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• The Duty-Faith And Free-Offer Issue

High-Calvinism may be defined as that set of teachings which denies duty faith, rejects the free offer and renounces the moral law as a rule of conduct for the believer’s life. Stated positively, High-Calvinism is that set of teachings which promotes the preaching to all sinners of a full, free and fruitful gospel. By a full gospel, I mean it is the good news of the three branches of the gracious covenant—the electing love of the Father, the redeeming grace of the Son and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. It is on this basis we reject the pernicious doctrine of the free offer. By a free gospel, I mean there are no conditions or requirements placed upon the sinner in order for him/her to be born again. It is on this basis we reject the pernicious doctrine of duty faith. By a fruitful gospel, I mean the rule for the believer’s life is his/her spiritual union with Christ (the gospel law), wherein He is made all things to His people, the Spirit of God infusing the graces of Christ into the soul. It is on this basis we reject the moral law as a rule of conduct for the Christian life. In essence, High-Calvinism understands the masterplan of God for the ages to revolve around two perpetual covenants (that of works of grace), and all members of the human race are responsible to God under one or the other of these covenants.

Now, the foregoing definition does not satisfy the Arminians and Moderate-Calvinists, for they do not understand its meaning. As they approach the gospel from a free will perspective, failing to grasp the significance of the covenants, they interpret High-Calvinism from a humanistic standpoint, thereby drawing the erroneous dichotomy between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. From this false presupposition, they proceed to create a caricature of High-Calvinism, describing its adherents as those who…

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What Is Hyper-Calvinism? This same question appears as the title for an article written by Ronald Hanko for the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA). You may view the full article here.

Hanko admits that his group (PRCA) is often maliciously charged with being hyper-Calvinists, because it rejects the well-meant offer of the gospel. However, he argues the historic definition for hyper-Calvinism is restricted to those who deny the doctrine of duty-faith, rather than those who reject the free-offer. He writes,

“Historically, the name has been applied to those who deny that the command of the gospel to repent and believe must be preached to all who hear the gospel.”

He goes on to explain:

“A hyper-Calvinist (historically and doctrinally) is…one who believes rightly in sovereign, double predestination and in particular redemption – who denies a universal love of God and a will of God to save all men. Yet he concludes wrongly that because God has determined who will be saved, sent Christ for them only, and gives to them salvation as a free gift, therefore only the elect should be commanded to repent and believe in the preaching of the gospel. This, we believe, is a serious error. It is an error that effectively destroys both gospel preaching and evangelism – an error that must be avoided.”

My Response:

First, I appreciate Hanko’s effort to distance himself from a fringe group of Calvinists often maligned as “hypers”. After all, who would want to be identified with those who have presumably pushed the gospel beyond the boundary? Having said that, the article leaves me questioning whether Hanko has a clear enough understanding to write against hyper-Calvinism.

Second, if it be true that mainstream Calvinism has historically rejected the well-meant offer of the gospel, then he makes a strong case that the PRCA cannot be called hyper-Calvinists. However, I do not believe he is correct on the matter. Mainstream Calvinism, especially that of the last few hundred years, has subscribed in one form or another to…

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Those who follow my teaching ministry will know that I am not a fan of Gospel Tracts, such as the Romans Road to Salvation or the Sinner’s Bridge of Salvation. First, these tracts misrepresent the gospel and the sinner’s duty towards God; Second, these tracts are designed to serve as proselyting tools, rather than evangelistic helps; Third, these tracts are used as crutches by those who do not have the knowledge or confidence to speak the truth in their own words.

I have been asked on occasion (in various ways), “If you do not believe Gospel Tracts should be used for evangelism, then how would you present the simplicity of the gospel, during a five minute visit at the hospital, to an unregenerate sinner on his/her deathbed?”

First, I would point out to the one asking the question that the salvation of the one on his/her deathbed does not depend on me sharing the gospel to him/her. If that person is numbered among God’s elect people, then he/she is already set apart as a special object of the Father’s love. Likewise, that person has already been freely justified by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. All that remains is the…

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“I Am Pure From The Blood Of All Men”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
Many believe the Apostle Paul was “pure from the blood of all men” because he offered the gospel (Free-Offer) to everyone he met and exhorted them to believe on Christ (Duty-Faith). This view is propagated by freewill religionists belonging to the Arminian and Moderate-Calvinist persuasions. This study:
(1) Explains the meaning of Duty-Faith and the Free-Offer
(2) Provides an expositional overview of the text
(3) Points out the term (and idea) of an ‘offer’ does not appear in the text, although seven other words do appear—show (announce), teach, testify, preach, declare, feed, show (reason/argue)
(4) Explains how Paul’s declaration of “all the counsel of God” is a reference to the Framework of Sovereign Grace
(5) Explains how Paul’s twofold message of God’s plan for the ages fits into the Framework of Sovereign Grace—he testified to the Jews and the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ
(6) Concludes the Apostle Paul was “pure from the blood of all men” because he declared “all the counsel of God”, warning the unregenerate sinners that they were duty-bound under the authority of the Covenant of Works to “repent toward God”, and explaining to regenerate sinners that they were duty-bound under the authority of the Covenant of Grace to “believe toward our Lord Jesus Christ”—the reprehensible doctrines of Duty-Faith and the Free-Offer do not appear in the text

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I pointed out three grading systems for identifying the variant teachings of Arminianism and Calvinism. According to the “scale” classification, there are six measurements—High-Arminianism, Moderate-Arminianism, Low-Arminianism, Low-Calvinism, Moderate-Calvinism and High-Calvinism. Now, it is only natural to ask, What Is Hyper-Calvinism? You notice, it is not listed as a measurement on this scale. In fact, where does Hyper-Calvinism fit within this classification? Should it be placed at the top, as a seventh measurement? Or, should it be placed to the side as an extreme and deviant set of teachings which do not even belong on this grading system? That is actually what many Arminians and lower ranking Calvinists believe. They believe Hyper-Calvinism doesn’t even deserve a place on the scale.

Well, the reason I didn’t include Hyper-Calvinism as a label on this grading system, is because technically speaking, Hyper-Calvinism is a name given to the same group of believers who are also…

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“How Do I Share The Gospel—The Motive”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Reviewing the four main branches of sharing the gospel
• Highlighting several ways many preachers attempt to motivate believers to share the gospel
• Turning to the text, providing a definition for the terms “sanctify” and “heart”
• Explaining how the TriUne Jehovah sanctifies His people unto Himself
• Explaining how the regenerate sinner sanctifies the Lord God in his/her heart
• As the Lord God has set His affections upon you, so you should set your affections upon Him
• As the Lord God pursues you and has procured for you all gospel blessings, so you should pursue Him and present yourself a living sacrifice
• As the Lord God has endeared Himself to you, so you should endear yourself to Him
• As the Lord God has honored you as a vessel of honor, mercy, gold and silver, so you should honor Him as the King of your life
• Explaining how sanctifying the Lord God in one’s heart rightly motivates the regenerate sinner to share the gospel

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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One of the reasons many Reformed believers assert it is the duty of all sinners to savingly believe on Christ is because they distinguish between the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace. They believe the covenant of redemption was made between the Father, the Son and the Spirit from eternity, whereas the covenant of grace is made between Jehovah and the sinner in time. They view the covenant of redemption as existing in the background of God’s plan for the ages, whereas the covenant of grace is set in the foreground of man’s responsibility for today.

R. C. Sproul outlined this view in his book, “What Is Reformed Theology”. He explained Reformed Theology is primarily concerned with three major covenants—the covenant of redemption, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

With reference to the covenant of redemption, page 127:

“The first covenant we consider in the scope of Reformed theology does not directly include human beings, but is nevertheless critically important. The covenant of redemption involves the parties who work together to effect human redemption: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This covenant is rooted in eternity.”

With reference to the covenant of works, pages 128,129:

”The initial covenant God made with mankind was a covenant of works. In this covenant, according to the Westminster Confession, “life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.” It is important to note that a “condition” is attached to this first covenant. The condition is personal and perfect obedience. This is a condition of works, and this is the covenant’s chief stipulation. Life is promised as a reward for obedience, for satisfying the condition of the covenant.”

With reference to the covenant of grace, pages 131,132:

“The Westminster Confession declares this about the covenant of grace: ‘Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.’

Perhaps the chief difference between the covenant of grace and the first covenant, and the reason why it is called a covenant of grace, is that this covenant is made between God and sinners. The covenant of works was made between God and his unfallen creatures. Once that covenant was violated and the fall had occurred, mankind’s only hope was rooted totally in grace.”

In an effort to help the reader better understand the relationship between these three covenants, Sproul includes this diagram:

Here is my response:

First, I wish to highlight my view of the covenants.

1. A covenant is an agreement between two or more people, with certain obligations binding them together. There are three parts to every covenant—(1) the parties; (2) the conditions; (3) the rewards/penalties.

2. Every relationship is based upon the authority of a covenant. Whether it be the relationship between a husband and wife, or parent and child, or friend and friend, or citizen and…

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“How Should I Share The Gospel—The Method”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Reviewing the four main branches of sharing the gospel
• Distinguishing between evangelizing and proselyting
• Highlighting several tactics and gimmicks employed by proselyters
• Highlighting the twofold methodology of evangelism emphasized by the Apostle Peter—meekness and fear
• Identifying the object of meekness and fear
• Examining the meaning of meekness and fear
• Exploring the relationship between meekness and fear
• Meekness and fear protect the hearers and the message of your gospel witness
• Meekness and fear prevent debates and arrogance in your gospel witness
• Meekness and fear promote truth and love through your gospel witness

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“How Should I Share The Gospel—The Timing And The Recipients”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Reviewing the four main branches of sharing the gospel
• Explaining why Peter restricts the gospel to those who ask
• Admonishing the believer to exercise good judgment while living in an unfree society
• Supporting this counsel with the teachings of God’s Word—Ecc 3; Prov 9,17,23; Matt 7,10; 1 Pet 3

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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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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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“How Do I Share The Gospel: Get The Message Right”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Reviewing the context of 1 Peter 3:13-17
• Reviewing the four main branches of sharing the gospel
• Highlighting the four main features of getting the gospel message right
• First, the message of the gospel is identified as “the hope that is in you”
• Second, you should be able to explain “the hope that is in you”—“to give an answer”
• Third, you should always be ready to give a comprehensive answer of “the hope that is in you—”Be ready always”
• Fourth, you don’t have to always give a comprehensive answer for “the hope that is in you”—“[of] a reason”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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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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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“How Do I Share The Gospel: Beware Of Persecution”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Explaining why the circumstances in which a believer lives, determines how he/she shares the gospel
• Highlighting the three main parts of Peter’s counsel in 1 Peter 3:13-17
• A twofold statement on the possibility of suffering persecution, verses 13,14 and 16,17
• A single statement on the priority of sharing the gospel, verse 15
• Encouraging the believer to rejoice if he/she is counted worthy to suffer for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ
• Encouraging the believer to live godly in Christ Jesus in the midst of his/her persecution
• Highlighting the four main branches of sharing the gospel
• First, the content of our gospel witness—”Be ready always to give an answer [of] a reason of the hope that is in you.”
• Second, the timing and recipients of our gospel witness—”To every man that asketh you.”
• Third, the method of our gospel witness—”With meekness and fear:”
• Fourth, the motive that drives our gospel witness—”But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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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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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“How Is The Gospel Made Effective?”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Showing how the gospel’s definition determines its effectiveness
• Exploring how God the Father makes the gospel effective according to His electing love—it is not by the sinner’s will
• Exploring how God the Son makes the gospel effective according to His redeeming grace—it is not by the sinner’s works
• Exploring how God the Spirit makes the gospel effective according to His sanctifying power—it is not by the sinner’s faith and repentance, or the preacher’s desperate appeals
• Affirming a full and free gospel—the Father electing His people according to the good pleasure of His will, the Son redeeming His people according to the good pleasure of His will and the Spirit sanctifying His people according to the good pleasure of His will; and all of it made effective to the praise of the glory of Jehovah’s grace

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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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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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“What Is The Gospel?”

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Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Examining the definitions for the gospel given by Steven Lawson, R. C. Sproul, John Piper and Mark Dever
• Explaining why the foregoing definitions are either incomplete, or inaccurate
• Examining the meaning of the term ‘gospel’ and its occurrence in the New Testament
• Showing how the gospel is inseparably connected with the gracious covenant
• Framing a definition for the gospel based on the teachings of 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Corinthians 14:13 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
• Comparing the definition of the gospel with the characteristics of the gospel as recorded in Acts 20:24; Ephesians 1:13; 3:6; 6:15; 1 Timothy 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:8; Revelation 14:6

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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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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