Richard Mouw wrote:
<<I'll stick with Spurgeon: "I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven." (Defence of Calvinism)>>
Of course Richard Mouw will stick with his brother in Satan, Charles Spurgeon. This is no big surprise. Mouw believes and Spurgeon believed that universal atonement advocates are true Christians. Mouw does not believe and Spurgeon did not believe that the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ is an essential gospel doctrine, thus showing that Mouw does not and Spurgeon did not believe the gospel.
Of course Mouw will take Sproul's position. After all, it's the position of all the mainstream fashionable Calvinists. They believe that the difference between the difference between them and the universal atonement advocates is merely one of degree, not of kind. They believe that universal atonement advocates believe the same gospel they do, although the universal atonement advocates are just a little "less consistent," a little "more confused" than they are. They do not see that all true Christians believe that the work of Christ alone makes the only difference between salvation and damnation; they speak peace to the "happily inconsistent" universal atonement advocates who do not believe that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the only difference between salvation and damnation but instead believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the difference. They do not see this as a vital difference -- a difference between the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone and a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. They are blind.
Consider: (1) Mouw and Sproul believe that some who believe universal atonement are saved. (2) Mouw and Sproul believe that all saved people believe the gospel. Thus, (3) Mouw and Sproul believe that some who believe universal atonement believe the gospel.
What does this show about Mouw and Sproul's belief about the gospel? Since Mouw and Sproul believe a person can believe the gospel and believe universal atonement at the same time, then they must believe that the gospel does not include the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ. They have just denied the very heart of the gospel.
Also consider: (1) All who believe a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner are unregenerate. (2) Universal atonement is a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. Thus, (3) all who believe universal atonement are unregenerate. Mouw and Sproul and Spurgeon and every person who would consider at least some universal atonement advocates to be regenerate MUST disagree with #3. And the only way people can disagree with #3 is if they disagree with at least one of the first two statements. Consider those who disagree with #1. These are people who believe that at least some who believe a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner are regenerate. Can a true Christian disagree with #1? Of course not. Consider those who disagree with #2. These are people who believe that universal atonement is not a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. Can a true Christian disagree with #2? Of course not. Thus, all who disagree with #3 (all who consider at least some universal atonement advocates to be saved) are unregenerate.
It is no wonder that God says that anyone who speaks peace to a person who brings a false gospel is unregenerate (2 John 11). Those who say that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception deny that the death of Christ actually pardoned, redeemed, propitiated, and reconciled. They deny that Christ's blood actually atoned. They deny that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. They deny the very heart of the gospel. They boast and glory in themselves. They are God-haters. And those who speak peace to these God-haters, who call them brothers and sisters in Christ, who say that the universal atonement advocates believe the same gospel they do, show that they, too, deny the true gospel. They deny that the atoning, pardoning, redeeming, propitiating, reconciling blood of Christ is an essential part of the gospel. They, too, do not believe the gospel. They, too, are boasters who glory in the sinner. They, too, are God-haters.
THE Atonement whereby Jesus Christ, the God-man mediator, as a representative and substitute for His people, in His bloody death on the cross, accomplished full pardon, full redemption, full propitiation, and full reconciliation for everyone whom He represented, is the very essence, the very heart, the very core, the very foundation, the very cornerstone, the very crux of the gospel. One cannot deny The Atonement by believing in universal atonement and still believe the true gospel. All who deny The Atonement, including all who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, are not true Christians. One cannot deny that The Atonement is an essential gospel doctrine by believing that some universal atonement advocates are saved and still believe the gospel. All who deny that The Atonement is an essential gospel doctrine, including all who speak peace to universal atonement advocates, are not true Christians. The cross of Christ is what Christianity is all about. If there is no Atonement, there is no Christianity.
See the article "Gospel Atonement" at www.outsidethecamp.org/gospatone.htm .
Christianity Today (July 8, 2002, Vol. 46, No. 8, p. 50) conducted an interview with Richard Mouw about common grace. The following are excerpts from that interview:
<<CT: "How does common-grace thinking consider the good things in other religions? Are they graces of God or are they mere counterfeits?>>
<<Mouw: "I think they're a grace of God. ... Is there truth in Islam? Is there truth in Buddhism?, the answer is that there is. I was on a panel awhile back with an imam, a rabbi, a Buddhist, and a Hindu. The rabbi, the imam, and I agreed on a lot ... the rabbi, the imam, and I said that there's something radically wrong with human beings and that enlightenment isn't the answer. Our wills have to be turned toward God. ... How do we account for the clear truths that Muslims articulate from their Islamic perspective? Their grasp of a truth is due to something that God does in their lives. Calvinists like me don't have a very good explanation unless we posit something like common grace. ... A powerful message of common-grace theology is that I need to acknowledge that there may be some divine giftedness in what my Muslim neighbors say and do. ... Do I want to say that about bin Laden? I don't see God's giftedness operating in his life. But if I could talk to him, my common-grace theology would say that it's worth having the conversation because there just may be something of God's Spirit at work in his consciousness.">>
And this man claims to believe the true gospel?? Enough said.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
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