[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sadly Confused

by Matthew

I read this fantastic statement in the Quarterly Record of the Trinitarian Bible Society:

We are passive in regeneration, but we may not be passive or careless and indifferent about this matter (regeneration) that concerns our eternal well or woe! We may never rest, till by grace we know, that God has wrought this great work of purification within our hearts.

(Rev. G Hamstra, Quarterly Record July 2006 no. 576, Trinitarian Bible Society, p.8)

Does this make any sense at all? We are passive in regeneration, but we must not be passive about it? We are passive in regeneration, but we must not rest until we have done something about it?

Please do not patronize me by suggesting I do not really understand Reformed theology. I know very well the subtlety of the Reformed doctrine of conversion and that it is not so easily refuted. I realise very well that Calvinists do not deny the responsibility of man to believe. However, this statement is the worst possible way of stating the doctrine.

14 Comments:

  • The statement is a bit confusing, true. Imagine reading it if you did not know the theology behind it!

    You should have a contest to see who can state the doctrine best in fewer than 100 words. :)

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Saturday, July 01, 2006 7:39:00 AM  

  • Good idea, Angie.

    You are not so sure about pre-conversion regeneration, I understand?

    God Bless

    Matt

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, July 01, 2006 9:48:00 AM  

  • Yes, the jury is still out on exactly which order things happen, but I lean toward a simultaneous faith and regeneration.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Saturday, July 01, 2006 2:22:00 PM  

  • This is the same "You can never know if you are saved" and "You must persevere until the end to enter heaven" material...

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, July 01, 2006 2:34:00 PM  

  • Good definition of Regeneration: The Act of God, whereby the Holy Spirit gives new birth to the believing sinner, thereby imparting to them a new nature and a new heart and giving the spiritually dead new life.
    "But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13.
    Really great site. Glad I came across it. Will be back.

    By Blogger Ms.Green, at Saturday, July 01, 2006 7:55:00 PM  

  • Angie, I did read an Arminian book once that argued that regeneration is a process that might not be completed. He argued that the Bible never states that regeneration happens in an instant.

    I beleive that book presented an utterly false gospel.

    Indeed, Antonio.

    Thanks for visiting, Ms Green and for your definition.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, July 02, 2006 12:32:00 AM  

  • I like Mrs. Green's comment! She uses her own words and then follows with the Scripture that says just what she says.

    That quote from the Trinitarian Bible Society is just awful. It represents all that I don't appreciate about R. theology. I imagine certain folks buying into this and then biting their fingernails for the rest of their life, wondering if God has done it for them. The Gospel is so much beter - believe and you will be saved. GOD HAS DONE IT FOR YOU!!!! It is so simple a child can understand.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, July 03, 2006 4:37:00 AM  

  • Quite so.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, July 03, 2006 5:34:00 AM  

  • In first defense of the man (whoever he may be), he doesn't say we must never rest until we have done something about our regeneration, but rather that we must never rest until we know that God has wrought regeneration within us. BIG difference.

    I will not attempt to patronize you in suggesting that you don't understand reformed theology (you perhaps more than I do). I will suggest however that you may not understand the gentleman in question, or maybe that you are believe he is saying something that he is not.

    I do believe he is attempting to say that although regeneration is completely a work of the LORD, we should not cast it away as one of those divine and eternally mysterious works that we should never think about. While regeneration may be a work of God that is done to us, we still need to do something about our regeneration, namely, make sure it did happen.

    I think John touches upon this when he says, 'this is how we are sure we have ome to know him: by keeping his commands.'

    John suggests that we should be sure of our salvation and our regneration by examining our life. If we say we have come to know him, and yet we keep not his commands, we are liars and the truth is not in us.

    I just did a post on this topic, I would LOVE yours and Rose's opinion regarding it. Afterall, you two are my favorite freegracers.

    awaiting the hope,
    Adam

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, July 03, 2006 12:24:00 PM  

  • Thanks Adam and for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, July 03, 2006 1:38:00 PM  

  • 'sigh'

    Yes, thank you as well...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, July 03, 2006 2:12:00 PM  

  • Hi Adam,

    I do see your distinction, but what the distinction still seems to mean is that while we may be saved by Christ Alone, that wonderful concept can never be something we can fully rejoice in as being ours, so to speak. It's never a done deal, in teh sense of being personally freeing because of the closure. As the quote itself says, we can never rest...etc.

    In that type of thnking, the whole Protestant Reformation seems to me to be a sort of blank fired instead of a bonafide pistol going off in the air. (...starting a great race that will end at the Judgment seat of Christ.)

    So, to me your distinction is real but I think you may fail to see that Matthew actually does grasp that nuance and is still crying foul.

    I'll check out your blog.

    God bless.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, July 04, 2006 11:42:00 AM  

  • Yes that quote is quite bad. Christ is our rest!! We put our rest in Christ and trust him that he can save us. That's what fuels our sanctification if you ask me.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Wednesday, July 05, 2006 7:39:00 PM  

  • Shawn, I am glad you are unhappy woth the quote.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, July 06, 2006 12:56:00 AM  

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