Marc:

I just noticed this - Wilson said that Pelagians "can be saved" -- which doesn't mean that he believes that they are unregenerate and may be saved in the future; he's saying that Pelagians may be saved people!

Chris:

Correct. Doug Wilson writes:

== Piper points out, rightly, that this should not "make us cavalier" about guarding the purity of the gospel, but rather it is simply the recognition "that men's hearts are often better than their heads" (pp. 24-25). Men are often better Christians than they are logicians. There is a vast chasm between maintaining, as I do, that semi-Pelagians (and Pelagians too, for that matter) can be saved, and maintaining, which I do not, that semi-Pelagianism saves. ==

Wilson would not say that PelagianISM (the Pelagian gospel) saves. But he does think Pelagians can be true Christians--which is what he meant by "can be saved." To Wilson, the Pelagian who denies original sin and affirm no grace are not unbelievers since they are most likely bad logicians in their heads, but good Christians in their hearts. If this be the case, then one might as well tell the Apostle Paul that in his anathema of the false gospelers in Galatians 1:8-9, he (Paul) failed to take into account that they are saved in spite of their theology and it is due to bad logic and not an unregenerate state, that they are espousing damnable heresy. [Please note that the unbiblical distinction between the head and the heart is a great way to explain away verses like Mark 16:16 and Galatians 1:8-9.]

To Wilson, grace gives a doctrinal license to sin. That is, no matter great the heresy, Mr. Wilson will not judge even Pelagians lost since to him, it would be to deny salvation by grace. So, Galatians 1:8-9 is irrelevant in the theology of Doug Wilson. If Wilson were consistent in his rejection of Scripture, he would tell the Apostle Paul that he should not say that anyone is anathema (Galatians 1:8-9) since we are saved by grace and not by doctrinal precision, etc.

Marc:

For those of you who don't know, Pelagians deny original sin and deny that Adam's sin is imputed to anyone and deny that all humans are conceived in sin. It is a "purer" form of works salvation, because no "grace" is mixed in at all.

Chris:

Correct. And if anyone would say that a Pelagian is a non-believer of the gospel and thus unregenerate, then Wilson will say that you are denying the gospel of free grace. If someone says that those who deny grace and affirm works are lost, then Wilson will say that you are denying grace. This makes no Biblical sense whatsoever.

Marc:

Yes, like we were talking about this past Sunday, if you judge someone to be lost based on ANYTHING, then people like Doug Wilson will say that you believe that the absence of or antithesis of this ANYTHING is a condition or prerequisite to salvation. So if you judge someone to be lost because he does not believe in original sin, then people like Doug Wilson will say that you believe that belief in original sin is a condition or prerequisite to salvation. You can stick anything in there, just like you were saying in your conversation with Tim Etherington -- even the deity of Christ. So if you judge someone lost because he does not believe in the deity of Christ, then people like Doug Wilson will say that you believe the belief in the deity of Christ is a condition or prerequisite to salvation. The belief in the deity of Christ is an example of that "tiny doctrinal work" that Wilson mentions. If we say that all regenerate people believe in the deity of Christ, then those like Wilson would say that we do not believe in sola fide, since we believe in a "tiny doctrinal work" that must be a prerequisite.



Tim Etherington, in his comments on Doug Wilson's blog, said this:

"I suppose that might be true if you require doctrinal precision before salvation. That's the deal with Marc 'I'm Totally Insane' Carpenter and the Not-Quite-Far-Enough Outside the Camp hyper-Calvinists"

This, of course, is blatant slander. We do not require doctrinal precision IN ANY WAY, TO ANY DEGREE before salvation. If we did, we would be just as lost as all the other conditionalists. Not only do we not require doctrinal precision, we do not require any doctrinal orthodoxy whatsoever before salvation! When God saves someone, that person is an UNBELIEVER before regeneration. He does not believe in the true and living God. He does not believe the true gospel. What Etherington and those like him do not understand (and many times do not want to understand, because it is much more fun to slander) is that belief of the gospel, which includes belief of all essential gospel doctrine, is a FRUIT OF -- a RESULT OF -- regeneration, NOT a CONDITION OF or PREREQUISITE OF regeneration. It is an immediate, inevitable fruit of God's saving, regenerating power. Thus, there is no such monstrosity as a regenerate person who does not believe the gospel. Now people like Wilson would jump in here and say, "See, you're making belief of the gospel a prerequisite to salvation." And once again, we say, NO (how many times do we have to say it?), belief of the gospel is a RESULT of regeneration, NOT a PREREQUISITE of regeneration. How thick-headed can they be? But it's not like we haven't told them many times before; they just want to hold onto this accusation because it sounds good, it's easy to destroy, and it makes us look like the conditionalists that we claim are unregenerate. But we should expect such from people with no integrity.


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