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I hoped that it will never happen in our congregation but now it did: This morning during the morning service the pastor announced that the church council (elders) decided that during the third quarter of this year the congregation will embark on a 40 days of purpose using Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life!! And during this time the sermons will also, so I understood him, link to the theme - most probably also using Warren's book.

This is really heart breaking for me. I suspected for a while already the pastor to be sold to Rick Warren's ideas but this just finally put the seal on it. And this is supposed to be a reformed church. It was like out of a dream when I heard the announcement this morning.

Any advice from someone who was also confronted with this situation?

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Johan,

I've seen this happen in Reformed churches in my area too. I think this is because most traditional churches around the country are losing members and churches like Saddleback (Rick Warren's church) are growing numerically. This may also be because they are focused on numbers or just plain looking for a purpose. It's sad when a church has lost it's sense of purpose and has to turn to a book other than the Bible to get it back.

Oh by the way, I haven't seen any of these churches in my area stem the tide of departures by using this material.


Wes


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Can I ask the following question on this: We know that in most of the cases in the PDL Rick Warren uses Scripture in a distorted manner by quoting from highly questionable "translations" like eg. The Message to try to give a Scriptural basis for his arguments. Since these quotations form an integral part of the text and his arguments, does it mean that someone or a group of people who accepts the content of the PDL actually also, by implication, accept these questionable translations as valid translations? Thus "self-denial" becomes "self-sacrifice" etc.

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Johan said:

Can I ask the following question on this: We know that in most of the cases in the PDL Rick Warren uses Scripture in a distorted manner by quoting from highly questionable "translations" like eg. The Message to try to give a Scriptural basis for his arguments. Since these quotations form an integral part of the text and his arguments, does it mean that someone or a group of people who accepts the content of the PDL actually also, by implication, accept these questionable translations as valid translations? Thus "self-denial" becomes "self-sacrifice" etc.

Johan

Johan,

Keep in mind this book is very popular and resinates to the way people think today. We live in a new age mindset in which post modernism sets the agenda. Each individual has his own opinion. So these liberal modern translations like Eugene Peterson's "The Message" speak their language by using many new age terms. Not only this but people are drawn to "how to" books. The PDL book offers nothing more than many other self help books which appeal to the self focused individual looking for self fulfillment.

While there are some good points that could be said about this book unfortunately they are mixed with flawed ideas and concepts. The book teaches standards that are based on your experience. Rick Warren writes: “We discover that meaning and purpose only when we make God the reference point of our lives.” This seems to say that if the reader finds God he will also find himself and his purpose. This is not the gospel!


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Agred, run like a scalded dog! Something like this happened in my supposedly Reformed church too, and when I privately expressed my objections, I was told to "lighten up."

Run. It's all downhill from the point that a pastor embraces "purpose drivel."

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I listened to the following, and I don't think "false gospel" is being too harsh. If what Warren is saying is true, then God is a liar, our faith is in vain, and we might as well pack up and go home.

Rick Warren: Preaching and Praying Does Not Grow Your Church

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True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #39705 Wed May 28, 2008 3:09 AM
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Thanks Marie!

Well, I wrote a short letter to two elders that I felt I can trust and explained my concerns, pointing out the use of poor translations and the Arminian character of the book. Both said that it is indeed serious concerns and that it should be discussed further. However, one feels that the process of 40 days of purpose should not stop with the main reason being that in some other churches in our denomination the small group thing was successfully introduced in this way. But that's in my opinion not enough reason to do the same. If you have to use something like the PDL to get small groups established then there is something wrong!!

The other elder said that he haven't read the book. The positive thing is that he paged through a book by RW that his wife bought for herself and was not very much impressed by what he saw. This elder took my concerns seriously it seems and he said that he will see to it that I can present these concerns to a larger group of elders.

I remember that somewhere I came across a transcript of an interview with RW in which he actually said that there is truth in every religion but I can't find it again. If someone knows where I can find this transcript, I shall appreciate to have that info.

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Johan said:
I remember that somewhere I came across a transcript of an interview with RW in which he actually said that there is truth in every religion but I can't find it again. If someone knows where I can find this transcript, I shall appreciate to have that info.

I'm not at all sure what Rick Warren may have meant by this statement, but if all he said was that there is truth in every religion I don't find that particularly bothersome. I would probably have said something more like: "there is probably some truth in most religions" since I have not studied every one. Although his theology was far from perfect, I think what C. S. Lewis said about this was very sensible:

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If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong all through. If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth. When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most; when I became a Christian I was able to take a more liberal view. But, of course, being a Christian does mean thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong. As in arithmetic--there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong; but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right than others.

Mere Christianity -- Chapter 6


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I have found that statement by RW in the meantime. You can read it here .

Johan

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First, let me say that I am no fan or apologist for Rick Warren. I think his writings are quite shallow and much of his theology is just plain wrong. However, he is not a relativist, a pluralist, or an inclusivist, and the transcript you provided demonstrates this quite clearly:

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KING: Why do you believe that God is a Christian God?

Why isn't he a Jimmy God (ph) or Muslim God or Jewish God or just God?

WARREN: Well, the question, the bottom line is this -- every religion is mutually exclusive. The problem today, Larry, is not unbelief. The problem is today everyone wants to believe everything. They want to believe it all. I want to believe in reincarnation and heaven. Those are mutually exclusive things. I want to believe in Elvis, and I want to believe in Jesus, those are mutually exclusive. And the truth is, it is all matter of faith. At some point you have to step.

And by the way, there's truth in every religion. Christians believe that there's truth in every religion. But we just believe that there's one savior. We believe we can learn truth -- I've learned a lot of truth from different religions. Because they all have a portion of the truth. I just believe there is one savior, Jesus Christ.


Not exactly how I would have put it (or Cornelius Van Til for that matter), but Warren is hardly saying that all religions are true or even that they say anything true about God.


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CALLER: Yes, I would like to ask the reverend if he believes that non-Christians can get into heaven and be with God when they die.

WARREN: My question would be this, who gets to make the rules?

Does God have a right to decide who gets into his place?

And I would say, my opinion really doesn't matter. I would say this, and I would say this humbly. Jesus said this -- he said, I am the way and the truth and the life. And nobody comes to the father except through me. Now, you know what, that's a pretty radical statement when you think about it.

KING: A little pompous too.

WARREN: It is if it's not true. The bottom line is, I'm betting my life on that verse. See this, Larry, is the fundamental issue.

KING: So, what you're saying the jew is not going to heaven?

WARREN: I'm saying nobody's going to heaven, except people who go to heaven God's way. And I don't get to make the rules. I don't go to heaven, you don't go to heaven.

KING: What if John leads a perfect life. He adopts the golden rule all the days of his life. Except he doesn't accept Christ.

WARREN: First, I object to the premise. He can't lead a perfect life.

KING: He leads a 99 percent. Phil, he's a 30 percent life, except he believes in Christ.

WARREN: And I live a 10 percent life.

KING: Phil goes to heaven and John doesn't, under those rules? Bad rule then.

WARREN: The rule is grace. You have to do the almost impossible to go to hell. You have to reject the love of Jesus Christ.

And why would anybody reject that?


Again, this ain't exactly how John Frame would have responded, but it's not fundamentally wrong either (compare it to Joel Osteen's evasions of the same question). My concern is not so much that Warren is a "false teacher," but that there are so many better ones that a church or Christian could use. It's like drinking Milwaukee's Best instead of Guinness -- it's not only less filling, it doesn't even taste great. Here's to enjoying a robust English Stout like Spurgeon or a strong American California Ale like MacArthur instead <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />


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BradJHammond said:

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KING: Phil goes to heaven and John doesn't, under those rules? Bad rule then.

WARREN: The rule is grace. You have to do the almost impossible to go to hell. You have to reject the love of Jesus Christ.

And why would anybody reject that?
Again, this ain't exactly how John Frame would have responded, but it's not fundamentally wrong either (compare it to Joel Osteen's evasions of the same question). My concern is not so much that Warren is a "false teacher," but that there are so many better ones that a church or Christian could use.
I am going to have to disagree with your assessment of Rick Warren on the basis of this little section of the quote you provided. From my perspective, Warren is blatantly a false teacher:

1. One doesn't have to do ANYTHING to go to hell! All are under the judgment of God by nature from the moment they are conceived.

2. One doesn't have to "reject Jesus" due to the fact that all hate God by nature.

3. Why would anyone in their natural state "accept Jesus"? More, how can anyone in their natural state "accept Jesus"?

4. What does "accept Jesus" mean? More than likely, Warren would say it is to "ask Jesus into your heart" or some other similar dribble which is far removed from the biblical teaching that involves one turning from sin due to conviction of the Holy Spirit and putting one's total trust in the Lord Christ. It is to have an unfeigned love of Christ, as a person (God-man) and trusting in His atoning work for reconciliation with God Who is at enmity with sinners. . . and much more. Biblical conversion is not even close to today's "Easy Believism" regardless of what wrapping it is disguised in, e.g., Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

And just a parting thought: IF there is truth to be found in all religions, which is true to a certain extent, why would anyone bother with looking for such truth in that which is false when the source of all truth is to be found in Scripture? Why not concentrate on God's infallible, inerrant Word rather than wasting time flirting with false religions? The fact is, today the vast majority of so-called professing Christians are miserably biblically illiterate. Being able to discern truth from falsehood depends largely upon knowing the truth beforehand.


John 8:31-32 (ASV) "Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, [then] are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 17:17 (ASV) "Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth."

2 Timothy 2:15 (ASV) "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth."


In His grace,


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Hey Pilgrim,

I've thought about responding several times but thought better of it since I consider myself an irenicist rather than a polemicist, and I have no desire to defend the teachings and ministry of Rick Warren (that appears to be Richard Abanes' job anyway). As I said in a previous post: "I am no fan or apologist for Rick Warren. I think his writings are quite shallow and much of his theology is just plain wrong". Also, not having made a thorough study of his work, I would not try to defend Warren from charges of heresy or being a false teacher -- maybe he is, maybe he isn't. What I said was" "My concern is not so much that Warren is a "false teacher," but that there are so many better ones that a church or Christian could use." It is obvious that Warren is not a Reformed Christian; but, it is also obvious that he is not a relativist, a pluralist, or an inclusivist, which is what I believed Johan was implying when he mentioned that Warren "actually said that there is truth in every religion." My apologies, Johan, if that is not what you were trying to imply.

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Pilgrim said:
1. One doesn't have to do ANYTHING to go to hell! All are under the judgment of God by nature from the moment they are conceived.

I raise no objection to your first theological premise (i.e., the universality and totality of human depravity and the imputation of Adam's guilt to all his descendants); however, conviction of sin that is wrought by the Holy Spirit and leads to repentance is not of guilt for Adam's sins but for one's personal sins committed "in the body" (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:6). One does not repent for Adam's sins but for his own sins, and this is all that a minister or preacher of the gospel needs to say and all that a hearer needs to understand. And even though no one may "have to do ANYTHING to go to hell!" Paul does seem to go to an awful lot of (apparently unnecessary) trouble in the first three chapters of Romans to tell us all of the things people do actually do to warrant the wrath and deserve the condemnation of God.

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Pilgrim said:
2. One doesn't have to "reject Jesus" due to the fact that all hate God by nature.

No argument here: "As it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE" (Rom. 2:9-12). However, the fact is that anyone who hates God by nature and hears the good news about Christ will reject Him. No one who loves God and hears the good news about Christ will reject Him. To "reject Christ" is to reject God and His plan of salvation; to "exchange the truth about God" (which is evident "within" him and "to" him) "for a lie" (Rom. 1:25). Toward Christ there is no neutral stance -- you are either with Him or against Him (Mt. 12:30; Luke 11:23). You do not go to hell for not believing in Christ or rejecting Him; but, if you do not repent and believe in Him, you will be subjected to eternal punishment and torment on account of your sin, rebellion against, and hatred of God.

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Pilgrim said:
Why would anyone in their natural state "accept Jesus"? More, how can anyone in their natural state "accept Jesus"?


They can't! Regeneration precedes faith and repentance or "accepting Jesus." Nevertheless, the Church's proclamation of the gospel call or the invitation to "receive Christ and believe in His name" (John 1:11) must be extended to all (Mt. 11:28-30; Rom. 10:14; Rev. 22:17). While God's effectual calling of His elect (Rom. 8:30) is irresistible, the general or external calling (through which God effectually calls His elect) is offered to all and can be (and will be) rejected by unregenrate sinners. We do not know who God's elect are so we must always proclaim the gospel freely and to all men. Does the unregenrate sinner (or the sinner who is being regenerated) really need to be apprised of all of this (i.e. their total inability) before being called to repent and believe? John MacArthur doesn't do it; James M. Boice didn't do it, so why should Rick Warren have to?

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Pilgrim said:
4. What does "accept Jesus" mean? More than likely, Warren would say it is to "ask Jesus into your heart" or some other similar dribble which is far removed from the biblical teaching that involves one turning from sin due to conviction of the Holy Spirit and putting one's total trust in the Lord Christ. It is to have an unfeigned love of Christ, as a person (God-man) and trusting in His atoning work for reconciliation with God Who is at enmity with sinners. . . and much more. Biblical conversion is not even close to today's "Easy Believism" regardless of what wrapping it is disguised in, e.g., Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, etc., etc., ad nauseam


"More than likely" you're probably right, and the gospel of cheap grace, easy-believism is not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (and of course, there is no other gospel). Most of the things I've read by Warren are about "living the Christian life" or sanctification, though he'd probably consider the latter term old-fashioned. Whether he would defend an all-out antinomian Dispensationalist easy-believism doctrine like Ryrie, Hodges, or the Word Faith heretics I don't know. If so, this would be the most serious charge against him in my opinion, and I would be quite willing to examine evidence of this if there is any. However, I cannot say that I know or even believe that he teaches this.

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Pilgrim said:
And just a parting thought: IF there is truth to be found in all religions, which is true to a certain extent, why would anyone bother with looking for such truth in that which is false when the source of all truth is to be found in Scripture? Why not concentrate on God's infallible, inerrant Word rather than wasting time flirting with false religions?

I couldn't agree with you more here. Although I admire the work of men like Winfried Corduan, Harold Netland, and Michael Harbin who have documented in meticulous detail that all religions most emphatically do NOT teach the same thing, it saddens me to see how many (especially young) Christians seem more interested in discovering and consuming the few paltry, scattered crumbs of truth to be found in the world's false religions than in partaking of the eternal and infinite riches of the One who is the Truth (John 14:6) -- Christ -- "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3).


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BradJHammond said:

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Pilgrim said:
Why would anyone in their natural state "accept Jesus"? More, how can anyone in their natural state "accept Jesus"?

They can't! Regeneration precedes faith and repentance or "accepting Jesus." Nevertheless, the Church's proclamation of the gospel call or the invitation to "receive Christ and believe in His name" (John 1:11) must be extended to all (Mt. 11:28-30; Rom. 10:14; Rev. 22:17). While God's effectual calling of His elect (Rom. 8:30) is irresistible, the general or external calling (through which God effectually calls His elect) is offered to all and can be (and will be) rejected by unregenrate sinners. We do not know who God's elect are so we must always proclaim the gospel freely and to all men. Does the unregenrate sinner (or the sinner who is being regenerated) really need to be apprised of all of this (i.e. their total inability) before being called to repent and believe? John MacArthur doesn't do it; James M. Boice didn't do it, so why should Rick Warren have to?
Brad,

Your first premise is rather "fractured", i.e., the fact that all men need regeneration of the Spirit in order to repent and believe since they are spiritually dead; openly in rebellion against God and all that is holy has little bearing upon the universal call of the Gospel. Man's natural state does not except him nor include him from the outward calling to repent and believe. Put another way, the extent of the Gospel call isn't dependent upon man's spiritual condition. However, man's spiritual state is directly dependent upon the Gospel; better, the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit through the right preaching of the Gospel.

My main concern here is actually that which I have highlighted above; the necessity of making known a sinner's "state" or "condition" before calling one to repentance and faith. I'll have to take your word that MacArthur nor Boice never did/does so, but I do know that the overwhelming majority of the Reformers and Puritans did preach on Original Sin and its dreadful affects, i.e., the doctrine of total depravity/inability. This was the Gospel preached for centuries until Finney came along (of course there were others as well), but he made popular the "dumbed-down gospel" methodology for he adamantly rejected the doctrines of grace and embraced Pelagianism. Today, we don't have so much Arminianism as was the case during the time of Wesley, et al, (an improvement of sorts over Finneyism) but rather the churches and most professing Christians have sunk even lower and have embraced semi-Pelagianism.

Rather than go into a long excursus on the necessity of preaching the total depravity/inability of man as being foundational to the Gospel of Scripture with many examples cited, I am simply going to point you to a excerpt taken from J.I. Packer's Introductory Essay to John Owen's 'Death of Death in the Death of Christ'. In this short excerpt he deals specifically with this issue and contrasts the "Old Gospel" with the "New Gospel", its application and affects.

Go here: The Old Gospel and the New.

For the full essay, go here: Introductory Essay to [i]The Death of Death[/i]

Arthur Pink agrees and says thus from his article: Present Day Evangelism


In twentieth-century evangelism there has been a woeful ignoring of the solemn truth of the total depravity of man. There has been a complete underrating of the desperate case and condition of the sinner. Very few indeed have faced the unpalatable fact that every man is thoroughly corrupt by nature, that he is completely unaware of his own wretchedness, blind and helpless, dead in trespasses and sins. Because such in his case, because his heart is filled with enmity against God, it follows that no man can be saved without the special and immediate intervention of God. According to our view here, so will it be else-where: to qualify and modify the truth of man’s total depravity will inevitably lead to the diluting of collateral truths. The teaching of Holy Writ on this point is unmistakable: man’s plight is such that his salvation is impossible unless God puts forth His mighty power. No stirring of the emotions by anecdotes, no regaling of the senses by music, no oratory of the preacher, no persuasive appeals, are of the slightest avail.


In His grace,


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Pilgrim #39712 Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:28 AM
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Your first premise is rather "fractured"...Man's natural state does not except him nor include him from the outward calling to repent and believe. Put another way, the extent of the Gospel call isn't dependent upon man's spiritual condition. However, man's spiritual state is directly dependent upon the Gospel; better, the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit through the right preaching of the Gospel.

Perhaps I'm just dense; but what exactly are you objecting to or disagreeing with here? I am speaking here not of how things look from an eternal or biblical (or God's) perspective, but how things are to be done here practically on the ground by the Church. Since we who are called by God to proclaim (and live) the gospel do not know in advance who is written in the book of life of the Lamb (Rev. 13:7-8), we must extend the outward call to all and sundry. Unlike the Arminian, we need not worry that our presentation is "perfect," that we make the gospel "appealing," interesting, etc., since it is the Spirit's work to convict and convert, and all God's elect will be convicted and converted. Our job is simply to be faithful and truthful. "The extent of the" outward or external "gospel call" is "not dependent upon man's spiritual condition" but it is dependent upon or related to our ignorance of any given man's spiritual condition. It is not our preaching of the gospel to all creation under heaven (Col 1:23) that renders men "without excuse," it is their sinful rebellion and supression of the truth about God that they already have that condemns them (Romans 1:18); the gospel call is the means by which the Holy Spirit regenerates and brings to faith and repentance those the Father promised to the Son before the Foundation of the world (John 6:37-40; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-6). The only way we can have any idea whether a person is among God's elect is after they have believed and embraced the gospel once it has been preached to them (1 Thess. 1:4-5; 2 Thess 2:13). Paul said, "I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10).


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Pilgrim said:
My main concern here is actually that which I have highlighted above; the necessity of making known a sinner's "state" or "condition" before calling one to repentance and faith. I'll have to take your word that MacArthur nor Boice never did/does so, but I do know that the overwhelming majority of the Reformers and Puritans did preach on Original Sin and its dreadful affects, i.e., the doctrine of total depravity/inability. This was the Gospel preached for centuries until Finney came along (of course there were others as well), but he made popular the "dumbed-down gospel" methodology for he adamantly rejected the doctrines of grace and embraced Pelagianism. Today, we don't have so much Arminianism as was the case during the time of Wesley, et al, (an improvement of sorts over Finneyism) but rather the churches and most professing Christians have sunk even lower and have embraced semi-Pelagianism.

I don't deny for a moment "the necessity of making known a sinner's 'state' or 'condition' before calling him to repentance and faith," nor would I deny that MacArthur, Boice, etc. do this. An integral part of the gospel message is that man is hopelessly fallen and lost, that he is "dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), and can do nothing to affect his own salvation. But, I do not think it necessary to preach or understand the imputation of Adam's guilt as opposed to the fact that on account of his sin we inherit a fallen and corrupted nature that is abhorrent to God and that inevitably issues in sinful thoughts and deeds. Now, its fine if someone shows up on a Sunday when that's what the sermon or text is about; but, I do not consider it an essential part or constituent of the gospel. That is to call men to repent of their sins -- not Adam's (seriously, did you or have you confessed or repented to God for Adam's sin?) -- We are to trust in Christ's atoning work for all of our sins, and I believe we do this whether we are conscious of Christ's atoning for Adam's sin or not, and whether or not we are conscious of why we sin. Perhaps you can point out where in Packer's wonderful essay he denies what I am saying or asserts that it is necessary to apprise them of the fact of the imputation of the guilt of Adam's sin, for I have not found it. In fact, I believe the following quotes are perfectly in keeping with what I have been asserting.

Quote
These invitations are universal; Christ addresses them to sinners, as such, and every man, as he believes God to be true, is bound to treat them as God’s words to him personally and to accept the universal assurance which accompanies them, that all who come to Christ will be received. Again, these invitations are real; Christ genuinely offers Himself to all who hear the gospel, and is in truth a perfect Saviour to all who trust Him. The question of the extent of the atonement does not arise in evangelistic preaching; the message to be delivered is simply this — that Christ Jesus, the sovereign Lord, who died for sinners, now invites sinners freely to Himself. God commands all to repent and believe; Christ promises life and peace to all who do so.

Quote
To the question: what must I do to be saved? the old gospel replies: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. To the further question: what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? its reply is: it means knowing oneself to be a sinner, and Christ to have died for sinners; abandoning all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and casting oneself wholly upon Him for pardon and peace; and exchanging one’s natural enmity and rebellion against God for a spirit of grateful submission to the will of Christ through the renewing of one’s heart by the Holy Ghost.

And to the further question still: how am I to go about believing on Christ and repenting, if I have no natural ability to do these things? it answers: look to Christ, speak to Christ, cry to Christ, just as you are; confess your sin, your impenitence, your unbelief, and cast yourself on His mercy; ask Him to give you a new heart, working in you true repentance and firm faith; ask Him to take away your evil heart of unbelief and to write His law within you, that you may never henceforth stray from Him. Turn to Him and trust Him as best you can, and pray for grace to turn and trust more thoroughly; use the means of grace expectantly, looking to Christ to draw near to you as you seek to draw near to Him; watch, pray, read and hear God’s Word, worship and commune with God’s people, and so continue till you know in yourself beyond doubt that you are indeed a changed being, a penitent believer, and the new heart which you desired has been put within you. The emphasis in this advice is on the need to call upon Christ directly, as the very first step.

This is beautiful and true -- I agree with it 100%. But again, where is the preaching about the imputation of Adam's guilt? And before you respond -- remember that I am speaking of the imputation of guilt -- not the inheritance of a depraved and corrupt nature.

And as to the quote by Pink:

Quote
In twentieth-century evangelism there has been a woeful ignoring of the solemn truth of the total depravity of man. There has been a complete underrating of the desperate case and condition of the sinner. Very few indeed have faced the unpalatable fact that every man is thoroughly corrupt by nature, that he is completely unaware of his own wretchedness, blind and helpless, dead in trespasses and sins. Because such in his case, because his heart is filled with enmity against God, it follows that no man can be saved without the special and immediate intervention of God. According to our view here, so will it be else-where: to qualify and modify the truth of man’s total depravity will inevitably lead to the diluting of collateral truths. The teaching of Holy Writ on this point is unmistakable: man’s plight is such that his salvation is impossible unless God puts forth His mighty power. No stirring of the emotions by anecdotes, no regaling of the senses by music, no oratory of the preacher, no persuasive appeals, are of the slightest avail.

Again, I am in total agreement. But while I see a lot in there about total depravity, I do not see anything about original or imputed guilt. I am fully aware that Owen, Packer, and Pink (and MacArthur, Boice, and Spurgeon) all believe in original guilt; but again, I would like to see evidence that any of them have made this belief integral to their evangelistic preaching or proclamation of the gospel.


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