Monday, October 24, 2011

Jason's Omissions

Jason failed to address those citations I gave from Dr. Gill in which Gill said that regeneration does not come in degrees, and therefore, one cannot be more regenerated than another, nor can one be more regenerated tomorrow than he is today. It was very telling for Jason to ignore those citations. He has been arguing that Gill believed in two kinds of regeneration, but the citations I gave disprove it. If Gill believed that there were two kinds of regeneration, then he would not have denied that one can be more regenerated than another!

See Jason's postings at

Further, Jason failed to address the many citations I gave of Dr. Gill in which he defined regeneration/conversion (broadly defined) as being equated with being born again and quickened. Thus, though Gill spoke and wrote about the theological separation of regeneration into two stages, he nevertheless did not view the first stage as being the time when one was born again or made spiritually alive. Nor did he believe that this narrow regeneration was the time when one received the Holy Spirit.  So, what kind of "regeneration" is it that is not the divine "begetting," or "quickening," or not the "effectual call"? Or, an experience in which one was not indwelt by the Spirit?  Why, no kind of biblical regeneration at all!

Since modern Hardshells believe in only a theologically and narrowly defined kind of "regeneration," they believe, using Gill's words to judge, in a "regeneration" that is not a begetting or a quickening! Truly, a "hollow log" regeneration!

Further, in all the leading verses in the bible dealing with being regenerated or born again, Dr. Gill interpreted them to deal with regeneration in the broad sense. The only possible exception to this would be the parable of the sower. Let Jason make a list of regeneration passages from Gill where he interpreted the passages as dealing with narrowly defined regeneration and I will make a list of regeneration passages from Gill where he interpreted the passages as dealing with broadly defined regeneration, and we will see whose list is longest.

Further, Jason continues to prove what I have never denied. I have never denied that some old Baptists taught that a narrowly defined regeneration preceded full regeneration and conversion. I even mentioned how this was the belief of Andrew Fuller. But, none of these old Baptists were Hardshells, because they taught that conversion immediately followed regeneration, that regeneration only preceded conversion logically, but not chronologically. Jason chose not to respond to all this.  It was not until Beebe and Trott that regeneration and conversion became separated by a gap in time.  Yet even these first Hardshells did not deny that all the regenerated would be converted.  In fact, all the oldest articles of faith of the oldest Hardshell churches say - "all the elect will be regenerated and converted." 

Jason thinks that if he can find men such as Andrew Fuller, who believed in "immediate regeneration," then he proves that hardshellism is not a 19th century novelty. But, this is wishful thinking and in reality offers him no consolation. Jason needs to find Hardshells prior to the 19th century. Who is a Hardshell? What are hardshellism's fundamental core beliefs? Can Jason find Baptists who believed their core beliefs prior to the 19th century? No, he cannot. Jason's attempt to make Gill into a Hardshell has been a dismal failure. Today's Hardshells would not allow Dr. Gill to be a member of their church! And yet, ironically, they want to claim him as one of them! Does that not show how hard pressed they are in finding someone to agree with them prior to the 19th century?

Jason wrote:

"Gill never divorced regeneration from gospel conversion, there is no need to debate this, as I have never argued that he did like modern PB's do today."

Jason rejects Gill as being a Hardshell! Yet, he wants to claim to be "primitive"! Again, in order to prove a "succession" of Hardshell churches further back than the 19th century, Jason cannot just find where some Baptists taught that a certain kind of regeneration preceded another kind, but must find some who taught that the latter kind was not necessary for going to heaven! This he cannot do. If he could find such Baptists, he would have already produced the evidence.

Jason denies that "gospel knowledge is equated to faith" but offered no proof from scripture to prove his unfounded assertion. He certainly cannot cite Gill as endorsing such a view.

On saving faith, Dr. Gill wrote:

"...and certain it is that salvation is promised to faith, and connected with it, "He that believes shall be saved", and is what faith issues in; true believers receive "the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls" (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 1:9), and this is the faith that is to be treated of; and next will be considered..."

"First, I shall consider the various parts of faith in Christ, or what is requisite to constitute it. Knowledge of Christ is necessary to the exercise of faith on him, for "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" and if they have not so much as heard of him, they cannot know him, and consequently cannot exercise faith upon him; and "How shall they hear without a preacher" to make him known unto them? (Rom. 10:14)...Previous to faith in Christ, as a Saviour, there must be knowledge of the want of him...he must have knowledge of the fulness and abilities of Christ as a Saviour...Hence knowledge being so requisite to faith, and included in it, faith is sometimes expressed by it (Isa. 53:11; John 17:3), both in spiritual knowledge and special faith, eternal life is begun, and with which it is connected; and so knowledge and faith are joined together as inseparable companions, and as expressive of the same thing; "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us", are firmly persuaded of it (1 John 4:16), and some of the strongest acts of faith in the saints have been expressed by words of knowledge; "I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c. I know in whom I have believed", &c. (Job 19:25; 1 Tim. 1:12)."  (A Body of PRACTICAL Divinity, Book 1—Chapter 6, "Of Faith in God and in Christ")

Jason cited these words of mine:

"But, how can Christian faith, love, and hope be produced in this divine birth apart from the Father teaching and convincing of gospel truth? Further, he either does this by personally teaching these things directly, or through gospel preaching."

Jason responds by saying:

"So we see that Garrett admits that God regenerates independently of the preached gospel."

How Jason can say this from the above words of mine or from anything I have written, is unfathomable.  I never said that regeneration was independent of the preached gospel.  I said, however, in a few cases, the Lord did the preaching, as in the case of Abraham.  But, how is this saying that regeneration was apart from the preached gospel?  Because it is sometimes preached by the Lord himself? 

Jason cited these words of mine:

"I showed how "perspective" is important in reconciling seemingly conflicting statements in the word of God."

Jason then said:

"His idea of "perspective" is a whopping self-contradiction."

But, consider this. If one man is in outer space, above the north pole, and looking down upon it, he would say that the earth is turning counter clockwise. But, if one man is below the south pole, and looking up, he would say that the earth is turning clockwise.  Isn't perspective the key to reconciling conflicting statements?

In conclusion, unless Jason brings up something worthy of a response, I see no need to continue to waste my time with him.

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