Systematic Theology

Writing a Fundamental and Biblical Systematic Theology for the 21st Century REGISTER to comment at

TH803 Critique of Dr. Chafer’s Vol 3

Published at or .pdf or .odt



A Written Report Presented to the Faculty

of Louisiana Baptist University

In Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for

Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies


Edward Rice

March, 2014

  I have used the following supplemental theology textbooks for this course:

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977.

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954.

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940.

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993.

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949.

Critique of Chafer’s Volume III Soteriology Introduction

It is distressing to lay Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s third volume of Systematic Theology, entitled Soteriology, on my desk beside Dr. Cambron’s single volume of “Bible Doctrine”, or beside Dr. Bancroft’s volume of “Elementary Theology”. Both Baptists capture the heart of Soteriology in pages while Chafer does not even present a shadow the subject in his whole volume. Cambron uses 23 pages in a thorough coverage, and Bancroft uses 50 in an unabridged coverage, while Chafer has 396 pages, that is 33 pages a week for a twelve week college quarter, wherein he never addresses justification, never describes conversion, never mentions quickening, writes not one paragraph on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and carefully steers clear of ones Baptism (that is complete immersion) into the Lord Jesus Christ. These five essentials to So-Great-Salvation, all expounded clearly, continually and completely in Scripture, Cambron, and Bancroft are not even or ever addressed in 396 pages of a volume called Soteriology by neo-evangelicalism. Analysis of how such an incompetent 396 communique could seep from Dallas Theological Seminary is crucial, and unfortunately it is herein ground breaking. The hypercritical content of this work is centric to comprehending that Evangelicalism, which has not strayed far from Rome and Reformed Theology, is a caustic leaven which has permeated Christendom.

Many strongly disagree with this assessment. Christian Book Distributors (consider that their motivation is to sell books) says that Chafer has “an unabridged systematic theology of unparalleled scope.1” Reporting that Chafer defines systematic theology as “the collecting, systematically arranging, comparing, exhibiting and defending of all facts concerning God and His works from any and every source.2” They report that Walter Elwell calls Chafer’s work “the definitive statement of dispensational theology.” and Charles Ryrie says “Though scholarly in the true sense of the word, this work can also be read and understood by those not formally trained in theology. 3“ Such comments make one suspect a massive evangelical coverup is in place. Chafer’s own definition of systematic theology reveals his purposeful departure from The Holy Bible as theology’s sole source, or even its primary source! What he ends up with in considering every source is not “unabridged” it is diabolical.

Dallas Theological Seminary President successor Praises Chafer’s Work

Of course Dr. John F. Walvoord, (1910-2002) Dr. Chafer’s successor at Dallas Theological Seminary, showered his predecessor’s work with great praise. He says of Chafer’s eight volume work, “Never before has a work similar in content purpose, and scope been produced.”… it is “Remarkably Biblical… appeal is constantly to Biblical authority rather than to philosophy, tradition or creed.” Dr. Walvoord, himself considered the worlds foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy and a most prominent evangelical scholar of his generation4, said of Dr. Chafer’s third volume “The contribution of President Chafer in the field of Soteriology has been hailed as the most important of all his theological works.”5

There is little doubt of Dr. Walvoord’s sincerity or integrity in this declaration, but it needs to be highlighted again that when Chafer writes four hundred pages on Soteriology and never addresses a soul’s justification, a soul’s quickening, a soul’s conversion, and/or a soul’s indwelling and baptism into Christ, then the most important theological work of the Protestant/Evangelical community is bankrupt of all Biblical doctrine.

Dr. Walvoord himself confesses to the fault, when he acknowledges Chafer’s first section on Soteriology deals with Christ’s offices, his sonship, his hypostatic union and his sufferings. Therein we find no mention of Christ’s substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection. Second and third sections deal with the doctrine of election, not the doctrine of salvation. Forth and fifth sections concern the work of God and ones eternal security not the So-Great-Salvation referenced in the Epistle to the Hebrews. And the last section covers the terms of salvation, “a section which is most practical and helpful”, says Dr. Walvoord. In reality this last section only deals with four terms of salvation 1) Repent and Believe, 2) Believe and Confess, 3) Believe and be Baptized, and 4) Believe and Surrender. Nowhere in 400 pages does Dr. Chafer spell out what the Bible says must be ‘believed’, nowhere does he spell out what the Bible calls the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Yet for all its hollowed emptiness Dr. Walvoord still says “The volume on Soteriology, if it stood alone, would in itself assure the author a place among notable writers of Christian Doctrine.6” That is inconceivable. Chafer never writes about justification, conversion, quickening, indwelling or baptism into Christ! And yet this Evangelical continues “There is no volume in the field of Systematic Theology which approaches (Chafer’s Third Volume) in Biblical insight , spiritual comprehension of the saving work of god, and unabridged treatment of the great work of God in salvation.7

Was it emphasized enough that Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Third Volume entitled “Soteriology” never addresses justification, never describes conversion, never mentions quickening, writes not one paragraph on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and carefully steers clear of one’s baptism, i.e. complete immersion, into the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet the whole of the Protestant/Evangelical world cries out that this is the very best they could ever attain. Ergo it is cried out here that the Protestant/Evangelical world is completely bankrupt when it comes to describing and defending or contending for and comprehending God’s So-Great-Salvation. Reformed Theology, Scholarly Philosophy and Modernist Liberal Apostasy has rendered the whole of the Evangelical World completely bankrupt when it comes to Preaching, Comprehending, and Contending for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is indeed 1) Conversion, by Repentance and Faith, 2) Justification, Declared, 3) Quickening, where once I was dead, 4) Indwelling wherein we are the tabernacle of God, and 5) Compete Immersion in Christ, whereby we forever have a position in Christ.

Troublesome Independent Fundamental Baptist’s Leaning Toward Chafer

As troubling as the Evangelical failures are they were well predicted. Indeed the whole point of the Fundamental departure of the last century was one of separation from such an apostate condition. Neo-Evangelicalism refused the fundamentalist position and had as its premise that separation from the reformers apostasy and their Reformed Theology was to drastic a measure, choosing rather a coexistence in their apostate circles. There was never any doubt about where such compromise would land the neoevangelical. Like “Christian Rock Music” their lyrics were carefully chosen but there was never any question about where their melody came from. If one dare call such stuff a melody at all. What then, might be the position of the Fundamentalist who 100 years ago avowed separation from such apostasy?

Dr. Cambron, Theologian of Tennessee Temple Baptist Seminary, staunchly affirmed that the doctrine of Salvation is captured in the five ingredients fore mentioned. Dr. Bancroft, Theologian of Bible Baptist Theological Seminary, affirmed exactly the same. Neither frittered away a single paragraph of their Soteriology trying to figure out what God had decreed, or who was elect for what before the foundation of the world. They captured the doctrine of salvation very Biblically, very exactly, and very succinctly. But look where we have sunk in the last 50 years of that Fundamental century.

An Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor with a Masters from Pensacola Christian College, and a Doctorate from Bethany Theological Seminary, revels that “Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology is the single greatest Systematic Theology ever written.8” This self acclaimed “Doctrinal Expositor” wrote of Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology, “(Chafer’s) desire to be ‘Biblical’ in his Systematic Theology requires (that) he surround his system to the text of Scripture. He is to be highly commended for that.” This well trained Independent Fundamental Baptist Preacher further heaps ten paragraphs of praise onto Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology because it tears the “L” right out of T.U.L.I.P.9Any Baptist praise for even T.U.I.P should be disconcerting. The whole Presbyterian, Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology, Replacement Theology is fraught with diabolical error and T.U.L.I.P. Is only the ugly “tip of the iceberg.” Taking the “L” out to T.U.L.I.P. Is like taking Purgatory out of Catholicism. It might deliver a crippling blow to an errant system, but the lie still limps along without major effect. An Independent Fundamental Baptist praising Chafer’s 400 pages of Soteriology which does not even address a soul’s conversion, justification, or quickening is a powerful indicator of a serious compromise and dangerous blindness. The giant of Neoevangelicalism defies the Salvation of God, and it needs to be reiterated: “Is there not a cause?”

Correspondence with Dr. DaveT is included here:

Dr. DaveT’s Comments & Response

Subject: Pastor Ed Rice is forwarding an email to you

From: Pastor Ed Rice <>

Date: Thu, February 06, 2014 2:06 pm

To: Dr. Dave T. <>

Dave, I talked about you and your love for Dr. Chafer’s work in this report and wanted to ensure you got a courtesy copy. It will be published in Systematic Theology, and in my written report for credit at LBTS.

Theology Working Group,


Subject: RE: Pastor Ed Rice is forwarding an email to you

From: “Dr. David Txxxxxxx” <dave@xxxxxxx>

Date:2/6/2014 3:28 PM

To: “Pastor Ed Rice” <>


Hi, Pastor Rice,

Thanks for the note. A couple of errors you may want to correct:

1) you have misspelled my name

2) Chafer includes an entire article on Justification in Vol 7

3) Chafer includes multiple chapters on Election in Vol 3

4) a search on the word “quicken” returned 30 results in the Chafer systematic theology

You should fact check other faulty assumptions. If your grade depends on the accuracy of your statements, you will be glad you did. Thanks for including me with a giant like Walvoord. That is very flattering indeed, although I will confess I do not belong in such rarified air.


Dr. David Txxxxxxx


Dear Dr. Dave T.,

When Pilgrim wandered from the straight and narrow path he was assigned, and it was pointed out how far off he strayed, how awful the mire, and how deep the upcoming pit, his first and natural tendency was to justify his error.

I have quite well fact checked my declaration. Your hero might well have written of justification in his final volume titled “Doctrinal Summarization” but in so doing he violates good organization by including in summary something that is found nowhere else in the body of his work. The fact is his whole volume on Soteriology never addresses justification, and I have quite clearly declared the fact.

John Calvin’s 1536 magnum opus, “The Institutes of the Christian Religion10”, the Presbyterian’s 1618 Synod of Dort11, and Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 volume on Soteriology inexplicably tie salvation to election and predestination. The fact is the Holy Bible does not. The fact is I have well introduced this momentous blunder, even labeling it a diabolical error, and the body of my critique of Chafer’s Soteriology provides ample proof of such an introductory declaration. Chafer’s multiple chapters on Election in Vol 3 fully support my argument, and your announcing it as important does not justify your error, it only muddies the mire.

There are no faulty assumptions in this introduction to my critique of Chafer’s Soteriology. The fact that he speaks of ‘quickening’ somewhere in the bowels of his Systematic Theology, cannot justify his bankrupt volume on Soteriology that does not bring it up. When it is pointed out that the Neo-Evangelical giant, Dr. Walvoord and an Independent Fundamental Baptist, Dr. Dave T. are wallowing around in the same pit of diabolical error it is not flattery. It is presented here as an alarming manifestation of the grossest compromise. Prayerfully, I trust you will see how far you are strayed from the straight and narrow and get back in the battle for truth.

The fact that your name was misspelled is the only error left standing. Because of my embarrassment for you I shall not fix that error, I will eliminate its reference all together. I trust this correspondence finds you turning back from Chafer’s winding path and making your way back to the Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pastor Edward Rice


The breakout of Chafer’s emphasis in Volume III on Soteriology is shown as follows:

Chap 1 Introduction to Soteriology 3-10 2% of vol 3

Chap 2 The Person of Christ 11-34 6%

Chap 3 Introduction to the Sufferings of Christ 35-54 5%

Chap 4 Things Accomplished by Christ in His Sufferings and Death 55-115 15%

Chap 5 The Sufferings and Death of Christ in Types 116-126 3%

Chap 6 Biblical Terminology Related to Christ’s Sufferings and Death 127-130 1%

Chap 7 Theories False and True of the Value of Christ’s Death 131-164 9%

Chap 8 The Fact of Divine Election 165-177 3%

Chap 9 The Order of Elective Decrees 178-182 1%

Chap 10 For Whom Did Christ Die? 183-205 6%

Chap 11 The Finished Work of Christ 206-209 1%

Chap 12 The Convicting Work of The Spirit 210-224 4%

Chap 13 The Riches of Divine Grace 225-266 11%

Chap 14 Introduction to the Doctrine of Security 267-272 2%

Chap 15 The Armenian View of Security 273-312 10%

Chap 16 The Calvinistic Doctrine of Security 313-339 7%

Chap 17 The Consummating Scripture 340-354 4%

Chap 18 Deliverance From Reigning Power of Sin and Human Limitations 355-363 2%

Chap 19 The Believer Presented Faultless 364-370 2%

Chap 20 The Terms of Salvation 371-395 6%


Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. II

For all that has been said about what Chafer did not include in a volume on Soteriology, something needs to be said in critique of what he did include. The heart of what Chafer has to offer any discussion of Soteriology is found in his fourth chapter entitled; “Things accomplished by Christ in his Sufferings and Death.” As was stated previous, Dr. Chafer has no skeleton, i.e. no structured organization, to add meat to, but any miniscule pickings of “meat” are found in this chapter.

Chafer’s chapter 2 is completely misplaced. Parts of this chapter might find outline space in Christology, but even there, Chafer’s trite outlining methods and his verbosity makes the chapter very undesirable. It is disquieting to say that a chapter on the person of the Savior could be totally discarded. It is indeed totally misplaced. But it is also observed that the first sentence of the letters to The Hebrews has more about the Saviour than does the misplaced chapter by Chafer. He tries to use catchy outlines, like; “Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David and Son of Abraham,” but such preachable outlines can not excuse the responsibility levied on the Systematic Theologian. Chafer is not systematic in any sense of the word. He has displayed no ability to outline a topic in a logically structured manner. He displays no talent here for separating a “system” like Christology or Soteriology in a confining border and then dealing with each “subsystem” separately. In this volume Chafer has so intermixed other “subsystems” of information that he did not include any “Soteriology” at all. Chapter 2 exemplifies this blunder. It should be in his Christology.

Stepping thus away from the subject of Soteriology to critique what Dr. Chafer calls “The Person of the Saviour” we can only establish his purpose late in this chapter. It is not in his verbose introduction, but in his third section, with the catchy title “The Sonships of Christ”, his lead sentence intimates this purpose. “As a further step in the general investigation into who the Saviour is…” Upon discovering this purpose, twenty pages into the chapter, it was disturbing to find only three marginal notes that this author had scratched into the margins of Chafer’s twenty pages. They were (1) “Not on topic, (2) “trite play on words” and (3) “Bla,Bla,Bla.” This was disturbing because on the topic “general investigation of who the Saviour is,” nothing whatsoever should be labeled “Bla.” And yet, there you have it Despite a noble effort to pull out a specific sentence that illustrates Chafer’s profundity of wordiness in capturing bla,bla,bla. All examples examined were, well, excuse the pun, rather bla.

Dr. Chafer herein again demonstrates a propensity for verbose, passive, run on sentences, but struggling to look past this communication flaw, struggling to come up with the gist of what he may be driving at, the total bankruptcy of Evangelical Theology is all the more manifest. This founder of Dallas Theological Seminary broke from the Fundamentalist concept of Separation and waded right into the middle of 70 plus denominations. There he worded and worded and worded 8 volumes that captured what all 70 believed. He worded and worded and worded to ensure not one old bird got their feathers ruffled. He worded and worded and worded some more, until precious few could even comprehend what his main point was. He mixed in a lot of Greek but no exegesis. In this chapter he had to include the “Hypostatic Union” of Christ to be recognized as “most scholarly.” Eight volumes containing over 2000 pages is labeled as unabridged Systematic Theology. This author calls it very wordy, passively written, tip-toeing. It is truly awful.

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. III – VII

For all that has been covered in this critique of Dr. Chafer’s Soteriology, most has thus far centered on his total lack of content. He has manifest the total bankrupt condition of the Neo–Evangelical movement concerning the subject of So – Great -Salvation. In these next chapters, however, Chafer leaves off his demonstration of bankruptcy and goes headlong out avenues of spurious error.

The Roman Catholic basis of Soteriology can be framed in suffering. Your sin is only purged, and your own righteousness is only secured in penance and in suffering. They allege that their Latin Vulgate Bible, the corrupted Latin translation from the 4th century, states their concept clearly, “Except ye ‘do penance’ ye shall all likewise perish.” If you, with your beads, and penance perhaps suffer enough in this life you go to heaven. If not, you go to purgatory, where you or your loved one may suffer sufficiently to get your soul to heaven.

Jesus’ sufferings are our superb example, they say. He attained perfect righteousness because of his great sufferings, they say. If you suffer and sacrament enough in this life you might attain eternal life in heaven, they say. If someone obviously excelled in suffering and sacrament, excelled by so much that a Roman Pope recognizes the excess, he can declare that person a saint. These declared Roman Catholic Saints surely have some handmade righteousness left over and they may use some of the excess righteousness for your needs if you just pray to them. With that doctrine embedded deep in this author’s Italian blood, one can not imagine how quickly or vehemently his blood boils when Dr. Chafer, the neoevangelical theologian, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, which caters to 70+ denominations, spends 33% of his volume of Soteriology covering the importance of Christ’s Sufferings and 0% of the volume talking about justification by faith. When the 70+ denominations broke away from Roman Catholic Soteriology , they did not make a clean break. It is repulsive that Dr. Chafer kept an exaggerated emphasis on the sufferings of Christ in order to appease those denominations which carried that theme from their Roman Catholic heritage. Dr. Chafer’s exaggerated, verbose explanations never rebuke the analogy that we must likewise suffer to attain righteousness.

One must ask, why does Chafer fail to speak against this Roman Catholic doctrine about suffering? And one must answer that it is related to his desire to appeal to 70+ denominations that sprang from the “Holy Roman Church”. Chafer dare not admit that it is an apostate “Holy Roman Church”, and those denominations which carry forth her doctrine are also apostate.

When Dr. Chafer does interweave some remarkable truths about Christ into such a brazen compromise of Soteriology, it is too little too late. His verbose-run on- passive style makes it obvious that one would be far better off reading the book of Hebrews from their Holy Bible and gleaning these truths from God himself. In chapter VII, “Theories False and True of the Value of Christ’s Death”, Chafer adds a capstone to his arch of folly. The false concept that the scientific method can be used to determine valid theology seeps from Protestant Systematic Theology books. Here Chafer tries to present ‘theories’ wherein after much testing and philosophy, the truth may be found. After testing one’s hypothesis it becomes a theory, after years of testing and evaluation a theory becomes a law. When in time, no one can debunk or refute the “law”, it is presumed to be the truth. Such a method is fine for Kepler determining the laws of planetary motion, but for Chafer to resort to some listed theories in a scientific method for determining the truths is utter folly. There is no value in Chafer’s theories, when one holds in their lap the inspired, inerrant Word of God. His use of theories only enables Chafer to continue to tip toe in and out of the 70+ denominations he must appease.

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Chap. VIII – XX

As distressing as it is that 33% of Dr. Chafer’s Volume on Soteriology rambles on and on about the sufferings of Christ, his dedication of 58% to “The Fact of Divine Election”, makes this volume completely apostate. Divine Election is the king pin of Presbyterian error, the big Kahuna of John Calvin’s theological blunder, and the staple for the Roman Catholic’s Replacement Theology which John Calvin Reformed into covenant Theology. It is not surprising that a neoevangelical, who refused the turn of the century Fundamentalist position on separation from apostasy and desires to appease 70+denominations gravitating to Dallas Theological Seminary, would herein dedicate over half his volume on Soteriology to “The Fact of Divine Election.” What is surprising is that any Fundamentalist would waste his time reading it and expecting to glean any valuable truth whatsoever. It is even more appalling that a self defined Independent Fundamental Baptist would give Chafer’s work his “Best of Class Award” and ascribe it as “the best pre-millenial Systematic Theology ever published,” and then personally add “I consider it the single best Systematic Theology ever written regardless of Theological perspective.” Fundamentalism is now visiting the bankruptcy found in Chafer’s neoevangelical theology. This authors whole book “The Biblical Doctrine of Election and Predestination12” might well be repeated here to refute Dr. Chafer’s staunch position. Half of the author’s Master Thesis entitled “Reformed Theology’s Reformations Are Not Producing a Biblical Systematic Theology13” would equally expose Chafer’s error. It will suffice here to explore the a priori, i.e. Presumed without analysis, bias which locks one into Calvinistic error. Chafer puts it this way, ”God has by Election chosen Some to Salvation, but not all. This truth, to often resisted for want of an understanding of the nature of God, or of the position He occupies in relation to his Creatures, is reasonable; but it is distinctly revelation.14” When one is this locked into “The Fact of Divine Election,” they will not see another “whosoever will” in God’s Holy Scripture. Instead he sees only that individuals were chosen in the Lord (Rom. 16:13), chosen to salvation. (2Thess. 2:13), chosen in Him before the foundation of the World (Eph.1:4); predestined to the adoption of sons (Eph. 1:5), elect according to the foreknowledge of God (1Pet. 1:2),vessels of mercy which He hath before prepared into glory (Rom. 9:23). The fore mentioned books demonstrate how each of these six texts are taken out of context to support the Calvinists presupposition that God elects individual souls for salvation. As Dr. Chafer puts it, “There can be no question raised but that these passages contemplate an act of God by which some are chosen, but not all…… This suggests …. that predestination points either to election or retribution, and that election can not be understood in any other light.15” Does it bother anyone that the theologian who can only word theories about Christ’s substitutionary death, can accept no questions concerning “The Fact of Divine Election.” It is disconcerting that Dr. Chafer is so emphatically locked in on John Calvin’s doctrine of Divine Election and yet so cavalier about Salvation’s Doctrine about salvation’s conversion, salvation’s Justification, salvation’s Quickening, salvation’s Indwelling and salvation’s Baptism into Christ. This theological blunder is substantial.

Examine, for a moment, the entrapment of John Calvin’s Doctrine of Divine Election. According to his preface, Dr. Chafer originally set out to write a systematic theology which documents Biblical dispensational doctrine. Such a dispensational view is in direct contrast to John Calvin’s Covenant Theology.

This latter errant theology has its roots in Roman Catholic Replacement Theology, and in both Roman Catholic error and John Calvin’s Covenant Theology, Christians are the new elect of God and replace the Jew as God’s chosen and Elect. John Calvin read and taught all Scriptures with this dogma firmly embedded in his soul and spirit. Every time he saw the word ‘elect’, ‘chosen’, or ‘predestinated’, there was no other consideration driving his interpretation. John Calvin’s preoccupation and predisposition with Rome’s Replacement Theology caused his construction of the doctrine of Divine Election. Along comes Dr. Chafer, realizing the Biblical teaching of Dispensational Theology but not having the intestinal fortitude to reject Covenant Theology or Replacement Theology. Ergo Dr. Chafer remains in lock step blindness with John Calvin’s Doctrine of Divine Election. It is a scholarly blindness; it is a majority opinion blindness, which appeals to the 70+ denominations that sprang from Mother Rome; and it is a blindness which causes one to see all Scripture through the fatalistic spectacles of John Calvin. It is a robust entrapment indeed.

Just as one can get a better delineation of Christ from Hebrews, one can get a better delineation of Calvinism from John Calvin. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer is very talented with a verbose passive run-on soft shoe. The latter adequately defined as “a speech, explanation, sales pitch, or other set of remarks delivered in a restrained or conciliatory manner in order to persuade, distract, or otherwise influence someone.”16 This author has always failed at “soft-shoeing”, and consequently holds a low esteem of those who do it well. It is curious, yeah, even disturbing, that Dr. Chafer waxes firm on this “Fact of Divine Election”, yet “soft shoed” on the substitutionary propitiation of Christ’s death. The latter just called “theories”, the former called “fact.” It is illuminating, and yet still disturbing, that a verbose neo-evangelical theologian spends well over half his page count of Volume III, “SOTERIOLOGY,” on John Calvin’s doctrine of Divine Election, and none on God’s doctrine of Justification.

Calvinism and Reformed Theology is the Gateway to Diabolical Error

Another response pertinent to this report:

If you will excuse the vulgar vernacular, Calvinism is a “Gateway Drug” to Covenant Theology, and Covenant Theology is the “Home Turf” of the diabolical Replacement Theology. A gateway drug is not glaringly horrid, nor even apparently harmful. Once through the gate, more obnoxious, addictive and powerful mind altering concoctions are available. And so it goes, Calvinism and TULIPs are portrayed as Biblical and reasonable. Look inside the gate and you see Covenant/Replacement Theology. Be sure that Replacement Theology sprang from the Gates of Hell via the Roman Catholic Church. It declares that Israel and Hebrews are no longer the elect of God, because now the Roman Catholic Church and Christendom are the true Elect of God. The reformers attempted to grasp the truth that salvation is by faith alone, but they would not let go of all the “Mother Church” mentality and doctrine. Reformed Theology is still rampant with Covenant Theology, a Catholic Church, and their Election before the foundation of the world.

John Calvin’s 1536 magnum opus, “The Institutes of the Christian Religion17”, the Presbyterian’s 1618 Synod of Dort18, and Lewis Sperry Chafer’s 1948 volume on Soteriology inexplicably tie salvation to election and predestination. The fact is the Holy Bible does not. In the Bible “So Great Salvation” is inexplicably tied to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without a breath about election. The Calvinist/Reformed Theology nowhere has a Gospel of Jesus Christ separate from their Doctrine of Election and Predestination. The Holy Bible nowhere has the Gospel of Jesus Christ touching any doctrine of election. Israel was not elect for salvation but for service in God’s purposes. In the New Testament economy, souls are not elect for salvation, but saints are elect for service in God’s purposes. All Calvinism, all TULIPs no matter what points are ripped out, and all Reformed Theology are laced with enough Bible to deceive and the diabolical purpose is to wedge one away from the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In his article “TULIPs or ROSES” Iain D. Campbell regurgitates the concepts of a leading Reformation scholar, Dr. Timothy George and his book Theology of the Reformers. He gives Dr. George’s purpose: “He is concerned to bring the mainstream Baptist churches to a deeper appreciation of sovereign grace, but is also concerned to note that we are no longer in the seventeenth century, and therefore that the conclusions of Dort require reformulation.”19 Reformed Theologians want to infiltrate mainstream Baptist doctrine because its core is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their core is not.

I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, Reformed Theologians, Calvinists, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

To read more about the Reformers attack on the Gospel it is highly recommended that you download and read the two books:

The Biblical Doctrine of Election and Predestination By Edward G. Rice Paperback: $18.95 The Author is a USAF retired systems engineer turned Baptist Preacher who brings a fresh Biblical look at this doctrine and all our systematic theology.

Free at

Reformed Theology’s Reformations Are Not Producing a Biblical Systematic Theology By Pastor Edward Rice Hardcover: $24.05 Reformed Augustinian Theology is, as its name so aptly captures, a reformation of bad Augustinian Theology that previously framed up the belief system of Roman Catholic Theology.

Free at

Keep up the good fight,

Pastor Ed Rice

Critique of Arthur W. Pink’s “Present Day Evangelism”

Arthur Pinks pre 1952 book “Present Day Evangelism”20 has as its thesis that present day evangelism has overstepped his doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, his doctrine of God’s Sovereign Election, his doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man, and his doctrine of Christ’s Limited Atonement. (cf pg 20 1. The Grand Design of God.) Pink totally misses God’s assertion that we (born again believers) are the “special and immediate intervention of God” (pg 22) He misses that God’s Holy Spirit indwells us, and that God’s command to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” is not limited by the Old Testament verse “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts “ (Zech 4:6)

Pink’s contention that the untrained (i.e. non-Clergy) novice witnesses (ch 3 pg 40-42) are mucking up evangelism by believing and repeating Acts 16:31 reveals his true reformed, reformationist heart beat. Only Clergy (and priests?) can interpret these clear gospel Scriptures properly. They must be “weighed, interpreted, and applied in accord with their context, and that calls for prayerful consideration, careful meditation, and prolonged study.”(pg 45) By Clergy? Really? Arthur here contends that only Clergy should be expounding his carefully sculpted Sovereign Grace, and salvation by the election of souls. Pink perceives that the misled “present day evangelists”… “tells his hearers that salvation is by grace and is received as a free gift, that Christ has done everything for the sinner, and that nothing remains but for him to ‘believe’, to trust in the infinite merits of His blood. “ For Arthur Pink this is cardinal error, and this simple gospel message is strongly contested by this staunchly Calvinist, Puritan, Covenant Theologian who calls Dispensationalism “modern pernicious error.”

Pink accuses that such a simple gospel message is tarnishing the holiness and sovereignty of God. Although Dr. Pink brings to bear a needed emphasis on repentance and the Lordship of Christ, his staunch rejection is that people, possibly people not even chosen before the foundation of the world, are being told to “receive Christ as personal Saviour”, and this reacts negatively to all that Arthur Pink holds dear in his misguided Covenant Theology. Curious book. Curious entrapment to Reformed Theology’s errors. Incidentally, rat poison is 99% good stuff.

Critique of Chafer’s Vol. III Soteriology Conclusion

In light of this present distress, it is worthy, at this point in a critique to abandon criticisms of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s work and pursue an actual systematic theology about soteriology. This tactic is recommended even for those more interested in John Calvin’s errant theology of Divine Election. This author has two books that delineate that error, and they contain no soft-shoe, just a straight forward presentation of the facts. An effective Systematic Theology Volume on So-Great-Salvation might still be written, but it will not be found in any Protestant library, and never found in a neo-evangelical pen. The next section of this critique holds a reasonable draft/beginning-outline for such a worthy endeavor.

Recall from this author’s criticisms of previous Systematic Theologies that such must first be “Systematic”. Systematic does not mean thorough nor, as Chafer supposes, unabridged. Chafer, Geisler, even Strong, Hodge, Shedd, and sometimes Thiessen, tried to capture unabridged every thing that man has ever believed about God. Their definition of “Systematic” treated theology as a science. Theology is revelation. And systematic means having a planned effective strategy for exploring every fiber of that Revelation. A retired Systems Engineer’s approach to “Systematic Theology” is far more effective than the theologian who attempts to use the scientific method, with its hypothesis tested into some theory that still needs to be somehow proven. Systematic has always implied the breaking down of the whole into understandable systems for a more thorough analysis. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer epitomizes the building up of hypothesized theory into a voluminous unabridged run-on consideration. Examine briefly a better tack.


Soteriology Draft – Systematic Theology for the 21st Century

A 1st draft opening for a more perfected volume on Soteriology follows:


How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? Heb 2:3-4


There is no greater theme extending from Genesis to Revelation, in the Holy Bible, than that of Soteriology. “Soterio” is the Greek word for “Salvation”, and “ology” is a most thorough consideration of, a most thorough analysis of, a most thorough communication about a topic. When one considers the salvation of man as the overspreading theme of the whole Bible, one finds every chapter, every verse and every line somehow interrelated to that theme. Such a task need not be daunting; it needs to be thorough, and it is a joyous revelation of God’s grandest purpose.

Salvation necessitates three ingredients, a lost estate, a helplessness of/in restoring that estate, and a savior who can restore the estate. Holy Scripture employs such a salvation on/in three perspectives, the lost estate of corporate mankind, the lost estate of a nation, Israel, and the lost estate of the individual. Consequently, salvation must needs be explored in all three ingredients, in all three perspectives. Thirdly, one must consider that the last estate, that of the individual, is not always in relation to man’s lost eternal soul. King David, for example, asked for the salvation of his integrity, the salvation of his peace of mind, and the salvation of his kingdom, An estate, thus, may be a condition, status or rank. An estate may be ones fortune, one prosperity, or ones possessions. The word estate is often in relation to an interest or ownership in land or property. Considering salvation will find our main focus on mans lost estate with God; there are other lost estates that need a savior, it is marvelous that there may be many lost estates under consideration, but there is only one Saviour.

Consider the following short essay on the need of salvation:

Msg #1352 The Rip-Tide of Sin

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, … “ (Heb 2:3a) Along the east coast of America there are places where powerful rip-tides flow rapidly out into the ocean. A rip-tide is formed when high tide draws water into lowland areas, and low tide funnels them back through subtle valleys in the sand. An unaware swimmer captured in a rip-tide is helpless to get back to shore. No matter how gallant his effort he is carried further and further out into the ocean depths. Without a savior that will pluck them out of their plight and set their feet back on solid ground, all hope is gone. The swimmer does not initially realize his dilemma. Cries from shore go unheeded. When they suspect their situation may be worsening they swim harder until their whole focus is getting back to the shore. They are certain they can swim the distance because they do not know the power of a rip-tide. The theme of the whole Bible is Salvation. Salvation defines a lost estate, a helpless condition, and a savior who can restore that estate. With Christmas behind us, and a new year before us, it is important to know that no religion, no mass, no penance, and no new-leaf can save us from the rip-tide of sin; you need a Saviour. Those already saved from that rip-tide, rejoice in, and openly worship our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. Those still dabbling in sin, and not understanding the power of a rip-tide put their strength in religion, mass, penance, peace on earth, and turning over new leaves. Cries from the shore go unheeded. What a loved one needs are cries from the knees. Salvation is of the Lord.

An Essay for week #52 Sun, Dec 29, 13

The Reformed Theologian, and those entangled in their doctrines and/or denominations, thoroughly muck up Soteriology, the Doctrine of So-Great-Salvation, and thus cannot discern Scripture which describe corporate salvation, Israel’s salvation, and salvation from enemy or circumstance. Their singular focus on John Calvin’s Covenant Theology, his single Covenant of Grace, his Roman rooted Replacement Theology, whereby he, and his chosen definition, replaces Israel as God’s elect. Thereby he discredits and dismisses all language of the salvation of Israel, all language of the corporate in salvation, and all consideration of ones salvation from enemy and circumstance. These dismissals and shortcomings so permeate Protestant thinking that they regularly leaven into Baptist thinking, even though Baptists are to be people of the Book, not people of the reformation.

Consider God’s warning and illustration about compromising Israel, that went confederate with Syria, as detailed in these two essays:

Msg #1411 Christ is the Answer, 4 Good, Bad & Ugly

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

When I was a lad the mayor of Corning was ushering a visiting dignitary into town. Who seeing a sign which read “Christ is the Answer”, above the city, asked “So what is the question?” The agnostic mayor stammered, then stuttered, then started a campaign to get that sign down. Fifty years later, the sign is there. God’s written record through his prophet Isaiah brings that answer to four leading questions. Chapter seven starts with an account involving the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the days of Ahaz the good king of Judah, Rezin the bad king of Syria, is confederate with Pekah the ugly king of Israel. The latter is so ugly that God and Isaiah never refer to this son of Remaliah by name again. This confederacy against good unites the enemy of God with a nation called Israel. Now Israel, the ugly, was the union of ten sons of Jacob, who 1,000 year previous, had a name change. Judah the good, slanderously called “Jew”, was the outcast favored of God dwelling in the favored city of God, Jerusalem. Now these are all sure enough real characters in a real scenario, as it were, chosen brother against brothers who leagued with the world and enemy of God. The answer to this ugly mess is Christ, and he shows up in verse 14, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” God does not just tell what happened in history; in His-Story he tells us what happens. Sure enough, the ugly neo-evangelical is confederate with the progressive-liberal world, in an effort to stamp out and replace the Bible believing remnant who dwell in their 1611 King James Holy Bible. Christ is still the answer, and he is coming soon.

An Essay for week #11 03/16/2014

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In paperback at

Msg #1412 Compromise NOT, Confederate NEVER

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

Christianity has made ugly compromises with worldliness. It is confederate with progressive-liberals. The believing remnant should now pay careful attention to Isaiah 8. The theme is Maher-shalal-hash-baz, wherein the enemy goes quickly to the spoil and makes haste to the prey. When the compromise and confederacy is made, a generation will not pass before the destruction is wrought, vr4. Here, the grass roots refused the Living water, and rejoiced in Rezin, the bad King of Syria, and Remaliah’s Son, the ugly, compromised, confederated, King of Israel, vr6. This chapter places emphasis on “a great roll and the writing on it with a mans pen,” vr1. When judgment arrives like an overwhelming flood the remnant of uncompromised believers are given five pieces of advice, when the LORD spake with a strong hand. (1) Make no association, compromise, or confederacy with the compromising majority, vr11-12. (2) Sanctify the Lord of hosts and let him be your fear, vr13-15. (3) Hold tight to your King James Bible, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples … to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” vr16, 20. (4) Wait on the Lord, vr17. (5) Be a peculiar people, be a sign and a wonder unto them, vr18. I would rather be mocked and persecuted as a King James Onlyite, than use a Vatican bible that rips out 1John 5:7 and more. The doom of the compromiser is sealed and rushing in hastily; i.e. Maher-shalal-hash-baz. God illustrates through Israel the horrid consequence of the neo-evangelical compromise. Dr. Kean once said, Three words should be removed from a Baptist’s vocabulary “can’t”, “quit”, and “compromise.” They all start with “K” so you can just strike them from your dictionary.

An Essay for week #12 03/23/2014

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In paperback at

These considerations make a Systematic Theology’s volume on Soteriology, the doctrine of So-Great-Salvation a crucial element of a holistic Systematic Theology. There is no greater theme in the Holy Bible.



Appendix – Previous Report for inclusion in a systematic Soteriology

Understanding The Biblical New Birth Clarifies Doctrines about Sacraments, Election, and Perseverance of Saints.


Edward G. Rice

Dec 30 2000

Submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements

for the course “Soteriology” #404

Video Studies Program (based on spring semester 94),

Professor Warren Vanhetloo

Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

Chapter I Introduction

Within Christendom there are many divides of doctrine normally falling along denominational lines. There have been efforts to break down the lines and in the words of some, to “not let doctrine divide us and let the spirit unite us.” Many have said that we are all Christians we just do things differently; all the same but with different ideas or doctrines, about how to do what we do. In this article, it will be demonstrated that there is a hinge pin where these doctrinal lines divide in their many directions. That hinge-pin is the view and understanding of the new birth or salvation experience as presented in the Bible. It is important to focus on this dividing point (and it is that) because it sets a crucial difference between denominations, between Churches, and between movements that entangle our Churches in the 21st century. Standing between Christendom and non-Christendom21 there exists another dividing line based upon the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. An incorrect doctrine of who Christ is, his deity, his human-ness, his virgin birth, his equality with God, neatly separates away those which are non-Christian. Plainly many of these concede that they are not Christian and call themselves, latter day saints (Mormons), J. witnesses (Russelites) or other religions. Some, however infiltrate the ranks of Christendom and call themselves Christians. They try to follow the teachings of Christ while rejecting the person of Jesus Christ. The departure from this doctrine of “who Jesus was” makes them infidels to Christendom just the same. Those who do not accept completely the deity of the man Christ Jesus are plainly infidels to the faith. This is not the hinge-pin we will focus on in this paper.

When we are fastened on the hinge-pin of who Jesus Christ was; and we call ourselves Christian; and accept the orthodox Christian doctrines as true; a second hinge-pin exists that separates the many doctrinal avenues that are still open. This second hinge-pin is clearly to be found in the doctrine of the new birth, the understanding of what happens when one is born again. Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Brethren, even Charismatic and non-denominationals all divide neatly when we consider the ‘who’ , the ‘how’, and the ‘how long’ of salvation. These differences find an epicenter in what happens when one is “born again”. Thus this makes a hing-pin for clearly distinguishing between ‘Christian faiths’, between denominations and within ‘Christian movements’. Biblically evaluating what takes place when a person is saved, and contrasting that with the teaching of a denomination can bring into focus many of the other differences which are often debated in ignorance. Establishing and understanding this root difference clarifies both intra-denominational and inter-denominational squabbling and misunderstandings about the exact syntax of other doctrinal issues. Particularly here, it will help clarify and solidify the Biblical doctrines of sacraments (the ‘how’ salvation is obtained question), election (the ‘who’ can be saved question) and perseverance of saints (the ‘how long’ one stays saved question). Clarifying these questions through a look at what happens when one is born-again, will bring into focus a majority of denominational differences within Christendom.


A Biblical understanding of the new birth can bring into focus doctrinal errors about 1) how one gets saved, 2) who can be saved, and 3) how one stays saved. In this article the we will model the salvation experience and then examine the effect of this model on the doctrines of sacraments, the doctrines of election, and the doctrines of perseverance of saints.


The approach in examining this thesis shall be to use Scriptures to construct a model of salvation which includes regeneration, conversion, justification, union with Christ, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to briefly examine some Christian doctrines about sacraments as they relate to this Biblical model, to briefly examine some Christian doctrines about election as they fit with the model, then to briefly examine some Christian doctrines about perseverance of saints as they pertain to a Biblical model of the salvation experience. This examination will not be an exhaustive treaty of these doctrines, but will present aspects of each which conflict with a well developed Scriptural model of salvation.


Chapter II A Biblical Model of the New Birth

There are two ways of developing a systematic model that captures what Jesus called “being born again”, or “being saved”, or “receiving eternal life.” The first is to consider 1) the preponderance of Scripture, 2) the orthodox teaching of the past and 3) the logic and philosophy of human reasoning then develop a model, choose the supporting verses and stick with the model. It will be shown that this method has been widely used and the results take on the names of their prominent developers such as Calvinism, or Arminianism. Such models will often be defended to the death, even when their developments begin to contradict a majority of Scripture. A second approach is to consider the preponderance of Scripture alone, develop a systematic model then contrast the model with the orthodox teaching of the past (as a sanity check and completeness check), and to then consider the logic and philosophy of human reasoning to comprehend the model. We use our deductive reasoning to comprehend Scripture, but we also have a tendency to use our reasoning to twist Scripture and make it fit into our realm of reason. Thus, where this systematic model does not fit our finite comprehension, we do not tweak the Biblically based model, but we compensate our finite understanding with the knowledge that God’s thoughts are not mans thoughts. ISA 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Let us therefore build our model faithful to the Scriptures and let the misunderstandings not be a misrepresentation of so great salvation.

There are five aspects that seem to capture completely what happens to an individual when they are “born again”. These are 1) Conversion, 2) Regeneration, 3) Justification, 4) Baptism into Christ, and 5) Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are shown figuratively as a gold ring in Figure 1. Notice here that, like a ring there is no starting place nor stopping place, it is continuous unit. The new birth is quite like the placing of the ring upon a finger, there is no time delayed sequence of events, no process over time, but 5 immediate transactions that occur when one is born-again.

This immediacy of the new-birth, that all five partitions occur at one instant in time, is vital to the comprehension of Biblical salvation, and is key to distinguishing between denominations and doctrines. Understanding the new-birth as just that, an event in time, for an individual, where all five of these ingredients come together and take place simultaneously, clarifies and distinguishes the Biblical teaching from most doctrinal error and denominational differences. The hinge-pin that distinguishes most clearly between denominations is how far they will separate any of these 5 events from one another and take them out of a distinct, individual, personal salvation experience. An example developed later but given here for illustration, is the timing of the occurrence of regeneration within the reformed & Presbyterian doctrine. Many holding to individual soul election contend that a soul in sin is totally depraved, so depraved he is incapable of turning one fiber of his being towards the redeeming act of salvation. Thus before that person could start down a path that would lead to conversion, he must be regenerated. Regeneration, then is separated from the ring above, and made an event that precedes the new birth. We should, then, carefully develop the timing of these five and demonstrate that in Scripture they all must occur simultaneously. Then we will just stick tenaciously to the Scriptures as a Biblicist, or Fideist as some have labeled this approach.

With this as our basic model of the new birth, we should define each of these five ingredients of the new birth. In the next chapter we will take each and show how they systematically fall out of the Scriptures and how they are tied together in time as a single event.

Conversion is the turning from sin to Christ. This is the human part in the salvation transaction. It equally involves turning from sin and turning to Christ, you cannot have one side without the other and have this transaction complete. It involves a completeness in turning from sin and a completeness in turning to Christ in faith. God is not interested in making any new or special deals here; so one must wholly repent and turn from sin (singular) and wholly grasp Christ in faith, letting go of all else for the security of his soul.

Regeneration is the “that act of God by which new, spiritual life is implanted in man whereby the governing disposition of the soul is made holy by the Holy Spirit through truth as the means.”22 Dr. W. Vanhetloo gave here the best one sentence definition of regeneration that this author has seen.

Justification is best defined by Scripture in IICor 5:21 For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Being saved from the condemnation of sin involves coming under the umbrella of what Christ did for us. Justification, then, is a heavenly judicial declaration of 1) remission of sin and of 2) restoration to God.

Baptism into Christ often called the union with Christ, this is simply being united with Christ. Again probably best defined by Scripture in Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the actual literal moving into our bodies by the Holy Spirit of God whereby he now permanently indwells us. Again Scripture pictures this superbly in I Cor 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Also Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. When one is saved, the Holy Spirit of God takes up residence inside them, he indwells them.

The purpose of this paper is not to define and develop these five transactions that occur at salvation, but to demonstrate that Biblically they all occur at an instant in time, the instant one is ‘born-again’. We shall develop more fully these five transactions in the next chapter. Again with our emphasis on the marvelous revelation that all five of them are instantaneous and united transactions. Making this tie, that all five are tied in time to conversion, is what will allow us to clearly differentiate various denominational differences. We can use this understanding of conversion as the hinge-pin to evaluate and bring into focus all other ‘Christian’ doctrines and differences.


CHAPTER III The Instantaneous Transaction of Conversion

We said previously that:

Conversion is the turning from sin to Christ. This is the human part in the salvation transaction. It equally involves turning from sin and turning to Christ, you cannot have one side without the other and have this transaction complete. It involves a completeness in turning from sin and a completeness in turning to Christ in faith. God is not interested in making any new or special deals here; so one must wholly repent and turn from sin (singular) and wholly grasp Christ in faith, letting go of all else for the security of his soul.

Examining conversion as one of the five instantaneous entities that make up salvation is somewhat of a challenge because it is, in our mind, the act that sets off the whole event, and is viewed more as a process than an event. Thus, as we examine it, we shall attempt to separate it from all the events, process’s and circumstances that leads a soul to the place where he would turn from sin and turn to Christ. And separate it from the after-math of the changes that begin to happen, changes which demonstrate that there was genuine conversion.

This turning from sin to Christ is the hall mark of salvation. Conversion, in various forms occurs in 37 verses23 of the Bible. It is clearly described in Scripture as an event that happens in an instant of time. A works salvation is very attractive to man. A works salvation is what surrounds and encapsulates ‘religion’. This ever present teaching of works salvation is what makes it difficult, but necessary, to look at this conversion as an event that happens in an instant of time. In examining the Scriptures that pinpoint this as an event, we shall examine the aspects of conversion as 1) A new birth, 2) turning (from sin and to Christ) and 3) belief on Christ.

In John 3 there is a record of a religious man asking about his prospects of getting to heaven. In the course of Jesus’ addressing the shortfalls of religion he states “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:5-7)

Thus we speak of being ‘born again’ as an event, and can ask an individual if they are a born again believer. In this explanation, given by Jesus Christ himself, he brings out that being born of the spirit, being converted, being saved from ones sin debt is a voluntary operation or act of belief by an individual. However, it is likened to a birth. Does one voluntarily choose birth, no. What initiates birth? Certainly conception and coming to full term has a role, but even as I write this we wait for twin grand kids to be born. Labor started 6 weeks early then stopped, and we now wait. We have tried lots of things to help but we often hear that “they will come when they are ready”. What initiates the birthing event? God does. In our spiritual life what initiates the spiritual new birth? God does. Can we force it or fake it? Many have, but God is in charge of genuine spiritual birth. We have overlooked several aspects of this powerful illustration let me list a few for your consideration:

  1. Birth takes place at a time, thus we end up with a birthday.
  2. Birth is a miracle, not just conception and development but birth itself.
  3. Birth is initiated.
  4. Birth may be labored.
  5. Birth is completed.
  6. The infant is not in control.
  7. It marks the entry of a new independent life into the world


Jesus used this as an illustration of what Nicodemus needed. Not the only illustration he gave him, but a powerful one just the same. We should be careful not to over weight any of these aspects of birth to the conversion of the soul, but so to we should not discard those that fit so well.

Anyone that is born in the flesh24 can be born in the spirit. It is thus been said by some “If you are born once, you must die twice, but if you are born twice you may25 die only once.” Clearly this new birth is not a process over years, but an event in ones life. Clearly an infant has little control during this birthing process but lets look at an individuals involvement in the spiritual birth.

Jesus further clarified this new birth with the illustration from Numbers 26 that looking to a brazen serpent saved the life of a judged snake bite victim. As much as an Israelite had only to look at the brazen serpent to be saved from his snake-bite, so one has only to turn and look to Christ to be saved from his sin sentence. (John 3:14-16) What was mans part? To believe and to look. Belief alone was inadequate. There must be an application of the belief, but that application had no physical requirement, no gauze or ointment, no water washing or need of someone else to dunk them in magical water. In the word’s of the songwriter one had but to “look and live, my brother live, look to Jesus now and live, it’s recorded in in His word, halleluiah, it is only that you look and live.” Marvelous simplicity. Marvelous availability. Marvelous attainability to all who would believe.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. The word ‘believe’ has lost it’s effectiveness today. We say “I believe it will be a nice day.” We say “I believe the world is round.” Believe has been distanced from trust. To capture the intent of Biblical belief on Christ, we must tie the word back to trust, to letting go of other securities and placing the full trust of our soul in Christ. “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Both the turning to the brazen serpent and the turning loose of all else for a belief in Christ, alone, show two inseparable parts of conversion. Repentance, is turning from, and Faith is believing in.

The best illustration of conversion then is in a two sided coin containing faith and repentance. Accepting the whole coin is as easy as reaching out and receiving. Dividing the two is as difficult as cutting a coin without defacing either side. When your done you don’t have a complete coin.


Comprehending conversion as an act of an individual that takes place in their volition at an instant in time leads to several clarifications that should be stated.

  1. One can know they have done this as sure as one can know that they got married.
  2. There is more than a ‘head knowledge’ involved in believing faith.
  3. There is no work to be done to deserve conversion, it is an act of faith alone.
  4. There is nothing that can be done externally by the individual, his family or a Church to accomplish a souls conversion.
  5. There are no sacraments (mystical physical acts with spiritual consequences) involved in conversion.
  6. The Church cannot issue salvation via sacraments.
  7. An infant cannot be converted.

Let’s emphasize a couple of verses again and recognize that conversion is this new birth and new birth is conversion.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Matt 18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

American society is filled with individuals who were never converted yet think themselves Christian. There is no time or place in their life where they verbally called on Christ for their salvation and realized it a completed transaction. They often have spent their lives acting Christian without the new life and assurance that conversion brings. If you are one of these please realize now that “Except ye be converted, . . . ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Keeping these things in mind, one goes on in the exploration of events that accompany salvation. Recall that all five of these events, Conversion, Regeneration, Justification, Baptism into Christ, and Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, occur simultaneously and in an instant of time in an individuals life.


Chapter IV The Instantaneous Transaction of Regeneration

We said previously that:

Regeneration is the “that act of God by which new, spiritual life is implanted in man whereby the governing disposition of the soul is made holy by the Holy Spirit through truth as the means.”26

Once again we are not covering all aspects of this tremendous miracle in this chapter, only establishing the Scriptural basis that it occurs at an instant in time in an individuals life, that it occurs simultaneously with the new birth, and that this new birth also includes the other four ingredients of Conversion, Justification, Baptism into Christ, and Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The word regeneration appears only twice in the Bible, in Matt 19:28 and Tit 3:5.

Matt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

So here the part of regeneration we are interested in might be better conceived with the word quickened. The word quickened, meaning made alive, is used 25 times in the Bible, 10 in the NT and 15 times in Psalms. The fact that the new birth described in John 3 is tied with new spiritual life, quickening or regeneration is indisputable. The descriptions of the new life being just that, a “new” life, where one once was dead and now is made alive are throughout the epistles.


Chapter V The Instantaneous Transaction of Justification

Justification is best defined by Scripture in IICor 5:21 For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Being saved from the condemnation of sin is coming under the umbrella of what Christ did for us. Justification, then, is a heavenly judicial declaration of 1) remission of sin and of 2) restoration to God.


CHAPTER VI The Instantaneous Baptism Into Christ

Baptism into Christ often called the union with Christ, this is simply being united with Christ. Again probably best defined by Scripture in Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


CHAPTER VII The Instantaneous Indwelling of The Holy Spirit

Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the actual literal moving into our bodies by the Holy Spirit of God whereby he now permanently indwells us. Again Scripture pictures this superbly in I Cor 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Also Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. When one is saved, the Holy Spirit of God takes up residence inside them, he indwells them.


CHAPTER VIII The conflict with our philosophy and doctrines

CALVINISM–a definition and explanation

The essential parts of this Calvinistic system are the well-known five points of Calvinism, namely, total depravity in distinction from partial; unconditional election in distinction from conditional; irresistible regenerating grace in distinction from resistible; limited redemption (not atonement) in distinction from universal; the certain perseverance of the regenerate in distinction from their possible apostasy. No one of these points can be rejected without impairing the integrity of Calvinism . . .

[William G. T. Shedd. Calvinism: Pure and Mixed. p. 147].

The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches Article X states that:

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a

new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new

birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and

receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our

sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy

Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the

gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and

newness of life [General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. Literature Item 1. p. 6].

The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647, Chapter VIII and Section VIII says:

To all those for whom Christ has purchased redemption He does certainly and

effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them, and

revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually

persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey [emphasis added–aal]; and governing

their hearts by His Word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by His almighty

power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful

and unsearchable dispensation [Schaff. op. cit. p. 622].

The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England in Article XVII states:

Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the

foundations of the world were laid) He has constantly decreed by His counsel secret to

us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He has chosen in Christ to

everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor [emphasis added –aal]. Wherefore, those

who are endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God’s

purpose by His Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they

are justified freely: they are made sons of God by adoption: they are made like the

image of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and

at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting happiness [Ibid. p. 497].


Table of Truths Established for Each Aspect of Salvation




Baptism Into Christ

Indwelling of Holy Spirit

One can know they did this as sure as marriage vows. One can know this happened, know there is now new life. One can read and understand this promise. One can read and understand this promise. One can know when someone moves into their life.
Involves both mental assent and willful trust. New life is imparted by God.
Wholly Independent of Works The new life is eternal, it cannot die.
No external, physical act done, or to be done by another. The new life CANNOT sin.
Independent of Reformation The new life can see spiritual things.
Independent of Church Sacraments The new life responds with the Holy Spirit.
Not done by/to infants.


Table of Conflicts Between Systematic Doctrines and Each Aspect of Salvation

The Bible Model Sacramental Salvation (Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian) Calvinism (Reformed, Presbyterian) Arminianism (Methodist, Pentecostal) Charismatic (Feelings usurp Scriptural Authority)
Conversion the act of turning from sin, repentance; and turning to Christ, in faith. More than a mental persuasion, The act of letting go of all else and trusting Christ with your soul. The Church hands out physical mystical sacraments used to attain Salvation. Conversion is coming into the Church not into the Kingdom of God. Impossible unless one is first chosen of God and then already regenerated, man is totally depraved spiritually unable to make a decision for Salvation. The use of the awakening of the Will to claim
Regeneration act of God whereby a new spiritual life is implanted in man whereby the governing disposition of the soul is made holy by the Holy Spirit through truth. Salvation is not a new life implanted but a process of feeding ones soul with sacraments, thus administration of Communion and Last Rights.
Justification a heavenly judicial declaration of 1) remission of sin and of 2) restoration to God, accomplished at Calvary, but applied at conversion.
Baptism into Christ as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: . . And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Indwelling of Holy Spirit the actual literal moving into our bodies by the Holy Spirit of God whereby he now permanently indwells us. your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,

Soteriology#404 Report Bibliography

Shedd, William Greenough Thayer. Calvinism: Pure and Mixed, A Defense of the Westminster Standards. 1893, reprint, Edinburgh, UK: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1986.

———-. Commentary on Romans. 1879, reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980.

———-. Dogmatic Theology. Three volumes, New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, volumes I and II third edition, 1891, volume III Supplement, 1894.

Schaff, Philip. The Creeds of Christendom. Three volumes, 1877, reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977.

———-. History of the Christian Church. Third edition, revised in eight volumes, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1910.


The Holy Bible

Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977, [In 1932 Emery H. Bancroft became the first Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, NY and published his text for his course Elemental Theology. In 1968 the Seminary relocated to Clark Summit PA. In 1970 this author attended Practical Bible Training School on the Johnson City campus and studied Bancroft’s text. In 1999 – 2000 this author attended Baptist Bible Seminary to take Greek (NT502 and NT503) via a 3 hour commute from Hammondsport NY to Clark Summit PA, and was reintroduced to Bancroft’s exceptional work.]

Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, [Independent Baptist, Professor, Tennessee Temple Bible School, 1954].

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.[Lewis Sperry Chafer was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential founding member of modern Christian Dispensationalism. Born: February 27, 1871, Rock Creek, Died: August 22, 1952, Seattle, Education: Oberlin College, Wheaton College. For my Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies through LBTS, I was tasked to analyze all six volumes of his Systematic Theology]

Satan, 1909, Free ebooks – Project Gutenberg,2004, accessed 06/01/2013

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985.

Gaussen, L. Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science. David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840.

Geisler, Norman L, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11 [Geisler, also a neoevangelical, sharply contrasts with Lewis Sperry Chafer in that Geisler 1) admits what he is, neoevangelical, 2) admits what he is attempting, a compilation of evangelical theologies, 3) shows superb organization and structure of thought, 4) contains depth, and 5) is a masterful communicator. This author cannot endorse all that Geisler believes to be true, but can endorse that he seems to capture all that has been believed by conservative evangelicals.]

Hodge, Charles.Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV. Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940, Christian Classics Ethereal Library,, public domain. [The Internet Archive], [Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Presbyterian Minister, Princeton Theologian].

Larkin, Clarence. The Spirit World, Published by the Clarence Larkin Estate, 1921, Cosimo, 2005

Miley, John. Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2. The Internet Archive, [John Miley (1813-1895, Methodist Theologian].

Ryrie, Charles C.. Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.

Schofield, C. I.. Prophecy Made Plain. Photolithoprinted by Grand Rapids Book Manufacturers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.

Shedd, William G. T.. Dogmatic Theology. Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive], [William G.T. Shedd, 1820-1894, Old School Presbyterian & Reformed Theologian].

Strong, Augustus H.. Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1. Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993. [Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, American Baptist Pastor & Theologian].

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949. [Henry Clarence Thiessen, ? -1947, President of Los Angles Baptist Theological Seminary, later renamed John MacArthur’s The Master’s College].

Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 2006.

Waite, D.A.. Defending the King James Bible. The Bible For Today Press, 2002.

1From accessed Dec 2013

2In making such a brash definition Chafer unwittingly puts Aristotle Saint Augustine and Saint Aquinas on equal ground with Holy Scriptures and in writing his seven volume work he actually does. Woe!


4From accessed Dec 2013




8David Txxxxxxx‘s accessed 12/14/2013

9Total Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perseverance of the Saints

10Freely available at

11See Darby’s extensive development of history in R.L. Dabney “The Five Points of Calvinism”



14Chafer, Systematic Theology Volume 3, 172

15Ibid. 172 accessed 28 March 2014

17Freely available at

18See Darby’s extensive development of history in R.L. Dabney “The Five Points of Calvinism”

19From accessed 12 February 2014

21Non-Christendom here generally referring to cults, hedonism or non-Christian religions.

22Dr. W. Vanhetloo’s Syllabus of Soteriology #404 Spr 94, Page 42, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

23Josh 8:35 1Sam 25:15 Psal 19:7 Psal 37:14 Psal 50:23 Psal 51:13 Isai 1:27 Isai 6:10 Isai 60:5 Matt 13:15 Matt 18:3 Mark 4:12 Luke 22:32 John 12:40 Acts 3:19 Acts 15:3 Acts 28:27 2Cor 1:12 Gala 1:13 Ephe 2:3 Ephe 4:22 Phil 1:27 Phil 3:20 1Tim 4:12 Hebr 13:5 Hebr 13:7 Jame 3:13 Jame 5:19 20 1Pet 1:15 1Pet 1:18 1Pet 2:12 1Pet 3:1 2 1Pet 3:16 2Pet 2:7 2Pet 3:11

24Note here that there has been much disparity about exactly what is meant by Christ when he said “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit” The very simplest, literal and logical reading is that this is speaking of ones physical birth. To see the kingdom of God, one must of necessity be born first physically. This reading fits into both the argument of Nicodemus who asked if he necessarily had to enter into his mothers womb again, and into the parallel clarification that follows about being born of flesh. Some like to make this ‘born of water’ phrase mean touched, anointed, cleansed or born-of the Word of God, (because some times the Word is pictured figuratively as water). They argue that if is was physical birth Jesus was speaking of, he would be requiring Nicodemus to be born physically again. No they say, he is requiring that he be touched with the gospel, to hear the Word of truth as part of the new birth. Although, in a system of theology it is the preaching of the Gospel that precedes the new birth, it is a rough and forced fit to make this ‘born of water’ fit that requirement. Clearly, in context, it is talking about physical birth. Others will muck this portion up further by requiring that ‘born of water’ has something to do with water baptism. Again, they are guilty of making the Scriptures imply something that they believe rather than taking a good hermeneutical approach to a literal interpretation of this passage. There are ample references to the power and need of the word of God, without stretching this one to go there. There are ample references to the correct teaching of baptism without making this one capture something it is not intended for. To be ‘born of water’ is simply equivalent to being born of the womb.

25The term ‘may’ is used here because Jesus himself said “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11:25-26

26Dr. W. Vanhetloo’s Syllabus of Soteriology #404 Spr 94, Page 42, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary