Mike wrote:

> It should give one pause to realize that my particular
> theological slant was not understood by any professing
> Christians for more than a millennium.

There's the problem. You think of gospel doctrines as merely a "theological slant." What if someone does not believe in the deity of Christ? Am I to consider him a Christian and justify my position by saying that he "just doesn't have my particular theological slant"? What if someone believes that everyone without exception will go to heaven because Jesus died for all of them? Am I to consider him a Christian and justify my position by saying that he "just doesn't have my particular theological slant"? Are the doctrines of the person and work of Christ essential gospel truths, or are they optional "theological slants"?

Marc


Mike wrote:

> Clark had a wonderful way of being
> totally adamant for the truth of the Scriptures
> without condemning those who had not yet attained to
> maturity.


And who did Clark think were believers in the true gospel who were merely not as mature as he was? He describes them as those who believe that: "(1) that God elects persons to eternal life on the condition of their reception of grace and their perseverance as foreseen; (2) that Christ died, not as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, but to render a chance of salvation indifferently possible to all men; (3) that all men have the same influence of the Holy Ghost operating on them, so that some are saved because they cooperate, and others are lost because they resist, thus in effect making salvation depend on the will of man; and (4) that since salvation is not made certain by God's decree nor by Christ's sacrifice, and since man's will is free or independent of God's control, a regenerate man can unregenerate himself and ultimately be lost" (from What Do Presbyterians Believe?). So Clark believed that these issues were merely a matter of maturity. He believed that such people believed in the same gospel he believed. As Clark described, these people totally desecrate and demolish the gospel so there is nothing substantive left of the gospel, yet Clark and most other professing Calvinists believe that these people are their brothers in Christ. The professing Calvinists who believe this obviously either do not know what the gospel is or do not believe that all regenerate persons believe the gospel.

> He could blast the inconsistencies of
> Arminianism and yet recognize that there were
> potentially those who had been genuinely justified by
> faith, but were still inconsistent in their faith.


Potentially? POTENTIALLY? Oh, no -- Clark did NOT say that there were POTENTIALLY Arminians who had been genuinely justified by faith; he said that TRUE Arminians -- the ones he described above -- MUST be regenerate people!!!! Clark said: "An Arminian may be a truly regenerate Christian; in fact, if he is truly an Arminian and not a Pelagian who happens to belong to an Arminian church, he must be a saved man." Clark believed that EVERY Arminian is saved! And in the next paragraph, he described what his Arminian brothers believed -- which is the four-point quote above. I have NEVER heard ANYONE say this other than Clark. I have never heard any tolerant Calvinists say this on this list or on any other list. This is an incredible statement. Obviously, Clark believed that one can believe the gospel and believe that God chooses to save people conditioned on what he foresees they will do; he believed that one can believe the gospel and believe that the atonement had no efficacy in and of itself; he believed that one can believe the gospel and believe that salvation is dependent on the will of man; and he believed that one can believe the gospel and believe that a regenerate man can unregenerate himself. Now what does this say about Clark's view of the gospel?

> If someone comes to you actively denying the deity of
> our Lord, then that speaks for itself.

It does? Why cannot this be just another inconsistency that your brothers in Christ must overcome?

> Perhaps part of your confusion is in asking what is
> essential. All of the truths revealed in Scripture
> are essential. Everyone of them.


Oh? So "And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelphehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah" (Numbers 26:3) is just as essential as the doctrine that Jesus is the God-man mediator or the doctrine that Jesus Christ's work ensured the salvation of all whom He represented?

I get it. By saying that the whole Bible is essential, you can get out of saying that any particular doctrine is something that every Christian believes. So you believe that since a Christian can go to his grave and be ignorant of the essential truth that Zelophehad had five daughters, a Christian can go to his grave and be ignorant of the person and work of Christ. It's all the same to you.

May God have mercy on your soul.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc


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