• George Ella on Doctrinal Matters

    Calvinism: An Introduction and Comparison with the Main Historic Christian Alternatives With the Principal Relevant Historical Councils and Creeds Stephen Paynter April 2020

    Review Article Calvinism: An Introduction and Comparison with the Main Historic Christian Alternatives With the Principal Relevant Historical Councils and Creeds Stephen Paynter April 2020 I have been recently sent an online copy of Stephen Paynter’s new book, or rather a new version of a work done in 2014, by Academia.edu free of charge. This academic consortium has kindly provided me for several years with many gems both small and large from writers on theology, missiology and church history. It is rarely, however, that I receive works from them dealing solely with evangelical, Reformed issues. This is also the more surprising because Dr Paynter is a software engineer and neither a theologian nor a pastor. The aims of the book Paynter’s aim is to define…

  • George Ella on Doctrinal Matters

    All Sides Claim Calvin As Their Mentor

    Sir: Since this newspaper began, debate has continued amongst correspondents as to what true religion entails. It is interesting to note that John Calvin has invariably been put forward as representing all sides in their highly different positions. This is neither surprising nor helpful. Calvin was a second generation Reformer whose works reflect strong Lutheran, Zwinglian, Bullingerite and Bucerian influences in their conflicting aspects. Furthermore, whereas Calvin’s Swiss and Strasburg teachers were men of peace and developed their own theology within their own pastoral duties amongst churches who loved them, Calvin was a man of strife in a frequently rebellious church. The Geneva Council treated Calvin as a foreigner, refusing him citizenship until the latter period of his life. Moreover, Calvin formulated most of his…

  • Peter Meney on Doctrinal Matters

    Is Grace Common?

    Do you believe in common grace? To answer this question one needs to be able to define what common grace is. Unfortunately, the term means different things to different people. For some common grace describes God’s good gifts or common provisions in nature such as sunshine and rain. Some see it in terms of talents or gifts that lead to human distinction in art, sport or music. Others discern the restraining hand of God holding back human wickedness by conscience and the structures of law, order and civil government; keeping society from deteriorating into anarchy. All things to all men If this was the extent of common grace teaching we could be content, but it does not stop there. Recently, common grace has taken on…

  • George Ella on Doctrinal Matters

    Banner On Hypers

    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…

  • George Ella on Doctrinal Matters

    Maurice Roberts And Hyper-Calvinism

    Those ‘Theological Swearwords’ ‘Antinomianism and Hyper-Calvinism’ Again Some years ago in the Evangelical Times, one of their directors, John Legg, referred to the terms ‘Antinomianism and Hyper-Calvinism’ as ‘theological swearwords’ and used them indiscriminately with his co-director Errol Hulse to describe my practice of preaching the whole of the gospel to the whole man wherever I was placed by God to do so. This irresistible calling led to my marching 35 kilometers a day through swampy marshland and glacier-covered territory with a map and compass to help me find the way and a fishing rod, snares and a small casting-net in order so I could feed myself so I could take the gospel to nomad Lapps and to my work on and for the Native…

  • George Ella on Doctrinal Matters

    The Gospel Of Deceit

    Calvinism confused Our Lord tells us to be balanced in our teaching, not giving that which is holy to the dogs, nor giving stones where bread is needed. This balance has been broken severely by the modern pseudo-Free-Offer movement. Spurgeon summed Calvinism up as ‘salvation by grace alone’, but views of Calvinists in relation to saving grace have drastically changed. Besides, Calvin would be appalled to learn that the saving Gospel which emanates from God but which is open to such contrary interpretations now bears his name. It would be thus better to drop the term. This article is therefore not a defence of Calvinism but a defence of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. Two factions have emerged amongst modern Calvinists. One teaches…