Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2005 4:21 PM
Subject: FOUNDERS SPONSOR SPROUL [06/12--2005

I think it is probably disconcerting to a lot of Baptists that the Founders Ministries is featuring pedobaptist R. C. Sproul at the Founders Fellowship Breakfast on June 21 in conjunction with the forthcoming meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville.

Most of you know that the Founders Ministries is a "movement" of sorts, founded several years ago by the late Ernest Reisinger (1919-2004), to primarily promote the Calvinistic theology of men such as J. P. Boyce and other past notable Southern Baptist leaders.

As a pedobaptist [one who baptizes infants], Sproul holds to the baptism of infants, infant regeneration, and the non-creedal theory of "pre-faith regeneration." See article at the following website:

Sproul admits to having imbibed this doctrine when he was a student at a pedobaptist seminary: "
One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in a seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters: Regeneration Precedes Faith."

Pedobaptists and Hardshell Primitive Baptists are the source of most of the modern teaching which alleges that regeneration [new birth] precedes faith. This theory is not found in the Westminster Confession nor in the Baptist confessions, but it is found in some post-17th century pedobaptist writers. As I have emphasized in past articles on the subject, the apparent chief source for the theory today, in theology books, is the Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof, widely used by those who like to refer to their theology by the word "reformed."

Logically followed, this theory rules out the Word or Gospel as a necessary instrument in the New Birth. Since pedobaptists believe that the infant children of believers inherit the spiritual blessings promised in the supposed "covenant," they allege that regeneration (new birth) takes place early, before the children are capable of believing. This is supposed to be one of the blessings which is part of their promised inheritance. Infants are therefore baptized and inducted as members of the church and, according to the theory, will eventually in due time come forth as believers, although pedobaptists admit that this is not an absolute certainty. It is sort of "an elect within the elect."

What is disturbing is that a number of today's Baptists, such as among the Founders, are apparently embracing teachers such as Sproul who advocate "regeneration [new birth] before faith," and some are advocating this theory. You will find a lot of this on the Internet under the term of "monergism," a term which in a number of cases simply disguises the heresy that a person is born again apart from the necessary instrumentality of the Gospel.

James White, a "Reformed Baptist," has become an advocate for the "pre-faith regeneration" view in his writings and debates. He recently advocated this very theory in a debate with Bob Wilkin.

In his theology book, Louis Berkhof admits that this view is not consistent with the Reformers, the Puritans, and the Confessions of faith. A reading of the Puritan, Stephen Charnock, on this subject will certainly verify the truthfulness of Berkhof's admission. See Charnock's work on the Internet at <>

Since the New Birth is the work of the Holy Spirit in using the instrumentality of the Word of God to create faith, it is inconceivable that "regeneration precedes faith" or that "faith precedes regeneration." When a separation is made between "regeneration" and "faith," there is obviously a misunderstanding of what constitutes the New Birth.

C. H. Spurgeon summarized the matter as follows:

"If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate" (Warrant of Faith, #531, page 532).

For more on this subject, you may request an email copies of my articles entitled,



-- Bob L. Ross

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