Author:

Jared Smith

Jared Smith was born in Wimbledon, London and became a Christian when he was eight years old. He has been the pastor of Bethesda Baptist Church, Kensington Place, since 1999. The church was established in 1866 by baptized believers who subscribed to Restricted Communion and Particular Redemption. These founding doctrines remain core values of the church, as does the Authorised Version and pastoral oversight. Jared seeks to promote these values among churches today.

Website: www.expoundit.com

Based on Bob Juch’s Kin, I have traced my maternal ancestry to Jean de la Fontaine, born in the year 1375. The information contained in this article is gathered verbatim from Descendants of Jean de la Fontaine. This website acknowledges: “Some information in this family tree is taken from the book, “From Riches to Rags to Respectability – a Fontaine Family,” written by Winston F. Fontaine and published for the author by Alabama Ancestors, Mobile, Alabama, 1987, and is submitted with the permission of the author.”

I have chosen to submit this article to the online resources of the AHB, because I share the sentiments of David—“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations.” (Ps 119:90) One of my descendants was Gilles de la Fontaine, who was converted to Christ in 1535 when the Reformed faith was first preached in France. He forthwith joined a band of Christians who were given the nickname of “Huguenots”. Hailing from this man’s pedigree have come five pastors whose ministries have sought to promulgate the gospel of sovereign grace.

In light of this generational story, it may well be said that “the counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” (Ps 33:11) Indeed, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Tim 1:12-16)

1. Jean de la Fontaine – Born in France in the year 1375.

Believed to have descended from Jean de la Fontaine, who fought in the First Crusade under Godfrey, at Jerusalem in 1099, and who established the de la Fontaine family at Fontenay, anciently prominent in Normandy, Anfou, Maine, Poitou, and Picardy which maintains descent from Arthur, Duke of Brittany. 

Jean married Buyonne de Monthibault in 1399 who gave birth to Guy de la Fontaine Lord of Seville in 1400. 

2. Guy de la Fontaine Lord of Seville – Born in France in the year 1400. 

Guy married Buyonne de Audigne in the 1420’s who gave birth to Jean de la Fontaine in 1425. 

3. Jean de la Fontaine – Born in France in the year 1425. 

Jean married…

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In detailing Andrew Fuller’s search for the truth, Piper says:

“[Andrew Fuller] searched both the Scriptures and the history of doctrine to see if he could find this High Calvinism that had so infected and controlled his denomination…”

Fuller’s denomination, if that is what it could be called, is a circle of churches known as Strict and Particular Baptists. In his day, most of the churches leaned or stood squarely on high views of sovereign grace. In our day, the Strict and Particular Baptist heritage has been hijacked by the Moderate-Calvinists (Fullerites/Reformed Baptists). They persistently misrepresent the teachings of High-Calvinism, always putting Fuller’s newfangled views in a favorable light. They also audaciously rewrite the history of High-Calvinism, claiming to be the standard-bearers of the gospel. It is difficult to judge whether these misrepresentations are driven by ignorance, prejudice or dishonesty. Perhaps a mixture of all three.

John Piper says that Fuller searched both the scripture and the history of doctrine to see if he could find this High-Calvinism that had so infected and controlled his denomination. Well, I grew up in Fuller’s ‘denomination’. I was taught Fuller’s gospel as a child. I was trained in Fuller’s…

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John Piper charges the High-Calvinist with “muzzling the gospel cry of the Bride”:

“Hyper-Calvinism had muzzled the gospel cry of the Bride (“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price,” Revelation 22:17). For the sake of the life of the church and the salvation of the nations, Fuller took up the battle for truth.”

Piper’s charge is utter rubbish! I have never met a professing Christian, subscribing to high views of sovereign grace, who believes the gospel should not be fully and freely preached to all sinners. The type of people Piper calls Hyper-Calvinists exist only in his imagination. High-Calvinists not only believe the gospel is to be fully and freely preached to all sinners, but they are also fierce advocates of gospel invitations. However, they are careful to give gospel invitations only to those who are thirsting for the water of life. If the sinner has eyes to see, he/she is invited to see! If the sinner has ears to hear, he/she is invited to hear! If the sinner is laboring and heavy laden, he/she is invited to take the yoke of Christ upon him/her! If the sinner is thirsting for the water of life, he/she is invited to come and freely drink! What a High-Calvinist will not do, is extend the gospel invitation to those who are not seeking after Christ. Far from “muzzling the gospel cry of the Bride”, the High-Calvinist is the one who announces a clear and certain cry to those who are of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, for these are the persons unto whom the Lord is nigh and saves. (Ps 34:18)

In his book, “Hyper-Calvinism”, Stanely Phillips speaks of this matter on Pages 78,79:

“It is unreasonable to charge “Hyper-calvinists” with being “non-evangelical,” if by the term “non-evangelical” one means they refuse to preach the Gospel of free and sovereign grace wherever the Lord cast their lot. They are a tireless and faithful People in giving themselves up to the Lord and one another in the…

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Commenting on Fuller’s doctrine of Duty-Faith, Piper lays the backdrop:

“Remember, the objection is: “It is absurd and cruel to require of any man what is beyond his power to perform.” In other words, a man’s inability to believe removes his responsibility to believe (and our duty to command them to believe). In response to this objection, Fuller brings forward the distinction between moral inability and natural inability. This was the key insight which he learned from Jonathan Edwards, and he gives him credit for it on the third page of The Gospel Worthy…Natural inability does in fact remove obligation…But moral inability does not excuse. It does not remove obligation.”

Duty-Faith is a doctrine which asserts that it is the duty of unregenerate sinners to savingly believe on Christ. There are two branches of Duty-Faith: (1) The Arminians (Free-Willers), who hold that it is the ‘spiritual duty’ of the unregenerate to exercise saving faith in order to be born again—they believe faith precedes regeneration; (2) The Moderate-Calvinists (Fullerites), who hold that it is the ‘moral duty’ of the unregenerate to exercise saving faith unto salvation—they believe the unregenerate are unable to exercise saving faith before regeneration, but that it remains their duty to do so.

Whereas the High-Calvinists and Moderate-Calvinists agree the first branch of Duty-Faith is a false doctrine, yet they do not agree on the second branch, as Piper’s comments affirm. High-Calvinists reject both branches of Duty-Faith, believing that saving faith is a spiritual/moral duty binding only upon those who have been regenerated.

Moderate-Calvinists believe the High-Calvinists are in error because they have negated the sinner’s responsibility (moral duty) to believe, based on the…

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John Piper subscribes to the view that the atonement of Christ is sufficient in its worth to save the non-elect, but efficient in its application to save only those who believe. This gobbledygook is derived from the teachings of Andrew Fuller, who sought to retain the free offer of the gospel, while subscribing to the doctrine of Particular Redemption. To that end, Fuller argued that the atonement of Christ is universal in its value, capable of covering the sins of the entire human race (elect and non-elect). He also maintained that the atonement is particular in its application, covering only the sins of those who savingly believe on Christ. In this way, Fuller could sincerely offer the gospel to the non-elect, for he believed the atonement of Christ was hypothetically sufficient for them. Piper underscores this teaching:

“On the extent of the atonement, Fuller found himself again defending the Scripture against High Calvinists and Arminians who both thought that “particular redemption” made the free offer of the gospel to all illogical. His position is that the death of Christ is not to be conceived of “commercially” in the sense that it purchased effectually a limited number such that if more believed they could not be atoned for. On the other hand, if the atonement of Christ proceed not on the principle of commercial, but of moral justice, or justice as it relates to crime — if its grand object were to express the divine displeasure against sin (Romans 8:3) and so to render the exercise of mercy, in all the ways wherein sovereign wisdom should determine to apply it, consistent with righteousness (Romans 3:25) — if it be in itself equal to the salvation of the whole world, were the whole world to embrace it—and if the peculiarity which attends it consists not in its insufficiency to save more than are saved, but in the sovereignty of its application—no such inconsistency can justly be ascribed to it (Works, Vol., II, pp. 373–374 Emphasis added).”

“In other words, the limitation of the atonement lies not in the sufficiency of its worth to save all the sinners in the world, but in the design of God to apply that infinite sufficiency to those whom he chooses.”

First, The Free Offer Of The Gospel.

It should be pointed out, that while Fullerites believe the gospel should be freely offered, yet they do not offer it freely. They offer it on condition that the sinner savingly believe and repent. This is to impose a tax on the gospel, making faith and repentance the duty of unregenerate sinners. A duty-faith and duty-repentance gospel cannot be offered freely, because it is not a free gospel that is offered.

It should also be pointed out, there is a difference between freely offering the gospel and freely preaching the gospel. The scriptures speak about…

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In an effort to ‘prove’ the killing effects of High-calvinism, John Piper directs attention to the decline of the Particular Baptist churches between 1718 and 1760:

“Fuller, who only knew High Calvinism in his early ministry, said in 1774, “I . . . durst not, for some years, address an invitation to the unconverted to come to Jesus” (Quoted from John Ryland’s biography in Ibid., p. 103.). He went on to say, “I conceive there is scarcely a minister amongst us whose preaching has not been more or less influenced by the lethargic systems of the age” (Works, Vol., II, p. 387.). The price had been huge: in the forty years after 1718; the Particular Baptists declined from 220 congregations to 150 (Morden Offering Christ, p. 8.).”

If this decline was the result of the killing effects of High-calvinism, then why were there more than 500 High-calvinist Baptist churches in England at the turn of the 20th century? Kenneth Dix, in his book, “Strict and…

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John Piper points out:

“One of Fuller’s critics, John Martin, Pastor at Grafton Street, Westminster wrote, “Sinners in my opinion, are more frequently converted, and believers more commonly edified, by a narrative of facts concerning Jesus Christ, and by a clear, connected statement of the doctrines of grace, and blessings of the gospel, than by all the expectations and expostulations that were ever invented. (Quoted in Morden, Offering Christ, p. 57.) But in fact, the Hyper-Calvinists were not passionately telling the narrative of the gospel story to the lost and were opposed to the new mission to India. Peter Morden points out that “The prevalence of high Calvinism had led not only to a refusal to ‘offer Christ’ but also to a general suspicion of all human ‘means’, such as ministerial training and associating” (Morden, Offering Christ, p. 45). The effect of this rationalistic distortion of the biblical Calvinism was that the churches were lifeless and the denomination of the Particular Baptists was dying.”

Baptist historian Kenneth Dix would disagree with this characterization of High-Calvinism and the Particular Baptists. In an article entitled, “Varieties Of High-Calvinism Among Nineteenth Century Particular Baptists”, Dix wrote:

“The nineteenth-century Strict Baptists believed the distinctive doctrines they held so firmly were rooted in scripture. They were also fully persuaded that in the stand they were making for restricted communion, and against free offer/duty faith teaching, they were doing the will of God. They were convinced that high-Calvinism was Biblical truth. The assumption is commonly made that high-Calvinism destroys or stifles all efforts to promote missionary or evangelistic endeavour. In the case of the Strict Baptists in…”

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John Piper asserts:

“Fuller himself certainly saw Gill as a High Calvinist responsible for much of the evangelistic deadness among his fellow Particular Baptists.”

There is an article written by George Ella called, “Exaggerated Claims Concerning Andrew Fuller And False Information Regarding ‘High-Calvinists’”. Ella points out:

“1795-1835 was a time of widespread revival with Anglican Robert Hawker preaching to thousands, Independent William Huntington equalled his efforts and Baptist William Gadsby founding 45-50 churches filled with new converts. The Particular Baptists were not inactive in this time but…

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Speaking of John Wesley and George Whitefield, John Piper points out:

“The Particular Baptists did not like either of these evangelical leaders. Wesley was not a Calvinist, and Whitefield’s Calvinism was suspect, to say the least, because of the kind of evangelistic preaching he did. The Particular Baptists spoke derisively of Whitefield’s ‘Arminian dialect’.”

One of the leading figures among the Particular Baptists was Pastor-Theologian John Gill. The teachings of Gill are representative of the High-Calvinism to which Piper refers. In George Ella’s book, “John Gill, And The Cause Of God And Truth”, he makes the following observation on page 184:

“It is very difficult to conceive that anyone familiar with the ministry of John Gill could accuse him of being without vigour in preaching the gospel to sinful man. Thomas Wright called Gill ‘the profoundest preacher’, claiming that ‘Dr Gill’s voice rose clear and distinct above the…

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Introduction

5 Jul 2021, by

John Piper has served as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota for more than 30 years. In 1994, an organization called “Desiring God” grew out of John’s tape ministry. It is now “an international web ministry with 12,000+ free resources and 3.5+billion monthly users.”

Desiring God hosted a conference for pastors in 2007. John Piper spoke on the life and ministry of Andrew Fuller, as it relates to his “broadsides Against Sandemanianism, Hyper-Calvinism, and Global Unbelief”. The title of his lecture was, “Holy Faith, Worthy Gospel, World Vision”.

The audio lecture and full transcript may be accessed here:

There are many areas one may benefit from Piper’s teachings, but this is not one of them. Having failed to understand the framework of High-Calvinism, he proceeds to build a straw man—a scarecrow—and calls it “Hyper-Calvinism”. He then burns it to the ground and claims victory over its ashes. Victory could be claimed, if High-Calvinism is the scarecrow he destroyed. Regrettably for Piper, he understands neither what High-Calvinism is, nor whereof it is affirmed. However, there is one point of agreement—John Piper is not a High-Calvinist. I am pleased to defend him against those who attack him on that issue. Properly speaking, Piper is a Moderate-Calvinist, or Fullerite.

Scattered throughout Piper’s lecture are false claims and misrepresentations of High-Calvinism. I encourage you to read the transcript of his lecture in full, that his words may be understood in context. The following articles are designed to correct many of the false charges upon which Piper has condemned High-Calvinism.

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Winning Souls

15 May 2019, by

This teaching video is part of a daily series I publish entitled “Daily Breads”. Selected videos are uploaded to the online resources of the AHB.

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The leading issue which distinguishes a High-Calvinist from the Arminians and Fullerites (Moderate-Calvinists) is the subject of God’s sovereignty and man’s relatedness to Him. Whereas the Fullerite embraces fairly high views of God’s sovereignty, yet he remains as confused as the Arminian on the subject of man’s relatedness to the Lord.

Two Requirements For Having A Relationship With God

There are two requirements if man is to have a relationship with God. First, man must be a spirit being. This gives man the ABILITY to have a relationship with God. God is a spirit, and if man is to know God, he must also be a spirit. This is what it means to be made in God’s image. God created only two species of spirit beings. On day one, the first creatures He made were…

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Jerom Zanchius, in the first chapter of his book, “Absolute Predestination”, has helpfully outlined five leading features of God’s wisdom and foreknowledge. In summary, he wrote:

First, God is, and always was so perfectly wise, that nothing ever did, or does, or can elude His knowledge. He knew, from all eternity, not only what He Himself intended to do, but also what He would incline and permit others to do. “Known unto God are all His works from eternity ” (Acts 15:18).

Second, consequently, God knows nothing now, nor will know anything hereafter, which He did not know and foresee from everlasting…

After reflecting upon these considerations, I jotted down the following thoughts:

1. If a student is to profit from theology, one of the key exercises must be meditation and reflection upon the truth. There is a framework of truth (a system) wherein all things fit together harmoniously and without contradiction. If there is conflict that occurs in one’s understanding of theology, the fault is not with the truth, but with the one attempting to understand it. The theologian, then, must be always conforming his/her views to the…

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Among the historical confessions of faith, I am most closely aligned with the 1644 First London Baptist Confession of Faith and the 1729 Goat Yard Declaration of Faith. However, I believe fresh statements of faith should be drawn up by every generation, and for that matter, by every individual believer in Christ. To that end, I have condensed the basis of my faith into seventy points.

1. I believe God has plenarily and verbally inspired the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

2. I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are without error.

3. I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are preserved in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.

4. I believe the most reliable translation in English of the Old and New Testaments is the Authorized Version.

5. I believe the one true and only God is Jehovah.

6. I believe Jehovah exists in three distinct…

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Preface

26 Jul 2018, by

A Statement of Faith designed for the Covenant Baptist churches in the Philippines.

I have served for almost 20 years as the pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in London, England. In 2017, my wife and I grew increasingly burdened to pioneer a Strict and Particular Baptist movement in the Philippines. Although we plan on beginning this work in the summer of 2019, the Lord has already paved the way for the first church to be organised within the next three weeks (12 August 2018). Subsequently, I have been…

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We are historically linked with a circle of churches in England known as “Strict and Particular Baptists”. The term Strict refers to the Lord’s Table designed for and restricted to the members of the church; the term Particular refers to the Lord’s Atonement designed for and restricted to elect sinners.

However, for the sake of simplicity and clarity, we are choosing to identify ourselves as “Covenant Baptists”. The term ‘covenant’ refers to both of the preceding doctrines. The privilege of observing the Lord’s Table is based on the covenant church members have made with each other; and, the blessing of redeeming grace is based on the covenant the TriUne Jehovah has made with Himself. In order that we be easily identified with these doctrines, we will call ourselves, “The Covenant Baptist Church on [Name of Place/Street]”.

“Having been enabled, through divine Grace to give up ourselves to the Lord, and likewise to one another by the will of God, we look upon ourselves under the greatest obligation to…

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1. Of the Holy Scriptures.

We believe the sum and substance of our faith is set forth in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. (2 Tim 3:14-17) These scriptures are plenarily and verbally given by the inspiration of God and therefore inerrant in all their parts. (2 Pet 1:19,20) God has preserved His Word through the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. (Ps 119:89) The Authorised Version is the most reliable translation of the Bible in English which is the official translation used in this church. The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and practice. (Ps 19:7-11)

2. Of the One True and Only God.

We believe the scriptures reveal the one true and only God is Jehovah, whose essence is indivisible—Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Moreover, the scriptures reveal that Jehovah exists…

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These are notes of a sermon preached on Sunday 24 September 2017. They have not been proofread. This is the last part of a short series of sermons on the Bible compared to a plough. The subject of this sermon is the Gospel Law—the rule for the believer’s life is the Law of Christ, not the Heart Law or Moral Law (Ten Commandments).

An excerpt: “Given the importance of the subject, I will not rush through the teaching. I will therefore look only at the Province of Gospel Law in this study. What is the province of the Gospel Law? In a nutshell, there is a Heart Law and a Gospel Law—and each belongs to a restricted province. The Heart Law never trespasses into the province of the Gospel Law, and the Gospel Law never trespasses into the province of the Heart Law. To better explain this matter, I will gather my thoughts under four headings…”

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These are notes (with amendments) of a sermon preached on Sunday 1 October 2017. They have not been proofread. This is the last part of a short series of sermons on the Bible compared to a plough. The subject of this sermon is the significance of the twofold message of the Bible—the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.

In his farewell speech to the bishops at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul divided his counsel under two headings: First, a review of his labours and ministry (Acts 20:17-27); Second, a charge to the bishops at Ephesus (Acts 20:28-35). Looking only at the review of his labours and ministry (Acts 20:17-27), Paul reminded the bishops of his past labours at Ephesus—“Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.” (Acts 20:17-19) He also informs them of his future labours at Jerusalem—“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the…

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