BillT asks:
When you came to Christ did you understand the distinction that J.I. Packer draws so well? Did you first understand election and predestination and then in light of that understanding accept Christ?
No, I did not first understand election and predestination. But that is not what Packer's emphasis is when contrasting the "old Gospel" with that of the "new gospel". His point is that the "new gospel" obviates and that deliberately, the fundamental truth(s) that man by nature is at enmity with God. He is controlled by a corrupt and wicked nature which prevents him from having even an interest in God, Christ and salvation. Natural man is in love with self and sin and is in desperate need of a radical transformation of the soul. This is something which one rarely if ever hears from church pulpits or from self-appointed "soul winners". It is also something which CCC "officially" rejects theologically. Whether it is naivety or a turning of a blind eye, the fact is that CCC does have a theology which is holds and promotes. It can be seen in its literature, etc. It is a combination of pragmatism, humanism and semi-Pelagianism.

What do "I" believe should be included in a proper biblical presentation of the true Gospel? Funny you should ask! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> Go here: A Gospel Summary.

You also asked:
Mustn’t we approach every person as if they are elect. Who are we to judge or know. Would you decide not to tell someone about Christ because you don't feel they are regenerate enough? . . . Would you begin with "God loves you, if you happen to be elect,..."!
No, we must not and have no warrant to "approach every person as if they are elect". Discerning one's election is not relevant to preaching the Gospel. We must approach every person knowing what God says about them; i.e., they are children of wrath and under God's judgment. They are enemies of God, rebellious, wicked, worthy of eternal punishment, and are in dire need of God's saving grace in Christ. Thus, we speak the truth in love and tell them of their true condition. We speak of the law of God and how they are lawbreakers and bondservants of sin. We speak of judgment and how they will be held accountable for every thought, word and deed. We also speak of the great salvation in Christ; remission of sins, reconciliation with God, adoption as sons, the power to overcome sin, peace that passes all understanding, communion with the Almighty Lord of the universe and a life of eternal worship and joy in the age to come. See the article at the link above for a full summary of what the Gospel is.

The Scripture reserves God's "love" for His elect. And since we are unable to know who the elect are, we have no warrant to presume that God loves one who is unregenerate. We have warrant to speak of God's love in general terms and we should, e.g., that God is a merciful and loving God Who determined not to let the entire human race suffer eternal hell. But He sent forth His only begotten Son to redeem a part of mankind, which redemption is offered to all who will come in repentance and faith in Christ, etc. This whole idea to telling people "God loves you" is not found in the Bible, but rather it is a marketing ploy meant to make people interested in asking Jesus into their hearts, which also is not to be found in the Scriptures. The entire presentation of the "Four Spiritual Laws" is a counterfeit and man-made technique designed to produce results. Unfortunately, it does produce results, but of what? Even Billy Graham admits that in his estimation only 4% of those who come forward to "receive Christ" at his Crusades are actually saved. Personally, I think Graham is guilty of over-estimating the actual number of true converts. And the devastation such counterfeit gospels produces is immeasurable. For it serves only to deceive people into a false assurance and hardens their hearts against the truth of God's saving grace in Christ.

Lastly you asked:
On the other hand I think we need to keep the context of CCC in perspective. It isn't a Church. It isn't an organization whose purpose is to promote a specific theology. It is an organization that exists to spread the Gospel. Yes, theology does matter in that context as well but not to the extent I think it does in a church setting.
But brother, CCC DOES PROMOTE A SPECIFIC THEOLOGY... it is semi-Pelagianism, wrapped in pragmatism and humanism. Further its "gospel" is a counterfeit and not the true Gospel found in the inspired biblical record. It is a man-made "gospel" meant to deceive and has no power to save. Let me ask you this: "What does a counterfeit $20 bill look like?" Would you accept a $20 bill that was purple with yellow polka dots and which displayed a picture of Mickey Mouse on the front? [Linked Image] I would hardly think you would. And why not? Because it would be more than obvious that it was not real money. However, counterfeit money looks, feels, and even smells like the real thing. It is meant to deceive by appearing to be just like real money. We are warned many times in the Scriptures about false prophets, false teachers, and those who would bring "another Gospel", preaching another Jesus and another Spirit. (cf. 2Cor 11:3, 4; Gal 1:6-9; 2Tim 3:1-7; 4:3, 4; 2Pet 2:1-3; et al)

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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