He is a theologian who lives in Germany. He has written several books which include biographies of Toplady and Gill. they are published by Go Publications , Hill Top, Eggleston, County Durham England. I don't know if they have a website though.
I am sure George would be only too pleased to recieve your comments on his article .
What did you think of it ?
I agree with him re the Murray "free-offer" book . That tiny little pamphlet has, and is causing much division.
Re: Stones for Bread#5360 Wed Sep 10, 20038:01 AMWed Sep 10, 20038:01 AM
Mr. Ella made some good points concerning some of the errors made by some modernist Calvinists. But, it would appear that he let his reason and charity get away from him, for by the time he finished his exposé he lost touch with reality and so labeled and condemned his opponents that he fell victim to that which he was writing against... preaching untruth! Here is his concluding remarks:
A painful conclusion The Finneyite ‘offer’ presented by these ministers is a mockery of the gospel call. It is a sad and perverse con-trick. It is not a well-meant offer, nor can it be a sincere offer, nor can it be a loving offer as it is an offer of deceit. The ‘gospel’ that Johnson, Watts and Murray so freely offer does not come as a certain life-bringer to some and a condemning judge to others. It is all empty smiles and cheers and desires on their god’s part. It rejects the God who has decreed all to save the elect and accepts a god who has decreed nothing and wills what he knows he will never have. It rejects the God who will have His holiness and righteous judgment preached to the nations. It rejects the eternal love of God for the people of His choice. It rejects the entire work of Christ in choosing the Bride promised Him from eternity. It sees preaching as a mere moral persuasion, based on the idea of a doting god who only wills for all people to accept him but does not will their acceptance. This is truly a blasphemous religion.
If these men, of whom I am only familiar with John Murray, are guilty of promoting "Finneyism" and a "blasphemous religion", then according to what you have written about your views concerning salvation only belongs to full Calvinists, then one would have to conclude that the man Prof. John Murray was cast into hell when he died.
As to Mr. Ella's conclusion, I think it is rather harsh and too broad in it's sweeping condemnations. It is one thing to point out things which one feels are in error and to dash them to the ground. But it is an entirely different matter to summarily condemn everything that a person believes and relegate the person to eternal damnation based upon that summary judgment. One may freely disagree with the Murray and Stonehouse booklet on the "Free Offer of the Gospel", but one is biblically not free to condemn the man or to label him as one who promotes "Finneyism".
LINDA: In Howard's initial message, look under his username on the left and click on the link: Attachment.
In His Grace,
simul iustus et peccator
Re: Stones for Bread
#5363 Wed Sep 10, 20039:18 AMWed Sep 10, 20039:18 AM
In reply to:[color:"blue"] I too would be interested in some views on this as a former (still ?) hyper-calvinist....I am having great difficulty shedding the Hyper aspect for fear of embracing Arminianism.
Howard, I truly respect you and "some" of your views. You are one of the most generous individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. But, (and not so much unlike myself at times..for which I have repented and continue to examine myself) you are sometimes cruel (at times unknowingly so) because of a lack of understanding of some important concepts. Let us look at some of the hyper tendencies, such as All Arminians are Unsaved, which appears to come out in your posts.
There are many things that one could say about this issue, All Arminians are Unsaved (ps: some Calvinists are too), and if one said them all, then nothing would be said..(it would be loss in the ruble).....Thus, I will just make a few brief points for your consideration.
1. From personal experience, I was an Arminian and practiced such when I was first saved. I did not know doctrine, know the Scriptures, only what I was being taught. BUT, I was SAVED! All Arminians are not lost as your posts seem to suggest.
2. As I grew in the Scriptures (and thus my knowledge of God and His ways), this naturally this led me to the proper theology of Calvinism (this took years). Though when I was born again, I WAS born as a Calvinist (election), I DID NOT come to the "fuller" understanding of this till later (still growing). This is an important point: in a manner of speaking, there is a separation in being saved from how one may think they were saved (John 3:8). We DO NOT understand it all !! [/LIST] The problem with "some" Calvinists is they think to EMBRACE an Arminian is to embrace his theology as well--this is not the truth though. An Arminian may EMBRACE the Apostle's Creed (though not completely understanding it) and one is hard pressed to say this person is lost (without much more evidence), IMHO. The Apostle's Creed, IMHO, is a better tool from which to begin embracing others from "various beliefs" and then attempt to teach them from that perspective. We must break with the "idea" that we are the only right church mentality in the evaluation of other's salvation (specifically, if you are not a Calvinist you are lost), when they embrace such things as the Apostle's Creed, et. el......theology, YES (more so, but not perfect is it?), salvation no. We must strive for "some unity" in the body of Christ without violating the theology that is true.
Now with this said, to tell an Arminian who embraces the Apostle's Creed, he is not saved (with no other "individual" discerning facts) is assumption on your part. Blasting his theology in love is one thing, attacking his salvation is another. In the process of dealing with his theology you and he may discover that he was not saved in the first place, but this cannot be done initially--Calvinists are not God! Then again, because of your love of sharing the truth of Scripture with him he may grow in grace and truth and finally embrace Calvinism. I gave away your two books (Calvinism Pure and Mixed & The Sovereignty of God) "yesterday" and I already have another scheduled appointment with this Arminian to discuss one of the books he finished last night. I accepted him where he was at and I am attempting to bring him to a fuller understanding of the Gospel. I am fully convinced he is saved and just lacking in understanding. But, had I looked at him and said, "YOUR LOST, you don't believe in Calvinism".......(1) I would have been a liar (2) I do not think we would be communicating so well now?
Now, this is only a partial thought and I hope you or others will not take it out of context! And please do not take offense at what I am attempting to get across. I mean this in the most loving and respectful way I can express it at this moment in time. May God have mercy.
Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Stones for Bread#5366 Sat Sep 13, 200311:12 AMSat Sep 13, 200311:12 AM
One of the things that surprise me is that Phillip R. Johnson is an expert on CH Spurgeon, on his site Phil Johnson's Bookmarks; he has what he calls "The Spurgeon Archive". Therefore he should know what Spurgeon preached, in this particular area.<br><br>Tom
In reply to:[color:"blue"]One (and there are many) of my biggest problems is finding the "middle" ground betwixt hyper-calvinism and arminianism.
The Middle Ground, the Holy Ground, which you seek is the totality of living out the Reformed Faith, without the other add-ons. Here are some points that I have discovered:
1. God saves us to (or “into” in the Book of John) Himself and not to an "immediate understanding” to the "correct" theological system. I do believe He "effectually applies" a theological system to His elect—Calvinism, but this is far from one completely understanding how everything works.
2. If you as a Calvinist do not understand ALL there is within Calvinism, and you are “x” number of years old in this belief system, then how can it be that you think an Arminian would have to understand it ALL in order to be saved? Thus, love the Arminian, but hate his theology, but do so with respect because he may be your brother.
3. God is not a Gnostic. He does not regenerate us BECAUSE of our knowledge, but in-spite of it. Regeneration as you know is by GRACE ALONE which is delivered to us in love by God's Spirit as predetermined before the foundation of the world—election, and not Gnosticism. One of many things that happens in salvation is that now we may begin to grow in the "special" revelation of God.
4. An easy way to look at it is: A "new" police officer, in Georgia, when he begins on the street is sworn in and given ALL the rights and privileges of being a police officer. He can arrest people, he may carry a weapon, and so forth. There is a big problem though—he knows not how to do any of the above correctly. When we get saved we have ALL the rights and privileges that come from being saved, but we understand very little if anything at all. With ALL the Arminian mis-teachings around today it is no wonder everyone “thinks” he was saved by his own free will. You may say it like this, Where Arminian confusion, untruth, and free-will abounds, grace does much more abound. The key here is that GRACE still abounds, in-spite of their beliefs. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/idea.gif" alt="idea" title="idea[/img]
5. Stop reading Iain Paisley and the like. While men of God like him have brought you to a certain point of growth, they are immature (and may I add non-Calvinistic) in many areas. Begin reading some other writings by the Puritans on sanctification, and others, which I am sure others would be more than willing to list for your edification and comfort.[/LIST] And remember life is like a deck of cards, always shifting, and balance is only momentary synchronicity. That is a neat way of saying that you will always be growing in Christ. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img] The neat thing is --You are asking the right questions, and thus, God is working in your heart, so cheer up--you are a far worse sinner than you ever thought you were, and far more forgiven than you could have ever imagined. I hope this helps.
In reply to:1. From personal experience, I was an Arminian and practiced such when I was first saved. I did not know doctrine, know the Scriptures, only what I was being taught. BUT, I was SAVED! All Arminians are not lost as your posts seem to suggest.
2. As I grew in the Scriptures (and thus my knowledge of God and His ways), this naturally this led me to the proper theology of Calvinism (this took years). Though when I was born again, I WAS born as a Calvinist (election), I DID NOT come to the "fuller" understanding of this till later (still growing). This is an important point: in a manner of speaking, there is a separation in being saved from how one may think they were saved (John 3:8). We DO NOT understand it all !!
Yes and yes! My experience has certainly been much the same, and praise God, He has brought me to a fuller understanding! Howard, have you perhaps read the article on Highway, A Defense of Reformed Apologetics? That sums up my thinking, that many Arminians are really "Calvinists" at heart, but their minds are clouded by a deceptive theology. The A/G church which I have been attending, for example, has in many ways a good understanding of God's sovereignty; for instance, the congregants honestly believe that God is really in control, and that we are not, and that our wills are overthrown. They just do not follow through with the logical, and Biblical, conclusion.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Stones for Bread#5371 Sun Sep 14, 200311:06 PMSun Sep 14, 200311:06 PM
In reply to:One ... of my biggest problems is finding the "middle" ground betwixt hyper-calvinism and arminianism
It is good to hear you openly acknowledging this as a struggle. In his response to you, Joe wrote one of the best posts I have seen from anyone on this site in several weeks. Very sound advice.
I tried to encourage you, on a recent thread, with a quote pointing out the fact that the Christian faith does not consist in a mere refutation of, or warfare against, any current false gospel. I was saddened that you saw fit to rebuff the principle in that quote, merely by issuing an ad hominem against its author. I have been further saddened to see that the majority of your posts in the Theology and Open Forums seem to have fallen into the category of merely pointing out some great heresy, gross immorality, "public enemy", or antichrist, while I have heard you refer very little--as far as I can tell--to Christ and Him crucified.
That is why I am heartened to hear you make this admission. May I strongly suggest that you revisit the Introductory Essay, focussing upon [color:blue]the self-existent, positive nature of the Christian gospel: that God saves sinners! I re-emphasize [color:blue]self-existent, lest as your above quote implies, you fall into the trap of thinking that the truth of "Calvinism" (much more properly the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) is merely a "middle ground" requiring opposite errors to hold it in place, whose raison d'etre consists in refuting those errors wherever and in whomever it detects them.
Please allow me a short illustration. I catechise (Heidelberg) about 15 men weekly in a year-long discipleship program for men with life-controlling problems (substance abuse, sexual immorality, criminal behavior). I am always saddened to hear some of the men describe their supposed faith simply in terms of a negation of the behavior that "got them in trouble" in the first place. They are ready to go to war against a particular sin, only to fall into more grievous self-righteousness. I have to constantly warn them that God has no interest whatsoever in people being merely non-drug addicts, non-adulterers, non-violent men, but rather He is looking for holy, as He is holy, sons who will glority Him with lives of grateful, loving obedience, who will worship Him in spirit and truth.
The same principle applies to whatever "ism" we (most recently) have emerged from. A Christian is not merely an anti-Arminian, or an anti-hyper-Calvinist, or an anti-Muslim. It is fine to "hate the deeds of the ...", but it is of no profit to us if we have forsaken our first love. Look back to the cross, Howard! Let the Doctrines of Grace free you to spend your zeal on exalting the name of Christ in whatever your hand finds to do, not merely coming out with weapons drawn against all who cross your path. Will there be opportunity to gently correct individuals you meet along the way, steering them toward the efficacious cross? Of course, and you will be well equipped to do so. But grow in your trust of the Sovereign Lord. He is enthroned above the heavens, He is laughing at His foes, and He is holding them fully in check until His day arrives. Until then, He is even continuing to make some of them His own sons and daughters!