Letter to the Editor of the Evangelical Times
John Legg`s article ‘Preaching the gospel properly’, claims to be a review of John Gosden’s book on the GS Articles, though it is nothing but an attack on the Gospel Standard Churches. This is a great pity for the book`s sake. I am not a member of the GS churches; nor even a Baptist, but I found the great bulk of extensive theology expressed in Gosden’s book, Biblical, refreshing and extremely relevant to our modern age. By not keeping to his subject, Mr Legg has missed the very teaching which might have cleared up his misunderstandings.
All Mr Legg’s difficulties cannot be solved in the space of an ET letter. Two comments must suffice. Legg accuses the GSBs of denying the sinner’s responsibility to repent. I refer him to Gosden’s words under Article 12 where the Spirit shows the sinner “how greatly he has broken that law, and feelingly condemning him for the same” so that he is forced to admit “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.” Gosden clearly stresses that the Law must be preached to sinners “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Legg feels that Mr Gosden should offer Christ indiscriminately. Gosden explains that one should preach with the wisdom from above, knowing the work of the Spirit in choosing a Jacob and passing by an Esau is always discriminating. The Spirit moves where He will. He is as discriminating in His choice of evangelists and pastors as in His choice of sinners to be saved. He calls the thirsty to drink at the Fountain of Life when and where He will. Even the elect must await their turn. God always calls, sends and invites with a purpose. His is not the Gospel of Higgledy-Piggledy.
Legg’s problem is that the GSBs view salvation rightly as referring solely to Christ’s Bride. He thus concludes, quite contrary to the facts revealed in the book he is reviewing, that Gosden never regards the elect as sinners and is thus obviously a Hyper-Calvinist. The fact is that Gosden everywhere preaches the ‘proper Gospel’ that it is sinners who are called to be saints. Legg promises to be careful with his theological swearwords. Obviously he should stop using them altogether!
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