Monday, March 2, 2015

Listening to the Great Preachers of Old

I love the quotes that I find from old preachers, and none is more quotable than Charles Spurgeon [Of course when I say "old" preachers, I do not mean that they were old when they preached, only that they are from days gone by.] Here is one of the best I've seen on the difficulty in understanding how divine sovereignty and human responsibility should be considered.

"The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once.

I am taught in one book to believe that what I sow I shall reap: I am taught in another place, that “it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”

I see in one place, God presiding over all in providence; and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions to his own will, in a great measure.

Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism.

That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other.

If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other.

These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring."

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon from his sermon “Sovereign Grace and Man’s Responsibility,” originally delivered Sunday morning, August 1, 1858, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens, London.



Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2010/12/giving-spurgeon-the-last-word-on-arminianism-and-calvinism/#ixzz3TG9bJHbU