LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, January 22, 2007

This N That

Well, I am in the closing chapters of "The Forgotten Spurgeon" by Iain Murray. What a look at Spurgeon. It shows a side of Spurgeon that you only see hints of in other biographies of his life.

For instance his views of Fundamentalism and Dispensationalism. He saw in these two (aren't they one and the same, though historically Dispyism predates Fundyism) very young movements some alarming trends: Namely the de-emphasis on the need for regeneration, and the resulting change of life that comes about from an encounter with Christ. How prophetic.

Murray goes on to chronical how that Dispensationalism and Fundamentalism found entrance into the Metropolitan Tabernacle through the preaching and counselling influence of A.T. Pierson (no relation), a Presbyterian and Dispensational minister whom Spurgeon befriended late in his life, and D.L. Moody. It was Pierson who filled the MT pulpit in the months after Spurgeon's death. Though Spurgeon resisted and disagreed with Dispensationalism throughout his life, yet he found in Pierson a man who took the scriptures for what they are - THE WORD OF GOD. This was at a time when Spurgeon was in the middle of "The Down-Grade Controversy", a controversy that brought about the new Higher Criticism way of looking at the Bible. During this period of Spurgeon's life there were very few who saw the threat that Higher Criticism would have on the following generations of Evangelicalism. Spurgeon sought to protest this movement by leaving The Baptist Union, a union of independant, evangelical churches. Among those aligned against Spurgeon in this move was Alexander McClaren. The union voted to censure Spurgeon for this act of protest. Many in the union were more interested in preserving the union than they were in preserving the truth of God's word. This move came at a cost to Spurgeon. Even his own brother signed the notice of censure. Spurgeon was all alone, except for A.T. Pierson and D.L. Moody. That was the upside.

The downside was in that Pierson was to bring his Dispensational, Fundamental influences with him into the Tabernacle, and Moody his revival meetings. Over time there was less and less emphasis on the need for regeneration in the preaching. "Decissions for Christ" were counted now instead of changed lives. And so began the Tabernacle's decline. By the 1930's and 40's the congregation had begun to shrink literally by the thousands. By the 60's there were only enough people to fill the front pew.

Enter Doctor Peter Masters in 1970. His views almost mirror Spurgeon's. The Tabernacle is now back into the hundreds. The Tabernacle is once again beginning to radiate the glory of God, with the uncompromising "Doctrins of Grace".

Spurgeon was indeed prophetic in his assessment of Dispensationalism. As I mentioned earlier, he was alarmed by the fact that there was no stress on regeneration and changed lives in that system. How sad. Now regeneration is rarely taught from the pulpit; a changed life may not necessarily happen. What would Paul the apostle say?

Mark D. Pierson

11 Comments:

Blogger Bhedr said...

You forgot to note also that Dr Peirson chose to be obedient to the word in believers baptism and was baptised and he himself became a Baptist. There are a great deal of resources we can draw from to get a full a picture as possible. Also don't always be so anxious to discredit dispensational thought brother. As you know MacARthur is one. We live in a strange age today. I do notice that you seem bent on disproving dispensationalism. This causes us to stop being objective and enter into another subjective realm that is not healthy either I think. From one who is still learning as I did not live back then. From a brother in Christ who is still learning and discovering everyday that I am not an Island of biblical knowledge and as great as Spurgeon was...neither was he. Dr Masters is great. Praise God for his preaching. I have benefitted from listening to him.

January 22, 2007 2:23 PM

 
Blogger jel said...

hi Mark,

hope you all are well.

I have been reading some of Charles Spurpgeon's, Classic Dev,
and man , it is very good!

Blessings

January 22, 2007 3:45 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
It has even gotten to the point where the term "born again Christian" is used to denote a particular type of Christian as if a non-born again Christian were possible. With the truth of regeneration that Jesus gives us in John 3:3 everything falls into place. The doctrines of grace point to God, not man.

January 22, 2007 3:53 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Well said Jazzy. Very well said.

Mark,

Don't know if you have read it, but another EXCELLENT book by Iain Murray is "Evangelicalism Divided." If you have never read that, give it a read.

January 22, 2007 9:09 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

That is a great book. Mark, I know you know this, but dispensationalism has gone a LONG way from its classical form.

January 22, 2007 10:51 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian, thanks for the visit. Murray does cover that about Pierson receiving believer's baptism in this book. Thanks for mentioning that.

I am not hostile to ALL of dispensationalism. I love MacArthur and Moorhead. I reserve my hostilities for the classic Dispy system only, from which sprang that "atrocity", that eschatology driven theological system.

Wayne, you and me, we think the same. Maybe we should do a blog together. :)

Douglas, WELCOME! Thanks for the link. You strike me as one VERY well-read dude. I admire that. I wish to follow in the footsteps of people like you. Come again.

Jonathan,I look up to you. Thanks for being the influence that you are.

January 23, 2007 7:17 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Janice!!!!!!!!!! hi dee ho to you there in Iceland

January 23, 2007 8:06 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I would also note that Spurgeon paved the road for fundamentalism and the early rise and seperation at the turn of the next century following him. He himself was in all points faithful to the fundamentals of the faith as none other before him or after him in my opinion and was driven by his love for Christ and loyalty to Him alone.

January 23, 2007 8:55 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Over my head. :0

I'm still trying to a good grasp on exactly what dispensationalism entails.

January 23, 2007 9:50 AM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

There is no stress on a changed life in Dispensationalism?

Have you ever read a book by a Dispensationalist?

Try reading:

Designed to Be Like Him, by Pentecost

Balancing the Christian Life by Ryrie

He That is Spiritual by Chafer

Now, if you are meaning that we don't stress a changed life with a view to final entrance into heaven, well then you tell the truth. This is something that Reformed and Lordship people do.

Dispensationalists teach absolute holiness. The teach that man is responsible to live according to the divine nature imparted to him by God.

Why do Lordship teachers and Reformed "stress a changed life"?

Because in a very real sense, they believe that behavior is intrinsically correllated with one's hope of heaven.

Dispensationalists "stress a changed life", for many biblical reasons, one being which, it is required of them as stewards who will one day give an account of themselves to the Master.

Furthermore, a changed life brings peace, joy, meaning and significance.

Antonio

January 24, 2007 2:10 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio,

A changed life comes about because of changed affections of the heart due to the Holy Spirit's bringing the benefits of the cross to the believer. Regeneration is in view here, a new heart, Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek.36:25-27.

Unlike you, I believe regeneration brings about a new nature, not merely a potential one. As I noted in the post it was the Fundamentalists who brought the Tabernacle into decline, people with an even higher view of regeneration than you. You and your system are deadly as you fill the pews with people who are nothing more than Mental Assenters.

If you want to keep misrepresenting Calvinism here I shall proceed to rip you and your false gospel apart, and enjoy doing it while I do. You are a false teacher, a misrepresenter of the message of repentance and remission of sins. You shall give an account before the Lord some day for the false gospel you preach. You have been corrected time and again on the message that Calvinists preach, yet you ALWAYS default back to all your old tired claims and lies.

Have you noticed that fewer and fewer Calvinists interact with you now. It is because they are too busy laughing to be able to see the key-board straight. You are fun to watch. Oh, I'm sorry, did you actually think we took you and your tirades seriously? :-)

January 25, 2007 7:22 AM

 

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