Following is one of the replies to the article:
Dear Sir: You have no idea what Calvinism truly is. An extreme or hyper calvinist is one who doesn’t believe in evangelism. A real calvinist strongly believes in evangelism. Many of the missionary movements of the 18th and 19th century were started by calvinists. Do you deny that soul winners like Spurgeon and Whitfield were ardent calvinists?? The book you are offering on regeneration preceding faith is embarrassingly bad. Read John 5:1 in the Greek The one believing (present tense) has been born ( perfect indicative passive). Notice all the other times “born” is used in I John. All are the fruits of the new birth. You believe man is his own progenitor Read II Thess 2:13. Note the order. You as a KJV only advocate are at a big disadvantage. Sincerely -------
The following is my reply, which I have enlarged for a wider audience:
I will reply one time to your text, though I did not write the article in question. There will be no ongoing conversation.
What Spurgeon or Whitfield were or did is not the issue.
As for Greek, I study the Greek of the NT to properly interpret the Scripture. Our Bible college teaches Greek. I love the KJV and over many decades have been increasingly thankful for its accuracy and beauty, but I know that it is a translation. I have openly renounced the Peter Ruckman position that the KJV supersedes Hebrew and Greek and is advanced revelation, etc. I have studied Greek tenses, and I appreciate them and get much light from them, though I am careful to avoid error that has crept in these days by means of critical scholarship.
I have read Calvin’s Institutes, Spurgeon vs. the Hyper Calvinists, and a great many other Calvinist writings. I have tried my best before God to understand Calvinism.
I do not believe man is his own progenitor. That is a slander. Salvation is 100% of God. It is a miracle as great as the creation of the world. Man can no more save himself than a leopard can change its spots. Salvation is 100% God’s grace and 0% man’s works. I don’t believe in “1-2-3 pray after me.”
By carefully examining context and comparing Scripture with Scripture, we know that the sanctification of the Spirit is the work of the Spirit in drawing all sinners. The Spirit of Christ draws all men (Joh. 12:32), enlightens all men (Joh. 1:9), and convicts all men (Joh. 16:8-11). He does that in operation with the preaching of the gospel (Ac. 1:8). That sanctification ministry leads sinners to the belief of the truth. They must respond to the wooing of the Spirit. They must receive the gift that God offers. Every time the gospel is preached, sinners are being called. The gospel is to be preached to every sinner (Mr. 16:15). It is a genuine offer of salvation. God is not playing games with men. Christ made the propitiation for all men (1 Ti. 2:3-6; 1 Jo. 2:1-2).
Receiving a gift is not a work and is nothing to boast of. Faith is not a gift, salvation is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9).
The order of faith and the coming of the Spirit is described in the following passage: “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:12-13).
John 3:16 is enough to settle this matter.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God loves the world, not just part of it. The “world” never refers to the elect. God’s love gift to the world is the vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice of His beloved Son. “... the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” All men can believe in Christ and be saved. The gospel is a “whosoever” call.
Because of your Calvinist doctrine, you can’t honestly tell all men, not even your own children and grandchildren, that God loves them and will surely save them, because you don’t know if they are among the sovereign elect. I can tell my children and grandchildren and every living soul on earth that God loves them and wants to save them and will save them if they will receive Jesus Christ.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt. 11:28-30).
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