Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Re: "Pelagianism Is A Continuum"

Thanks for the reply, Dan.  However, your point is a non sequitur, in my opinion.  Simply because the thief on the cross believed in Christ at the last moment does not mean that the man had no intellectual content to his profession of faith.  I would highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Gordon H. Clark's book, What Is Saving Faith?    I am almost certain that the thief on the cross knew who Jesus was and had even heard the message Jesus had preached.  

If the thief on the cross proves anything at all the account proves that salvation is by believing the right doctrine.  Why would I say that?  It is because the thief was a notorious sinner and a criminal.  He did not have any opportunity to do any penance, make restitution, do anything holy or bear any fruit.  He simply believed the message that Jesus had preached.

While a perfect understanding of theological nuances is not required in order to have saving faith, it is just as true that there is only one Gospel.  There are not twenty different gospels and one simply picks the one most likable.  The Arminian gospel is essentially a false gospel based on human effort and is as semi-pelagian as the Roman Catholic gospel or the Eastern Orthodox gospel.  Although some of the elect are yet in Arminian churches, I believe that God will bring them out of that teaching eventually.  I myself was an Arminian for most of my Christian life.  I graduated from two Arminian theological schools.  It is possible for a less informed lay person to be saved even in an Arminian church if they understand that there is nothing they do to contribute to their salvation or their justification.  But I fear that most people are being taught a false gospel of works, keeping themselves saved, and persevering by their own "free will".  I have to agree with Michael Horton's view that most churches these days are a form of "Christless" Christianity.

I might add that although I enjoy reading the Pyromaniacs blog my opinion of "Reformed" Baptists is not very high.  Spurgeon was too tolerant of Arminianism.  Legalism and emphasis on law keeping is a premium in  particular Baptist churches and often the language used is similar to the language used by Pentecostals. 

I'm likewise not a fan of neo-Calvinism, meaning that I reject the doctrine of common grace and the "free offer".  I agree with the Protestant Reformed Church that the three points of common grace are not faithful to classical Reformed theology or the the Reformed confessions as expressed in the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards.

Scripture alone is the final authority and Scripture is itself perspicuous and sufficient so that anyone reading it prayerfully may know enough to be saved, including a basic knowledge of the trinity, the deity of Christ and the humanity of Christ, justification by faith alone and the doctrines of grace.  (See 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-40).

Your point that the first few centuries of Christianity did not see the same sort of theological precision we have today ignores the fact that Scripture was available from the first century on and was in circulation even before the canon was formalized.  God is providential and has decreed that not one of His elect would be lost.  The means of saving the elect has been the preaching of the Gospel from the time of Jesus onward.  Second guessing about what would qualify as a basic set of doctrinal beliefs is simply an excuse for relativism and liberalism in my opinion.  One particular Baptist who was a black man told me once, "Charles, when you know better that's the time to do better!"  This man was illiterate and could not read and write.  But he understood the basic premise that justification is by faith alone and that a truly regenerate person will be made a better person than he or she was before.  Transformation does not justify the believer but it does make their profession of faith a credible one before men.  The problem with the thief on the cross is that the only transformation made was the transformation of believing.  In fact, the Gospel, when boiled down to a minimum, is not what one "does" but what one "believes".  I could give you a whole series of cross references to the fact that the Old Testament and New Testament saints were sinners who believed the Gospel message. 

I guess my point in the comment at Pyromaniacs is that Pyromaniacs has been infected with Arminianism via the neo-Calvinist doctrine of common grace, the free offer, and Spurgeon's tolerance of Arminianism.  "Reformed" Baptists also reject the theology of the two covenants and the sacramental theology of the magisterial Reformation.  Their theology of the sacraments and the covenants has more in common with the Anabaptists and the radical reformation than with the magisterial Reformation.

Sincerely yours,


I found the original comment at:

Open Letter to Derek Webb, 2010

On 1/6/2011 3:31 AM, Triune Tongue wrote:
The link where you posted "pelagianism is a continuum" is https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=21212024&postID=5492203325438904361.  I actually enjoyed your comment...as I said, I was "intrigued." Don't quite understand either your defensive replies, nor the bit about "accountability" (a mere question does not require accountability, methinks; I eschew the Gestapo model for the church). As for "credility," is that the gullibility of senility, or what? ;)  But since you don't know me, and evidently misconstrued my question as some sort of attack, let me hasten to add that I don't advocate some variant of "man saves himself" (whether of the Papist stripe, or of the various Finneyesque kinds).  But I am also persuaded that perfect doctrine does not get us into heaven (no, I am emphatically NOT saying doctrine doesn't matter; of course it does---"Sanctify them in Thy truth"---but the thief on the Cross could hardly be seen as a paragon of perfect doctrine, yet he made it straight to heaven.  Need more be said?).  There in The Place Where Righteousness Dwells, believers from all kinds of Xtian persuasions will be present (recall the passage where the disciples condemn the guy who wasn't "one of us," and Jesus made it clear to them that they were wrong in their attitude)---even RC's and "Arminians" {gasp}.  In the same way that God is not a Republican (He's a Libertarian {snort}), He's also not a Calvinist---or a Papist (I recently read at an RC forum that "if a Protestant manages to make it to heaven, he'll be a Catholic by the time he gets there."  LMTO!  ROTFL!)  Best,  Dan Skidd  On 1/5/11, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@hotmail.com> wrote: 
I'm continually amazed that some folks are ashamed to back up their comments with personal accountability and credility:)  I put my name and face out there for all to see.  Charlie  On 1/5/2011 6:42 AM, Triune Tongue wrote: 
Intriguing comment you made there @ the Pyro's blog, Mr. Ray.  Could you explain that a bit more for this hick (and also, might one say that there are continua for other views as well, even {gasp} for Christianity in general)?  Here's something that has always snagged me:  the very early Christians, for the most part (the rank and file) were illiterate, right?  (Pre-Gutenberg, etc.)  So, surely, they didn't have access to the kind of theology a serious Christian nowadays would have (and stuff like the 3 main creeds had not yet even been formulated, much less debated and pushed thru), and yet, they were saved.  Cordially,  3Tungz   
--  Reasonable Christian Blog <http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com> Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer <http://www.eskimo.com/%7Elhowell/bcp1662/>   

Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

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