Thursday, August 07, 2008

Spurgeon: Why Many Gifted Preachers Have Little Impact

This morning a bunch of friends from church were listening to and discussing a chunk of Spurgeon's autobiography. Spurgeon described the kind of talented, gifted preachers in England who pastored small churches and saw little fruit from their ministries. Spurgeon argued that these men had little impact because they had lost the gospel. Here's the climax of his conclusion:
They are afraid of real gospel Calvinism.
Amid all the talk among contemporary Southern Baptists and independent fundamentalists that the doctrines of grace are not a matter that demand division, I find myself wondering what Spurgeon would say were he around to see the things that masquerade as the gospel these days.

Now, of course, what Spurgeon would do doesn't make a thing right. But neither do contrary arguments from SBC and IFB history. What makes a thing right is ultimately whether that thing conforms to Scripture. How man-centered or repentance-bankrupt can a gospel be before it ceases to be the gospel? And how much cooperation or fellowship can take place when there's disagreement over the gospel? Perhaps that is a question the churches of this generation will need to determine.


Don Johnson said...

I dunno, ask John Wesley.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Anonymous said...

"gospel Calvinism"? Give me a break.

Ed Franklin said...

ol' "anonymous" is a tough act to follow! He's all over the blogosphere, too, with such brilliant commentary.

Nevertheless, "How man-centered or repentance-bankrupt can a gospel be before it ceases to be the gospel? "--that's the question! John Wesley never showed any signs of being man-centered or repentence bankrupt. This isn't really a question of calvinist vs arminian, but a question of God's Way vs man's way.

christopher said...

i have to agree with anonymous: what is "gospel Calvinism"?

Anonymous said...

this has nothing to do with the post...

BEN! I missed you! :(