Dear Friends and Brethren,
Just as I tried recently to log on to the Puritanboard because they were carrying on speculative discussions regarding my person in my absence, I have been trying to log on to the Predestinarian Network as they seem to be very interested in confirming rumours concerning me and guessing where I stand doctrinally. After all the writing I have been doing for over fifty years, I would have thought they should know as I never beat about the bush as to where I stand. The various doctrines and lack of them they attribute to me are very imaginative. This time, however, getting onto their site was even more difficult. The forms to be filled in were mind-boggling and I did not have the shadow of a chance of answering them correctly. Though I am very fond of the Gypsy life and something of a Romany Rye, I have never tried dukkerin, which the ladies do better than the men, anyway. However the web-masters asked me to identify myself with one of a whole list of Jesuit and Medieval Jewish sectarian views about eschatology and the occult which are all partly or fully pagan. On the whole, I was asked to give intimate, personal, minute data which interests no one and then feed Facebook with things no one in their right mind would entrust to them. Needless to say, I failed again to get ‘on-line’. Perhaps contributors to the Predestinarian Network will see this letter and pass on the information to their insiders. I have had no response from Puritanboard as yet.
The main discussion into which my name encroaches is concerning the Covenant of God. This is where it appears I am misunderstood the most. Most of the writers feel I am a Covenant Theologian of the Usurpation era between 1640-48 in England when the Presbyterians split up the Biblical and Reformed doctrine of the Covenant for two, three, four or more covenants of which neither Adam, Abraham, Moses nor Jeremiah knew anything about as there were no such things in their days. The NCT is a mere continuation of this downgrading of the Covenant. In the Scriptures, in keeping with most of the Reformers such as Bullinger and Tyndale, I see only one Covenant at work in both Testaments and that is the Covenant that God made with His Son from Eternity. This includes all alleged separate covenants in both Testaments and especially includes the Mosaic Law which is the Law that slew Christ on our behalf and enabled us to live in God’s Plan A of our eternal inheritance. There is no Plan B as the NCT argues. If they took away what they call wrongly the Covenant of Works from the Covenant of Grace, there would be no Covenant at all between the Father and the Son on behalf of man. Though even the Jesuits were dropping Aristotelian thinking in their 17 century plans for education, our Presbyterian rebels, who helped Cromwell to power and then fell out with him as they fell out with Charles I and II after ‘courting’ them in vain, Aristotelianised their entire theology. They dissected the gospel bird until it was all bits of blood, muscle, feathers and sinews and called their dead works their Bird of Paradise. Read John Durie’s two major works on the Covenant A Summarie Platform and Earnest Breathings (full titles much longer) to find out how the Episcopalians such as Ussher and the Independents strove to keep to Reformed doctrines in the face of Presbyterian intolerance. Those NCT-ites, with whom I have had to do, have a covenantal doctrine which is a direct development of The Presbyterian Counter-Reformation and the ‘Back to Rome’ drift. We have no Gospel According to Aristotle in the Reformed Churches. NCT writers such as Ditzel say I am ‘illogical’. What they mean is that I am Post-Aristotelian and Post Ramist for that matter. As their systems of logic did not take into account all factors necessary, both Aristotle and Ram merely produce generalisations from a small body of particulars. This gave rise to the ‘case studies’ of the Presbyterians which turned into a kind of Sharia Law. Even their so-called Covenant of Grace became thus a Covenant of works. The Solemn League and Covenant was the first Totalitarian and Anti-Christian set of laws set up in Britain.
God has never discontinued his Covenant with Christ
Secondly, as gathered from the above, I do not believe in a discontinuity of the covenants as per the NCT as we learn from the NT that the revelation of God’s Covenant continued over into the New. There was no new creation after the prophetic age but what was seen in faith then continued to be seen in faith in the NT period and is seen in faith still. We look back in faith to that historical fact. The faith of the patricians and the prophets was the faith of Christ. Whether Abraham, Paul or George Ella, we are condemned by the same law and saved by the same grace. That same Law then and now pointed us to Christ, the Fulfiller of the Law. To fulfill does not mean to abolish but to continue to do for us what we still cannot do for ourselves. When Christ stops fulfilling the Law for us, it will cease, but that will never happen, as Christ and His Law are One.
Tarring all with the same brush
Brother Higby tells his readers that my comments would condemn more or less all Christians. This is hyperbole indeed. There are a number of writers on the Predestinarian Network who obviously agree with me in much if not all. Most Christians were historically of the same opinion as myself in the Scriptures, throughout Church History, especially during the Reformation, and lived on parallel to the Presbyterian revolt and after its speedy downfall in 1648. I can give anyone 200 ancient Christian Scholars’ names for any one they might pick from readers who believed Rutherford’s Rex Lex, the first major book of the dark Enlightenment the Pressies laid on the desk of each member of the Westminster Assembly. However, I have condemned no one.
Ella the Supralapsarian: Who’s kidding?
Another criticism leveled at me on several occasions is that I am an enemy and condemner of Sublapsarians. How strange! I have written so extensively over the last five decades on my own position as a Sublapsarian, also demonstrating how the over 300 Christian heroes I have written about were Sublapsarians but yet I have never, ever, followed that blind, Hyper-Calvinist position called Supralapsarianism. John Gill went to great lengths to show that he was not a Supralapsarian but the BOT, Founders Journal, Reformation Today, the Fullerites etc. keep chanting their misinformed manta that he is. How many people have told me that though they have never read a word of Gill or what I write, they know we are both Supralapsarians! True, Calvin believed that election was a fiat of God irrespective of Christ’s redeeming work and that he created Adam to sin. No man is perfect. Bullinger, his mentor and the man Calvin copied the most, besides Bucer, told him he ought to change his ways radically if he wished to be recognized as a Reformer. He did not follow this advice but many ‘Reformed’ men have not followed it either. For instance, a leading member of the Wee-Frees Continuing still harangues me in his web site, calling me a Hyper-Calvinist though he teaches that God ordained mankind to fall. Those who teach that doctrine appear to me, to have fallen badly on their head, too. At least they are guilty of Hyper-Hypocrisy!
The Lord’s Day
Another criticism I am up against is that I condemn certain people as heretics for the way they treat the Lord’s Day. Now I fellowship with people who represent a number of views on the Lord’s Day and my very best and intimate friends of many years are in that circle. Furthermore, I cannot remember ever taking a NCT man to task on that subject. I am at present writing a biography of Henry Jessey who was convinced that the Lord’s Day or the Sabbath was Friday night to Saturday morning. However, who would dare say I do not love Jessey and condemn him as a heretic? Besides, if all who fall into heresy at some time, are damned eternally, then Heaven must be a very lonely place.
Throwing out the clean baby with the dirty bath water.
Writers on the Predestinarian Network accuse me of condemning those who believe in any part of New Covenant Theology. This is quite wrong. Even Randal Seiver who calls me in his blogs a ‘loon’ and ‘terminally demented’ etc. has a statement of faith in which, given my usage of the same words, I find a number of amen-points. However, in the good old days when John Reisinger expounded his views on the various seeds, NCT ideas could be counted and understood. Now, I witness every week that NCT-ites are leaving Reisinger far behind. They are also leaving his gentlemanlike nature and becoming wild and extreme in their language.
Similarly, I am criticised for taking hold of one doctrine of NCT writers and dealing with that as a means of condemning them hook, line and sinker. This is not true. Where I have dealt with one point at a time with my NCT critics, it has been because of criticisms I have received directly from NCT writers on single issues. Thus Peter Ditzel challenged me and Peter Meney on Justification, so I tackled him on Justification. This brought up further issues which were again tackled. Wells wrote a review of my Law and Gospel in the Theology of Andrew Fuller, though he never got further than the Introduction. This caused me to take up his criticisms, and so things went on. Incidentally, Go Publications have just this week published my Justification and the Call of the Gospel in my Gospel Call, Go Topical series. It has only 114 pages and is inexpensive. It is the third publication in this series, the others being The Free Offer and the Call of the Gospel and Common Grace and the Call of the Gospel.
NCT churches are not necessarily related to one another
I continually point out how the NCT are rapidly changing their views, even regarding the Law. They have become like the Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals etc. who are split into smithereens. To avoid misunderstanding, I have always given the sources for my criticisms which I found in many books I have read on and by the NCT and their web-site statements. There is no single NCT movement today but a whole galaxy of them who are as critical of one another as they are of what they wrongly call ‘Reformed Doctrines’. What happens, however, is that when one criticises one writer, one is immediately attacked by those professing NCT-ites who say ‘NCT does not believe that’. I once asked in a Baptist chat group what were the fundamentals of the Baptist faith. No one could agree on Baptist fundamentals. However, they agreed that I was an enemy of Baptists which I have never been in my wildest dreams. Many of my NCT opponents have not even read the works of the other NCT writers so have no idea what they believe. Those who have followed my recent articles will see that I have revealed such instances. One NCT-ite, denies that another NCT-ite wrote what he did but when being taken to task, admits he has not consulted the work in question. One of my opponents changes his mind so often that he is totally unaware of what he has professed to believe in his former works. Therefore, the person who writes in the Predestinarian Network saying that ‘Some of what Ella said they (the NCT) believe is absolutely not true,’ must think again. I never said that they were true in every case but always emphasized that widely different views are represented but the writer I am dealing with at the time, who calls himself a NCT man, has those views. For instance, Ditzel says that Abraham was not born again. Reisinger speaks of Christ having to ‘earn’ his offices. Not all NCT-ites are in agreement here. Nor is there a general agreement amongst NCT-ites concerning the so-called
moral law’ or about the law under which Christ died. There is also no general agreement concerning even who is a Christian or what the pan-Biblical effects of the atonement are. NCT writers plainly and simply contradict one another here. Whilst, however, I take up one new belief, NCT writers are most scathing in their reception because they are not up to date with NCT studies. These are running away from most of their ‘Founding Fathers’.
Lame duck criticism
I am accused of selecting the worst book on NCT (which was that?) for criticism and thus shooting at a lame duck. I must have mentioned at least ten books in reviewing the NCT. Were they all lame ducks? I believe so. Error is a lame duck wherever we meet up with it, but it must be shown to be such to all our brethren. Most of our weird sects these days are built on lame-duck or decoy theologies.
The accusation of ‘dishonesty’
Concerning my criticisms of Brother Reisinger’s ‘Seed’ theories, I challenge them on grounds of faulty exegesis and faulty linguistics. However, I have not yet published my findings. How then can I be judged ‘dishonest’ concerning them’. Such terrible condemnations should not be uttered without immediate proof. If anyone can show that I have been dishonest against Reisinger, a man I very much respect, I would be the first to apologise in shame to him and all.
Covenantalism is Dispensationalism
Finally, I am criticised for calling the many covenants in New Covenant Theology ‘Dispensationalism’. I stick to this because Wells and Co speak of OT covenants which were discontinuous and even argues that all covenants are discontinuous. If anyone calls these dispensations ‘covenants’, or ‘cucumbers’, they are saying the same thing and denying the one Covenant of God.
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