12 March 2009

Short items

by Phil Johnson

an Phillips has dibs on Friday, so I'll keep this as brief as possible:

  1. A transcript of the other message I gave last week at Shepherds' Conference is currently being serialized at Pulpit Live. It was titled "What Is an Evangelical," but could have been titled "How Did Evangelicalism Get So Far Off Track?" If you appreciated the iMonk's Christian Science Monitor article, or if you wondered why I said I agreed so heartily with that article, the message I gave in that seminar will give you something to chew on.

    Here's a sample:
    The parting of ways between evangelicals and fundamentalists weakened and impoverished both groups. Evangelicals tended to be uncomfortable with the nonstop militancy of the fundamentalists; fundamentalists thought the evangelicals' desire to be as positive as possible was a sign of weakness and compromise. The truth is that both temperaments were valid, and each side's unique contribution was needed in almost equal measure.
         The two groups moved steadily further apart for some 40 years or longer. Deprived of so much evangelical warmth, the fundamentalists grew increasingly contentious. And deprived of so much fundamentalist conviction, the evangelicals grew increasingly willing to compromise. Anything and everything eventually became negotiable.
         The wider the rift grew, the more eager to fight the fundamentalists became, the more willing to compromise the evangelicals were. Each side, reacting badly to the temperament of the other, unwittingly exaggerated their own faults.

  2. Sound-file downloads have taxed the bandwidth at the official Shepherds' Fellowship download site. So you can download my two sessions HERE.
  3. Some of our commenters have made mention of the Time Magazine piece that came out today, listing "The New Calvinism" as one of the "10 ideas changing the world right now." In case anyone missed it, I wanted to put it on the front page.

Phil's signature

66 comments:

Johnny Dialectic said...

Four years ago it was the "emergent church" that was going to change the world. Time Mag was right there!

How about the Bible, faithful preaching and the local church?

And let God do the world changing.

Susan said...

Thank you for posting the audios, Phil! (No wonder I couldn't finish downloading it the other night....)

DJP said...

I just finished listening to your talk on evangelicalism. Very solid, good, thoughtful, though-provoking.

Solameanie said...

Well said!

romans923 said...

Sir,

Thank you for this post. It answers the question I asked the other day about "fundamentalism and evangelicalism". I asked because my Church has both listed as characteristics on the Church doctrinal statement.

Stefan said...

I aired my reservations about "The New Calvinism" making Time's list at Justin Taylor's blog, so I won't repeat them here.

Is it only a matter of time now, before the snake-oil salesmen and charlatans try to cash in on this? Or does Calvinism defy wonderful-plan-for-your-life, prayer-of-Jabez, TBN-ization?

theologyofbobby said...

Well I'm: Paleo-Orthodox, and in fact T. F. Torrance (one of Barth's infamous students) could be, and has been, identified as Paleo-Orthodox contra Neo.

I am certainly Evangelical in a Paleo sense . . . Paleo-Orthodox, if you will ;-).

James David Beebe, Jr. said...

re: evangelical and fundamental split: now some are declaring evangelicalism dead. This is another example of a pattern I think I'm noticing, where someone/something formerly conservative moves left out of fear of getting left behind by current trends ... and then dies, because the stalwart conservatives don't go along, and those fully into the leftward moving trend won't let them join the party because they aren't liberal enough. I haven't observed this myself, but I've heard that the Emergism Movement (I like calling it that) mostly looks down their noses at the seeker-friendly crowd, so now the seeker-friendlies are either moving further into full-blown Emergism, or losing membership. The Republican party might be another example. This isn't a well thought-out opinion, I just wanted to throw it out here to see if anybody else has noticed this

Stuart Wood said...

"Apostasy" comes from two Greek words, "apo", meaning "away from" and "stasis", meaning "to stand". So the root idea is to "stand away from where you once stood". Grace Community Church once held to the true universal atonement and saving Gospel of Christ, how that "Christ died for OUR sins". John MacArthur's former writings are full of this necessary truth. Now this one and only Gospel is regarded as "anathema". Mark my words, the false doctrine of limited atonement is part of the final apostasy. Paul writes, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first" (2 Th. 2:3).

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Joshua Cookingham said...

Wow,

Phil, you nailed it! That I think is the hard truth.

both sides moved too far into their respective areas of Lisence and Legalism, and when the dust cleared....

Thanks for writing this. God bless.

Jeff said...

Big help here, thank you. I look forward to listening to the the audio. I started on the transcript yesterday.

Shinar Squirrel said...

Phil,

You're on my iPod :-)

I've always found your messages edifying. Thanks for telling it like it is.

The Squirrel

Hayden said...

Troll alert :--)

andy spaulding said...

well i guess none of this really matters. since Christ died for everyone, everyone is going to go to heaven anyways.

universal atonement is ridiculous(worthy of ridicule). at least the universalists are conistent in their theology, unlike the Arminians.

So Pastor Wood, you believe that everyone is going to heaven, right? If not, how could Christ die for someone, lets say Yaser Arafat, and that person still be in hell?

How can I tell my unbelieving co-worker that Christ died for his sins, but then go on to tell him he needs to believe and repent? If Christ died for his sins HE CANNOT GO TO HELL HE MUST BE SAVED! But in simple logic, we know that if he remais in a state of unbelief, that Chirst in fact did not die for his sins, He only died for those who will beleive(the elect).

Shinar Squirrel said...

Andy-

You're right, of course.

But we were all ignoring him, in the hopes that he would just choose to go away.

The Squirrel

Stuart Wood said...

I have given you an article that explains all of this. Don't make up your mind too quickly. I'm certainly not asserting universalism as in all are ultimately saved. I, too, once taught a FLOCK at Grace for three years under the discipleship of Fred Barshaw, then MacArthur's right-hand man. I can assure you that Fred (and most pastors at Grace at that time) would have never gone along with the false doctrine of limited atonement.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Sam said...

Well said, Mr. Johnson. Not too long ago I listened to two your GraceLife messages. The first concerned evangelicalism's fascination with lame fads and programs, and the second focused on the errors of the fundamentalist movement. With this talk, the trilogy is complete. Nice work, sir.

Robert W said...

Phil:

Re: downloads.

1. I would like to thank the people in charge of SF policies for making the conference audio widely available (which I think was done relatively recently).

2. I would like to thank you and Dr. MacArthur for opeining up the GTY vault.

What a blessing, both!

Sir Brass said...

Interesting how none of the opponents to Particular Atonement have ever been able to mount a solid, convincing reply to John Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. If it's such a false doctrine, then how come it has never been actually refuted?

Pastor Wood, that is a challenge. Thoughtfully, and persuasively respond to Owen and we might give your view some consideration. Till then, the arguement of Owen's spiritual descendants and those who came before him, I think would fundamentally disagree with you.

But, let God be true and every man a liar. Doctrines are not correct simply by majority rule. So, present your case and respond to Owen well.

Dr Bill said...

I thought the definition of "apostasy" would have been applied by Stuart W to certain left-leaning corners of so-called evangelicalism. That certainly would fit the discussion. But to apply it to MacArthur? Seriously? Can you see this headline coming? "MacArthur's View on Limited Atonement Completes the Demise of Evangelicalism."

Pastor Wood's eschatalogically confused post at Phil's last entry (http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2009/03/evangelicalism-down-drain.html), "answered" tacitly by the crowd, is further evidence that we are not playing on a level field, or perhaps not the same doctrinal field at all.

Heed Hayden!

Stuart Wood said...

I once asked John MacArthur in person about the extent of Christ’s atonement. The year was 1993. And he himself told me these words. “Stuart, let me tell you something. If Christ did not die for sins of every human being, you could not preach the Gospel.” Those are his words, not mine. And he was correct. I am only sorry that he has had such a terrible fall from the truth in his latter years.

Also, consider the following words of Martin Luther, the Father of the Reformation. Luther writes, "“Yes, he assumes not only my sins but also those of the whole world, from Adam down to the very last mortal. These sins he takes upon himself; for these he is willing to suffer and die that our sins may be expunged and we may attain eternal life and blessedness… THIS IS THE BASIS OF ALL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. WHOEVER BELIEVES IT IS A CHRISTIAN; WHOEVER DOES NOT IS NO CHRISTIAN, and will get what he has coming to him. The statement is clear enough: “This is the Lamb of God who bears the sins of the world.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 22, pp. 162-169)

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Sir Brass said...

So Christ fully paid for the sins of every single person on the Cross, yet fails to redeem every single person?

If all of their sins transgressions are atoned for on the Cross, then how come they are still justly condemned to Hell? Unless, you believe that Christ only died for the opportunity for folks to believe, and not for all of their sins. If Christ did not die for ALL of man's sins, then every single man is dead in their sins. But you cannot apply that to everyone lest ye be a universalist.

Can't have it both ways, Pastor Wood. And Luther wasn't always right. He wanted to condemn Zwingli as a heretic b/c Zwingli held (as most of us do) that the Lord's Supper was a rememberance and not the Lord's literal body and blood (like lutherans do). Luther also believed in a form of baptismal regeneration (not to be equated with the Catholic view....the two are not the same), which is something else most protestants (even presbyterians) would fundamentally disagree on.

Luther was not writing inspired literature. He was wise, yes, but not correct 100% of the time. We can tell by examining scripture first and foremost: sola scriptura. And the doctrine of Particular Atonement (along with the doctrine of the Trinity, andother important doctrines of varying degrees of importance) is very much contained in scripture, if implicitly rather than explicitly

Stuart Wood said...

You are forgetting that "we are saved by grace through faith". Think of Christ’s atoning work like a vast reservoir containing the forgiveness of sins for all men wrought by His suffering and death upon the Cross. The forgiveness, however, must come to you through the pipeline of faith. If a person does not believe the truth of what Christ objectively did FOR HIM, then his pipeline is blocked by this unbelief and he dies without the forgiveness that was truly wrought for him. He did not believe the objective truth spoken TO HIM, for his benefit, by a God who cannot lie.

However, it is important to understand that this faith too is a gift of God and is created in the sinner by the Word of God itself. A great analogy is with the raising of Lazurus. Lazurus was dead, and was unable of himself to respond to the Word of God. But when Christ said, “Lazurus, come forth”, this very same Word which spoke to him also wrought in him the ability to respond and to come forth. All was of the Word and of grace, but yet Lazurus did indeed respond by the power of that Word.

So it is with the Gospel. The objective Gospel Word is sent to the individual sinner and says, “Christ died for YOUR sins”. By God’s grace (via the power of the Word), the individual (who is dead in his trespasses and sins) responds with faith and is also raised from the dead. Why this happens to some and not to others, we leave as a mystery. We do not attribute any “differences” in man (as some men do), nor do we fault God for the sinner’s own unbelief.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Phil Johnson said...

Stuart:

You don't get to use my blog to attack my pastor. See rule 5 in the right sidebar. You are welcome to argue points of doctrine all you want; you can even attack me if you like. But if you want to air a grievance about someone who never even comments here but is in the immediate circle of our friends, families, or pastors, you need to take it somewhere else.

This is the one offense for which we have sometimes banned people without warning. But in case you have simply overlooked the established protocol on our blog, I'm bringing rule 5 to your attention as a courtesy.

Thanks.

Sir Brass said...

Is unregenerate man capable of expressing saving faith?

Or is it, indeed, also a gift of God?

andy spaulding said...

"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He WILL (not possibly) save HIS PEOPLE (this phrase is definite not a generality) from their sins." Matthew 1:21

Sir Brass said...

Stuart said,
"However, it is important to understand that this faith too is a gift of God and is created in the sinner by the Word of God itself. A great analogy is with the raising of Lazurus. Lazurus was dead, and was unable of himself to respond to the Word of God. But when Christ said, “Lazurus, come forth”, this very same Word which spoke to him also wrought in him the ability to respond and to come forth. All was of the Word and of grace, but yet Lazurus did indeed respond by the power of that Word."

You, sir, are being wildly inconsistant now. This quote would basically peg you dead on as a Calvinist. You can't have 4 of the 5 points yet reject the 5th and remain consistant.

Stuart Wood said...

Phil,

That is fair enough. I will not make any personal attacks, and if I do, you can pull the plug on me. I dearly love John MacArthur, and was not intending my statement to be a personal attack upon him. I was simply trying to convey for the sake of the readers that he does not hold to the same position as he once did when I and many others knew him. And I think it is only fair for me to say that I think that departure from where he once stood is a terrible mistake. I mean that as a judgment upon the doctrine, not upon the person.

Sorry to have created an unintended offense. Do with me as you please.

Pastor Stuart Wood

Sharon said...

@Scott: I, too, once taught a FLOCK at Grace for three years under the discipleship of Fred Barshaw, then MacArthur's right-hand man. I can assure you that Fred (and most pastors at Grace at that time) would have never gone along with the false doctrine of limited atonement.

Some thought about this:

1. I have been attending Grace Church since 1971. Your name is not familiar at all to me, and I'm pretty good at remembering names.

2. Fred Barshaw was an associate pastor, not "MacArthur's right-hand man."

3. You cannot make the claim that "most" pastors at the time would not have believed in limited atonement without interviewing all who were on staff at that time.

4. Since you have not been involved at Grace Church since 1993, I don't see how you can claim to know what the staff believes.

5. John's position has been clarified many times in print and on recordings, and yet you choose to ignore these resources and refuse to address his explanations.

6. Methinks you have some sort of vendetta against this faithful preacher of the Word of God. I cannot guess why, but you might want to heed the warning in 1 Samuel 24:6.

A Musician by Grace

Stuart Wood said...

Sir Brass,

The problem is our depraved human reason, which is willing to hold on to one revealed truth of the Word of God, but war against another equally revealed truth because it can't square things. But we are called to be led of child-like faith and not reason, and "to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ". Fred Barshaw is actually the one who taught me this beautiful wisdom and it has served me well. Take the doctrine of the Trinity - three is one - do we not accept this is child-like faith and thereby also know it is true, even though reason can't grasp it?

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Stuart Wood said...

Sharon,

Rather than make a lengthy defense of the false things you are saying, I would refer you to Irv Busenitz, who knows me well. Not only did I go through Logos, I also spent three years at Grace almost everyday as a student at the Grace Extension of Talbot Theological Seminary, from where I also graduated in 1984 with a M.Div. in Bible Exposition.

I can assure you I do not have a "vendetta", as I probably love MacArthur as much if not more than you do. My issue is one of truth, the departure from which I think is very serious in regards to the welfare of precious souls.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Stefan said...

Um, getting back to the original post, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury—in the early 19th century—is quoted by various authors as having written:

"I know what constituted an Evangelical in former times. I have no clear notion what constitutes one now."

(One of those authors is David William Bebbington, whose book Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A history from the 1730s to the 1980s seems to be quite a good study of the subject and gave rise to the "Bebbington Quadrilateral," one definition of evangelicalism.)

Having said all that, the two-tracked definition that Phil gave in his session is quite useful—evangelicalism historically reflecting a commitment to the authority of Scripture and salvation through faith.

I like the label "paleo-Evangelical," too.

Steve Lamm said...

Stuart Wood,

One of the things I love about John MacArthur is his willingness to change his views if he is convinced by the Word of God to do so.

So, if John has changed his mind over the years concerning the extent of the atonement, I see nothing at all wrong with that. It simply means that his mind is captive to the Word of God.

It concerns me greatly that you would label all who hold to the reformed doctrine of particular redemption as heretics. Let's face it, that is what you are saying. I think it demonstrates a severe lack of wisdom and humility on your part to think such a thing considering the great men of the faith who held to particular redemption.

One more thing: Your appearance at this blog to stomp on John MacArthur's reputation could have gotten you summarily banned. I think Phil has demonstrated the kind of grace you need to learn.

Steve Lamm

Stuart Wood said...

The John MacArthur I know would welcome and applaud a sincere Christian trying to show in Christian love a serious error that has crept into his theology. That's the John MacArthur I learned under, and I know he would do the same for me. Yes, we are "our brother's keeper". To speak the truth, knowing that thereby you are incurring other's wrath, is true Christian love, as demonstrated by our Saviour Himself. Luther said, "Cursed be to the depths of hell that kind of love that is willing to compromise the truth of God's Word". Solomon said, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Prov. 27:6).

I have had only one point that I have been trying to communicate to you all, and that is that limited atonement is a soul-destroying doctrine because it changes the definition of the Gospel. You may disagree with me, but I hope you will consider the seriousness of that point if it is true.

I don’t seek your hurt, but rather your eternal welfare. You see, if a person truly and consistently holds to the false teaching of limited atonement, then he really cannot be a Christian at all (as Luther pointed out). The reason for this is that to be saved faith must be able to say that Christ died for MY sins, and this faith must necessarily get this knowledge from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). So if you do not believe that Christ died for all men, then how do you know with full assurance that He died for you? That’s what this is all about. You and I must each come to know with certainty that Jesus Christ died for our sins. The universal atonement of Christ is the only Scriptural warrant to allow us in the door. Take that truth away, and you have nothing. It is the foundation of all true Christian theology.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Sir Brass said...

"I have had only one point that I have been trying to communicate to you all, and that is that limited atonement is a soul-destroying doctrine because it changes the definition of the Gospel. You may disagree with me, but I hope you will consider the seriousness of that point if it is true."

It does not change the gospel one iota from what it already is, and with all due respect, sir, you have not presented your case properly at all. You have not shown at all how particular atonement is incompatible with God's sovereignty in salvation, or how it is incompatible with compatiblistic will.

The thing particular atonement destroys is any idea of autonomous free will, and that is in concert with the other 4 very biblical doctrines of grace.

Now, rant you have, yes. But proven your case? Not in the slightest.

Christ's sacrifice fully paid for all the sins of all who would come to Him. This limits the extent of the atonement to ONLY those who will come to Him. Christ's sacrifice is of infinite value, and thus the extent was large enough that if God had ordained it, every single individual who ever lived, is living, and will ever live would have had their sins atoned for at Calvary. However, we know that that isn't the case. The value is there, and in that sense, Christ died for all men. However, Christ only died for those who are His, elect from eternity pass to the glory of His name.

That is hardly gospel-destroying.

Soli Deo Gloria

Stuart Wood said...

Sir Brass,

I'll prove the point very simply. With your theology, can you proclaim to me, Stuart Wood, that Christ died for MY sins? Yes, or no?

Pastor Wood

Frank Turk said...

Stuart:

This is an open invitation to you to visit my DebateBlog, read the rules of that environment, and consider this thesis:

Because the Bible distinguishes between two groups of people in the final account -- "the elect" and everyone else -- the atonement of Christ is limited in scope.

I offer to defend this thesis in an exchange 10 rounds long with the normal word limits as described by the rules of that blog at your convenience.

Sir Brass said...

I defer the debate to Frank, and propose we move this discussion to the proposed location.

As frank as challenged stuart to the debate, I'll bow out.

However, I do maintain that Christ died for my sins fully and that the doctrine of particular atonement is not a hindrance to that at all, but a reasonable doctrine that assures me that I was 100% bought and paid for on the cross by Christ Himself.

Stuart Wood said...

I will gladly take Frank up on his invitation, but I addressed a straightforward question to Sir Brass that exposes the different Gospel, and I would like to see his answer and finish these thoughts here first. So again, Sir Brass, with your theology, can you proclaim to me, Stuart Wood, that Christ died for MY sins? A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice.

I am not interested, at this point, as to how you think He died for you.

Pastor Wood

onepilgrimsprogress said...

Phil,

Your "Dead Right" messages from 2005 and 2006 as well as this one have helped me to clarify where I fit in, although its not with any particular movement.

I've been somewhat adrift after coming to baptistic convictions and leaving Confessional Presbyterianism about a year ago.
I can't subscribe to all of the 1689, so I'm not a Reformed Baptist. I have sometimes joked that I was a fundamentalist, although I mean it in the early 20th century sense.

Paleoevangelical seems to be a pretty good label to me.

Chris Poe

onepilgrimsprogress said...

I just recently finished listening to this excellent series on Amryaldianism aka 4 point Calvinism aka hypothetical universalism by the late Dr. S. Lewis Johnson:

http://www.sljinstitute.net/sermons/doctrine/modcalvinism/modcalvinism_master.html

Stuart Wood said...

Since it looks like Sir Brass does not feel up to answering this very straightforward question, I would like to defer to Mr. Phil Johnson himself. Phil, with your theology, can you tell me, Stuart Wood, that Christ died for MY sins? A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Sir Brass said...

Stuart, I would answer you, but I'm going to leave that to the debate between you and Mr. Turk.

If you'd like to continue this elsewhere (as I think we've derailed this meta enough), I invite you to drop by the #prosapologian irc chat channel sometime, as I'm one of Dr. White's regular channel rats. And we can have a civil discussion there.

Stuart Wood said...

Sir Brass,

I don't think a "yes" or "no" is taxing you too much, unless that is, that you now understand my point about a different Gospel and don't want to admit it. You must remember that a true Christian comes to the light, not flees from it (John 3:19-21).

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Phil Johnson said...

Stuart Wood: "Phil, with your theology, can you tell me, Stuart Wood, that Christ died for MY sins? A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice"

Assuming you are bring truthful when you profess faith in Christ alone, I would answer yes, Christ died in your place and in your stead, paying the penalty for your sin in full.

On the other hand, since I don't have infallible knowledge of anyone's heart, I am compelled to add a word of caution: those whose "faith" is a sham or whose "trust in Christ" is something less than settled faith in Him alone have no basis to claim that Christ is their Substitute. In fact, unless they repent, they will pay the price of their own sins for all of eternity.

Phil Johnson said...

Incidentally, this post wasn't about the extent of the atonement. Let's get the thread back on track. Now that I have answered Stuart's question, let's take all further debate and/or discussion about "limited atonement" over to Frank's debate blog.

Thanks.

Sir Brass said...

Phil, if you would allow me to respond once more, as Mr. Wood has basically accused me of being a closet reprobate for not answering his question.

Mr. Wood,
I will state this only once, and firmly so. I am a wretched sinner, deserving of nothing but reprobation and damnation, not deserving of taking a single breath more on this earth. I was dead spiritually in my sins, unable to respond. However, before I was born, I was forechosen and foreknown, and on the cross, Christ purchased my salvation....all of it.

I know I am truly saved because Christ's sacrifice is sufficient for ALL who will come to Him, and it is in Him alone that I put my trust. I could not have done this without the Holy Spirit working this out in my heart.

The sins I used to love and revel in no longer bring any satisfaction, and when I commit those sins I am convicted to the core and brought to my knees in repentance. I know from the Scriptures that this could not be apart from the work of the Holy Spirit on my heart, and that I trust in Christ and Christ alone tells me that I am saved.

I refuse to believe that the extent of the atonement was limited such that any part of our coming to salvation is left up to us, and knowing that that is what was purchased at calvary, I have to conclude that such a purchase was only made by Christ for ONLY His elect.

As to if I can proclaim that Christ died for YOU, Stuart Wood, no I cannot proclaim that as I do not know your heart. Here is what I DO know, however. I know that if you have truly come to Christ in repentance and faith, trusting in Him alone for your salvation then YES He has died for you, for only the Holy Spirit could work such a work in your heart to bring you to that point.


The reason I felt one more response was necessary was this, "I don't think a "yes" or "no" is taxing you too much, unless that is, that you now understand my point about a different Gospel and don't want to admit it. You must remember that a true Christian comes to the light, not flees from it (John 3:19-21)."

This accuses me of either being a closet reprobate (since I will not agree with him) and/or a coward, simply because I wanted to finish this elsewhere. Were Mr. Wood an unbeliever, I would just leave it well enough alone. But I felt that I needed to answer the accusation of a brother.

Mr. Wood, will you continue this elsewhere, at the blog Frank invited you to and/or the chat channel I invited you to? This meta is derailed enough as it is.

Stuart Wood said...

Thank you, Phil, for answering my question. I think it is fair to say that since you cannot see with certainty my faith, that the answer to my question for you is "no". You cannot tell me, Stuart Wood, that Christ died for MY sins.

This is why our differences concerning the atonement are not insignificant because of the direct bearing that they have the definition of the Gospel itself. There is only one correct definition of the Gospel, and Paul has pronounced an anathema on all other so-called Gospels (Gal. 1:6-9).

The universal atonement of Christ asserts that the true Gospel is how “Christ died for OUR sins” (1 Cor. 15:1-4), something that we may objectively announce to other people indiscriminantly. This Gospel allows me, Stuart Wood, to proclaim to you, Phil Johnson, that Jesus died for YOUR sins.

A limited atonement (that Christ died for the elect only) cannot assert this word “OUR” and thus cannot objectively announce the forgiveness of sins to others. As we have seen, it does not allow you, Phil Johnson, to proclaim to me, Stuart Wood, that Christ died for MY sins.

So we have two different Gospels. They cannot both be true. I am asserting to you that the universal Gospel is the true Gospel.

I have now made my point, and am happy to leave it at that (unless you have any followup questions).

I also am sorry to have tied up your blog, but if what I am saying is true, then all other blogging is sheer vanity anyway.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Stuart Wood said...

Just a quick word to Sir Brass,

I am sorry if I offended you, but you shouldn't feel bad because I have never yet met a person holding to limited atonement who could answer "yes" to that question. Now here is an important point for you to consider (and then I'm done). Just as you correctly say that you cannot tell me that Christ died for MY sins because you cannot know my heart, so you cannot really know that Christ died for your own sins because you cannot know your own heart. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jewr. 17:9). This is the very problem with limiting Christ's atonement.

Pastor Stuart Wood

http://arlomax.googlepages.com/takingthemaskoffcalvinism%3Athedangerofhum

Phil Johnson said...

Stuart: "I think it is fair to say that since you cannot see with certainty my faith, that the answer to my question for you is 'no'."

Actually, the answer I gave you was yes, and I meant it.

I also meant it when I said that discussion is off topic here and needs to be taken to another venue.

Steve Lamm said...

Phil,

You have shown profound patience.

Thanks,
Steve

Stuart Wood said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
luke simmons said...
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DJP said...

...or would be sad, if it contained specifics relating either to Phil's very specifically-targeted remarks, or to the actual state of the GTY ministry.

luke simmons said...
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DJP said...

Please, let's try to focus. Where did Phil (or anyone) fault Driscoll (or anyone) for "Preach[ing] the Word, Train[ing] Men, [and] Plant[ing] Churches"?

Can you talk about the actual topic of the post? Did you listen to Phil's presentation?

luke simmons said...
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DJP said...

I keep trying to help you to stop embarrassing yourself, and you keep pushing ahead. You clearly don't have any idea what you're talking about. If you did...

1. You wouldn't say things like that about Phil, knowing that he always "has the goods" when he makes assertions.

2. You wouldn't be making blanket charges like that about our site, when two minutes' work (max) would find you remarks such as Phil made at 8:23 AM, April 02, 2007 on this thread.

3. You wouldn't be banking so heavily on everyone else being as ignorant of Driscoll's doings and Phil's talk, as you seem to be.

Not that Phil needs me writing any of this. I'll leave it over to him.

luke simmons said...
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DJP said...

Well, that is pretty funny. You can't bring yourself simply to apologize for making an ignorant sweeping condemnation of this blog when you're corrected. But you demand that Phil give precise and full citations of everything Driscoll has ever said.

I've been blogging with Phil for years now, and this is pretty much characteristic of every such criticism of him.

luke simmons said...
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Sharon said...

@Luke: The question remains...are all the other guys who support Driscoll sinfully turning a blind eye to his alleged inappropriateness?

Why don't you ask them directly? After all, that would be the biblical thing to do.

A Musician by Grace

luke simmons said...
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Phil Johnson said...

Luke Simmons: "oh...but that didn't happen. If it did, I'll be happily corrected"

I wrote Mark Driscoll 4 months ago to tell him what I would be dealing with at the Shepherds' Conference, and subsequently I had three phone conversations with him. You would know that if you had actually read what I wrote before firing off your public rebuke.

So there are at least four layers of irony in your comment. I hope you can see them.

Phil Johnson said...

PS for Luke Simmons:

You'd also have the answer to your "simple question" if you took the time to listen to that session from the Shepherds' Conference.

luke simmons said...

I stand corrected. My apologies.