Today I talked to a buddy who has spent the last few months studying the doctrines of grace (i.e. Calvinism). Like many today, he’s been reading and listening to John Piper, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul and Paul Washer on the Internet. And to use his own words, “It just seems to make sense.” He’s coming from a Fundamental Independent Baptist background. And like many in those circles, has only heard caricatures and straw men arguments about that “Satanic heresy” of Calvinism.
But what a friend told him yesterday almost made me fall out of my chair, “Charles Spurgeon was NOT a Calvinist!” The logic went something like this: since Charles Spurgeon preached to thousands and was evangelistic, he couldn’t be a Calvinist. Again, these kinds of statements underscore the ignorance that is rampant amongst many Fundamentalists.
Just for the record, I thought I’d let Spurgeon speak for himself:
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.
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