For it is by grace you have been saved...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Rantings of A Heretic

I know some have thought it. A couple have even said it. But now it's been made official by none other than Jerry Falwell himself: I'm a heretic.

In case you've missed the myriads of blogs by those much more gifted than I, here's what Liberty's Chancellor had to say:

“We are not into particular love or limited atonement. As a matter of fact, we consider it heresy.”

As you may or may not know, the doctrine of limited atonement is one of the central elements of Reformed Theology and a foundation of the Doctrines of Grace (often called Calvinism) on which the Southern Baptist Convention was founded. I guess Dr. Falwell forgot to check out who it was he was joining when he moved his church to affiliate with the SBC a number of years ago. You would think he would have been more careful than to join up with a bunch of heretics.

Not that all SBC folks hold to these doctrines anymore. In fact, in the last 75 plus years we've had a great influx of the more Arminian leaning. Still, history proves this is where Southern Baptists have historically stood, standing in the doctrinal footsteps of great men like Jonathan Edwards, William Carey, George Whitefield, and of course my previously stated favorite: C. H. Spurgeon. In fact, Spurgeon once wrote regarding the doctrine of limited atonement:

Once again, if it was Christ's intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood that seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain.

If I'm to be called a heretic, then I'll take my stand with men like Spurgeon and Edwards and SBC founders like J.L. Dagg and James Boyce any day. Thanks for putting me in such good company, Dr. Falwell.


Rod said...

Of course, Falwell fell into the trap of self-deception. If Liberty is not "into" some form of limited atonement, then they are necessarily universalists. Now talk about heresy!

Atonement is always 'limited' by orthodox evangelicals...either in its scope (Calvinists) or in its effect (Arminians). I'd much rather say Jesus didn't die for everyone than to say He died for everyone but didn't quite get the job done.

Scott said...

As usually, Rodney, all I can say to you is: AMEN!