...this is sickly Calvinism. Gill believed the atonement was limited to the elect alone but still preached the Gospel openly as the instrument or means by which regeneration takes place. http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/0100.htm

Dr.Tom Nettles in "By His Grace and for His Glory" writes, "Gill's dissatisfaction with the 'offers' vocabulary must not be construed as a refusal to urge sinners to come to Christ. On the contrary,Gill considers it a mark of a true minister earnestly to urge others to come to Christ." (Pages 100-101)

Gill was not a Hyper.

jm

peter lumpkins

JM,

First, Piper embraces Limited Atonement. If he does not, it’s difficult to make sense of his exposition. Second, what Piper may have said in the mp3 about Erickson, I do not know; however, as you rightly point out, Erickson does not embrace Limited Atonement. Hence, Piper is mistaken (perhaps a bit of absent-mindedness, who knows?). 

Even so, third, just because one does not embrace Limited Atonement does not mean one does not embrace a robust Calvinism. Contra to your “sickly Calvinism” diagnosis, Erickson is but one of many examples (many many others could be marshaled, I assure) of convictional Calvinists who deny Limited Atonement.

Fourth, granting for argument’s sake Fuller did “misquote Gill,” it hardly follows he pegged Gill wrongly as Hyper-Calvinist. Nor is Ella sufficiently an authority on which to rely. For example theologian-historian, James Leo Garrett views Ella’s work on Gill as having an axe to grind against Fuller, dubbing the gospel Fuller preached as a "humanistic message” possessing “no saving value” (link). Garrett also suggested when he reviewed Ella’s work, “You, know, he’ll [George Ella] just make some harsh statements about him [Fuller], but he won’t tell me where’s he’s interacting with Fuller, so I can’t go there myself and interact with it and decide if I agree with him” (Fullerism as Opposed to Calvinism by A. Chadwick Mauldin, 2011, p.84). Thus, to rely on Ella is to rely on a broken reed.

Furthermore, while Tom Nettles does attempt to relieve Gill from Hyper-Calvinism, scholars who have particularly written in the area hardly follow suit—Curt Daniel, Iain Murray, and Peter Toon to name a few—showing Nettles to be dead-wrong about Gill.

Hence, your conclusion that “Gill was not a Hyper” is hardly warranted, JM.

With that, I am…

Peter

JM

Peter, I didn't realize who you were until I googled your name. Please remove my posts from your blog I wish no interaction with you at all.

peter lumpkins

Dear JM,

Thanks. But no; I'll leave the comments. You may avoid all future contact which best suits your needs.

Wishing you God's grace.

With that, I am...
Peter

Ian D. Elsasser

JM, Peter is correct that Calvinism is broader than the narrower view propounded by some. Erickson stands within the Calvinistic tradition and admits it. Your response seems odd.

A. Chadwick Mauldin

JM,

Peter is correct, Ella's treatment (that was my quote about Ella'a lack of notation)of Fuller shows an agenda driven approach coupled with questionable scholarship. Simply put, Ella is himself a hyper-Calvinist and is for this reason predictably infuriated by Fuller's theological vision.

The reason Gill was a hyper-Calvinist (and I appreciate Gill in many ways) was primarily because of his adherence to the doctrine of eternal justification. This doctrine teaches that justification and adoption reside in eternity rather than time and space (find that in the Bible). The practical expression of this doctrine is revealed in a lack of missionary fervor. Eternal justification was certainly a development from Calvinism proper and high Calvinism both.

Also, in all due respect, the body of Christ should have no concern whether something is "sickly Calvinism" or not. Rather, we must only concern ourselves with the truth of God's word.

Ian D. Elsasser

A. Chadwick Mauldin said, "Also, in all due respect, the body of Christ should have no concern whether something is "sickly Calvinism" or not. Rather, we must only concern ourselves with the truth of God's word."

Mr. Mauldin:

Nicely said. Spurgeon himself affirmed the same in a sermon on 1 Timothy 2.3, 4:

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

Dr. James Galyon

JM,
Just a kind rebuttal regarding your statement, "Fuller believed that in order to evangelize you had to have an atonement that was sufficient for all and efficient for the elect...this is sickly Calvinism." I heartily disagree. This is the language of the Synod of Dort (2d Head of Doctrine). Hardly "sickly."

On the other hand, those who would malign Calvin need to study the facts a bit more carefully. The church planting out of Geneva under Calvin's leadership were quite impressive. The Reformer envisioned evangelizing Europe, and trained evangelists personally. Those whom he sent out spread the evangelical faith throughout the Continent and the British Isles. The Venerable Company of Pastors was established as a Protestant missionary agency. The register of the group records the names of eighty-eight men sent out for service between 1555-1562. Because of unbridled persecution against Evangelicals in Europe, the utmost secrecy was observed to protect their identities. It was not considered safe to do so until 1555 to do so, though even at that point some were listed with pseudonyms and many others were not listed at all. The practice of recording names ceased in 1562 when the wars of religion commenced in France. The peak year of missionary activity seems to have been the previous year, when no less than 142 individuals were sent out from Geneva for the sake of the gospel.

These missionaries had tremendous results with their church planting efforts in France. In 1555 there were only five organized Evangelical churches in the nation (in Paris, Meaux, Angers, Poitiers, and Loudon). Nearly four years later, in May 1559, when the first National Synod of Reformed Churches in France secretly convened in Paris, there were 100 churches. In 1562 there were 2,150 congregations and it is estimated that Evangelicals in France numbered well over 100,000.

A. Chadwick Mauldin

Dr. Galyon,

I couldn't agree more. And I have argued similarly in my recent book. Arguments claiming that Calvin lacked missionary fervor are just incorrect. Calvin did, however, have a couple of serious malformations in his missiology: his handling of Matt 28, and his promotion of coercion through magisterial reform.

The comments to this entry are closed.