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Posts Tagged ‘Traditionalists’

Fuller and the Atonement (Part 4): Limited Atonement and Free Offer

Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the seventh post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

Fuller’s rejection of the commercial understanding of moral justice was two-fold (at least). One, such a limitation, that is, forgiveness dependent on the enumeration of sins and their commensurate guilt, was impossible by the very nature of Christ’s infinite excellence. Christ’ infinite fullness of worthiness necessarily offered to the Father a complete satisfaction, rendering salvation, especially forgiveness as an intrinsic necessity of salvation, a matter of divine sovereignty, eternally determined, in its application. So, the reason for Christ’s incarnation and his fulfillment of the office of priest as a ransom, reconciliation, propitiation,…..

 

 

 

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Fuller and the Atonement (Part 3): Until You Have Paid the Last Penney

Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the sixth post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

Though Andrew Fuller asserted that Calvinists in general held the covenantal application view of particular redemption, historically that which he called the “commercial” view has co-existed with it. That view, defended among the Baptists by John Spilsbury [1] (as far as we can discern the first Particular Baptist pastor), Abraham Booth [2], and John L. Dagg [3], contends that the suffering of Christ is a matter of actual measurable justice. The propitiatory wrath set forth by the Father must be commensurate with the degree of susceptibility to punishment for all those that the Father gave to the Son. For them in particular Jesus sanctified himself….

 

 

 

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Fuller and the Atonement (Part 2): A Way Out or a Way In?

Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the fifth post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

In the second edition of GWAA, Fuller chose not to defend the “principle of pecuniary satisfaction” as consistent with general invitations to reconciliation. He concentrated on the position taken by the synod of Dort, and that of ”all the old Calvinists” [2:710]. He had begun this refinement process in Reply to Philanthropos and in The Reality and Efficacy of Divine Grace.

The core of the argument is that the intrinsic value of Christ’s suffering, given the infinite dignity of his person, is sufficient for the forgiveness…..

 

 

 

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Fuller and the Atonement (Part 1): “It is Enough that Jesus Died”

by Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the fourth post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

Fuller“The Son of God appeared—took our nature, obeyed the law, and endured the curse, and hereby made full and proper atonement for the sins of his own elect.” So confessed Fuller in 1783 at his installment as pastor at Kettering. In Fuller’s discussion of the atonement in 1785 in the first edition of The Gospel Worthy, subheaded as “Concerning Particular Redemption,” Fuller pointed to an objection based on the supposed absurdity that “God can have made it the duty of any man to believe in Christ for the salvation of his soul, or that he can have promised salvation to him on his so believing, when all the while his salvation was not the end for which he died.”i The Table of Contents described his argument in these words: “If faith were a believing Chirst [sic] died for me in particular, this objection would be unanswerable.” The second statement of the summary asserted, “No necessity for the party knowing his particular interest in Christ’s death in order to believe in him, or for his having any such interest to render it his duty.” Fuller’s basic argument in the first edition is that, at the time….

 

 

 

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Fuller and Irresistible Grace: The Necessity of Regeneration as Prior to Repentance and Faith

by Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the third post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

John Ryland Jr., the dear friend and memoirist of Andrew Fuller, in recounting many of the writings of Fuller put in his own comment on the Sandemanian controversy as something of a summary of the argument of his deceased friend. “Nor can a man, while under the dominion of sin, believe that it is a most blessed privilege to be saved from sin itself, as well as from it’s [sic] consequences. Hence I still conceive,” Ryland continued, “that regeneration, strictly so called, must in the order of nature, precede the first act of faith. Not that it can be known except by it’s effects; nor that a consciousness thereof is necessary to warrant the sinner’s first application to Christ.” [221, Ryland, Life and Death of the Rev. Andrew Fuller]

 

 

 

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Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability

March 14, 2017 2 comments

by Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the second post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

Andrew Fuller’s belief in the duty of all moral agents has led some to think that he, therefore, rejected the historic Calvinist doctrine of the bondage of the will. This betrays a regrettable misunderstanding not only of Fuller but of the historic Calvinistic doctrine and is at the root of many bypasses in the discussion between these hopefully fraternal parties in Southern Baptist life. In his confession of faith presented at his installment at Kettering, Fuller reflected on Adam’s fall as that covenant relationship in which we fell, and “became liable to condemnation and death, and what is more, are all born into the world with a vile propensity to sin against God.” Affirming this as the teaching of Romans 5, Fuller further explained….

 

 

 

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Free Ebook- Traditional Theology and the SBC: An Interaction with, and Response to, the Traditionalist Statement of God’s Plan of Salvation

by Tom Ascol

Introductory Remarks

On May 30, 2012 I had a document emailed to me (from two different people) that was sent out to what looked to be a list of all the executive directors of state conventions in the Southern Baptist Convention. The title of the document is “A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” (TS). One of the pastors who sent it to me prevailed on me to review and respond to the document.

After reading the document carefully I quickly came to two conclusions. First, I realized that it is a serious doctrinal statement and therefore worthy of serious evaluation. I determined to give time to studying its affirmations and denials in light of the authors claims of being both biblical and representative of the “traditional” Southern Baptist view of salvation. The second conclusion I reached is that this TS, more than anything else that I have seen written on the differences that characterize many Southern Baptists on the doctrines of grace, has the potential seriously to disrupt the fragile unity that exists in the SBC. The Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) that has been led by Southern Baptist statesmen like Johnny Hunt, Danny Akin and Thom Rainer has encouraged SBC churches to unite and rally around our common commitment to make Jesus Christ known throughout the world. Though at times tentative, and not being without its dissidents and detractors, the GCR has helped foster genuine cooperation around the gospel. My fear is that the TS will be used to revive old suspicions and misrepresentations that too often have characterized past debates over the doctrines of grace.

The list of original signers included Jerry Vines, Jimmy Draper, Paige Patterson, Malcolm Yarnell, David Allen, Eric Hankins, Emir Caner, Adam Harwood and David Hankins—men highly esteemed by Southern Baptists as pastors, SBC presidents, seminary and college administrators and professors. Since its publication, the TS has, to date, garnered over six hundred signatures, including the presidents of two of the six Southern Baptist seminaries (along with several of their faculty members). Though this number represents only .0000375 percent of all Southern Baptists, it is nevertheless significant because of the prominence and influence of many of the signers.

I have no interest in participating in any unnecessary quarrels with my fellow Southern Baptists. Neither do I care about denominational politics. But I do care about truth and especially the purity of the gospel. It is out of this latter concern, and with deep respect for many of the signers of the document that I have responded. Many of the issues that they raise are of vital importance. It is time for Southern Baptists to address them plainly and thoughtfully. It is my hope that the chapters in this booklet (which originally appeared as blog posts at the Founders Blog, http://www.blog.founders.org) will help serve that purpose.

Please join me in praying that the inevitable theological conversation results from the TS will not degenerate into personal attacks or be carried out in a way that dishonors our Lord. Rather, may He grant us humility born of submission to His Word that will enable all who engage to speak the truth in love. And may He in that process be pleased to grant us genuine spiritual and theological renewal that will empower us to preach the gospel and live out of the power of its resources with such joy and zeal that we cannot help but spend and be spent to make Christ known to the nations.

Download the ebook here. (Pdf)