To Andrew et al:
On the B.B.Warfield Mailing List FAQ & Rules, it says,
<<c.) Unacceptable Messages: Messages that are unwelcome on the list include:
Foul, vicious, or highly abusive language, Posts that have absolutely nothing to do with the stated purposes of the list, A constant and illogical espousal of non-reformed doctrine, Blasphemy, potty humor, and/or loopy commentary>>
Do you believe that it is "vicious" or "highly abusive" to allow people to post slanderous accusations against me?
For example, Barry Hofstetter wrote:
<<While it is certainly a very strange sort of error, I think it is probably best categorized as a form of works-salvation rather than hyper-calvinism.>>
Ray Dunsworth wrote:
<<They seem to be so hung up on believing the exact right thing, as defined by them, that they make believing in the 5 points of Calvinism (and believing in the absolute necessity of believing the 5 points of Calvinism) into the one work that is necessary to be saved.>>
Raymond Regalado wrote:
<<It boggles the mind how anyone who believes that salvation is *of God* by the power of the Spirit can make subscribing to a certain systematic-theological summarization of the gospel (e.g. TULIP) required for salvation.>>
All three of these people are accusing me of holding to and promulgating a false gospel of works salvation. This is vicious slander. And I am not given an opportunity to respond to these accusations on your list.
I request that I be given the opportunity to respond to these accusations on your list. I do not believe in works salvation in any way to any degree. I do not believe that believing in TULIP or in any doctrine or set of doctrines is a condition or prerequisite or work required for salvation. I cannot get any clearer than that. I have been misrepresented, slandered, and lied against.
Feel free to post this on the Warfield List.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
IF what you claim is true - how is it that you argue that, for instance, John Calvin, Thomas Boston, and Charles Spurgeon are burning in hell?
Please give us the reasons why you have said this (or do you recant?) A simple recantation would be sufficient for us to take action.>>
I have NEVER argued that Calvin, Boston, and Spurgeon are burning in hell. Give me proof of your accusation. You will not find it. I do not know if God saved Calvin, Boston, or Spurgeon later in their lives. I do not know if Calvin, Boston, or Spurgeon were among the elect. Your conclusion is absolutely baseless. Now if Calvin, Boston, or Spurgeon were in error on essential gospel doctrine such as the deity of Christ, would you not conclude that they were unregenerate at the time they believed this? And if you would, would that mean you hold to a false gospel of works salvation? Judging certain people to be lost based on their false doctrine IN NO WAY implies that I hold to a false gospel of works salvation. This is a huge non sequitur. Do you judge Muslims to be lost? If so, do you hold to a false gospel of works salvation? Even on the Warfield list, people agreed that those who deny the deity of Christ are lost. Does that mean they hold to a gospel of salvation by grace plus the work of believing the doctrine of the deity of Christ? Do you get the logic here?
Belief of doctrine is IN NO WAY a condition of or prerequisite to salvation. But there IS a belief of doctrine that is the RESULT of, or FRUIT of salvation. Belief of the GOSPEL is an essential fruit of salvation. The gospel includes doctrines. Does that mean I hold to the heresy of salvation by grace plus belief of the gospel? That would be absurd, wouldn't it?
So will you continue allowing slander on your site without allowing the accused to respond?
I'm attaching an e-mail I sent to James White on this very subject. Please read it very carefully.
I would like to respond to some of what you said on the Warfield List.
<<As you can see, I was not making it up when I said that Mr. Carpenter believed that no one who believes that non-Calvinists can be saved can be regenerate.>>
Let's look at your logic.
I am a non-Calvinist. Thus, let's substitute "Marc Carpenter" for "non-Calvinists" in your sentence:
"As you can see, I was not making it up when I said that Mr. Carpenter believed that no one who believes that Marc Carpenter can be saved can be regenerate."
Quite foolish-sounding, isn't it? If I believed what you say I believe, then I'd count myself and all who fellowship with me lost, since I believe that all non-Calvinists (which would include myself) and all who speak peace to non-Calvinists (which would include all who fellowship with me) are unregenerate!
Are some non-Calvinists saved? OF COURSE THEY ARE! I'm one of them! And so are the people with whom I fellowship!
Now suppose, when you're talking about "non-Calvinists," that you're speaking strictly of those who believe in universal atonement. Can those who believe in universal atonement be saved? They CAN be, but they are NOT CURRENTLY saved. They do not believe that Christ's atoning work actually atones. They do not believe in the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ, which is at the very heart of the gospel. And what about those (such as yourself) who believe that at least some universal atonement advocates are saved? What does this say about YOUR belief of the gospel? Well, obviously, you do not believe that the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of the gospel. In fact, you do not believe that the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ is part of the gospel at all! (Or is it that you do not believe that all Christians believe the gospel?) Thus, you are unregenerate as well. CAN those who speak peace to universal atonement advocates be saved? They CAN be, but they are NOT CURRENTLY saved.
<<To make himself even more clear, in the preface to this Confession, he says, "If, after reading this Confession, anyone opposes any of the doctrines put forth therein, that person can rightfully be judged to be not of the Christian Faith." Mr. Carpenter is clearly wants us to know that any deviation from his "essential" beliefs is damnable error.>>
Please note the phrase "opposes any of the doctrines." There are SOME doctrines in the Christian Confession of Faith that every Christian will believe immediately upon regeneration. These are the essential gospel doctrines. There are SOME OTHER doctrines in the Christian Confession of Faith that a Christian may have never thought about but would NEVER OPPOSE. Get that straight in your mind.
<<If you read his "Christian Confession of Faith", you will notice that he puts "Scripture proofs" for all of his essential doctrines. Disagreement with any of these doctrines proves that one is unsaved, and therefore it can be concluded that one must believe all these doctrines to be saved.>>
This is not "MY" Christian Confession of Faith. In fact, I am not even the primary author of it.
You state correctly that we believe that DISAGREEMENT with any of the doctrines proves that one is unsaved. Your conclusion, however, does not logically follow. It is NOT true that "one must believe all these doctrines to be saved." As I said before, Christians can be ignorant of some of the doctrines in the CCF (the ones that are not essential gospel doctrines); they will just not be OPPOSED to them. Got it?
And what do you mean by "to be saved"? If you are saying that we believe knowledge is a condition or prerequisite to salvation, this is a false accusation. NOTHING that a sinner does or believes is a condition or prerequisite to salvation. Now there IS certain knowledge (essential gospel doctrine) that is an immediate and inevitable FRUIT of salvation.
<<However, Scripture records that people were saved much more less knowledge than Mr. Carpenter allows. Peter's sermon at Pentecost gives one such example, and the Ethiopian eunuch is another. In fact, people were saved before the scripture was written that proves the doctrines that Mr. Carpenter believes are essential to salvation.>>
Again, if you mean by "essential to salvation" that knowledge of doctrine is a condition or prerequisite to salvation, then you falsely accuse us. And again, not every regenerate person (including the regenerate persons in the Bible) had knowledge of everything that is in the CCF the moment of conversion. But none of them OPPOSED or DISAGREED with anything that is in the CCF.
<<He does not understand that the Bible is written to teach believers, and that regenerated people are not automatically "zapped" with a lot of Bible knowledge at the moment of their conversion. The pagans that Paul preached to did not necessarily know about Adam's rib at the time they believed in Jesus for their salvation. That came later.>>
Not every Christian knows about Adam's rib at the time they believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation. But they will not be OPPOSED to this doctrine.
<<3) Mr. Carpenter either beleives in works righteousness, or in some error that mimics it.>>
Did you even read the letter to James White that I attached last time? I will attach it again. Pay special attention to the letter to Tim Challies at the end of the letter. I'm also attaching a letter to Credenda/Agenda. We do NOT believe in works righteousness IN ANY WAY, TO ANY DEGREE. If I believed that knowledge of doctrine was a condition or prerequisite to salvation, I'd be just as lost as the universal atonement advocates.
<<His view that so many things need to be believed for a person to be saved means that a person cannot be saved without hearing multiple sermons, or studying the Bible on his own for a long time, or reading Mr. Carpenter's list and checking off, "yes, I believe that, and that, and that." This looks a lot like a form of works righteousness, no matter how many times Mr. Carpenter may deny it.>>
As I have shown, I believe nothing even close to works righteousness. Nothing is a condition or prerequisite. Belief of the gospel (which does include DOCTRINE, by the way) is an immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration.
<<If it is not works righteousness, then it is something else nearly as bad. If all of the "essentials", as defined by Mr. Carpenter, are given to us at conversion, then we don't have much need for Scripture. After all, if the Holy Spirit teaches us at conversion that "On the sixth day of creation, God formed the first man (Adam) out of the dust of the ground. The first woman (Eve) was formed from one of Adam's ribs" (CCF III.A.1), then why would we have to go to Genesis to learn that?>>
Again, you misrepresent our position. No one has ever said that every doctrine in the Christian Confession of Faith is given to a person at conversion. The Preface to the CCF doesn't say that. It says that if someone is OPPOSED to a doctrine in the CCF, then that person can be judged to be not of the Christian Faith. Got it?
What IS given to a person at conversion is a knowledge, understanding, belief of the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. If you would like to get an idea of essential gospel doctrine, please read www.outsidethecamp.org/egd.htm . THIS knowledge IS given to every believer at conversion.
Now if you are a man of integrity, you will post this reply on the Warfield List, since I am not allowed to post, which means I am not allowed to respond to any false accusations against me on the Warfield List.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
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