Posts Tagged Calvinism

E. T. Clifford on Doddridge

Sir:      In his recent ET article defending saintly Doddridge against adverse criticism, Dr. Clifford ended by stating, “Even more at odds with the facts, Dr George Ella asserts that Doddridge’s Calvinism was ‘higher’ than Dr John Gill’s!” This is incorrect. My original ET article (Feb. 1995), including Doddridge’s balanced analysis of Calvinism, which I share, was radically shortened in the American version. Nevertheless, this version still shows clearly that I look upon Doddridge as being ‘higher’ in his Calvinism than Gill on one of the Five Points only, namely election and reprobation. Concerning allied points, I affirmed that Doddridge disagreed with Gill on justification, but not radically so, and that he… Full Article

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Contra Amyraldianism

Sir,      It is a swashbuckling challenge to turn my old frigate’s bows to Captain Clifford’s well-aimed broadside and I was as exhilarated by his action as I was frustrated by his strategy. Was this going to be my Sea of Trouble? I mused. I have pursued Captain Clifford for some years through Amyraldianism’s frothy waters, but have never engaged him until now. I still cannot follow his most evasive strategy in zig-zagging between the shallow Mere of Moïse and the deep Five Calvinian Coves, always expertly trimming his sails to suit the prevailing wind. I fear he could easily scupper me if I had not my Biblical compass and historical charts on board.      It would appear that the sprightly tar’s present strategy is… Full Article

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Fuller and Evangelism

Dear Sir,      1795-1835 was a time of widespread revival with Anglican Robert Hawker preaching to thousands, Independent William Huntington equalled his efforts and Baptist William Gadsby founding 45-50 churches filled with new converts. The PBs were not inactive in this time but Mr Cook confuses Gill’s orthodoxy with Fuller’s. Gill had one of the largest Particular Baptist congregations in Britain, outnumbering Fullers by far. Contemporary evangelical magazines objecting to Fullerism’s ‘gangerous’ effect on church growth were legion. However, in 1814, Fuller claimed that his churches had shrunk greatly to an average of fifty members and had been steadily on the decline for 25 years. Church increase was due to split-offs… Full Article

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An Open Letter to the Founders’ Journal

An Open Letter to Thomas Ascol and Earnest C. Reisiger, Editors of The Foundation Journal. Dear Brethren in Christ,      You will be aware that until the late eighties in Britain and on the Continent of Europe, the issue of Calvinism v. Hyper-Calvinism was not a major factor in evangelical debate. There is much evidence to suggest that it was not even a minor factor. After 1988, however, certain orthodox Calvinistic leaders had a frightening vision of Hyper-Calvinism flooding evangelicalism. They took this as a sign from God, authorising them to make the combating of Hyper-Calvinism a major issue in their programme of evangelism.      Since then, it appears that there has been a revival of Hyper-Calvinism in Great… Full Article

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A Second Open Letter to the Founders’ Journal

A Second Open Letter to Thomas Ascol and Earnest C. Reisiger, Editors of The Foundation Journal. Dear Brethren,      I trust that my last letter was received safely in the spirit I sent it and that my heart reached your heart through my words, clumsy as they were. I am unused to this kind of correspondence and need to mould and manage my words so that they are honouring to God. Any help or advice you can give me to this end will be greatly appreciated and received as a token of your brotherly love to me.      The bulk of this letter was written a few days after my last but I waited until I received a copy of Iain’s book before finishing it. Up to now, I had only the chapter on Gill, published in the Banner magazine to… Full Article

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The Evangelical Liberalism of Andrew Fuller

     Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), a Particular Baptist who departed radically from the faith of his father’s is becoming quite a name amongst churches and para-church movements that once taught the doctrines of grace. Though at best a Calminian and at worst an absolute heretic, Fuller is being proclaimed by the evangelical Reformed Establishment as the Luther of the Baptists  and as the man that fanned the smoking wick of the Evangelical Awakening into a blaze.  He is seen as the reformer who rescued Calvinists from the dunghill of their fathers in the faith  and is now presented as the greatest theologian of the 19th century, a genius whose work was epoch-making.  No praise seems to be too high or too exaggerated for this sturdy… Full Article

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An Unworthy Gospel (Fullerism)

     The 18th century is often called the Century of Reason. This is because Newtonian scientists and philosophers such as Locke taught that the workings of the known world and the ways of the unknown God could all be demonstrated by logical deduction. Men of letters such as Beattie and Blair in Scotland and Lessing in Germany taught that following the paths of logic was akin to following in the footsteps of God. Lessing even went so far as to say that Christ had the right use of reason in mind when He promised that the Holy Spirit would come. In his Education of the Human Race, Lessing pointed out that by the aid of reason, man would go on to perfection and finally reach a state of being Christ-like. Many Christians accepted this… Full Article

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John Gill and His Successors

     The witness and teaching of Dr John Gill (1697-1771) so impressed his friends Augustus Toplady and James Hervey that they maintained his work would still be of great importance to future generations. This also became the conviction of John Rippon (1750-1836) and Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), Gill’s more well-known successors to his pastorate, but it was also the testimony of those who served for shorter periods at Carter Lane such as John Martin, Benjamin Francis and John Fawcett. The witness of these faithful men of God has helped point generations to Gill’s works which have subsequently enriched their lives.      The present evangelical establishment is apparently striving to unite Calvinism with Arminianism,… Full Article

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Duty Faith and the Protestant Reformed Churches

Dear Brother J.,       Thank you so much for your detailed analysis of my attempt to illustrate saving faith as opposed to duty-faith. You brought many coals to Newcastle for me and your Athens-bound ships were full of wise old owls, all of which were welcome. It is good to find that though you may disagrees with me on terms, we have so very much agreement on contents, though we are only at the beginning of a debate. It is very obvious that you Presbyterians use many words that I do, yet with different meanings. Thomas Scott used to say that all denominations tend to inject their own particular meaning into words and thus distinguish themselves from others. This is a true observation but it makes it difficult for outsiders to… Full Article

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The Gospel of Deceit

Calvinism confused      Our Lord tells us to be balanced in our teaching, not giving that which is holy to the dogs, nor giving stones where bread is needed. This balance has been broken severely by the modern pseudo-Free-Offer movement.      Spurgeon summed Calvinism up as ‘salvation by grace alone’, but views of Calvinists in relation to saving grace have drastically changed. Besides, Calvin would be appalled to learn that the saving Gospel which emanates from God but which is open to such contrary interpretations now bears his name. It would be thus better to drop the term. This article is therefore not a defence of Calvinism but a defence of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone.      Two factions have… Full Article

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