Thursday, 7 October 2010

Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism

I have really enjoyed reading Iain Murray's book Spurgeon v Hyper-Calvinism.  It is well written and not particularly heavy.  I resonated with it because I have wrestled with the issue of God's Sovereignty and Human Responsibility etc... 

Calvinists are often accused of placing a theological system onto their reading of Scripture.  The common criticism of any scheme of systematic theology is that they try to make everything fit easily together.  However, this could not be said of the Calvinism that Spurgeon professed.  When it came to God's Sovereignty and Humankind's Responsibility, or God's electing love and his universal love, Spurgeon was happy to embrace mystery.  Below are some quotes of his taken from Murray's book.

'... man is wholly responsible for his own sin.  God is not its author.  Those who hear the gospel and reject the Saviour will not be able to plead that sovereignty prevented them from exercising the obedience of faith.  None will be able to claim that God excluded them.  No, it is on account of sin alone, including the sin of unbelief, that unrepentant sinners will finally be condemned and lost for ever.'

'If he be lost, damnation is all of man; but, if he be saved, still salvation is all of God.'

'None of us loves men as Christ loves them; and if the love of all the tender hearted in the world could run together, they would make but a drop compared with the ocean of the compassion of Jesus.'

'Beloved, there is nothing that so delights Jesus Christ as to save sinners ... You misjudge him if you think he wants to be argued with and persuaded to have mercy; he gives it as freely as the sun pours forth light.'

'He has an infinite benevolence [his desire to save all] which, nevertheless, is not in all points worked out by his infinite omnipotence [he does not save all]; and if anybody asked me why it is, I cannot tell.'

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