Letters

The Difference Between John Gill’s Free Declaration of the Gospel to Sinners and the Banner of Truth’s ‘Free Offer’

     Dear Brother:  What is the difference between Gill’s ‘free declaration of peace and pardon, righteousness, life and salvation to poor sinners’ and the ‘free offer’ and ‘duty faith’ of those who deny outright that Gill appealed to all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel? The difference is that Gill keeps to the gospel as fulfilling what the law could not do, namely provide ‘free grace’. Modern harsh critics of Gill such as friends of the Banner of Truth and Reformation Today, cannot give up their trust in the law for salvation and sanctification. They start with preaching the gospel of duties until faith comes (sic!) and end with preaching sanctification and holiness through keeping the law. There is… Full Article

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Reply to a Woman-Hater

Letter to New Focus in reply to a Woman-Hater   Dear Sir,      The Jewish macho thanks God every day because he is not a woman. His Mohammedan counterpart believes a woman has no soul. Misogynists in Christian churches, not content with being the head over their wives, would place them under their feet and outlaw all Christian women from gospel witness. They believe that Deborah had no right to judge Israel; Proverbs’ ideal wife should not have traded equally with men; Anna was wrong to speak of Christ to “all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem”; the Samaritan women erred in telling her men folk to come and see Jesus; and Priscilla ought to have kept her mouth shut and left all the talking to Aquila. In Church… Full Article

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Imputation of Sin

A Letter to a Christian Newspaper: Sir:      Regarding imputed sin. I believe the idea is thoroughly Scriptural, though acknowledging that there is much controversy concerning what is meant by the term. I understand it to mean that all those who die do so because of sin, even He who did not sin as the first Adam, i.e. the Second Adam. I base this on Romans 5.12 ff.. All men are thus imputed with sin, and all men thus die, though one man knew no sin personally. In taking upon Himself the form of a man, Christ voluntarily imputed Himself with sin for our sakes. Though He kept Himself free from actually sinning, He was born to die just like other men, and die He did. He also showed human frailty and the curse of growing older…. Full Article

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All Sides Claim Calvin as Their Mentor

Sir:      Since this newspaper began, debate has continued amongst correspondents as to what true religion entails. It is interesting to note that John Calvin has invariably been put forward as representing all sides in their highly different positions. This is neither surprising nor helpful. Calvin was a second generation Reformer whose works reflect strong Lutheran, Zwinglian, Bullingerite and Bucerian influences in their conflicting aspects. Furthermore, whereas Calvin’s Swiss and Strasburg teachers were men of peace and developed their own theology within their own pastoral duties amongst churches who loved them, Calvin was a man of strife in a frequently rebellious church. The Geneva Council treated Calvin as a foreigner,… Full Article

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Spanner and Buzzard on Common Grace

Sir:      The letters from Messers Spanner and Buzzard concerning common grace reveal problems in defining and understanding the term. Mr Spanner refers to its non-saving scope, quoting John Murray in support. However, Murray disagrees radically with Spanner, seeing common grace as offering “nothing less than salvation in its richness and fullness.” Sir Anthony sets the scene entirely in a saving capacity and rebukes Calvin for not seeing eye to eye with him. Actually Calvin agrees with all Sir Anthony’s texts but accepts their particular context.        The current common grace debate goes beyond these views. Murray, Hulse etc., rid the term of its common properties and affirm that saving grace is to be found in it,… Full Article

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Banner on Hypers

Letter to the Banner of Truth (not printed)  Dear Christian Friends,      I was surprised to find myself labeled a Hyper-Calvinist in your February issue with your corollary that I am not amongst those who “confront their hearers with the immediate responsibility of trusting Christ, directly encouraging them to trust him, and appealing to them to do so now!” Naturally, when one starts with a false premise one draws a faulty conclusion. Actually, I abhor Hyper-Calvinism and have aired my views against it in many publications and lectures. I am particularly suspicious of the Supralapsarian kind as found in Calvin’s Institutes, Book III, Chap. XXIII:7 and his Articles Concerning Predestination. I reject Calvin’s studies… Full Article

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Burrow’s on the Devil’s Banishment

Letter to New Focus regarding sin. Dear Sir,      Mr Burrows’ important and edifying thought concerning the defeat of Satan, which is an essential feature of Christ’s defeat of sin, was well-stated and I trust, well received. Though your correspondent rightly viewed one part of this dual defeat as happening in time, I placed the entire scene which impinged in time in its origin in eternity, stressing that it was in heaven that sin emerged, not on earth, and it was from heaven that Satan was banned according to God’s Providence which overrules heaven and earth. In other words, Satan’s sin was not an earthly time-event, bringing with it a heavenly judgement as human sin is. Satan’s sin was committed in heaven, the… Full Article

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Clifford on Hooker

Letter to the English Churchman on Hooker Sir:      Allan Clifford’s ‘objections’ to Dr Beckwith’s evaluation of Hooker are invalid. Beckwith defended Hooker against the London Temple attacks of Travers and Cartwright. Dr. Clifford ignores the entire debate, exchanging Beckwith’s real-life Hooker/Travers/Cartwright history for a Church of England/Calvin fairy-story.      Cartwright zigzagged on the Church of England-Separatist border but maintained his Church of England status and ordination. Unlike Hooker, he viewed church reform as material for the courts and Parliament rather than church-centred discussion and Convocation. Cartwright imagined that bishops should merely preach, pray and ordain those chosen… Full Article

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Come and Welcome Letter

The Banner of Truth Trust perverts Bunyan’s gospel A letter to the English Churchman   Sir:      Bunyan’s Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ based on John 6:37 is beset with the finest jewels of Christian preaching, infusing hope and joy into the hearts of sorrowing sinners. The BOT’s 1991 reprint of Bunyan’s original version was a most welcome evangelistic venture as Bunyan’s elegant, pithy language speaks as clearly today as it did in the 17th century. So why has the BOT now published a new, badly edited and altered version with an introduction and blurb containing irrelevant and misleading New Divinity propaganda? Paul Austen (Nr. 7652) rightly challenges the suitability of a publisher’s preface which presents… Full Article

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Contra Relf

     Letter written to the English Churchman on reading several readers’ letters and an article condemning the Church of the English Reformation and supporting Cromwell’s persecutions.   Sir:      In allaying Mr Relf’s fears regarding my research expressed in his April 5th article, I shall keep to the evidence he provides. Bishop Neill, though no authority on this period, confirms the persecuting nature of the times. The Cromwellian definition of ‘malignants, delinquents and scandalous ministers’ was that they refused to accept the disestablishing and disbanding of the Episcopal Church of England and therefore were ousted. Remarks re the Triers, of whom two were Baptists, are neutral to the debate as the ungodly… Full Article

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