2007/5 Sound The Alarm!
(A Call To Church Leaders To Make A Stand Against Neo-Liberalism)
PDF Print Version
The prophet Joel was commissioned by God to sound an alarm in the midst of God’s people because of impending dangers (Joel 2:1-9). Drought and locusts were going to affect the nation, causing massive damage, and endangering lives. Joel’s message had an eschatological dimension to it. The immediate concern was the impending dangers of drought and locusts.
Ezekiel was made a watchman over Israel (Ezek. 3:17). It was his duty to sound an alarm at the approach of danger (Ezek. 33:1-6). If Israel took heed of the alarm, Ezekiel would be absolved of blame. If Ezekiel failed to warn the people, he would be held accountable for their death.
Preachers are like watchmen set over the church. We have to sound the alarm when danger threathens the people of God. As watchmen, preachers must carefully distinguish between a real threat and an apparent one. As far as possible, we do not want to give a false alarm, although a false alarm due to wrong judgement is better than no alarm given because of laxity.
It is disturbing to observe that the gospel is being undermined on various fronts but preachers are not giving serious attention to the threat. Is it because preachers do not see these attacks as serious enough to warrant attention? Or is it because preachers are so naive as to fail to recognise these as attacks which undermine the Christian faith? Friends, the gospel is being undermined by various forces that are more subtle than can be understood by the average Christian without the help of the ministers of the gospel. The forces that are at work include assaults on the message of the gospel as well as attitudes and tendencies that undermine the preaching of the gospel. There seems to be no alarm sounded at ministers’ conferences, and no teaching and warnings given at the popular level to church members. It is my intention to sound an alarm because the gospel is being undermined more seriously than is realised.
In what ways is the gospel being attacked and undermined? Let me outline to you five ways by which the gospel is being undermined.
Neglect of “Christ crucified”
For a long time now the evangelical world is known to have preached a distorted, truncated, and man-centred gospel. Up to today, decisionism is a prevalent practice. Decisionism is based on the Arminian doctrine of salvation in which it is believed that man’s will is free, and not in bondage to the sinful nature. It is believed that the human will is capable of acting independently to make a decision to “accept Christ” and thereby cause the person to be saved. Many Christians still use the tract, “The Four Spiritual Laws,” in personal evangelism to secure a decision from the hearer by getting him to say “the sinner’s prayer.” In public preaching, many preachers still use the altar call to get the hearers to “walk to the front” of the church in order to “accept Christ.” Often, high-pressure persuasion and sentimental background music accompany such altar calls. Decisionism and the altar call are justified, wrongly, by reference to Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”1 Whether in personal evangelism or in public gospel meetings, the use of such methods have produced spurious conversions.
Very many of those who profess conversion through these methods do not persevere in church attendance nor show holiness of life. The idea of of “the carnal Christian” has been invented to describe these people.2 The claim is made that there are two types of Christians, the carnal type and the spiritual. The carnal Christian needs a special experience of the Holy Spirit to transfer him to the higher level of the spiritual Christian so that he can live a holy and committed Christian life. The special experience may be a deep conviction of sins, a crisis in life, an inner revelation supposedly from God, or an intense sense of the love of God. Often, this is tied up with the experience of tongue-speaking of the charismatic movement. Back of this idea of “the carnal Christian” is the belief that the person has made Christ his Saviour, but not his Lord.
It is to be noted that the preaching characteristic of general evangelicalism glosses over the holiness of God, the true nature of sin, the need for repentance, the certainty of judgement by Christ, and the eternal damnation of the wicked in hell. The message preached is deliberately positive in content, entertaining in delivery, and emotional in appeal. Many writers have warned against the superficial and man-centred teaching of present-day Arminians.3
I wish to point out an aspect of modern evangelical preaching that is very disturbing, which is the neglect of the atoning work of Christ. We have noted that present-day preaching is basically man-centred, focussing on the personal needs of man, on the ability of man to make a decision to be saved, and on the desirability of becoming a Christian. When we turn to the references to Christ, we discover that they are mostly focussed on His person, but not on His work. Christ is portrayed as the Son of God, the Saviour of sinners, the Lord of love, and the Mediator betweeen God and men. These themes on the person of Christ are not taught with sufficient thoroughness, and at the expense of wholesale neglect of the work of Christ. This neglect is reflected in the shallowness of understanding, and lack of seriousness of faith, in those who profess conversion under such ministries.
You must note here the subtle, but important, distinctions between the Christ who died on the cross and the death of Christ on the cross, between a passing reference to Christ’s death and an exposition on Christ’s death. As it is, the expositions on the person of Christ have never been too impressive in evangelical preaching, because the focus is on the needs of men. While scant attention has been paid to the person of Christ, there has been an almost total neglect of the work of Christ. References to sins and the need of repentance do not constitute expositions on the atoning work of Christ. In the gospel messages of evangelical preachers, we are left wondering: How exactly is a sinner saved? How is my sin dealt with by Christ? How is the wrath of God turned away? How am I made right before God? Why did Christ need to die on the cross? Put another way, there seems to be no teaching on the doctrines of imputation, substitution, expiation, propitiation, redemption, and justification.4 We get the impression that one can be saved by believing in the person of Christ, without the need to trust in His finished work on the cross.
We read in 1 Corinthians 2:2 that Paul preached “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” The person of Christ cannot be separated from His atoning work. In the Gospels, the Lord is portrayed as the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. But He is also portrayed as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, as the ransom for many, and as the One who would be lifted up so that we may have everlasting life (John 1:36; Matt. 20:28; John 3:14). The full gospel must cover the person and the work of Christ. The full gospel is not about “man’s needs” and “the experiences of the Holy Spirit.” The scant attention given to the person of Christ is disturbing enough; the neglect of the atoning work of Christ is alarming!
Social work and perceived threats
We move on to the second area of concern, which is the effects of social work coupled with the perceived threats from a hostile world. Christians have always been on the forefront of social work and the alleviation of sufferings among men. The International Red Cross and other similar organisations were started by Christians to give medical and emergency help to disaster situations. Slavery was abolished largely through the efforts of Christians. In the recent spate of disasters around the world - including the tsunami of 2004 and the earthquakes in various parts of the world - churches have been quick, generous and sacrificial in contributing financially and practically to the victims’ needs.
The Reformed constituency has never lagged behind in works of compassion and social needs. David Brainerd taught the American Indians better farming methods. C. H. Spurgeon opened orphanages, schools for the poor, and soup kitchens for the homeless. William Carey started schools and colleges, operated an indigo factory, and campaigned for the abolition of the Hindu suttee (i.e. the practice of burning widows). Significantly, Reformed Christians have never been guilty of compromising on the preaching of the gospel despite their involvement in social work.
When we survey the world at large, we notice that a general desire for peace and goodwill settled upon the world after two world wars had killed millions of people. Social concerns and humanitarian aid fluorished. At the same time, many churches became liberal and de-emphasized doctrine. A social gospel was preached, in which the temporal welfare of people took precedence over the eternal. The Reformed consituency arose to sound forth the alarm against the social gospel. A reaction set in, with the result that some Reformed churches are now in danger of neglecting social concerns. Those who continue to engage in social work while maintaining doctrinal integrity have reaped bountiful gospel advance. We should recognise that there is a proper place for social concerns, without neglecting nor minimising the preaching of the gospel.
We have referred to the liberal and the Reformed churches. What of the evangelicals at large? As we have seen earlier, there is much to be desired in the gospel preached by most evangelical churches. Alas, the concern of social work has diverted their attention away from the primacy of God’s word! Doctrine is undervalued. This is made worse by the perception of hostility from the unbelieving world. This seige-mentality is particularly prevalent in countries where the powers-that-be are grudgingly tolerant of, if not hostile to, the Christian faith. Recently, the postwar feeling of goodwill and desire for peace was shattered by international terrorism perpetrated by those who adamantly refuse to dissociate religion from politics. The Christians are responding by saying there must be more social concern from the church to appease, and even win over, the unbelievers. There is also an anxiety for increase in numbers in the church so as to put forth a more credible front. The focus is shifted from doctrinal and spiritual concerns to physical symbols and visible presence, such as the building of more churches and Bible schools, and involvement in politics and community projects.
I contend that in the long run, the concern for social work, for numerical strength, and for a stronger visible presence will work against the original intent of the advocates. Social work, numerical strength, and visible symbols such as church buildings will mean nothing if the members are largely unregenerate and nominal. In a hostile setting where the Christians are a minority, all attempts to increase numerical strength will not lead to a reversal of the situation such that the Christians become a majority. Furthermore, the more members there are who are unconverted and poorly taught, the greater is the pool from which the enemies can fish. So, instead of winning more for Christ, you end up losing more to the enemies. At the end of the day, what are we doing here on earth? Are we engaging in a business enterprise of competition and rivalry with others? Should we not rather focus on our Father’s business of building up His kingdom? Should we not focus on winning souls to Christ and building them up in the faith? Remember Matthew 7:21-23! (Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven....”)
Ignorance and naivety on past errors
We move to the third area of concern, which is ignorance of, and naivety over, past errors. The thrust of what wish to say, using the over-used cliche, is “those who do not know history are condemned to repeat the mistakes of history.”5
As things stand, most Protestant churches are liberal and Arminian - including the Lutheran, Anglican, and Baptist ones. The newer churches, calling themselves evangelical - including the Brethren, Methodist, Evangelical Free, and Assembly of God - are Arminian in their doctrine of salvation, do not hold consistently to the authority of Scripture, and have mostly been influenced by charismatic teaching to various degrees. Christians from these churches seem ignorant of the controversies, theological battles, persecutions, and schisms of the past. Errors of the past are adopted without question, or resurrected out of ignorance. I believe that if the Christians of today were to know more of church history, they will be more careful in introducing or adopting anything that appear novel. I believe that many of them would be induced to re-examine their church affiliation, in view of the widespread decline and departure from the faith of the Reformers.
Then, there are those on the periphery of the Reformed constituency, many of whom would call themselves Reformed and would like to be accepted as Reformed. They hold to aberrations of various sorts which have manifested themselves in history. There are those who hold to Baxterism,6 believing in four-and-a-half of the Five Points of Calvinism. This is tantamount to the rejection of the whole doctrine of Particular Redemption. There are those who reject the free offer of the gospel, or hold to “the eternal justification of sinners,” tending to Hyper-Calvinism. There are others who hold to Antinomianism, rejecting the abiding relevance of the moral law. All these are age-old errors that harm the gospel in one way or another. If you would be faithful to God, you must re-examine your stand with the view of rejecting what is wrong, and accepting what is taught in the Bible. If you want to remain faithful to God, you must beware of these errors and not be drawn away by them.
These errors are a distraction from the word of God, and the preaching of the gospel. We do well to remember Paul’s charge to Timothy: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Tim. 4:1-5).”
Ecumenism and the spirit of compromise
The fourth area of concern is ecumenism and the spirit of compromise, which have been around for some time. Our concern is that leading evangelicals, and even men of Reformed persuasion, are now involved. It appears that many of these men are weary of battle and reacting to the many splits and controversies among the churches. Have you noticed that, in recent days, there have been splits and breaches of fellowship among many Reformed groupings all over the world? We do not need to name them, for this is common knowledge to many of us. It has brought sadness, and even distress, to some of us.
The occurence of such breakups only emphasize the fact that knowing the truth and having a desire to be faithful to the truth would not, in itself, guarantee unity. We are dealing with sinful people, living in a sinful world, and it is to be expected that people act less than perfectly. It bothers many Christians that so-called like-minded people cannot get on well with one another. To help us understand this phenomenon and learn to respond or adjust to the situation, let us consider three biblical teachings.
First, we have to accept the fact that there is a biblical doctrine of separation. As believers, we have to separate ourselves from sin, worldliness, and false teaching (e.g 1 John 2:15-16; Rev. 22:14-15). When there is adamant constinuance in an error that affects the fundamentals of the faith, after attempts at correction by admonition and rebuke, we are obliged to separate from the person (Tit. 3:10; 2 John 10-11). Separation may apply, not just to an individual, but also to a church (Rom. 16:17; Rev. 2:5; etc.); and it may apply to errors of doctrine as well as errors of practice (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15). Fellowship with those in serious error is never pleasing to God (2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Chron. 19:2; 20:36-37). I am aware that some who practise separation have caused offence more by their “manner” rather than the “matter” of their separation. The abuse or misapplication of separation should not cause us to reject the doctrine itself. It may be necessary to part ways in some situations, and those who initiate it are in the right for doing so.
Second, we note that Ephesians 4:1-6 teaches that unity between believers is dependant on two factors, namely the right spirit (vv. 1-3), and the right doctrine (vv. 4-6). Doctrine is primary; we should all strive to understand and uphold the truth. The more of the truth we have in common, the greater is the possibility of fellowship. However, truth is not alone the determinant of fellowship. There must be mutual respect; there must be mutual acceptance; and there must be humility. It takes two to walk together. Love and generosity of spirit must be reciprocal. Fellowship and unity is not possible if one party is understanding, forgiving and reconcilable, while the other party is mean, unreasonable and implacable. The absence of a reciprocal spirit accounts for much of the strife and breach of fellowship between those who share the same doctrine and practice.
Third, we take note that most breaches of fellowship, leading to the parting of ways, cannot be justified by Acts 15:36-41. It has become fashionable to argue that, in the parting of ways between Paul and Barnabas, God brought good out of a bad situation by creating two missions out of one. It is implied that quarrels and controversies are somehow justifiable, good, and even glorious. But that is not the case, for Barnabas was in the wrong for extending his big-heartedness (Acts 4:36-37) in the wrong direction by wanting to take along an unproven man (Acts 15:38 cf. 13:13), who happened to be his cousin (Col. 4:10). Scripture declares that Paul received the commendation of the church, on that occasion (Acts 15:40). Barnabas, who was not commended by the church, went off according to his own will, and faded from the book of Acts. One must be careful not to be the cause or causer of division between brethren in Christ. In the case of biblical separation, the one in error is the cause and causer of the breach in fellowship, not the one who initiates the separation.
Having said so much about this matter, and noting that some controversies and parting of ways are unavoidable, we need to warn against a wrong reaction to such unhappy incidents. It is understandable when Christians who are young in the faith get disillusioned by what appears to be in-fighting between fellow believers. Such traumatised believers need to be helped and nursed to spiritual health by wise counsellors (Gal. 6:1-2; Rom. 14:13). It is another thing when those who should have known better compromise on the truth by seeking fellowship with others who are in obvious errors, all because they are tired of seeing divisions between Christians.
Recent days have seen Protestant leaders of the Evangelical and Reformed persuasions agreeing to collaborate with Roman Catholics in missions, and treating one another as “brothers and sisters in Christ.”7 We see this as misguided disobedience to the Bible’s teaching, which works ill rather than good. We, of course, do not hate the Roman Catholics simply because they are Roman Catholics. The issue here is not our personal feelings towards friends who are Roman Catholics, but rather obedience to the doctrine of separation, and to the biblical injunction not to be a stumbling block to young and uninformed Christians (Rom. 14:13). By such collaboration, the wrong message is sent to the Roman Catholics that they have enough of the truth to justify their adherence to the errors of salvation by works, the ultimate authority of church traditions, the repeated sacrifice of Christ at the Mass, and baptismal regeneration. The message of the gospel is being obscured and compromised by such ecumenism.
The spirit of compromise is seen also in the area of worship. Many, very many, evangelical churches, including Reformed ones, are now adopting the charismatic style of worship - using the pop-band, singing short choruses, with hand-raising and religious dancing, and simultaneous prayer. Inevitably, the time-tested traditional hymns are disdained and sung less and less, and the preaching of God’s word is minimised. Those who speak out against them are seen as narrow and bigotted, “cerebral” and unprogressive. The spirit of ecumenism and compromise is already all-pervasive. It is now embraced by Reformed people who should have known better.
New Perspectives on Paul
We come to the final area of concern, which is the advent of a new school of theological thinking known as the New Perspectives on Paul’s doctrine of “justification by faith.” The NPP movement has been gaining momentum since it first began some 25 years ago. As with the theological liberalism of the early twentieth century, it was at first confined to academia, but is now being popularised. There is no uniformity of belief among the advocates of the NPP, but they share certain common distinctives and lean upon one another’s work. We summarise here what seems to be the chief tenets of the NPP:
First, it is claimed that evangelical scholarship has been mistaken in looking upon the Jews of Jesus’s and Paul’s time as legalists, when they were actually covenantalists whose concern was to ensure that the physical descendants of Abraham remain intact as the people of God.
Second, it is claimed that the book of Romans in the New Testament pivots around chapters 9-11, and not around chapters 1-8, as understood in traditional evangelical theology. It is claimed that the primary concern of the book is to show how God faithfully keeps His promise to Abraham and his children, in preserving them as His covenant people. In contrast, evangelicals have understood the primary emphasis to be upon how sinners are saved by the imputed righteousness of Christ, which is taught in the first eight chapters of Romans, and elaborated and applied in the subsequent chapters.
Third, the NPP claims that justification is the declaration of God upon the believing sinner that he is now in covenant membership with His people. Faith is the badge or evidence of that membership and is, in fact, the same as the faithfulness of the believer. Some advocates of the NPP seem to claim that one’s justification occurs on judgement day and is dependent on his faithfulness. This is a species of justification by works. In contrast, traditional evangelicalism defines justification as the forensic declaration of God upon a sinner as not guilty, but righteous, through faith in Jesus Christ.
The NPP is a total departure from the biblical doctrine of “justification by faith.”8 It is a perversion of the true gospel. It is dangerous because it has potential appeal to a broad spectrum of theological persuasions, in the following ways.
Firstly, it appeals to Reformed people because “righteousness,” “faith,” and “justification” are terms that feature strongly in the NPP. These are terms that have been used much in Reformed theology, although closer examination shows differences in the meanings of those words as used in the NPP. Furthermore, the NPP makes much of the covenant betweeen God and His people - an emphasis that appears similar to the covenant theology of the Reformed people, although there is again a difference. The reality of its attraction to Reformed people is seen in the fact that in recent days, a number of men have been disciplined in Reformed churches for advocating the NNP.9
Secondly, it appeals to the general evangelicals because of its re-interpretation of the atonement and the book of Romans, and its definitions of “faith” and “justification.” In the atonement, the emphasis is placed on the person of Christ, and not on His work. Christ is seen as the Victor over sins, not as the substitutionary sacrifice to whom the sinner’s sins are imputed, and from whom righteousness is imputed to the sinner. We have already noted that much of evangelical preaching focuses on “Jesus Christ” but not on “Him crucified.” The definition of faith as the mark of membership with God’s people suits well the decisionism of evangelicals who base their teaching on a superficial understanding of Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Faith is seen as equivalent to the faithfulness of the believer which suits well the Arminian understanding of salvation in which it is held that “Christ has done His part, now it is up to the sinner to do his part.” The eschatological dimension of justification in the NPP, together with the re-interpretation of the book of Romans to focus on God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His covenant promise to Abraham, will appeal to many evangelicals who are pre-millennialists.
Thirdly, the NPP will appeal to the ecumenical-minded evangelicals because of its definition of “justification” and its understanding of baptism. Traditionally, Protestants regard the doctrine of “justification by faith alone” as “the article by which the church stands or falls.” The Roman Catholic Church condemns this Protestant understanding of “justification” in the Council of Trent, claiming that salvation is not by faith alone, but involves the works of the sinner, who has received the righteousness of Christ by infusion. The NPP argues that both Protestants and Roman Catholics have been wrong, giving the opportunity for both sides to sit down together in dialogue and cooperation. The NPP understanding of baptism borders on the baptismal regeneration of the Roman Catholics, claiming that it unites one to Christ and the blessings and benefits of His work, and is a means of discerning the reality of one’s relationship with God. Again, there is the potential for the ecumenists to draw near to the Roman Catholics based on this understanding of baptism.
The NPP is a theological movement that directly distorts the gospel in subtle ways, using language that appears orthodox, and taking on the appearance of scholarly dignity. We have noted that many churches have adopted charismatic teaching and practice, to varying degrees. The NPP might be providing the last ingredient needed to draw in those who have been hesitant about charismatic teaching, and so completing the ecumenical union with the Roman Catholic Church. One cannot help but be reminded of the liberalism of the early twentieth century. Are we confronted with a new liberalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century? Is a second Reformation overdue?
We have examined five tendencies in evangelicalism that are working towards obscuring and distorting the gospel. First, there is the neglect of “Christ crucified” in the gospel messages of evangelicals. Second, there is the pressure from social concerns and the perceived threats to the Christian faith, which leads to carelessness over doctrinal integrity. Third, there is widespread ignorance of, and naivety over, past errors such that a number of these errors are allowed to resurface and are absorbed. Fourth, there is an overweening desire for ecumenical unity at the expense of truth, disregarding the importance of the doctrine of “justification by faith.” Fifth, there is the emergence of the New Perspectives on Paul, which distorts the gospel in language and form that will have a wide appeal.
Taken in isolation, each of these distortions and tendencies is disturbing enough to have called forth warnings from various quarters. Taken together, and coupled to the NPP which seems to provide the over-arching doctrinal basis for drawing the other strands together, we have the potential of a major disaster ahead of us. At one stage, it appeared that the over-arching bond might be the common subjective experiences of the charismatic movement. Now, it appears that a doctrinal bond will be more acceptable, compared to an experiential one.
All these tendencies, combined together, actually constitute a movement that will have the effect of destroying the gospel. How shall we call it? A good name for it is “neo-liberalism.” One stream of this movement calls itself the Emergent Church, but we must look at the movement as a whole. It would be good to be able to “nip things in the bud” now, but that is not practically possible because we cannot control the thoughts and writings of those who persist in errors. The whole movement has appeared on the scene so imperceptibly in its various strands, and it is gathering momentum now. Those who would be faithful to God, and to His word, can expect a fierce battle ahead. We must warn our friends and brethren! Sound the alarm!
1. There is a failure to recognise that Rom. 10:9-10 is a descriptive passage and not a prescriptive passage. It describes in summary what is a Christian. It does not prescribe to the non-believer what to do to be saved. At the most, we may say that the gospel is here being summarised to contrast it with the ineffectual way followed by the Jews (Rom. 10:3). The gospel message has been fully expounded in the first eight chapters of Romans, and it is now referred to in brief as the apostle applies it to the Jewish nation.
2. This is based, wrongly, on 1 Corinthians 3:1, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.” The passage does not teach two types of Christians. It teaches degrees of spirituality arising from degrees of spiritual maturity (cf. Heb. 5:12-6:3; 2 Pet. 3:18). One is either a true Christian or a non-Christian, born again of the Spirit or still living in trespasses and sins (John 3:3, 5; Eph 2:1-13).
3. See The Carnal Christian, by Ian Murray (Banner of Truth Trust), The Great Invitation, by Erroll Hulse (Carey Publications); Preaching and Preachers, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Hodder and Stoughton), Chap. 14; Physicians of Souls, by Peter Masters (Wakeman Trust), Chap.17.
4. Imputation: reckoned as, accounted to. The believer’s sins are reckoned as taken away by Christ in His death on the cross, while His righteousness is reckoned as the believer’s.
Substitution: in place of. Christ died in the place of sinners He had come to save.
Expiation: an act which allows for the removal of the consequences of sin.
Propitiation: an act which enables God to receive the sinner. Propitiation relates to God, while expiation relates to sins.
Redemption: buying back, obtaining release by payment of a ransom. Christ by His death redeems His people from sin, Satan, and the wrath of God.
Justification: the legal declaration of a person as not guilty, and treating him as righteous. God justifies a sinner who trusts in Christ because of double imputation - the imputation of sinner’s sins to Christ, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner.
5. The following books are highly recommended: History of the English Calvinistic Baptists, by Robert W. Oliver, Banner ofTruth Trust; History of Dissenters, by David Bogue and James Bennettt, Vols. I-III, Tentmaker Publications.
6. Baxterism: after Richard Baxter (1615-1691), who attempted to reconcile the doctrine of Particular Redemption with the universal atonement of the Arminians.
Hyper-Calvinism: a perversion of Calvinism, in which the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in salvation is distorted to exclude human responsibility, such that the call to repentance and faith is presented only to those who are perrceived as quickened by the Spirit.
Antinomianism: the belief that Christians need not keep the law of God as summarised in the Ten Commandments.
7. Evangelicals & Catholics Together, edited by Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, Word Publishing, 1995.
8. See Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul, by Guy Prentiss Waters, P & R Publishing, 2004; The Great Exchange, by Philip Eveson, Day One Publications, 1996.
9. Calvin on the “Pernicious Hypocrisy” of Justification by Faith and Works, by Robert L. Reymond, The Trinity Review, April 2006.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~