20 May 2007

What went wrong?

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "The Old, Old Story," a sermon preached on Sunday Evening, March 30th, 1862, at the Met Tab.


ust as they say fish go bad at the head first, so modern divines generally go bad first upon the head and main doctrine of the substitutionary work of Christ. Nearly all our modern errors, I might say all of them, begin with mistakes about Christ.

Men do not like to be always preaching the same thing. There are Athenians in the pulpit as well as in the pew who spend their time in nothing but hearing some new thing. They are not content to tell over and over again the simple message, "He that believeth in the Lord Jesus Christ hath everlasting life." So they borrow novelties from literature, and garnish the Word of God with the words which man's wisdom teacheth.

The doctrine of atonement they mystify. Reconciliation by the precious blood of Jesus ceases to be the cornerstone of their ministry. To shape the gospel to the diseased wishes and tastes of men enters far more deeply into their purpose, than to remould the mind and renew the heart of men that they receive the gospel as it is.

There is no telling where they will go who once go back from following the Lord with a true and undivided heart, from deep to deep descending, the blackness of darkness will receive them unless grace prevent. Only this you may take for a certainty:
"They cannot be right in the rest,
Unless they speak rightly of Him."
If they are not sound about the purpose of the cross, they are rotten everywhere.

"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." On this rock there is security. We may be mistaken on any other points with more impunity than this. They who are builded on the rock, though they build wood, and hay, and stubble, thereupon to their sore confusion, for what they build shall be burned, themselves shall be saved yet so as by fire.

Now that grand doctrine which we take to be the keystone of the evangelical system, the very corner-stone of the gospel, that grand doctrine of the atonement of Christ we would tell to you again, and then, without attempting to prove it, for that we have done hundreds of times, we shall try to draw some lessons of instruction from that truth which is surely believed among us.

Man having sinned, God's righteousness demanded that the penalty should be fulfilled. He had said, "The soul that sinneth shall die;" and unless God can be false, the sinner must die. Moreover, God's holiness demanded it, for the penalty was based on justice. It was just that the sinner should die. God had not appended a more heavy penalty than he should have done. Punishment is the just result of offending. God, then, must either cease to be holy, or the sinner must be punished. Truth and holiness imperiously demanded that God should lift his hand and smite the man who had broken his law and offended his majesty.

Christ Jesus, the second Adam, the federal head of the chosen ones, interposed. He offered himself to bear the penalty which they ought to bear; to fulfill and honor the law which they had broken and dishonored. He offered to be their day's—man, a surety, a substitute, standing in their room, place, and stead. Christ became the vicar of his people; vicariously suffering in their stead; vicariously doing in their stead that which they were not strong enough to do by reason of the weakness of the flesh through the fall.

This which Christ proposed to do was accepted of God. In due time Christ actually died, and fulfilled what he promised to do. He took every sin of all his people, and suffered every stroke of the rod on account of those sins. He had compounded into one awful draught the punishment of the sins of an the elect. He took the cup; he put it to his lips; he sweat as it were great drops of blood while he tasted the first sip thereof, but he never desisted, but drank on, on, on, till he had exhausted the very dregs, and turning the vessel upside down he said, "It is finished!" and at one tremendous draught of love the Lord God of salvation had drained destruction dry. Not a dreg, not the slightest residue was left; he had suffered all that ought to have been suffered; had finished transgression, and made an end of sin.

Moreover, he obeyed his Father's law to the utmost extent of it; he fulfilled that will of which he had said of old—"Lo, I come to do thy will, O God: thy law is my delight;" and having offered both an atonement for sin and a complete fulfillment of the law, he ascended up on high, took his seat on the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool, and interceding for those whom he bought with blood that they may be with him where he is.

The doctrine of the atonement is very simple. It just consists in the substitution of Christ in the place of the sinner; Christ being treated as if he were the sinner, and then the transgressor being treated as if he were the righteous one.
C. H. Spurgeon


79 comments:

steve said...

That made for breathtaking reading. Who could ever tire of hearing the wonderful truth of what Christ did for us?

Spurgeon's introductory comments seem eerily prophetic to today, but they simply reveal that today's "novel perspectives" aren't so new after all.

Thanks for posting such a powerful and God-glorifying excerpt.

Matt said...

Incredible how a man can continue to be such a blessing to others, even posthumously. His admonition to not accomodate the gospel to the culture is both comforting and disappointing. Comforting in that there have always been "new kinds of Christians". Disappointing in that you'd think we should have learned our lesson after all the failures of the past to adjust the gospel to the prevailing attitude of the day (social gospel, liberalism, modernism, neo-orthodoxy, etc). How many times does rebellion need to be reinvented before we realize that the unadulterated gospel of Christ is our only resting place?

jsb said...

"The doctrine of the atonement is very simple. It just consists in the substitution of Christ in the place of the sinner; Christ being treated as if he were the sinner, and then the transgressor being treated as if he were the righteous one."

That last line is so powerful. We often think about having God's wrath turned away via the atonement, but not often enough of being treated therefore as righteous. Grace is amazing indeed.

YnottonY said...

Hi Phil,

Do you agree with the limitation that Spurgeon sees in representation of the second Adam?

He's viewing Christ's Adamic headship as limited to the elect alone. That's different from saying 1) he represents all with no distinction in his will [non-Calvinism] and 2) he represents all, but especially the elect [classical Calvinism]. Spurgeon's view is a major departure from classical Christology. Take what Athanasius said, for instance:

"And thus taking from our bodies one of like nature, because all were under penalty of the corruption of death He gave it over to death in the stead of all, and offered it to the Father—doing this, moreover, of His loving-kindness, to the end that, firstly, all being held to have died in Him, the law involving the ruin of men might be undone (inasmuch as its power was fully spent in the Lord’s body, and had no longer holding-ground against men, his peers), and that, secondly, whereas men had turned toward corruption, He might turn them again toward incorruption, and quicken them from death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of the Resurrection, banishing death from them like straw from the fire."

What prompts you to depart from this classical view? I well understand that scripture is our final authority, but we should at least hesistate if we are going to depart from what the church has taught in her first 1500 years, right? If we do depart from it, we should have very strong reasons from scripture to do so. It is those reasons of yours that I am inquiring about. It's no small matter, seeing that these issues impact Spurgeon's own conception of the gospel.

Thanks,
Tony

p.s. If you choose to reply, I promise not to turn the matter into a debate in this thread :-) I will just let you comment and then I will move along. I am just curious about what you consider to be the strongest reasons for departing from the classical Christology that is expressed in the writings of men like Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Vermigli, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Bullinger, Ursinus, Pareus, i.e., the early church and all the early reformers.

Libbie said...

I actually did a very girlie 'squee' noise to this today, especially the last section already quoted. Why on earth would a Christian have a problem with that doctrine? It's truly thrilling.

YnottonY said...

Richard Baxter, in his Catholick Theologie, was thoroughly acquainted with the classical Christology that I am referencing:

"And Christ equally satisfied Gods Justice for all the lapsed Race of Adam, so far as to procure them this Gift or Covenant, and the other foresaid common mercies: But not equally as to his Decree of the success: For there Election differenceth."

YnottonY said...

My point: Spurgeon rightly rebukes certain "modern divines" for adopting "some new thing" in place of the truth of Christ's substitutionary work as disclosed in the gospel, but he himself is adopting "some new thing" with respect to Christ's role as the last Adam. I applaud Spurgeon for doing the former, but grieve for him in doing the latter.

donsands said...

"but grieve for him in doing the latter."

Why is it that you grieve for Spurgeon? I don't quite catch what you're saying.

I thought this was very biblical, and very edifying as well.

"You are worthy ... for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;" Rev. 5:9

YnottonY said...

Hi Don,

As I pointed out above, there is a difference between Spurgeon's view as to the extent of Christ's Adamic representation and the classical view. Since I am persuaded of the classical view, I said I "grieve for him for doing the latter," i.e. for adopting the novel view.

Also, I am not saying that what Spurgeon said was in all points unbiblical such that the post was not edifying. I am just observing a degree of novelty in Spurgeon's own reply that seems unbiblical and contrary to 1500 years of early church teaching.

The passage in Revelation is consistent with what I am saying [the classical view] since it is speaking of all the believing elect who have been brought by efficacious grace to embrace Christ's universal and substitutionary death. Revelation 5:9 cannot be used to negate the view that others were also redeemed by Christ's death, since it is speaking of redemption APPLIED.

I hope that helps to clarify a little,
Tony

p.s. Phil is acquainted with what I am saying, so I believe he can help clarify matters further, even if he disagrees with me. Let's wait for his response.

Terry W. said...

"Christ Jesus, the second Adam, the federal head of the chosen ones, interposed. He offered himself to bear the penalty which they ought to bear; to fulfill and honor the law which they had broken and dishonored. He offered to be their day's—man, a surety, a substitute, standing in their room, place, and stead. Christ became the vicar of his people; vicariously suffering in their stead; vicariously doing in their stead that which they were not strong enough to do by reason of the weakness of the flesh through the fall."

The above is certainly true, but it is not the complete story. Certainly Christ died with the intent to apply efficiently the blessing of this substitutionary work to those given to him by the Father, i.e. the elect.

But, because all men, both elect and non-elect, share the same human nature that Christ the God-man took in his incarnation, and also deserve the same wrath and death that Christ suffered, therefore Christ truly accomplished a substitutionary work that is suitable and sufficient for every member of the human race.

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

YnottonY said...

Hi Don,

I read your "About Me" section in your profile and it seems that we have alot in common.

"I was raised a Catholic, but I never was serious about it very much. When Christ changed my heart, my whole life was transformed, and over time I was able to understand the truths of the Bible by His Spirit of grace."

The same thing happened to me ;-)

Incidentally, I also like the writings of J. C. Ryle. He held (2, 3, 4, 5) to the classical position that I do :-)

Take care,
Tony

Tartanarmy said...

Always trying to get attention!

We need Tony and Terry to correct Spurgeon and the rest of us, so that we might either become soft Calvinists or Ameraldians.
I know Phil admires Mr Ponter, but the doctrines of Ponterism and his followers hopefully is not supported by Phil, I hope!

Mark
Postman Pat vs Spurgeon, a no brainer!

YnottonY said...

Mark,

Actually, Spurgeon would need to correct you since you deny the universal love of God for humanity. We are not "looking for attention," but civil dialogue with other orthodox Calvinists. Since I don't consider you to be of that sort (given your denial of God's universal love and God's universal saving will), I do not wish to engage you in conversation. You already know this, but I would ask that you not slander me and Terry. You may want to stick with discussing things on the 5Solas website since you consider that place to be "a breath of fresh air," to use your own words.

Also, neither of us are "soft Calvinists" or "Ameraldians" [sic].

donsands said...

tony,

I think I catch your drift.

You believe we need to preach the Gospel to all people. Amen to that.
And that only those whom Christ has redeemed will come to Him, drawn by the Father.

Is that about right? If so, then I agree.

"CHRIST HAS REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE" GAL.3:13

" .. true doctrine teaches that there is no sin in the world anymore; for Christ, whom the Father has cast the sins of the whole world, has vanquished and killed it in His own body. He once dying for sin and raised again, dies no more. Therefore wherever is a true faith in Christ, their sin is abolished, dead, and buried. But where no faith in Christ is, there sin still remains. ... Therefore, all the weight and force of this verse consists in these words, "for us". -Martin Luther

David said...

"Nearly all our modern errors, I might say all of them, begin with mistakes about Christ."

So true, so true.

Seeking4Truth said...

I think the word to use is PONTERfication, or to PONTERtificate, or PONTERtificating. If one makes a thing, like the Gospel, confusing enough, then others will need to come to them for the understanding. They then refer to THEIR perception as the "classical" view. This makes everyone else outside the camp. The Gospel is not a one time event in the life of a Christian, it is a continual need. We are in continual need of a Saviour. It seems many think the Gospel is something only for the lost. Once they believe it, it is no longer needed except to "win" others.

The thing with Spurgeon is that he never considered himself to be the difference between heaven and hell for himself or for anyone else. I think many can't handle that. Many NEED to feel as if they are the difference between heaven and hell for others.

The presentation of the Gospel today is vastly different than the past. Many think that in order to proclaim the Gospel they must somehow be able to say, "Christ died for YOU." This has become the battle cry of the Arminian camp and has permeated the church. It appears the Arminian camp has a winner with that slogan, so why not use it? Oh yeah, we have to be able to prove it, so, let’s make it the “classical” view so we can be as succesful as those who deny the truth and have mega-churches also.

This is accommodating the Gospel with the culture. I think the problem with this view is a lack of understanding of the Gospel. The Gospel has been reduced to a Bumper Sticker Slogan. We have instant oatmeal, instant coffee, why not instant Gospel, just make it palatable.

“Only this you may take for a certainty:
“They cannot be right in the rest, Unless they speak rightly of Him.”
If they are not sound about the purpose of the cross, they are rotten everywhere. “

WOW!!! That nailed it. Spurgeon gave a remarkable proclamation of the Gospel here and not once was forced to say, nor found it necessary to say, “Christ died for YOU.”

Great Spurgeon sermon….

David said...

Phil,
Thank you, I absolutely love your Spurgeon posts.
-David

Benjamin Nitu said...

I have to agree with Don on this one.
The gospel needs to be preached to everyone; however, not all will receive it.
It is hard for me to accept that Jesus suffered one ounce more that He had too. If on the cross He suffered and died for all humanity, that will mean that he suffered at least partially in vain.
No, Jesus paid the price for the elected. But we don't know who the elected is, therefore our calling is to preach to everyone, and let God be God.

brentjthomas said...

I am working on a painting of the crucifixion right now, from the point of view of the Good Thief, at the moment when Jesus cried out, quoting the question beginning Psalm 22. Since I am approaching this theme as a realist/symbolist,this Spurgeon sermon, particularly the last paragraph, was enormously helpful. I'm always glad that I checked out this blog. !Gracias!

Terry W. said...

Hello Don,

You said:I think I catch your drift.

You believe we need to preach the Gospel to all people. Amen to that.
And that only those whom Christ has redeemed will come to Him, drawn by the Father.

Is that about right? If so, then I agree.


I will not speak for Tony, but I say, Amen. In a concise way this is what I am saying, with the added emphasis of that the work Christ wrought on the cross is the grounds upon which the gospel is preached to all people with a sincere offer of their personal salvation for the death of Christ is sufficient and suitable them them. So when we preach to them we are not presenting to them a potentially empty offer if they happen to be non-elect. Because in respect to the sufficiency and suitableness of Christ's substitution as a human being(i.e. the God-man)in the place of human beings, no human being either elect nor non-elect are excluded from this sufficiency.

Calvin says this, "“Luke goes still farther, showing that the salvation brought by Christ is common to the whole human race, inasmuch as Christ, the author of salvation, is descended from Adam, the common father of us all.” (Institutes Book 2, Chapter 13, paragraph 3)

So based on the biblical teaching of the God-man, we can speak to every member of the human race in terms of that work which Christ did which is inherently relevant to them, for Christ shares their nature as a son of Adam and suffered the wrath of God that every son/daughter of Adam deserves. So it is impossible to offer and empty gospel to any person no matter who they are.

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

glenn2m said...

YnottonY,

Unless I am misreading you...given your understanding of the atonement, could you explain the L in TULIP from a classically reformed perspective?

Help me understand, if Christ's atonement paid for everyone's sin, why are any condemned? How can God punsih a sin twice?

Or maybe I misunderstood you?

Thanks,
Glenn

Seeking4Truth said...

Glenn2m....
It is a mystery :)

At least that's what it usually boils down to regardless of the multi-syllable words used to explain it....

Do you see from Terry's response that in order to proclaim the Gospel, one must say, "Christ died for YOU."?
Terry said:
"So it is impossible to offer and empty gospel to any person no matter who they are."

I believe what Terry is saying is that unless we can say, Christ died for YOU when presenting the Gospel, we preach an empty Gospel.

I say to think this is to deny the power of the Gospel by denying the purpose of the cross. I also think that it is a very shallow understanding of the Gospel. Maybe we should just convince the lost that Christ lived, died, and was resurrected and if they believe this and that He did it for THEM, they will be saved. Forget what the death, burial and resurrection accomplished...Justification By Faith!!! Paul said it is the death, burial, and resurrection, ACCORDING to SCRIPTURE. (not just the facts but the accomplishment of those facts). The atonement accomplished its purpose. Christ said in John 10 "I lay down my life for the sheep"..and, "you believe not because you are not my sheep"...

But then again John may have just been a confused (non-classical)believer... :)

donsands said...

" So when we preach to them we are not presenting to them a potentially empty offer if they happen to be non-elect." -Terry

Although if they are not God's elect, then they were not redeemed at the Cross, (as His elect were redeemed), and shall not be granted repentance and faith, as God grants to His elect.

"... being made a curse 'for us'.." Gal. 3:13

" ..and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. .... for the transgression of My people was He stricken. ...
My righteous Servant shall justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. ...
and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Is. 53:6-12

To understand that I am one of God's chosen, and that He died for me, because the Father asked Him is beyond understanding.

I have no problem shaing the Gospel with anyone. I pray for my family all the time that God would open their hearts, and have mercy on them.
Are they God's elect? I don't know, I pray almost every day that they are.

YnottonY said...

Hi Glenn,

The L in TULIP, as I view it, does not posit any limitation in Christ's legal satisfaction itself (He--as the last Adam--bore the curse that all sinful mankind deserves). Rather, the L says something about God's decretal will (which was threatened by Arminian doctrine) and the limited application of Christ's work to the elect alone through the grace of faith. So, while Christ stood and suffered what the law required of all those under the curse of the covenant of works (all sinful mankind), he did so with a special will regarding the elect. He especially willed their salvation through what he did, but not to the negation of a general will that all be saved by virtue of an all-sufficient death. The L references the special decree/will that was threatened by Arminian teaching, and this special will is manifested when the Spirit applies Christ's work to the elect alone through faith in his blood. For more on this, check out Dr. Curt Daniel's 3 lectures on the atonement HERE (middle of the page on The History and Theology of Calvinism).

As for the Double Jeopardy/Payment arguments, I would encourage you to read the extensive material by classical Calvinists that I provide here:

Double Jeopardy? (scroll down to the comments section)

I really don't want to debate the point here (especiialy since I am procrastinating on other issues at the moment), but I am trying to clarify matters for those that ask me questions. I am more than happy to put some resources into the hands of those interested, even if they read and end up disagreeing with me.

Hope that helps,
Tony

Seeking4Truth said...

There is a difference between "He (Christ)--as the last Adam--bore the curse that all sinful mankind deserves" (Tony)

and

He (Christ)--as the last Adam--bore the curse for every single man.

Rev. M. Brewer said...

"So they borrow novelties from literature, and garnish the Word of God with the words which man's wisdom teacheth."

I have grown tired of the "next best thing" peddled by the "Christian" Media Beast. "The Next Best Thing" seems to always prepare us for the next "Next Best Thing." Always insufficient, and always falling short.

Yet God's Word, even the most bare-basic principles, stands steadfast, never failing, and is always sufficient -even when our own understanding is imperfect and lacking.

What an amazing reminder to continuously look to Christ and the work of the Cross, and not to give ear to the novelty of Man's perverse doctrines.

Thank you.

A_Real_Calvinist said...

Tony if Christ died for all of mankind and he made an atonement, for there sins then why are some of them burning in hell? Which Christ died for supposedly.

glenn2m said...

"There is a difference between "He (Christ)--as the last Adam--bore the curse that all sinful mankind deserves" (Tony)

and

He (Christ)--as the last Adam--bore the curse for every single man. "

...sure there is a difference between the two, and the former does not preclude limited atonement the way Spurgeon uses it. So, it would appear that this is not what Tony meant. Otherwise his post was needless.

David Ponter said...

I dont know why my name keeps getting mentioned in contexts I am not involved in, or even reading. :-) Some obsessed fans perhaps.

But humour aside, I think this may help.

http://www.theologyonline.org/blog/?p=343

There was an early version of Reformed Christology, a nuance that was held, but was later modified.

And btw, I dont recall the non-elect ever not being of the _kind_, Man. But thats such a minor thing. :-)

David

YnottonY said...

Here is David's link for easier clicking:

TheologyOnline Post #343

Seeking4Truth said...

sorry, did I mis-spell ponterficate? :)

Rev. M. Brewer said...

"if Christ died for all of mankind and he made an atonement, for there sins then why are some of them burning in hell?"

If you are trapped in a burning building and I offer you a ladder(a gift) to safety, yet you refuse that ladder (the only way to safety) and die in the inferno, are you not responsible for not accepting rescue? The same is with Christ. The work of the cross is sufficient for all mankind, and any man may accept it(John 3:16), but if one refuses the only way, then that one will die in their sins.

However this does not negate God's Soveriegnty:

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.(John 6:37)

There is enough Scriptural evidence to show that there are those who are elected. Those He has chosen before time.

However:

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.(John 6:37)

There is also enough Scriptural evidence to show that the Invitation is still open to all who will come and receive.

God is Sovereign, and Man has been given free will. God is greater than our understanding and does not submit to our reasons of "either/or". Why do we contend that He cannot allow both?

Victoria said...

seekingfortruth, it this your site?

http://www.seeking4truth.com/

It is a wonderful site.

Seeking4Truth said...

Rev said:
"God is greater than our understanding and does not submit to our reasons of "either/or". Why do we contend that He cannot allow both?

How does God "allow" His own sovereignty or our free will since both would be out of His control?

It is not possible to believe in God's sovereignty and man's free will at the same time unless you redefine the terms, are ignorant of the definitions, or you are not of a sane mind.

Seeking4Truth said...

Victoria, yes it is, and thank you.

Rev. M. Brewer said...

Seeking4Truth,

Was Christ not both fully Man and fully God?

Sovereignty and Freewill can co-exist.

I am sovereign over my cat. I choose when, what, and how I lay out food for the cat. That food is all the cat gets, and it gets the food when I choose to make it available. The cat, however, chooses whether or not it eats.

If I can do this with a cat -exercising both sovereignty and freewill- why can God who is far greater not exercise the same?

Seeking4Truth said...

REV.....
Give the cat salt to eat and see if the cat chooses to eat it. The cat eats what it chooses but not from free will. Its will is determined by its nature....Give the cat a choice of raw meat or cabbage and see if the cat by free will eats the cabbage.

Rev. M. Brewer said...

seeking4truth,

Was Christ not both fully Man and Fully God?

You introduce the idea of a third option. "Other ways."

I give the cat, lets say cabbage. That is it. This is all the cat can have if it wants to live. There is no other option. All the cat can have is cabbage.

I choose when I give it the cabbage. I choose how long the cabbage sits out. If that cat wants sustenance, then the cat must choose to partake of the cabbage.

We have One Way to salvation. God will only tarry for so long before He he takes away the Bread and enacts the final judgement.

If we want to live, then we must choose to partake of that Bread, otherwise we end up with Judgement.

God is sovereign, and He has given Man freewill.

Blessings.

glenn2m said...

"I give the cat, lets say cabbage. That is it. This is all the cat can have if it wants to live. There is no other option. All the cat can have is cabbage."

And that is precisely the point. The cat WILL NOT EAT THE CABBAGE. It will indeed die if that is all that you give it.

Just as the cats taste buds must be changed so that he will eat and enjoy the cabbage and thus live, our nature must be changed so that we desire God. And He only does that for the elect.

It is true, anyone who trusts Jesus Christ as presented in the gospel will live. God is not a liar. It is just that no one will unless they are regenerated.

Rev. M. Brewer said...

"And that is precisely the point. The cat WILL NOT EAT THE CABBAGE. It will indeed die if that is all that you give it..."

Was Christ not both fully Man and fully God?

You have never watched stray cats before have you? You would be surprised what they will eat to live.

I'm not negating God's sovereignty. I'm not negating God's elect. Just as I am not negating God's open Invitation. Nor am I negating His sacrifice for the whole of the world and for the one who comes to Him. Nor will I negate the deep within all of us which cries out for the deep beyond us.

I could debate this issue stubbornly, as I am certain many of you could as well. But for what profit? Can I convince you? Probably not. Can you convince me? Absolutely not.

However none of this makes our Salvation lesser than that of another. I -like you- will continue to proclaim Christ, so that those who Christ calls will come, and those who choose to tag along may come as well.

The only real difference is that if you are right then only those whom Christ has pre-ordained will respond, and if I am right then any willing to come to Christ will respond.

Blessings.

Daryl said...

Hey all,

Great article. Fabulous last line. Thank God for Spurgeon.

In reading some of the comments regarding (basically) did Christ stand in for all or just for the elect. And further to that, if Christ stood in for the elect only, can we legitimately "offer" the gospel to the non-elect.

It seems to me the disagreement is predicated on a faulty understanding of the nature of the gospel. It is my understanding that we are to "command all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:10)

The offer is not a legitimate offer because it was never intended to be an offer. It is a command, and so it is given equally to all. The non-elect must repent just as must the elect. To make it an offer is to remove God from his throne and make him a salesman. Therein lies the problem.

I think Spurgeon nailed it. As someone mentioned earlier, if Christ is the federal head of anyone, they were represented at the cross, and so were saved. Otherwise some sins get paid for twice.
We must remember that our repentance is the excercise of a gift of God, it is not our deciding to sign on the dotted line and take advantage of a great deal.

YnottonY said...

Let's see. First we had Mark (aka Tartanarmy) comment, and he denies God's univeral love and universal saving will. Then we had Tim, aka Seeking4Truth (or Tim Micer on paltalk), comment. He also, if I recall correctly, denies God's universal love, His universal saving will, common grace and the well-meant offer. Now we have Daryl chiming in and he denies that the gospel is an offer at all, as he posits the false either/or dichotomy between offer and command.

I hardly think you guys are in agreement with Spurgeon or Phil Johnson. You may want to check out Iain Murray's book Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism (Banner of Truth, 2000).

"Lost sinners who sit under the sound of the gospel are not lost for the want of the most affectionate invitation. God says he stretches out his hands ... what did he wish them to come for? Why, to be saved. "No," says one, "it was for temporal mercies." Not so, my friend; the verse before is concerning spiritual mercies and so is this one, for they refer to the same thing. Now, was God sincere in his offer? God forgive the man who dares to say he was not. God is undoubtedly sincere in every act he did. He sent his prophets, he entreated the people of Israel to lay hold on spiritual things, but they would not, and though he stretched out his hands all the day long, yet they were "a disobedient and gainsaying people" and would not have his love."

Spurgeon, NPSP, vol. 4, p. 341. Quoted in Murray, p. 89-90.

Seeking4Truth said...

Tony...
Now that we are all aquainted and know who each one is (I thought we all already knew) we can continue.

Of course we can't agree with anyone because, as you have said in the past, to disagree with you is evidence we are ignorant of the issue, what more needs to be said?

People do the same with scripture, quote only what they think agrees with them.

I am a nobody, uneducated, un taught person. I am honored that Tony would mention me in his posts.

I think the next tactic is to use smiley faces to appear we are being shot with friendly fire.

Victoria said...

ROFL Tim Micer. These young Whipper Snappers are no match for you. Sounds like they are going through an attention getting phase they may or may not outgrow.

Victoria said...

Now might not be the time to bring up David Ponter's 'dualism". Kind of likened to Star Wars theology.

Benjamin Nitu said...

(Acts 13:48) -- "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (King James Version)

Daryl said...

Tony,

Even in the quote you offered from Spurgeon the Lord's response was that they are a "disobedient and gainsaying people". Verifying what I said, it is a command.
If you're assumption is correct, then Jesus didn't save anyone he only made salvation possible, ergo, he's not a saviour at all, just a salesman will a great product.

It seems to me that what you're looking for is a debate between Calvinism and Arminianism.

Count me out, I've had that one before.

Tartanarmy said...

Tony sadly misrepresents my beliefs on the atonement, ie He lies about them. Two years or more of such interaction with him is on the public record.

It is sad that such a good post by Phil, does not get "Amen's" from people like Tony, but is challenged instead.

That is a man with an agenda.

I am no Hyper Calvinist as Tony and Mr Ponter so often state freely and without shame.

I affirm the universal preaching of the gospel to all men, I affirm common grace, and I affirm that all that repent and believe shall be saved.

I believe in universal sufficiency but do not believe that God desires everyone without exception to be saved, nor do I link common grace with the atonement, nor will I present a God at odds with Himself.

These guys are happy to embrace an extreme "two wills" doctrine, that becomes "the" rule rather than a tool.

I am still waiting for Tony and Ponter to return the simple courtesy of calling me a brother. A simple courtesy I have extended to them for three years without reciprocation.

For me the post here by Phil was encouraging, and then Tony comes in with his guns aimed at Spurgeon.
I am so fed up with it, I really am.

In Christ and His accomplished salvation.

Mark

YnottonY said...

Mark,

If you re-read my comments, you will observe that I said nothing about your atonement views. I said that 1) you deny the universal love of God (i.e. that God loves the non-elect) and that 2) you deny the universal saving will of God. Both of those assertions are true and both of those errors Spurgeon strongly opposes. When one rejects the universal love of God, they have to re-define common grace in order to affirm it.

Also, I would again ask that you stop trying to interject in the conversations I am attempting to have with others. It makes it appear as if you have an agenda. You may want to stick to defending/pasting Hoeksemian (or the views of the Protestant Reformed Church) views on your discussion boards instead.

Seeking4Truth said...

SO THERE MARK!!!!!!!

YnottonY said...

Readers may want to return to Phil's post on Spurgeon here:

Is there a universal aspect to the atonement?

Phil wrote:

"But he [Spurgeon] also saw a universal aspect to the work of Christ on the cross. He taught that common grace is (at least to some degree) grounded in the atonement, because the kindness and benevolence of God to humanity in general—especially as reflected in the well-meant offer of salvation—would not have been possible at all apart from Christ's death. That is why those who reject Christ are guilty of the most egregious kind of personal affront against His goodness toward them (cf. Romans 2:4)."

The differences between me, Phil and other Spurgeonites are as nothing compared with our differences with the tenets of hyper-Calvinism; namely, their denials of God's love for all as expressed through the common operations of the Spirit or providence, their denials of well-meant offers, their denials of duty-faith.

YnottonY said...

Seeker4truth said:

"I think the next tactic is to use smiley faces to appear we are being shot with friendly fire."

Do you mean like this?

"sorry, did I mis-spell ponterficate? :)"

Seeking4Truth said...

Yes Tony, a smiley is the true form of pontertification...

YnottonY said...

Tim,

You may call that ponterfication, but I call the following public slander:

"as you have said in the past, to disagree with you is evidence we are ignorant of the issue"

May the Lord forgive you, Tim.

NKJ Matthew 12:36 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

Seeking4Truth said...

Tony

There are two (2) arguements that pretty much end a discussion. one is the statement you made to me in paltalk in discussion of Calvin's Calvinism. You said, and I am paraphrasing, "You (me) have not studied this as I have and you disagree from ignorance." the other arguement that ends a discussion s the one I will use now.

The holy spirit told me I am right and you are wrong.

Tim

YnottonY said...

Tim,

Perhaps you are confusing me with someone else on paltalk. I don't know what you have or have not studied, so I would not make the following dogmatic statement:

"You (Tim) have not studied this as I have and you disagree from ignorance."

Also, if you know that the Holy Spirit is telling you that you are right and I am wrong, then far be it from me to want to challenge that :-) <--Ponterian grin

As far as ending "discussion," I was hoping for that awhile back. I mean, if Phil's original post topic is converted into a conversation about cats and cabbage, I think it's safe to say that things are off track. I can only imagine how Phil is sitting behind a computer and wagging his head at all of this.

Aaron Mills said...

Tim,

Why the hostility? I doubt Tony has said that to disagree with him is evidence of your ignorance. Perhaps you have a problem with someone pointing out the fact that you MAY be ignorant about something? There are a lot of high Calvinists that pounce right away when they feel their theological system is being threatened. Perhaps you should study the primary sources, consider certain texts of Scripture without sifting them through your preconceived theological system, and prayerfully and thoughtfully consider what Tony and others are saying. You're not only ripping Tony and David, but Shedd, Dabney, Hodge, and many of your (probably) favorite theologians. So, take it easy brother...

YnottonY said...

As far as I can tell, Phil's main interest in posting the material by Spurgeon was to rebuke some modern novelties that undermine or deny the penal substitutionary work of Christ's work on the cross. The truth of Christ's substitution cannot be emphasized enough, so anyone who is submitting to scripture must "Amen" Spurgeon's defense (as well as Phil's concern in posting it). I "Amen" his zeal and defense of the truth, but in a qualified way. Having now become historically conscious of some significant theological shifts, I observe some novelty in Spurgeon's own position. I just questioned what warranted his own novelty. Of course, just because something is new, it does not follow that it is false. That kind of chronological snobbery can be dangerous. Nevertheless, we should have respect for what the Holy Spirit has been teaching the church for hundreds, even thousands of years. Spurgeon himself is basically arguing that same thing when he rebukes some modern divines for their "novelties." We should return to scriptures ultimately, as well as to the historical views of the church secondarily (testing all things like Bereans). Wisdom and humility require that.

So, instead of giving an unqualified "Amen" to Spurgeon, I give a qualified "Amen", and then question his own degree of novelty when he replies to modern critics. That's all.

YnottonY said...

This just in:

Phil's own beagle, Wrigley, now agrees with me. Of course, he was bribed with a milk bone and a Ponterian grin, but it's still an agreement, however temporary. Also, Wrigley further commented and said that he was thoroughly disgusted by the talk of cats and cabbages.

Seeking4Truth said...

What I Aaron Mills posting is that I need to do more study since I disagree with Tony, David etc and to disagree with Tony and David is to:

AM: "You're not only ripping Tony and David, but Shedd, Dabney, Hodge, and many of your (probably) favorite theologians."

Aaron, in essence you seem to be stating what I stated earlier.

AM: "Perhaps you should study the primary sources, consider certain texts of Scripture without sifting them through your preconceived theological system, and prayerfully and thoughtfully consider what Tony and others are saying."

If I study the issue as Tony and David has, I won't be so ignorant as to disagree? This is exactly what I am talking about. It is the mentality that says I studied it; you’re ignorant, so there. This makes as much sense as my 2nd means to end a discussion.

Anyone can call themselves a 5 point Calvinist. The trick is to redefine the points and then call it "classical Calvinism".

Also, I am not hostile, I am frustrated by those who refuse to draw a line and say, "But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men..." 2 Tim 3:9.

We Calvinist need to stop looking over the fence to see how the other churches are filling their pews. When we do this we are no longer comparing ourselves with God's standard but we are doing as Paul said "… compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2Co 10:12. When we desire the things that "THEY" have, we will modify the Gospel to accomplish it. Like softening the L to make is more acceptable to proclaiming the Gospel. As I was inferring in a previous post, if you feel you must say, "Christ died for YOU" in order to proclaim the Gospel, then you have a Gospel that is formed by the culture. Intent defines purpose. God’s intent defined His purpose. As in the cross. As Phil’s post “To shape the gospel to the diseased wishes and tastes of men enters far more deeply into their purpose, than to remould the mind and renew the heart of men that they receive the gospel as it is.” Spurgeon.

The reasons that I hear from the soft L Calvinist is that we can not share the Gospel if we can’t say that Christ died for YOU. Makes me warm and fuzzy and gives me a strange desire to listen to Joel Osteen tapes while humming the M sound that Robert Schuller uses in meditation. Why don’t we just go as far as “Bro.” Falwell and say that L is heresy.
You think I sound hostile? No. Frustrated, saddened, hurt….this better describes it. The dangers we face are NOT from the likes of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, etc. but those who claim to be a sheep but simply redefine what a sheep is. The danger is not from the wolves in the trees, but the ones in our midst wearing our clothing. These wolves then tell us that WE are not “classical” sheep because we do not have sharp canine teeth used for ripping and tearing meat. And we say, “Oh my Brother, your just confused in your sheephood, Jesus died for both of us your teeth don’t matter.”

Pay no attention to my rantings, I am a new convert to Christ and have not studied the primary sources.

Tim

Terry W. said...

Tim,

you said:
"We Calvinist need to stop looking over the fence to see how the other churches are filling their pews. When we do this we are no longer comparing ourselves with God's standard but we are doing as Paul said "… compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2Co 10:12. When we desire the things that "THEY" have, we will modify the Gospel to accomplish it."

Tim, this has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion. The fact is if we really look at the scriptures and take them as they are we will have a balanced view of things. What Tony and I are trying to point out here in this discussion is that if we affirm "only" God's intention toward the elect, (and God certainly has a special intent toward the elect and sovereignly applies to them a complete and infallible salvation in Christ), we miss the broader implications toward all men, as members of the human race with whom Christ the God-man shares a common nature. And because this is true then we need not twist scriptures such as John 12:32 or John 1:29 and make them say something that is completely foreign to the text themselves in order to defend a "systematic". Because when we practice such exegesis we are at odds with biblical truth and we fail to see the full scope of biblical truth. So what happens is that we start having to modify our language, such as "Christ died for you, oh sinner", to " Christ died for sinners (abstractly)."

So it's not a matter of "looking over the fence" it is a matter of scriptural integrity and truth. It is a matter of glorifying God in Christ and being willing to submit to the text and allow biblical theology to inform our systematic theology. It is a matter of being willing to change our paradigm when we discover that it doesn't accurately account for all the biblical data, rather trying to interpret the data to save our paradigm. So, I admonish you, dear brother, please hear us out before just dismissing what we and others are saying because of your fear of what it "sounds like" we are saying. Because whether you believe us or not, we are just as concerned about the gospel and God's truth as you claim to be.

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

donsands said...

"Christ died for you, oh sinner", to " Christ died for sinners (abstractly)."

Terry,
So you can say to anyone, and they may not be God's elect, Jesus died for you personally, and your sins are forgiven?

Terry W. said...

Hello Don,

You asked:
Terry,
So you can say to anyone, and they may not be God's elect, Jesus died for you personally, and your sins are forgiven?

Don, certainly not. Not your sins ARE forgiven, but your sins CAN BE forgiven. No ones sins ARE personally forgiven till we are in Christ by regeneration and faith. There is nothing lacking in the work of Christ. It is sufficient and suitable for the forgiveness of sins, anyones sins. So, therefore we can honestly present the gospel to any man that is a sinner. And speak to him in personal terms. Not in some abstract class "sinner".

Blessings in Christ
Terry W. West

P.S. Don if you need any further clarification please feel free to ask. You can find my email at my blog, feel free to email me.

Tartanarmy said...

Just remember this Tony, you follow a man (Ponter) who publicly stated that John Owen's work "The Death of Death in the death of Christ" was good for lining the bird cage with.

And falsely making me and other Calvinists out as Hyper Calvinists is slander.

Anyone who supports and defends a man who said that about Owens work is the extremist, not me.

The fact I have sometimes quoted Hoeksema against you is irrelevant, as I am not PRC. I have quoted Calvin, Hodge and even Kuyper against you and Mr Ponter.

The spirit of this thread and the quote of Spurgeon was hijacked by you, and I had to say something, even if you are now backtracking somewhat.

And again. for the 20th time, Am I your brother Tony?

Mark

Aaron Mills said...

Tim,

If you study the issues more in depth, it's not that you may not disagree with Tony, David, et al. You may in fact still disagree with them, but you're attacking their position without the benefit of understanding it. If you think you understand it you should be able to state their position, and Tony, etc. should be able to say "Yes Tim, that is what we believe". But when you state their position, as I have seen thus far, you say things like,

"Many think that in order to proclaim the Gospel they must somehow be able to say, "Christ died for YOU." This has become the battle cry of the Arminian camp and has permeated the church. It appears the Arminian camp has a winner with that slogan, so why not use it? Oh yeah, we have to be able to prove it, so, let’s make it the “classical” view so we can be as succesful as those who deny the truth and have mega-churches also."

From reading Tony's blog it is very clear that he is not an Arminian. He promotes and defends the sufficiency of Christ's death to expiate the sins of the world, and the limitation of the atonement in it's application to the elect. Christ died for every man's sins (1 Jn 2:2), but not every man comes to Christ-only the elect do. The atoning sacrifice is truly available to every individual sinner, but if they reject it, if they don't repent and believe, the blood of Christ is not applied to their sins. When you come to a text like 1 Jn 2:2 you can't let it say what it says because it doesn't comport with your theological system. So you stuff the square peg of your system into the round hole of Scripture.

Listen, I understand your zeal for the truth, but no one's eternal salvation is at stake here. We're saved by Christ, not by lining up all of our theological propositions in a row correctly. So, you can disagree as brothers without the hostility and ungracious comments. I just recommend that you consult Dabney, Shedd, Hodge, even Calvin himself before pouncing.

Aaron Mills said...

Mark,

Is somehow disagreeing with John Owen a departure from orthodoxy? I mean, maybe David's statement was a bit strong, but...

Tony didn't hijack the comment thread, he was trying to make a point about what Spurgeon said.

And I'm sure he isn't a brain dead zombie who follows David around.

Boy, you guys are ready to rain fire down on these guys. Easy, sons of thunder.

And for my part, if you profess to be a follower of Christ, then you're my brother unless you show me otherwise...

donsands said...

" It is sufficient and suitable for the forgiveness of sins, anyones sins."

Terry,
One more thought.

Did Christ pay the full sin debt for His people on Good Friday? Were our sins blotted out, as far as the East is from the West?

In other words, my personal sins, were they literally placed on Christ's broken body, and washed in His blood at the Cross, (as all His elects sins would be, from Adam to David to now)?

Terry W. said...

Hello Don,

Before I answer your question, I would like to say to Phil, if he is reading this, thank you brother for allowing us to discuss these things on your blog, and if I am crossing the line, I will not be offended if you decide to ask us to stopping posting so much on this.

You asked:
"Terry,
One more thought.

Did Christ pay the full sin debt for His people on Good Friday? Were our sins blotted out, as far as the East is from the West?

In other words, my personal sins, were they literally placed on Christ's broken body, and washed in His blood at the Cross, (as all His elects sins would be, from Adam to David to now)?"

Great question, Don. This is certainly where the rubber meets the road. Let me begin my answer with this.

If you and I are elect, chosen before the foundation of the world, and given to Christ, then our personal sin, yours and mine, are placed upon Christ on the cross in the sense that Christ died for you and I as elect (for his sheep) with the intention to APPLY to us EFFECTUALLY the benefit of His full satisfaction of God justice, i.e. His law. Thus giving to us, when we are brought into union with Christ by the Spirit and faith an infallible salvation, full and complete. Now, I said all this for two reasons, 1. It is certainly true it,is biblical, 2. I wanted to demonstrate that I affirm 5 point calvinism.

So now lets see if I can explain how I see the death of Christ having a broader reference to the whole human race, elect and non-elect included, (which I have become convinced that the bible explicitly teaches).

First when we think of sin we must first see it as it is defined by the law of God. Sin is defined as transgression of the law. The whole human race beginning with Adam has transgressed the law of God, first by being in Adam, included in his first sin and also by their personal sins as well. We are all sinners under the sentence of death and deserving the wrath of God. Every member of the human race, therefore, as condemned by the law of God, are guilty of idolatry, murder, covertness, etc. and are, therefore, guilty of every KIND of sin as defined by the law.

This is very important to understand when it comes to the question of the offer of the gospel. All men every where are commanded to repent because every member of the human race is guilty of breaking God's law(Acts 17:30). And in the command to repent salvation is offered to all indiscriminately because Christ suffered for every KIND of sin as a member of the human race, HE being the God-man.

So in light of this, Don, you and I can speak to any unregenerate man in need of salvation concerning his personal sins, elect and non-elect alike. Because every man to whom we preach the gospel is guilty of the same KINDS of sins that Christ died for on the cross. And we can say to that man, in this sense, Christ died for you, sinner, believe upon Christ for salvation, because his death is indeed sufficient and suitable for you. And thus we have a biblical, Christological, grounds for the preaching of the gospel to all.

Now, in regards to the elect who have been regenerated and are in union with Christ, certainly we have the declaration of Peter that Christ indeed bore OUR sins in His own body on the tree and has applied to us by the Spirit the forgiveness of our personal sins. But I would argue that we are still speaking in terms of OUR personal sin, as the elect, as same in KIND as the sin for which Christ suffered on the cross.

The difference is in God's special intention in unconditional election and the effectual application of Christ work to all those given to Him by the irresistible work of grace in their hearts by the Spirit.

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

P.S. I hope this helps. I may have just confused you more. If I did I apologize.

donsands said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donsands said...

I see where you're coming from Terry.

On the Day of Judgement, will the Lord say to those who are not His chosen, "I died for you"?

stevenlamm said...

Dear Don and Terry W.,

I have followed your discussion for a couple of days. Terry's last post reminded me of a good series of audio messages by S. Lewis Johnson on the design of the atonement. You can find this series over at Mongergism.com on the bottom of this page:
http://www.believerschapeldallas.org/tapes/slj-68_suffering-savior/index.htm.

The title of that 9-part series is "The Design of the Atonement: For Whom Did Christ Die?" (Lessons 30-39)

If I remember correctly, Dr. Johnson, who was a great defender of all the doctrines of grace including particular atonement, deals with the issue of preaching the Gospel to all men in part 4 or 5 of that series. The whole series is very interesting and well worth listening to.

I'd love to know what you both think of that series.

Blessings,
Steve

donsands said...

Thanks Steven, I'll be checking that out.

YnottonY said...

Hi Steven,

Let me start off by saying that I have great respect and admiration for Dr. Johnson. I had the pleasure of speaking with him many times in one of the offices at Believers Chapel when he was still alive. When I first heard him on the radio in Dallas in the early 90's, I rushed over to the Chapel to listen to all of his teaching on tape. It took me years to complete them, but I eventually did. They still do not have all of his material on the website, but they are working on it.

Anyway, as you may recall, Dr. Johnson mentions how he was influenced by Gary Long on the atonement issue.

"The personal debt that I owe to Dr. Long consists in the fact that, through our talks together and the further study of the question of particular redemption in the Scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which they fostered, I was brought to an understanding and acceptance of consistent soteriological Calvinism." Foreward to Long's Definite Atonement, ix.

He wrote the foreward to Long's book on Definite Atonement that's put out by Backus Book Publishers, which I quote above.

Dr. Johnson would be within Spurgeon's camp. He held to a strictly limited view of Christ's death. One can tell that he was influenced by Owen's Double Payment and Trilemma arguments. What I found odd was that he didn't seem to be able to tell a difference between Owenism and what R. L. Dabney held in the series you mention. I was glad to hear that he was aware of Dabney's work on God's Indiscriminate Proposals of Mercy, but I don't think he digested the contents thoroughly. Even though Johnson's categories and arguments would be similar to Spurgeon's, he's more inclined to take secret will readings of passages like 1 Tim. 2:4, contrary to Spurgeon. He uses the 'all without exception' vs. 'all without distinction' either/or dilemma to deal with that passage.

Even though Dr. Johnson was a High Calvinist, he most certainly was not hyper. He even says the following in his Foreward to Long's book:

"There is, of course, a twofold love of God, that for the non-elect and that for the elect. While great benefits accrue to the non-elect from Christ's atoning work, including the blessings of common grace and coming to a high expression in the entreaties, the overtures, and the imperatives of gospel preaching, there is nevertheless a radical difference between the benefits of divine love as they pertain to the non-elect and the elect. The difference lies in the distinguishing love that ensures for the elect that they will be partakers of the atonement. It corresponds to the distinguishing nature of divine election." (ibid., xii.)

You can see that Dr. Johnson is basically in agreement with what Phil said about Spurgeon in his early post that I mentioned above. Dr. Johnson did not hesitate to call the external gospel call to all a "well-meant offer," even to the non-elect. Since he knew that some did not hear the gospel call, he made a careful distinction between offered and offerable. Anyway, he wholeheartedly affirmed a two-fold distinction in God's will, God's universal love, God's universal saving will, common grace, the well-meant offer and human responsibility (or duty-faith). So long as high Calvinists affirm these things as Phil Johnson does, I am more than happy to co-exist and fellowship with them. I do crave theological interaction with them since I think my classical position is more scriptural (as well as true to Calvin's own teaching), but I do not want to alienate or separate from them. Some hypers are eager to drive a wedge between us as they superficially exploit and appeal to Spurgeon with hollow "Amens", but it won't work.

Because I hold to a moderate Calvinism, I must admit that I can only give a qualified "Amen" to what Spurgeon says about the design and scope of Christ's death. I don't think it's honest to "Amen" Spurgeon if one rejects his connection of common grace and the sincere gospel offer to the atonement. Nor is it honest to "Amen" him if one denies the universal saving will of God. Spurgeon would consider those that deny such things to be hyper-Calvinists. Even though Spurgeon respected John Gill, he did call him "the Coryphaeus of hyper-Calvinism." Gillites and Hoeksemians are still around today, and they sometimes follow me around like so many pesty gnats :-)

Hope that helps,
Tony

Terry W. said...

Hello Don,

You asked:
On the Day of Judgement, will the Lord say to those who are not His chosen, "I died for you"?

Thanks for the interaction, Don. This will probably be my last comment. I don't want to over stay my welcome here on Phil's blog. So I will leave you with a quote from Calvin in answer to this last question. It's sorta long, but it will give you a lot to think about. It is from a sermon on Deuteronomy.

"Behold our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of glory, abased himself for a
time, as says S. Paul Now if there were no more but this, that he
being the fountain of life, became a moral man, and that he having
dominion over the angels of heaven, took upon him the shape of a
servant, yea even to shed his blood for our redemption, and in the
end to suffer the curse that was due unto us (Gal 3:13): were it
convenient that notwithstanding all this, he should nowadays in
recompense be torn to pieces, by stinking mouths of such as name
themselves Christians? For when they swear by his blood, by his
death, by his wounds and by whatsoever else: is it not a crucifying
of God's son again as much as in them lies, and as a rending of him
in pieces? And are not such folk worthy to be cut of from God's
Church, yea, and even from the world, and to be no more numbered in
the array of creatures? Should our Lord Jesus have such reward at our
hands, for his abasing and humbling of himself after that manner?
(Mich 6:30) God in upbraiding his people says thus: My people, what
have I done to you? I have brought you out of Egypt, I have led you
up with all gentleness and loving-kindness, I have planted you as it
were in my own inheritance, to the intent you should have been a vine
that should have brought me forth good fruit, and I have tilled thee
and manured thee: and must thou now be bitter to me, and bring forth
sower fruit to choke me withal? The same belongs to us at this day.
For when the son of God, who is ordained to be judge of the world
(John 5:22), shall come at the last day: he may well say to us: how
now Sirs? You have borne my name, you have been baptised in
remembrance of me and record that I was your redeemer, I have drawn
you out of the dungeons where into you were plunged, I delivered you
from endless death by suffering most cruel death myself, and for the
same cause I became man, and submitted myself even to the curse of
GOD my father, that you might be blessed by my grace and by my means:
and behold the reward that you have yielded me for all this, is that
you have (after a sort) torn me in pieces and made a jestingstock of
me, and the death that I suffered for you has been made a mockery
among you, the blood which is the washing and cleansing of your souls
has been as good as trampled under your feet, and to be short, you
have taken occasion to ban and blaspheme me, as though I had been
some wretched and cursed creature. When the sovereign judge shall
charge us with these things, I pray you will it not be as thundering
upon us, to ding us down to the bottom of hell? Yes: and yet are
there very few that think upon it." Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy,
Sermon 33, 5:11, p., 196.

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

donsands said...
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Tartanarmy said...

And for my part, if you profess to be a follower of Christ, then you're my brother unless you show me otherwise...
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Amen brother, but I have not once had that simple courtesy extended to me by Tony and David after 3 years of discussions.

I get flat out insults and accusations of being Hyper.

I get my name smeared in places I respectfully and passionately posted at.

I get accused of following these guys around when I do not. I happen to frequent some places (like here) where these guys post at.
I am not following them around.

I passionately defend an accomplished atonement, and every name and insult imaginable is slung my way, and has been since I first posted on the net 4 years ago or so!

I only commented here as I read Phil's opening remarks and found them encouraging, not really thinking anyone would come in and have a go at Spurgeon. When I saw who it was, I just had to say something, so I did.

Personally, I am sick of Christians going after other Christians. I get into more trouble defending other believers from professing believers, but what can you do? Just stay silent against conscience?

I am tired of Christians harping on one issue, when all around us there is real and present danger.
Tony’s one issue, as also Mr Ponter, is this “Dual” aspect to the atonement. That is all they ever talk about, and if you speak up and out in order to question their views, you had better be prepared for ridicule and insult, and or the charge of Hyper-Calvinism. (It irks me because I have had confrontations in real life and online with real Hyper Calvinists!)
I know this treatment first hand, and can say, neither one of them will call me a brother, despite asking for such a courtesy on more than 20 occasions easily documented. What is wrong with that picture I ask?
Even if I am passionate about defending a limited atonement, and may even be called “High” etc, is that any reason to not call me a fellow brother? Or make up lies about me online? No, it is not right.

Rant over!
Sorry for the distraction, but feel free to visit me over at doctrinesofgrace.net for friendly conversation.

Mark

donsands said...

Terry,

" ..and the death that I suffered for you has been made a mockery
among you, the blood which is the washing and cleansing of your souls
has been as good as trampled under your feet,"

This is a very deep and difficult aspect of the Gospel we are discussing.

I am still considering these thoughts of yours. They don't set upon my heart as yet.

I listened to Dr. Johnson's sermon on "definite atonement". What a blessing that was. What a teacher of the Word.

My final thoughts:
There's no doubt that Christ became a curse "for us". He entered into the presence of God "for us". The "for us" is God's elect.

Jesus came to save His people from their sin.
He bore the transgressions of MANY. And he is the One who died for ALL, and the all died, so that "He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them (the many Is. 53:11-12; Heb. 9:28) and rose again".

He died for many, and the many are the all He died for.

His death was perfect atonement for every sin He wanted to forgive. God knew all our sin.
Every evil thought, deed, and word, He knew before he created this universe. And he chose to become a sin offering for those whom He set His love upon.
Why me? I'll never know. Not even when I see the Savior I expect.

I pray with all my heart for my family who are not born again that they would be God's chosen as well.

I share the good news of Christ with them, and I endeavor to live a life of gratitude for my salvation, and pray God will use it for His glory, and for a light in a dark world, and that perhaps it may draw some of His lost sheep to the truth, and penetrate the darkness of those dark hearts as mine was, some 23 years ago.

stevenlamm said...

Dear Don,

I'm a small church pastor and I love theology. I've been very encouraged by the tone of the discussion that you and Terry have had for the last several days on the atonement. Too often this discussion leads to more heat than light!

This is a difficult issue and there are good and godly Christians with thoughtful, yet divergent views about it. This is why I love S. Lewis Johnson. He was able to discuss this issue in a gracious but passionate way with his brethren who held different views.

As Terry has pointed out, even within the "5-point" camp, there are various views over some of the details. Like you, I am still studying these things and I suspect that I may yet refine my views about the atonement as I continue to study and preach.

Don, I pray for more men like you in my church. I wish you were a member. We could have some great theological rap sessions. Too many believers are not interested in theology an that is sad. In fact, too many pastors are theologi cally ignorant, and that is a tragedy!

I'd be interested to know what you learn from listening to S. Lewis Johnson. In fact, Dr. Steven Lawson has a series on this topic as well which you can download from his website: www.cfbcmobile.org

You'll find it under the heading "Definite Atonement."

You can e-mail me at stevenlamm@cox.net.

Blessings,
Steve Lamm

Ploughed Ground said...

There is a type of Chritian on paltalk.com, mostly Baptists but sometimes Presbyterian who say God never makes a genuine or serious call the the lost to repent in the gospel call?
Tim Micer is one of them, Reverand William Brooks is another and the Reverand John Sneed is another.
I point them continually to the Canons of Dordt 1618-1619 and show them that the Synod pronunces clearly that the offer in the gospel is most genuine and serious offer by God, callng the sinner to repentence and faith. Further that the rejection of this call is entirely the fault of the sinner and can in no ways be blamed on God.
I say for this error alone they are hyper-Calvinist and at least leaning to hyper-Calviism in my blog.
I think that my staement on them and their stance is fair, epecially when measured with all the rest of ther erros in teaching God's Word.

Cmn I post my blog link on here, it is a blog devoted to refutl of hyper-Calvinist theological error.

Ploughed Ground