Sunday, November 28, 2004

Another John Gill Post

Gee, this will be my third post about John Gill. I seem to have taken a shining to him, haven't I? At this point, many people would probably say to me, "Oh, Stephen, be careful reading Gill. He was a hyper-Calvinist!" Oh yeah? I disagree. I am willing to admit that Gill may have been a high Calvinist, but I do not think that he was a hyper-Calvinist at all. Tom Nettles seems to agree with me in his section on Gill in By His Grace and For his Glory.

I think the main reason people think Gill was a hyper-Calvinist is because that's what they were told. If someone has listened to Dr. Curt Daniel's 75-part series on the History and Theology of Calvinism, they will believe that Gill was the embodiment of hyper-Calvinism. I have enjoyed listing to this series by Curt Daniel very much, but I believe he is wrong on this point. In the aforementioned piece, Nettles says that Daniel started with the assumption that Gill was a hyper-Calvinist, and then defined hyper-Calvinism from Gill. For ages, people have said that Gill was a hyper-Calvinist without offering any proof from the writings or sermons of Gill (or at least not in context), and people simply accept what they are told.

Another reason people mistakenly believe that Gill was a hyper-Calvinist is they do not read his supposed anti-free offer comments in the context in which they were written. Usually, in these cases, he was writing against universal salvation. He did not deny that ministers should urge sinners to believe. He simply said that this external call in and of itself can do nothing. There must also be the irresistable internal call of the Holy Spirit as well.

Now, go read some of Gill's sermons, particarly ones preached on the occasion of the ordination of another pastor, and you will see that he DOES preach that it is the duty of sinners to believe, and he exhorts sinners to believe. Then you will see that he was definately not a hyper-Calvinist.

For a nifty article that goes into more article, go "">here.

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