Letter to the Banner of Truth (not printed)
Dear Christian Friends,
I was surprised to find myself labeled a Hyper-Calvinist in your February issue with your corollary that I am not amongst those who “confront their hearers with the immediate responsibility of trusting Christ, directly encouraging them to trust him, and appealing to them to do so now!” Naturally, when one starts with a false premise one draws a faulty conclusion. Actually, I abhor Hyper-Calvinism and have aired my views against it in many publications and lectures. I am particularly suspicious of the Supralapsarian kind as found in Calvin’s Institutes, Book III, Chap. XXIII:7 and his Articles Concerning Predestination. I reject Calvin’s studies regarding predestination and election which leave out the covenant of grace and salvation in Christ as in Calvin’s works against Pighius. Not that I care for Pighius, but two wrongs do not make a right. Concerning confronting hearers with Christ and pleading with them to believe, that has been my calling since I was a teen-ager!
David Gay is no doubt a better Calvinist than I am but this is missing the point. Gay’s critical, psychological evaluation of the Trinity and the Word of God make it, I believe, impossible for him to grasp the full height, width and depth of the glorious gospel of salvation. My point is that though Gay would preach the gospel to all, and is to be recommended for his zeal, his mistaken theology sadly hinders that good work. I trust that both Gay and myself are not too old to learn and grow in grace and the knowledge of our Saviour.
George M. Ella is a historian, author and biographer. His writings may be accessed at the online archived, ”Biographia Evangelica”.
George M. Ella, born February 1939 in Yorkshire, England, has lived most of his life on the European Continent. He is a retired Senior Civil Servant formerly employed in teaching, post-graduate teacher-training, chairing examination boards and curricula work. He holds degrees from London, Hull, Uppsala, Essen, Duisburg and Marburg universities with doctorates in English Literature and Theology. Dr. Ella has written regularly since the seventies for a number of magazines and newspapers and published numerous books on Church History, including biographies of William Cowper, William Huntington, James Hervey, John Gill, Augustus Montague Toplady, Isaac McCoy and Henry Bullinger besides works on doctrine and education. He is currently finishing the third volume of his series 'Mountain Movers'; a biography of John Durie; a work on Law and Gospel and further study material for the Martin Bucer Seminar. Dr. Ella is still internationally active as a lecturer and is a Vice-President of the Protestant Reformation Society. He is keenly interested in missionary work and has written on the spread of the Gospel amongst the Same people of Lapland, the people of India and the Native Americans. This present volume follows Dr. Ella's 'The Covenant of Grace and Christian Baptism', also published by the Martin Bucer Seminar. George Ella is married to Erika Ella, nee Fleischman, a former government administrator, and they have two sons Mark (41), Director of a Polytechnic College in Bremerhaven and Robin (39), Leading Senior Physician in a newly-built Geriatric and Psychiatric clinic in Dessau.