Defending Calvinism by Spurgeon

11 09 2006

Spurgeon said “Calvinism is the gospel and nothing else” Read the context of this quote below:

If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, “He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.” What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here.

I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.

I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.

(Charles Spurgeon, A Defense of Calvinism)

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6 responses

11 09 2006
servingasovereigngod

Hey Erik
This is Vanessa-Just wanted to say this a very providential post. I’m at college right now-and today i just started preparing for a debate on predestination in my Intro. to World Religions class- this was completely encouraging and helpful-thank you.

12 09 2006
erik

That is great to hear Vanessa. Just remember that God believes in predestination!!

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

:erik

16 09 2006
javaguy

What does the Bible say about faith without works? Yet this is what you preach? Works is not an optional side-note to faith. Without one, the other one is pointless. What heresy is there if not faith without works? I don’t intend to attack anyone. I have spent years studying, praying, and honestly seeking the truth and I am convinced that Calvinism is not the gospel. I can’t honestly say that Arminianism as laid out in the dictionary or theological reference books is the gospel either, but I believe it is closer to the gospel than Calvinism. To say why would be to much for here, but to touch on a couple of things, let me say this:

Necessary Conditions – throughout the Bible, we find places that say things like, “if you believe . . . God will . . .” or ” if you remain . . . God will . . .” In almost all of these cases, the author is writing to those whom he believes are true Christians, fellow brothers in Christ. It is almost impossible to find an instance where the roles are reversed. The Bible does not say “if you are chosen by God, you will . . . ” or ” if you are one of God’s chosen, you will remain. . .” It seems to me that if everything we did was contingent on us being “chosen” by God, then it would state it that way sometimes. Yet, instead, we continually see God’s reward coming as a result of our belief or behavior, not the other way around. “If you believe” “if you remain” “if you stand firm” “if you trust” – – – these are not just titles for God’s “chosen ones,” they are necessary conditions that must be met in order for us to enter heaven. The fact that “remain” and “continue” and other such words preceed declarations of damnation should we not do those things tells me that Christ and the apostles believed a believer could fall. Some may say that those aren’t referring to true Christians. Think about this. If a person wasn’t a true Christian, would Jesus’ and the apostles’ instruction have been to remain there – an “almost” Christian? Would they tell people to continue doing things that weren’t good enough? Hebrews talks about an unforgiveable sin. Again, the typical Calvinistic approach to this is to say that a TRUE Chosen one could not commit this sin. That the descriptions surrounding that verse could be indicitive of someone who wasn’t really saved. What, then, is the point of an unforgiveable sin? God does not forgive ANY of the sins of the person who ends up going to hell. In contrast, God must and does forgive ALL of the sins of those who end up realizing eternal salvation. So, to the sinner, an unforgiveable sin would not be any more damning than any other sin because all of his sins will remain unforgiven. EVERY sin of the damned is unforgiveable. This must mean that it can only be referring to true Christians which makes sense since the verse certainly seems to describe a true Christian and if they weren’t trying to indicate that, why would they write it like that instead of just saying that anyone who commits the unforgiveable sin was never one of us? The indications and implications all lead to one obvious conclusion: a true believer CAN fall.

Again, I truly don’t intent to attack anyone or call anyone’s salvation into question. I am quite sure that I will meet plenty of Calvinists in heaven(if only it would matter once we get there). I do not appreciate being called a heretic. Nor do I think anyone can claim to know what God believes in. Almost everytime “predestined” or “chosen” are used in the Bible, it is not referring to salvation. If you read the text closely, you will find that in MOST places, they are referring to certain characteristics that God wants his people to adopt. For instance: “those whom God foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son . . .” It doesn’t say predestined to be saved. It doesn’t even indicate it. It says that God chose Christ as the model for anyone who would be saved. Look them up, read them, find out for yourself if they are really saying that we are predestined and chosen for salvation.

I am sorry if I have broken any forms of blogging. I am new to this medium and don’t know what the boundaries are.

17 09 2006
erik

Javaguy: i don’t think you have broken any rules by expressing your opinion….comments are encouraged. Curious though, did you read through the link at the bottom of the post? Much of what I say in response would echo Spurgeon (because he is biblical not just because he is Spurgeon). thanks.

erik

17 09 2006
javaguy

Erik,
thank you for your response. Yes, I read it and found nothing that answered any of the questions that I asked in my previous comment. I would be interested to know what the Reformed view on them are because I have not found those issues explained in any of the Calvinistic books I have read, which include Spurgeon, Sproul, Doug Wilson, and others. I have yet recieved any kind of response to these issues from any Reformed person I have talked to. I would very much like to respond to the article by Spurgeon that you linked, but I honestly respect any ministry that is happening in Christ’s name and I don’t want to cause any disruption to yours. If you would like to hear my response, let me know how I can send it to you.

19 09 2006
erik

java guy- send the response. that would be fine. ejraymond AT gmail DOT COM

//thanks//

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